Monday, January 30, 2006

And you

What are you doing/not doing against global warming?

Musik!

Jetzt ist wieder schon Zeit, unser naechstes Konzert zu ankundingen!
Wir singen zwar am 10.02 in der Stuttgarter Stiftskirsche, und am 12.02 in der Festsaal der Neu Aula in Tuebingen.
Nein, wir singen nicht Mozart. Was wir singen: Dona Nobis Pacem, von Ralf Vaughan Williams.

Natuerlich freue ich mich, wenn ihr kommt (und zahlreich!). Das Stueck ist etwas ungewoehnlich, es ist naemlich englische Musik von der 30er Jahren. Man kann sagen, es klingt wie Filmmusik; aber solche Filmmusik gab es noch kein in dieser Zeit! Diese Musik ist harmonisch und rythmisch sehr interessant; es wirklich ein anderes Welt als die in Deutschland sehr bekannte romantische Musik. Laesst ihr einfach ueberraschen; von dem Orchester kommt dazu eine Symphonie von Brueckner.

Plaetze gibt's bei mir zu Sonderpreis (billiger als Studentenpreis)...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Big, bigger, biggest


Whooa. I'm speechless. There is a big tower currently beeing built in Dubai right now. Check this wikipedia article for more informations... You can find a picture of the current state of construction, too.

While I discovered that yesterday on TV, I quickly thought:
- The europeans don't really live in a moving world right now, but a lot of other parts of the world do. Even the USA seem to be late (compare this to the new World Trade Center project).
- The technology don't evolve slow, as lot of people seem to believe. The big projects are not dead at all.

This project is for sure a strategical move of the Emirates; they see that their current economy will not sustain decades, and they have to use their money to invest in transforming their land to promising economy: services and tourism (I know, tourism is a kind of service).

I'm really impressed by this project. As we could see in the last years that the leading influence of the US in science went down (abandon of the space exploration, problems with intelligent design, no 'courageous project' anymore outside monitoring and spying citizens), some other countries are taking the lead. It's good. The next years and decades are going to be very interesting because we're gonna see a new shape of the world order.

The point is: nobody wins at being conservative. Forces that create tend to win against forces that destroy. This is why we are living in a cilivized world, and why the wealth in the world is globally increasing. It would be funny to compare the price of this building to the one of the war in Iraq...

Still, there is some hope for Europe. The Airbus 380 is an example. The World Cup could be bring happiness and patriotism back to Germany. This would be good, because so much people are so talented in this country; they just need to get more dynamic. Far from impossible! A good thing: their new chancelor is impressing the whole world...

Friday, January 27, 2006

Remarque intelligente

Au sujet du projet de Google européen:
"il n’a pas fallu un plan de la Maison Blanche pour que deux étudiants en math créent Google sur le campus de leur université."

Dans un article sur Bill Gates. Ceci est un article d'un blog du Figaro sur Davos. Très intéressant; quand des journalistes publient eux-même leurs infos, on a une vraie spontanéité, une vraie qualité et une vraie originalité. Garanti sans merde de taureau(tm).

Aibo is dead

This is a sad day.

This happened in Stuttgart yesterday

Einige Termine...

Zwar ein bisschen spaet, aber noch nicht verpasst:
- Heute gibt's die Brechtbaufest! Ich glaube, ich brauche nichts dazu zu sagen...
- Morgen, in Stuttgart, 'Soiree Francaise' im Disco 'Europa'. Fuer alle, die mit Frankreich etwas zu tun haben (oder wollen). Infos unter: http://www.soiree-francaise.com/

EDIT: Es wird eigentlich in Palanca, Blumenstrasse 22, 70183 Stuttgart-Mitte, neben den U-Bahn "Olgaeck"

Saturday, January 21, 2006

KDE and documentation


Inside Konqueror I just pushed the key ['] instead of [Return]. Surprise, it opens me a very discrete but powerfull dialog for incremental search (like, you know, in Emacs)! It's very cool, indeed, I didn't knew at all there was such a feature in Konqueror! Sure Firefox had some influence ...

I'm gonna sure use it a lot! But besides this, I have to question the documentation of KDE in general. There are some main problems in my opinion:

1 - The format of the documentation. Call me stupid, but I would like to be able to type in 'man konqueror'. Don't work. But there should be at least a 'man kde', for the newbie that stopped his X server and don't know how to start KDE anymore. Don't laugh, it happened to me in the first days I was using Linux, took me 1 week to find someone that could explain me how to restart X...

