Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"What a wonderfull world"


The caption (white on blue, above the photographs) says: "What a wonderful world". (Updated)
You got to love this caption for these photographs in the 'Israeli' daily paper.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Peace keepers in Lebanon

Let me share a story I've heard from an IDF soldier , this evening on my way home.

About 500 meters from the border there are remains of a house that was destroyed during the last war. Of that house, only the concrete pillars left standing, therefore the house is called the "pillar house" among the soldiers. It is known, that in a bunker, hidden in the basement of that house, there is still, a large quantity of weapons and fighting gear.
Leaving aside the question, why didn't IDF remove these weapons during the war, I would like to convey you to you, a scene that the IDF soldiers witness from their watch post.
On the Lebanese side of the fence, from time to time you can see a group of people (Hezbollah without any doubt) arriving in their off-road vehicles and Mercedes taking out of the remains of the buatilding crates and boxes and loading them at their cars, while the UN soldiers peacefully observe, from a few meters distance, sometimes leaving their personal weapons in their patrol vehicle.

Quoting the soldier, "the UN forces are a joke", is something that was to be expected.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Flying Spaghetti Monster

It is probably an old news for most of you, but it is too hilarious not to mention.

Not so long ago, Kansas school board has decided to hold discussions whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution.
Bobby Henderson has decided to present his own version of Intelligent Design, as one of the alternatives to be taught at schools. According to Mr. Henderson, the world was created by his Noodleness The Flying Spaghetti Monster.
He actually sent a letter to the Kansas school board members demanding that his version of ID to be included in the program. At first there was no response, but after he has opened his website, and the school board members were swarmed by email from the numerous followers of the "new religion" some of them decided to respond.
Read the letter, the responses and the hate-mail he gets daily. Fun guarantied.

Perhaps they are as bad as I thought they are

Histadrut - the largest Israeli labor union, has arranged another strike in the last week. A short one at least, due to a court order.
I still hold grunge towart Histadrut in general, and Amir Peretz personally, for all the strikes they have organized, in many cases protecting the inefficient and overpaid employees of the ports authorities, or the electric company, meanwhile making insufferable damage to Israeli economics.
This time it seemed that they fighting for a just cause this time. There are several hundreds municipal employees that do not get their salaries for the last several months. In some cases over 7 (seven!) month without a single shekel paid to them.
According to Israeli law, there is an administrative responsibility if the salary wasn't payed till the 10th oh the next month. If the salary is delayed further than this period, it becomes a criminal offense.
The government is defying it's own laws? Isn't the government's job to uphold the law, rather than breaking it and having the Histadrut protecting it?
Well, there is a deeper problem. Most of the problematic municipal authorities don't have money to pay salaries since they are broke. They are broke because they have overblown staffs. A dire reorganization is needed, to save the situation, in order to have a sensible budgets and to have the government to agree to transfer money to them. The problem is that Histadrut prevents such moves, since it will involve termination of numerous jobs in the municipal sector.
Loop closed.

Perhaps the Histadrut are as bad, as I thought they are.

Enemies of the state

Politics is dirty business. I just can't really to get used to it, and always find myself marveling, just how much dirty they are.
Neither Arkadi Gaydamak nor Avigdor Lieberman are my favorite characters. Lieberman is proving himself as just another greedy politician and Gaidamak has made his fortune from arms deals. But there is some people in the government and the media, that so much afraid of them, that they are ready to do all they can, to prevent them in their way to power, no matter if it is illegal, immoral or ugly. If you have read the Israeli papers in the past month, you would know what I'm talking about.
By the amount of filth that was poured in their direction, you could think of them as some enemies of the state, or criminals like Benny Sela.

Have you read "Running for Governor" by Mark Twain? Some thing never change.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Those beggars

I never give money to beggars. Some of them I simply don't believe, others even piss me off.
A man that can spend 6-8 hours in the blistering heat on a busy junction, can and should work. These bustards are leeching on social security, meanwhile they are making a lot of money on the streets.
The problem is that there are so many of them. It seems that there are more of them as each year passes. At least, I don't see people on the street sleeping in carton boxes, yet.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Learning new skills

A few days ago, I've finished reading a book about DHTML and CSS. Both of the are technologies widely used in web design. Right now I hope to find some time to apply my newly acquired knowledge on my blog.
So don't be surprised if you see some redesigning done.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

In every joke...

I remember an old and sad joke:
An old Armenian, on his death bed in Russia, calls for his sons. When they are all assembled, he tells them: "my sons, take care of the Jews, once they are done with them, they would get to us."
There is another paraphrased saying : "in every joke there is a grain of joke (originally truth)".
After hearing the reports how Georgians are treated in Russia at these days, I cannot but to be reminded of this joke. The vicious hunt and discrimination the Georgians are facing nowadays in Russia, alarmingly, remind of the situation the Jews were facing in the Nazi Germany at 1935.

The race for the second place

I was wondering, which country would take the "honorable" spot of being the second Islamic country, after Pakistan, to possess nuclear weapons.
I have two likely candidates:
One is Iran, an orthodox Islamic state, which in defiance of international community, feverishly tries to achieve nuclear weapons. The other is France, which already possesses nuclear weapons, but not yet became officially Islamic.
Who would you bet on?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Like a bad dream


For the last six months or so, I have this feeling that the world is going from bad to worse. Iran, Syria, North Korea, corruption, murder and all the other sick reports that I get to read, watch or listen, give me a surrealistic feeling. It reminds me of Saruman from "The Lord Of The Rings", how he watched dark future presented for him by Sauron in the palantir.

What is worse, it looks like very few in the world see the danger and where it comes from. This part scares me most. Using a different allegory, when playing the role of Cassandra, the only gratitude you can expect, are some poisonous snakes to bite you.

Don't you get this feeling sometimes, that this all is a bad dream and you just want to wake up?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The reason for blogging break


This is the view that I get to see every day that I go to work. Unfortunately, I get to enjoy this kind of site seeing somewhere between three to four and a half hours each time. Combined with nine hour working day, that leaves me very few, if any, time and energy for anything else. As for weekends, they are busy and short. Perhaps, if I'll have a mobile computer, I'll be able to blog on the road. Till then, blogging will be scarce.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Goodbye Steve Irwin

The famous wildlife expert, Steve Irwin, was killed today, by a stingray, while filming a new wildlife series. I always liked his shows, which were both informative and entertaining.
I know that I would miss to see another new show with Steve.
Rest in peace.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hebrew blog

After long delays I've opened a blog in Hebrew.
Had to struggle, a little, to make the template usable, due to issues with right to left writing order.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Delete Israel from the map, starting with Wikipedia

It seems that someone, or actually a group of people, having administrative rights at Wikipedia, decided to follow Ahmadinejad's call to delete Israel from the map. They have decided to start with Wikipedia first.

In the last two weeks, at least three blogs/podcasts, all having a word "Israel" in the name, were nominated for deletion, two of them were deleted. The deleted references were to Israelisms podcast (deletion notice) and to Israpundit blog (deletion notice). The third page is a quite well known blog, by the name Israellycool (Wikipedia page with deletion notice) . There could be more.

All of them got the same lame excuse for deletion - "a non-notable page".
Yeah, right!
Even if, by using a very harsh criteria, it could be applied to the first two, it certainly cannot be applied to Israellycool. Israellycool's owner, Dave, was interviewed several times, and his blog was referenced numerous times, both by MSM and leading bloggers.

There is no doubt in my mind, that this is a deliberate attempt, to get back at Israel and it's supporters, by abusing the administrative rights, given to Wikipedia's moderators. It a shameful fact that such a noble project as Wikipedia is abused and corrupted because of political agenda.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

How to get ready for Microsoft's innovations

Want to try all the new features of the so often spoken about Windows Vista?
You can try them all, with much less problems with missing drivers, without endless security issues, while running it all on a modest computer. All this for FREE.
All you have to do, is to try Linux...

By the way, Mac OS-X users are enjoying them for about 5 years.

Cooking .com style

A friend of mine has come up with an interesting approach to cooking. Having a bunch of ingredients and having no idea what to do with them, he entered their names into Google search and got a whole list of recipes to choose from.
I believe that it is quite a wonderful and useful idea.

