Results tagged “Personal”

These pains in the back are slowly driving me crazy. The symtoms of Sciatica are quite that what I'm currently experiencing, just that I wake up with nearly no issues at all. But thourough the day the pains slowly build up and reach their peak in the late evening.

I should really stress myself to visit the doctor again soon...

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The last few days have been full of personal events, good ones as well as bad ones. On the good side I've had birthday. On the bad side my backache I've having for some weeks now is still present.

There have been more events but those are quite private and those who are concerned know about it. Thanks to you all!

Issues from the past have been addressed, the present has enhanced and the future promises to bring even more. Even if some things may be difficult, I'll look forward into a great future and I hope, so do you all!

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If this ever hits safe ground on medical and duration issues I'd really like to think to get one.

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And I found another thing from my past which has kept me busy thinking about what's its name and where to start looking for it in the first place.

And now with the help of Rubiks.com I've found the Rubik's Magic Puzzle which was another ghost of my mind for quite a long time.

Many hints and descriptions of this 'magic' can be found here. Around 1997 the creators of the puzzle seem to have changed the colors of it. I like the old black and rainbow colors better. Perhaps I'll purchase one but I'd like to still look around a bit, perhaps I can get my hands on the old edition somewhere or can save shipping costs when I order it from a nearer geographic location.

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We were curious. We agreed. Stepped in. It was new. We liked it. We enjoyed it. New feelings. Never knew you that way. Like you. Want to get to know you. Again. We have fun. Take more of it. You tell me. Concealed something. Confession. A stroke. It burns. I'm wounded. World is whirring. Who are you? Explain. I'm down. Let me rest. Have a meeting. More explaination. Guilt. Reasons? Don't hide them. New sense in old words. World collapses. Mind breaks. It's dark. Don't feel my body. No one left. Can I take it? I need time. Senses back. Who are you? You could have told me earlier. Nothing as before. Give me time. Have to process. Don't want to disturb you. Don't want to loose you. I'll manage. It'll be around for a long time. Want to continue. Have to think. Have to acclimatize. Will adapt. I'm flexible. We'll get by. Don't hide again. Never!

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Am I the only one who thinks it's odd that the main music-file-format on MP3.com is DRM-ed WMA?

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The last few days caused quite some excitement for me because I got aware of some real good news for me and my geeky, childish mind.

First off with Nintendo:

Wow. I've been really thinking about pre-ordering the Wii, as soon as it's possible. Another thing I've been thinking of: The controller of the Wii will connect via Bluetooth. Would it be possible to connect it with a standard PC on Windows or Linux using a bluetooth receiver? Could that be possible? Someone to take that idea? Playing Oblivion with the Wii-controller would be incredible. A nice-looking news-site for the Wii seems to be Nintendo Wii News. And this Wii Montage on Google Video pretty much sums up all the fun.

The second gadged is the iRex iLiad:

  • it has support for non-DRM-ed content
  • LAN/WLAN/USB/SD-MMC/etc. ...
  • E-Ink display
  • and it'll run on some sorts of Linux

There's a nice coverage on TeleRead: A first look on the iRex Iliad. If it wouldn't have a price around 500$, I'd buy it as soon as possible. But I'll certainly have to think about that again.

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My workplace is in a corner of our building where I have a full view on our main entrance. When I'm sitting at my computers nobody can enter or leave the building through the main entrance without being recognized by me. And from time to time I observe some strange habbits of the people.

One of those strange behaviours is when employees from carrying businesses (like mail service, pizza or FedEx) deliver something. They hardly ever lock their vehicles when they enter the building. To the contrary some of them even leave a big truck with all doors wide open standing in the middle of the place with the engine running and enter the building. I'd just had to walk over, enter the car and drive away or pick up some expensive-looking goods. They'd never notice. Well, they would but not immediately and they couldn't tell where their deliveries had disappeared.

From time to time also other people leave their vehicles alone unsecured.

I think that this is a good sign for our culture and safety. Of course occassionally things are stolen from an unlocked car but in general I have no problem leaving my car unlocked for some minutes. There are not so many places in the western world where you can behave like that. Of course, I wouldn't let my keys left in the car...

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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?

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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".

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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

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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.

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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.