2 - The documentation is outdated! My document states: Revision 3.1 (2002-09-22); but when I click on 'about', I can clearly observe that I do have the version 3.4.3 of KDE (13 Oct. 2005)! Seems documentation is to Linux what security flaws are to Windows! Anyway, how can you be credible with this? How useful are features that are not documented?

3 - The presentation of the documentation. Please at least do an index for each software! This KDE-type Help system is only useful for the newcomer that want to follow a tutorial-like documentation. That means, almost nobody. When you're searching doc, you've to go through the whole doc of a software. Not really convenient. I don't say this tutorial part has to be changed, but beside this we need an easy to find, flexible and complete reference manual too.

Making documentation is painful. I know, because these times I'm documenting my own software at work. My opinion is that programmers hate writing documentation not because they can't or don't want to write (many of them like reading, even if it's mainly SF ;), and would even like to be SF writers... so much for the cliche!), but because writing documentation implies that you have to understand all the code and explain it with words. In other terms it forces you to explain your design. By making it you will often find a lot of logical errors, inconsistencies, and bugs. This is not comfortable, so the programmers tend to avoid documentation, as well as they often avoid design, spec and code review.
Sure, writing doc uses time that could be spent writing code. But it also helps improving and correcting the existing code. This is maybe more important...

Friday, January 20, 2006

Artificial Life etc.

Whoa, this blog is full of interesting stuff! (see there is some good stuff happening in France!)

The cool thing with blogs is that there is only little to do to have a good design because the software cares of it for you. So very intelligent people can finally present their research, knowledge and opinion in a well-presented and attractive way. I mean, you all know how a standard Web page of a professor uses to look like...

Monday, January 16, 2006

Noam Chomsky speaks about politics

Really good interview. Interesting. Nothing to add.

For the ones who don't know, Chomsky is one of the most influencial linguist of the last century, if not the most. He made a grammar classification which is the base of all computer languages, and did many of the most important theories in linguistics of the last century.

He has his own site, too. Few people have such a good site... (and even less people of his age !)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Tuebinger Film

Unter diese Seite ist den Trailer von neuem Film Requiem. Viel Spass!

The last query

A rewriting of the short story "The last question" by Isaac Asimov. It smells better if you already know the original ;)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The man behind Apple


When you think Apple, you're surely thinking... Steve Jobs. Right. Or not so right?

Then, the geek in you will think Steve Wozniak. Even better. But he's not at Apple anymore for a while.

Who, then? The answer: Jonathan Ive. This man is the most influent designer at Apple. With his team, he's designed almost all significant products of Apple since the first iMac, including the iPod and the georgeous Cinema Display.

This is really a key player. Is there any other computer firm having such a good designer? I don't think. With him Apple took the place of Sony on the top of the coolest electronic brands. Who is speaking about Sony's design right now? Not that much people. A PSP may be cool, but compared to an iPod nano it's ridiculous (I'm just speaking about design here).

Maybe finally doing tech objects that are elegant is a new thing. Apple products are elegants and easy to use. Doing a good design is often felt from the customer's view as a proof that he's important. The producer is doing quality because he cares about the customer: that's the customer's feeling. Actually the producer does better quality to sell more. But this is a trade-off. By doing quality the producer has to spend more money, thus making the product more expensive.

Ive's design is unique, and makes Apple even more famous than the quality of their products. And in design, this is often the case that a few people are responsible for outstanding things. Did someone heard about products that look better than the Apple ones? I didn't. Please tell me if you see one. In my opinion, some other companies can copy Apple, but with a man like Ive on the board, they're never going to have a single step forward.

Want to read a very good interview of Jonathan Ive? Click here ;)

Sottises

Oui je sais ces temps-cis je parle trop des journaux mais tout de même, ceci n'est-il pas idiot:

Fatigués par les incessantes querelles de partis, les électeurs allemands ont jugé que seule une grande coalition CDU-SPD pouvait sortir l'Allemagne de l'ornière.