Monday, August 21, 2006

How it would be nice, to be wrong about this one...

I usually consider myself as a careful optimist. I believe that you got to be an optimist, at least at some way, otherwise there is no point in living.
Now however, I have a daunting feeling that this war was just a beginning and another one is coming soon, much worse than the one before it.

Israeli government's lack of determination and excessive care to what others would think, has conveyed a wrong message to Palestinians, Hezbollah and their patrons, Syria and Iran. They are now positively sure that military means are best way to deal with Israel. A mistake that would cost us, and them very many lives in the future.

To the dismay of all those who believe that peace is possible only by means of negotiations, it seems that the only way to assure peace, is for Israel to crush all it's neighbors hopes for victory in war with Israel. Unfortunately, the only way to do it, is by a war, as violent as a war can be.

I hate war, but if it is inevitable, then I want to make sure, that this would be the last one in the region, at least for another decade.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Little clarification

When I started this blog, I intended to write about all the stuff that interests me, which is likely to make this blog into a "Geek blog". However, due to well known circumstances I wrote about politics more often than I intended.
I still want to write about the things I like to talk about, and they, as I have said before, don't conclude with politics. So, don't be surprised if you find an link on a page related to Middle East crisis to an article totally unrelated. It is obviously not me who adds them there. I think that every post that appears on any of the listed blogs, automatically added on the page.

P.S
I don't have any objections to be listed on that page, I just don't like to mislead the public.

Austria to Alexander Averbukh - "Don't come here"

Mignews reports (in Russian), that the organizers of the Gugl Intersport international championship in athletics in Lintz, have asked from a defending European champion in pole jumping, Alexander Averbukh, not to come.

Their lame excuse was, that they cannot guarantee an sufficient security for an Israeli representative.

Alexander is entitled by every right to participate in this commercial competition. Moreover, by being a professional sportsman, this is his main, if not only, source of income.

The commentator on Mignews, has rightly noticed, that if they cannot provide sufficient security, then they should cancel the whole championship. As for the Austrian government, they should decide, who runs the country, they or the terrorists.

On my behalf I want to add, that I haven't found a tiniest notice about this in English anywhere on the web, which falls into the well known pattern.

Update:
As I've learnt today from the "Israeli" newspaper (yes, it is the newspaper's title), the organizers have reconsidered and decided to withdraw their request.
The excuse they have used in their initial statement was that they didn't want to cover the expenses for the security of Israeli representative.

Now it is up to A. Averbukh to decide, whether he still wants to participate.

Friday, August 18, 2006

In the good company

Who did congratulate Fidel Castro on his 80th birthday?
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the patron of the Russian democracy, president of the Russian Federation, our beloved Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.
Hell of a company, isn't it, Volodya?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Starship Troopers 3?

Some time ago, a fellow blogger Master Durin, had pointed out (in Russian) some similarities between the current Israeli Lebanese conflict, and the plot of the famous animated motion picture called "Starship Troopers".
However, a popular opinion states, that Ahmadinejad has escaped from another movie.

Friday, July 28, 2006

That "ratio"

I'm getting sick each time I read, or hear someone complaining about the "unacceptable ratio" of 5:1, 10:1 or more when talking about the casualties on each front Israel is fighting on.
Here is one perfect example by blogger calling himself Patrick.
Dear Patrick, or any other sharing his opinion, let me ask you a question. Would you be happier if there was a different ratio?
I can understand if you were concerned with casualties on both sides, or even just the Lebanese (in other cases Palestinian) side, but if you just care for the ratio....
Well, there is no pretty way to say it. You can always try to "fix" the ratio by joining the Hezbollah or the Al Qaeda, they are always recruiting. Just remember to stick a shooting mark on your forehead, if you do.

"We were right"

A few days ago, on my way from work, I saw group of people from the settler movement setting up a big placate near the Arlosorov rail station in Tel Aviv. The placate was from black cloth, with big orange letters sewed to it saying "צדקנו", meaning "We were right" in Hebrew.
Consider the facts:
  • We are at war in Lebanon which Israel has withdrawn from.
  • There are warnings from intelligence that Gaza (another major Israeli withdrawal) is moving rapidly in direction to become a second Lebanon.
  • The Egyptian army has failed miserably to prevent weapons from being smuggled into Gaza strip.
I don't know if it is the right time to look for who was right or wrong, but I guess that few can argue with them now with a straight face.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

TV interactive game, "Al Manar" style

Mignews (Russ.) reports that Hezbollah's TV channel "Al Manar", has invited it's viewers to participate in a new TV show - "Guess the fourth surprise for Israel by Hezbollah".
At the beginning of the show there is Nasrallah's speech about the three "surprises for Israel" prepared by Hezbollah. The fourth surprise is shown in a form of a riddle. There are four words, the first is spelled by 5 letters, the second by 2, third by 4 and the fourth by 5.
The two word in the middle could be "Tel Aviv", however it is just a guess. It could also be just a scoop for rating.

I think that Nasrallah is busy playing another game, called "hide and seek" with the IAF...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Thank you, but not thank you!

Indonesia offers troops to peacekeeping force in Lebanon

A good joke, considering Indonesian attitude to Israel.
International community, any other candidates? Perhaps Saudi Arabia, or Sweden? Or maybe Pakistan and Libya? Someone who is not partial, of course.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Better than any conspiracy theory

Just heard a smart and very logical opinion, explaining the reasons behind Hezbollah's attack and it's timing.

At these day the Iranian nuclear dossier was passed to the UN security council. When the Iranians have learnt about this, the Iranian minister of foreign affairs visited Damask - read Hezbollah.
See the logic?
If no, let me help you.
It was calculated that if this attack to succeed, then Israel would be compelled to respond, and to respond harsh.
Now, what do you think the UN security council will be discussing? The Iranian dossier or Israel's operation in Lebanon?

About assymetrical response...

To anyone who is crying about assymetrical response from Israel, consider this:
There are Kassam rockets in the south, there are Katusha rockets in the north and in the center there are suicide bombers.
If anyone thinks that this situation is acceptable, please know, that this person is delusional.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It is the time for the Lebanese to decide what they really want

I refrained from writing about the recent developments to this point.
My first sentiment was, and to a point still is like Harry's. It is a war.

I also read some Lebanese and Egyptian bloggers. Some of them support the Hezbollah, some don't. Some cry, why the hell they (Hezbollah) did it now, hurting the upcoming tourist season. One blogger called Israelis cowards, for not going for the real perpetrators, the Syria and Iran. He also called the Israeli PM Olmert a wimp, something that I agree with. Another hoped, that perhaps Israel will disarm the Hezbollah for them (Lebanon).

You want to know why they did it? Because they can, because YOU LET THEM. Stop whining that it isn't in your interests, cry like your government that you have nothing to do with that. You are responsible for the situation, whether you support the Hezbollah actively, or passively by inaction.
You don't agree with Hezbollah? You don't want to be puppets in Iran and Syria's hands? Then stand up against them! Go out and make your government to act. Disarm the Hezbollah yourself. Seal the border with Syria, take the matters into your hands. Don't cry that you can't do it. If you believe that you can't, them ask for help. File an official request for military assistance from the NATO. I bet they will approve such request in matter of hours.
Do it, and in 5 years tops, you will live in a totally different country. The country many of you dream of.
If you don't... Be ready to carry the consequences.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Pizza penalty

Germans found a curious way to spoil the game for Italians:
The Tageszeitung newspaper printed the telephone numbers of more than 40 pizza restaurants from around Germany and suggested readers call them just as the match in Dortmund kicks off. "Here's how we'll annoy the Italians tonight - order pizza at 9pm" declared the Berlin-based daily.

The paper printed a picture of pizza chefs serenading guests with a guitar above the caption: "The Italian dough-kneaders are singing now but they'll have to bake thousands of pizzas instead of watching football tonight."

I don't know about this. I think that the Tageszeitung just made the owners of those restaurants very happy. I just hope that the hostilities will stay at the pizza levels.

Monday, July 03, 2006

SCO looses a major one

At last the SCO grotesque case is coming to a conclusion:

A Utah judge has dismissed a large portion of the claims that SCO filed against IBM in its ongoing Linux case.

