More Music News

Still on vacations, so, once again, I'll be preety quick on this:

I'll comment on this stuff later, but boths this stuff isn't really good - Universal is aiming on music with DRM and publicity (suckie suckie), and AOL Music's website gives me a

module ID: 152573
module type: ent_xpromo
channel: music
isAjaxModule: 1

that I'm preety sure wasn't supposed to appear :-P


Today is BlogDay, an yearly event where bloggers point out 5 other blogs that they find relevant.

So, here are my not-so-humble recommendations for 2006:

  • Merankorii - This blog is also the website of my Dark Ambient band. If you like to know experimental music, and to listen to something different, you might want to give it a try - after all the songs are available for download.
  • Room 404 - File Not Found is a blog about art, written by my and Mistress Violeta. The talk has been almost only about music, with no restriction about style - we just cover stuff with artistic interest (for us at least).
  • WeBreakStuff is an Web 2.0 "company" (almost a company - legal stuff still needed), but Fred blogs there about several issues. Few posts but almost all of them interesting, about technology, design, usability and stuff like that, without being very technical (which is, IMHO, a good factor).
  • Dead 2.0 is a recent feed on my news reader - but I'm already a fan. He talks mostly about the hype around Web 2.0, bashing inteligently and funnily (the way I like it) without doing just the usual "web 2.0 sucks" stuff - he really goes down on the apps he reviews (much like PostBubble or TechCrunch), but he doesn't mind criticizing them harshly - we need the truth, not politeness.
  • Oh não, criei um blog!, to end the list, is a Portuguese and funny blog - recommended for those here that don't want to know about technology stuff but only about betting a good laugh once in a while.

And you, what are your recommendations?


Flock news

Flock logoYou probably heard about Flock: a new web-browser, still on beta, based on Firefox, that aims to be a "social browser". As one of the creators put it,
"I view the browser as a vehicle for creating your online identity. So people are increasingly going towards mobile and to some extent the living room. Right now it's certainly not in our short-term plans. But I do see the browser as being the primary interface to your life online."
I've decided some time ago to move from SeaMonkey to Flock when it goes live (as in stable, as in 1.0).The reasons are all there - using such a browser will improove not only the user experience but also my productivity. Now, the news are that, according with Read/WriteWeb,
"Geoffrey said they're planning to go-live (out of beta) in October this year and he is confident that Flock can become a big player in what is a very tough market."
Excelent news!

If you're interested to know more on Flock, you might want to listen to this interview:


Where oppinions clash

There's an issue on which I have one point of view about and some people surprise me by having the opposite view. I'm talking about privacy and freedom in the digital world.

The controversy is well known. For instance, let me quote wikipedia on it:

Opponents of online anonymity (e.g., of anonymous remailers or anonymous P2P) suggest that anonymity enables or encourages illegal or dangerous activity (eg, terrorism, drug trafficking, sexual approaches towards minors, and so on). The inference intended by such claims is that, without anonymity, these things would not occur, or would be less likely to do so, and members of society would be safer. This is typically countered by pointing out that prior to the practical availability of this kind of anonymity, all of these things occurred anyway. Actual evidence of a causal or even facilitating connection is limited, and often disputed. There have been several prominent attempts to claim they have, in the press and otherwise; few have included credible evidence, and some have cited mere allegations as 'evidence'.

My position in this kind of issues is clear: you shouldn't take freedom from some people because some other people can do evil stuff with it. Or, on other words, I fight for a world of freedom, including fighting for online privacy and anonymity (for instance by trying to contribute with GNUnet. But then people tell me that GNUnet is evil: something like "that's giving a gun to the hands of a killer". Well, I also don't agree with that. People who want to do something (morally right or wrong) will do it with the means they have. You can't reduce the number of people doing those things by not giving them the tools, and you can only mold people to not want to do something by socially imposing them a set of values. You shouldn't restrain people of using everything that might be wrongly used, 'cause you're not fixing no problem - you're repressing. More, you're taking freedom off from those who wouldn't use it for "good values".

In the issue, there was a poll made in 2002 where 50% of the people don't care about this kind of issues, and only 12.5% thought that software to provide online anonymity isn't necessary, against 37.5% of those who think like me.


