Sunday, June 26, 2005

Costly negligence

So sad to know, that so many disasters are caused by simple stupid negligence, or combination of greed and stupidity. And I'm pretty sure that the last train crash was one of them.

Monday, June 20, 2005

You start to respect freedom when you loose it

It is true with every thing. From small things to the real important ones. Now I write these words on a computer in Ben Gurion University. I often was annoyed by the lack of professionalism of the IT staff in HAIT, but after a brief acquaintance with BGU computer policies I prefer what I'm used to. As a user here, you are confined to a little space the put you into, and nothing more. You can change or adjust nothing, not even use right click anywhere but in the allowed programs.
Well, this encounter taught me a couple of things. First - be happy with what you have, it could be a lot worse. Second - now I know why people so opposed to the little new rules applied, you never like when someone takes your freedom.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


In my nature I'm a cautious optimist, but lately I'm getting melancholy. Want to hope the bright future, and then, mercilessly, the reality shows it's unpretty face. How do you fight it?
To all the good souls out there, getting stoned is not an option! :-)

Friday, June 10, 2005

Pen and Paper

Using my notebook (real one, not a computer) I revived my blog. Funny considering myself a part of the digital age, I still feel more comfortable writing down my thoughts at first at paper and only then transferring my them to the web. Is it just because I type badly, or there is something about the old pen and paper?
Fixed a few mistypes (thanks Durin), sorry I usually proof my posts.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Voice of Moscow

Or should I call it "Voice of Kremlin"?
Russian newspapers report that, concerned by "misinterpretation of events" in Russian Federation by the West, RF government decided to launch a new satellite broadcasted TV channel called "Russia Today", or RTTV that will report from Kremlin's perspective. A Russian version of the "Voice of America".
This is a long wished dream of Mikhail Lesin, minister of (dis)information of RF, who on numerous occasions claimed that "Russia must have it's own propaganda, otherwise RF will always be perceived as a Russian bear". "Our goal is to represent Russia's position on key issues of international politics and to inform people living abroad about various aspect of life in Russia".
The channel will broadcast to America, Europe and several Asian countries. It will employ about 200 loyal to Kremlin journalists.

Our tastes change with us

Last Wednesday to Thursday I was at the Ben Gurion university annual student party. Besides all the commotion that went there, there were five live performances by known Israeli artists. Being an immigrant, in my first years in the country, I didn't feel attached to Israeli music. Later on I began liking some of the songs, but without having any favorite Israeli artist. On last Wednesday I was surprised to enjoy so much the performance given by band called "Mashina". They really made great performance.
Wonder what I would start liking next.

Piracy, again...

Recently I wrote about piracy, now I want to add a few words on software piracy issue. I want to point out what I think are a few differences between software and audio/video copyright.
  • Unlike in music and movies, you can have competition. You can have numerous programs that offer similar features. For instance, there are dozens of audio file playing software. The situation differs with music and movies. There are no two vendors of "Pirates of Caribbean" or "Yellow Submarine" by Beatles. Of course it stays true as long as there is no software patents law in Europe as it is in US.
  • There are free software replacements to most of the common software.
So when it come to software I'm more sympathetic to copyright, since there are good ways to battle software sharks like Microsoft and Adobe, by using free software. Furthermore, by using pirated software you damage both the software company you pirating from and it's free competitor, whom you could be helping just by using it. Microsoft actually quietly approved pirating of it's products, in order to wipe out the competition.

Even Microsoft realized that software patents are a bad idea, and using it's influence to overrule this law.

Collective amnesia

A few day ago I received an email saying:
When my grandfather left Europe in 1935, there were graffiti all over the walls:
"Jews, go to Palestine!"
Now, when I visit Europe, the graffiti says:
"Jews, get out of Palestine!"
What short memories Europeans have?
I wonder it is just the memory that's to blame. Perhaps the logic fails too.