...............

The judge was unimpressed with SCO's case. "It is almost like SCO sought to hide its case until the ninth inning in hopes of gaining an unfair advantage" despite being repeatedly told to put "all evidence on the table", she wrote.

She furthermore scorned SCO's defence, which argued it was not necessary to provide IBM with the disputed code.

"The court finds SCO's arguments unpersuasive. SCO's arguments are akin to SCO telling IBM sorry we are not going to tell you what you did wrong because you already know," she said.

A pity, that it took three (3!) years for the judge to realize that.

I'm waiting for all the suckers, who surrendered to SCO's extortion and intimidation, to sue them , demanding their money back. I don't think that Microsoft would cover their ass now.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Find the differences


Hat tip to [info]gosha

Open letter to Mideast Youth bloggers

Dear friends from the Mideast Youth blog. I would like to tell how I appreciate your decision to take the hard an possibly dangerous job to enlighten people in the Middle East and beyond.
However, I would like to bring your attention to several issues when you are addressing your interest towards Israel and the Israeli - Palestinian conflict.

First, be careful when you rely on media sources like BBC, Reuters, AP and Guardian Unlimited. These editions are notoriously known not to be objective when covering Middle East. Meryl Yourish has became an expert in catching them red-handed, on bias against Israel. I suggest, that you broaden your sources, when you write about conflicts in the Middle East.

Second, please refrain from drawing parallels between Israeli security forces and Hamas, Fatah and similar organizations.
There are several important differences, which make such comparisons inadequate.
The most crucial difference, possibly to your surprise, is in attitude toward the value of human life. As Esra'a previously mentioned, Hamas and their associates have very little, if any, respect for human lives, even for their own people. On the other hand, IDF places the value of human lives in very high priority. Many operations are affected by these considerations, some times at very high cost.

Commenting on Esra'a's latest comparison:
"And that's coming from the very same people who keep claiming that Hamas are the ones not willing to negotiate any deals. Why can't they make certain exceptions if any form of "peace" is a possibility?"

Can you really, honestly, compare the refusal to accept your right exist, let alone negotiations about long term settlement, with a refusal to negotiate with terrorists who are holding hostages.
Hardly a fair comparison, don't you think?

As for your claim that negotiations are necessary, does it really needed to explain how irresponsible it would be for Israel, to agree to the kidnappers demands?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

How much evil can you take?

Following a link by Lisa to Shai Tsur's post on the Guardian blog, I was astounded to find so much of concentrated poison written in the comments section.
Looking at it, I was reminded of the "Sticker song" ("שיר הסטיקר") by Israeli Hip-Hop band called "Hadag Nakhash" ("הדג נחש"). It's jingle goes like this: "How much evil can you take" (swallow - lit. from Hebrew) or in Hebrew "כמה רוע אפשר לבלוע".

The staggering amount of bigotry, plain Palestinian propaganda, which might make Saeb Erakat look harmless and L3 (Loony Leftist Logic) was almost more than I could take. These people often don't even know what they are talking about, but totally oblivious to the facts presented by the Israel defenders. All their ranting could be summarized by "Israel is an evil occupier, killing innocent Palestinians, and all the rest is untrue because it is an Israeli propaganda. Israelis are Nazis and terrorists."

Sick.

Bloody hypocrites II

Hamas spokesman Mushir Al-Masri commented the arrest of dozens of Hamas members, claiming that it is "a international crime and declaration of open war against the Palestinian people".

In his interview to "Al-Jazeera" Al-Masri also said that this is "an act against the moral values of humanism and democracy, and violation of the will of our (Palestinian) people".


Hamas spokesman is talking about the moral values of humanism and democracy.

Right.

How many idiots are buying?
Too f***ing many.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Arr!!! The Pirate Party is on deck!



Over 100,000 hits in the first 2 days. Lots of interest and support.
Perhaps someone in the senate would get the hint?
Click the banner to visit their site.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

No time for sentiments

A large scale military operation is going to take place in Gaza very soon. The army is getting ready, so are the terrorists. They are errecting obstacles and fortifications.

I hope that Israeli command would be wise enough, not to send troops into Gaza streets before using massive bombardment. It is not the place or time to be sentimental. This is war, and it is our obligation to minimize our losses in all costs.

Update
After reading some analysts, I tend to agree with them. Our elected Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, is only determined when dealing with a bunch of settlers on small hill. There is only one way to realy make a shift in this situation, and it is to target the heads of the Hamas led government. Only fear for their lives would make them to compromise. Unfortunately, such actions still require determination, a virtue that our Prime Minister lacks.

Bloody hypocrites

Russia blames US for the death of Russian hostages in Iraq.
Did you get it? Russia blames not the Islamic terrorists, but US.
“We are saying openly that it is either governmental institutions or coalition forces that are responsible for order”

“We can see how the coalition forces are ’restoring order’.
Every day dozens of innocent people are dying, and now diplomats are getting killed, too. The responsibility for what is going on in Iraq lies upon those who sought mass destruction weapons here, but found nothing.”
Apparently they forgot about this small issue:
On Sunday, Arab in an Internet statement an Al-Qaeda terrorist group in Iraq said it had executed the four employees of the Russian Embassy in revenge for what they claimed was “the torture, killing and expulsion of our brothers and sisters by the infidel Russian government” in Chechnya.

I know, that I should stop marvel at their stupidity, but never manage to do that.
The rest is here.

Update:
Some Russian "experts" and politicians say that the whole kidnapping and beheading affair, is "a provocation by America's secret services".

Blog Efficacy Poll

Thou it wouldn't bring much attention to Dave's blog efficancy poll, I call to my 5+ readers, who didn't vote yet, to participate.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The perils of comments in blogosphere

Taking interest in security and public key cryptography, has brought me to a concern about the unacceptable easiness of identity theft in blogosphere comment section.

Many blogs use open commenting system in order to allow bloggers from other blogging systems to be able to comment. Some have an option to register.

Now think of it. How easy is to pretend that you are someone else in open commenting system? Absolutely no challenge, even for the absolute newbie, since the system relies on trust that you would enter your own details. Registering doesn't solve the problem either. There are so many blogging systems, including the independant ones, that it makes impossible to register in all of
them. There is also a challenge of remembering all the passwords on different systems, because using the same password, is a recipe for possible disaster. Much worse, than in the first case.

Why should you care? Who would bother to hassle you?
Fist of all, some of the bloggers are quite prominent and have much influence, making them a welcoming target for many possible reasons. Second, the are many cases of web vandalism like trolling. Some vandals even form groups, like GNAA.

How can we solve it?
There are two possible solutions that I can think of.

One, is to create a global, multi-platform registration system that would manage all the web identities. This would require a broad support from both public and commercial blogging systems and a lot of resources both to set up and to maintain. There is also a possibility of hijacking identities during the introduction of the system, just as described before.

Second, is to use digital signatures, common in public key cryptography. The advantages of this method are clear. There is no need in making a global system and is quite easy to implement, with widely available tools.
There are some problems to be solved thou. For example, digital signatures aren't very HTML friendly, not very pleasing to the eye and some blogging systems are reformatting the comments, therefore destroying the signature. Using an external program to sign the comments, could be a hassle too.
Some of those problems could be overcome, with simple to use plug-ins to existing systems. For instance, the "ugly" signatures can be replaced with neat icons, after the system has verified the message. All the signing and verification could be done within the browser, without external programs. Such plug-ins would be widely available as soon as the method begins to be adopted.

Getting more information and security tools can be done from GnuPG.org.

My public key can be obtained here.


-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

This is how digital signature looks like
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.2.2 (GNU/Linux)

iD8DBQFEoBjCTrdUoO5KTCwRAq+bAKCnFSTqOxpxPSPcw+DVs2ngVe3wzgCePXqI
rpuD/ymQxBQPGjsjKNGmc+M=
=rPcc
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

WTF?!

Let me quote the commentator concluding the football game between Portugal and Netherlands:
THE single-most ridiculous second-half of football I have ever had the privilege to witness. Four red cards and 16 yellows. The up-shot? Portugal set up a quarter-final with England.

