[root@noori marado]# yum upgrade
rpmdb: PANIC: fatal region error detected; run recovery
error: db4 error(-30977) from dbenv->open: DB_RUNRECOVERY: Fatal error, run database recovery
error: cannot open Packages index using db3 - (-30977)
error: cannot open Packages database in /var/lib/rpm
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/bin/yum", line 29, in ?
File "/usr/share/yum-cli/yummain.py", line 80, in main
File "/usr/share/yum-cli/cli.py", line 177, in getOptionsConfig
self.doConfigSetup(fn=opts.conffile, root=root)
File "/usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/yum/__init__.py", line 102, in doConfigSetup
self.conf = config.readMainConfig(fn, root)
File "/usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/yum/config.py", line 589, in readMainConfig
vars['releasever'] = _getsysver(earlyconf.installroot, earlyconf.distroverpkg)
File "/usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/yum/config.py", line 689, in _getsysver
idx = ts.dbMatch('provides', distroverpkg)
TypeError: rpmdb open failed
[root@noori marado]#

Grrr... Time to go home.

EMI may face a takeover

Music group EMI confirmed yesterday it had received a preliminary takeover approach, sending shares up by more than 10%. The company, one of the world's four largest music groups, with a sought after music publishing division, did not name the potential bidder but speculation centred on the private equity group Permira.

Reports that Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Goldman Sachs were in discussions with the group were dismissed by City sources. Last night the company's executives were locked in talks with their advisers at Deutsche Bank, amid expectations that the approach could flush out other bidders.

The story is on "The Guardian".


Culture and Masses

It was in 1964 that "Deus e o Diabo na Terra do sol", a Brazilian movie, was released. This movie marks a milestone in the Brazillian history since this was the first openly "new cinema" movie from Brazil, a movie that shows openly political views and social, economic and religious issues. Before that could be possible in countries like Portugal, Glauber, with all the bad things that can be appointed to him, made a Brazilian movie to shout out a call to the Brazilian people. The issue is that the masses are not interested in art or culture: or they are only interested in "canned culture". And now, in 2006, and everywhere, people still watch silly-Bond-movies and Teen-brainless-comedies, but aren't enough open-minded to give movies like this one a try. It seems that people in general just aren't confortable with reminders that they can control their own lifes. It's way easier to let your lifes being controlled by others...



First of all, you have to love what Japanese people do with words. Many people ask me about the meaning of "Merankorii". When I ask them to spell it, they notice the resemblance of it with the English work "Melancholy", it's meaning. Transliterations, they call it. In the same way, "Ôdishon" is the Japanese word for "Audition", and I'm writting this to talk about Audition, the South-Korean/Japanese "Horror" movie from 1999.

I really like Asian movies, but there's something in particular in Japanese Horror movies: they aren't that usual trend of "scare me, scare me, scare me, good movie!" but they're usually really deep. You can pick a Japanese horror movie like this one, take all the "horror/terror" parts, and yet keep a great story and plot... So, why horror? Well, basicly because this movies tend to wander around dark or extreme topis, almost like taboos - which makes them suitable not only for great horror movies, but mind-thrilling stories, deep thoughtful ones. It has nothing to do about ghouls, monsters, vampires and such near-to-impossible stuff. There's no monster in the attic, only human relationships, human prespectives, verosimile stories.

But I'm writting this because I want to talk about "Audition", a movie that I saw today for the second time, the first one being for a long time (I think I saw it the first time in 2000 or 2001). I'm not going to ruin the plot, giving some spoilers - I'm just telling you to watch the movie for yourself. This movie is all about human relationships: people knowing each other. It's seen in the prespective of one character (usually as a third person, nut in some frames as the first person). When people pass enough time without human relationships that give them fullfilment, they tend to be much more open to get new ones, sometimes decieving themselves and forgetting or lowering their own standards to fulfill their relationship needs. But what happens when they do that? Will they really meet what they want? "I think... you're wonderfull. I've been looking for someone like you." Or are they decieving themselves?

The movie moves some strings, raises fear, and gives no answers. How do you know someone's the right person for you? Is there anyway of finding out besides taking a risk? And how do we deal with past experiences? How are we suppose to not let them interfere with new ones? You can't do audations to those in your life. You shouldn't even try. You just have to trust your gut feelings... Can you?

"I didn't have anybody to talk with. You are the first to support me... Warmly wrapping me... Trying to understand me... It's hard to forget about."

Love and Hate

I hate doing laundry;

I love dancing alone in my room to music that standards say that isn't danceable;

I hate doing a "fresh bed" (changing the bed sheets and all that stuff);

I love sitting back and just watching a candle as it burns;

I hate the feeling of being uselessly spending time;

I love to spend my time with little things that standards consider useless;

I hate when I'm wanting to be already in some other point in space or time, since I can't give value to here and now;

I love being here in my room with hands on keyboard, looking to the front of me and seeing so many ordered CD's and used books;

I hate living here;

I love the cheap minitature and way too imperfect statue I have on the shelf;

I hate simetry;

I love ordered patterns in chaotic systems.

