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30 October 2006

Jail for an RSS Link?

Freedom of oppinion is a joke

The weblogger and administrator of the Greek blog aggregator was handcuffed, arrested, and had his computer hard disk confiscated,... all because his blog aggregator had picked up an RSS feed where a TV evangelist was satyrized. At the same time we have the UN organized Internet Governance Forum, right here in Vouliagmeni. Gonna be a lot of talk about freedom of speech, while they put handcuffs on people for less than that.

What do I intend to do? I signed up for the Internet Governance Forum. And I urge you to do the same. If my application comes through, especially I want to go to the main session on Tuesday morning, titled "Openness" (see the program). I want to hear what they say, and maybe I can get to ask a question or two. Like "what good is all this talk when people can get in jail for a link, even in democratic countries like Greece?"

Update στα Ελληνικά:
Ο Έλληνας blogger και blog aggregator του συνελήφθη γιατί το aggregator του περιείχε ένα link σε ένα blog που κορόιδεψε τον Λιακόπουλο.

Τι να κάνουμε; Πάμε βόλτα στην Βουλιαγμένη! Εγγραφείτε για το φόρουμ και πείτε την γνώμη σας, όπως θα το κάνω εγώ.

Posted by betabug at 11:04 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
31 October 2006

The Case at the Internet Governance Forum

Greek government official hears about

So I've arrived at the Internet Governance Forum here in Greece. I was a bit delayed due to the heavy rain and lack of geographic information. But I managed to arrive towards the end of the "Openness" session. I've heard some lame speeches (example: they asked the Microsoft guy about human rights and he started to talk about protecting software from being copied and how China has advanced in this respect). Later I heard Kieren McCarthy (from The Register) bring the case to the attention of the panel. He used some strong words, naming the issue a disgrace for Greece and the forum...

The level of reaction was very low. From the Greek government there was - if I made it out right - Theodoros Rousopoulos, the government spokesperson. He answered (paraphrasing here, look for the transcript) that he had no information about the case in question, but that there are bloggers who think that they can tell all kind of lies and TV stations will pick that up, and that this should be stopped while still allowing for freedom of speech. Yes, well. Maybe he still has fond memories of the Greek phonetapping scandal, even though the government took flak there from weblogs as much as from the press.

Tell you what, his statement has some truth in it - if you turn it around. When you look at people like Dimosthenis Liakopoulos, there is freedom of speech to spread weird lies on TV. But if you are a small guy, you better not step into the line of power. The message given is clear: "Look, you can get in jail for as much as posting a link, better not say anyting at all!"

Call to action: Talking with Kieren, we urge you all to blog about this issue, and if you are anywhere near here to come to the IGF forum and make yourself heard. It's not just one guy spending a night in jail, it's "open your mouth now or (you will be) shut up".

I've answered questions for The Register and the BBC news site, and there are rumours that Antonis Tsipropoulos (Αντώνης Τσιπρόπουλος) from will turn up later and answer press questions.

Posted by betabug at 13:02 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

IGF - the Double Chinese Wall

Listening to the panel on Security

The speaker from China gave us some examples where they had responded to IPs spewing out SPAM and viruses. Before that audience members had raised points about the security of the network and the connectivity of developing nations.

I started to think about these two. In practice some of network admins block all of china to their port 25. If this happens, connectivity for developing countries is at stake. OTOH I could open a couple of mail logs and probably give the chinese CNCERT man offending IPs faster than he could write down those cases.

And that's not just china. Spam comes in through home broadcast IPs nowadays. Governments are more keen on using collaboration on their political or pet crime (IP) topics. Spammers are mostly immune to collaborative law investigation for example.

Posted by betabug at 15:30 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Day at IGF Sum-Up

Interesting, after all
IGF badge

Here I am, back home, still a bit cold after all the rain I've been in and out of. To sum up this day, I've seen and heard some interesting things, I've been reminded that all these problem areas on the Internet now and in the future need solutions. I helped getting the story of mentioned once in the "Openness" session (where Kieren McCarthy brought it up), and once I mentioned it again in the afternoon session in the big room, when I sneaked it into a question I asked...

