• SGI starts new, into mainstream

    After filing for bankruptcy earlier this year, SGI reorganized and laid off 250 people. Now they're out of Chapter 11 and start with a new management and new money.

    The times of big honkin' graphics workstations with MIPS CPUs and IRIX operating system are definitely over, though. Their new computer systems use Intel Xeon and Itanium CPUs and Linux as operating system.

    In other words: Nothing to see here, please move along.

  • This world needs more hugs

    YouTube is more than a billion dollar acquisition, and it certainly is more than a tool of illegally distributing copyrighted movies. For example, it makes available many inspirational movies that I wouldn't have seen otherwise. Movies like Free Hugs

    It's a video of Australian Juan Mann offering free hugs in a Sydney street mall. It's interesting and touching to see how different the people around him react to his simple offer.
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dn0AVpGNhOs]

    news.com.au says it well in its column Free hugs priceless in a culture of violence,23599,20522769-5007146,00.html:

    We live in a world where violence and violent acts are becoming normalised. The producers of the new James Bond film see fit to cut the superspy smoking a cigar but not images of him killing people with a smoking gun. We are shocked and appalled at sexual imagery and intimacy (Margaret Whitlam's comments about Janette and John Howard holding hands, for example), but take death, pain and the destruction of human life in our stride.
    [...] But just as you begin to despair, along comes a young man with a big heart and YouTube, technology that spreads goodwill like a virus and gives us what we need in these dark times a hug and a smile.

    I guess I'd hesitate myself when confronted with such an offer. What have we become? We're talking such much about love and goodwill to all humankind (especially in church), but hesitate to return a simple hug?

  • Give me back my Google

    Give me back my Google is one of those genius ideas: small, effective, and it makes you think "I should have come up with that myself earlier".

    GmbmG offers you a Google search box and automatically adds excludes for all those annoying affiliate websites that normally clutter your search results.

    (via ThinkVitamin)

  • LinuxWorld Expo in Cologne

    Since I'll be attending the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo on 14th and 15th of November, I added an entry on upcoming.org

    So, if you're going to be there, too, please add yourself to the event entry. It would be great to meet in Cologne!

  • I really don't want to be a Telekom customer

    But I don't have much choice. Because I'd like to get the new 1&1 3DSL (broadband including a flat fee for data volume and VOIP-to-landline time as well as Maxdome movie downloads), I had to get at least a basic analog landline connection from German Telekom for my new flat.

    Of course, you can't order a landline connection online (what a strange thought!). So I went to the "T-Punkt" shop last Monday. I had to wait in line for 25 minutes, thus having the opportunity to watch the "service promise" promo on a big screen for five times that assured me that I won't have to wait for more than 5 minutes.

    After a whole week now, I don't even have an order confirmation. (Oh, I almost forgot to mention that delivery date is Wednesday.) I still don't know which phone number I'll get -- an information necessary to order my DSL connection. Seems like I won't be online immediately after moving over the coming weekend.

    It really makes me angry that my money might help Telekom in keeping up their crappy service. High time their almost complete monopoly on the german phone and broadband infrastructure comes to an end.

    (Originally from 2006-10-02 19:35)

    Update 1 (2006-10-05): Of course, my order is FUBAR. This is gonna be a looong story... It's been almost two weeks and not until now they told me that they couldn't locate the right line to our flat. I gave them the apartment number and was promised that I'll get called back ASAP.

    Update 2 (2006-10-06): Of course, they didn't call back. So, when I called the "customer service" (ha!) line for the fifth time, I asked what god I had to sacrificy a chicken to if I wanted to get a telephone line from Telekom (well, that was actually not my literal question, but something in that sense). And -- tadaa -- after a few hours, a technician actually called me telling me that he'll activate the line immediately. Should that be the happy end? Tune in next time to find out!

    Update 3 (2006-10-11): As expected, it wasn't the happy ending. When we plugged in our phone, all we could hear was crackling and humming. So I called the service hotline on Sunday afternoon. A very nice agent did a connection analysis and concluded that technical service would be necessary. We arranged that the technician should come by between 8 and 12 the next day and call us 30 minutes in advance. Which he did, no complaints here. Finally, after he rewired the phone line to our appartment, we had a working connection. So, in the end, it took Telekom 2 weeks and me 7 calls to different call centers just to get a normal analogue phone line. What's left is the impression that Deutsche Telekom is much better in fixing technical difficulties than in getting new and satisfied customers.