There are no contradictions in those sentences, but at a first glance they all contradict each other.


What defines a cool person? What defines an uncool person?

You know what I'm talking about: day by day you get to deal with people in a great variety of ways, and if you deal with them enough you'll have a feeling that a person is cool, or not. It's "just" that - a feeling. First impressions make a great impact on the outcome. I know, I know, this is almost a cliché, everyone says that "first impressions are anything". What can I say? I had to start by saying it: cliché or not, it is true. But first impressions aren't feelings, just impressions.

But in your whole life you made a grand job of defining something - probably the biggest work of everyone, at least until they decide to be parents, is to define themselves. And you do that based on thoughts, experiences, opinions or certainties. Even true and false aren't dicotomic, oppinions are a heavy weight on how you see something as truth or not. So, using yourself as a reference, you start pondering about the other person - judging them. Not in the bad sense - just trying to fit that person in your chain on values and, by the way of comparison, you catalogue them. And classifying a person is a difficult game to play - something comparable with defining art to the classicist philosopher. On that, Giulia Sissa tells us, on the book "L'âme est un corps de femme" (my translation, please forgive possible mistakes):

If the artisan and the artist make such a great effort to act, what are the resources of the spectator of a painting, of a poetic performance or of a theatre play to observe the things with ponderation and see that this is that, that what he sees, looks and listens is mimesis of something and not the thing itself?

You can interpret human relationships the same way as artistic contemplations. The difference is, and maybe that's the reason why art and culture is something avoided by lot's of people, while human relationships are not, that since the moment you're born you deal with humans and establish relationships. On the other hand, art is something we choose to deal with or not, even if it attracts us to do so.

So, trying to define "coolness", trying to find out the "formula" to be cool or uncool, trying to find a discrete way of representing a steriotipation of "cool", is something simmilar to do it for any feeling, or to art. I know that's tryied innumerous times, and the perception that something like that can be achived is widely exploited: "dress like this and you'll be cool", "this album is on tops: shut up and shop!" and such ways of decieving people to get power or money.

But, following my line of thoughts, I think you can't even think about answering the questions on the top of this post. A cool person for you, is a person that you think is cool. I think.

On Music


Buying records

I love the feeling of knowing new music. Really, going to a record store and lurk around for ages, revolving every and any record they have, going to those already with dust, not missing nothing, trying to find out yet another great band that I never heard about, that label that doesn't exist anymore, that CD that someone liked enough to edit but no one liked enough to buy. It's a strange feeling, but the less known the band or the CD is, better is the feeling. You found something really rare, precious. You spend several hours, but you get out of the store with some trophy's. This time was indietronic and neo-classical. Well, and without a great deal of money. I wonder how did I spend 60 Euros in three CD's, ordinal cheap editions. I really like this records, if I was in the same position again I would buy them again, but... none of this CD's is to cost more than 15 Euros. Seriously. And the trend is speeding, this happens more and more time. Without an explanation. When I pay 25 Euros for a double-imported double-CD I don't whine a bit. But these three... Well, that's the way it is.

The conspiracy

BTW, to Portuguese folks: there's a stupid chain-letter going out there criticizing FNAC. I don't even know if the majority of those clains are true or not. But I can tell you that the person who wrote that e-mail didn't have a clue about what he was writting, regarding to music. I buy a big load (more than I should, really) of music every month on FNAC. I'm also client of other stores, both online and offline. And I usually keep track of distributor prices and record labels prices. FNAC isn't expensive for music, in general. As a matter of fact I can give you some cases that FNAC sells CD's cheaper than the record label (it's a quantity issue, obviously). Yes, records at FNAC are expensive, but that's 'cause they're expensive anywhere.

You know you need to move to a bigger place when...

...you have to start piling CD's 'cause you don't have where to put them, and you can't buy more CD shelves 'cause there's no room for it. Looking around, I'm amazed with myself: how can I move around?

Good Music has no colour

For several years now, I have be a victim of stereotipation: "You like heavy metal shit, right?", or "Oh, you must be fan of that Goth-slit-your-wrists band", or "You're satanic, right? Listen to satanic music and stuff like that...". Why? Well, this is basicly caused by the way I look and dress. No, really, those guys tell that without even knowing how much of a music lover I am. Well, let me tell you something: good music has no colour. Yes, I like some brutal death metal acts, as I like to some classic music. By a question of taste, I tend to prefer Doom Metal than Death or Black Metal, and Neo-Classic than Classic. But good music has no coulour. Yes, I like Folk, and rock, and industrial, and that too. Yes, that too. Good Music has no colour.


9/11: Self Evident

It somewhat amuses me that there's people that still don't have their mind made, and still argue about 9/11. For me, the question is "Self Evident"...

