03 July 2007
Parnitha Forest Demonstration
We need our trees back
This Sunday, 8th of July, at 19:00 there will be a demonstration outside the parliament. The People are demanding that the forest of Parnitha will be replanted. We can't let our oxygen supply be burned down by negligence (or even malevolence). The "invitations" for the demonstration are making the rounds by SMS and email. So please all join in this Sunday!
04 July 2007
Relaxing Vegetable Soup
...to swim in!
Yay! Yesterday evening we went to the sea to take a swim. Even though the heat wave is over, it was soooo relaxing. Floating in the waves... pretty big waves they were. Cooling down after work. There weren't many people there. With a bit of wind, the sea "ταραγμένη" (taragmeni, "upset" as we say in Greek) it's not how most people like to take their swims. The whirled up sand and seaweed didn't "upset" me for one. It was a bit like swimming in vegetable soup, but that was fine :-)
RAM Cache a Method from a Python Product
So you want to keep it for a while?
Say this method of yours takes some time to run. You've learned to use a
RAM Cache Manager to cache DTML methods in the ZMI, but now you have
made your own filesystem based Python product, and a method of that
should get the speed boost. It's nearly as easy as clicking it together with a "DTML Method"
in the ZMI, so lets have a look at how to cache-enable a python method in a Zope product...
Continue reading "RAM Cache a Method from a Python Product"
06 July 2007
Spammers, Scrapers, Browserstats
Interesting enough: After I've weeded out a large part of (comment|trackback)spammers and scrapers from my web sites, the browser stats show that FireFox has taken over the top position from Internet Explorer. My sites are in no way a normal sample of the web, they are biased to Mac and Unix stuff, so FireFox (and Safari) always had a strong showing. But it turns out that a large part of the IE lead is due to the preference of illegal, malicious, or just plain stupid web bots to use IE as their faked user agent.
It would be even more interesting to know if this is taken into consideration in the usual FF vs. IE statistics... or what it would change in the browser war shootouts, if it wasn't yet calculated in.
07 July 2007
Renew Suncream after Swimming!
Sloppy slappy got me
The media are reminding us to renew our sunscreen after swimming in the sea. They are very right with that. Today we went in the morning to swim near Voula. After I came out I slapped on more suncream, but I was sloppy. The result is that I have one shoulder that is red with a slight sunburn. Not too bad, no peeling skin or anything as bad, either I'm κολόφαρδος (kolofardos, literally "with a wide ass", someone with luck) or else my part greek heritage worked for my skin protection. So just a small reminder for everyone out there: Indeed, put on new suncream after swimming!
Another reminder: Tomorrow, Sunday at 19:00 we're meeting outside the Parliament in Athens, to demand fast reaforrestation of the Parnitha forrest.
08 July 2007
The people for the forrest
We are on Syntagma square, demonstrating for the reafforrestastion of mount Parnitha. There are a lot of people here. The place is packed from the parliament all over the square.
The demonstration is not organized, it's just the people who showed up. Everybody is shouting and cursing at the parliament and the politicians. Of course no politicians comes forth from the parliament (if there are any in there, they probably are in their villas).
12 July 2007
Acropolis closed due to Strike
6 days in July
The news site in.gr reports (in Greek) that due to a strike of the archaeological guards the Acropolis will be closed on 6 days: July 14th and 15th, and then again from the 21st to the 24th of July. in.gr doesn't list up what the demands of the workers are. There should be a chance that the differences get sorted out and the strike canceled or postponed, but if you are planning a visit, you might want to investigate in alternative schedules.
Finally... net access at home!
It's been a while
Incredible, but true: We finally have access to the Internet at home again. Incredible 4 months of waiting time. Why did we wait so long, you might ask? Why didn't we give up, go to a different provider, etc.? Mostly because 1. we had good experience with this company in the previous place 2. the alternatives weren't too appealing either and most of all 3. we didn't know it would take that long from the start, it was always "wait just a little bit longer", then "wait just another little bit longer".
What sucks even more than the wait? Vivodi, the ISP who is behind this desaster has employees who did not even once say "we are sorry". It might not be company policy to say "sorry", but they should at some point understand that customers are human beings too, and they could have spared a little "sorry" from one human being to another. I will see what I will do about this, got some ideas cooking.
For now, I'm checking out the new "line". It's 2056/256, and it seems that at least for now it's performing to specs. That's nice.