Picture Publishing

OK, I'll admit right here on the start that I was lazy on this one, but I don't feel bad about it: just think of me of a "web joe user", and you'll understand.

Flickr logoEveryone (sort of) knows about Flickr. Flickr is sweet, cool, free, the pro accounts are cheap... Of course it has some problems (the authentication is one of them), but overall is a good webapp. So why look for alternatives? Well, because I'm not that into taking pictures nor into social networks that I would pay to have the stuff Flickr gives. But that gives me one problem: being no 'lover' makes me 'lazy', so I accumulated months of pictures I wanted to publish, and now I wanted to publish them all at once. Since that you can only upload 20Mb of pictures per month, and those Megs aren't accumulated, yesterday I got myself with those 20Mb used, and just needed more to finish uploading my XTech pictures.

So, since I won't pay for more space, and since I could get this as an excuse to write this post :-P I decided not to do this the 1.0 way (uploading the pictures to a webserver and doing a nice website showing them) and instead I decided to take a look on Flickr alternatives. Being generally interested in themes like Web 2.0 I knew in advance three things: Yahoo! has another photos service besides Flickr, there's one Flickr alternative everybody talks about as being preety good, and there's lot's of other alternatives to Flickr: a really big load of them.

Yahoo! logoStarting with the first, I went to Yahoo!'s page and clicked on "photos", that led me to http://photos.yahoo.com/. Unfortunately the result page was just a blank page with this text:

RESULT=49 - TCookie invalid

23 logoActing like a "joe user", I just thought "what the hell?" and moved on. I knew that there's a really well-talked alternative, but I wasn't just recalling it's name (a couple of seconds later I did, it was photobucket, but it was too late by then) so I went google and searched for "Flickr alternatives". The first result was a blog post talking good about 23, and since I recall the name of it but not if I tried it, just decided to give a try.

Amazon's Mechanical Turk presentation pictureI still can't understand why some webapps don't let me use more-than-one-word "screen names"... It totaly beats the shit out of me! Plus, I identified some problems with the Ajax magic while using the site (browser is SeaMonkey on Linux). The monthly quota here is 300 pictures, which I prefer, since it's more pictures than 20 Megs and because it makes more sense and it is easilly trackable for the user if his quota is in number of pictures (something accountable for him) then in number of bytes (something accountable for his computer). You can only upload 4 pictures at the time, against the 6 you can in Flickr. The 6 limit exasperates me on Flickr, so seeing here "4" got me frustrated, but then I read that you could do something awsome: you can upload a .zip with the pictures inside! Another sweet thing is that you can create a "photo set" in the same view you're uploading your pictures, or you can choose to upload them to an already created set. User-friendly.

Et voilá! Here are the latest pictures I had to upload, and I did it in an easier way than I would if I were posting them on Flickr. The conclusion? Flickr is good, but they need to get even better. They might end loosing users to the alternatives!



16-05-06_2202You probably forgot it, but I surely didn't. As promised a long long time ago, in a blog post far far away, today I finaly uploaded a big set of pictures I've taken:

I have 13 more Amsterdam pictures to upload, but I've reached my monthly quota on Flickr, so I guess you'll have to wait until the next month to see those...


On Red Hat

Red Hat logoThis fisrt good idea Red Hat had since yum (IMHO) is here: they're making a survey to know basicly what do you think about them. I've already vented, wanna give them some of your time too?

AOL can go to Hell

AOHellI quite often recall of a 'hacker group' that released a music CD with a funny song called "AOL can go to Hell". If you search about "AOL can go to Hell" on the web, like in their search engine, you'll see that they were not the only ones thinking that AOL sucks badly. If you search in their images search for AOHell you'll also find some funny stuff, like the image I'm using in this blog post.

What you wouldn't except (would you?) is that they would expose how much they don't care about their users and that they don't know what the word 'privacy' means, and this in the form of having publicly available information of all their users' search habbits online. Yes, that includes what kind of porn you prefer.

I could write more about this, but more than my usual 'AOL sucks' and stuff ;-) I'll just point you to some people who wrote about this stuff:

You should sick about this thing for now, so take this on a try to persuade yourself of trashing on all those megs of private info...

