I finally became a photo.net subscriber. I don’t use the site much, but I like the idea of a non-commercial photo site supported by its users. I’ve found photo.net no longer requires a PayPal account to pay the fee, so it’s easier to subscribe now.
Yesterday we attended Christmas performance of a 3-generation family band Lučec – vnučec. They feature an interesting sound made by various old instruments, most notably vielles, manufactured by the band leader Jiří Košík. We really enjoyed it.
The famous Clint Eastwood’s movie Unforgiven went on Czech TV recently and I was pleased to watch it again. The classic Western themes of violence producing even more violence, guilt, pride, love, and seduction of money are performed here in an excellent way. Recommended.
Last week, Chinese prime minister visited Czech Republic. On the press meeting, apparent manipulation was used to disallow Czech journalists to ask real questions. Communists couldn’t do it better. Government of an E.U. country is afraid of its citizens to ask questions! Even worse, they are clearly afraid of questions related to human rights and don’t mind using censorship to prevent them.
Yesterday European Parliament made another step to start closer watching of all E.U. citizens. I don’t believe that a law ordering collecting data about citizens without properly securing the data and without properly monitoring their use is actually targeted at criminality prevention, especially when criminals can easily abuse it (there is an exception: spammers, if the intent is really to prevent criminality, spamming should be stopped in E.U. in the near future, let’s see). Again, communist secret police could only dream about having access to such data. Those who fight their war against Western countries have achieved another win in their battle. They know very well they can’t win by force, but they can win when Western society destroys itself. That’s all what their attacks are about.
Don’t believe a form of government makes people better or worse. Remember the Chinese journalist Shi Tao arrested with the help of Yahoo and the readiness of it and other companies to apply censorship when asked by the government. Opportunity makes people to sin, so we must fight such opportunities. E.U. government makes new opportunities instead. Remember that when you use your gmail address.
What’s the so called safety good for when we all become prisoners? Don’t forget criminality was always at much lower level in communist and nazi countries than in more free countries. Do we want such a kind of security? Don’t we listen to pére Ubu praising his secure home with bars and a secured door? If so, we’ll receive it. Incremental limitation of citizen freedom is apparent in Western countries last years.
BTW, do you remember the O’Brien’s question to Winston Smith: “Then what is it, this principle that will defeat us?”
There’s an interesting project for us running their weblogs on Lisp servers. Too bad I’ve got absolutely no time to contribute now. 🙁
If you find those small pages useful, please consider sharing pieces of your knowledge on Internet as well, it can help to many people. My Linux hardware pages are almost the only pages visited on my site, they are visited mostly by people looking at Google for information on running something on Linux, so people need this kind of information. I’m going to write more on the topic of sharing knowledge on Internet sometimes.
Sony DSC-R1 full review is now available on dpreview.com too. Sony DSC-R1 seems to be a very interesting camera for an advanced amateur with limited budget. When I first read Sony DSC-R1 announcement, it was clear to me that device fixes all major imperfections I experience with my Olympus C-2100 UZ camera. Too bad I can’t afford it.
Today I had to print something. My aging DeskJet refused to print it in sufficient quality again. I had to use another printer connected to a Windows machine. That meant an interesting challenge to print a Czech OpenOffice.org document on Windows. OpenOffice.org 1.1.3 PDF export produced a document with Czech characters missing. This can be fixed by printing the document into PostScript and converting it to PDF. Such a PDF looks well in xpdf but not so in Acrobat on Windows, which can’t display Czech characters in it correctly. Fortunately, PDF export in OpenOffice.org 2 beta seems to be fixed so after two hours of hardware and software experiments I was finally able to print the document.
That story encouraged me to buy a new printer. About a year ago I considered buying Epson R200, but I got discouraged because of very expensive ink and paper. Today, there is Epson R220 available, it’s a bit cheaper than R200 was last year and the ink and paper seem to get cheaper as well. I need new printer anyway, so I’ll give it a try. HP is out of question, all HP devices I tried to use have suffered from some troubles so far. Low-end Canon printers may be more economic, with less clogging troubles and with a better text printing quality when compared to Epson. But unlike Epson, Canon seems to be careless about Linux drivers thus their devices are completely useless to me. Epson printers are well supported on Linux and I’ve already got good experiences with two Epson scanners on Linux, so Epson is where I’m going to spend my inkjet money.
Today, I’ve received several pieces of spam from the web domain psychokineze.cz alias webovestudio.cz. Their IP apparently comes from the range allocated to Casablanca INT, s.r.o.
This is not the first time I’ve received spam from Casablanca INT, s.r.o. Last time I complained to them, they refused to take any action to stop spamming by their customers.
This time, I’m not going to waste my time communicating with Casablanca INT, s.r.o. and their spammers again. For now, I’ve blocked all TCP traffic from them. Additionally, since spamming has become officially illegal in Czech Republic and due to my previous bad experience with Casablanca INT, s.r.o. (the only Czech spammers I’m aware of), I’m willing to participate in a legal action against the spammers if somebody is going to take it. I believe I’m not the only one who got spammed by them recently, so if you’d like to sue them, please tell me.
BTW, Casablanca INT, s.r.o. offers various services and some webshops (as you perhaps already know from the spam coming from them) run on their network. If you’d ever like to make any deal with them, please recall who they are.
Ubuntu fixes the most important problem of Debian: its slow release process. Now, about half a year after the latest Debian release, I already move slowly from stable to testing and unstable. Not without reason, most often because new software versions fix bugs of their older versions in stable. More frequent operating system distribution releases can help to deal with that problem. I don’t know whether Ubuntu is more stable or less stable than Debian, I don’t use it regularly. But I know I’ve already installed Ubuntu instead of Debian more than once, because the more than two years old software distribution didn’t run on new hardware or didn’t provide software satisfying contemporary requirements. Ubuntu is natural choice then – it is very similar to Debian and it retains one of its big advantages providing completely Free Software distribution.
But I personally can’t move to Ubuntu. The major problem of Ubuntu I can see immediately is its limited scope. Some Debian packages are unavailable for Ubuntu and most Debian packages are not present in the officially maintained part of Ubuntu. This is very different from Debian, offering a huge amount of officially maintained packages. I install new pieces of software frequently and with Ubuntu it might be very time consuming and tedious.