Archive for September, 2007

A call to the ISO member austria

September 26, 2007

Some weeks ago I send a mail to the ISO member ON (Österreichisches Normungsinstitut) in austria to get more information on their decision on the ooxml fast track iso procedure.
Austria voted: yes with comments.

They didn’t send back a mail, so today I called the ON. After a short time I was forwarded to Karl Stumwöhrer, Dipl.-Ing.
I asked him some questions and this are the facts that I got from him

  • There is no information about the ballot on their homepage
  • There is no digital or written information available to the public
  • The comments they made may be available from the ISO (because ON send them the comments)
  • There are no obligations for the organizations inside the ON to inform the public about ballots and decisions
  • Member of the group which decided where: microsoft, some people from the government, independent expert, telekom austria, …
    But this is just an informal list which he gave me
  • The comment they made was: There should be test mechanisms to check if a OOXML compliant application REALLY is compatible with the “OOXML standard”

Now theres the questions what to do. I find it unacceptable to have such an intransparent procedure.
Not being able to get information about how they decided, which people decided and what the result is. This is not acceptable

Does anybody has an idea who to contact and inform about the flaws in this systems? Or would it be wise to make public pressure (by contact the public media?

Here you can get information about the organization per country which are concerned with the OOXML topic.
The section of the ON which is concerned with the OOXML topic.

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Fate Close Warning – The Physics Of A Human Soul

September 25, 2007

Today I present you a Metal hardcore album from jamendo.com

album image

I like this album because of its metal origin. Adding political attitude and you have a interesting and enjoyable listening.

You can hear it for yourself of course on this link.
Or you can visit the album page.
And of course, you can download the album too (with bittorrent).

YES it is legal to hear this music because it is licensed under a Creative Commons license.
This album is licensed under the Creative Commons nc-sampling+ 1.0
This means:

You are free:

  • to Remix — to adapt the work

Under the following conditions:

Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.

  • For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to this web page.
  • Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.
  • Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author’s moral rights.

This is what democracy looks like

September 22, 2007

Source: Thread Level Blog

Watch TV series in miro

September 20, 2007

Maybe you know miro (formerly known as democracy player).

Miro is a free application that turns your computer into an internet TV video player. You can download it here for Windows, Mac, or Linux. This release is still a beta version, which means that there are some bugs, but we’re moving quickly to fix them and will be releasing bug fixes on a regular basis.

So you can watch video podcasts comfortably with miro. But not only this, as cnet is explaining in an article, you can watch normal TV series comfortably too.

In short: Download miro if you haven’t done it yet and then visit tvRSS to search for interesting series.

I, for example searched for the simpsons and got to this page.

Just copy the link named Search-based RSS Feed and import it as a channel in miro. Rename the new channel to simpsons.
Voila.

Warning: Getting the episodes from the web can take it’t time. Be patient, knowing that now you can watch the serien when YOU like.

The shock doctrine

September 17, 2007

Naomi Klein, the author of “No Logo” has published a new book called “The shock doctrine“.

Her new book is all about how capitalism is established after catastrophes where people are in a state of shock.
She shows in a series of examples from history to the Iraq invasion how shocking incidents paralyze not only individuals but also whole societies. Such shocked
societies are in danger to fall for strong energetic leaders. This leaders can take their chance and change the system… Often in a more and more capitalistic system…

I didn’t read the book so far. But I’m absolutely planning to buy it. The statements above are a summary about what I read about it so far.

There is also a short-film about the book. A Film by Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein, directed by Jonás Cuarón.

The film can also be downloaded on their homepage.

OpenID: Blessing or curse?

September 16, 2007

In the last weeks I stumbled about the technology named openID quite a few time. Today I decided to inform myself what this is about.

Our beloved wikipedia says on openID

OpenID is a decentralized single sign-on system. Using OpenID-enabled sites, web users do not need to remember traditional authentication tokens such as username and password. Instead, they only need to be previously registered on a website with an OpenID “identity provider”, sometimes called an i-broker. Since OpenID is decentralized, any website can employ OpenID software as a way for users to sign in; OpenID solves the problem without relying on any centralized website to confirm digital identity.