In the morning, after the small end of the "Openness" session that I was able to hear, I went to eat. Note to everybody: Do not eat at the Divani Apollon in Vouliagmeni, my pasta was absolutely lame and completely unsalted. This business took considerable time, because everybody had the same idea together. After lunch, I went to the "Security" session in the big room. I heard a lot of nice words. People in the audience from all over the world gave input and raised awareness of their issues. Some of the panelists were interesting and had an oppinion or two. I've already mobloged about the Chinese speaker. A bit after I sent that out, I got around to write my name on a little piece of paper to ask a question.

In my question I managed to bring over the point I had written into that post and also I sneaked in the case *again* by mentioning that I believed that governments are more keen on hunting down opposing bloggers instead of going after spammers. My claim that my server logs could produce spammers IPs faster than the Chinese speaker could write them down prompted the moderator to have the Chinese speaker answer my question. He just repeated what he had said before, that they were cooperating and had been going after some IPs that the australians and korean authorities had given them. Then he said that they had built a website where they published the IPs of servers that spewed out SPAM, and that they leave them there for 3 months, after which time they went to look if the situation with those IPs had improved any. Note to Spammers: Just rent servers in China, you can savely send out SPAM for 2 months and 3 weeks.

At which point I broke out in laughter, then I left. I went downstairs and attended a workshop on Free Expression with panelists from Microsoft (likely MSN), the american government, the french government, Reporters sans Frontieres, Amnesty International, and some others I forgot. The thing was about content filtering the Internet. Apparently many, many countries do that, one of the organizations monitoring these filterers is trying to keep track on over 40 countries filtering Internet access.

I don't think any solution was found, except for an audience member from the Hellenic Linux User Group. He is a teacher and he works the only real solution - but of course nobody wants to do what he does, because it requires a spine - he does *no* Internet filtering whatsoever in his school, but he makes sure that he is there at all times when students use the Internet. If anything inappropriate comes up, he can address the matter right there.

After the workshop I briefly talked to the journalists again and left for the bus. At the bus station I was recognized by my blog reader Giorgos. Man, that's fame! Not giving interviews to The Register and the BBC at the same day (OK, really just answering some of their questions, but you know what I mean), not speaking (OK, one question from the audience, but you ...) at the same event like a Greek Government Spokesperson and Minister, but being recognized on the street! Now if the other two of my readers (yeah, I'm looking at you!) would come over for a visit from time to time, we could do the same spiel in front of my house, and I could feel important and special more often. (And yes, we really haven't met in person before.)

Posted by betabug at 23:42 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
01 November 2006

The Chinese Answer to SPAM

What I got on the Internet Governance Forum

Yesterday at the IGF's "Security" panel, I stood up to ask a question, partly about SPAM coming out of China. Now the transcript of the Security session is online, and from the transcript I can quote the answer I got:

CHENGQING HUANG: "...we have the principle of coordinated action to make joint efforts. So after defining some principles, we received the reporting and denunciation from society and the relevant organs and received some addresses that sent Spam. If we determine that these IP addresses, indeed, sent Spams, we announced the list of such addresses. So such a list, we have WW.NT slash Spam Web site, you can see how many servers of Spam we have announced. If after three months they have not improved their behavior, we will organize resistance to such Spams."
Note that the website address he mentioned is garbled, due to translation and transcription.

Posted by betabug at 09:27 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
01 November 2006

The Greek Governments Answer to Freedom of Speech

Another Thing I got from the Internet Governance Forum

At yesterday's IGF "Openness" panel, the case of Greek blog aggregator Antonis Tsipropoulos ( arrest was brought to the attention of Theodoros Roussopoulos from the Greek government. I'm again quoting the session transcript for the first part of the answer (see the transcript if you want to read all parts of his answer)

