Saturday, March 29, 2008

Open Impromptu

Ya'll cain't make this stuff up...

Written by To The Point News
Thursday, 06 March 2008

Prepare yourself for this one - maybe with a Stoli martini or two.

Back in the days of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Red Army had an official choir composed of male soldiers and musicians. It still exists. The Red Army Choir performs throughout Russia to this day.

Now consider the Finnish rock band called The Leningrad Cowboys. A little while ago, they held a concert in Russia, in which - to the screaming applause of Russkie teen-agers - they got the Red Army Choir to join them on stage for a performance of "Sweet Home Alabama." In English. You couldn't make this up.

We're talking seriously off the wall here. Better have that Stoli ready when you watch it:

Open: Earth Hour in Australia

Earth Hour in action - pictures courtesy of


شهر سيدني استراليا قبل و بعد از زمان خاموشي در سال گذشته

Open Beta: Firefox 3B5rc2

Dave Winer asked "Are you using firefox 3?"

I am pleased to say that I am (FF 3B5rc2) and I am very comfortable with it. As a browser it feels rock solid. While it still has the characteristic pointy edges that Mozilla betas are know for (the "Home" button image for example) everything 'under-the-hood' appears to be working perfectly.

I am more surprised by the reaction of many users who insist that without their preferred add-ons they cannot work with the beta. But I am not insensitive to their plight... only a couple of beta versions ago I felt much the same way.

and then something happened in my browser worldview...

As with many paradigm shifts I began to 'check my technological baggage'. Here is what I have found...


CustomizeGoogle: This extension has migrated seamlessly through all of the betas that I have tried. It is not that it is absolutely essential to my browsing experience but rather it survived because it is not FF version dependent.

Weave: This extension is new - it is doesn't work with versions before FFv3 so I guess you could say it is version dependent. Weave is Mozilla's alternative to GoogleSync. Ironically, losing gSync might well have been a deal breaker for me ... Weave allowed me to commit to FFv3B5rc2 becasue I could load it (and Weave) on my two primary Linux systems.
Turns out there is only one Add-on that I really miss ... FaviconizeTab is the utility that allows tabs to be reduced to just their favicon size ... but again, it is not a Firefox 3 deal breaker.

Open Linux Twitter Script

# TinyTwitterScript
#Caveat: Message on command line must be a quoted string.
if [ "$LEN" -lt "$MINLEN" ];then
curl -u
username:password -d status="$1" &> /dev/null
echo "Message is too long, sorry."
If you do Linux command line stuff then you know what to do with it.

Thanks to Colin Charles ... On Twitter

Friday, March 28, 2008

Open: Financial crisis

Open [explicative deleted]

In a sign of our linguistic times ... our inability to say sh*t when we step in it. Huffington Post reports ...

Speaking in downtown Manhattan on Thursday, Obama used, as NBC's Domenico Montanaro pointed out, "the 'R' word."

"As most experts know, our economy is in a recession," said the Illinois Democrat.

It was, despite a preponderance of evidence of a tumbling economy, a debatable use of the term, and one that the Clinton campaign declined to copy.

Anyone who has ever encountered a skunk doesn't dispute the stink - except the skunk.

Open Trust

Before the public can learn to trust the powerful, the powerful must learn to trust the public.

- Jeff Jarvis, while writing his book.

(H/T to Stowe Boyd /Message who nodded to Deb Schultz )

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Open: Osterich

Daily Number: 28% - Awareness of Iraq War Fatalities Plummets

Shortly before the count of U.S. military fatalities reached 4,000, a Pew survey found that only 28% of U.S. adults were able to correctly specify the approximate number of Americans who have died in the Iraq war, far fewer than the number able to estimate troop deaths correctly in earlier surveys.

Open Olechko (2)

Overlooking Kyiv-Percherska Lavra

15×15 sm, oil on board, 2008

I painted this one to match my other small and larger pieces of the church domes for the upcoming exhibition.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Open Olympic Curiosity

Out of a kind of morbid curiosity I googled "olympic hand-cuffs" . . . which offered me these insights.

This handout picture, released on Wednesday by the press freedom group Reporters Sans Frontieres, shows a stark image depicting the most visible Olympic symbol — the five Olympic rings — transformed into handcuffs
This handout picture, released on Wednesday by the press freedom group Reporters Sans Frontieres, shows a stark image depicting the most visible Olympic symbol — the five Olympic rings — transformed into handcuffs, claiming the Chinese authorities were using the Olympics for their own ends while failing to live up to the promises on human rights. — AFP









Open Journalism ... keeps the yellow out!

We need to support the release of secret discussions held between politicians and interested members of the press . . .

Status on campaign conference call MP3s

Monday, March 24, 2008 by Dave Winer.

. . .

I consume lots of professional journalism, and it's sad and angering that so much of what they report as the mood of the people is really their mood, based on no actual information. Because no one can expose them, they get sloppy, it builds over the years.

It's outrageous to me, listening to them talk about the Wright tapes, they're getting it wrong. I have actually watched the videos. Have they? Either they have or they haven't. If not, it's grossly irresponsible. If they have, it's criminal, the way they deliver incorrect conclusions and show misleading evidence. When all the networks do the same thing, it's collusion, anti-trust, conspiracy.

. . . Our democracy is at its most vulnerable right now, and they're behaving as if it was a sporting event. Because I listen to the actual words the candidates and their representatives use, I know when they're lying. Of course this is the real reason they don't want to help us get the MP3s. They may not be conscious of it, but it's the reason.

Open Posture

John:  Sit up straight, don't slouch.  You want to be president, don't you?

John:  You can't make me.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Open Water

Yesterday, March 22, was Water Day.

6 billion people inhabit the world - 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.6 billion lack access to basic sanitation

Human Development Report 2006

Innovate or Die - Aquaduct: Mobile Filtration Vehicle

The Aquaduct is pedal powered vehicle that transports, filters, and stores water for the developing world. A peristaltic pump attached to the pedal crank draws water from a large tank, through a filter, to a smaller clean tank. The clean tank is removable and closed for contamination-free home storage and use. A clutch engages and disengages the drive belt from the pedal crank, enabling the rider to filter the water while traveling or while stationary. More information here.

. . .