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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Moving out of Blogger ...

Blogger was my first love thanks to Sebz, but now the story is over.

I have now moved to a Wordpress platform, and dedicated hosting ... You can now find me on More on that move in the days to come !

For the feed readers, the links will be updated so you should not need to change anything !

So that's it ... Bye Bye Blogger !

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Samba ... A Windows - Linux dancing story !

I already posted on this subject (actually my first post on Ubuntu), but I just wanted to share a better link I found out here : Dead Simple, Clear, Understandable ... Everything a newbie like me needs.

Oh and by the way if the "Connect To server.." function works somewhat great in Gutsy, forget about the "Shared Folders" one : it imply does not work and makes you loose your time !

So now my network is up and running perfectly !

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Managing shell history

On linux, if you use multiple terminals, and are a fan of the history command because you always forget which one actually worked, then you have probably noticed something weird : some of your commands sometimes disappear because they don't appear in history.

It is due to the fact that, by default, the history is saved when a terminal is closed. But more than saved I should say replaced ! Meaning that the history is actually the one of the current terminal plus the one of the last terminal you closed.

If you want to have your history saved across multiple terminal, then I found this link here to guide you. Basically, you need to add
shopt -s histappend
to your .basrc file.

Only thing I'd like to do now, is to have the history file being saved every time I enter a command, not only when the terminal is closed, so that I could easily share information across multiple terminals ... But I have not yet found the answer ! If you have it, talk to me !

Watching Sopcast & TvAnts on Ubuntu !!!

It's Shangaï Master's time ( Gooooo Gasquet ;-) ), and while blogging, surfing, and whatelse, I wanted to watch the tennis game on my newly configured Ubuntu Gutsy box !
Of course Sopcast and TVAnts are THE P2P programs to watch television right now, so this is the way I went !

First thing firt, you need to install the standard Windows codec, because they don't come defacto with the Gutsy installation. A really good tutorial on the official site here, and look for "Playing Restricted Formats".

For TVAnts the installation is straight forward. You need to install Wine, the windows emulator. Then you download the regular Windows setup file and run it with the previously installed Wine. Apparently it needs a rebbot for Wine to add the shortcut to the faked "Windows Programs". After that you just need to add a channel or select one from the list, and open MPlayer or VLC on the url given by the program, which is usually something like http://localhost:8900/1.asf.

For SopCast, it's not as simple
. Unfortunately the gui does not really seem to work at the moment. So you need to install the command line util. You can download it from their website, and unzip it on your machine. It has a dependency over libstdc++5 which you can install from the package manager. Once this is done, you need to issue a command line of the like :
./sp-sc-auth sop://myserver/mychannel 3908 6908 >/dev/null &
3908 is the port that will connect to the server, 6908 is the port that will have the video, >/dev/null is to prevent the verbose output, and & to make the process run standalone which is obviously optional. Once this is done, you need to wait a little bit for the data to buffer (look at you systray and the network monitor), and then start your preferred player on the http://localhost:6908/tv.asf URL.

And there you go ! P2P Television enabled on your delighted Gutsy Ubuntu box !

If you have any problems, or need more information, don't hesitate to ask !

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mounting Windows shares in Ubuntu

Obviously this problem had to show up at some point.

Here is a really good link that says how to do that !

And now just need to solve the last problem : Video suttering when playing files over the network .. But this one seems a tricky one :-(

How I got to watch Heros on Ubuntu !

Since I now have a new working Ubuntu install, I decided I'll watch Heroes on it while "working" on my other machine... Or so I thought.
The graphic card I now have is a S3Trio 3D/2X 8Mo, and I thought I would be on a good run with that one ! Unfortunately any attempt to run a Heroes episode ended up on a window getting killed :-(

Of course I first thought I was not using the right player, or not having the right codec. So I tried Totem, VLC, MPlayer ... No result. So I installed all the codecs I could find ... No result. So I decided to run from the command line, and got the fllowing message :
The program 'totem' received an X Window System error.
This probably reflects a bug in the program.
The error was 'BadAlloc (insufficient resources for operation)'.
(Details: serial 86 error_code 11 request_code 140 minor_code 19)
(Note to programmers: normally, X errors are reported asynchronously; that is, you will receive the error a while after causing it. To debug your program, run it with the --sync command line option to change this behavior. You can then get a meaningful backtrace from your debugger if you break on the gdk_x_error() function.)

Simply GREAT !

Some more googling took me to this page, where they tell you to add two more lines to your Xorg.conf file ... But I was still in no luck, with the same problem.

At last, I found the following page in the netherlands, where they suggested to use the 16 bits default depth instead of 24 in the Xorg.conf file. So I did, and after a restart of the X server ... YATTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA ! There was
Hiro Nakamura !

Now I just need to catch up on 6 episodes ;-)

Old graphic card on Ubuntu/Xorg

As you may recall I was kind of having a bad time with Xorg X server configuration for my really old SIS6215 graphic card.

After digging a lot of google, I was not able to get it to work correctly, and found out that it was not supported by Xorg anymore here.
I went to use another crap old graphic card, a Cirrus, this one. I got this one to almost work, but only for a resolution of 800x600. It took me some time, and if you need I can give you the adequate Xorg.conf file. But this resolution was too small for any relevant usage.
I then got to wonder whether Xorg was really supporting old PCI graphic cards ? It turned out with more google searches that the legitimate answer to the question is NO.
So I decided to order some old AGP cards on PriceMinister (Ebay did not get me what I needed ;-)), and got them two days later.
After that, a clean install of Gutsy, aka Ubuntu 7.10, gave me a working machine, with a decent resolution (1280 wide).

The conclusion of all that ? As Clowny said "With X, if it works, it works ... If not, then there is no magic !". And I would add, that if you want to use an old PCI card... Don't expect it to be a smooth road !!!