Ani DiFranco has here, free to legally download, an mp3 with the music and the lyrics. For the lazy ones (but I really have to say that this has a whole new dimmension with music):

Ani DiFranco - Self Evident

us people are just poems
we're 90% metaphor
with a leanness of meaning
approaching hyper-distillation
and once upon a time
we were moonshine
rushing down the throat of a giraffe
yes, rushing down the long hallway
despite what the p.a. announcement says
yes, rushing down the long stairs
with the whiskey of eternity
fermented and distilled
to eighteen minutes
burning down our throats
down the hall
down the stairs
in a building so tall
that it will always be there
yes, it's part of a pair
there on the bow of noah's ark
the most prestigious couple
just kickin back parked
against a perfectly blue sky
on a morning beatific
in its indian summer breeze
on the day that america
fell to its knees
after strutting around for a century
without saying thank you
or please

and the shock was subsonic
and the smoke was deafening
between the setup and the punch line
cuz we were all on time for work that day
we all boarded that plane for to fly
and then while the fires were raging
we all climbed up on the windowsill
and then we all held hands
and jumped into the sky

and every borough looked up when it heard the first blast
and then every dumb action movie was summarily surpassed
and the exodus uptown by foot and motorcar
looked more like war than anything i've seen so far
so far
so far
so fierce and ingenious
a poetic specter so far gone
that every jackass newscaster was struck dumb and stumbling
over 'oh my god' and 'this is unbelievable' and on and on
and i'll tell you what, while we're at it
you can keep the pentagon
keep the propaganda
keep each and every tv
that's been trying to convince me
to participate
in some prep school punk's plan to perpetuate retribution
perpetuate retribution
even as the blue toxic smoke of our lesson in retribution
is still hanging in the air
and there's ash on our shoes
and there's ash in our hair
and there's a fine silt on every mantle
from hell's kitchen to brooklyn
and the streets are full of stories
sudden twists and near misses
and soon every open bar is crammed to the rafters
with tales of narrowly averted disasters
and the whiskey is flowin
like never before
as all over the country
folks just shake their heads
and pour

so here's a toast to all the folks who live in palestine

el salvador

here's a toast to the folks living on the pine ridge reservation
under the stone cold gaze of mt. rushmore

here's a toast to all those nurses and doctors
who daily provide women with a choice
who stand down a threat the size of oklahoma city
just to listen to a young woman's voice

here's a toast to all the folks on death row right now
awaiting the executioner's guillotine
who are shackled there with dread and can only escape into their heads
to find peace in the form of a dream

cuz take away our playstations
and we are a third world nation
under the thumb of some blue blood royal son
who stole the oval office and that phony election
i mean
it don't take a weatherman
to look around and see the weather
jeb said he'd deliver florida, folks
and boy did he ever

and we hold these truths to be self evident:
#1 george w. bush is not president
#2 america is not a true democracy
#3 the media is not fooling me
cuz i am a poem heeding hyper-distillation
i've got no room for a lie so verbose
i'm looking out over my whole human family
and i'm raising my glass in a toast

here's to our last drink of fossil fuels
let us vow to get off of this sauce
shoo away the swarms of commuter planes
and find that train ticket we lost
cuz once upon a time the line followed the river
and peeked into all the backyards
and the laundry was waving
the graffiti was teasing us
from brick walls and bridges
we were rolling over ridges
through valleys
under stars
i dream of touring like duke ellington
in my own railroad car
i dream of waiting on the tall blonde wooden benches
in a grand station aglow with grace
and then standing out on the platform
and feeling the air on my face

give back the night its distant whistle
give the darkness back its soul
give the big oil companies the finger finally
and relearn how to rock-n-roll
yes, the lessons are all around us and a change is waiting there
so it's time to pick through the rubble, clean the streets
and clear the air
get our government to pull its big dick out of the sand
of someone else's desert
put it back in its pants
and quit the hypocritical chants of
freedom forever

cuz when one lone phone rang
in two thousand and one
at ten after nine
on nine one one
which is the number we all called
when that lone phone rang right off the wall
right off our desk and down the long hall
down the long stairs
in a building so tall
that the whole world turned
just to watch it fall

and while we're at it
remember the first time around?
the bomb?
the ryder truck?
the parking garage?
the princess that didn't even feel the pea?
remember joking around in our apartment on avenue D?

can you imagine how many paper coffee cups would have to change their design
following a fantastical reversal of the new york skyline?!

it was a joke, of course
it was a joke
at the time
and that was just a few years ago
so let the record show
that the FBI was all over that case
that the plot was obvious and in everybody's face
and scoping that scene
the CIA
or is it KGB?
committing countless crimes against humanity
with this kind of eventuality
as its excuse
for abuse after expensive abuse
and it didn't have a clue
look, another window to see through
way up here
on the 104th floor
another key
another door
10% literal
90% metaphor
3000 some poems disguised as people
on an almost too perfect day
should be more than pawns
in some asshole's passion play
so now it's your job
and it's my job
to make it that way
to make sure they didn't die in vain
baby listen
hear the train?




