Sunday, October 31, 2010

The iProblem....

Yesterday I came across another iProblem... What is an iProblem, well it is a problem that is related to the existence of the iPhone, iPod, iTunes, iWhatever.... And its source? Apple, not the fruit of course ;P

So yesterday as I posted I really liked Rebecca Ferguson song on the x-factor, and I wanted to check it out. In the show they say it is on itunes, I thought, well I will check it out on their website. Went there and guess what? You need to install the stupid apple software to be able to even view the songs, let alone buy them. I don't want to install anything I just wanted a song.

I hate when people try to pin things on me that I don't want or need, just to get you to use their thing. This approach to business pisses me off, you should sell something the best you can do it and restricting is well, stupid. I know people like apple, it is pretty and simple, and I am fine with that... But the usability of other things should not be questioned, I mean can you imagine having an internet only for apple, and one only for microsoft?

Companies should realise that integration is good, and the fuckers at apple do good products but make you use their things only, it is a valid strategy, it is working for them, it is elitist and people I guess like that, but seriously world wake up this takes your ability to decide, and if it wasn't an integrated approach computers would still be in the stone ages, support an apple police change make them open up at least their services if not their products ;)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

x-factor Rebecca Ferguson...

So today I did my couples night in for Saturday, that means watching the x-factor, it is interesting how couple life has its own pace, but that is material for another post...

Today I want to talk about a person that for me is by far the best on this show, her voice is simply unique, timeless, she'd be great in any country, any time, and although she gets great comments from the judges, how the fuck is it possible that they value other just for now so called potential artists. If Cher is the future, I want to live in the past, where you feel well I leave it for you to judge... I am not british, but I really don't understand this, if a world class artist does not win, well either they are visionaries or idiots. I guess time will tell but for now I leave with the great Rebecca Ferguson....

The Koran for Dummies (The Qur'an for Dummies)

So funny story I went to the book shop to buy a present for a friend of mine. I wanted to get the God Delusion so I went to the Religion section. I was browsing through the books, found all the book that try to refute the God Delusion ( that could be a interesting post :P), and continued all the books had very pale colours, saw the Qur'an and a couple of book later (5 to be exact) I saw a bright yellow book. I thought that looks like an out of place book, it looks like those books for programming for dummies.... Wait ... It is for dummies ... The Koran for dummies!!!! LOL, wel as you can imagine I had to share this, I mean what is it the koran for beginners, or how they say in online games noobs... "You start with this, and then you can move on to the more hardcore things", like the real book... Interestingly enough there was one for Christianity, and to write this post I found also one for islam....Whish makes me wonder, are they different? should they be.... Anyway here you have the link if you want to have a look ;)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Why/How to use Google Reader

So I've been updating my blog a little bit, and remembered the RSS access.

Well I think all people that use the internet have seen this name, if not the name at least the symbol for it. However what you might not know is what it is, or what it is for... If you want the real definition google it. In simple terms it allows us to get information when it is released. So instead of checking the news all the time, you can get the news once they are released.

How? Well for that we need a RSS client, meaning a program that allows us to subscribe to the feeds we want.

Well there are a lot of clients for RSS, some are built in to the browser the case of firefox, others are stand alone tools, or part of other tools like outlook. There is also the possibility of having a web client for these feeds which is google reader. Basically you have a web page that shows all of the feeds that you have subscribed.

I am a big google news user, google reader provides a similar type of experience but you define the sources. So for example if you like two or three newspapers, you can just add the link of the website to google reader and i will collect this information. How? Simple, you need a google account, any will work, your youtube, your email, blogger, whatever... You go to and log in to it.
Once you are logged in you press "add a subscription"

Once you do you can just put the address of your feed source, lets say ;P

And that is it now every time I post something you will see it there, that is true for all blogs, or news you may want to add.

The idea is to give you control over your sources of information, putting it all in one place.

Google reader does more than just this, like you can share or make note on news, but lets keep it simple ;)

P.S.- There is a mobile version of the site it was clearly designed for the iPhone, but it works well on android, or any other mobile phone, plus as a tip you can add it to a side bar in firefox ;)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Broken... Or simply sleepy....

A day with followed by a sleepless night with a shitty meeting... I am at moment sitting in front of the computer screen as I so many times do, with some word flowing through my head... And because I am in a sharing mood, here you have them....

The Broken clock is a comfort, it helps me sleep tonight. Maybe it can stop tomorrow from stealing all my time, and I am here still waiting, though I still have my doubts. I am damaged at best, like you've already figured out...

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing, with a broken heart that's still beating. In the pain
there is healing in your name. I find meaning, so I'm holding on... I'm barely holding on to you.

The broken locks were a warning you got inside my head, I tried my best to be guarded, I'm an open book instead. I still see your reflection inside of my eyes, that are looking for purpose, they're still looking for life.

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing, with a broken heart that's still beating. In the pain
there is healing in your name. I find meaning, so I'm holding on... I'm barely holding on to you.

