30.6.06

Ning, Planet Noori, Pod::WSDL, WeBreakStuff, Basecamp, goPlan

So, I guess for the first time ever, I'm going to do a blogpost talking about a log of stuff at the same time.


Ning and Planet Noori


As I had promissed, I've tried Ning again. The first time I did it was when they went beta.
second when they were finally open, but in none of those times they've convinced me. After the latest upgrade, I decided to give it a shot again. So, for testing purposes, I decided to do a simpl
e private application for me and some friends to use, and... I didn't quit, the app is done and we're actually using it! So, I decided to fiddle some more, and ended doing the third version of Planet Noori now better than ever and Web 2.0. Finally, this great idea is usable, which doesn't really mean that Ning is good (as a matter of fact it has
some really annoying stuff), but it is good enough, and since they're the only ones doing this, they're getting a great user base. For them, I just have to say that they have here the great oppor
tunity - just keep getting better before alternatives appear and you're good.

Pod::WSDL


After swapping some e-mails with Tarek Ahmed, he kindly purposed me to be the maintainer of Pod::WSDL. I rejected his offer, but I'll be a m
ain contributor for it from now on, and I'm the one who's going to do the 0.4 version. That will probably be a bug-fixes only release, including fixing this bugs.

WeBreakStuff, Basecamp and goPlan


Finaly, WeBreakStuff redesigned their website, which is now using Radiant (which I've talked about previously). In their new site we can see that they're organizing Barcamp Portugal for this summer, and since I'm on vacations at that time I'll probably attend it. Finaly, they are going to open private beta for goPlan, you just have to add a comment there and say you're interested to test it... I've already test the thing, as I told previously, and I'm really looking forward to get into the private beta, as I'm going to surely be a user of it after it is
released.


And that's the news for now...

29.6.06

xine's bash completion update

A slightly updated version of xine's bash completion script is up.

Spanish madness II: on p2p

I've told you yesterday that the Spanish government aprooved a law that makes all blank media to include in their prices a tax for copyright issues. Today more news about that tell us that the case is much worse (yeah, it seems it can be): that law also makes a civil offense even to download content for personal use using p2p networks.


Making laws has allways been difficult in history, since it used to be about punishing the bad and/or evil, even if it's hard to see the difference in some cases on what's good and what's bad, what's good and what's evil, what's right and what's wrong. But nowadays we have a much bigger problem: we're seeing assholes aprooving laws like this one, where you want to punish "evil", even if to achieve it you have to punish anyone. I'm glad I don't live in Spain, because with this, they have no freedom to play WoW (which updates itself via p2p), nor download the latest ISO of their Linux distribution of choice (which are usually distributed via bittorrent), they have no freedom to use p2p to make thier life (and others) better, just because that technology can be used for wrong purposes. I wonder when will it be illegal to own a knife.

28.6.06

Spanish madness: pay for what you might do

This is completely insane: starting soon, all blank media (CD-R's, DVD-R's and stuff like that) in Spain are going to have in it's price a tax included, a "copyright tax", so if you use that thing to illegaly copy copyright'd stuff, you already paid for it. I wonder why don't they charge everyone owning a car for having the means to infringe the speed limits... Assholes.

On blogging

There are lot's of blogging applications, and none perfect. Why? Well, my guess is that it's use hasn't matured yet to the point that people know about what are the best approaches for stuff. Monday I posted something on the issue, when I said that I was thinking what was the best way to manage my own stuff: I blog about several things in several places... And if there's stuff I could avoid, like talking here about art instead of doing it on room 404, other stuff can't have the coice: for instance, it doesn't make sense to have Merankorii posts here - fans of the band don't have to read my personal blog, even if it would fit for people reading this blog to have to read Merankorii's posts. But there are other issues that are discussed, like the recent discussion about blog folds on Planet Debian. On that issue, I have to agree to whoever wrote something (I think it was Fred at WeBreakStuff, but I couldn't find the blog post about it and now I'm not completely sure) about the issue, that was begging for people to stop posting incomplete RSS posts (like /. does), so if you want to read the whole post you must visit the blog/site, and explained why. On my issue, tho, I'm still not sure about what should I do. For once, I thought that the sollution was to have another planet: turn Planet Noori to a planet aggregating only the feeds of places where I post, and have another planet to do what Planet Noori achieves now: giving me all the stuff I want to read. But it's alerady painful to maintain one Planet, I'm not wanting to have to maintain two of them, specially when one of them is for you and not for me... But we still need a galaxy service to make this kind of stuff easier...