It almost seems that I'm too limited to have a wide range of topics for a conversation, taken from the number of topics that I insist in talking about over and over... One of them is dystopias: I've just sent an e-mail on a mailing list refering one of them... But now I've remembered of a thought I have and that seems not to be shared with others. Typically people consider as "the great 20th century dystopias" works like "1984" and "Brave New World", many times "Fahrenheit 451" and sometimes even "We". I think that all of them are must-read books, my favourite being "We". But then, when talking about movies, the same names arise, talking about the adaptations of this books to the theatres. But what about movies that are not adaptations? With that question people usually think some time and then come out with titles such as "Equilibrium" (that is a nice movie if you never read any of the books I've talked, but that, if you did, you'll it's just a mash-up of those same books, nothing new here) and nothing more (yup, "Blade Runner" is based on a book). "FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions" is a movie I really have to see (it passed almost unknown, but it is a dystopia happening in France) but I'm not very expectant about it since it is rated as 4.1 on IMDB. But no one, no one talks about Metropolis! "We", considered the first dystopian book, was written in 1921 and published in 1924, and it was in 1924 that Metropolis was written. It was released in 1927, and, in all aspects that define a dystopia, I think it can be considered one. Well, agree or not, for me it is not only a dystopia but the best silent movie I've ever saw. Grand. But it seems that I'm the only one...

Please prove me wrong.

Protest the Microsoft-Novell Patent Agreement

In my oppinion, Novell and Microsoft's software patent agreement betrays the rest of the Free Software community, including the very people who wrote Novell's own system, for Novell's sole financial benefit. Join Bruce Perens in signing an open letter to Novell's CEO Ron Hovsepian.

If you also think like this, please consider signing this petition.

Hacking a Defect

Hacking Defect

Hacking a Defect

I know I'm not perfect,
I'm way too imperfect,
But I try,
I really really try...
Is it enough?
I wish it was...
It isn't.


Lobbying in EU

Corporate Europe Observatory, an organization that keeps track of questionable lobbying tactics and EU institutions or officials who "have their ears a little too open for one side of the story", has nominated the European Commission's DG Internal Market for this year's "Worst Privileged Access Award" for "manipulating a consultation on EU patent policies".

In carrying out its' own round of additional consultation following the end of the official commission consultation "On the Future of European Patent Policy" together with "a disturbing degree of preferential treatment for corporate proponents of US-style software patents... DG Internal Market's flawed consultation raises the suspicion that it was primarily concerned with legitimising its own patent policy proposal no matter what."

If, like me, you share concerns surrounding these issues you can vote "for" DG Internal Market and, if they "win", i.e. if that consultation is chosen as the worst privileged access in the EU in 2006, then you will help draw attention to the unbalanced and flawed methods employed in drawing up Europe's innovation and patent policy.

Corporate Europe Observatory are also running their 'Worst EU Lobbying Award' again which last year was won by "Campaign for Creativity" - nominated as a fake NGO brilliantly disguising corporate demands as grassroots concerns. I trust you will find a suitable candidate of your own preference from the nominations this year as it is required that you vote for both categories. Mine went to Weber Shandwick, that are playing with peoples life's just to get more money (some background here).



I'm working late today. I feel I'm being productive et al., yet I can't seem to focus on nothing without having some words dancing in the back of my mind... It's an old poem I know, and it's not even one of my favourites, still it is today a part of me... Excuse me non-Portuguese speakers, since this is a poem by Florbela Espanca, a Portuguese poet:

Charneca em flor

Enche o meu peito, num encanto mago,
O frémito das coisas dolorosas...
Sob as urzes queimadas nascem rosas...
Nos meus olhos as lágrimas apago...

Anseio! Asas abertas! O que trago
Em mim? Eu oiço bocas silenciosas
Murmurar-me as palavras misteriosas
Que perturbam meu ser como um afago!

E, nesta febre ansiosa que me invade,
Dispo a minha mortalha, o meu burel,
E já não sou, Amor, Soror Saudade...

Olhos a arder em êxtases de amor,
Boca a saber a sol, a fruto, a mel:
Sou a charneca rude a abrir em flor



Yup, I know that I'm too boring lately, just with personal stuff, so here's a couple of links for you:

  • IceWeasel is incoming
  • Lift is a conference that is going to happen on February 2007, and I recommend you to take a look on it
  • Here's a comment on an article about Free Software and Politics, nice reading
  • If you think it would be cool to contribute to Debian but it's too hard or time consuming, think again
  • After Sony sucking and EMI sucking here's something about Universal: they are going mad lately and are claiming that owners of mp3 player devices are thieves (oh no, I have a computer, I'm a thief!), and sued MySpace (I don't even like MySpace, but GET REAL!) claiming that they're "encouraging its users to illegally share music and music videos"... Right.
  • It's never too much to bash on Mike from TechCrunch, but it seems he managed to do that to himself
  • Finaly, Debian 4.0 is still on schedule to be released in December, and 4.1 is going to be named "Lenny" (the guy on the picture). More info here.

Am I getting too old?