ROUSSOPOULOS: Well, I'm not aware of this case. But what I can state is that over the last period, we have had to face various bloggers who make any kind of references really untrue statements. In fact, these lies get on television and on other media which are widely followed in my country. So we have a problem with bloggers who spread lies through television. What we need to guarantee in a democratic environment is to respect professional codes of ethics and international rights guaranteeing the rights of everyone, but also giving the opportunity to freedom of expression, but also to the truth. Because there are people who are not politicians or business representatives but is the victim of slandering or defamation. How can this person deal with statements, untrue statements, made by a blogger against him?
Please don't judge the quality of the english, this is a transcript of the life translation! My personal interpretation: Roussopoulos is still angry and hurt because weblogs spread the news about the Greek wiretapping scandal across the border. Tough luck, a government spokesperson should be more professional. But feel free to judge his answer by yourself...

Posted by betabug at 09:50 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
15 November 2006

Books Hunted, 1001 Books Listed

Another Bookshop, and my score on the reading list

Looking through a list of Zwiki example sites I came across one very nice wiki called thinkubator. In its refreshing but not very wikilike pages I found a reference to a book with a list of 1001 books one should read, complete with a list of the authors and titles. A long count showed me that I have read 60 of them and am into number 61 now... because as I happened to have visited a friend in Kolonaki and was slowly going back to the bus station, I stumbled upon a bookshop that has some english books. I went in to discover a small selection, but amongst them I found 3 books that I bought. So a big selection isn't really everything. What did I get?

The bookstore in question is called Best Book Hunters, they have shops in 47 Solonos street and 33 Leukados and Evelpidon street. They seem to have been around for a while, but I had never been there. Another one for my list of Athens book shops with english books. The Solonos street shop is nice, with a modern interior and a very laid back upper floor. They mostly seem to have artsy books. Not to much fiction, but sometimes it's the selection that matters.

At first I spotted J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye", which I had referred to in a previous "Athens bookshop post" where it wasn't available. So I just had to buy it now. Next came a book with the word "Enigma" in the title. That always stops me, since I'm a crypto nut (and in part a history nut). Christine Large's "Hijacking Enigma - The Insiders' Tale" promises to give some historic background to breaking the Enigma cipher in Bletchley Park, mixed with the story of how an original Enigma machine was stolen and recovered. For me they could have left out the modern stuff, but maybe it's all the better with something thrown in that I haven't read about before.

Then I got "The Remains of the Day" from Kazuo Ishiguro, which brings me full circle to the list of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. As I was browsing through the list of books I had seen that one and I remembered that I had talked with Stefanos (from HelMUG) about it. So I bought it and that's what I'm reading now, on the way to my 61st book from the list.

That number isn't carved in stone. There are a couple of books in the list which I wasn't too sure about. Some of them I had read a looong time ago, so in some cases I wasn't too sure if I had really read them. Some of them I took into the list (when I was reasonable sure) and a bit more of them I left out because I leaned to the "not so sure any more" side. I also didn't count in books that I had started to read but didn't like and give up. Sometimes I was too young for the book in question (I started reading "serious" books when I was still a child), sometimes I was older and just didn't like the stuff.

As can be also seen in the discussion on the list page, the selection isn't agreed on by everyone. Such a list could be made by choosing "important" books, by choosing "interesting" books, or books that are "good to read". So was a book like George Orwell's "Keep the Aspidistra Flying" in the list because someone considered it a page-turner "good read", or because it's an "important" book from a significant period of Orwell's work? Next step: Discuss what any of these terms mean.

See also: Books... and Bookshops in Athens, Books Again on Wednesday

See also: The list of all "my" English language book shops in Athens.

Posted by betabug at 23:23 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (1)
27 December 2006

Holiday Reading List

Sitting lazy, reading

Christmas break is high time for some slacking and reading for me. Last year I went and bought lots of books, this year a held back a bit more, but I Eleni brought me some books from Munich that I had left there on route from Switzerland. Let's see: First of all I went and bought "Οι τέσσερις τοίχοι" from Βαγγέλης Χατζιγιαννίδης ("Four Walls" from Vangelis Hatziyannidis, also available in an english translation, this book was recommended to me in a comment by Catheryn Kilgarriff)...