How I moved a blog from Serendipity to Wordpress

I had a blog using the S9Y framework aka Serendipity but obviously since Wordpress is THE blogging framework around I had to move to it.

Unfortunately S9Y is not one of the supported import modes of Wordpress. Fortunately, a quick Google search pointed me to the following page, which gives one ! You just need to drop the file in the wp-admin/import directory of your wordpress installation, and use the standard import mechanism.

After that, I ran into the following error beause of my hosting provider ( : "failed to delete and flush buffer. No buffer to delete or flush". After lots of goggle search which led nowhere since this is a classic PHP error happening on lots of blogs, I decided to tackle the problem myself. After some good old "echo debugging", I found out, that the problem was the following line of the serendipity.php file :
$cats = $this->get_s9y_cat_assoc($ret_id);

I commented it out and replaced it by :
$cats = array();
Now, you might say "cool, but this has to have some side effects!". And you're right. Apparently with the posts category, but since there was none on the imported blogs... Who cares ;-)

Don't hesitate to post, if you know a better solution !

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Save the Cheerleader ?

So Claire needs some superpower to do a backflip from the tower ?

I know some people who don't need that to do so !

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Two first GreaseMonkey scripts

I just created my two first scripts for the geniusly useful greasemonkey engine, so I thought I'd share this with you !
For those of you not familiar with GreaseMonkey, this is a Firefox addon that basically executes some Javascrit code inside your browser once the page has been loaded. This allows to modify the UI, add some functionalities, etc to some website, without having to actually modify the website itself since everything is done on the client side. I'll try to write another post to share with you some of the script I use on daily basis !
Anyhow, I also have several computers at home, and one of them is a blackbox running the Azureus bittorrent client, with the HTMLWebUI interface enabled. This allows me to remotely control the engine, and upload, stop, monitor the various torrents I'm downloading. At some point, I was fed up with having to search for the torrent on some torrent search site, then right click to copy the link location of the torrent, and paste that in the WebUI interface. So I created two scripts to facilitate that process.
The first scripts adds a link in the mininova search page to directly send the torrent file to the remote azureus. So I don't need to right click, paste, change tab and all ... Torrent download is only one click away !
The second script goes the opposite way. I sometimes have torrents that don't start for some reasons. So usually I would go back to mininova, search for the thing I was downloading and re-upload it to Azureus. I accelerated this process by adding a link that directly gets you to the mininova search page with the correct search terms. Again, one click away from finding the perfect torrent !
You can get those scripts on my UserScripts page... Enjoy ! And if you have any question, don't hesitate to ask !

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Another great race ... Can't wait for Brasil !

Another week-end, and another post on Formula One. By now you know the deal : early wakeup equals Formula One while waking up ! And this race again was really interesting for its first 75% !
It was held in China, where again the weather played some nice little games with the drivers minds. Started under light rain, the track started to dry out. This caused good drivers to overpass others quite often during the first quarter of the course, and since the track offers some nice settings for that, it was real nice to watch. When the track dried out, drivers started using the slick tires (the one that can only work on dry tracks), just to realize that after 10 laps the rain came again, sending a few drivers in the grass. The great thing was that conditions where changing from laps to laps, and the drivers with wet/dry tires where having different difficulties on every lap. So the time between each driver where highly flexible, thus letting you hope for a great finish.
With all that, Hamilton was in first, with Raikonnen chasing him. Going out to change tires, Hamilton went off track and stopped, leaving the track all open for the former to win the course, in front of Alonso and Massa. Too bad for Kubica who was actually going to win it if he did not have a problem with his transmission. The last 15 laps where ran in this order, with no major changes and actions, which reminded us all how boring can Formula One be when there is no action !
The great thing is that the winner of this season championship won't be known until the next and last course in Brasil. Basically Alonso could win it if he wins it, Raikonnen could triumph if the two McLaren were to fail, but for sure the one with the most chances is Hamilton, who for his first season as a driver could win the championship ... Can't wait for the 21st of October to see that !

A new lipdub by Rumeur Publique

A French company, specializing in PR, has just released a new Lip Dub. The song is called Louxor, and is from French artist Philippe Katerine.
21 people, really good lip syncing, great office space, and an ending where everyone falls down on each others .... A real success and big round of applause for you guys girls (mostly ;-))

Monday, October 1, 2007

Formula One or Stock Car Racing ?

Update : YouTube had to remove the videos due to copyright infrigments ... I'm trying to find the video some place else ...
It was a long time since my last live F1 Grand Prix, but this Sunday I managed to catch the last 20 minutes of the 2007 Japan one.
For the past few years, I found out that the show was not as interesting as it used to be (more strategy, less action), and the retirement of Sir Schumacher did not really help me in waking up early to catch the live action !
Anyhow, on Sunday, after an hectic night, and an early wakeup thanks to my son, I watch that one ! Really hard conditions, with lots of rain. On board cameras where showing the difficulty for the drivers to drive and find the best curves on this slippery racetrack !
And then came the last lap ... First the 2nd and 3rd driver, aka Kovalainen and Raikkonen, switch places two times to remain in the same order in a battle than reminded us all of good all times when overlapping was not an exception ! What a lap for the first one who is really in his first years of driving, on a car that has not proven much this year (Renault).
But the most amazing was the battle between Massa and Kubica !
Here is the video from outside view (Loooove the Japanese guys ;-))

You see there that the racetrack was not really wide enough for those two guys, and that the lap was really closer to Stock Car than Formula One ! I still cannot believe that they did both finish the race on the finish line, and not in the gravels !
But even more impressing, is the onboard view of Massa's car ... Just old your breath people, because you are going to see why these people are considered the best drivers around :

Here are the two videos next to one another :

And what seems like a slightly longer version of the first one :

Monday, September 24, 2007

Another Lip Dub

I have featured a certain number of lip dubs here on this blog, and here is a new one by a French Travel Agency (Yeaaaahhh !). It is on the song by Mika called Lollipop, and again, I think its a great one !