Right. Absolutely ridiculous! The players were arguing, fighting and played quite dirty. This was a pretty tense game, but it looked more like gladiators fight than a football game.
I wonder, how would Portugal play against England, with all the players who will be missing the next game.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

September 29, 1938. Again?

Looking at events taking place in Europe, I'm constantly reminded of history lessons, year 1938 to exact. Then, the gave Czechoslovakia to Hitler. Now they are giving the whole Europe to Muslim fanatics.
The Munich mistake caused the bloodiest war in human history and ,people, history tends to repeat itself. Appeasement doesn't prevent wars, it only delays them for a while, possibly making them worse.
Think about that.

It's official - IDF is not responsible for the death of the Palestinan family

Like Tom Paine said: another fiction from Palliwood.
It's now official - IDF is not responsible for the death of the Palestinan family.
I wonder, how much attention will the MSM give to the presented evidence?

Another avoidable accident in Israel

Another horrific accident took place on Israeli railroads, this Monday. Near Beit-Yehoshua a train hit another truck witch got stuck, again, on the railways, this time after accident with another vehicle. The outcome: 5 dead 150 wounded.

It is at least a fourth accident in 12 months that I'm aware of. While the performance of the rescue services deserves respect and admiration, those who are responsible for keeping these accidents from happening do nothing.
After the accident a year ago near Kiriat Malakhi, the Ministry Of Transportation took an oath to improve the situation on the railways crosses, but then came the elections, ant the railways were forgotten.
The saddest thing is that the solution to the problem is known, and was discussed. Multi-level intersections (basically bridges) are the safest ant the most effective solution, ever invented. Only this January, head of MOT, Arie Barom has asked on the government meeting for a budget for building 154 such intersections. Unfortunately, the agreed and financed program hasn't even began.
Perhaps they are waiting for another accident to happen.

This was loosely translated article, originally written by Sergey Bavli, on Mignews.com

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A grim remider

While walking with a friend and fellow blogger through our small town, we walked past a memorial that stirs a few grim pictures from recent years.


On the memorial written:
In memory of Marik Gabrielov, murdered by terrorists in Ramallah on 28.10.2000

Monday, May 22, 2006

Tech support from Microsoft

My friend and I had a task of adding two computers to an existing network.
Some boring tech data:
Simplifying the network we had to build looks like this:


The problem was to connect the wireless station to the rest of the network so every computer could communicate with each other.
After struggling about 5 hours with this network we decided to call for help. Since all of the computers in that network have "genuine" Microsoft products, we decided to call Microsoft's official support.
Now the fun begins.
At first I've called identifying myself as home/private user. The Microsoft representative heard me out, then said that unfortunately they do not give support for networks. Instead she suggested that go to bother someone else Microsoft support forums.
Then we tried our luck representing ourselves as business/corporate user. We found out that for such user Microsoft technical support cost a mere 75$ per hour. We thought it over, called them again and told that we would pay, if we speak with their technician and he would say that he can solve the problem. They called back in 20 minutes. The first reaction of the technician after he heard the problem was "we do not support Windows 98". "OK", my friend told them,"what if would be Windows XP?"
The tech guy thought for couple of seconds and the responded: "I can't solve your problem."

How nice of them. I wonder what one pays for, when he buys Microsoft's products.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Eurovision 2006

Eurovision 2006 is over. Monsters Inc. from Finland won the contest. Edie Butler sucked, despite that he can sing, too bad. If not for the French Jewry, Israel would get nice, round zero.
The whole contest sucked. Only a handful descent songs, and not a single hit. I'm sorry that I watched it. What a waste of time.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

150$ for cool color?

As you might know, Apple introduced a new laptop computer series called MacBook, which replaces the old iBooks series just as MacBook Pro replaces the PowerBook.
The new series consists from 3 preconfigured system which can be tailor fit by the buyer. The first model goes for 1099$, the second for 1299$, featuring higher clock speed and DVD writing ability. The third goes for 1499$ featuring 80Gb hard disk drive (60Gb in other models) and a cool black color instead of the classic Apple white.
Now, the upgrade from 60Gb to 80Gb in Apple online store costs only 50$, leaving 150$ for what? A cool black color?
Funny enough, some people think that it is worth the price. Perhaps it was Apple's gamble.

Monday, May 15, 2006

A non serious observation

Did you hear about the Microsoft's new service live.com? Now what if you read the name backwards?
moc.evil
Just a coincidence? ;-)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The wild web

After a while, I decided to install GUI for the Linux firewall called Firestarter.
What is interesting, that constantly, your computer is being canned for vulnerabilities. Every 10 to 20 seconds there is a connection attempt by a remote computer. For example, even now, when the Blaster worm epidemic is long over, there are still infected machines that try to infect others.
Beware!
Update: I've just found out that aarons.cc blog was hacked.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Making the same mistake again

During the vote on approving the new government we have witnessed a first rebellion in the Kadima party. MK Marina Solodkin boycotted the vote in protest of total lack representation of Russian speaking community in the government.

M. Solodkin (Solodkina in Russian pronunciation) is in the 6-th place in the Kadima list, but was left out of the government or any of the important committees, despite the fact that the post of Minister of Absorption was promised to her by Ariel Sharon before his stroke. Instead MK Zeev Boyim got the"job", who is a the 10-th place in the Kadima party. By her words it is
an insult to an entire community.

Leaving the possibility that M. Solodkin has personal considerations in this matter, it is obvious that there is something wrong in this picture. The "coincidence" that the only Russian speaking MK, that is in a real position to get a ministerial post, is stepped over in favor of someone in the lover position, is to the very least strange. It isn't just her, quoting MK Nathan Sheranski
it isn't the first case when "Russians" were promised a lot and got nothing.

Generally I'm not of the kind of people who cries out "we are discriminated" all the time, but in this case I feel that I must speak up. I feel danger to Israeli society. The fact the largest community in Israel feels discriminated, could have grave results in the future. Continuing ignoring their, our interests will backfire at our government.

Our country still pays for the mistakes Israeli government made when treating the immigrants from the Arab countries. History is rarely wrong, it would be unwise to ignore it's lessons. Sadly our government is making the same mistake again.

Nathan, the author the "Faith in Nathan" blog, has wondered, how "very highly intelligent people know that Lieberman is hopelessly corrupt" could vote for him.
Leaving Mr. Lieberman's virtues and sins apart, PM Olmert just handed him a winning ace. Next time, even if it would be proven that he is corrupt, people will still vote for him, because he will be THEIR corrupt representative. Actually, the corruption charges against MK Lieberman are interesting too, since in 8 years the police has done nothing neither to convict him nor close the investigation, but somehow it all surfaces in the media in proximity to every passing elections.

If you will pass this message to 20 of your friends, then RIAA will email you your favorite song for free

Every once in a while, I get an email or and instant message (IM) saying something like:

"Company "X" has launched a new campaign to "Y" or for "Z", and would do "W", only if you send this email or IM to specified number of friends. "
Technically it is almost impossible, or very difficult and surely illegal for someone to know how many emails or IMs you sent, and who did you send them to. Every time I get an email of this kind, I'm reminded of an old, a bit rude joke, that is right on the spot. I t goes like this:
Note! If you might be offended, skip this section!
A mountain climber struggles on a steep slope of the mountain and after a few excruciating hours he finally gets to the top. To his amazement at the very top of the mountain he finds an old man with white beard and hair, wearing a cloak. The climber rubs his eyes in disbelief and when asks the man:

- Who are you? What are you doing here?

- I'm a wizard - answers the old man - and if you blow "wizardly pipe" you would get three wishes granted.