I have a problem with lots of Greek authors, their books seem to be stuck to me, nothing ever happens, things move slow and I don't see any life in there. When I started with the "Four Walls", I was afraid it would come out like that. I can't really give a verdict yet, as I'm only on page 35, but the beginnings of an actual story have appeared and I like that. I'm reading in Greek, which still hinders me a bit and takes more time. But then it also offers me reward in how much I understand, and how few times I actually have to look something up.

From Munich a couple of books reached me: I started with a quick reread of Think Unix from Jon Lasser. This is an unusual computer book. It tries to teach newbies Unix, but not by taking them by the hand and giving them a list of commands. Rather Lasser teaches the spirit and meaning of how Unix works or "thinks". You might not learn every detail of how exactly you do something, but you get the tools so you can find out and do it yourself. Highly recommended and fun even to browse through after a couple of years (and even though I notice that I passed the level he teaches for a while).

I also got back my copy of Exploring Expect by Don Libes. This is (AFAIK) the only book about Expect. In case you don't know, "expect" is a programming language that helps to automate interaction with programs like passwd or telnet. I've done some simple things with expect and it's on my "I want to do more with this" list for a long time now. Maybe I'll write that command line "adduser" script for Mac OS X server that I need with expect after all.

Amongst the others coming from Munich was "Enigma entschlüsselt" by Michael Smith (original english title: "Station X: Decoding Nazi Secrets"). This is a collection of anecdotes, short stories, and facets of the code breaking effort at Bletchley Park and some other places in the second World War. By no means is it a full account, but for a crypto nut like me it is a fun diversion. Some of the pieces are easy to browse through, others (where it gets into the detail of decrypting some code system) take a lot of effort to read and understand. A book for me to get lost in for some hours!

Posted by betabug at 16:12 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
03 January 2007

Another Happy New Year with ch-athens

Happy New Year! Guet's Neus! Καλή χρονιά!

Another year passed for this weblog and the world, happy new year to everyone! ch-athens is 2 years old now (for those coming in late, it started as a new years resolution on new year of 2005). The last year has brought a lot more traffic, where I reported about 97000 pageviews in 2005, in 2006 my stats claim to have recorded about 243000 pageviews. This number is a bit rough, because after moving the server there was a lot of downtime (no pageviews) and some time where the server was up but the stats weren't counting. Yes, amongst all the nice stuff there was trouble too, let's look back if you like to....

First of all the traffic started thanks to the Greek Wiretapping Scandal which was revealed back in February. When I heard about the thing I couldn't find almost anything in the non-greek press, so I wrote up a summary. Having done that I sent Bruce Schneier a link. Bruce blogged about it and a lot of traffic came my way. Some more came through related search engine traffic. Even after the spike came down, traffic stayed higher than it was before.

In related news, at the end of January 2006 I got ADSL at home, the dark ages of the modem had ended. It's been up ever since, the service of Vivodi in Athens didn't give me any reason to complain. Another option would have been the Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network, a post mentioning them got a nice discussion going. The exactly next post about using PGP followed suit. It even had long terms results, as I'm now preparing a workshop/presentation about using PGP for HelMUG.

In March I wrote a post about using ZWiki as the easiest CMS around. Around that time I must have picked up working on, my Greek wiki site. It started out slowly but got a really nice layout in the last few months and content is coming in.

Flipping through the posts, I notice a lot of coverage of small and big trips around Greece (and at the end of the year to Germany and Switzerland). Many of them included montage and panorama pictures. I wish I would be that sparkling and active now, I seem to be slacking a lot lately, at least blogwriting wise.

In September trouble started. The server was moved to Germany, if all went well, it would have just been a question of plugging it in. But during the move, one of the harddisks died and there ensued some days of downtime and a lot of necessary restoring of backup data. Yes, I was lucky (or well prepared) to have had backups for most stuff. Never without! October had more trouble, but unrelated: The Greek police had jailed (temporarely) a guy who ran a blog aggregator for content of a post that was automatically linked and news about that broke about that time. I wrote about it and went to the Internet Governance Forum to help making the problem heard.