Are you of the logic or artistic kind ?

I came across the following picture while browsing my feeds, and it really is impressive :

If you look at it, you should see a girl spinning in circle. The funny thing is that not everyone sees her spinning in the same direction. If you see her spinning clockwise, then you are of the logical kind, meaning the left part of your brain is the more active one. However if you see her spinning counter-clockwise, then you are of the artistical kind, meaning the right sight of your brain is the more active one.
I personally started seeing her spinning clockwise (ouf :-D) but then she started to change. Apparently depending upon when I see her head or her toes first (using the elevator on my browser), I see her spinning in different directions... Doc please tell me what this mean ;-). Is there really an artistical inner me, because I have been doubting that over the year :-D.
And you what do you see, and how do you feel about it ?

Seen on Blog De Buit

Monday, September 17, 2007

About being "green" just for the sake of it

I just finished reading this article on VentureBeat thanks to a post on PMarca where the following criticism about Prius owners appears :
It’s like wealthy investors giving money to “art museums instead of to starving people”
Why do I like this sentence ? Probably because I think that today a lot people cheer on ecology, making pseudo sacrifices for the planet ... But at the end of the day do so, more because it is a huge trend, than because of real personal conviction. By the way this sentence was issued by Vinod Khosla who is one of the most influent investor in Greeen Technology from the Silicon Valley... Just to show you that it's not coming from some Oil backed company's CEO like you may have imagined.

The other reason why I like this sentence is that people have a tendency to focus their vision on one detail, but don't really look into the big picture. Yes it hurts to see artists in the need and not being able to continue their passion. But what about those millions of people that just can't eat or drink everyday ?

It's of course an easy to take shortcut since things are far more complicated than that, but next time you speak about ecology, take a minute or two to see whether the action you are taking is really relevant, whether it's just a drop in the sea, or there's just something more important to do for your planet ...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tetris mania !

I'm sure most of you played tetris at some point in time ... And I even include the little one who am sure have come across his really simple but addictive game on their next generation mobile phone !
I found out this video of one tetris master ! It's a bit long, but if you go near the end, you'll see someone who knows how to play without even seeing the bricks !

Via Kek

Monday, September 3, 2007

Samba Configuration

I'm in the process of playing with a linux server box I setup @ home on a really old computer.
Since I'm not system administrator expert, I tend to always forget how I did things ... So over the next couple of days/weeks, I'll post here some info I don't want to loose, or tips I found out while working with my box !

FYI, I installed an Ubuntu Server edition, because I did not have too much computing power, and my graphical card (SIS6215) seems really difficult to configure for X server !

So here we go with the first thing I don't want to forget : Samba configuration for easy sharing with my other Windows based computers. I found this really nice HOWTO, that explains simply how to do it ... The steps are well written, so I won't bother making it better ;-)

Monday, August 13, 2007

No ? You think ?

Read on a post on pmarca :

"New York Times headline:

Investigators Find Possible Flaw in Minneapolis Bridge"

I thought this was a joke, so I dug the site, and found the original article !

I say that you really need investigators to find that out :-((

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Design Roundup

Here are a few design items I found on TrendHunter and other sites I thought where worth sharing ...

Those are actual portable lamps made of LEDs (Seems like a new technology coming to us which allows to build really cool light providing items !). You can charge those and they are supposed to work for 10 hours ... Must be really cool for kids to play in the dark ! Or during parties with your friends.

More LED lamps, but his time embedded in ice cubes. Put those in your freezer, and get them out for your next party ... Success guaranteed ! And all that for only a couple of $ !

Russian roulette was big couple hundreds years ago ... For us techies who are sick of the poker mania running out there, here is a new toy. Up to four players put their fingers in the device, then a button is pushed, and after a few long seconds one of the players receives an electric shock ! Is it really as cool as it looks ?

Sick of those mobile phones that have the dumbest ringtone in your openspace ... Or just don't want to be one of those ? Well this mobile phone dock is for you as it will flash when your mobile is supposed to ring ! Nice and silent, at last your workplace will become a nice place to be all day long.

On sundays, when its barbecue time, you always look around for matches ... When you find them they are either wet or every time you try to ignite one, it breaks in two pieces ? Then this little toy is for you ! First it keeps your matches away from humidity, and as a bonus, they automatically ignite !!! So who's gonna look real cool two days from now ?

And to conclude this roundup, a "special dedicace" to the cabiste boy, who's a big fan of Caca, specially when speaking about twitter ... So why should we not be talking about iMac, iPod, iPhone, and other iToys as iCaca ?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sick with Frisbee ? Try Waboba !

This summer, you want to look cool on the beach ... Since kite surfing is too much Loic, and frisbee is not cool enough, why not try Waboba ?
It's a simple ball that bounces off the water, which you can throw at your friends. It seems easy enough for every public (boys and gilrs) to make it enjoyable. I you are more of a competitive person, they even came up with a game you can win ;-).
It might be 6 Euros worth the fun ... Watch the video to get convinced :

The real value of money ?

One of top blog in my blogrol is the one of StevePavlina. It gives you some really interesting insights on various topics, thus contributing to your personal development. He recently published this article about what he calls "the outrage script"and why it is a blindsided way of thinking.
Here's a short summary of it to start this post(yes all his article are always that long ;-) ). Taking as an example how Donald Trump switched from buying cheap shoes to top notch ones, he explains and demonstrates how envying people spending a lot of money may not be the best solution. Instead, it would be much more efficient to try to understand how they can spend so much on things (shoes, travels, restaurant, ...) and try to accomplish the same thing. That is find a way of making such big expenses (on a first look) look like small ones. Of course the solution to that is by creating value, thus allowing to redistribute the value you created to other people so that they can benefit from it. This is what he calls running the "contribution script" (I create more so I give more) instead of running the "outrage script"(why the hell is this guy spending some much when he could get the same stuff for less ?)

