Friday, February 23, 2007

photo Illusions, MP3 stores, Open Source Top Ten Innovators ...

While doing my morning session of my somewhat addiction to surfing the web, I found this link to very clever photo illusions, check it out! Can't wait till I pay off the flat, the furniture, the kids and finally save some money for a decent Digital SLR (like Nikon D80 ;)

In dark ages of DRM (now) I always appreciate to see that others are just not following but coming out with alternative ways of funding our beloved artists so they do not die of starvation. One I know about is Magnatune, as they say they are not Evil. A lot of good stuff to hear, download for free or money. One can even buy CD's. What I like in particularly is the way of buying downloads. The price is completely up to your pocket. Ranging from 4$ to 18$ (marked as "we Love you") for whole Album. What is even better is that this is mp3 free of any DRM, so take it to you friend, make your Mam listen to it or just to spread the Authors fame and glory. Last but not least, this is integrated into very good Rhytmbox music player, I just wish that bug #327042 is fixed soon.

Today I see there is another Indies store integrated into Rhythmbox, it is Jamendo. Another DRM free market out there. Go support it!

Lastly there is great article on slashdot about Top Ten Opensource Innovators. To no surprise it is about SugarCRM, Scalix and virtualization. But ZenOSS is completely new to me. This is OpenSource first class Systems and network management suite. Something our team in work is dealing with every day and have been writing for the last two years. I just finished couple of slides about the next version, time to reevaluate, save some company's money and redo the whole work. I love it. Hope I manage to do some review soon.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

9/11 Doubts - more and more

While reading slahdot today I clicked to see more about new baby of Jimmy Wales founder of Wikipedia (the free encyclopedia). is an attempt to create worlds biggest on-line newspaper which may shake the magazine industry (time will tell). I've tried the politics subsection and read through, I was surprised that most discussed topic is 9/11. This topic is becoming hot recently. Independently of this I randomly hit this topic more and more. It looks like people are still interested in their freedom and rights, rights to know the Truth.

The official story has so many weak points that only those who are not interested can believe in it. Since I was in US that time I never believed that plane has crashed into Pentagon. From the first shots of the place it was quite obvious. Likely because of that for the rest of the day only the WTC was on the main news.

Husband of my sister has pointed me to to nice website about the Pentagon, called Hunt the Boeing. Interesting story. Many other rumors float the Internet that works like a small pieces in a huge puzzle.

Also a lot of interesting full time movies can been found on the Internet, like 9/11 Mysteries or Orwell Rolls in Grave, but there are so many others (just try GoogleVideo, YouTube or any other deliberated video sites).

Less and less I believe in terrorist background and more and more I'm thinking about Oil, Money, Politics and ThirstForPower is behind it all. Maybe this is one of the greatest tests of freedom for American people out there.
I also never liked that anybody saying something against the official story was accused of being anti-american pro terrorist. This is just so not true. People have rights to ask questions and get answers. By saying that I do believe that USA is one of the most beautiful countries to live full of great people.

Having good sources of information is very essential for any good decision. In times when corporate owned broadcasting medias fails to deliver this other sources should be review. And here come the Internet with still pretty not that much under control of any power, except the power of people. (now I'm being too optimistic, time to end this article)

Monday, February 12, 2007

small Seam review

I've been trying to learn Seam for past couple of months with various results. After reading JSP and Servlets fundamentals few years ago, I realized Java server side programming was far away from what I expected/needed at that time and put my my efforts into operating systems and network related skills. Recently we've finished small business project coded in Perl, PHP and other open source technologies. As we (team in work, not me the first!) try to be ready for the future as much as possible (I guess this one of my characteristic) new revision of current product is carefully planned. And Java is likely the only one option (I know there are at least several other viable alternatives, but Java is most familiar to me) . Still with Java there are so many possible frameworks to build on it can cause headaches.

