Recycling is good, but you’re doing it wrong

So the City Hall of Lisboa decided to dedicate some days of the week to pick up different kinds of trash. Two days it’s plastic, once a week it’s paper, and three times it’s common garbage. Glass is still deposited on the street containers, but the rest is on dedicated baskets per building.

In our’s, on the 3rd sub level, are two baskets. One for paper and one for plastics. As I went there this morning to put some papers in its basket I saw this deplorable scene, showing that one neighbor in particular is very disrespectful not only of his neighbors, but also of the poor guy who has to take the baskets out.

PANO_20131215_121100 PANO_20131215_121129 SAMSUNGI scrubbed the card boxes until I found two with the address of the culprit, wrote him a message and placed it in his inbox, falling out for all to see.

The messages goes like this:

Like it? Neither do we!

Garbage in volume is picked at no cost by the city hall! 217706030

Meanwhile, use your basement storeroom or your house to store the crap you made on -3

SAMSUNGSAMSUNG

Don’t want no Microsoft tax!

So you might know I bough a Samsung NP900X3C. Yes, it came with Windows. No I don’t use it. Yes I want my money back on that item.

I’ve just asked Samsung Portugal what the procedure is.

Boa noite,

Adquiri um portátil NP900X3C e não utilizo Windows. Desejo devolver a licença de Windows que fui forçado a adquirir na compra do portátil em causa, bem como de todos os softwares incluídos no sistema operativo a devolver.

Desde que o arranquei pela primeira vez que corre GNU/Linux, neste momento Fedora e encontro-me muito satisfeito com o suporte, mas não concordo com a licença do Windows nem posso ser, legalmente, forçado a aceitá-la para comprar um portátil.

Como devo proceder?

Obrigado em avanço,
Rui Seabra

Screenshot from 2013-12-15 01:45:13

True cat story (II)

My current cat, Hastur, likes to run from one end of the house to the other.

I had a huge turtle living in a 100 l aquarium, a bit like this one:

aquariumThe top was usually on, and the cat liked to jump onto it, but one day, it was being cleaned.

The cat jumped and… didn’t get wet.

But I had to carefully save him while laughing like a maniac.

He had his 4 members spread out horizontally in order to prevent him from falling and meowed desperately.

True cat story (I)

I once had in my house a two level glassy serving cart. Nothing as fancy as this 1000 $ USD, but it was of that fashion:

fancy_serving_cartNow imagine your cat used to run and jump on the top level.

Now imagine the top level had broken, it was being replaced and the cat didn’t know about it…

Now imagine the cat running, jumping to the top, and then landing very surprised on the bottom.

While I was rolling on the floor laughing a lot, the cat stood still some good couple of minutes trying to digest what had just happened.

I miss you, Roque 🙂

Axeing email, almost Inbox Zero

I feel so proud of myself… tonight I decided to simply axe most of my email.

I have let my email get out of control again, with the practical effect that it was exponentially hard to reply on time to people.

Now I need to axe mailing lists… I don’t read any of them, and the message numbers piling up drive me into a state of email depression, which is what I call the feeling you get of anxiety because you feel you are loosing a lot, but it’s such an abundance of information that you feel helpless to even start.

I’m down to a couple dozen emails I might have to really reply or do something about them, and I’ll have to tighten the spam checks.

If I was able to get my weight under control (or at least, it’s still going down to an yet unknown baseline) then I must surely be able to get control of that part of my life.

Sorry if I haven’t replied you back… if it’s important, please do ping me again.

Pirate Bay Docks in Peru: New System Will Make Domains “Irrelevant”

Article note: I've been saying this for a few years, why not some sort of P2P https? :-)

The world’s leading entertainment companies and their armies of lawyers have tried pretty much every trick in the book to take The Pirate Bay offline.

Their numerous attacks have included police raids, the total confiscation of the site’s hardware, plus prolonged legal action resulting in the criminal convictions for its founders. More recently the site’s domains have been blocked in various countries around Europe but no tactic has yet managed to bring the site to its knees.

There have been small victories, however. Perhaps realizing that blockades weren’t having the desired effect in the past year action has been taken against the site’s domains. Fearing a domain seizure by Swedish authorities, last April the site moved to a Greenland-based domain. The stay was short-lived, with the site moving first to Iceland and then the .sx ccTLD for Sint Maarten.

That residency was to last just eight months, terminated this week following pressure from Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN. The .AC ccTLD of Ascension Island was next up, a handy stopover on the way to its latest destination.

As of a few minutes ago the site’s new domain became ThePirateBay.pe. The .PE represents the ccTLD of Peru, chosen by the site “because it’s in South America.”

Quite how long the world’s most famous torrent site will stay sandwiched between Ecuador and Bolivia is anyone’s guess, but TorrentFreak was told that there will soon come a time when seizing Pirate Bay’s domains will be a pointless exercise.

Currently under development is a BitTorrent-powered browser that will enable users to store and distribute The Pirate Bay and other sites without need for central hosting. This means sites will be able to exist in a new and decentralized form with no reliance on a public-facing website.

In a message to “BREIN and friends,” The Pirate Bay cautions that while closing down domains may be an irritant today, that loophole won’t be open forever.

“They should wait for our new PirateBrowser, then domains will be irrelevant,” an insider told TorrentFreak.

“Once that is available then all links and sites will be accessible through a perfectly legal piece of browser software and the rest of it will be P2P, with no central point to attack via the legal system.”

And according to the spokesman this process of attack and adaption, such as Pirate Bay’s move to the cloud last year, is leading to one place – the advent of new and hardened file-sharing networks.