27.6.06

Internet standards process undermined by software patents

The IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) Working Group for a new standard for the "syslog" protocol is being confronted by an undisclosed software patent by one of its Working Group members, the Chinese company Huawei. This patent supposedly covers part of the work done by the standards group. Huawei proposes a royalty free license, but the working group remains unhappy.

"The proposed license can be revoked at any time", explains Jonas Maebe of the FFII, "which means that there is no guarantee to anyone who implements this standard that they won't be hit with arbitrary royalty claims in the future."

Exactly this happened when part of the JPEG image compression algorithm was patented, and the patent owners (Compression Labs Inc.) offered a royalty free license. Compression Labs went bankrupt, Forgent bought the company and its patents, and the result was that thousands of firms were forced to pay for using an image format which had become the standard for every web site and digital camera.

"People will not take the risk of adopting new standards that have this kind of patent risk," adds Rainer Gerhards of the IETF syslog working group. "If we cannot produce new software standards, innovation will slow down and stop. Imagine being forced to use 1980's infrastructure
to do business today."

In Europe, the FFII educates the people about the dangers of software patents, while the EU Commission is still fighting to have these legalised on a wide scale across Europe. Last week, Commissioner McCreevy said before the EP's Legal Affairs Committee that "protection of intellectual property stimulates and rewards innovation". This lofty promise is overly general, since software patents are obviously killing the standards process and all the innovation that depends on it.

FFII president Pieter Hintjens concludes: "Standards are the backbone of the modern IT industry. They create new markets, new businesses and jobs. I challenge any pro-patent lobbyist to explain how a new software standard can be published today without risk of a patent ambush. It's a simple question. The IETF would be keen to have an answer, and so would the hundreds of thousands of IT professionals whose jobs depend on innovation."

26.6.06

Ning

Ning - create andshare your own social web apps!

At first, I was just thinking that sooner or later someone would do the web 2.0 app to create web 2.0 apps, and then I heard about Ning, that promissed to do it. Well, Ning sucked at the time, and, while I was keeping myself updated about their efforts, it wasn't until today that I considered it again.

Ning is a service for creating and sharing your own Social Web Apps, or websites. And they've just launched a ton of new social features:

A Cleaner, Sleeker Look for Ning Apps!
Now there are even more great App features wrapped up in a sleeker, more streamlined toolbar (or Ningbar, as we like to call it) across your favorite Apps.

Even Easier App Creation
Now, wherever you see the new Get Your Own! tab, you can create a new App right there. It's that easy!

Friends and Contacts
You told us you wanted easier ways to make new friends, meet interesting people, and manage your Address Book across Ning Apps. Now you can!

With the new and improved Ning, you can see everyone using a particular App and make any one of them your friend. You can also import your Address Book to quickly share with your current friends all the killer Apps you’re using. With these new features, now it’s almost too easy to be popular.

A Message Center
You can now drop a quick note to people you meet across Apps and pick up all your messages in one handy message center. Don’t worry, though, no one will ever see your real email address and you can always block people you don’t want to hear from.

App Search
You can now search an App from the top search bar on every page.

And so, I decided to try it again. I tried and the app started to crash, and then I've got a message showing they have a bug in production and are trying to catch it. I don't know how long it will take, but I know that I'm going to try Ning again and I still think that, while they're doing better, it will still suck. But rhen, maybe they'll proove me wrong...