I really liked this post because I think a lot of people can relate to it, and living in France, I can assure that its a pity that so much people run the so called outrage script all day long. I have to agree that everyone's is being brought up differently, with more or less resources, making the chances of success in life that much difficult for everyone, but still... Anyhow there's a good chance that between your student life, your first years of work, your first years as a family, ... (I'll stop here because that's where I'm at ;-)) the way you bought stuff, and so your relation with money, has changed. At first, you need to save every penny. Then you thought you could buy anything (specially with that first pay check) but that was not really the case... Still getting to the restaurant, to the movies, ... became less cumbersome. And as your paycheck became bigger, your family size increased, and lots of other every day life events appeared, your relation to money varied. So at that point you have to agree that spending 100 $ as a student or as a 30 year old junkie is not really the same.

Coming from this assessment, you have to ask yourself why is that ? There I totally agree with Steve saying that one reason is because you create value (while working) so you feel less embarrassment in buying expensive (student mind) stuff. So why should not you feel the same when you see people spending 200$ on a dinner or 2000$ for a night in a luxury hotel ? Why don't you first try to think on how you could do the same and instead, with some envy in your mind, despise those people ? Of course I'm not saying that some expense are not exaggerated, I'm just saying that most of the time you should try to "get there".

At the end of the day I'm sure that if everyone was thinking like that, lots of things would be different. Take as an example the difference between US and France. There buying a new TV has to be done every 5 years or so. Here, some people still have black and white (maybe it's a little bit extremist :-D) ... Whose economy is more flamboyant again ? When I see today in France people striking to keep their right to strike in the common transportation ... You've got to ask yourself why they don't want to make those common transportation more efficient and reliable thus profitable thus attractive to the common person, instead of being thought has a last resort mean of transportation by most. (This crosses an interesting article read on VentureBeat about the Calltrain I read today where they can introduce new trains if a station is too crowded).

Too give a last thought on this article, and on the "contribution script", I have to say that this should really be a motor in everyone's life. One thing I don't like in some people is their incapacity to understand that work is part of your life, and is thus one way of making it better. Of course personal and professional life should be balanced... But try to raise one side first, and then the other one ... And you will see that your life will remain balanced, but much better and appreciable for everyone. Moreover if you create more value, you will be proud of that and give back one way or another. Do you really think that buying 20$ power drills is a way to keep factories in Europe ? Buying the 300$ one certainly can help ! And that factory worker may well be your next door neighbor you're barbecuing with on week ends ... You see my point ?

So next time you see someone buying a 200$ shirt, or driving a Ferrari, please ask your self how you could be that guy ... Create value, give value, and make the world a better place ... too simple to be true ? What's your take ?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More Harvey Danger !

Remember the LipDub of Harvey Danger from the folks at Connected Ventures ?
Well here is a good parody/remake of it. The dubbing is slightly off, but I really like the moves of people around ! Enjoy ;-)

Flip Flop Freeride

With the summer (well, at least its july) comes its share of flip flops ! As indecently trendy, as the joy of having a plastic piece in between your toes is, this new kind of shoes are everywhere nowadays. And you can't say that it's not comfortable to feel the breeze of fresh air down there (unless you cubmate is in lack of affection with his soap ;-( ).
But who here really likes having something indecently wanting to separate big toe from his friends ? And who here really wants to look like a german tourist on holidays in the south of France ?
Well, I have the answer for you : topless sandals (no sexy picture involved ;-) )

Those are flip flops you simply stick under your feet. Of course you can get them off any time you want and it seems you can re-use them a couple of times (although I really don't think it will work). From the advertising video, they seem to stick enough to walk around, flirt with Pamela on the beach, and even play some friendly soccer with friends ... And all of that for under 10 bucks !!! So go ahead, look trendy, feel comfortable, and let them believe its the next piercing "a la mode" !

Friday, July 20, 2007

IPhone frenzy ... Again !

Ahhhh, that little piece of technology has made the world gone counter clock-wise for the past few weeks ... Fortunately for us those late night talk show are always there to remind us of how stupid we are ...

Yes, I'm sure you clearly heard the roaring in the audience when the word "Ipod Nano" was sent out there ! It's true that a lot has been rumored on the subject but come on, do you really think Dave would be the one showing it first ;-)

Found via Yannick.

Original Advertisement

For once I did not find this one via Blog De Nuit (although I have not checked it in a while so it might be there) but via a standard email chain. I guess the goal is to find who that guy is ...

So, did you find who he was without cheating ? Not that difficult I guess. But in today's world where energy and green stuff are all over the place, I do feel this ad stands out and gives us this little smile on the corner of your mouth. Not really deep, but a good couple of minutes !

What do you think ?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Left brain vs right brain

I found this picture by Alix de La Tour du Pin on a french blog about entrepreneurship (here).
This is indeed a really good mashup of what we are all made of : rigor and creativity. As an engineer I tend to have my left brain side take over my full body, but it clearly is really important to let both sides of it show up every once in a while.
Of course anyone will tell you that women have a more developed right brain side, hence their enhance creativity, and our relative incomprehension of their way of working (easy shot granted :-D).
Anyhow, reading about entrepreneurship and speaking with colleagues I find it really important to manage the both sides of your brain efficiently. The left side will hep you manage your work and keep things on track over time. However the right side will help you find the one path to success as well as the necessary envy to get through the day happily and make sure that you keep your work experience a fun and interesting one. Therefore it should be every manager's duty to encourage his team to let the fun come at the table once in a while in order to make sure that the work can be done nicely and efficiently. And of course this should be the prime role of every entrepreneur out there, not only to make sure that his company always figures out the best ideas before the other ones, but also to make sure that his team (however big or small it is) remains happy and efficient at work.

And you, what's your take on rigor vs creativity ?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Real Life ?