14 July 2007
Λόγους για να μην πάρεις το ασανσέρ
Ακόμα ένας λόγος για να μην παίρνεις το ασανσέρ (εκτός από την προσωπική υγεία και την οικονομία ρεύματος): Στην πολυκατοικία μας περνάς και από αυτό το "still-life" εδώ, το όποιο δεν το έφτιαξε σπουδαίος καλλιτέχνης, έγινε επειδή κάποιος αγαπάει τα φυτά. Είναι ένα μικρό παράθυρο από την σκάλα στην αυλή. (Κάντε κλικ στην εικόνα για πιο μεγάλη φωτογραφία.)
15 July 2007
Is there anyone who cares about the SSH worm?
Please excuse the rant... everybody talks about Windoze malware, but is there anybody who is at all interested about the tons of Unix boxes who carry the SSH worm around? (Everybody knows which one I'm talking about, the one that closes every couple of login attempts with "Bye bye".) My authlog looks like a playground of the careless Unix owners. I'm getting tons of connection attempts from places like universities, companies, providers, about everywhere. By now I have of course blocked most of the world based on IP ranges, but still there are a lot of attempts.
So, what's it really? Are there so many clueless Unix admins around who use (or reuse) simple passwords? Are there Linux distros around with default passwords? What's happening really?
I know that I'm using pretty tough passwords, but all the connection attempts are annoying and a waste of bandwidth. Before I closed most of the IP space, I had 10000s of login attempts from some hosts and up to a hundred or so hosts with 1000s of attempts every day. The proper course of action of writing to the abuse account of the network range is just not viable (and of course totally useless for e.g. korean IPs). I just can't imagine anyone of these people to care for their rooted machines. So is the Unix world just happy to look down on the Windoze world and assuming that *nix worms are a thing of the past while ignoring the daily filth in our own world?
Update: Here is some analysis of what the attackers try to do. Doesn't address the underlying problem of why they are so successful.
16 July 2007
...and now Ymittos is burning
More forest fires near Athens
A few weeks ago it was Parnitha, now the forest is burning on Ymitos. According to news reports (see in.gr in Greek) the fire is very close to buildings. Same source says that residents saw fires spring up in several places, so arson is suspected. Fire planes, helicopters, and firefighters are working hard, but the strong wind is making their job more difficult. The fire is on the Ymittos, near Vyronas and Kaisariani.
Residents are trying to fight the fire along Leoforos Kareas. The secretary for Civil Protection stated that 3 out of 4 fire zones are under control.
18 July 2007
West African Funk
Σήμερα το πρωί καθόμουν στο λεωφορείο με όλη την άνεση μου. Σκέφτηκα το πόσο εύκολο είναι να μη χάσεις την στάση σου στην γραμμή μας: Και τα βλέπεις όλα από μακριά, και σε μερικά από τα λεωφορεία έχουμε ηχογραφημένες ανακοινώσεις για τις στάσεις. Άκουγα την μουσικούλα μου και χάζευα από το παράθυρο. Εκείνη την στιγμή βλέπω έξω να είμαστε σταματημένοι στην στάση μου. Ευτυχώς που μια κυρία είχε πατήσει το κουμπί και πρόλαβα να κατέβω :-)
Αυτό που άκουσα ήτανε West African Funk από τον δίσκο "Booniay!! A Compilation of West African Funk". Συγκεκριμένα το κομμάτι "Good Samaritan" από τον (τους;) Matata:
Watch yourself be a hero,
and do what you wanna do!
And never let anybody say:
Ain't gonna let you do.
20 July 2007
NZZ Online: Kommentare und PR
Wer traut sich was?
Vor kurzem hat sich NZZ Online eine neue Version der Website online geschaltet. Die gute alte "Züri-Tante" im neuen Gewand. Interessant dabei ist, dass man die einzelnen Artikel auch kommentieren kann. Mehr Blog als Leserbrief, denn die Kommentare erscheinen direkt unter den Artikeln, man muss sie nur ausklappen. Ein mutiger Schritt auf Seiten der NZZ. Wie mutig wirklich, damit durfte ich dann auch schon meine Erfahrung machen...