23.6.06

xine-ui patch

Hmm, I coldn't be without doing this, so, besides submiting the bash completion for xine file to bash-completion, I had to do something more... useful :-P, so I wrote this patch to add rmvb support to xine-ui and submitted it.

bash completion for Xine

I've been busy lately, so much that yesterday I even didn't blogged. Although, I managed to finaly update my CV and to stop being lazy and solve the problem I was having with xine usabillity. Well, in fact it isn't much of a problem, I'm just lazy and it bores me that Xine plays some stiff he doesn't even know it does, so tabbing on bash woldn't find that kind of files (rmvb ones, for instance). To fix that, and to do it well, I should hack around xine-lib and teach it something about which files he knows to play, and which extentions those files have, but since I hadn't it's source code (at home, no connection), and because I'm lazy, I just did a small bash-completion script to work around the issue and making it know all files (and I mean all). I know it's ugly and quite incomplete, but it works and does it's job: better like this than without completion. So, feel free to use it or comment, but don't expect many more features on it... I have to be really bored to change this :-P

21.6.06

Swaptree


So, swaptree is now in a private beta, and I'm really eager to see this go public, because I foresee this application as one of the few real innovative Web 2.0 applications, that give added value to their users, and this is what we wee need on Web 2.0 world. Besides, I'll be almost surely an user of it...

So, what's this "swaptree" thing? Swaptree is a free service that allows you to swap things you have and don't want with things you want to have. It just works like this:



You manage a list of books, CD's, DVD's or games you want to trade, and a wishlist with stuff you want to have. To simplify it, you can easily do stuff like import your Amazon wishlist to swaptree. Then, the site does it's own magic by itself and you don't have to worry about anything. When there's something you want available to swap with something you have, you'll be asked if you want to do that trade. If you want to, swaptree manages even the packaging issues so you don't have to bother with nothing:



And when you realize, the swap is done! Easy, isn't it? Well... This is the part when you start wondering about the implications of such a system: it can't be just as easy as that... Well, as you can see through the blogosphere, it really is as simple as that. On the other hand, I have two remarks on this:
  • I have an unanswered question on this: is this going to work overseas or only on USA?
  • All you do if you want to swap an item is pay the shipping cost of $2 or less. Yet, it isn't totally free as it could...

Anyway, this business is going to fly.

Software Patents in Europe


On the 13th of this month, Internal Market Commissioner Mc Creevy announced that he does not intend to solve the software patents problem by a directive in his term of office. He did not answer questions by Meps but repeated his statement. In matters of EU-Parliament involvement in patent policy he claimed he supported codecision but procedures were determined by the EU treaties.


If you want to know what's so bad on software patents, you might want to read this.

Merry Litha


Today is Litha's day, also known as Midsummer or, more commonly, Summer's Solistice. Old Litha was celebrated at the 25th, a long long time ago, but with the difference between the Julian calendar year (365.2500 days) and the tropical year (365.2422 days) the date is changing, and this wheel's turn it happens to be occuring... right now. Unfortunately times change, and instead of celebrating around the Midsummer's pole, here in Portugal most people will "celebrate" by seeing a soccer game between Portugal and I-dunno-who to the world cup. Still, I wish you can have a merry Litha.

20.6.06

Wetpaint

Wetpaint
Combining the best of wikis, blogs, and forums, Wetpaint is the canvas where everyone gets a brush. From personal expression to collaboration, Wetpaint empowers you to connect with others on whatever you're passionate about.

Wetpaint is definitively the state-of-the-art service for those wanting to create a website. Take a look...

19.6.06

The Curruptibles

Where is art's future heading? In a capitalist world as ours, it is possible that we're heading to this:

Pandora Backstage


Folks from Pandora never stop evolving their software, and never cease to surprise me. This time, they created Pandora Backstage, which is now my favourite "Music Search Engine". Take a look there...

Petition

Please sign the petition on www.oneseat.eu, expressing the wish of the European Parliament to quit the monthly costly and time-consuming circus of moving up and down from Brussels to Strasbourg.

The petition, that has been initiated by members of the European Parliament themselves, will be a success and can only be effective, when not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of the 25 Member States have signed.

Since I am very much interested in and hoping for a very successful petition, I have been monitoring the nationalities of the people who signed this petition so far and much to my regret most countries have a too low representation of supporters. The people of The Netherlands and to a lesser extend Belgium form by far the majority of the voters. Therefore I try to contact people from all other Member States to ask them to spread the knowledge of the existence of the website.

This is a great opportunity to show the European monster that we, their citizens are fed up with their idiot rules and power play games. Now you can show that we do care for the EU but only for a reasonable EU.