Anyway after reviewing possibilities, endless discussions with friends that Spring is the way to go I'm more and more looking into Jboss Seam. From Gavin King, father of Hibernate. Inter operable platform working in many containers (even those not adhering to J2EE v5.0 yet), delivering significant ease to developers work by implementing Bijection (objects are injected and outjected from components) and applying "configuration by exception" pattern as much as possible.

Seam also comes with a lot of predefined classes to simplify the development even more (although I'm still having problems to understand them, but that's my another nature). Developers will love the seam-gen tool which can generate complete project skelet, with possibility to generate Form+supporting component, Action component or generate complete frontend for tables stored in DB. Others will like fact that Seam includes implementation of JBoss rules or plays nicely with most of the IDEs out there. And it comes with great number of very well written and understandable examples too. And it supports AJAX! There is much more about Seam just check out some of reviews .

What I like about it is that it looks like all I have to do to finish my simple syslog front end is to wait.
With 1.1.0 I was struggling with implementing search functionality for EntityQuery component. 1.1.1 came with working implementation of how to do it. Ok that moved me forward and I finished simple application. But then I wanted to add Authentication so users could customize the application, and I've struggled with that as well (poor, bad coder!). 1.1.5 came with with JAAS and even working example implemented right in seam-gen! 1.1.6 is out now and brings bug fixes, email and PDF generation.

Well all I have to do now it to create some nice CSS style with that would replace the simple Orange theme included with seam-gen. Or maybe just wait :)

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


While waiting for my boss, as he has something to discuss with me I had a look at And look what I've found:

Robot that can do skateboarding, nice! Can't wait till it get into Tony Hawk series. I just love this hi-tech Japanese stuff.

update: It turned out that my boss just wanted someone to watch over his things while he was on the party one floor bellow. That's why he asked me whether I'm staying for another half an hour. Dam it!

Monday, February 5, 2007


Another post for my friends that are still struggling with technology. No wonder, technology is still far away from ordinary users and you either do it your self (if you are geek on Linux), "enjoy" half way done implementation in Windows or buy a Mac (at least they are famous for having things working out of the box) or wait for better times.
Many times I see my friends with digital camera and tons of pictures on computer and I do enjoy this kind of peeking into their lives when someone is showing me pictures on PC. But hey it is 2006, there is better way to do that. Sharing is good (and you know that!) so lets see the possibilities.

There are several web sites dedicated photo sharing. All of them allow users to create an account and then upload pictures and presenting them in a nice collection/slideshow. All this with unique and often very readable URL so you can share with your friends immediately. Some of them offers more.

Flickr! - Is the same as YouTube to video sharing. One of the first web sites to ride on the wave of success. Later bought by Yahoo and still one of the best (and likely the best) site for photo sharing. Many applications supports export of your PC gallery straight to Flickr!. Besides classical functions Flickr! offers services like printing of pictures, make favorites, albums, by geotagging your photos you can actually see world map with pictures positioned to the actual place you've taken them. What I like on Flickr! is the streamline, you do not have to create albums just take the pictures and save them in your photostream. Also the community is great, you can search for your friends, people with similar interests, join various groups and enjoy this sharing revolution!

Picasaweb - Relatively new player on the field, but very capable. This one is owned by google which means one big plus. You can use the same account you have for you gmail, google talk, docs and spreadsheet, your blog, Calendar or any other service run by Google. This is one of the reason I prefer this one. It is then very easy to setup your (google enabled) Mum and show her how to post photos online. Picasaweb offers great amount of space for pictures for free. If you shrink you photos to 1024/768 pixels 250MB is enough for couple of hundreds of photos. Need more? Go Pro with just about 25$ a year for 6.5GB. Flickr! offers similar service as well. With PicasaWeb you can create albums, tag your photos with labels, search (it is google!) and print as well. The number of features is still growing as PicasaWeb is live project. Nice feature I like is you can make some other people favorites and them have any activity on their albums emailed to you.
PicasaWeb has also nice complementary program called Picasa and you can get it here. This program runs on PC and nicely handles importing of all your photos, slide show and basic photo operations like cropping, red eye removal and contrast settings. Picasa offers export to PicasaWeb, Flickr! and couple of other web sites.