Since I was having some troubles in Planet Noori for a couple of days now (as a matter of fact it's a Ning problem - is it just me or their services are getting worse?), I stayed late at my workplace, and after working I've changed some stuff there (I hope the problem is now solved, but I'm afraid not). It was preety late when I got out to dinner, and I was feeling like drinking some tea with the dinner, so I've decided to go to a Chinese Restaurant. That's right: maybe I'm getting too old, but despite my bad experience with a Chinese restaurant some months ago, when I said I would start avoiding those restaurants, this was my third time going to one! I chose to go because it was convenient for me (which isn't usual - I should do the less convenient thing and avoid Chinese Restaurants as I said I would do). I mean, they're open late, and they have chinese tea, which I really like. I was surprised with the bad job the waitress was doing. I mean, one think that I find irritant is that in Chinese restaurants we are usually (not in every one of them, but this one is the case) dealt with so quickly that you just feel it isn't natural, and that bores me. But this girl was taking too long, chatting with her friend instead of looking for her clients, and after waiting a lot of time to get the bill I had to stand up and take care of it (yeah, I'm not used to do that anymore - am I getting too old?). Before that, in the middle of my meal, I started to feel some nauseas, I jokingly though "I must have some weird drugs on my meal" but then dismissed the thought "naa, I'm just way too tired". Of course that after the bad service I wasn't thinking on leaving a tip, but then she surprised me by offering a Chinese calendar for the new year, so I left a tip (am I getting too old or what?). While walking home the nauseas and the druggy feeling came back. Now I'm not so positive that this is me being tired, and I'm back to the thought of food poison, not so uncommon on chinese restaurants, at least here in Lisbon... Now, I have a calendar that reminds me that I am a dog and that I have no place to put it, and a stomach and head ache that I hope will soon pass. I'm not really looking forward to have a night like my last chinese nightmare...

3am: Well, it seems that the dizzy feeling was nothing after all. But I still can't understand the Human Nature... After all I'm not that old.


Steve Ballmer doing drugs

Oh, stop giving me bullshit, and please don't even come to me talking about difamation: there's no other explanation for this than Steve Ballmer being doing some heavy drugs. Let me quote some:

Linux users, apart from those using SUSE, are taking advantage of Microsoft innovation, and that someone -- either Linux vendors or users -- would eventually have to pay up.

What the fuck? Who's your dealer?

Optimus keyboard: pre-orders!

Thanks to this post I've noticed that you can start pre-ordering this keyboard on the 12th of December! You can even give me one! O:-)


TENHI’s “Airut-saga''


“Airut:aamujen” is the sequel of TENHI’s “Airut:ciwi” which was released in 2001. The piano driven “Airut:aamujen” was originally released in small limited edition thru their Utustudio in December 2004 under the name Harmaa. After signing it also to Prophecy they wanted to re-release it with the title TENHI and so bring the saga together.

Tenhi’s airut:saga is based on Tenhi members visions. The saga continues and explores further paths found in certain TENHI songs. The song ‘Kielo’ was the source of inspiration for the first two chapters. The third one “Airut:Savoie” will grow upon themes found in ‘Tuulenkaato’ and ‘Maa syttyy’ (Maaäet).

TENHI “Airut:aamujen” (the re-release) is out now, the track listing is as follows:
  • Saapuminen - Emerging
  • Seitsensarvi - Grey Shine Of June
  • Lävitseni Kaikkeen - Thru Me And Into Everything
  • Luopumisen Laulu - Eloign
  • Kuvajainen - Apparition
  • Oikea Sointi - Lay Down A Tune
  • Kahluu - Fury Revived
  • Hiensynty - Burning
  • Läheltä - A Brief Passing Moment

As you might have noticed by the picture, I've just got mine, and am pleasurely listening to it... I'm risking to say that this is my favourite Tenhi album... If you don't know Tenhi, you can listen to some of their tracks here.

GNUnet 0.7.1pre0 released

GNUnet is a framework for secure peer-to-peer networking that does not use any centralized or otherwise trusted services. A first service implemented on top of the networking layer allows anonymous censorship-resistant file-sharing. GNUnet uses a simple, excess-based economic model to allocate resources. Peers in GNUnet monitor each others behavior with respect to resource usage; peers that contribute to the network are rewarded with better service.

Download GNUnet 0.7.1pre0 here. gnunet-gtk is a separate download and can be found here.
This is not a usual GNUnet maintenance/feature release, but the first milestone release towards 0.7.1 to get community feedback. Most of the work so far has gone into improving APIs and the overall structure of the code. The changes have resulted in the addition of additional dependencies. GNUnet now requires libcurl, Guile 1.8 and dialog 1.0-20051207. As a pre-release, it still lacks various major features:
  • no support for namespaces or collections in gnunet-gtk
  • no ncurses wizard in gnunet-setup
  • no http or smtp transports
  • WWW documentation is not up-to-date
Also, various feature enhancements that are planned for 0.7.1 have not yet been implemented.
GNUnet 0.7.1pre0 peers should be able to communciate with 0.7.0-peers using a compatibility transport, tcp_old. Upgrading to GNUnet 0.7.1pre0 is more work than usual GNUnet updates, read the UPDATING file for details.