The climber thinks it over and then agrees. Wile he sucks the old man's dick, the "wizard" pets him on the head and quietly says:

- Such a grown fellow and still believes in stories!
While such emails or IMs are 100% hoaxes, they amaze me, as it proves to be a good example of social engineering, since so many people have fallen for them.
Please, don't fall for it too. Since the next time it could be more dangerous than an innocent joke.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Something free CAN be good

Something free can't be good.
This phrase I hear too often when I get to talk about Linux and other free software. It is some kind of a blind belief that dwells in too many minds. Common' people, can't you see?
GNU/Linux, Gecko engine and KHTML engine browsers (Mozilla and Konqueror families), MySQL, Apache web server, Open Office, *Mule, Bittorent, Theora + ogg and many more aren't good enough a proof for you? Or you need to be charged hundreds or even thousands of dollars to feel confident?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Idealism and demagogy

The problem with any individual or movement is that it places himself or itself into an unfair position from the start, if it adopts, what is considered high moral values in the western society. When abiding those principals, you handicap yourself while competing with an opponent who doesn't play by your rules.
History teaches us that in those cases, the opponents don't hesitate to use this for their advantage. Therefore this path is very difficult, and very few people manage to not go astray. Even fewer, succeed in achieving position of power. These individuals are adored, feared or worshiped.

There is other kind of people. Those who pretend to be from the fist group, use their rhetorics, but do not hesitate to break their alleged principals to achieve their goal. Those are demagogs and hypocrites. Unfortunately the last are much more numerous, and some times dangerous.

Now lets apply it to the modern politics. Both groups occupy the whole political spectrum, but it is noticeable that the most dangerous of the second group are the two opposite edges, while sharing many similarities. Two most prominent examples in modern history are fascism an communism. I will not discuss their similarities, since there were many studies that would do that much better than I possibly can.

Todays public sentiments and opinions made the far right groups to be considered unpopular, their rhetorics - bad tone, while oblivious to the demagogs of the far left. I may like, or dislike members of the first group, despise the demagogs, and it doesn't matter which side they belong to.

Watch the racists, who pretend to be minority rights defense groups. Watch the violent anti war activists, who dare to call themselves pacifists. Watch the xenophobes who call themselves patriots.
Watch them and know what they are. Demagogs and hypocrites. Don't let them fool you.

Copyright on public domain?

While trying out the Google book search I found out that Scholastic Inc. is claiming copyright for.... "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" by Jules Verne.
Anyone else finds that something is terribly wrong with this picture, or is it just me?
If I'm not mistaken classics are a public domain and nobody can claim copyright for it.
Perhaps I'll claim copyright for Shakespeare's works, or better still for the Bible. Imagine the revenues from that!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The ass and the MSM

Two of the things that really despise in the mass media are yellow paper style and inconsiderate invasion of privacy. The recent prominent example was presented by the British tabloid The Sun, which is notoriously known for exactly what I stated to hate. The Sun had published very unfitting paparazzi photographs of the German chancellor Angela Merkel, showing her exposed behind. Sadly almost every other media channel is guilty as well, since they have reprinted the notorious pictures while The Sun is “taking the blame”.
MSM people! If you have an uncontrollable desire to publish a picture of an ass, then this one I'm willing accept:


Graham Dudman, current Managing Editor of The Sun.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Lukashenko banned in EU

EU has decided to pose sanctions on president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko. He was declared persona non grata in 26 European countries.
Too bad that EU are not so eager to pose sanctions on Hamas.

Haveil Havalim # 65

This week's Haveil Havalim is up and this my first participation in it. Irina, who volunteered to host this week HH has done a tremendous work, and this one of the most comprehensive HH I have ever seen. Good job Irina.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A sad mistake

I would like to share a story about an event that took place last Sunday, right under my nose, in a small town, where I live called Bney Aish. The next day I started to hear rumors that a terrorist was caught in my town. The rumors also told that the police brought the sapper robot to destroy his explosives charge. I searched the media for this event and found nothing. So I started to ask people, and so I present you what I believe is the most accurate version of events that too place.
A cleaning lady at the local sport center saw a young man, wearing a thick jacket and holding a large bag, standing as waiting for something. This raised her suspicion and some other's who were nearby. Someone has approached the young man and asked him to identify himself. Instead of answering he started to run, surely making everyone to believe that their suspicions are true. The men who were nearby chased and caught him, while the cleaning lady called the police. The over enthusiastic people who caught him, didn't wait for the police and strip searched the "terrorist"; giving him some beating by the way. When the police arrived they took custody of the suspect, and started a routine procedure regarding his bag. In other words they brought the sapper robot to shoot holes in it.
Eventually the "terrorist" turned out to be a Bedouin who lived in a rented apartment nearby. Ironically he was awaiting a ride to an army base since he was summoned to serve in the IDF.
I'm really sad about this incident. I don't know what made him run away. Perhaps he was intimidated by the people coming at him.

And he was a Deputy President...

South African ex-Deputy President Jacob Zuma said he showered after sex with an HIV-positive woman, thinking this would reduce his risk of being infected.

This emerged as he was cross-questioned during his trial for rape.

Einstein once said:
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.


The question is:
Is it stupidity, ignorance or a combination of both?

Source BBC
Hat tip andrushka-il

Thimble game

Remember the thimble game? Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had to play this game while forming the future government. He had to decide in which of the three prestigious offices Mr Peretz will cause the least possible damage: Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Finance or Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr Olmert made his bet. Peretz will get the Ministry of Defense.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

How can they miss him?

In the last two week s I watched a few good Russian TV series based on famous books. In two serials the story takes place at the post war Soviet Union, during the last and the most harsh Stalinist repressions. One of the serials specifically talks about it. It is called “In the First Circle” and the script is written by Soljenitzin himself, based on his book. From the stories of the hell that people went through and the cynicism of the Soviet government, you have to ask yourself, how can so many people miss Stalin and his regime? When there were almost no families left, untouched by Stalin's terror? Even thou that I heard the reasons for people's nostalgia, I simply cannot grasp the thought that someone could miss this monster.

Striving for my words

My blog was pretty quiet lately. The reason in not lack of time, but rather lack of ideas that I would like to blog about. Writing is a difficult task for me and I find it hard to write about something, when I do not have the right emotional state. Moreover, I set for myself some standards that I do not wish to fail, consequently putting further restrictions on my posts.
Funny thing is that in my school years, I considered creative writing lessons as repetitive torments. If someone had told me that I would keep my own blog, I would laugh in his face.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The results and the implications

The elections results are here, and I can't say, that I'm too happy with them. The most likely coalition would be Kadima, Labor, Shas and Gil resulting in 68 MK. Peretz would most likely to demand to become the minister of finance, Gil will get the ministry of healthcare and Shas - ministry of internal affairs.
Remembering the old "Israel baaliya"* slogan
MVD pod Shas control? MVD pod nash control!
(MIA under Shas control? MIA under our control - Russian)
It seems that this time "MVD pod Shas control".
Crap. I'm not even mentioning the possibility of Amir Peretz taking the MOF. This could have disastrous implications.

* Russian immigrant party, joined the Likud on previous elections.

Got to shorten my list

I'm using Opera as my RSS reader. I'm adding to my reading list blogs, that I fing interesting, informative or funny. Unfortunately I'm being overwhelmed by the daily amount of posts, resulting in screening my RSS list and not adding interesting blogs I would otherwise add.
Today I was shocked by 76 posts in 32 hours. Yeah, many of them (28) are crap by Laur, but even without him it is still too much. Something has to be done :o)
Meanwile I've developed a system to screen some pages:
  • Pages starting with words "Bloggin will be lite today..."
  • Sport related posts
  • Cat related posts
  • Traffic related posts
  • Posts that are too long
Sorry, I simply have no time to read them all.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Murderers went loose

Russian court of jury has concluded that the prosecution didn't succeed in presenting enough evidence in order to prove the suspected men guilty in murder of 9 (nine) year old Tajik girl.
9 year old Tajik girl was brutally murdered by a group of Russian skinheads. The authorities report that 11 knife wounds were found on the girl's body.
In other circumstances the obvious concussion would be that the prosecution was sloppy as it commonly happens in Russian Federation. Deep suspicions rise in this case, however. Russian court of jury suffers from serious lack of credibility due to some dubious decisions in the past, based on prejudice rather on the law.
Sad.
Very sad.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

In light of my parent's coming vacation

Me and my mother are sitting in front of the computer filling the last online form. It's 11 PM and we have been doing this for two hours already. Finally the last form is finished. Two server disconnections and lots of silly and annoying questions are behind us. I'm printing out the filled forms, and we are both happy that there are no more forms to fill.

