Archive for August, 2006

Review: DAM and Clotaire K in Stengade 30 Copenhagen. Merci les mecs!

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

Clotairek-En-Stengade-30-Le-30-Aout-2006Images of the Middle East: Home

Since attending the Natacha Atlas concert last week, I sort of got addicted to the Images of the Middle East festival, and they keep sending mails about interesting events, so I “went all in”, and bought tickets to 5 further events, and the music program is extremely wide and interesting.

On the 30th of August 2006, my mothers 70th birthday BTW CONGRATULATIONS, two different hip-hop acts, with more than an inspiration from the Middle East, visited Stengade 30 in Copenhagen.

First up was DAM, a hip hop act of Palestinian desend, well the DJ was Jewish DJew as the joked.

I guess I shouldn’t say this, it’s a serious stereotype, but I came to think of labelling DAM as an Arab version of the Beastie Boys, because they have 3 MC/1 DJ lineup.

Unfortunately the set was a bit too political, and they didn’t really manage to fire up under the audience, that clearly weren’t used to hip-hop, unfortunately very few from the Copenhagen hip-hop community attended, I guess “Images” hasn’t been noticed by them, which is a shame.

I wasn’t too impressed by the DJ. I mean he was sort of OK, but since the crowd seemed to be such hip-hop ignorants, I guess they didn’t notice the version of the “Busta Rhymes” track “Touch It” or the reference to Jay-Z’s “Big pimpin'”. But generally the DJ was a bit bland, he needs to work on his scratching skills, since the wheels of steel is an instrument.

DAM delivered a short set with no extras, but all in all a little disappointing, mostly due to the slow crowd, because the rappers were great, and really, really fast, makes you want to learn Arabic. But they did manage to get the crowd shouting “Salaam Aleikum” several times! And yes Arabs have culture, but we all knew that, no need to preach to this crowd of non-prejudiced people.

After quite a while Clotaire K was ready to go on the stage.

And what a start, the DJ played a great trancelike intro, that build up to the entrance of a REAL band.

The line up was Drums, Bass, DJ, MC/Dancer and MC. Immediately it was clear that we were in for a special treat.

Clotaire K is the name of the MC, and he’s of Lebanese decent, based in Montpellier France.

The music is a great mix of hip-hop, rock, funk and some traditional Arabic music. It turned out that K is is an accomplished musician playing the lute, after joking that “it was broken” – in reference to the strange appearance of the lute with “the bend” – and that he just borrowed it. As a guy standing next to me shouted “DET ER FOR SVEDIGT DET DER”.

It’s difficult to pick highlights from the concert, but the duel between the lute and the DJ was great, or the time when the MCs took their duel to the floor, “ouvre les yeux! Follow the choreography!”.

I must admit that French hip-hop sometimes looks and sounds like “le futur de hip-hop”, as I said to the DJ when I bought their CD, “il faut des musiciens vrai” they’re doing hip-hop a great favour.

The joint was jumping. Stengade 30 is a great venue. Thank you for really keeping it real, “merci lec mecs, c’etait une spectacle extraordinairé”.

You can still catch Clotaire K and DAM at the “Images” festival. If you really like music, and not only hip-hop, and Clotaire K is as good an introduction to the genre, as you’ll find on the planet. Go hear them and get entertained.

Odense Studenterhuset* 31. aug. Kl. 21:00
Stockholm Re:Orient 1. sep. Kl. 22:00
Roskilde Gimle* 2. sep. Kl. 21:00
Helsingør Toldkammeret 3. sep. Kl. 21:00

‘Format Wars’: Computerworld – Politikere fristede af OpenDocument

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

Computerworld – Politikere fristede af OpenDocument

Rambøll er barslet med en rapport der forsøger at estimere omkostningerne ved at indføre Office Open XML og Open Document Format i centraladministrationen.

Link til rapporten: Estimering af omkostningerne ved indføre Office Open XML og Open Document Format i centraladministrationen

Citat fra Computerworlds artikel.

Flere partier ser positivt på mulighederne for at hente millioner i besparelser ved at fravælge Microsofts kontorpakke i det offentlige. Det sker dagen før regeringen præsenterer et forslag til finansloven for 2007.

Først vil jeg bemærke at det er en klassisk fejl at fokusere på økonomiske besparelser når der skal indføres åbne standarder, det er ikke kun derfor man skal indføre dem, selv om det da også er et godt argument – men “the beer isn’t free!” husk det nu!

