April 25, 2006

Nuclear Alternatives

Tomorrow the Chernobyl Desaster has its 20th anniversary. On many TV channels there are news and footages of what happened at the Chernobyl plant and what's the current state. And these are reminding us which consequences we have to face when all existing (or non-existing) security instances fail and radioactivity breaks through. Current pictures and comments are available at Elena Filatovas (aka "Kid of Speed") page. Look out for the Ghost Town and Land of the Wolves stories.

Since the time of the accident the number of new reactors per year has dropped significantly according the Nuclear Power Plants Information Page of the IAEA. But as much as mankind has learned from that accident, nowadays the energy production using radioactive fuel is rising again.

It's paradox but the main reason for this recent activity is because of environment concerns. The main other energy-sources, coal and gas, hold a large part of the global atmosphere pollution. Nuclear power on the other side has no effect on global warming. This main point and the drastically improved security have even convinced one of the co-founders of Greenpeace to go nuclear. There's a nice article on this subject on ABC News.

I personally think that even if nuclear power is much safer nowadays and nuclear fuel is running out slower than coal, oil or gas(PDF) it shouldn't be forgotten that nuclear power relies on non-renewable energy sources and mankind will have to deal with renewable alternatives sooner or later.

And if we have to deal with an inevitable switch to renewable energy wouldn't it be better to have the advanced technology from a decade of research and development than having hundreds or thousands of expensive reactors lying around depleted all over the world?

April 23, 2006

Titanic: Two The Surface

While surfing around the net I stumbled across a trailer to Titanic: Two The Surface. It's a very well done parody of a new fictional movie featuring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Really impressive. It's one of the best non-commercial movies of such quality I've seen so far. Non-commercial in the way that it doesn't want me to go to the cinema and spend money or buy something.

April 21, 2006

Blog update problems

I've been having problems with posting and updating entries on this blog for quite some time now. Eventually I found out that I can work around posting problems when I did an index-rebuild after posting an entry. This didn't solve the underlying problem but since I thought that only I as poster was faced with problems I didn't investigate further in this issue.

Well, my thought was wrong and readers are too faced with this problem. More precisely readers are running into errors when they try to post comments or trackbacks.

So I dug a bit deeper into the problem and found out that the server stops the MovableType process because it's taking too long to rebuild the pages after a new post, comment or trackback has been published. It's being written to the database but the update of the webpage just takes too long to complete.

Even further down the ultimate cause seems to lie in the feature of my category archives which contain all posts in that category since the start of my blog.

I'll try to find an alternate solution for these archives to get rid of the problems. Expect weird behaviour for them in the meantime!

April 19, 2006

A new hope for 'lil Nana

On Good Friday last week we had a small easter surprise when our cat suddenly came around having a baby hare in its mouth. My parents saved the little thing from the cat and brought it to us. What a cute little handfull of fur :)

Until we began to think about what to do with it and we recognized the coin-sized wound on its back, a reminder from its meeting with the cat. We knew that if it would have to stay with us it wouldn't survive. Taking it back to its mother was also no option anymore after being captured by our cat. Mother wouldn't take it back...

Luckilly my mother remembered an article about a woman who takes care and raises wounded small wildlife. And she had her station about 15 minutes from our home.

We took the little furball there where it got first aided and fed with special milk. The woman said she never raised a baby hare which immediately ate something after being brought to her. Normally they take their first meal after one or two days. Yeah, this was a sprightly little cuteness.

Later we were told that it was a female hare, that we could choose a name for it and that we can visit her anytime.

We'll surely meet again, little Nana. And we'll look out for photos of you on the homepage of the association "Kleine Wildtiere in grosser Not".

April 10, 2006


Last week we got a questionaire mailed home. It was a form from "Schober GmbH" which asks for everything which can be used for target-specific advertisment. Clearly a datamining company was responsible for that.

It was a form which was done in a very professional way and an uninformed consumer would surely have filled out parts of it to have a chance to win the advertised prize. It looked almost like a form from the tax authorities. To a part I was really impressed of this good work. And they covered their intentions in almost understandable explainations. They even managed to use the phrase "...[we] will use your data solely for transmission to third parties for advertism and statistical purposes..." inside their fine print, which amazingly had the same size and font as the rest of the text, without sounding suspicious.