Feeds: RSS vs. ATOM

FeedsI've been playing with feeding technologies for a while now, and in the meantime reading or earing the rants of others, I've came to the field experience that made me feel that ATOM was better than RSS for a number of reasons. So, I decided to explore the issue more, to be sure of why would I choose ATOM instead of RSS.

The best yet simple comparison I found between both technologies was this one, from which I'll take a comparison table:

RSS 2.0 Atom 1.0 Comments
rss - Vestigial in RSS
channel feed
title title
link link Atom defines an extensible family of rel values
description subtitle
language - Atom uses standard xml:lang attribute
copyright rights
webMaster -
managingEditor author or contributor
pubDate published (in entry) Atom has no feed-level equivalent
lastBuildDate (in channel) updated RSS has no item-level equivalent
category category
generator generator
docs -
cloud -
ttl - is problematic, prefer HTTP 1.1 cache control
image logo Atom recommends 2:1 aspect ratio
- icon As in favicon.ico
rating -
textInput -
skipHours -
skipDays -
item entry
author author
- contributor
description summary and/or content depending on whether full content is provided
comments -
enclosure - rel="enclosure" on <link> in Atom
guid id
source - rel="via" on <link> in Atom
- source Container for feed-level metadata to support aggregation

Please let me give some emphasis on RSS's lastBuildDate against ATOM's updated.
While RSS has a feed-level "last updated date", ATOM has an item-level "last updated date". What does this means? It simply means that while in RSS you can't update an item, in ATOM you can. And notice: when I'm saying you can't I really mean it: it is cahotic to try to predict how you'll circunvent this (or your feed generator) and each feed reader has to do it, so does it on it's own way (which is bad - protocols are made so such things don't happen). Let's think, for instance, in the sweet simple case of a blog and it's posts. Whenever you post something on your blog, a new feed item is created, with a date. Now, one minute after you update it. In Atom, you'll get the same item, updated in it's body and with a new updated time. Easy. Now, on RSS you don't have a way of updating a feed. You can act like it was an Atom feed (I guess that that's what most feed generators are doing nowadays) and just change the pubDate of that item, thus creating another, but simmilar item. Now, if my feed reader knows that the reader will be used to get blog feeds, it can somewhat expect that behaviour, thus only looking to the items on the feed at the moment. That will solve our little update problem, but will limit historical faculties of the reader. Now, if the reader just reads RSS as it is, it sees another item, and so each time you update a post you're creating another item and spamming your readers.

So, in conclusion, specially if you're using feeds to a blog or something simillar in structure, then ATOM should be your choice, not RSS.


Perl in Portugal

Perl.pt logoI'm back from the dentist (ouch!) and still had the time to write this small post... Just to tell you that we in Portugal now have perl.pl, a site to gather the Portuguese Perl Mongers! If you're one of us, and still didn't know, just subscribe to your cities' pm mailing list:

And for those from Lisbon.pm who actually know me IRL: yes, I'm considering myself a P.M. ... I even might go to one of those social meetings as long as they are where we can drink some ponchas! :-D

Links for your weekend

Today I'm going to another painful visit to my dentist, and I've been quite busy yesterday and today fixing this bug, so today I'll just leave you with some links for your weekend.

First of all, SeaMonkey 1.0.4 was released with some bugfixes, so update is recommended.

Andrew Morton, known for his -mm work on the Linux Kernel, is now a Google employee, but will be doing exactly the same thing.

Looking for some exciting job in the Web 2.0 world? This is where you'll find it!

Finally, DebianTimes, your Debian news source, is live.


KDE 3.5.4 is out

KDE logoThe KDE Project today announced the immediate availability of KDE 3.5.4, a maintenance release for the latest generation of the most advanced and powerful free desktop for GNU/Linux and other UNIXes. KDE now supports 65 languages, making it available to more people than most non-free software and can be easily extended to support others by communities who wish to contribute to the open source project.