Derudover er det underligt at det ikke fremgår hvem der er opdragsgiveren i selve rapporten, det er jo næppe noget Rambøll har lavet gratis (sådan plejer de ikke at arbejde). Men det fremgår af Computerworld at det er OSL (Foreningen af Open Source Leverandører) der står bag.

Som sådan fremstår rapporten desværre som bestillingsarbejde.

Personligt syntes jeg det er visionsløst kun at foretage en sammenligning mellem to stort set identiske teknologier, der fundamentalt er baseret på forældet teknologi, hvor man i alt for høj grad blander indhold og layout. Der burde skiftes til en centraliseret model, så vi kan slippe af med den latterlige anakronisme, desktop computeren, og begynde at anvende tynde klienter.

Der er rigeligt med open source software der kunne anvendes til formålet, f.eks. MediaWiki.

Den største udfordring er, i øvrigt, alle de egenudviklede Excel makroer, samt de indlejerede binære formater, der findes overalt.

Når det er sagt så håber jeg at politikerne, med denne rapport i hånden, kan se at de ihvertfald skal springe opgraderingen til Microsoft Office 2007 over.

Det skal ganske enkelt forbydes central administrationen at opgradere til Microsoft Office 2007, og der skal laves standarder for hvordan man undgår de kompatibilitets problemer der altid vil plage os.

Her er et par forslag til retningslinier, stjæl gerne ideerne kære politikere:

  • Der må ikke anvendes indlejrede dokumenter og/eller grafik, alt skal være henvisninger
  • Det skal sikres at henvisninger ikke bliver brudt gennem en PURL (persistent URL) system
  • Alt skal kunne nås gennem URLer og kunne vises i en standard browser uden behov for ekstra programmer (der skal altid findes en XHTML version af et dokument)
  • Programmering (læs Excel udvikling) skal “godkendes” af en central IT funktion, så man undgår “ad-hoceriet”
  • Der skal laves et centralt erfarings udvekslings fællesskab, så løsninger kan deles, dette for at undgå at den centrale godkendelse af “programmering” bliver for stiv
  • Så lidt layout som muligt
  • Dokumenter skal være struktureret ensartet, stærk brug af “outline” og “levels”

Har I flere ideer?

Sprog og Lektier – Netværksgruppen i Mjølnerparken » Vi søger frivillige til Lektiehjælpen i Mjølnerparken

Monday, August 28th, 2006

Lektiehjælpen i Mjølnerparken søger frivilligeSprog og Lektier – Netværksgruppen i Mjølnerparken » Vi søger frivillige til Lektiehjælpen i Mjølnerparken

Netværksgruppen i Mjølnerparken søger frivillige til Lektiehjælpen i Mjølnerparken.

Lektiehjælpen i Mjølnerparken “leverer” bla. frivillige til to Lektiecaféer i Mjølnerparken, hvor vi hjælper børn der går i 2 til 8 klasse med deres lektier.

De fleste af børnene er af anden etnisk oprindelse end Dansk, og vi har flest Somaliske og Palæstinensiske brugere.

Så hvis du kan afse 2 timer om ugen så henvend dig til frivilligkoordinator Mikala Dømgaard eller undertegnede.

Review: Natacha Atlas Acoustic Ensemle – The “real” Madonna was in Copenhagen

Sunday, August 27th, 2006

Natacha Atlas: Cover of the album Something DangerousYesterday I attended the Natacha Atlas concert at the “Store VEGA” venue in Copenhagen.

I first heard of Natacha Atlas less than 2 months ago, and since then I’ve been sort of obsessing on her, but I hadn’t really heard any of her music except on Last.fm, that was until yesterday.

The concert had been moved from the smaller Lille VEGA due to high demand, and you can understand why.

The concert was part of the “Images of the Middle East” event, and you can’t really think of anyone better than Natacha Atlas to represent the fusion of cultures, she’s labelled herself, according to Wikipedia, as a “human version of the Gaza strip”, due to her multi-cultural background, and the conflicts that has created in her mind.

This time Natacha Atlas was bringing a predominantly acoustic ensemble, drums, cello, violin, guitar, flute and Fender Rhodes.

Natacha was concentrating on Arabic songs, most of them examples of fusion of the music styles of the west and the east, something she pioneered, but it’s been going on for centuries, just think of the south of Spain.

The mixture of West and The Middle East is a perfect fit, since the classic tradition of both music cultures really aren’t that different, but the use of more complex rhythms and especially the use of the voice as an instrument is something that is lacking in traditional western music.

Well Natacha you gave me the chills, it’s not often I’ve experienced this feeling at a concert, but what great musicians with your voice being the most beautiful sounding instrument of them all. Several times you had improvised duets with the musicians, and it was just beautiful.