I'm hanging on another day just to see what, you will throw my way. I'm hanging on to the words you say, you said that I will, will be okay. The broken light on the free-way left me here alone, I may have lost my way now but I haven't forgotten my way home...

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing, with a broken heart that's still beating. In the pain
there is healing in your name. I find meaning, so I'm holding on... I'm barely holding on to you.

So I am borrowing some words for my head, never said they where mine ;) This one of these songs I found in by playing the fray radio, and I must say it is brilliant... enjoy the sadness...

The creation process of an European project deliverable...

Today I had to focus all my energy into a document that despite being quite simple it is a pain to do. Which reminded me of doing a point by point list of the process of creation such types of documents...

The first step is to get the template for documents, European project are very paper driven and there are always templates, that is how the administrative people remain happy and feel useful ;P
Don't get me wrong they are useful, in fact all the paper trail is required by the commission so there we are for the first step...

Second step read the DoW, which is the cool term for Description of Work, of course don't read the whole thing, read the description for the deliverable in question, as well as possible description of interlinking components...

Third step, read all related prior deliverables and start making notes to refer to then on the new one. Some repetition is expected, since reviewers are not always aware of prior documents, in fact most of the times if they were aware it as long slipped their mind...

Fourth step, define the bullet points structure for your document, highlighting its objectives...

Fifth step, perform the state of the art review, this is only valid for academic partners, in the case of industrial partners just write whatever you see fit no one is going to tell you otherwise :P as for the academic, well state of the art review of the domain is expect, it is like we are suppose to be able to spit out a state of the art review as quickly as the industrialists do their descriptions. The funny thing is we can :P and if you can't you need to master the academic arts a bit better :P

Seven step identify the work you have to perform

Eight step minimise the work you have to perform to the needs of the industrial partners while emphasizing how much you are doing :P

Ninth step do the work. Strangely enough by this stage there should be 3 or 4 deliverables documents already submitted, with topics containing words like "preliminary", "base", "requirements", "architecture", "framework", etc :P

Tenth step, fill in the gaps of the document with the work emphasizing its academic side, so it is easier to turn into a paper :P

hope you enjoy this description on the inner workings of an academic view of European project deliverables :P

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Good times...

Hello has you all know or not I have been heavily involved in running simulations using the JADE platform. Yesterday went to bed at 6 AM, and left it running... In the morning I got up and it had crashed stupid OutOfMemoryError... Anyway this post is not on the fucking platform although I should write a couple of posts on what I learned these past couple of days. Anyway woke up and had a mail from a friend of mine which I checked on my mobile. Came down stairs to the computer to find the failure and thought life is shit, "good times"... Please not that this should be taken as sarcastically as possible, but I felt that it was all so bad that might as well class it as "good times" and fuck it. I watched the movie Wall Street Money Never Sleeps, and loved two things one is suited to this feeling of today the other is just a nice curiosity. One of the characters of the movie answered "In the good days I am OK, in the bad days I am OK" to the question "how are you?". This fits to what I feel, meaning it is like being numb, you not bad per say, but are you really anything at all. Spoiler alert, don't read if you haven't watched the movie and intent to, the guy ends up killing himself, which made me wonder why? To feel something or simply because he couldn't face the world after his bank went bust. In my mind it was a bit of both, in the end it is always a bit of both. Fear of failure is a constant in my life nowadays, however this is a fear that is not present but you feel it lurking, waiting for the right failures, like OutOfMemoryError :P
Yesterday was also building up my music knowledge and this one caught my attention, it is from Augustana and it is called Twenty Years. The sound and the lyric, I mean just close your eyes, listen to the sound and feel the lyrics... I can tell you it is worth it..

As for the second aspect of the movie I liked it is the tulip bubble, how in the 16teen hundreds in Holand there was a tulip madness, where people would by one tulip bulb for the price of a house in front of the canal in Amsterdam. Seems unreal right? Well lets say we haven't learn anything from that story. All things in business are treated as bubbles, and one thing is for sure bubbles will burst, the question is when, and that's when people get rich... But remember, it is always at a cost of someone else... Seems like an obvious stupid system, then again we live with it so, like in computer science, the computer is as stupid as the person who programed it :P

As for the movie, it was alright not great, but definitely worth to watch specially if you like business aspects of the world :)...

Monday, October 25, 2010


Today a quick post on agent programming, using jade. The importance of a small wait between threads, as you might know when you program an agent you can have parallel behaviours running at any given time, if you multiply this by the number of behaviour times the number of agents this means a your processor will only have time for the agent programs, in fact the add of a small time delay (less than 200 milliseconds)can actually improve the performance. Plus it has the added value of you being able to use the computer while running simulations that include several agents :P

Taking a breather is always good policy, and this applies to your code ;)

Another interesting thing I came across is the limitation of the DF agent in returning agents that do a service, it is limited to 100 answers. Well for most applications I guess it is not a problem, but when using the basis of swarm and wanting to trigger a specific type of agent, 100 agents doesn't seem that much. Anyway I had to make an agent that creates and launches to maintain the info, and pass it on request. Honestly after looking around online this was the best option.