Do you get all the fuzz about Second Life ? I don't ! Even though I tried getting into the game and understanding the ins and outs of it ... I probably did not spend enough time out there to figure out the real interestd of the thing, because I indeed did not have too much time to do so.
Anyhow, I found this really cool video mocking the virtual world with real character, simply showing how dumm real people doing second life moves would look ! Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

How is that possible ?

This morning when arriving at work, I realized I had forgotten my laptop at home. Since I leave about 20 minutes away, this mistake implied a major hit on my day, however it was not the worst part of it. This "hole"got me into thinking : "how could I possibly have forgotten about the one thing I use more than 10 hours per day ?"
An easy answer may be found in the fact that this week is quite special. My wife has gone on a business trip to Romania, which means I need to take care of our son all by myself. One of the key point of that is getting him to his nanny qround 8:30 AM and fetching him back before 7PM. This leaves me a mere 8h30 of total work time, lunch included, which is lets say it, not a lot ! So one probability is that I needed to hurry when leaving the house, thus forgetting my work tools...
Another possible reason for this, would be the fact that I'm quite busy at work currently. This year has been a difficult one for the team I am part of, which induced a lot of stress, and work. Since I have not taken any substential vacations since March, it must be time for me to think about it ... Lucky for me it's coming in next week, and I should be off the burden for a few days. And quite frankly I really do think this is the reason for my morning forgetness : I really need a break !
Don't get me wrong, I do like my job. However this past weeks have put a lot on my mind, and clearly I cannot think straight anymore. Reading the Positiviy Development Blog, A few GTD other ones, have clearly helped me in doing things better and more efficiently, but the truth is that I cannot see the end of it ! Anyhow, enough complaining for tonight, as I clearly need to get some sleep. And hoppefully I'll think about taking my laptop with me tomorrow. Oh wait ! I lent it to a colleagut for the next two days, so I'm sure this wont happen ! One thing of my mind as Allen would say ;-)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Is e-Commerce that much of a paradise ?

I'm the first one to go online and buy stuff there. I'm lazy, don't really like to go out shopping, so having the comfort of sitting in my chair to choose my next clothes or gadgets are really valuable to me.
However you have to make some compromises, like spend a lot of time looking for the tee-shirt you always wanted, or this particular brand of shirt that looks so good on you, or tis particular device with that specific color and memory ... But most of all you have to make up with the websites selling all these stuffs which for most of them are really lame at it, and really consist in a list of items without too much of a description for the article on sale !

I recently found a really good list of parodies in this article, and I linked them underneath.

There you really realize how much compromises you are really to make in the comfort of your deskchair... That is a lot !

The funny thing however is that when you get back to real life (and by that I mean real shops with real people) , you expect efficiency from shop staff. As a bad example, last Friday it took a lady 5 minutes (no kidding :-( ) to cash on the three items I bought on sale in 3 minutes top after entering the shop (okye, I told you I don't like shopping, so I'm quick in deciding :-D ). I was ready to leave after two minutes when I realized I was on holidays and spending some good time with my son so I needed to relax ... She got lucky in some sort of sense :-D
Video #1 - If Only Search Engines Could Understand What We Want

Video #2 - Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…

Video #3 - Premature Redirection

Video #4 - Zero Results Found

Friday, June 29, 2007

Guy's the iPhone master !

So how cool is the new iPhone ? Today is lauch day in the US, and everyone on the planet is writing about this cool new phone. However only one person could do it in such a way that you need to read it twice before understanding the whole purpose of the post ... Guy !
The post is here, and the title is clear : "My iPhone review". However when reading it, it's more about AT&T and some stupid DSL problem he had with a truemors account. At the end of the reading you will be like "I though the post was about the iPhone, what a F&$££$$* ?"
Anyhow, read it again, and you'll find the one flaw that may be problematic for the iPhone because it seems granted it will a really great phone !

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

If you were a computer ...

What would be your most significant flaws ?
In this post, Steve Pavlina gives you the top 10 flaws that you, as a human, encounter or deal with everyday. Here are the first 5 listed, and I'll let you read the post if you want more details :
1 - Faulty Hard Drive
2 - Low RAM
3 - Slow CPU
4 - Infinite Loops
5 - Lack of error correction
My favorite you might ask ? Well I'll give you two : Lack of error correction, and legacy code. Those two clearly lead up to miscomprehension between people and/or people starting to get completely insane about certain things.
Fortunately, there is still one thing we can keep for us : Imagination ! Good bye computers, this is a human world ;-)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Office LipDub contest

The buzz has been around for quite a while now, but this crazy video of this crazy company was really something ! Don't tell me you've never seen these teenagers from ConnectedVentures (Whoops, we wondered for quite a while where they were from !) who sang Flagpole Sitter from Harvey Danger. If you missed it, here it is :

The company was in fact looking for some new people to join the company ... I'm sure they must have had quite a number of resume following this video.
Anyhow, the reason for my post is that, following this buzz, other lip syncing fanatics have walked in their footsteps. So here is one re-enactment (Watch out for hte last 30s ;-) ) :

Granted it's not as good as the first one ... But still funny !
A contest has even been thrown, which you can follow at OfficeLipDub. Only two contestants for now ... Ready to shoot a video ?

Good vs Bad presentation ... Or Jobs vs Gates !

I came across this article on PresentationZen ( a blog to improve your presentation performances), which highlights the difference of styles between Steve Job and Bill Gates.
As I stated previously, Job is a master of the art of presentation and his slides sure help in that matter. Simplicity, silences during the speech are as much pointers as you can get to let you know that he's good at presenting !
Bill Gates on his side has come a really long way. His powerpoints are still bullet point driven and far too messy, but the speech is getting better over the years. A pointer ? The jokes ! Whenever you can make the audience laugh, you know that you've got it somewher in you !

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Google to buy Apple ? The world is next !