It hard to pick any highlights from the concert, because it was all good, and several times I drifted into trance like state, but the several minutes long drum solo, where the audience joined in was indeed a highlight, the interpretation of “Black is the colour of my true love” was impressive, and the song that was played twice (one of the encores – I didn’t get the title), was a tribute to one of the most popular Arabic singers ever, Abdel Halim Hafez.

Store VEGA is a great venue, but I think that this performance would have been even better at a smaller venue, but the contact with the audience was nevertheless quite exceptional.

Final note: Natacha you’re everything Madonna would like to be. The “real” Madonna, or dare I say Isis graced Copenhagen yesterday, and I truly loved it. This was one of the greatest concerts I’ve ever attended.

Microsoft’s Zune aims to be social butterfly | CNET News.com

Saturday, August 26th, 2006

Photos: Zune revealedMicrosoft’s Zune aims to be social butterfly | CNET News.com

CNET (and the rest of the web), is filled with details about Microsofts Zune soon to be released portable digital media player.

The information has been made available due to a FCC filing.

Some of the details are interesting. Here’s a quote from the CNET article.

Zune owners can act as their own DJ, sending streaming music content to up to four other devices, according to documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission . With the device’s wireless networking abilities turned on, people can send and receive photos, as well as “promotional copies of songs, albums and playlists,” according to the filing, made public Thursday.

I think this is a killer feature, and it sounds exactly like some of the ideas I’ve had previously.

But will people actually use it? Bluetooth hasn’t emerged as a social technology, in my experience very few people actually enable Bluetooth except for use with wireless headsets.

I envision that I can surf the local wireless “radios”, listening in to what people in the near proximity is listening to, without their knowledge.

Unfortunately I think that Zune will come with major security features, making it impossible to surf the airwaves freely.

I hope that the specifications for this wireless technology will be open, so that it can find it’s way into other consumer products, I’d love to be able to hook my player up to a stereo without the need for cables.

I actually expected Apple to be first to market with something like this, but when they join in, I definitely expect that they will come up with a solution, that is easier to use than anything Microsoft can come up with. Something that is as simple to use as shared music in iTunes is what I want, actually that’s exactly what I want!

Elliot Swan | Custom Flickr Badge API Documentation

Friday, August 25th, 2006

Elliot Swan | Custom Flickr Badge API Documentation

Elliot Swan has posted a nice little guide to how you can customise the Flickr HTML badges.

I was getting seriousily lost in the Flickr documentation before I decided to do a FGI not filtered by site:flickr.com! Flickr is filled with support questions, but where’s the beef!

Well look no further…

JPL.NASA.GOV: Honey, I Shrunk the Solar System – (ex)Sit Pluto!

Friday, August 25th, 2006

Solar system montageJPL.NASA.GOV: Feature Stories – Honey, I Shrunk the Solar System

If you woke up Thursday morning and sensed something was different about the world around you, you’re absolutely right. Pluto is no longer a planet.

As expected the 9th planet Pluto, is no longer considered a planet, but more “the mother of all Kuiper belt objects”, or more precisely Pluto is now considered a “dwarf planet”.

I must admit that I sort of fail to see the importance of this decision, it’s more like “splitting words”. “Planet” is nothing but a word that means “wanderer”, refering to the fact that planets move across the sky unlike stars (well I know that they do, but slowly, so within this definition stars could also be consideres “planets”, so it is actually good to have a somewhat clearer definiton…).

The problem is that within the old definition, the number of objects to consider for planetary status is likely to grow, with the improved observation technology, and the scientific community would potentially be locked in mindless debates, since the discovery and classification of a planet would be significant.

Well…The science books need to be rewritten, or maybe not! Wikipedia has already been updated with detailed information on this subject, and Pluto has already been reclassified in the article on Planets.

Welcome to Writely – Writely has reopened, but I need a true NFS!

Monday, August 21st, 2006

WritelyWelcome to Writely

Since Writely was acquired by Google earlier this year, it has been closed for new sign-ups.

Having finished moving to the Google infrastructure, Writely has just reeoped and is again accepting new sign-ups.

So what’s the fuzz about.

Writely is a web-based Word processor, that allows for online collaboration on documents, and it supports uploads in a number of file-formats. It did however fail accepting my first attempt at an upload, of what I consider a very simple document, somewhat disappointing, but I’ve written Writely support.

It’s somewhat annoying that Writely suggested that I send feedback along with the “offending” document using an e-mail address link, only to receive an e-mail, telling me that this method of providing feedback had been closed.