Continue reading "NZZ Online: Kommentare und PR"
23 July 2007
Το τάβλι του Όθωνα
Και άλλα ωραία στο μουσείο
Τελικά πήγα και εγώ το Σάββατο στο Μουσείο της Πόλεως των Αθηνών . Είναι καταπληκτικό - αν ενδιαφέρεσαι λίγο για το 19ο αιώνα. Το καλύτερο έκθεμα ήτανε το μοντέλο της Αθήνας του 1842 - να βλέπεις πως άλλαξε από τότε μέχρι σήμερα αυτή η πόλη, και ταυτόχρονα να δεις κάτι σημεία αναφοράς που μείνανε. Ο εθνικός κήπος τότε: ένα τετράγωνο πράσινο μέσα στα χωράφια, έξω από την πόλη. Εξαιρετικό.
Είδαμε και τον λόρδο Βύρων σε φιγούρα πορσελάνης, λες και κάνανε "action figures" της ελληνικής επανάστασης (τον είχαν και σε φώτο, σχέδια, πήνακες). Μετά, το τάβλι αυτό το όποιο μας έχουν πει από το μουσείο ότι ήτανε του Όθωνα (κλικ στην μικρή εικόνα για την επίσημη σελίδα του μουσείο).
24 July 2007
This morning I started on a surprise daytrip to Hydra. Get out of the hot city, quiet down, and - the real reason - show my father around who is vacationing here now. I'm envious.
Already went for a swim. Saying that "the water is cristal clear" is such a cliche. But its true. I was happy to have brought my swimming glasses: I saw for what seemed 30m under water, small fish, and the rocks dropping down under me to the deep blue. I was tempted to dive all the way down. Instead I took many small dives, to marvel at the sunlight streaming through the surface as I came up.
26 July 2007
Some details about the heat
Here we are, talking about the weather again. As most of you may know, we had another heat wave here, the second in 4 weeks. Temperatures reached 45 degrees Celsius, but there are some other numbers I find way more interesting to demonstrate how hot it got. First of all I got up yesterday at about 8 in the morning and it was 30 degrees. I went to the "periptero" (newsstand) yesterday evening at a few minutes before midnight and it still was about 35 degrees. Conclusion: It's not as much the peak temperature (which is impressive in itself), it's just not cooling down even during the night. Main reason: There wasn't any wind that could have brought colder air.
The weather pictures (lower right corner of my weblog) often do not show the peak temperature in all its glory, but browsing through their (wunderground.com report for Athens that is) stations stats, I found the interesting facts that some station reports the lowest measured temperature this month to have been about 21.6 degrees. In some countries that would be a nice summers day temperature... at noon. Here and this month it must have been during the cool morning hours before sunrise on a relatively "cold" day.
What effect has the heat on people? Obviously they complain. Everybody but me seems to have a/c (blackouts are happening, no wonder). At midnight, my neighborhoods streets are exceptional quiet, very few people outside, almost no sounds except for the whirring of the air conditioners fans. The heat empties the city.
28 July 2007
Less *is* more
Small idea for those who have their own wifi access point (and who hasn't nowadays, my laptop currently "sees" 4 beside our own): Some access points allow you to reduce the power level with which the antenna sends. In our 4-room apartment I've set the power to 12% and it still gives me 100% reception in the room furthest away from the station. Finding the lowest level that still works fine took some tries (and station restarts for each try), but I only had to do that once.
What did we gain? We save energy, maybe allow the access point to run a little bit cooler, reduce electrosmog, and reduce interference for other wifi owners in the neighborhood. There is just no reason why I should emit radio rays as far as neighboring buildings any more than necessary, since nobody there has any business in my network anyway, and if channels overlap only bad things will happen.
31 July 2007
How come you speak Greek fluently?
A question that sometimes comes up
Kat, an American in Athens posted a very interesting article titled Why don't you speak Greek fluently?, which explains about how she never got around to really learn Greek fluently after 10 years living here. In short: circumstances. My story is totally different. If I may say so myself, I speak Greek fluently (although with an accent, and making certain mistakes over and over). Let me explain how I got there...
Continue reading "How come you speak Greek fluently?"
COREBlog Month Views messed up
The UTF-8 gave up
Just a short service notice to my readers: I just noticed that something (likely the Zope 2.8 to 2.9 upgrade) messed up the UTF-8 in the weblog's month archive view (only there apparently). Greek text and German umlauts are broken right now. I'm investigating, please excuse the inconvenience.
Update 2007-11-08 This should be fixed now, apparently there were some entries with broken encoding in the DB.