I'm sure that by now if you follow the Internet a little bit you've heard about rumors of Google buying Apple ... For me it took 5s after I started my laptop for VTH to message me about the supposed prank !
Anyhow, digging into my stash of feeds, I foud this article. It really highlights how a simple sentence can be turned around in something completely different than what is was meant for ! I really like the way the author shows that this would be the way in for Google into PC business for completely overpowering Msft ... Really nice thought ! Moreover with all the rumors about Msft buying Yahoo, this is even more of a powerful thought !
Maybe that example highlights the limit of the Internet and shows that you should always double check your sources before affirming something !

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Future of video games ...

In a world where EA is king, and others are fighting for the crumbles of the cake, it is nice to see some original moves.
Telltale, the company behind the resurrection of the Sam & Max franchise after a long long time of inactivity, has just secured a $5M funding round to pursue its business.
The originality of this company is that they are not developing big ass games in the traditional way (spend 3 years in full speed development, be one year late, to provide a costly not necessary interesting game), but rather have an agile approach: They sell their games as episodes. This allows them to have quicker turnaround time, to have their customers hold their breath between each episodes release, and of course all of that for the good of the gamers out there.
So I give a big round of applause for this new approach and whish them a very successful list of episodes, specially with the Sam And Max franchise (nostalgy, nostalgy).

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A real great clock !

After finding cool desktops backgrounds, I recently foudn out a really nice screensaver.
It serves nicely the purpose for it since this is a clock, but definitely a nice one.
It's written as a flash application, but a little installer allows for easy installation !
Here is a screenshot (I was unable to reduce the flash embed, so you'll have to stick with the preview !)
Link to the real flash preview here.
Link to the home page here where you can find the screensaver installer.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Axe, a deodorant (not sure this is the correct translation) maker, has been making some real good advertising campaigns for quite some times now. But this new one I found via Blog de Nuit is simply brilliant ! The tag line really puts it on the limit of acceptable, but just on the limit ! And the more you look it, the more you are going to like it ! My congrats to the maker of this one.

Here are a few of previous nice ones I got by mail :

Friday, June 15, 2007

Guybrush is back ?

All of you nostalgics out there, get ready for a tremendous news that will give you a big ass smile !
Remember those great days of point-and-click games ... LucasArts main way into this world back then with the great Indiana Jones series for example. But certainly the best of the breed was and will always remain to me ... The Monkey Island series of course !
Well, according to various rumors here, here and here, Monkey Island 5 would be in the works ! So get ready for some schmoozy love with Elaine, old time rivalry with Lechuck and of course bad ass insult fights, poly wants a craker, and three headed monkeys !
Here is a supposed art piece of the game in preparation :
Official fan site here.

Update on 06/19/2007 : Apparently this was a fake information. This picture was actually supposed to be used for a Monkey Island movie, but the idea was abandoned. Some of the ideas were actually used in Pirates of the Carribean. Too bas anyway, but hopefully we'll see Guybrush anyway at some point in time !

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Art ?

Technology and art do not really mix well ... However sometimes technology can produce some really artsy things. Here is a real nice picture :
Any idea on where it comes from ?
Get the answer here.

AppleTV killer ?

I'm sure that as a good blog reader, and techno fan out there, you cannot have missed the launch of the AppleTV. This is this cool little device sold by the Apple company in hopes to rule over the entertainment center world like the iPod did.
A certain number of competitors like Msft itself, Tivo, ... are also competing on the market, and some software providers like Joost are eagerly looking into that space also. So believe me when I say this is a crowded place.
But fortunately, no place is too crowded for opened and standard compliant innovative initiatives. DivX, the company behind the world's famous video encoding codec, has recently announced the release of the GejBox.
A complete post here on NewTeeVee describes the product, but this basically is a system similar to the AppleTV, but which will use DivX as an encoding system, use Stage6 as the content provider, and provide more standard and HD compatible outputs like HDMI. Connectivity will include WiFi and Ethernet. However no CPU or hard drive will be present on the box (CPU is replaced by a HW DivX stream decoder) which might be a little drawback but will certainly help making it unnoticeable in your living room. Finally the platform should remain opened for extension, living some room for all of you with imaginative minds to come up with some great usages for this platform.

Bud for ever !

Budweiser almost invented the Viral Marketing concept a few years back with the tremendous Waaazuuuupppp I'm sure you all still think about !
Although they are making some new ads every other day (Bier is somehow a competitive market in the US ;-) ).
This one I thought was worth sharing along... A good Biiiippp is so good sometimes !!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Guy and Trumeors

I'm not sure I already mentioned that but since I watched the video The Art of the Start from Guy Kawasaki, I've become a huge fan ! From reading his blog, to looking at the company CogHead (he his on the advisory board), to following his advices, I've done it all ! You can see that in the presentations I made in tradeshows for my current company ... You should surely see the change of method ;-)
Anyhow, in a first post on his blog, Guy mentioned the Trumeors web site. And a couple of days later, the verdict got thrown out ... It was Guy's new company, with all the explanation in this post. The list of actions that lead to the current success of this website is plain dead simple, and simply shows how much Guy is understanding how current trends are going. This means how to go from a plain simple (but sure real and new) idea to a successful implementation. Nothing is really complicated as long as you know (the one about the legal fees is clearly interesting) about it. But clearly the starter point here is key : The one great idea that will transform an adventure into success.
I have made it clear to close friends that it was one of my goals to find this great idea and finally start on the entrepreneurial road. However I do think this is the key starter point that is the only way to success. So while looking for it, and finally finding it, I'll continue learning which I think is another key important point that must not be forgotten about !

Monday, June 11, 2007

Numbers : Porn ! And More !