US authorities must be selecting visitors by their determination!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

A cynic joke

Paraphrasing the old Nokia slogan:
ZAKA connecting people


From the almighty WWW.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Crappy survey

I agreed to take a survey. Received today a 90 page A4 size leaflet full of multiple choice questions. Started filling it now. What a headache!
I'll finish this one, but wont agree to another one unless they pay me accordingly. The reward they've given me isn't worth the 2 hours work.

A small, but pleasant victory against corruption

Naomi Blumenthal conviction and sentence went unnoticed in the blogosphere , but I believe that this could be an important step in returning the faith of the public in their government in Israel. Before some of you cry out that won't happen, I didn't say "would" I said "could". This can be a powerful message to the rest of the corrupt politicians that still in their chairs. You are not immune. You don't have the license to brake the law.
I know that for now it's a wishful thinking to believe that corruption would be defeated, but something must be done and this was a step in the right direction.

Tired of MSM

MSM journalism approach is getting on my nerves. I understand their need to sell their media channel but in order not to become yellow paper press there are some lines not to be crossed. Sadly even the most serious media channels sin with publishing rumors, empty speculations and shamelessly invading people private lives. This the main reason that I'm not reading printed press for over 4 years.
I don't believe that those editions worth my money.

Instead I've been reading news online. One particular site that I've been reading for the last 4 years is MIGnews.com (Russian). It attracted me with it's seriousness and spartan design. No useless graphics, needless pictures, and few commercials at that time. Simple, easy to navigate and fast. Unfortunately even they are starting to fail. Over the years they added lots of adds that make the site look like Christmas tree which drive your attention away from the news and triple the site's load time. Meanwhile the content is degrading as well. The last thing that got on my nerves was an article with a flashy headline:
Israelis have sluiced mud over Sharon Stone
It was about Ms Stone visiting Dead Sea mud baths therapy.

They expect me to take them seriously next time? Think again!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hilarious elections campaign from Israel Beytenu



There are 3 questions:
Who will fight crime?
Who will take care of our young?
Who always keeps his promises?

With the same answer:

- Netaniyahu?
- "Niyet."
- Olmert?
- "Niyet."
- Liberman?
- "Da!"
"Da!" for Liberman!


Note:
While the whole text is in Hebrew, the words "Niyet" and "Da" are transliterated from Russian (with a Hebrew accent).

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Another futile attempt from Microsoft

Yesterday Ynet has dedicated an article to another Microsoft's futile attempt to control piracy under the ridiculous program called Microsoft Genuine Advantage. With the latest security update, Microsoft has shipped a program that checks the OS if it's legal and if it is not, kills the updates and opens nagging screens. Unsurprisingly the comment area of the article became into support forum on how to cheat the copy protection software. As it looks, it isn't very hard, actually it is quite easy.
How nice that I don't really need to care anymore. I simply don't use Microsoft's products.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The next coalition, who it might be

Looking at the recent polls I started wondering what the next coalition would look like. Lets see the polls results first:
  • Kadima 37 MKs
  • Labor 19 Mks
  • Likud 15 Mks
  • Mafdal with Ihud Leumi 11 Mks
  • Israel Beitenu 9 Mks
  • Shas 9 Mks
  • Yahadut Ha-Torah 7 Mks
  • Meretz 6 Mks
I must warn you that I didn't find the official poll results, so even the numbers could be incorrect.
Now lets look at the possibilities:
Lets take a look at the first possibility:
Kadima, Labor and Meretz totaling in 62 Mks. This coalition is possible since all three parties share the same idea of further unilateral separation. The union of Kadima and Labor would seem quite natural since almost half of Kadima key members are ex-Laborists. On the other hand, Kadima might loose any public support since their voters voted center not extreme left.
Meretz could be replaced by any of the religious parties that would sell their support for many millions of government money. Now this I see as the most likely scenario.
The second possibility:
Kadima, Likud and Shas totaling in 61 Mks. The union of Kadima and Likud would seem natural for the very same reason as with Labor. Shas would, as always sell it's support for money, but I see the problem with Likud. I'm not sure whether Netaniyahu would agree to be in second place, especially after Olmert, and he has hopes of being prime minister again on the next elections, and being in this government could cost him that.
The third option:
The right wing coalition. Kadima, Likud and Israel Beitenu or Mafdal with Ihud Leumi – 61-63 Mks. The least likely possibility. I simply don't know how in this case Kadima would be able to fulfill it's promise of another unilateral disengagement. I know that neither Israel Beitenu or Mafdal with Ihud Leumi would agree to that. Kadima can't ignore it's own promise since in this case it would simply be torn apart from within.

After such thoughts, I think I need a drink.
I don't drink, but I still need one. It's damn depressing.

Another view on Hamas visit to Russia

During a political talk show on RTVi channel, an Ukrainian journalist and an expert in politics Vitaliy Portnikov has voiced an interesting opinion on the recent visit of Hamas officials to Moscow.
He said that by inviting Hamas to Kremlin, Russian government has placed itself into a political trap. If you take a moment and try to think what will be next, there are only two options concerning Hamas. Either they change their spots and turn into another Fatah or they keep openly support and use terror. In the first case they are going to deal with America, leaving Russia out, except for getting fake academic degrees (like M. Abbas). In the second, besides becoming a fair game for Israeli military, they will become an embarrassment to Russian government and the Russian government will have no choice but to stop dealing with them and by doing so acknowledge their mistake. In either case Russia looses.
Therefore another question rises: why did Russia invite Hamas?
There is no clear answer to that. There is a possibility that it was made in an attempt to satisfy Russia's longing to the lost days of glory when the Soviet Union was one of the world powers. It also could be used to keep a illusion that Russia is still calling the shots in both the internal Russian public opinion and in some other countries that for various reason prefer to live in their own virtual reality. Actually many in the west are also buying the bait, trying to figure out the reasons for Russia decision. So it is possible that this was their bet, which will not change the final outcome.
This is the reason that U.S government doesn't worry too much about this visit. Meanwhile, in Russia Hamas has received an American message: change you ways or leave the political arena, feet first.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Meretz election slogans

Did you hear/read the slogans from Meretz's elections campaign? I thought it was a joke when I saw it for the first time.
So let's not bore you and give some taste:


Call me naive,
but there will be a minimum wages for all the pensioners.


My mother isn't an Arab,
but I'll keep fighting for peace and equality.


I'm not a man,
but it is no reason why I should earn less.

I'm no Meretz fan. There is no fricken way I'm going to vote for these people. I'm not promoting them in any way, just want to show you how desperate they are.
For any of you who don't know who Meretz are, they are political party, very left wing. Their political program for is peace, equality, human rights, freedom of religion and from it, gay and lesbian marriages and so on. It all sounds very beautiful, but from my point of view, like many in Europe, they fail to see the line where their dreams shutter upon reality, to the point where pursuing them endangers the very existence of Israel.

Study and work? Not in my class!

There is something that has been eating me since I've heard it the first time.
It happens that in Ben-Gurion university in Beer Sheva, Israel, there are some professors and faculty heads that believe and stated at numerous occasions, that students should not combine working with academic studies, since it likely to hurt students achievements at both.
I happen to agree with this statement, and believe that if the student has an option to dedicate all of his time to studies, he should do so, but the university staff went a few steps further.
They make active steps in order to prevent students from working, by requiring obligatory attendance at some key courses and scheduling the lectures so, that they occupy as much weekdays as possible.
I would be happy to know if they were providing conditions for more students to be able to dedicate their time exclusively for studies, but this simply makes me furious.
What with the students that have other obligations that require them to work? What with those gifted ones who can successfully to combine studies with work? And finally, who granted them the right to set what should or shouldn't the students do outside the walls of the university?!

Today's news

1. French President Jacques Chirac is the first non-Arab leader who addressed Saudi Arabia's consultative council.
Congratulations, Jacques! The question is:
Are you going to trade with them first and nuke them later, or otherwise?

2. Al-Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri urged the terrorist organisation Hamas to fight on and not to accept agreements between the treators (PA former leadership) and Israel.
BTW the cartoons are a crusade led by the US.
These guys lack the imagination. How about something new next time?