This Blog

I've already noticed something about this blog that several people reminded me lately. First this was my blog where I talked about everything, but now it's where I put my personal rants (where they belong) and talk about technology stuff. Since the technology posts can be quite annoying for non-techie people who just want to read my "personal blog", I'm willing to start writting about this technology stuff in another place... as long as I don't have to create one more blog to do it by myself. So, if you blog about technology issues (web 2.0, trends, the stuff I usually talk about here) and want me to participate in your blog (or a tech site or something like that), just tell me. The other thing that can get annoying is that people who wants to get track about everything I write in other places besides here, usually loose track. With that in mind, I'll try to weekly post here links to the stuff I wrote elsewhere.

Oh, and feel free to comment on my decisions...

Back from Vacations

(It's sunday night when I'm writting this, although it will only be online monday).

I'm too tired to write much, but I'm here to say that my vacations are now over. If you consider the fact that unplanned vacations tend to suck some, then my vacations were really good.

I started by going to Coimbra on Saturday, met with some people I didn't see for quite a while, and on Sunday I went to a wine workshop (or whatever those things are called, I just went there to drink, so...). Had two more days in Coimbra where I was just drinking way to much, and sleeping less than I should - the usual.

Tuesday night I was with WeBreakStuff guys, and ended the night with one of them (an old friend of mine), just drinking and talking. He showed me SiteBlimp, an Web 2.0 app they've made for ACS and that supposedly is already done, so I guess it will be online and public soon. I really liked it - even if I'm not going to be a user - it's the application I was going to undoubtly use if I was into publiciting a site on the web. The other application he showed me left me way more excited: the so-much talked goPlan. They're still developing it and there's lot of stuff they still have to implement, fix or refine. But it is undoubtly a tool that I miss, and the one I'm going to use to manage my Open Source projects as soon as it is online, and I'll gladly be a beta user as soon as they're up to it.

Wednesday I went to Lamego, where I stayed until today. Once again, I've drinked too much, sleeped less than I should, talked with old friends I wasn't with for a long time, and did some work on Merankorii. Against my expectations the recordings for Merankorii's next album aren't over yet, but I'm quite confident that they'll be during this week. Yesterday SpellBound, my old-time friend and Mordor's bass player, had one more birthday, so It's useless to add anything else on that, and that will explain why I'm so tired today.

In the morning I went to Aveiro, where I had lunch with my older sister. Now, I'm back to Lisbon and back to work...

Lies

There are lot's of themes I wanted to blog about during this vacations, but sunce I've decided (and not regreted) to do a non-laptop week vacations (with was basicly the only thing about this I've planned), this is the only theme I'll do some blogging about, since I have pen and paper at hand.

It seems that the Portuguese "Texto Editora" is now "Texto Editores", and they've just released a two volumes Portuguese Language Dictionary. IMHO this kind of stuff should be reviewed by an extern entity before going into market, to avoid selling this garbage to the general population and liying to them. And this guys are doing it: they claim that a "sabbat" is a "witches meeting at midnight, presided by Satan" (although Satan is a concept that appeared with Christianity), "paganism" is "the ancient Greece politeist religion, and its practicers are called pagans", but then "pagan" is "someone who's not Christian". WTF? This just reminds me of a Black Adder's eppisode when someone defined "dog" as "not a cat"... Just that this isn't a definition but either a lie, and the real dictionary is just full of lies. Assholes.

14.6.06

On vacations

For those wondering, I'm not blogging lately because I'm on vacations since friday until next monday. I'm on Coimbra, after tasting some wines in a wine showcase sunday, and tomorrow I'm heading to Lamego where I'll be mainly doing this. I'll blog about this vacations next monday.

9.6.06

Radiant

Radiant - Content Management Simplified

Radiant is a no-fluff, open source content management system designed for small teams.

screenshot

Radiant features:

  • An elegant user interface
  • Flexible templating with layouts, snippets, page parts, and a custom tagging language
  • Special page-oriented plugins called behaviors
  • A simple user management/rights system

More Features…


Made in Ruby on Rails, this CMS looks really promissor.

Want vs. Need


What users want and what users need is usually different stuff, and sometimes you can't deliver them what they want and what they need because noth things aren't compatible.

There are two ways of looking to the issue: at the end giving them what they want and not what they need, or giving them what they need but not what they want. It's hard to see what is the best approach, but I'm quite an advocate on giving them what they need, because they usually don't want another thing just because they aren't informed as you are on the matter in debate.