This sounds great… not having to remember dozens of passwords (given the case you DON’T use one password over and over again… *g*).
(more…)

Apple and Sony attack digital freedom

September 15, 2007

There are further attacks against the digital freedom of users. Apple and Sony are taking freedom from their customers and users of their products.

Apple has released new version of their IPods (nano, iPod Classic, iPod Touch) which restrict user freedoms.
Up until now it was possible to synchronize (e.g. get music from the iPod and putting music into it) with the iPod’s with many different programs. So you didn’t need the iTunes program to use your iPod. This was a good thing, because iTunes is not available on every platform (i.e. GNU/Linux, …) and secondly in created a vibrant environment of competing programs.

But now, this has changed. As Cory Doctorow is explaining on BoingBoing

The latest iPods have a cryptographic “checksum” in their song databases that prevents third-party applications from synching with the portable music players. This means that iPods can no longer be used with operating systems where iTunes doesn’t exist — like Linux, where gtkpod and Amarok are common free tools used by iPod owners to load their players.

This means… New iPods can only be used with iTunes… Restricting usage and a try to monopolize this environment.
It is not the first time Apple tries to demolish users freedom: Boycott Apple and show them that you have the right to use their products in every way YOU like.

But now to our second beloved company Sony. As you may know, Sony had used rootkits on their CD’s to prevent copying of these CD’s. Not only that these rootkits are putting you at risk to be compromised through security holes. No, Sony installed the software on your computer without informing the users. And, of course, it had a lot of other problems too (like not allowing burning OTHER data).
They got a lot of criticism for their behavior and removed the software from their CD. Again showing that non-free software can’t be trusted.

Like Apple, Sony probably will never learn: They sell USB sticks (MicroVault) which include driver that.. who would have thought of these… include another rootkit. Only after getting media coverage they have cleaned the software from the rootkit. Which leads me again to… yes I know the sentence gets old. But it is true: Non-Software can’t be trusted…

So remember.. Buying Apple and Sony products mean that you are supporting companies who believe in taking freedoms and criminalizing customers.

Why we must close the net

September 14, 2007

No this is not MY opinion, but an article on the British tabloid daily newspaper sun informs us about opinion of Elton John.
Enjoy…..

Hopefully the next movement in music will tear down the internet.

I do think it would be an incredible experiment to shut down the whole internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span.

There’s too much technology available.

Coca Cola: A dirty brand

September 13, 2007

This is the first (and hopefully not last) entry concerning the behavior of big famous brands and companies.

Coca Cola Products of Coca Cola:
Aquarius, Bonaqua, Burn, Cappy, Coca-Cola, Fanta, Kinley, Krest, Lift Apfelschorle, Mezzo Mix, Minute Maid, Nestea, Powerade, Qoo, Römerquelle, Sprite,
Almdudler
(see comments: there are controversies ),

Why should you boycott this company?

  • They chase trade-union members with “death squadrons”
  • Child labor and exploitation in orange harvest
  • Racist discrimination

Where can I get more information about this company?

Source: Black Book on Brand Companies/ Das neue Schwarzbuch Markenfirmen – Klaus Werner/Hans Weiss

Iraq’s humanitarian catastrophe: the facts and figures

September 12, 2007

As General Petraeus report about the state of the iraq is now to be found in a lot of media. It should be shown that there are also other sources which present THEIR results too.
I present you the summary of the avaaz.org report about the iraq

  • Biggest refugee exodus in the world today.
  • Savage ethnic cleansing.
  • More deaths than Darfur?
  • The killing has accelerated between 2006 and 2007.
  • Electricity, food and water supplies are running short.
  • Iraqis have little or no confidence in the US, and in their own government.
  • Most people in Iraq and around the world want withdrawal soon – but it’s just not happening.
  • But most Iraqis support reconciliation in a single, non-confessional Iraq.

Details about this statements are to be found on the avaaz.org article.
BoingBoing.net has a review of a lengthy article on Rolling Stone about the wasting of money in the iraq by the US government and the immoral behavior of their contractors

In short, some $8.8 billion of the $12 billion proved impossible to find. “Who in their right mind would send 360 tons of cash into a war zone?” asked Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight Committee. “But that’s exactly what our government did.”

Update: If you didn’t see the video before: Rocketboom shows how Bush reacts being told that the second tower has hit