ISO 8601, or not…

They always have great alt texts as well: ISO 8601 was published on 06/05/88 and most recently amended on 12/01/04.
XKCD – nerd humor at its best!

I think Sweden adopted ISO 8601 sometime around when it came. Before that we would write dates as day/month-year (that would be discouraged format number 11 on the image to  the right).

Then came along Internet Information Server (IIS) invented by an American firm you might now, called Microsoft. In the US where Microsoft lives, dates are written using discouraged format number 1, or perhaps 2, unless it’s 3 or 4, I never manage to keep track.

Most of the time it’s possible to just ignore the highly illogical way of mixing up days and months and years in the US way of writing things. ISO 8601 goes from larger to smaller, the old Swedish way went from smaller to larger, the US way goes from uh… large to smallest, to largest…

However, a project I was involved in a couple of months ago used some form of standard date widget in IIS (Internet Information Server, Microsoft’s Web Server) that used discouraged format number 1 above.

Now for the fun part. In my humble and naïve mind this should be a question of just setting a language setting somewhere in the web server to get it right. Apparently it wasn’t (!?) Instead everyone was running with the totally confusing US-dates. The budget did not have room for making the change, and it seemed everyone humbly adopted… after all, there was a “date browser” that could be opened pressing a button (first time it took a minute to open, but then it was business as usual). I’m guessing they used that function to get their dates, or perhaps I’m just an old fossil that doesn’t adopt well.

So the punchline (unless the previous sentence wasn’t punchline enough for you…): yeah standard until some guy comes along and wants it otherwise, and this guy has all the power… then it’s a (quote-unquote) “standard” and not a standard any more.

 

Ubuntu Satanic Edition

Ubuntu Satanic Edition, with hellfires...
Ubuntu Satanic Edition, By Daniel F. Pigatto

If you feel like your Ubuntu is way to benevolent, you can always go Satanic.

Of course, I thought this was the edition I had installed, given Unity’s behavior, and the fact that my raid-devices are dropping like flies (they passed a badblocks scan, and as far as I can tell they are working again), but alas, perhaps I need more goat blood, hell fires and ritual chants?

The versioning of Ubuntu SE is less time constrained. Instead of using the year and date, like Ubuntu does, the numbering is simple: 666.8, for instance is the version number of “Undead Legion”, followed by 666.9 “Microsoft Massacre”, and 666.10 “Necrophiliac Necromancer”.

On the plus side, I may be able to scare my computer into submission by burning a CD of satanic edition…

OK, seriously. I fear Ubuntu Satanic Edition may be way too old to do anything with… (um although upon closer examination, they seem to have a news item from 27th of uhh January, 2012… that’s a year ago…) but on the other hand… Isn’t the current edition way too satanic? I think I could get a break from all the unholy shit going on if I installed this one with goat heads, flames and blood and everything else that belongs!

Another way to go would be Ubuntu Christian Edition, but unfortunately, I do not think Jesus will be downloading it any time soon…

BoRG 13 billion light years away: Invasion possibly canceled!

BORG Collective
BORG Collective, By Eddi van W.

The BoRG are 13 billion light years away! Hope is not lost!

I found this information while I was browsing the astronomy pages on Wikipedia (more common than my geek factor can really tolerate, but still) and I came across a list (see below) of the most distant astronomical objects (notice object 8 – with a red frame?).

As far as I can tell from the list, the “BoRG-58” (shown with red frame) is somewhere between 13 and 13.025 Gly away (that’s billions of light years). I’ve understood the “z” stands for red shift, however, part from that, I’m just guessing here.

List of the most distant astronomical objects, where "BoRG-58" (a Protocluster candidate) has a distance of z≅8 (approx some 13Gly)
List of the most distant astronomical objects, source Wikipedia

Anyhow, we need not fear! There are no direct risk of getting across the BoRG in our lifetime… assimilation has been cancelled… the BoRG are so far away it’s silly… I mean travelling at warp 9.9 it would take them 13.4 million years to get here… But since they travel at transwarp speeds I can only assume they’d be here far sooner… (Frantic Googling did not yield a good calculation for transwarp speeds… I’m guessing the federation doesn’t know them – transwarp speeds that is – and I’d have to guess… further that it would have to be BoRG transwarp speeds as well… any transwarp speed would not do here!)

Ah well… life is full of uncertainty… Perhaps we’ll be assimilated in time for the next ice age?

But wait… BoRG-58?! Where the hell are the other 57 BoRGs? Shit! DAmn! CraP!

Update from my doctor:

  1. They are called “BORG” not “BoRG”
  2. They do not exist
  3. You always get like this when you live life with your imagination dialled all the way up to “too vivid to handle”!
  4. Eat your meds and call me in the morning…

Update 2:

Mom, this is a joke! Calm down!

I know the BORG is not really for real… At least I think they’re not really for real… did anyone came across any BORG? I may have… I especially remember one girlfriend…

OK, never mind that…

MS Outlook laughs at your feeble attempts to use it…

scornful-outlookNot only doesn’t it work, it laughs at you while you try using it… or well, it’s being scornful. I’m talking about Microsoft Outlook, that gave me the following comment (underlined red) when I tried to use it today.

So was the information helpful?… uh… I guess compared to faking that it can do the work and then tell me in about a week that sorry, I was just kidding, it is in fact helpful to get to know it cannot be done already on Monday…

Happy Monday!

Why the death penalty is wrong

anti-death-penaltyI’ve spent some time thinking about the death penalty and why it’s such a bad idea. Some of my reasons are:

  • People aren’t one hundred percent perfect one hundred percent of the time, and the death penalty is a one hundred percent permanent punishment
  • You can’t give life back to the dead, so maybe you shouldn’t be so eager to take it from the living?
  • Isn’t the death penalty just another kind of murder? And what gives the executioner the right to do something no one else is allowed to do?
  • You can’t compare murderers to wild animals in order to justify the death penalty because people aren’t animals!
  • Neither religion nor nature really grants us the right for revenge or any other way to kill someone else
  • Personal reasons and lust for revenge is not a valid reason to ask for a perpetrator to be executed–personally involved people aren’t even allowed to serve as judges or in any other official capacity in the court proceedings, the sentencing or the punishment (the term is “disqualification,”) why should personal reasons be used to demand the death penalty?

Continue reading Why the death penalty is wrong

Unity tip: Open more than one instance of a program

Clicking on a program icon on the Dash.
Clicking on a program icon on the Dash.

In Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, using Unity, if you have opened an instance of a program, clicking the application icon for that program again will only select the most recently displayed window of that program.

Clicking again displays all windows of that program in a scaled down version (á la OSX 2000 or similar).

However, in order to open a second instance of a program you have to mouse-wheel-click on the icon (I’m only guessing, but middle-button-mouse-click might also work, left-right-mouse-button click does not…)

Another way to do it is holding down the Window-key and Shift while pressing the number for the application you want to open another instance of. Holding down the Window-button alone shows the numbers (but the applications on the bar are numbered starting with 1, but excluding the “Dash home”).

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