I was liking to see the Web 2.0 workgroup people in their PostBubble effort, since I expected they would leave the hyped and bubbled vision you can see on some members web presence, like TechCrunch, but, unfortunately, it seems that they are more into what people want instead of what people need. And yes, I believe this is one of those cases where one thing excludes automaticly the other.

8.6.06

Fscking Feeds

I don't really know if I have to blame Microsoft Office or Google's Blogger on this mess, so I think I just send both of them to hell. WTF? Have you ever heard about STANDARDS?. Assholes.

PS -> Blogger is having some QoS problems ATM also, so fuck you twice.

RedHat madness

Please, tell me that this whole thread is a big messy joke. Or else, please admit that RedHat people are completely out of their mind. A bug on rpm is reported at 2004-03-25, the package maintainer is an asshole that isn't capable to admit that it is a bug because it will give him lot's of work (if he doesn't want the work fine, but saying it is not a bug it's a whole different question), a whole flamewar discussing how is this a bug or not (of course it is!) occurs until 2006-02-09, when finaly... the owner of the ticket changes. Nothing happens until upstream solves the issue by himself, at 2006-02-20, and so the ticket is closed as being solved. This guys are crazy. Yes, the issue is solved in rpm-4.4.5, and Fedora Core 6 (rawhide) is still at rpm-4.4.2. Are you JOKING on your users? Man, upstream has the issue solved, but Fedora Core (the OS where the bug was reported) has the bug!

This bug was reported to be happening on Fedora Core, and since that still happens in Fedora Core, the bug shouldn't be closed as it is.

7.6.06

Google Analytics

Someone pointed out to me about some changes on Google Analytics (yeah, I'm quite sceptic about this Google product...), so I went there to see. Yes, they did lot's of improovements since the last time I saw it, but still, I quickly catched a bug there:



How am I supposed to chose a range if the calendar is behind the map?

/.

So, /. has a new design, and, even I knew it for some days now, since I read it via Planet Noori, I only remembered of taking a look there by myself now. I liked the general aspect of it, it's better than the previous design, but there was a bug that instantly caught my attention:



As you can see in the previous image, my /.'s name is "Mind Booster Noori", but the menu bar truncates it... You can see it better here.

MidpSSH


MidpSSH is an SSH and Telnet client for MIDP 1.0 / 2.0 (J2ME) devices such as Java(tm)-capable cellphones and other mobile devices. MidpSSH is developed by Karl von Randow www.xk72.com and released under the GPL.

MidpSSH is based upon Floyd SSH and Telnet Floyd by Radek Polak http://phoenix.inf.upol.cz/~polakr/, who ported the Java (tm) Telnet/SSH Applet to the MIDP platform. MidpSSH adds a GUI and a number of other features to Floyd SSH, see the Features section below.

Java(tm) Telnet/SSH Applet is by Matthias L. Jugel, Marcus Meissner javassh.org. It implements SSH1, Telnet and VT320 terminal emulation in Java.

Floyd SSH and Telnet Floyd (and hence MidpSSH) also includes sources from the GNU Classpath project.

MidpSSH 1.2+ includes cryptographic algorithms from The Legion of the Bouncy Castle, modified by Karl von Randow for MIDP. And implementation detail of SSH2 key exchange adapted from Java Secure Channel.

Or, in other words, I got a free SSH client to my mobile phone, it works preety well, and now I can allways be online on Selva!

Control Arms

Against all odds, I've signed the Control Arms petition, and ask you to consider doing the same.

Now, "against all odds" because, as the people who know me well know, I'm almost fighting for freedom and liberty. That includes freedom of choice. Yeah, people also know that I'm not only against wars and uncontroled guns but against all wars and all guns, but still, it is usually my position that it is the choice of each individual (represented or not by a state or country, that regulates or not the use of guns) to take a position on the issue, and that he/it (individual/representative) must have the freedom to think for their own and take their own position in the issue, in this case arms.

But after reading well all the Control Arms proprosals, the only thing I saw is that this is an attempt that, if succeded, will make countries think, above all, about the issues related to the use of guns, and that's really what's important.

If you think countries should be convinced to think about gun control, please sign it too.