No this is not a cheap attempt at driving trafic to this blog ! (I already have a dedicated website for that :-D) But some might say it will ;-)
Anyhow, you know how sometimes you look at these powerpoints/movies that gives you some numbers about a certain technology, habit, or anything for that matter. Well Good Magazine made a nice little video about the industry of porn and the traffic/money it drives on the Internet.
The video is slightly sexy which is kind of a real eye blink to the subject and is really the only reason for me posting this video, although the numbers are quite impressive ... Specially the fact that 70% is watched between 9 and 5, that is business hours !!!

Just to show you that the subject was really more about the numbers than the subject itself, here is another one that is presented in a funny way ! The top 5 more expensive domain names ... Guess which one is the winner, and play the video ! Just to reassure you, I did lose ;-)

PS : This will also get you a way of looking at the new YouTube player in action ;-)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

To Wordpress or not ?

When I started this blog, I clearly did not search around for the various blogging platforms available out there. I followed Sebz instincts although I had a previous experience with Serendipity with my son's blog.
Blogger seemed like a good platform (aren't all Google tools one of the best ones ever ?), and I had previously chosen s9y only because it was easily installable on Free. And since I mainly use Google Reader to read my blog feeds, I do not often see the real platforms being the blogs I read.
However I have been quite disappointed with the platform. First of the preview is really lame since it does not take into account the template chosen for the blog, and so alignment and spacing often need some fixup once a message published. The HTML edition feature is nice although it seems that there always is some reprocessing once you edit the code. Another thing that troubles me is the lack of possibility to reference posts via meta keywords. This means that visibility of your blog is not really controllable and I would like to have better control over that.
As a result, I have been looking for other platforms available out there. Wordpress seems to be plebiscited as one of the best ones. Vince has recently made this choice, and so did Guy ! (Vince you can thank me later for the comparison ;-)). So my question is simple : should I switch over to a WordPress platform ?
I already do like the multi-tab possibility which allows to go beyond blogging and add extra functionalities. This might be why WordPress defines itself as a "semantic personal publishing platform", not only blogging platform ! It seems that on the edition side, it is more than OK. The missing thing might be the limit on the images (50Mb) although I'm not sure about the limit in Blogger. One deal breaker seems to be the impossibility to add flash content on the hosted platform :-(
Anyhow I'll continue to look into this... If you have any comment to make, do not hesitate ! And you might see some changes in the near future !

Elections Législatives

This week end in France is the first round of the legislative elections. These two rounds of voting follow the ones where we elected Nicolas Sarkozy as our president for the next 5 years. The goal of this election is to define who will be sitting at the "Assemblée Nationale", which represents the Legislative power in France.
The point of my post is not really to give you a detail explanation about this process but rather to understand how to vote ! I recently received by mail a letter with a leaflet of each one of the 17 people that I could vote for ... Yes you read right : 17 persons ! So my question is dead simple how do you make your choice ?
So the first answer is simple : vote for the candidate which represents the person you voted for during the first round of the presidential elections. Easy you might say ! The only little problem is that there were only 12 candidates ! So the whole post comes to that : who might vote for these 5 "extra" persons ? Family, friends, ... ? But whats the purpose ?
It seems most of these people are using ecology as one of their key driver, or they are yet another candidate of the "far left side". Don't get me wrong, I do like freedom of speech and republican rights, but at some point you got to wonder the point of having so many different trends and people, whom are mainly interested by their own interest of being elected, and do not really worry about us electors. In that sense I really do like internal debates within one party to designate the best candidate (like the PS has done this year, or like this is done in the US). Of course pushed to the extreme this would mean limited number of parties and we need diversity, but come on, do we really need 17 people thinking they have completely different strategies from one another ? This does not make any sense to me at all !
So this might be the "rosé" speaking, but clearly I wanted to share my astonishment in front of the number of candidates I needed to choose from ... But do not worry, my choice is made ! Is yours ?

Friday, June 8, 2007

More on skinning !

In a recent post, I presented a company that offered skins for your laptop. Looking at the comments and speaking with some friends, turns out laptops are not the only things that may be skinned !
Of course T-Shirts have long been an apparel that may be customized through various sites like Spreadshirt, lafraise, or others ... Even got some really close friends who are deep into that (Free pub, sorry :-p )
Anyhow, turns out other sites like or are letting you skin pretty much anything ! From iPods to laptops to mobile phones, anything can be customized to make your latest devices as cool as it should be ! You can even choose your own photo as a motif for your skin !
So now you don't have any reason for sticking with the default Dell or Apple shinny but so everyone cover ;-) And who knows you may even get to know this cute blondie afterwards :-)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Lego Forever !

As a young kid I always loved Legos. It is really a cool toy which lets you crank your imagination up and build thing from the ground up. I'm sure all of you fans out there had the same idea to build a gigantic full size statue of your biggest idol, preferred car, or other toy. Well, Mr Sawaya actually went past the dream, did it, and is now exposing he's art in museums ... Isn't that the best proof that some people actually do succeed while keeping the child in them ;-).

Here are two nice realisations. On the left is a tribute to the city of New Orleans following Katrina. On the right is of course Mr Solo !

Museum Link here

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Doooohhhh !

This video really gives you shivers all over the place !
Okye I'm driving fast, but there, it really gives you some material to think about !

The Sécurité Routière has been using some really shocking vidéo to promote safe driving for quite a time now. Sites like SortezRevenez really tells you that you can be the government, use modern communication techniques, and make work its way through crowds.
On a more funny side, this video talks about a completely different matter !

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The O.C. is back !

And its called Friday Night Lights !
Remember the other day when I mentioned the 2007 Upfront ? Well, I told you then that this was a great way to discover tv shows you might have missed during the season ! And so did I with this new show from NBC. For all of you nostalgics of the once craved for now dead The O.C., this is a must see !
This show is about a little town called Dillon, Texas (Hence the marvelous accents from most of the actors), and its high school team called the Panthers. The show follows the top players of the team and their adventure in this little town where every friday night (game night for those not familiar with High School Football), the whole town stops breathing and craves for their players to bring another win to town. So what you are going to get is the crippled QB Jason and his love story with the star cheerleader Lyla, the on and off relationship between Riggins and the bad girl Tyra, the difficulties of coach Taylor and his wife who is the school counselor, the bad ass running back "Smash", and of course the impossible love story between the coach's daughter Julie and the new QB1 matt.
So ok it's more of a soap than a drama, but its a good one, and the 22 episodes (45 minutes each) of the first season will for sure higher the amount of time lost in front of your TV ;-)

Cast presentation here.
Official website here.