Destruction of precious habitat, air pollution, water pollution, impacts on threatened species – all of these will be the result if the Polish government allows the building of the “Via Baltica” expressway as an international transport corridor to continue on their planned route – without the proper environmental assessments.

Join with OTOP (BirdLife Poland), WWF Poland, CEE Bankwatch Network and thousands of concerned people around the world in a protest against the Polish government, and encourage them to stop flaunting European environmental law, and respect nature and Europe’s outstanding natural heritage (more information about the problem and solutions).

Dear Mr Prime Minister,

I am writing to you to express my concerns about the construction of the "Via Baltica" expressway in north-east Poland - a region with irreplaceable wildlife protected within the Natura 2000 network.

In 2004 the Polish Government declared that it would decide the route of the European Transport Corridor I ("Via Baltica") only after conducting a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), but this promise is now being broken as individual sections of road 8 are being upgraded to international standard in advance of the SEA results.

I call on you to stop upgrading parts of road 8 to international expressway standard until the SEA results are available and the least destructive route for the Via Baltica international corridor agreed upon.

Yours sincerely,

Add your name to the e-petition on this website.

Visit photo gallery of endangered species and habitats. The picture in this blog post was taken there...


Microsoft Zune: even non-techies kill the killer!

Microsoft Zune is code-named "the iPod killer", but is it really? Watch CNN on the issue...

Saving a video stream to see offline

After my article about saving audio out of a video stream, it seems that there's people that still don't know how to do even easier things, like saving a video (with audio) stream! It's preety easy:

mplayer -dumpstream mms://blabla.com/file.wmv

et voilá!

Record Labels


"Yeah, you have a label, but... What's the big deal?" - he asked me. I was so surprised that I didn't really catch the question. I mean - isn't that just obvious? "Well, you've self-released the previous albums as CD-R's, so what's the difference?" Oh. You really don't know.

It seems that people find easy to "know" why signing to a major label is good to an artist. It's easy in fact: "they'll be rich and famous"! Well, that's hardly true. Signing to a major label instead of an indie one has several advantages and disadvantages. As an advantage, a major label has more money to invest in the band. Oh, you didn't know? Having a band costs money, and the bigger the band is the bigger are the costs. You have to pay for instruments, reharsal studio, recording studio, the recordings themselves, producers, manufacturers, publicity, and another bunch of artists - for your artwork, for your image, for your video clips... Having that kind of money give you two direct things: better conditions (like access to the best producers) and better exposure (you need money - not talent - to get your music to air on the radio and your video on TV). Disadvantages are, for instance, the fact that your comissions are way smaller (on non-digital records major label bands usually make 15% while indie label bands usually get 30%), and that indie labels typicly care for you and your art - not seeing you as a product will surely make you feel better and also have better conditions to make your music the way you want, instead of being forced to do it the way it sells.

But, while this explanation fits on peoples minds (well, in fact they keep with the illusion that major labels makes bands rich and famous, and indie labels just make them with a nice sallary and well-known), when they hear about a CD-R label they can't stop thinking "who the fuck needs a CD-R label? What kind of label is that?" Well, since I've done three CD-R (not even CD-A) self-released (one for Mordor and two for Merankorii) I guess I'm entitled to say that even making a CD-R release your have to do an hell of an investiment. And I'm not talking about things like studio and stuff like that, I'm just talking about making the actual physical CD! So, in my case, for instance, this is going to be the first time I'm going to release a CD with the certainty that I won't loose any money by doing so, and I even get the chance to make some money... Adding to that, this is going to be the biggest release, with better quality and better exposure. Of course that having a CD-A instead of a CD-R would be way better, but it would also be more expensive. Way too expensive for most of those who chose to do a CD-R label... If you take a look out there, lot's of indie record labels started by distributors, then distributors and CD-R (and K7 tape) labels, and then finally grew up to be able to do CD-A releases... Take an example of a band I love from an indie lable: Scarling. has all it's discography (which I'm a proud owner of) on the great indie label "Sympathy For the Record Industry". The discography starts with a release of a single in vynil. When it's sold out, another edition of that single was out. And those two editions raised the money for... a CD edition of that CD. And all that was what payed Scarling.'s first CD. And hey, Sympathy has lot's of years in the business, with more than 700 records on stores!

Now, do you understand why CD-R labels are important labels too?


Calm Before the Storm

You know the tension you feel in the air when there's the calm before the storm? I think that that's one way to describe my mood lately. Or maybe not, but hey, I'm trying...

BTW, this picture is not mine, I just found it while looking for one to illustrate what I mean...

Release Abdelkareem Soliman

KareemAbdelkareem Nabil Soliman is a 22-year-old Egyptian blogger who has been arrested by authorities in Alexandria, Egypt.

Abdelkareem first received international attention in early 2006 when he was kicked out of Al Azhar University for posts he wrote on his blog. During that first incident, he was detained by police but eventually released. Despite his first arrest, he has continued to speak his mind on women's rights, religious freedom, and academic freedom.