“By their actions they finally brought on the next generation of decentralized services,” the insider concludes.

TorrentFreak is informed that the new system, which is still under development, will appear as a standalone browser and also as Firefox and Chrome plugins. Until then the varied climate of Peru will suffice.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and VPN services.

Pirate Bay Docks in Peru: New System Will Make Domains “Irrelevant”

Article note: I've been saying this for a few years, why not some sort of P2P https? :-)

The world’s leading entertainment companies and their armies of lawyers have tried pretty much every trick in the book to take The Pirate Bay offline.

Their numerous attacks have included police raids, the total confiscation of the site’s hardware, plus prolonged legal action resulting in the criminal convictions for its founders. More recently the site’s domains have been blocked in various countries around Europe but no tactic has yet managed to bring the site to its knees.

There have been small victories, however. Perhaps realizing that blockades weren’t having the desired effect in the past year action has been taken against the site’s domains. Fearing a domain seizure by Swedish authorities, last April the site moved to a Greenland-based domain. The stay was short-lived, with the site moving first to Iceland and then the .sx ccTLD for Sint Maarten.

That residency was to last just eight months, terminated this week following pressure from Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN. The .AC ccTLD of Ascension Island was next up, a handy stopover on the way to its latest destination.

As of a few minutes ago the site’s new domain became ThePirateBay.pe. The .PE represents the ccTLD of Peru, chosen by the site “because it’s in South America.”

Quite how long the world’s most famous torrent site will stay sandwiched between Ecuador and Bolivia is anyone’s guess, but TorrentFreak was told that there will soon come a time when seizing Pirate Bay’s domains will be a pointless exercise.

Currently under development is a BitTorrent-powered browser that will enable users to store and distribute The Pirate Bay and other sites without need for central hosting. This means sites will be able to exist in a new and decentralized form with no reliance on a public-facing website.

In a message to “BREIN and friends,” The Pirate Bay cautions that while closing down domains may be an irritant today, that loophole won’t be open forever.

“They should wait for our new PirateBrowser, then domains will be irrelevant,” an insider told TorrentFreak.

“Once that is available then all links and sites will be accessible through a perfectly legal piece of browser software and the rest of it will be P2P, with no central point to attack via the legal system.”

And according to the spokesman this process of attack and adaption, such as Pirate Bay’s move to the cloud last year, is leading to one place – the advent of new and hardened file-sharing networks.

“By their actions they finally brought on the next generation of decentralized services,” the insider concludes.

TorrentFreak is informed that the new system, which is still under development, will appear as a standalone browser and also as Firefox and Chrome plugins. Until then the varied climate of Peru will suffice.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and VPN services.

Samsung NP900X3C is pretty sweet!

On black friday (we don’t really have that tradition in Portugal but stores are copying it from other countries) I saw this very sweet Samsung NP900X3C (A01PTbut it cost a hairline under 1000€. The ones I was really looking after were the 11.5” ones with Intel Core i7 but they cost around 1600€ over here. Much sweeter, but they’d really set me back a bit too much.

So… I happen to go back to the store a couple of weeks afterwards and it’s now at 777€. Woot! (well, it was the laptop on display, as it was the last one).

Since I wanted it to have 8 GB of RAM rather than the 4 GB it comes with, I asked whether they’d upgrade the RAM. «No problem!» they replied. Oopsie, problem… the RAM is non expandable after all, wielded to the board (the hidden costs of being ultra light and thin) was also a surprise for them, so as I was going to go give up on it they got me a further discount: 699€. Done deal!

So of course I never even booted Windows (the story of the license refund: part I, part II, part III, and part IV should start really soon now) and quickly got Fedora 20 in it. Virtually everything works, with the exception of a couple of minor issues: the keyboard brightness, silent mode and wireless toggle don’t work, but the rest… on man…

  • Boots to graphical login prompt in 6 seconds, not counting the UEFI bios, but it’s also just a couple of seconds more.
  • Intel Core i5 is fast enough, I don’t have the slightest feeling of slowness, it seems faaaaast! Even with the scaling governor in place
  • It’s so light it almost doesn’t feel it’s there
  • The full resolution is there, not Full HD like the ones I was really looking after but 1600×900 is very good. Intel HD4000 is also quite fast, but I already knew that since I upgraded my home media center in the summer of 2012, which came with it.
  • The keys are evenly spaced, it’s quite balanced for my hands and I’m quickly adapting to the layout without any issues other than the arrow keys which are a tad small, but also rarely used.
  • The touchpad is wonderful, before configuration I was hating it (oh… no tap click) but it was just a config away. Two fingers to scroll, three finger tap for middle button paste, and it turns off while typing. Yes! I wonder if there are more gestures…
  • Audio sounds fine, but I use a bluetooth headset anyways (oh yeah, bluetooth works fine as well, already bound the mouse too)
  • Wifi is working fine, and it’s only a bore that ethernet is done via a dongle. It looks like micro-USB, but it’s probably not as the interface is already there before anything is plugged
  • The SD card reader also works fine

Jos Poortvliet’s blog about this laptop is also a good source of what should be happening, and it seems that the buttons that aren’t working should work after some help, but samsung-laptop module isn’t being loadable, so I expect that’s a Fedora beta issue, maybe on the next kernel upgrade it works better 🙂

The only design issue I found, so far, is that the left USB is too close to the power cord, so when it’s plugged it’s hard to put anything in without a short extension cable, but hardly a serious issue when it’s so cool.

I’m only sorry I was in the eminence of having my WeTab just stop working at a bad timing, because even though I got a very good deal, some other important expenses have had to be delayed to 2014…