Just around October/November more traffic started to come in from another side: With the witch (a zope/apache rewriterule generator) there were already some Zope people coming to my site. Now Planet Zope started to pick up some of my Zope related posts and more people came over to read my (mostly "ZWiki as CMS" related) Zope stuff.

Then came the toughest time: I had travelled to Germany to upgrade and update my server. In the process the mainboard failed and my site was down for a looong time. Even after getting back online (on a "newer" G4), there still are some pictures missing, which are on a SCSI disk that I currently can't access. Again, daily backups saved (most of) my butt. Things started to move again, with traffic coming back to the previous level almost instantly. Let's see what 2007 will bring now!

Posted by betabug at 01:19 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
10 January 2007

babel diese!

Meine 10 Gebote für mehrsprachige Weblogs

Heute morgen las ich, dass mein Freund Wu aus Galizien seinen Weblog jetzt auch auf Mehrsprachigkeit umgestellt hat, mit Hinweis auf mich. Als ich vor zwei Jahren mit der Weblog-Schreiberei anfing, war mir eigentlich schon klar, dass ich die Sprachen mixen würde, wie es grade kommt. Mehrsprachig sollte mein Weblog werden, genau wie ich. Etwa zur gleichen Zeit schrieb Luistxo Fernandez aus dem Baskenland zum Thema mehrsprachige Blogs zuerst über False, true, symmetrical and asymetrical multilingual blogs und dann noch seine 10 Gebote auf: Ten Commandments for bilingual blogs. Schaun wir mal, wie es da bei mir ausschaut und was meine eigenen 10 Gebote für mehrsprachige Weblogs sind...

Luistxo kategorisiert erstmal 1. monolinguale, nicht-englische Weblogs, 2. selbige mit der Möglichkeit die Sprache des Interfaces umzustellen, und 3. voll mehrsprachige, bei denen Inhalte und Interface auf Knopfdruck umgestellt werden können. Ups, schon bin ich durch den Raster gefallen. Dann, wenn die einzelnen Einträge je in nur einer der verfügbaren Sprachen vorliegen (statt alles doppelt, übersetzt, "symmetrisch"), dann bezeichnet er das als "Asymmetrischen" weblog. Das wiederum ist genau was ich mache.

Im weiteren stellt Luistxo seine Gebote auf, mal sehen, wie mein Weblog da dasteht...

  1. Sprachwechsel per Knopfdruck ist für ihn ganz wichtig. Kann ich leider nicht mit dienen.
  2. Startseite in nur einer Sprache, danach wahl der Sprache... hamwanich.
  3. Zweisprachigkeit für Inhalte und Benutzerschnittstelle. Wie gesagt, nicht.
  4. Das gleiche auch für Daten, Zahlenformate, usw.
  5. Kein Doppel-Lesen nötig, das heisst wenn ein Eintrag in zwei Sprachen vorliegt, sind diese nicht nacheinander oder nebeneinander. Hamwanich, brauchnwanich. Bisher habe ich mich noch nicht bemüssigt gefühlt, einen meiner Einträge zu übersezten. Ansonsten gebe ich ihm da voll recht.
  6. Offene und gleichbleibende Kategorisierung. Kategorien hab ich schon, zu Sprache und Kategorien unten mehr...
  7. Zeichensatz-Kodierung angepasst an die verschiedenen Sprachen. Für mich gibt's da eine einfache Lösung: UTF-8 erlaubt Deutsch, Englisch und Griechisch in friedlicher Koexistenz, nach guter Schweizer Tradition.
  8. Je ein separater XML (oder RSS) Feed pro Sprache. Hmmm, könnte ich machen, wie bei den Kategorien mehr dazu weiter unten...
  9. Alles auf einem System, d.h. nicht verschiedene Server, Applikationen, etc. für jede Sprache. Hab ich.
  10. Sollte Open Source Software benutzen... was bei ihm der Füller auf das magische 10. Gebot ist, bei mir natürlich schon lange drin.