6.6.06

XTech 2006 videos

Here are some low-quality videos I've taken on my trip to XTech 2006. Take a look specially at the last few ones, that I've shoot just to capture the speech about JavaScript 2...














Ashram live

Here are some videos I took on Ashram's gig at Santiago Alquimista - Lisbon.







Trobar de Morte videos

So, I did some videos from the gigs I saw last friday. So, for now, here are Trobar de Morte videos.

I know that their quality sucks, and that the Java plugin also sucks, but this is also 'cause Google Video and Yahoo! Video don't support 3gp files...



5.6.06

More about Ashram

I was searching now and found another review to the Ashram concert (still in Portuguese), this one with some pictures...

Vox (ex-Comet)

I told you about Comet and said it would hopefully be the next-genneration blogging and social network thingie. I was wrong. I had the impression that they were going to do a mesh-up of webapps, more than creating a new social network thingie. People that already have a blog, like me, won't be very attracted to Vox (the final name to Comet). But still, Vox is worth visiting, and is undoubtly the best blogging platform there is nowadays. Check it out.

Neologisms

Sometimes I come across some jargon word that I never heard about but it is used by a certain amount of people (may it be region-wide, city-wide, sub-cultural-wide, family-wide,...). When I come across those words, I tipicly search them on google - a great way of knowing how many people use that word. Today, for the first time in a couple of years or more, I've made a google search on a valid word, well written, exactly the thing that I wanted, and found no results. I'm not saying "I found only three results and they had nothing to do", and I'm not talking about searching an expression but only a word.

Searching for ganfurina nowadays returns no results. I guess that, after this post, soon it will have one result... this post.

For those willing to know, ganfurina is used as the same as gedelha.

Trobar de Morte + Ashram = Gig of the year

I told you that I hoped this to be the gig of the year for me, and now I have to say that I'm most convinced that it will be. I mean, the year isn't even near it's end, but knowing which bands are doing what, which bands are giging or going to do it et al, I don't really believe that there will be a better one during 2006. Which is fine - this gig was just brilliant.

I didn't know Trobar de Morte, and they really surprised me with a very professional clear neo-folk music, and the only thing I can point out negativelly is that they don't have that much presence on stage: seems to me that they aren't used to gig'ing. But they were good enough for me to buy their newest album after their performance, so you can see it was good!

In the end, I gave 30€ for 3 CD's, which was a quite nice business, and then, off to Ashram.

The Ashram gig was just... awsome. The public just vibrated with them, and they were very communicative and receptive with such a feedback - which I can tell they weren't hoping to get - and so they had to do several encores to the final of it since we wouldn't shut up and let them go :-P

I took some pictures and did some videos with my cellphone. I know that they suck, but still I want to put it online when I have time to, specially since I found none of them online yet, even if there were lot's of people taking pictures and movies of it.

I know that at least a couple taped the whole Ashram's gig (until their tape was over). If you know anything about it, please contact me: I really want a copy of that.

Since this isn't a good review as it should be, let me point you to a great review specially about Ashram's performance (in Portuguese).


Update: The review has now changed to here. She also reviews Ashram's CD here.

2.6.06

Ashram live, today

Today I'm going to see what is going probably to be my "concert of the year" (or so are my expectations). Ashram got back in action after several years, with a new album (that I expect to buy directly to the band this evening) and a new tour. If you want a (free, legal) mp3 from the new album, just click here. This album, as the previous, is "a work which unfolds itself as an exercise in musical bliss and purity, drenched in sweet nostalgia that flickers through memories of aching loss or rapturous passion".

1.6.06

News on the Web World

Today it's an interesting day:



Google finaly opened up info about their "Google Adsense API Beta", that let's you use Adsense to resell ads.
And then we have the news Yahoo! Video, that I think could be a lot better but that, undoubtly, is a killer of all it's competitors: Google Video, YourTube and stuff like that... Check it out.


On Google's new API: basicly if you have a site where you host users, you can, instead of puting in their pages ads for you profit only, you can give your users an adsense account without their mess to create it and do all the copy/paste stuff, they'll choose you instead of one competitor because they still have ads on their pages, but this time they're the ones getting the money from clicks, and you as a reseller earn a commission from your clients profits, and if one of your clients earn 100 USD in less than 3 months, then you'll earn 100 USD too!