TV.Com link.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Google and it's defects

So you really like Google (let me reassure you, I do to !), and you are eagerly waiting the latest service from your favorite web goodies provider.
Last few weeks have been rich in news with FeedBurner acquisition, iGoogle, or bigger attachments in Gmail.
Another service that made it is Street View, which is a new feature of Google Maps basically letting you see in pictures the actual streets. This is a really great way to look at nice scenery that exists in the US biggest cities.
At this point I think I have to mention that PagesJaunes, the original french provider of yellow pages, has had this feature to identify businesses for quite a while now.
Anyhow the purpose of this post is more related to Street View. I guess that when you take pictures automatically, you can not always proofread every single one of them, which as a result, gives some nice instant photos of captured moments. Mashable has a list of the Top 15 views that may be found out there ... Really funny to read how lapdances are better than the internet or to see a burglary in action !

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Steve and Bill ... The two oldest pals

I came across this video of Bill and Steve discussing about their lives, experience and more during the D5 conference (Conference about everything digital).
What truly amazes me is how Bill has grown to be a real good speaker (of course Steve is one of the top ones), and how spontaneous these conversation can be ... Don't know why but I cannot see that happen with a Louis Gallois or J3M !
My best passage clearly is the one about the secret mariage between the top two companies that has been going on for decades ... That would really be a true revelation wouldn't it ?

Video of the best exchanges :

More videos here

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Will your favorite TVShow make the cut ?

As already mentioned previously, I really do like TV shows. If you share this passion, then you'd be glad to find the 2007 Upfront !
This page lists all the majors American networks, and for each of them lists which show will make it into the fall 2007 lineup, which one won't, and which one you'll be eager to discover !
One little critic I will formulate is that it also lists gameshows and stuff alike that I personally do not really care about .... But maybe you will ;-) !
So I'm sure it won't come as a shocker that shows like Heroes, Lost or Desperate Housewives will make the cut, whereas less noticed ones like The Knights of Prosperity or In Case of Emergency won't.
A final usage of this list is to detect shows that you missed because you were so full over your head with all the exciting ones. Being kind of a specialist on Comedy/Drama Soap I had some good times watching the 6 episodes of October Road ... If you have a girlfriend/wife you want to invite-over/have-a-nice-time-with , it might be worth a shot ! (I'll try to give a little description on the show in the next few days, and update the post then)

Laptop Skins

So you like your laptop PC so much you would not change it for anything in the world ... Specially for this brand new iMac that your colleagues have been bragging about for the past few weeks : "isn't that the nicest laptop you've ever seen ?" ... So what ?
Now you can make all of them jealous thanks to these laptopskins !
LaptopSkins sells some covers like this :

If you are a little bit of a geek, you might go for for these :

The website basically allows you to enter the size of your laptop (nice thing seeing all the different sizes available out there), select the skin you'd like, and for a mere 25$/19.95€ you can get your skin. If you are not even sure of you're laptop size (specially with all the inches/cm conversion), you can always give your laptop model and they'll figure the perfect size out for you !

And after that, I'm almost sure you'll be the new guy with the cool computer everyone will be bragging about ... Or at least you can try ;-)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Nice wallpapers

Wallpapers have never really been my cup of tea ! They tend to bloat memory usage as well as reduce the clarity of the icons present there. Although I have some friends that do have really nice ones, i never really felt the need to actually have one.
But hen I came across desktopography and I changed my mind !
This websites is actually an exposition of landscapes remodeled by designer in order to provide desktop wallpapers. You will see there some very nice sceneries.
If you have the courage and download the ones you like, this may also make up for a really nice screensaver !

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What's coming next ?

I'm quite a big fan of TV shows. I've been nursed with them during my stay in the US, and been using more or less legal ways for getting my daily dose of them !
ABC just announced the lineup for next fall ! So to get a glimpse on who's going to be the next Heroes, Men In Trees, Help Me Help You or Love Monkey, have a look at this press release : ABC network adds 11 new series.
A bunch of dramas and comedies definitely look promising, whereas the classic will continue to hold our breath !

Saturday, May 12, 2007

At last ... A network enabled screensaver

I currently have a bunch of computers at home, including one directly connected to my TV in the living room.
I've always wanted to use this display as a photo frame during idle hours, party times, ... But I never found a screensaver that would allow me to get pictures from my home network, and plus ! (Granted, I did not look too much around :-D ).
Anyway, I just came across the Google Screensaver (Aaah Google !). This tools lets you display photo coming from your computer or your home network, your picasa account, or any other photo feed available out there !

Once you installed the software, just go to the standard place where you configure your screensaver, and select the one entitled "Gphotos". You may also run the shortcut installed on your standard Windows programs. You may then configure the screensaver by configuring your Picasa account, the folders containing pictures, as well as RSS feeds containing images.

Unfortunately it seems that Google only provides this util as part of the Google Pack, but you may still download directly the screensaver from here or here (4,5Mb) although URLs may change in the future.

Let's get going

As I have been saying 2007 is the year of the change ... So here's one more on the list : opening a blog. Walking in the foot steps of Sebz' Mess, I'm today starting my own mashup of stuff that I either want to share, or keep in a little corner of the internet for further usage.
Hopefully you'll find there some information that you will find sometimes funny, sometimes interesting, sometimes noteworthy ... and of course sometimes completely boring !
Anyway this blog is on, and let it leave for sometimes !