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Thursday, February 23, 2006

There is another way

There is a way for both the artists and the consumers (us) to benefit. A bold company called Magnatune has shown the way.
The company offers legal DRM-free music downloads in different file formats, included lossless like wave and flac. There is also an option to order a pressed CD.
I saved the sweetest part to the last. You get to choose how much you are willing to pay!

Their slogan says it all: Magnatune. We are not evil.

It's up to us

The motion picture and audio recording industries are plotting draconian measures in order to squeeze as much money as they can from us, their customers.
Yes I'm talking about DRM. DRM is a technique that prevents us, the customers from exercising our rights over the product we legally purchased. When you buy DRM infested product, you give away your legal rights over the product leaving all rights in the hands of the IP owner.
From RIAA point of view it's illegal to even copy you legally purchased CD into your digital music player.

Mike Evangelist is calling to boycott the HD television and video, that will be infested with draconian DRM. I urge you to read his post. I also recommend to read some of the articles by Cory Doctorow.


Mike is calling for the boycott of the HD. I call you to boycott all DRM.
The media is silent, they don't tell you about the dangers of the DRM. It seems that it is our job. Don't let them win, or we will all be sorry.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Messing with the OS

I was offline for the last few days, because of the problems I had with my computer.
I've managed to ruin my Linux.
I've tried, unsuccessfully, to install a newer version of Linux and a brand new 3D accelerated desktop environment. At my best effort I've succeeded in installing the newest version of Ubuntu Linux - 6.04 "Dapper Drake", but the 3D will have to wait. Too bad.
Will be gradually rebuilding my system.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Army education

During today's speech in Duma, Russian minister of defense, Sergey Ivanov, tried to excuse himself from the responsibility over private Sichov's tragedy, and many others like him. He complained that some soldiers in Russian army, see toilets and tooth brushes for the first time in their lives.
Gosha has voiced a vise idea - during the army service they get to see enough of it for the rest of their lives. The tooth brushes and the toilets, I mean.

Just genius...

Had a "pleasure" today in reinstalling an operating system on an IBM laptop back to factory settings. Unlike most laptops, IBM doesn't provide their customers with rescue CD's, but use a portion of the computer's hard drive. I expected it to take 20 minutes at most, but it took over an hour and a half. Instead of simply reinflating an archived image and running a few updates, IBM chose to write a long and complicated script, requiring 3 restarts, that actually installed each and every program, including service pack 2 for Windows XP.
For my non-techie readers - did you ever try to scratch your right ear with your left foot? That's exactly what IBM did.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

A joke

The crazy figure skating frog performs triple Axel F.

True or fake?

For the last week many blogs were crossblogging an English translation of an article by Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez called "All European Life Died In Auschwitz". The article is being accompanied by a brief notice that the author is a non Jewish Spanish writer and the article was published in local Spanish newspaper.
While I would like to know that someone in EU thinks this way, neither I, Seth nor Stephen Green couldn't find the source. I even couldn't find anything about the author in the web. The closest thing that Seth and I got is EUPortal.
Maybe you can shed light on this subject?

Update:
Happy news! The article is confirmed true. Thanks to Irina, who sent me the link. Thanks to these bloggers who found the original article.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Pathetic

Russian TV channel has told it's viewers the following story in it's 6 o'clock news:

Anti drug trafficking division of the Russian federal law enforcement has organized an improvised biathlon consisting of 10 km skiing for men and 5 km for women with shooting at drawn drug lord from personal sidearm.

I find this contest and the news report to be ridiculous.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Technical issues

Found out that fixing the IE bug in my blog isn't that easy to fix. I thought that I've messed something up but actually the original template that I used, doesn't work for IE too. So I'm struggling to make this template work in IE too. I don't want to become a hypocrite by discriminating IE users the same way it's done to other browser users by some unwitting web designers.

Another issue is unreliable Blogger operation for the last couple of days, which in turn doesn't help me fixing the bug.

Update: problem fixed.
While at it, I redesigned the blog again.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Thinking about the sources of the hypocrisy

Both Laurence Simon and Vital Perspective have wondered at the reason for both French and Russia's hypocrisy and double standard practice.
Laurence has guessed right. It has nothing to do with sympathy or compassion towards Iraq Iran or Hamas. It has everything to do with being anti-American.

Both of the countries, Russia and France suffer from an ex-grand empire syndrome. They still miss "the grand days of glory for the empire"” and can't stand US being the sole "“superpower"”. Much of the anti-American sentiment in those countries has it's roots in this.
I believe that one of the key reasons for France to enter the EU, was an attempt to stand against US.
Russia's ex-grand empire syndrome has reached greater lengths. Besides the sore loser attitude toward US over the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia's arrogance has alienated many of it's neighbours and former allies: Georgia, Ukraine, Poland and Baltic states. However, while France takes pride in being one of the oldest modern democracies, Russia is heading in other direction.
I believe that Russia has a profit in destabilizing the world security. In it's interior politics, the two major terror attacks by Chechen bandits, if not planned provocations, were free gifts for Putin and Co. Wisely using these two events, Putin and Co has "neutralized" Russia's democracy, turning it into "“democracy pretending clanocracy". Using the ages old technique "“the foreign enemy" widely used by the soviets, he consolidated the rule of his corrupt clan. This clan, consisting of the three eX's: ex-communist activists, ex-KGB and GRU heads ans ex-army generals, profit mostly from having control of the countries oil (Michail Khodorkovsky case), other natural resources, weapon sales, bribe taking and state run racketing of the business.
If US succeeds in stabilizing the Middle East, oil prices and weapon sales would plummet, causing huge deficit in Russian "hydrocarbon economy" and damaging government official's personal income.

So for Russian government it's a win-win move - they get to humiliate their rival number one - United States, and keep profiting from high oil prices and weapon sales.
As for moral, who gives a damn?!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

New looks

Just finished the first stage of redesigning my blog. Surprisingly, it took me a lot less time than I thought it would. This design is not final and may undergo some serious changes.

Your comments please!

Update:
Found a bug. The template won't show correctly in IE. Will be fixed soon.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Technology and politics

A couple of years ago, a very interesting experimental technology surfaced in the media. It was the time to decide where to build the first experimental fusion reactor. Fusion reactor is a nuclear reactor where, instead of breaking heavy elements into lighter ones, energy is produced by combining light elements into heavier ones, in a process similar to that occurring in the stars.

The advantages of this method are huge. Many times safer, almost or totally waste free (depends on the process), much more efficient and creates much more energy. The drawback is that there are no materials strong enough to contain process because the extreme heat, therefore the only way to do it is by magnetic field. Containing hot plasma in a magnetic field is a very serious engineering challenge. when it is solved humanity will gain a vast source of cheap and safe energy.

Now back to politics. This technology has disappeared from the public eye as fast as it has appeared. From what I have heard and read, the project was stalled because political reasons. The official excuse was, that participant countries couldn't agree on the construction location of the first experimental reactor, France or Japan, to be exact. I believe that there were other reasons beside that one. One major reason, that crosses my mind, is oil. Given the fact that two thirds of all oil consumed, is used in electrical power plants, when this technology becomes available, oil consumption will drop in half at least. Oil prices will plummet, just at the rumor of this technology getting near completion to a 20$ mark, or even less. Imagine the consequences. Many economies worldwide will suffer, others will collapse. Starting with all the countries who are oil export dependant, where oil export constitutes over 50% of the national income. All the Arab world will go bankrupt.

I want to see Iran and Syria invest in high cost nuclear weapons or sponsor terror organisations worldwide without the billions of oil dollars.

Update:
Have read some material on the subject. The location for the first reactor is chosen, near a small town named Cadarache in France. By all looks, it seems that, finally, the wheels are sprung into action. More details about the project are available here, and about fusion reactor here.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Seek for the reason

Almost everybody who was writing or talking in the last week has mentioned in this way or another about the outrage of the Muslim world over the cartoons published in the Danish newspaper.
It is quite obvious, that like in other cases of "spontaneous" mass public outrage, it is a well planned and organized. I would like to speculate on the reasons behind this plan:
  • Show of force, to make the infidels shake, while reassuring their supporters.
  • An easy way to rally supporters to their cause, to radicalize the public opinion in Muslim population, further alienating it from the western world.
  • To keep the public attention from the matters concerning scandals in Islamic countries, like Iranian nuclear program, Hamas victory in the PA and etc. I don't know if the Iranians are behind this, I'm sure that Hamas isn't, but unquestionably they use it for their benefit.
I'm sure that many of the Muslims were genuinely offended by these cartoons, but I know without any shade of the doubt, that this nothing more than a cynical tool for Islamic radicals.

