Firefox 0.9.1 and Thunderbird 0.7.1
Two of the best internet applications have just gotten updated. The browser Mozilla Firefox is now at version 0.9.1 and the e-mail/newsgroup client Mozilla Thunderbird is at version 0.7.1. Some minor bugs were fixed (for example the one with extensions system). Firefox also has a new set of icons for navigation toolbar now.
Probably you all know about the new project being prepared for us by the same team that is behind the excellent web searching engine Google. They are planning to offer 1 GiB of space especially for archiving all your mail exchanged through this service. The project is known as GMail. Currently it is in beta testing stage so only a few people have access to it. Thanks to Stephen Donner (who is a very nice guy, working hard to make Mozilla even better) I also have my own GMail account now. You can write me to this additional e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
KiSS DP-1000 Media Player
Yesterday we bought ourselves a new media player component, KiSS DP-1000. When it got delivered I was quite surprised about its size, even though I knew it was going to be small. It has about the same size as an A4 paper sheet. The main reason we decided for this player was because of support for the excellent Ogg Vorbis audio format. Off course it also supports other important formats like MP3 audio and DVD, XviD and DivX video. It can even show pictures from CD or DVD disc. I've also already converted it into a region free (or RPC-1) DVD player. I just hate these stupid and useless regions! Well so far we just love the media player, it's working great. Now we will have to start looking for a new TV :)
Halloween XI: Get The FUD
The big propaganda machine of the evil Microsft empire is at work again. The convicted monopolist is again spreading sick lies and FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) about open-source software and Linux (which are quickly and surely wining peoples hearts all around the world). This time they have a roadshow in Great Britain, which is very badly misnamed as Get The Facts. I hope this insolent tactics fails again and backfires. If you would like to know all the truth about it, then read the document Halloween XI: Get The FUD (and others in the series).
SpaceShipOne made it into space
Today is one of the great days for human space flight. The first commercial funded space ship, named SpaceShipOne, successufelly reached space and landed safely back in Mojave desert in California, USA. Together with pilot Mike Melvill it reached the height of 100 km, the official limit where space begins. You can read more about the flight on this page.
This is one of the teams that are competing for the X Prize. To collect the prize of 10 million US dollars the wining team has to make two flights to a minimum height of 100 km within 14 days. The spacecraft has to be able to carry 3 adults of height 188 cm and weight 90 kg.
So this could be the beginning of the higher involvement of private sector in space and even more space tourism. Let the healthy and fair competition in space begin!
IE is bad for you and everyone else
A few days ago I have come accross an article which is explaining why Internet Explorer is such a bad piece of software and why you should avoid it or better yet stop using it completely. I have to say I fully agree with the article. Internet Explorer is very insecure, full of security holes. It is also perfect if you would like to get as many viruses or as much spyware as possible. Another thing that IE is well known for is notoriously bad support for modern (or even some older, long established) web standards. This is just making it very hard for all authors of web pages and it is also holding the advancement of internet back.
So do yourself (and other people who are browsing the internet) a big favour and stop using this piece of crap called Internet Explorer. Use any modern browser that doesn't have all these problems and have more cool features. Some highly recommended browsers are: Mozilla, Firefox and Opera.
You can read the original article here:
Why You Should Dump Internet Explorer
Prof. dr. Dušan Petrač and exploration of space
As part of the Tuesday evening meetings at A. T. Linhart library in Radovljica prof. dr. Dušan Petrač was holding a lecture about interesting results of space explorations. I attended this lecture together with my sister and my cousin. We've heard (and seen) a lot about new findings about Mars and other parts of our Solar system like comets and outer-most regions. He also played us a videotape showing all the excitement when people at NASA try to land a probe on planet Mars and the happiness when they finally succeed after so many years of failed missions. At the very end Petrač also explained how bad things in the USA are after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Under the flawed Patriot Act the police has way too much power and it is almost like Gestapo in Nazi Germany or KGB in ex-Soviet Union. People are even afraid to express their opinion about current administration as they could be labelled as enemies of the State just for that. Very sad indeed.
Well, I have to tell you something about Dušan Petrač. He was born in Kropa here in Slovenia. He studied physics on Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at University of Ljubljana. One day he was lucky (as he said to us) and met someone who was working for Jet Propulsion Laboratory and he later took him together to the USA where he works and lives now. At JPL he is now an expert for low temperatures and microgravity.
Venus transit 2004
On this day we were witnessing a quite rare astronomical phenomenon: Venus transit. What is happening here is that the planet Venus gets in between our planet Earth and Sun. When this happens we can observe Venus travelling across Sun's surface. The event was about six hours long. The next transit will be in June 2012 and then there will ne no such event until the year of 2247. You can get more info about the Venus transit here.
Together with my sister and my friend I was observing the rare phenomena in Kamnje, Bohinj. A fellow amateur astronomer has a 40 inch (about 100 cm) Newtonian telescope there and we used it for the observation. Of course it was properly equipped with a Mylar film or else we would all be blind by now. Our little group managed to get through all six hours of the celestial show and we took some photos of it. Sunburns were also part of this but it was all well worth it.
Stupid patent for double-clicking
I just saw a news article on Slashdot that American patent agency has granted a patent for double clicking. How could they even patent such an obvious thing. What is going to be next?! Patenting walking and breathing, blogging maybe?! It looks like the patent practice in USA is really and totaly screwed up and it is also very bad for all people and general scientific and technological advance of humanity. It is currently much better in European Union but if people do nothing about it we may soon have the same pathetic situation as in USA. So start fighting against stupid patents here for example: NO Software Patents in Europe.