Computer games & actual violence – What is it with these people?

I know, I haven’t written anything in a long time, but I really feel the need to vent.

I just came across this article (Edit: Original article got deleted, and there’s no snapshot on, either.) on the website of German public broadcaster NDR (Google translation, not perfect, but you’ll get the gist of it). It’s about some 70 year old criminologist who is going to semi-retire in Germany, but he wants to go to the U.S. to help fight violence. I didn’t really think too much about it, until I came to his claim that “computer games are one cause for violence”, which, according to NDR, he is absolutely sure of.



What is it with these people? This guy is obviously not the only one; every single time Continue reading Computer games & actual violence – What is it with these people?


It’s really unbelievable how you can jump from one distraction to the next. The day before yesterday, we created a G+ page for my musician friend. I didn’t get around to do anything with it yet; on Sunday it was already late in the day, yesterday afternoon I had to work (you know, actual work, the kind that pays the rent.) Today I finally want to get this done. What’s the first thing, obviously that has to go on there? A profile picture, obviously. No problem, I have plenty of pictures of my friend to choose from.

But I just bought Corel Aftershot Pro as an upgrade to my Bibble 5 installation, and I haven’t installed that on my desktop yet. My desktop, though, is the computer that has all my pictures on it, so I better put it on there.
Oh, of course, I have to re-create the catalogs because you can’t just import them from Bibble. At least I don’t think so. And browsing the file system instead of using a catalog is so slow. That’s only, oh, 245 folders, and never mind that I have to import them individually, because I can’t turn on the “Include sub-folders” option, because I only want to import the RAW files, which are in the root folder for each date, and most folders have sub-folders with edits and exports and I don’t want to import those.
While I’m at it, I really should see how many of my favorite Bibble plugins have so far been ported to Aftershot Pro. Wow, this “Wavelet Denoise” plugin is great, the results are as good as NoiseNinja, which I bought in 2009 but which doesn’t work with ASP. Hm, I wonder if it’s possible to re-order those plugins; by default they are in the order they have been installed, newest first. I have to Google that.

Do you hear that noise my computer makes? It sounds like one of the hard disks. I hope it’s not the one I’ve mounted under /home; that one has all my pictures on it. I better update my backup on my external hard disk. And while the directory syncing in Krusader is running, I can import some more folders into Aftershot Pro. Also, I need to update my index file; I have an ods file with a list of all my photo folders including date, description and number of pictures.

Hmm, there really isn’t that much space left on my external hard disk; now that I’m done with the picture backup, I only have about a hundred GB left. I better look and see if I really need all that stuff.
Ok, that freed about a hundred GB, now I can rest easy knowing that I can take a lot more pictures before I have to buy a new external HD.

I should find out which one of the hard disks makes that noise. Let’s turn off the computer, unplug the home disk, and then restart. Yes, that’s what I feared. Oh, there’s only 3 GB left on the root partition; not good. After rebooting with the home disk plugged in again, I’ll better make some room there; delete old kernels and run apt-get clean packages, which I haven’t done in a while.

While I’m at it, I should see how much room I can make on the home disk, too. I recently installed an extra hard disk from an old Windows computer, but it still needs to be formatted from NTFS to EXT4. I already copied all the Windows stuff to another hard disk, so I can just format it. Then I can put the Videos folder from my home disk on there; that should give me a lot of extra space.

Geez, it’s really unbelievable how you can jump from one distraction to the next. I should write a post about that; I got time while the Video folder is being copied…

Profile picture on my friend’s G+ page? Nope…

Causa Twitter and the state of “Free” and “Open” on the Internet

A blog post from Twitter published yesterday has fired up the censorship debate again. Right now, all over the internet people are discussing this, and the discussion doesn’t exactly show Twitter in a favorable light.

Reading other people’s comments on the subject and posting my own made me realize I have to write something on this other than just comments and replies.

For those of you who haven’t read the said post, here’s a little clarification of the issue at hand:

According to Twitter’s own announcement, the only change is in the addition of the technical means to block certain content only in certain countries, where said content would be illegal.
They give an example from Germany and France, explaining how pro-Nazi content is illegal in both countries.
Blocking content only for users in the country where it’s illegal is certainly an improvement over blocking it for everybody.
So, it’s not really a change in their policies.

Still, the heat of the debate is undeniable, and in light of other recent threats to a free and open internet it is also understandable.

However, I think an analysis is in order of where we stand today when it comes to Continue reading Causa Twitter and the state of “Free” and “Open” on the Internet

A dangerous question

“How old do you think I am?”

Did you ever find yourself in a situation where somebody (usually a woman) asks you to guess their age? You don’t have to be a guy for this to happen to you; a lot of women are equally happy to ask this of a man or another woman. And a woman would be faced with the same problems when answering. It’s a good candidate to be the most dangerous question in the world of social interaction. There is no safe way to answer it.

You might answer truthfully, without thinking or wanting to insult the asker. You think it’s a simple answer to a simple question.
Except, it’s not. You might get lucky, and your estimate might be lower than her actual age. Then again, she might look a hell of a lot older than she actually is, and there you go, open mouth, insert foot.

You might be tempted to subtract a few years from your actual guess, which is also not without risk. Most women who look their age or older know that, too, and if you say something to low, they will see through that and will still feel insulted.

So, I usually plain out refuse to answer. I tell them I’m bad at guessing, and if they insist, I tell them I never answer this question because it usually causes problems, even if you try not to make a big deal out of it. It’s a tricky question that’s usually asked out of vanity, although I’d be very careful to suggest that to the asker ;-). If I’d know her well enough I might, but if you want to do that you’d better be damn sure she can handle it.

Unfortunately, my method only works for women. If you are a guy, possibly in early dating stage, I’m afraid I don’t really have any good advice for you… except maybe, turn tail and run? 😉