August 2007 Archives

Tue Aug 28 22:14:47 CEST 2007

Is it Microsoft who is bad?

After reading this /. article, I'm disgusted. Yes, it happens. It happened in the past and it will happen in the future.

It is not a problem of Microsoft trying to get their work done. And they are doing it. Doing it in a way that normal people/companies would feel ashamed for. Microsoft is different. They stick at nothing. This is "great" motivation for their employees.

Ever heard about Microsoft being the best company you'd like to work for? If so, probably only the employees of Microsoft were asked. Or many different people were asked by some Microsoft partner. Millions of ways to get the "goal" as you wish.

But I think that it is not Microsoft problem. It is a problem in ISO and its member bodies. We can only imagine, how the standardization process works in general... Hopefully it is not the same as what currently happens with OOXML in Sweden.

But there are exceptions - I can't say anything wrong to our national standardization body. It is very hard to work on a task where one side says "no, never, it can be like this" and the other side repeats "This is the only way and no other way exists".

There are more methods to solve this problem. One of them is very easy - set a price tag and allow everyone who has the money to vote. More money wins. Easy. Correct? Depends.

The other one is: do you have a technical comment to our task? No? OK, thanks. Yes? OK, other side: do you have a technical comment to proposed technical comment? And so on...

Czech standardization body selected the second method and they rejected all tries to get it to incorrect method one - letters by Microsoft puppies, "independent" lobbyists from "independent" institutions, rejecting valid technical comments because "it has to be this way" etc.

I very often have the feeling that our country is very bad at this, but after reading the article again, I'm proud I'm living in Czech Republic!

Posted by Pavel | Permanent link | File under: Lost in Thoughts

Fri Aug 24 07:39:25 CEST 2007

We will error for you every Friday, 4am UTC

After reading Hubert's blog entry, I realised that some web services simply are not ready for all people. Hubert's example shows that his cable TV provider is not ready for him.

I here state that CollabNet's services provided to the OOo project are not ready for me.

This week was terrible. I filed approx. 5 issues this week, four of them were related to mis-functionality of our bug tracking system (various messages like two kinds of CRM errors, SSL negotiation failed, completely dead site for a few minutes).

But why I wrote this blog entry? See #i80093#. The site will error for you every Friday 4am UTC which unfortunately is part of my business time.

Posted by Pavel | Permanent link | File under:

Mon Aug 20 13:22:33 CEST 2007

Yet another week (almost) without computers at the Bohemian Forest...

I like Bohemian Forest (we call it Šumava in Czech). It is now almost tradition that my family spends one week at Šumava every year.

Knížecí pláně, Šumava, CZ
This year, it was even more interesting - we switched our hotel, because we were not satisfied with the quality of services in the first one. Thus we end up in 4 stars hotel in the city Vimperk and you can imagine how they like people who are at Šumava for tourism, but on the other hand expect their WiFi network to work like a charm and who like good meal ;-)

We did a lot of walks around there (with my small son sitting on my back in the backpack) - Kubova Huť, Stožec and the chaple there, Knížecí Pláně (the pic here is from there) and of course Borová Lada/Černá Lada, where my parents-in-law are on their vacation.

We also went to Germany, to visit Grosser Arber (my son likes cable railways and my father-in-law knows a lot (a lot!) about radar technologies... ;-) and the lake close to it and cities around (Zwiesel and Bayerisch Eisenstein).

The nature there was hit by Kyrill wind storm in January this year, so it was impressive to see what wind can do. Especially on the Czech side (where we walked more). A lot of tourist ways are closed or restricted there, so we have seen Šumava from different perspective than usually. Sad views...

I almost forgot to add some notes about my favourite topic: meal ;-) The first hotel in Kubova Huť had impressive kitchen (which was in strong contrast with very bad quality of their rooms, services and swimming-pool). The hotel in Vimperk had terrible kitchen... The other interesting meal was a local specialty at Knížecí Pláně (geocached here) - rum praline inside proofed dough packed inside eschar from corn. Five small pieces covered with the sauce from bilberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries (thanks goes to my dictionary for all these words :-).

And of course we again started our vacation with excellent lunch at hotel Albatros, Prachatice, CZ.

Other photos are here.

Posted by Pavel | Permanent link | File under: Private

Fri Aug 10 14:13:43 CEST 2007

Czech comments to OOXML

Jirka Kosek prepared English version of comments that were prepared by group of technical people about OOXML proposal. 75 comments there. Enjoy.

Posted by Pavel | Permanent link | File under:, Internet technologies

Wed Aug 8 23:05:51 CEST 2007

Wild ideas connected together - Google: go for it!

I had an interesting day today. I spent some time on hacking on technologies I do no longer use for various reasons but I was still able to get up to speed with them very fast. Dreaming about their potential use cases for today's world, I had an idea (there are many people allergic to these words from me, because it often means a lot of work for them 8). I would like to know your comments ;-)

First some premises.

Imagine IBM's Deep Blue machine - one massively parallel machine. It is a supercomputer playing chess. Very fast computer...

Imagine Google and many people using it for googling^Wsearching. Many people spend a small time on Google pages. They do not pay for this service, but Google is using their CPUs to render his search results wanted by them on their monitors using their electricity etc.

Google is using a lot of CPU power. Some people already mentioned it - Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year.

What if Google uses a bit more CPU power than it needs? Can it use this CPU power a bit more than you need for rendering your search results?

And now some wild ideas :-) Imagine Google adding a small AJAX code to their pages. Code like this (metacode):
  1. after the page is rendered, talk to and ask for a job
  2. when you received it, start it
  3. when it is finished, submit the results back to Google
I can imagine "jobs" like this: "evaluate the current position on the chessboard" or "evaluate the positions from this state two moves deeper" or "SETI@Google" etc. Massively parallelized!

Of course there can be many similar examples and ideas around it - users could define on what they want to work on (SETI, DNA, PI digits, prime numbers) in their configuration and how much CPU time they want to DONATE to Google/these projects etc.

etc. etc.

Maybe this is old news, old concept, but it can be used by everyone - e.g. imagine having a AJAX job on your homepage and people visiting your pages working for you on Eternity II.

What do you think about it? Is this concept already in use in the wild? Can it be used to save the world? 8)

Posted by Pavel | Permanent link | File under: Lost in Thoughts, Internet technologies