Well JADE is one of my posts with more feedback, and since I am currently facing some problems there, well some posts on this might happen :P.

Plus it is always good to relate a doWait(200) whatever you are doing ;)

P.S.-Support the sailing dream please click on the ads ;)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The dream...

Hello world, the last posts have been dark and a bit down (maybe more than just a bit). I wanted to write about the dream for a while but simple haven't found the will to do so.

So what is the dream? Well the dream is to sail around the world in the foreseeable future. Seems vague, I know, but hey it is a dream strict time lines are complicated. Well I have been in love with the idea of sailing, despite the fact that I have only done it twice in a friends yatch... Still the idea fascinates me, specially while doing a PhD, I can not describe how being lost at sea would be better :P

As you may or may not know, I am currently living in the UK which ads another romantic notion for the sailing, leaving this country by boat would be something that I think would bring tears to my eyes...

The concept of being in the open sea, seeing the different places, places that you could not see except in this way, to discover the world for yourself, not just believe that is there... well dreams ;)

Add to this a girlfriend that jump at the thought of sailing (also doing PhD :P) and you have the stuff that makes your mind start the dreams :P

OK, you might be thinking I dream I could fly, doesn't make me closer to it :P Well true dreams are simply dreams unless you start putting things in motion to achieve them... Cliché I know, but clichés are clichés for a reason :P

To sail around the world one needs time, skills and money... The problems to achieve the dream, so the search began.

The first thing I thought a yacht is too expensive, which in reality it isn't for what it is, but still I am not what you might call rich, or even middle class. In reality I am middle class but I don't come from that background, which means all I have is what I earned. I am 29 and been in university for the last 11 years or so, with a small break of 6 months when I worked as a consultant. Don't get me wrong I get paid enough for the life I have, but it doesn't pay enough to save a lot. Added to the fact that I wasn't saving that much since I had no goal... Weird lesson to learn, save even if you don't know what for, when the time comes you can use it... On the other hand the time might never come so just enjoy life :P mixed feelings on this one :P

Anyway I was talking on yacht prices, second hand ones are reasonably cheap, however not sure if there are appropriate for the objective in mind. This brings us back to skills, as I had none guess what I did? I have been in university for 11 years that is a great hint :P I started to read about it, and found that actually it is not an unreasonable dream :)

After reading a bit, I found that there is a lot about sailing but not that much about sailing around the world, a lot on technical stuff, but not on logistics or practical stuff. It is weird, but I searched and read, and realised I should do a course, in fact I need it, not one but two courses that is the minimal for being able to sail around the world. A day-skipper course,and a off shore one. I thought good, I will be able to learn and also pose some questions for the aim I have. Now you might be thinking what about cost? Well strangely enough it is not more expensive than a car drivers licence, I already reserved my day-skipper for less than 300 pounds, which will be my Christmas present to myself :P

Before going back to cost, I want to talk about time, I am hopefully finishing my PhD in January, add to this my girlfriend finishing soon after, and we both are in the only time we can do this before we are old. If I start working and start a career, family, kids, only on my retirement I can do it. I figure people take a year off, so this could be my gap year. Right I am going ahead of myself. Sail around the world and taking only a year?

Well I had a project meeting in Germany the other day and me and one of the guys in the meeting started talking about this. Is immediate reaction was, do it, that he didn't and now he regrets it because he can only do it when is older, and some of his friend did it and took no more than 9 months, and it was a life change experience, and and and :P

I told me I really wanted to do it, and my girlfriend was also very keen, and he said look, don't be afraid in terms of career when you come back people will look at you as a person who goes for what he wants, and it will distinguish you from the crowd-

I thought the same, but to ear it from the guy responsible for a 6 million euro project, it does build you confidence a little bit ;)

So motivation, is not a problem, and I can't imagine of a better person to share this than my girlfriend, the ultimate non-romantic but most romantic trip :P

The big problem? Money, always the money, for sailing around the world from what I read it depends on your spending habits when you are near the cost, in the sea not money is need :P There isn't much info out there on this, but I read one guy that said 500 dollars a month is a good average sum, that is 6000 for a year, in pound less than 4k, which is doable. The price of ship, there is when it becomes tricky...

A new boat suitable for this would cost 60k, which is impossible to achieve, second hand one, well based on looks, since I have still much to learn, at least 20k, maybe more...

If you want to help it is as simple as pressing on the ads in this blog, the only reason I added then was to find alternatives sources to fund this dream project, I will keep updating on this, and making posts on the details of the course, the boat thoughts and finds, etc...

For me this is the dream the following song (plus girlfriend :P) plus the boat ;)

If you can just click on the ads every little bit helps ;)