The Guardian deserves a new name

Given the Guardian's tradition for biased publications and being a tribune for terror apologists, just like Al'Reuters The Guardian deserves a new name.
I'll try my best to find one, and encourage my 6+ readers to participate.

Update (04/02/2006):
SnoopyTheGoon has promised to arrange this contest on his much more read blog.

Update (05/02/2006)
SnoopyTheGoon has opened a contest for a new name and logo for Guardian Unlimited.

Blogging break

Due to coming end term exams blogging will be light for the next two weeks.
Probably, I even won't be able to read all the RSS feeds that I'm getting.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Our current yoga masters

Russia's president Vladimir Putin has said:
"Russia has never declared Hamas a terrorist organization, but it doesn't mean we support and accept everything Hamas has done and all the statements it has made.
...
Russia expecting Hamas to recognize Israel's existence and abandon its radical position, but that it would not support cutting off aid to the Palestinians. "
While Kofi, Solana and Condy sported the usual bullshit:
Hamas-led Palestinian government must commit to non-violence, recognition of Israel and acceptance of existing peace agreements if it is to maintain its level of financial support.
Isn't it the time, finally, to change asanas?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Enough of yoga

For too many times I have heard this way too probable for my taste scenario, in printed broadcasted, electronic media and even fellow bloggers. That it wouldn't be long till our beloved politicians abandon their pledge not to deal with Hamas until it denounces it's threats to destroy Israel, saying something like "the Palestinian people shouldn't suffer for their government's position".

Well, dear politicians! I understand your fascination with yoga, but isn't it the time to get your heads out of your asses?

Aussie Dave vs Mr. S.

In the light of ongoing JIB Awards, a self hating Jew named Silverstein has launched a provocation in order to get some publicity at others expense. On his blog he trash talked about JIB Award, it's participants and organizers in provocative posts full with false facts, quotes of context and outward lies.
To my dismay, Dave has decided, instead of leaving this Silverstein to write to his 5+ regular readers (like I do *see below), to enter in discussion, therefore giving him exactly what he wanted - free traffic and publicity.

Dave, give some traffic to me instead! I can whine about JIBs too!

* To my devoted 5+ readers! Thank you!

Update (01/02/2006):
Finally Dave has done the right thing.

Cory Doctorow's speech on broadcast flags and digital TV

Ever since I've read Mr. Doctorow's Microsoft DRM (Digital Repressive Right Management) speech, I keep track of his speeches on this matter. He warns about the dangers and uselessness of the DRM systems.
Every time I hear what those greedy corporations plot I'm held by barely controllable anger, but i keep listening, since I feel obligated to know what these people are up to. This time Mr. Doctorow was talking about the upcoming initiative of broadcasting flags in digital television, the related legislation and what profound repercussions that might have.

It is a "must listen", even if it is not included in your area of interest, since it touches each and every one of us.

Update:
Another useful article on this issue.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Being patriotic? Then you being racist.

On a TV program dedicated to automobile hobbyists I heard some English guy and his girlfriend talk about his car. Being (I quote) "a big patriot of his country" he painted his car in red and white colors of flag of England. They told, that he is being accused, by quite a few people, of being a racist.
Quote - "Many people do not differentiate between being a patriot, and being a racist. I'm just proud in what I am."

I'm lost here. Maybe you can diagnose such society.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Abdul Hadi Pallazzi


I believe that the world has not only the right, but an obligation to know about such men like Abdul Hadi Pallazzi.
Abdul Hadi Pallazzi is a leader of Italian Muslim Assembly and a co-founder and a co-chairman of the Islam-Israel Fellowship. I will not quote his biography, you can find it at Wikipedia, but I would like to state that I respect his courage and integrity, since by saying aloud something like this, he is placing his life in jeopardy.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Couldn't have been done better if it was on purpose

Following the previous post:


A prominent Israeli newspaper Maariv has placed a photo of president of Syria Bashar Assad and president of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the official visit of the later in Syria, while placing on the second page a photo of the president of France Jacques Chirac, during his visit to France's nuclear submarine base, in reference to his warning to nuke the terrorists and their supporters.

Being enough to place those two photographs in such proximity, the real fun starts when you look at Chirac's photo thro the light:

Friday, January 20, 2006

French hypocrisy

During a visit to northwestern France, where France's nuclear submarines are based French president Jacques Chirac said:
The leaders of states who would use terrorist means against us, as well as those who would consider using in one way or another weapons of mass destruction, must understand that they would lay themselves open to a firm and adapted response on our part. This response could be a conventional one. It could also be of a different kind.

Against a regional power, our choice would not be between inaction or annihilation. The flexibility and reactivity of our strategic forces would enable us to exercise our response directly against its centers of power and its capacity to act.
Well France has reminded the world about it's legal right to defend itself. Whether they meant business or not, it's a different story, but what I wanted to know, is what changed m. Chirac's opinion?
For the last decade France's policy was to refuse to recognize this right for other countries. So what was it? Were it the recent riots throuth whole France, or terror attacks in London? Or was it the fact that every now and then a Al Qaida cell in discovered in Europe , and nobody knows how many of them there are?
Would you recognize other country's right to defend themselves, or was it another case of French hypocrisy?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hamas PA elections campaign

In response to yesterdays Hamas support rally, LiveJournal user Andrushka (posted in Russian) presented some of the Hamas leaflets used in their election campaign, among with photographs of the "candidates" on their military parade and some of their "military achievements".

He was wondering for how long will the world continue to watch all this while talking about solving Israeli-Palestinian conflict in peaceful democratic way. He also suggested that it might not be long till we all will have to defend our right not to study Koran.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Funny name incident

It is an oldie, but never the less is still funny.
Mel Gibson (if I'm not mistaken) was a guest on a popular Israeli daily TV entertainment
show "Good Evening with Guy Pines"”. The host introduces himself and the guest to the audience, then Mel asks Guy: "Guy Pines? (pronounced Peenes) Really?"

Old thing, new face

I've listened to the latest album from VanZant "Get right with the man". A very nice rock indeed, a bit country like but still good. But what a pity that such good artists got involved with such crooks like SonyBGM. With all the respect I carry toward the artists, I feel really bad about giving money to that SonyBGM scum.
I have a suspicion that the artists are their hostages as well. These people remind me the mob from the twenties of the previous century. Same tactics of racket intimidation and extortion, just they are using an army of lawyers and crooked politicians to do the dirty work while keeping the law on their side.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Sky News disgrace

Sky News just presented a perfect example for my previous post.

You all might know, already, about severe condition of Israeli PM Ariel Sharon. To cover this Sky News arranged a discussion on Ariel Sharon himself and some speculations on what will come next.
It was the most biased "discussion" I have ever heard in my life. For about 10 minutes that I had the patience to watch it I watched so called experts compete in who will make a bigger monster of a sick and probably dying man.
One of the "experts", a round faced man with thinning gray-white hair, was telling the audience how for the last five years Ariel Sharon "has put a veil on the world eyes", putting an emphasis on how many have gasped when G. W. Bush had called him a man of peace. That meanwhile Sharon was securing Israel true interest - the west bank, effectively expanding the west bank settlements while pretending to oppose it, and cutting of Jerusalem and Arab towns and lands by building a security fence. Apparently leaving Gaza, but controlling it from the outside. The orator also declared that Israel will have a hard time finding a leader that could do the same trick.
In that discussion they also made a brief "history lesson" how Sharon has oppressed Palestinians in the course of his life, that there is a memorial on the Jordanian border where Sharon has passed with his tank brigade, how he ruled with absolute harshness while being military commandant over Gaza and how could the forget about Sabra and Shatila. That he was declared unfit for administrative posts. These exerts also reminded the audience that the Palestinians are scattered and divided without any real leader, that their only income is international help and how easy target they were to Sharon.

There were other things that I couldn't remember, but the point is clear...