Significant enhancements include:

  • Improved removable device support in Linux (users can now mount all devices supported by FreeDesktop's HAL and control how it will be done)
  • Speed optimisations in Konsole and Kate
  • Multiple holidays can now start on the same date in KOrganizer
  • Lots of fixes in Konqueror's HTML engine, KHTML
  • The dialog for sending client-side SSL certificates is now more usable
  • KNetworkConf now supports Fedora Core 5 and handles WEP keys better

Over 10 new features were added and more than 100 bugs were fixed. For a more detailed list of improvements since the KDE 3.5.3 release in May 2006, please refer to the KDE 3.5.4 Changelog.


Where is Netiquette?

NetiquetteSome years ago noone was introduced to the Internet world without having to read, sooner or later, a version of some article explaining some rules of etiquette on the net: the so called Netiquette. More recently, with an explosion of new Internet users, this rules are somewhat forgoten, and that's sad 'cause that's one of the things making the user-experience on the network worse than it could be.

I won't even ask you to RTFM, but I'll ask you to start taking into consideration some rules of Netiquette... I'm going to quote some stuff from the Netiquette and comment.
Never send chain letters via electronic mail. Chain letters are forbidden on the Internet.

To give you an example, a couple of days ago a girl I know sent me a chain-letter with a picture of a little girl that is presumedly missing. Now, I don't even want to be rude on this, but if you think "poor girl, maybe she was kidnaped by some pedophiles!" think again: you're distributing a semi-naked picture of her on the net, and asking for others to do the same!

It's particulary irritant when someone's asking me something (like a favour) via e-mail and doing it while shouting at me. You're not my boss, so calm down and ask politely.
Do not include control characters or non-ASCII attachments in messages unless they are MIME attachments or unless your mailer encodes these. If you send encoded messages make sure the recipient can decode them.

Yes, I include on this "do not send e-mails with attachments in propriatary formats".
Be brief without being overly terse. When replying to a message, include enough original material to be understood but no more. It is extremely bad form to simply reply to a message by including all the previous message: edit out all the irrelevant material.

Now, this is one of the most irritant things on e-mails people send nowadays, only beaten by...
If you are sending a reply to a message or a posting be sure you summarize the original at the top of the message, or include just enough text of the original to give a context. This will make sure readers understand when they start to read your response.

Yes, this means that you shouldn't reply with the answer in the beggining of the e-mail. People learn to read from top to bottom, and e-mail clients open e-mail messages from their beggining, not from the end. This means that people read the upper lines and then go down... What kind of sense makes a conversation like this?

Are you sure?
You must turn it off!
That problem must be solved.

On a final note... Even if you don't give a flying fuck about this issue, please use this guidelines when sending e-mails that might be read by me. You'll make my day-life less frustrating... ;-)

Japan pics

JapanMy brother went to Japan and took some awsome pictures that left me full of envy... Damn, I really have to visit Japan sometime.

I've upload some of those pictures, you can see them here.


Tip: Shrinking PDF's

If you want to turn your PDF file smaller you can do this:

pdfopt input.pdf output.pdf
pdf2ps output.pdf
ps2ps output.ps final.ps
ps2pdf -dPDFSETTINGS=/screen final.ps

Merry Lugh

Lughnasadh (Lughnasa, Lúnasa, Lunasdal or Lammas but I prefer just Lugh) is a Gaelic holiday celebrated on the full moon nearest the midpoint between the summer solstice and autumnal equinox, during the time of the harvesting. No fixed calendar date could exist because the Celtic calendar was based on the lunar, solar, and vegetative cycles. Lugnasadh was one of the four main festivals of the medieval Irish calendar: Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasadh and Samhain. Lughnasadh marked the beginning of the harvest season and was therefore a festival of celebrating Mother Earth and the abundance of nature. Lughnasadh translates as "Lughs wedding" and was dedicated to Lugh, a Sun God of Celtic mythology. Lughnasadh festivals lasted from 15 July until 15 August. Aside from three days of religious rituals, the celebrations were a time for contests of strength and skill. In Ireland, during the Middle Ages, important Lughnasa celebrations were held at Taltiu (modern Teltown ) and Carmun (whose exact location is under dispute). Both locations are named for women who appear to be localized manifestations of the earth goddess.

Nowadays the date seems forgoten, but not for me: I wish you all a Merry Lugh! ;-)