Regulation in Europe and USA

Republicans in the USA say they don’t like regulation. I call bullshit. They LOVE regulation if it supports the status quo.

The cleanest example is the case of Kansas meatpacker who wants to test ALL slaughtered cows for mad cow disease. Agriculture Department went to court to stop them, and the federal appeals court agreed with them. I always thought my America was a capitalistic country where competition was king. No so.

France, both left and right, has no issue with regulation. But in general they are looking out for the people and not business. A good example of of this telling French competition council telling France Telecom they are not allowed exclusive rights to sports and movie content. They want to be sure there is competition in the Internet and IPTV market and that this competition is based on the data service  and not the content an ISP can contract for.

Microsoft Windows PC running non-stop for 609 days

diane has been a faithful server for about 5 years. Before that it was a general purpose laptop for 3 years until its screen died.

I have been using as a file server, podcast server and backup server all this time.? Only need to restart the Real Audio application, time-to-time due to memory leaks.

The OS never caused a re-boot. This proves that NT based Windows can be very stable if your drivers are stable and you pay attention to your applications.

diane is being retired. She has been replaced by a younger and faster ex-laptop.


System information for \\diane:
Uptime:??????????????????? 609 days 22 hours 53 minutes 47 seconds
Kernel version:??????????? Microsoft Windows 2000, Uniprocessor Free
Product type:????????????? Professional
Product version:?????????? 5.0
Service pack:????????????? 4
Kernel build number:?????? 2195
Install date:????????????? 06/02/2002, 22:12:56
Activation status:???????? Not applicable
IE version:??????????????? 6.0000
System root:?????????????? C:\WINNT
Processors:??????????????? 1
Processor speed:?????????? 365 MHz
Processor type:??????????? Intel Pentium II or Celeron
Physical memory:?????????? 192 MB
Video driver:????????????? NeoMagic MagicGraph256AV driver

Dell Vostro 1520 sux

My four year old Dell Insperion 610? was having power supply issues, so I asked our system manager for a new laptop–same as all the sales guys. WRONG.

He gave me a Dell Vostro 1520.? In addition to the total wrong name, Vostro, the design of this laptop is wrong for sales guys and wrong as a laptop.

  1. Too big and heavy for sales guys/
  2. While being too big, Dell shrunk the keyboard for no reason.
  3. The big nice space in front of the keyboard to rest your hands get too HOT to rest your hands. The left side will cause damage to your hand–there should be a law against this.
  4. The four USB? connections (4 is good) are in the wrong place. Two should be on the back and two should be on the left or right side, but closer to the screen. They get in the way (e.g. of the mouse).
  5. Speaking of getting in the way, the headphones and microphone connectors are on the front. Again dumb place.
  6. There are some nice buttons to control the media player and sound volume.? But the only feedback you get is a pretty blue light which your finger covers. Dumb.

I’ve told my system manager to get me a smaller, not hot, anything. This Dell Vostro (dump name) 1520 really should not be bought by anybody.

So long Bloglines

After using Bloglines for a few years, I have switched completely to Google/Reader.

I spend way too much time getting my news, politics editorials, F1 updates, latest gadgets, funny pages, Google Alerts, software updates, LinkedIn changes–everything, via RSS feeds. Bloglines was my RSS reader of choice and I spent hours using it.

Google/Reader‘s user interface never appealed to me. Actually, I really like the Beta Blogines UI and could not figure out Google/Reader‘s.

Over the holidays I got fed-up with Bloglines slow performance and outages.? I forced myself to try again Google/Reader. After a month, I am a happy convert.

I still don’t like how Google/Reader groups feeds when you read a entier folder, but the keyboard short-cuts for navigating folders (shift-n, shift-p, shift-o, shift-x) which started as a workaround have become the killer feature for me. Also, Google/Reader/Mobile is clean and fast.

I am sure that if Bloglines did not have operational problems I would have never switched–to much momentum. Now that I have, I am one happy puppie.

So long Bloglines and thanks for the fish.

More Windows Mobile Applications I Cannot Live Without

Here are a few more Windows Mobile Applications I Cannot Live Without to add to my previous list.