Zu den Kategorien: Es wäre mit COREBlog (der von mir verwendeten Weblog-Software) einfach genug zusätzliche Kategorien für Deutsch, Englisch, Griechisch einzurichten. Dadurch gäbe es die Möglichkeit selektiv nur eine Sprache zu lesen. Auch sprachabhängige RSS Feeds wären dann ganz einfach möglich. Über diese Möglichkeit habe ich schon öfter nachgedacht. Was mir daran nicht gefällt ist das Stempelverteilen: Puff, Deutsch! Bang, English! Φαπ, Ελληνικά! Darauf folgend separate Gesellschaft für jede Sprachgruppe, bloss nicht über den Zaun schauen. Und Leute, die zwei (oder mehr!) meiner drei verwendeten Sprachen verstehen, die müssen dann kreuz und quer klicken, um alles lesen zu können. Nein, gefällt mir nicht.

Wenn ich aber meine Artikel nur nach Sprachen markieren soll, ohne diese zusätzlichen Funktionen anzubieten, was solls? Dann kann ich es auch lassen, meine Leser sind hoffentlich intelligent genug um Deutsch von Englisch unterscheiden zu können. (Im Zweifelsfall empfehle ich die Auszählung der Buchstabenhäufigkeit und der Bigramme, wie es die Kryptographen machen :-) Bleibt nur die Frage, ob der Zusatz-Service von Sprachkategorien (für Leute die wirklich nur eine Sprache lesen wollen) die Sprachlabels aufwiegen, denn Kategorien als Sprachlabels sind in meinen Augen eher hässlich und geben die falsche "message" durch.

Als Alternative zu Luistxo stelle ich hier deshalb meine eigenen 10 Gebote für mehrsprachige Weblogs auf:

01 Mehrsprachliches Chaos ist interessanter als klare Kategorien, auch wenn ich nicht alles verstehe. Ich konnte von Wu's Ankündigung den grössten Teil verstehen, obwohl ich eigentlich von Spanisch keine Ahnung habe. Dann schauen wir halt mal über den sprachlichen Tellerrand.

10 Im "Globalen Dorf" zu leben bedeutet mehr als eine oder mehrere Sprachen. Mit dem wenigen was an Benutzer-Interface für meinen Weblog gebraucht wird, sollte jeder zurechtkommen, auch wenn's auf Englisch ist. Andererseits zu wissen, zu spüren, zu erleben, dass die Menschen eigenständige Sprachen haben, das ist wichtig. Die Eigenständigkeit der Galizischen, Griechischnen, Schweizerdeutschen Sprache ist wichtig... aber wir treffen uns im Notfall auf Englisch, Französisch, Deutsch, was immer grad verfügbar ist.

Posted by betabug at 14:18 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
13 January 2007

500 Posts

A *lot* of posts

This is the 500th post in my weblog. That's a big round number, and I'm still struck by it. It means that many, many times in the last two years I have unslacked enough to write down some thoughts, experiences, or information...

What I wrote is not that special, but the act of writing regularly (or almost... I clocked in about a post every 1.5 days) has become special to me. It helped me experience my situation - living as a stranger in a strange land - to a greater extend. It often helped me to get over my lazyness and become more active, going out to do something, since then I would have something to write about.

Sometimes it's been and still is a strain. Keeping it up, not letting it go slumber away. But like in life, wondering what will come next is already a motivation to go on.

Beach at Faliron, sketch from my notebook

Today I've been indoors almost all day . I've been reading (Rudyard Kipling's "Kim"), playing backgammon(6) on OpenBSD, talking on the phone with Eleni. There are 1000 things I should do and 500 more interesting things to go out and do for a swiss in Athens. But today is a lazy day to relax and celebrate my weblog anniversary like that. And then on to the next 500... it feels like a good notebook that's been started and now needs more filling.

Posted by betabug at 21:36 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
06 February 2007

MacMade - το e-zine του HelMUG

Η kseni ετοίμασε το τεύχος 3!