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Yes I'm still alive. Just been lazy about the last few weeks and having lots of stuff to do. What doesn't make things easy is that my darling has health problems and therefore I have to spend more time on her than usual. At work I had a more streamlined schedule and I had less idle time where I had to wait for other stuff to complete.

And I have to admit that I somehow came on the site Galaxy-News which lists lots of browsergames and there I found FreeWar.de. Its a nice browsergame and runs forever. It seems slow at the beginning but after some time, a week in my case now, the possibilities in that world become visible to the player and there are many of them. And there are even still quests possible even if you have a character with the experience from years of playing.

Yay, I spend too much time on that :)

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On the Guardian there is an article about how Sweden plans to be the world's first oil-free economy.

It's interesting to read that people from all parts of the society want to cure Sweden from its oil-dependency by around 2020. This really means that everything which today needs oil for generating its energy, be it heating or electricity, should be turned around to use renewable energy sources.

This change has to happen mentally and technically and if Sweden succeeds with that it'll be the worlds leading country which has an economy totally independend of oil price changes.

As much as I wish that my country would participate more in that direction I doubt that politicans will change their thoughts anywhere in the near future. Nevertheless I think that this will be a wakeup call for some people and countries which can't be bad for anyone of us.

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Yes, he's back. But just for an ad. Nevertheless it's a commercial spot which was aired during the Super Bowl.

In it much of the old times MacGyver spirit comes back to life. The hero of my younger years.

I found that news over at robokeek.com and after that went on to priceless.com to watch the actual commercial and some interviews and behind-the-scenes stuff.

It's now also up on Google Video along with all other Super Bowl Commercials. For some other locations, see this Lifehacker post. Some of them are funny too, for example the Bud Light beer commercials.

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Yeah, finally. Last Thursday my broadband order was delivered.

Set it up using the ADSL-modem which was delivered three days earlier with some slight problems. The problems arised because I don't like to start those "wizard" setup tools which are bundled with every providers connection and install crap all over the system. So I had to manually set up some things but the modem refused to work because it had no templates(?) installed. Had to fire up the providers setup-tool but canceled execution after it had the missing templates transfered. Strange stuff.

Well nevertheless. Yesterday I purchased a Netgear DG834G ADSL modem and wireless router and installed it instead of the providers modem. Worked completely flawlessly and I was online with the new hardware within minutes.

Later in the evening I upgraded the firmware on the router from version 2.10.22 to 3.01.25, which I found on Netgears DG834v2 Support Download Page.

And since it runs embedded Linux and the source is availabe I'm looking forward to hack the crap out of it.

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Yesterday I was walking around the main train station when I saw such a missing-sign sticking on the wall where parents search for their missing kids.

The text of the sign contained following paragraph:

[Blah, blah, description of a missing girl...]. She is usually in company with another missing girl.

Now, what does that mean? When she isn't missing, is she still in company with missing girls? That would be cool, if someone else is missing a girl the police only has to call her if those girl is around.

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As said last friday I sent the order form for the broadband ADSL connection to Inode.

I'm curious how long it'll take until the connection is up. I'm already looking out for an ADSL modem which has built-in WLAN support so that we can take andvantage of our wireless freedom of our laptops. Perhaps I'll even set up one computer as some always-on thing for continuous connection and service providing. Dunno yet, there are some obstacles to drive around with something like that.

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The last few days I've been thinking about boosting my internet connection at home again. I thought about that already about a year ago but did not find anything suitable at that time.

Of course I was looking for something all the time but only recently something changed. Somewhere around Christmas Inode enhanced their ADSL reselling products by two optional upgrades:

  • 7 GB Transfer Upgrade & Fair Use
  • 20 GB Transfer Upgrade & Fair Use

With these upgrades I finally found a product which enables me for low-cost massive broadband. "Fair Use" in these options means that the transfer volume can be transgressed to 110%, without that there is no limit but I have to pay for every excess MB.

I chose to buy the smallest available ADSL package (384/128 - 500MB) and enable the 7 GB option for it. I don't really need a faster line and I doubt that decent online gaming (except fast FPSs) is affected by it.

Well, including the option the price for the whole package lies below 30\x80, very fine for me :)

The order form is lying on my desk and I plan to send it over to Inode today. Better to do so because after the 15th I'll have to pay extra installation fee.

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