  • ceTwit
    is the best way I have found to upload photos from my phone to the web. It uses twitter and a site called twitpic. As a site affect, the link to the photo gets sent to my Facebook status feed. Works with SFRWAP too!
  • iSkoot
    keeps me in touch with my Skype contacts. The IM part works fine, but the updates are a bit slow. The phone part works great for calling your Skype contacts. With my SFR subscription it costs nothing to call my Skype contacts. Works with SFRWAP too!
  • playlistmgr
    is the Swiss army knife of the playlist world on Windows Mobile.
  • klaxon
    is a basic alarm clock program that will ring until it wakes you up.

Switzerland Finally Joins the 20th Century–Almost

The IHT reports that Switzerland will become a “Schengen” country and join the European Union’s passport-free travel zone next month. No passports will be checked arriving at Swiss airports starting 29 March 2009.

Now they only need to adopt the Euro to fully join the 20th century.

Other backward countries in Europe remain:

  • Cyprus, Britain, Liechtenstein and Ireland have opted to stay out of Schengen
  • Romania and Bulgaria want to join Schengen, but have yet to qualify.
  • Norway and Iceland participate are not EU, but are Schengen

Walk: Circuit de Tracastel

The gorge just before St. Auban was impressive.

Would be a good walk for Pete & Margrette
Good in summer when its hot.

Steep up at the start for about km. Then flat or gental up/down.

1h52 moving
0h20 not mvoing
400m up and 400m down
7.4km distrance
cold day -0.5c
some snow

Google Map to St. Auban

GPS Trace

RandOxygene website

Windows Mobile Applications I Cannot Live Without

I use Windows Mobile V6.1. In addition to the standard Office applications that come with Windows Mobile, I use the following applications, which are presenting in order of usefulness:

  • Pocket Player V3
    I use it for for listening to podcast, Internet radio, and audio books. Great playlist management ($$).
  • MobSync V2
    I use it for syncing files between my phone and my laptop. Used every day for moving podcasts to my phone ($$).
  • MyMobileR
    Remote terminal from my laptop to my phone. Useful if you have to type a lot on the phone or need a mouse (free).
  • Pocket Informant V8
    I use it for contacts and agenda. The filtering for contacts and the agenda view are great ($$).
  • TomTom V6
    I use it for GPS any time I am in the car. Also useful when walking in a town ($$$).
  • TOMBO version 2.0 beta 4
    I use it for storing passwords, bank info, and reference notes. The simple text files are encrypted and are shared with the Windows version of Tombo; where I enter most of the info into Tombo (free).
  • GSFinder V1.04
    File manager which is a lot more feature filled (free).
  • MortButtons 2.5
    Finger friendly menu system (free).
  • AE Button Plus V2.6
  • Redefine any button on the phone. I have one button for ALT-TABing through the open applications and one for turning off the screen.

Update 7-Dec-08

The last three applications I have not installed. I have only missed AE Button Plus V2.6, but the phone has been much more stable without it, so have not installed it.

Tabs for Internet Explorer for Windows Mobile

Surfing the web using a browser without tabs is a complete waste of time. Surfing the web on a phone without tabs is even worse.

To be sure Opera Mobile is a better web browser than IE for Windows Mobile and it has tabs. But Opera Mobile does not work with my service provider (SFR blocks it) so unlimited wapsfr surfing on my phone using Opera Mobile.  SFR only supports IE 🙁 .

Web Viewer for WM5/6 adds tabs to IE (plus a few more features). Easy to use  and works fine with wapsfr. I found it via Download Squad.

Web Viewer for WM5/6 Screenshot

Walk: Rochers de Notre-Dame

Very nice 2.5 hour walk with views of the Alps and Vallée de l’Estéron. A bit long, 1.5 hours, to get Amirat (actually 500 meters before) and the roads are pretty twisty, but it is worth it.

Less than two hours of walking 6.8km with 350m up/down. The start is the main up.

The RandOxygene guide is here and is correct. Yellow markers are pretty consistent.

GPS track in gpx format and Google Earth format.
GPS waypoints and route.

Vallée de l’Estéron    Old Farm House    Cows and Scott   Julia and the Estéron

Vallée de l’Estéron      Old Farm House         Cows and Scott      Julia and the Estéron

Beautiful Wallpaper Photographs

The photos are so good that I have started to use wallpaper on my PC again. I have not done this since Windows 3.1 was new.

Independence Pastels Monument Valley Times Heaven’s Gate Utah has free High Dynamic Range (HDR) wallpapers for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Blackberry, iPhone, iPod, and PSP. HDR images are created by taking multiple shots exposed for the highlights, mid-tones and shadows separately and then merged into a single image. This process results in incredibly vivid images.