On November 6, Abdelkareem was again interrogated over his blogposts. A human rights lawyer from the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information was present to represent Abdelkareem. But the police still decided to arrest him.

If you're against all this, and defend, like me, the freedom of speech, please consider join the campaign to Free Kareem!

More personal stuff

I still feel like crap, and maybe this is not the usual stress, this is more like... anxiety. It's the birthday of a really big friend of mine, Mordor's guitarrist. Happy birthday João! Another good news is that Debian 4.0 (codename etch) Release Candidate 1 is out now. I really feel it is quite ready for instalation and use, but not so ready for an upgrade from 3.1. Today I've filled some bugs but today more are to come. I also think that some issues are lacking the attention they need, like the issues with mozilla-browser (and eclipse) on etch. I really think that the only clean way to fix the mess is to get a seamonkey-browser (or iceape-browser?) into testing before etch, but it seems that there are no big efforts on that. Well, maybe I'm wrong, I queried the people involved with the seamonkey package about it and now I'm just waiting for reply. Today, in hopes of getting somewhat more energetic, I'm writting this while listening to Novembers Doom in their best album (in my oppinion) "Amid It's Hallowed Mirth". Not recomended for those that aren't into Doom Metal. I've finally got myself to get a credit card, despite not being really fond of the idea of having one. So, you'll probably see Merankorii getting more parts and exposure: after all that was the main reason I got myself to get one of this things. Today, while fiddling around etch, I've manage to blow out my Amarok database, so listening digital music on my laptop got back to be much less fun. I've found myself thinking about one of the things that makes me really pissed: hypocrisy. There's an awsome song from the now-deceased awsome grrl rock band "Jack Off Jill", called Hypocrite, that defines it in the best way possible: "A hypocrite is one who deals in deceit, lies and false pretenses - Insincerity is the name of the game - doing one thing and telling others not to do it is a reality for an hypocrite [...]"... Who needs dictionaries when we have artists? I miss being around Nature - no, really. Living in Lisbon has lot's of good stuff inherited, but I miss sitting on the bottom of a tree and see animals running while listening to birds and the wind playing with the leafs... Keeping with the news, Merankorii, my musical project, just got signed! I want to give the news (and details) first on Merankorii's website, so I'll post there before I put this online. So, if you want to know more, go there! I don't like to live where I'm living now, and since February, so I'm thinking all the time in moving. But moving has also inconveniences, so I'm trying to postpone it as much as possible... Let's see how much I will take before I take the inevitable decision. Well, tomorrow is another day... and I want to be with a fresh mind, 'cause there's a lot I have to do. So I'm going to stop writting and just read a little more this awsome book (that I recommend to all of those curious about pagan religions) "Magic and Witchcraft" by Nevill Drury. It goes all from Shamanism to the Technopagans in a impartial and factual tone, that unfortunately lacks in most of the existent literature on the theme. Good night...


KDM Auto Login


Here's a really usefull tip, thanks to Bram: if you have a Linux machine where you're the only one supposed to log on in there, and if you use kdm, you might want to speed-up your user experience by setting KDM's auto login on. If you do that, after your X starts, you'll automaticly log in into your session. I didn't use that because it would be a high security risk (anyone would enter with my user on my computer), so I was glad to know about the option you can see in the screenshot: I don't know since when that option is there, but it is awsome, since you log in but the screensaver is automaticly fired up, so I still have to insert my password. The only difference is that I don't have to insert the password and then wait some more: when you do it you'll be already in your logged session.

Stress, et al.

I had a long a boring rant here. Instead, I'm just replacing it with the possibly non-boring parts:

I wanted to see a movie, but not a mind-thrilling one, yet I wouldn't stand to see that stupid teenage nonsense movies crap (yeah, I'm also in an irritant mood), so I decided to see "Children of Men". Maybe it has something to do with my mood, but after all the movie turned out not to be what I expected - while completely biased like any production this big tends to be, I really found the movie to be really good, and I think you should see it (just don't blame me if you don't like it, please). It made me laugh and it made me cry, it had a somewhat coherent story.

Ashram's latest album, "Shining Silver Skies": if you don't know it, you should - go to their website to listen to one track.

Ageists be damned (both anti-young and anti-old), and people who relate age with maturity.


Debian 4.0 (etch): getting closer and closer...

ATTENTION: This post is also a reference for myself. So there's a change I won't post it fully written, and also a change that it will be updated over the time.