Only that it was followed by 6 pages of thorogh personal-information-probing... (They even ask for the age of your pets which I jokingly mentioned BEFORE I found that paragraph really be contained in the questionaire).

I did not throw away this form as I would advise anyone but sent a note to ARGE Daten Privacy Service and the consumerism Konsumentenschutz.at.

Both recipients of my note replied today:

  • ARGE DATEN is really concerned about this company and they mentioned that they have already a meeting with the head of this firm on a conference about data security. I offered sending them the questionare for reference which they thankfully accepted.
  • Konsumentenschutz.at, the consumerism agency, just asked for my address and my phone number before processing my concern.

Well, this could give the base for an almost-real-life-joke:

"Hey, I was contacted by an data-mining company. I'd just want to let you know."

"Thanks for your request. Please provide your adress and phone number for organisational purposes.

ARGE DATEN vs. Konsumentenschutz.at: 1:0

April 8, 2006

Small updates & RSS feed change

I've updated my RSS feed file to Atom, please find the new file at http://kosi2801.freepgs.com/atom.xml.

I've updated the settings of my blog here a bit like changing the RSS part because I think the RSS 1.0 isn't up to date anymore nowadays. And I reworked the link-section, updated the existing links and have been tinkering about the errors which arise again when rebuilding pages. It seems that rebuilding the pages takes too long again and the server cancels it after some time running. This also affects commenting and trackbacking which I don't think is nice for people who hit these pages.

Tinkering around a bit, probably I can tweak it...

April 7, 2006


I participate in an auxiliary fire brigade. The nature of this causes infrequent alerts at godless times and out of the blue where one has to haste and get to the point of action. Usually that means that we're called to a car accident or help people and equipment out of uncomfortable situations where they can't get out on their own. But sometimes this also means that you get into situations which really make you think.

Today was such a day when I received the alert AND was at home and available to participate in this emergency mission. Altough we had some difficulties getting out of the fire station (specifically, too few people available) we finally arrived at the car crash site. And what a site that was. Already present were:

  • police with two vehicles
  • three ambulance vehicles
  • emergency physician vehicle
  • emergency helicopter

Wow. What an accumulation of emergency people. Must be quite an accident I thought. And I were right: Two quite deformed cars were standing on the side of the road and in one vehicle two people were still inside. The other more damaged car was empty. The next view revealed that the two people inside the car were stuck in there and the people from the other car were located on each side of their car surrounded by rescue personnel.

And one passenger of the car, a little girl(?) of about 10 years, was receiving cardiac massage and artificial respiration...

I don't think that the child made it. It was transported off-site later with an ordinary ambulance-bus and without haste while another victim which was still conscious was brought to hospital with the helicopter... The ambulance people also didn't have optimistic faces.

Update: Newspapers today said, the 12 year old boy died on the way to hospital. May you not be forgotten, little fellow.

April 3, 2006

Lifesign - Part 2

Once again I've had no time for an update for quite some time. The causes this time were increased task-load at work and an accumulation of important events (birthdays, jubilees, etc.). And I have to admit this browsergame has still a part of my time.

My dear is currently abroad in London, which means that I'm on my own and others say that I'm "free". I don't really feel more free than before. To the contrary something's missing and this feeling is stronger than the sense of freedom.

This weekend I attended another LARP but this time supporting the game leaders which means if somewhere a battle has to be fought we as NPCs (non-player-characters) have to slip into the roles of the enemies.

There were some funny twists during the play. I had been planned for an important part of a plot over the whole weekend but after I had slipped into that character for about half an hour I was murdered from behind... Bye bye carefully planned plot, game leaders had to improvise quite a bit to compensate this loss.

All in all it was quite fun with only few points of criticism left.

At work my overall job will change a bit in the upcoming time. I'm trying to get a bit out of my shell where I'm currently working in and get in touch with another team which works for an enourmous project abroad. Also I'll participate in trainings around Java and frameworks and so on. Was a nice feeling to hear that other teams were discussing on who gets their hands on me.