I'm sure there are other websites dedicated to photo sharing, but I guess these two are the most popular ones. Once you decided where you want to store photos, process is easy.
  • obtain account - for Flickr! it is Yahoo account, for PicasaWeb get and Google Account
  • install software - Not sure about Mac (but I think iPhoto should be ready for both of the services), on Windows this is clearly Picasa. On Linux you can use either Picasa or F-spot
  • import all you pictures, select the ones you are interested in and export them vie menu to one of those services.
Voila you are done!

on the movie front

I've managed to bite another piece from a cake of missed and stored movies (I usually archive the movie to view it "later"). Recently I re-watched Steview Griffin in "Untold Story", funny piece that actually made me watch whole series one of Family Guy. I think tag line says it all :
"In a wacky Rhode Island town, a dysfunctional family strive to cope with everyday life as they are thrown from one crazy scenario to another."
One think I noticed compared to later seasons is Brian sitting on all four legs, in later seasons he acts more like humanoid, standing mainly on two. Later today I found family guy quotes site something for Peetee.

Blood Diamond - Appealing story about conflict in Sierra Leone which suffers from civil war where everybody goes after their interests. Story begins when imprisoned farmer by RUF finds a huge diamond. Story then shows how brutal and beautiful Africa can be at the same time. When you buy a diamond, please ensure yourself it is conflict free one, otherwise you might have some blood on your hands too.

An Inconvenient Truth - A very interesting documentary movie about the global warming issue which can lead to a catastrophe. This one is almost scary presenting scenarios that Europe can go for another 900 years though Ice Age again. What is more troubling is that this is actually based on facts and scientific measurements. Film is about Al Gore's campaign to make the issue of global warming recognized. I did not know he gave so many of these presentations. It would be interesting too see what would happen if Al Gore won the elections six years ago (whoops I'm pretty sure this sentence has reached my English limits !). Instead USA has this pro OIL business oriented president, who started war based on false facts and who knows what else is he up to.
But I guess this is all to the ordinary people to fight for their rights and nobody can do that for them. When I just tried to make some awareness of this movie and tell few facts to my friends, they were not interested at all, more, they almost fight back. I know I'm bad story teller. 7/10

Although holidays are over, and I'm getting back to work which means hardly a movie a month, I've seen one more just yesterday night. Super Size Me is another documentary movie about fat diet. Morgan Spurlock is confused whether Fast Foods are great/good or not. On one side there is epidemic of fatness (that is how it is presented in the movie), on the other there are advertisements broad casted daily about how fast food is great.
Ok fair enough, this guy decided to eat only fast food for whole month. Nothing else. I have to say this is not happy story, but it is definitely worth watching as it tells you what fast food does to your organisms. 7/10

Sunday, February 4, 2007

ntfs drives in Linux

To be able to share data with my friends I used to have my external hard drive split in two. One FAT32 and one EXT3 partition. Fat32 so my friends can see data from their windows machines and ext3 due to speed. For still unknown reason any time I have disk connected to windows, speed about 10Mb/s is achieved only for some time (i.e. 10 secs) then the speed is degraded to about 3-4Mb/s. Under Linux I was not able to reproduce this scenario, constantly reading/writing at 10Mb/s all the time.
Anyway, Linux kernel is still missing proper write support for NTSF (Windows XP) formated drives. Luckily due to support of FUSE (Filesystem in userspace) available in kernel since 2.6.14 and ntfs-3g this is not true anymore. Albeit the ntfs3g is still marked as beta, many are using it now without any problems. Installation is smooth on gentoo by allowing FUSE in kernel and running:

#emerge -av ntfs3g

Then edit /etc/fstab and mount the drive:

/dev/sda1 /mnt/puppy ntfs-3g locale=cs_CZ.utf8,rw,uid=1000 0 0
#mount /mnt/puppy

I'm still struggling to have udev and hal to play nicely here and when you move the directories, they are copied instead of quick move but besides this the file system works fine.