Χτες βγήκε η καινούρια έκδοση του e-φυλλάδα του HelMUG. Το MacMade περιέχει άρθρα για το πρόσφατο Keynote του Steve Jobs, προγράμματα, Games, και πολλά άλλα. Έχει και ένα δικό μου κειμενάκι μέσα, το οποίο το μετάφρασε ο Στέφανος με την Jill. Πιάστε το σε μορφή PDF από ένα mirror κοντά σας!

Πάρα πολύ μου άρεσε ο τρόπος που φτιάχτηκε το καινούριο τεύχος. Για πολύ καιρό δεν είχαμε MacMade, κυρίως γιατί η Dina (aka kseni στο HelMUG) ήτανε απασχολημένη αλλού. Πρόσφατα το ξανασκέφτηκε και ρώτησε στο φόρουμ Εθελοντές για κείμενα. Εγώ της είπα για 2 κείμενα (το ένα έδωσα, το άλλο περιμένει μετάφραση...), και πολλοί άλλοι πρόσφεραν βοήθεια και (πιθανών με πολύ δουλειά από την πλευρά της Dinas) ένα-μισό μήνα μετά το έχει έτοιμο και ο σύλλογος μπορεί να προσφέρει e-zine ξανά! Αυτό που μου άρεσε είναι ότι η ενέργεια δεν ήρθε "από πάνω κάτω", δεν έλεγε το ΔΣ "πρέπει να κάνουμε κάτι" και έβαλε τους άλλους να τρέχουν. Η ενέργεια ήρθε από τους μέλους και το ΔΣ απλά βοήθησε τους μέλους να δημιουργηθεί κάτι ξεχωριστό.

Posted by betabug at 09:13 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
13 March 2007

The Writing on the Wall

Ping my mind

Even though I've worked in advertising for some years, there are some pieces of advertising that really annoy me. For example the poster for "tap dogs" (a musical? a dance show? whatever...) at a lot of Athens bus stations. I didn't like the poster from the start, and it's there for ages now. Can we have something a little bit more intelligent, or at least a new one once in a while?

On the other hand, while trying to find the shortest path from the new appartment to work this morning, I walked through a street that has an anarchist graffiti about every second or third house. Now, I'm not a houseowner, so I don't know if those would annoy me if they were on *my* house. But that street sure had some interesting thoughts. "We haven't had so much football and cops since the military dictature" - that sure pings my mind. Could it really be? Wouldn't it be logical, with all the student demonstrations lately. There sure is a lot of football lately too.

Posted by betabug at 09:59 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
01 June 2007

Updated "Other Weblogs" Listing

See them by date

When you take a close look at the lower right of the main weblog page, you will maybe notice that the "Other Weblogs" listing has changed. I used to list the first 3 entries from most of the other blogs I'm reading, but each in its own little list. The problem with that was that sometimes authors would stop to write on their weblog and I started to move things in and out depending on that.

With the new "mini planet" (a Zope product btw) I've hacked up over the last few days, the first 3 entries of each blog are mixed into a big list, sorted by date. Seems to me to be a good compromise between showing the less active but still interesting blogs, but not loosing track of what's moving. Comments welcome!

Posted by betabug at 16:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
12 June 2007

Cover Quotes Insults

Anybody ever buys a book for *this*?

Currently I'm reading "Pattern Recognition" by William Gibson. Got it in Switzerland in a moments decision when I saw it in a bookshop, really like it of course, though I'm not through yet. While I'm reading it, I wonder about the cover quotes. Cover quotes seem to be by law stupid and meaningless. But I wonder if something like "Races along like an expert thriller" on a Gibson novel should really be taken as an insult. So, it's just "like" an expert thriller? Is it almost as good as that "whodunnit" by that "expert" guy who pushes out 4 crime novels a year? The other quotes are almost as confused and stupid as that. Why do book publishers think they need that?

Posted by betabug at 09:44 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
06 July 2007

Spammers, Scrapers, Browserstats

Clean numbers

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.

Posted by betabug at 09:23 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
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