Debian 4.0 (codename 'etch') is going to be the next Debian release, and the release date is getting closer and closer... So I've decided to write something about it's development and what will happen in the next days. The final release is scheduled for December, but there's no release before a release candidate, right? The first release candidate is here to download, and another is expected before the final release. More important than that is the list of "Release Critical bugs": the bugs that need to be fixed so etch can be released. At this exact moment I count 25 RC bugs. If you want to help Debian, picking up on one of these and help solving it would be really nice. Let me give you a little preview of them:

updating ca-certificates can go seriously wrong since links to everything but *.pem files are deleted. IMHO this should be fixed with an enforcement of this by using openssl to convert the certificates. Fumitoshi should be the one making a decision on how to fix this, but since he doesn't show any activity on the bug since the 27th of October, I think that somebody else among the Debian developers should take a position on this...

cdrkit has an ugly licensing problem. If you need the license, it extends and restricts GPL, itself in a violation of the GPL. Talking with the guy that made all the licensing mess would be useless, so IMHO the really nice move would be to replace cdrkit with an alternative like dvdrtools...

The whole Mozilla copyright issues are still here to be solved for etch. Firefox still needs to be renamed to iceweasel, just like thunderbird was to icedove. I'm not really sure how can anyone help speeding up the process, but contacting the maintainer should be a wise move.

This one is quite simple. There are some patches for gcc-4.1 that must be backported to gcc-4.0. If you're up to do some easy work to help Debian, this is a recommendation.

Weeeeird. If you know well HAL internals, please read this.

This one seems to be being worked on by Aurélien, but if you have some free time in your hands contact him and get assured that he doesn't need help...

For this arm and mispel hosts are needed. Can you help?

For this one we just need to wait. I should check about it in a couple of days for updates, tho.

This one was tagged moreinfo, but today more info came. Should check this later, after the maintainer has time to read the info.

More updates on this soon.


Open Source News

And since I hadn't talk about Open Source good news lately, here are three:

Novell: "don't sue us, sue our beloved costumers!"

Microsoft and Novell

So, you've been thinking about "what the hell is this" with the agreement between Novell and Microsoft, and you've called me and others who think that this agreement is bad as "zealots", "fundamentalists" or both. Well, we all needed more details to dismiss the other side's oppinion, right? Now we have it: the SEC report is out there, and it tell us more (yet not everything) about this "patent agreement". One big question here was about Novell's obligations under Section 7 of the GPL: they have GPL'd code in SuSE Linux, and yet are making an agreement on patents and such on code that isn't theirs. On that, their FAQ says that "We have not agreed with Microsoft to any condition that would contradict the conditions of the GPL and we are in full compliance.". Yet, he end users are also licensees, according to the GPL license! So, when we read in the SEC report that "Under the Patent Cooperation Agreement, Microsoft commits to a covenant not to assert its patents against Novell's end-user customers for their use of Novell products and services for which Novell receives revenue directly or indirectly from such customers, with certain exceptions, while Novell commits to a covenant not to assert its patents against Microsoft's end-user customers for their use of Microsoft products and services for which Microsoft receives revenue directly or indirectly from such customers, with certain exceptions." ... What does this mean? Well, it means, if you translate it bit by bit,
Hey, Microsoft, regarding to patents, don't sue us, instead sue our costumers!

Another big problem with this whole "this is not a licence, this is an agreement on patents" absurd thing that they're using to circumvent the laws that would set this as illegal as it obviously should be, is that, as you can see in the quote before, the patents are all covered, from both Novell and Microsoft, but "with certain exceptions". Since that they want that, if someone's to be sues is the Novell costumer, I have to ask: how can a Novell costumer know if they're INTO the certain exception? When they get their ass sued? Well, that's easy, avoid SUSE (specially the patent-clumbered SLES) and start using another distro.

YES, this is the conclusions for now: Microsoft just made Novell sign it's own death sentence. Who wants to risk it with SuSE when they have safe alternatives? Now, let me take a look on distrowatch: number one is Ubuntu, and Microsoft didn't even try anything about it, since it's preety plain that Ubuntu wants Microsoft to rot and die. #2 is OpenSuSE and they did this. #3 is Fedora, so Ballmer made an offer to enter into the same agreement with Red Hat two days ago, when this agreement with Novell says Microsoft won't do the same deal with anyone else for three years...

And now? Do you still think that caliming that this agreement is bad for Novell users is being a fundamentalist zealot?


DRM news

I'm still too busy to do propper blog posts (sorry about that), but here are some links you might find interesting, this time about Digital Restrictions Management.

Exactly six months after the tech world was introduced to DisplayPort, the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has proposed DisplayPort Version 1.1, which would bring high bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP) support to the standard. Previously, DisplayPort 1.0's copy protection support was described as "optional," but if the VESA DisplayPort Task Group has its way, it will become mandatory. So, now we'll have to find how to make this proposal to be rejected.

Peter Jenner, Pink Floyd's first manager, who subsequently managed Syd Barrett's solo career, Jenner has also looked after T.Rex, The Clash, Ian Dury, Disposable Heroes and Billy Bragg - who he manages today, told that "Big labels are f*cked, and DRM is dead". I can't get myself to be as optimistic as he is, but you should read what he has to say just to get a hint on what's going on in the music industry. Just to tease you a little, here's a quote where he talks about the major labels: "But because they've replaced an album with a single they've helped destroy the retail industry, they're now in a position where they're completely fucked."

Finally, Beyond The Soundbytes is going to be a conference you don't want to miss.