Bien sûr les électeurs allemands sont assez spéciaux, c'est pourquoi chacun a décidé de voter à la fois à gauche et à droite... (mais pas centriste!). [Mode sacarstique enclenché]Je suspecte personnellement tous les couples d'Allemagne de constituer une conspiration destinée à élire un gouvernement de cohabitation! Et hop, l'un vote à droite et l'autre à gauche...[Mode sacarstique éteint]
Rassurez-vous les médias allemands disent aussi le même genre d'idioties. C'est d'ailleurs marrant à l'étranger comme on s'aperçoit vite que les "maladies nationales" sont très internationales, en fait. Ca donne un peu de recul, ça n'est pas plus mal !

Monday, January 09, 2006

Sympathique

Aujourd'hui on parle de mon blog dans le journal de Saône-et-Loire. Très sympathique, d'autant plus que cela vient de ma région natale ! Espérons juste que je ne me laisserai pas changer par cette célébrité soudaine ;)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Ah le bon vin du Jura !

Cette fois j'ai pu ramener chez moi deux bouteilles de mon père ! Une de chardonnay, et une de macvin (si vous ne savez pas ce que c'est, vous trouverez de très bonnes informations sur ce magnifique site).
Je n'en ai pas encore dégusté, mais ce que j'ai goûté chez mes parents m'a déjà mis en appétit. Je suis particulièrement curieux au sujet du rouge (cépage du Beaujolais si j'ai bien compris); dans quelques années il va sûrement être vraiment bon. Mon père fait du vin pour son entourage (et surtout son plaisir), mais je dois dire que c'est vraiment réussi et fait avec beaucoup de sérieux.

Le macvin est particulièrement surprenant, mes amis Allemands (et autres) ont tous été surpris par ce vin. De l'avis de tous c'est très bon, mais impossible d'en boire trop tellement c'est sucré!

Il y a beaucoup de vin en Allemagne aussi; pas si mauvais que beaucoup de gens pourraient croire. D'ailleurs en Allemagne les gens boivent de plus en plus de vin; et surtout du vin local. Le vin allemand est étrangement semblable au vin du Jura: plutôt fort, avec beaucoup de caractère. Dans tous les cas c'est un vin de tradition qui n'a rien à voir avec du vin de Californie ou d'Afrique du Sud.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

L'interview mystère

Curieux article dans Le Monde. Il s'agit d'un entretien, d'accord, mais de qui ? Suis-je aveugle ou ça n'est écrit nulle-part ? Si quelqu'un a une réponse, les commentaires sont à vous !

De façon générale il est à déplorer la qualité de nombreux journaux en ligne au niveau de la présentation. Cela a pour conséquence:
1. de nous décourager à passer à une version en ligne payante, car probablement aussi pleine de fautes, d'oublis, etc.
2. de discréditer la version papier de même.

Dans Le Monde, il est à regretter une programmation du site non conforme aux standards, d'où de fréquents problèmes d'affichage du site. De plus, les annonces de l'AFP ont souvent une typographie déficiente.
Les autres grand sites ne sont pas en retrait non-plus. Le Figaro et Libération ne font pas forcément mieux.
Des contres-exemples ? Radio-France par exemple. En plus ils promeuvent les formats de diffusion libres (des systèmes de transfert des données qui n'appartiennent à aucune entreprise), même s'ils sont encores timides de ce côté

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Was ist denn mein Arbeit?

Wer kennt was Automatisierung ist? Bestimmt nicht so viele von euch!
Letzte Woche bei meinem Eltern war ich ganz ueberracht, als ich bestimmt ein Artikel ueber unser Produkt in iX (Januar 2006) gefunden habe.

Da wird es auf 4 Seiten erklaert (ab s. 140), was ist System Automation, was tut es und warum. Mehr kann ich nicht sagen, es ist schon sehr gut im Artikel zusammengefasst.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Français, soyez rassurés

Vous pensez peut-être qu'une conspiration des médias français (au bénéfice de qui-vous-savez...) fait que l'insécurité est partout? Rassurez-vous, les médias étrangers parlent aussi beaucoup des violences et discriminations en France.

This is a joke!

French military victories

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The house of my dreams


could look like this one.

For sure there can be some people worrying about the cost of such an installation; may the energy system of the house be environment friendly, 1 million $ of electronics is surely not.

They are some very interesting systems to get heat in the house without using any other extern energy than clean energy which is available on the 'ground' of the house; this kind of things looks very very nice. Does maybe someone knows more about it?