With Writely again open for sign-ups, and with the Google Mail, Google Talk, Google Spreadsheet and Google Calendar offerings in place, Google is getting ready to join the “office productivity tool wars”, all that I’m really missing is a decent address-book.

But you know what I really miss? A true NFS, a Networking File System.

The NFS should:

  • Easily plug into any application (e.g. OS level support)
  • Automatically detect if I’m connected to the network, performing continous background uploads if I’m online, otherwise it should save to my local disk
  • Make it possible to work on the documents online using a standard browser
  • Allow for both on- and offline collaboration “wikistyle”
  • Be highly secure
  • Last, but not least, be standards based

Right now everybody is reinventing the wheel, building their own custom filesystems, due to the lack of a true NFS.

Is there a true NFS on the market, that would meet my specification? I have no idea, but I doubt it very much. YouOS is a promising idea, but not ready for prime-time, and it’s not exactly standards based, attempting to provide an online version of a closed OS.

BusinessWeek Online: A Quantum Leap for Cell Phones

Monday, August 21st, 2006

Onyx buttonless cell-phone designconceptBusinessWeek Online: A Quantum Leap for Cell Phones

BusinessWeek Online is reporting on new ideas in cell-phone design.

The cell-phone business is ready for some change, and it’s been a while since we had any real innovation in the field of cell-phone design. For instance my new Nokia 6070 is just a rip-off on the Sony Ericsson T and K designs, being labelled as a “timeless design” by Nokia.

The design concept shown in the picture (linked from BusinessWeek Online) is by Pilotfish and Synaptics, and it uses a gesture driven UI, eliminating the need for buttons (hmm…”able to recognise body-parts”). For more design concepts, BWO has a slide show.

To me it seems that nothing really innovating in cell-phone design has happened, since Nokia made the antenna “go poooff”.

I remember at CeBIT 2000, in the euphoria of the golden age of cell-phones and .com optimism, where Ericsson were show-casing some futuristic design concepts. I especially remember a cell phone concept, that had a folding keypad, it looked sort of like a two eliptical hinged dog-tags, that you could slide apart, that I’d buy. The only other thing I REALLY noticed at the Ericsson booth was a Japanesse guy taking LOTS of pictures.

Just about then the .com bubble burst, and the business went into serious consolidation mode, cranking out one boring design after another.

But now change is coming, cell-phones and gadgets will become fashion items, Vertu – Nokia’s luxury division, for instance, is reporting problems meeting demand for their “bling-bling” luxury phones.

iPod shuffle sports caseLast year I also had some ideas for designs for portable digital media players, e.g. embedding them into earings, I’d also like to see a transparent design, looking much like the “iPod shuffle sports casing” (picture linked from apple.com).

I actually did an experiment, having a flash-memory chip encased into glass. Unfortunately it proved too heavy to use as an ear-ring, and the heat “fried” the electronics, but it could make a nice pendant, and I think it looked cool.

Cell-phone makers: you’re welcome to steal my ideas, “If you build it I’ll come”: (Skype-Hype and my dream device).

Radikal Ungdom > Konference om frivilligt arbejde

Sunday, August 20th, 2006

Den Dynamsike DuoRadikal Ungdom > Konference om frivilligt arbejde

Jeg burde jo nok have skrevet om denne begivenhed før den fandt sted, det var nemlig i dag den 20-August-2006 kl. 10:00.

Hvorfor er det så interessant, jeg er da ikke medlem af Radikal Ungdom?

Næh det skyldes naturligvis emnet, og at jeg, sammen med Morten Jønsson, var inviteret til at holde et oplæg under titlen “Det at lave frivilligt arbejde”, hvor vi naturligvis skulle fortælle om Hjemmelektiehjælpen.

Det gik faktisk ret godt med vores præsentation, vi havde valgt at deles om at fremføre den, og det syntes jeg fungerede ret godt, men det er naturligvis op til publikum at vurdere. Jeg er ihvertfald frisk på at prøve noget lignende igen, og nu har vi en god baggrund for at forbedre vores intromøde.

Udover den dynamiske duo, så var der også repræsentanter fra Ungdommens Røde Kors (URK). Cecilie Dinensen talte levende om arbejdet i et asylcenter. Det lød virkelig som et godt projekt, og man kunne mærke følelserne fra Cecilie Dinesen, da hun talte om “hendes” børn. Jeg ville nok overveje at vælge at lave frivilligt arbejde i et asylcenter, hvis jeg ikke allerede var “lektiehjælper”.

Andreas Æbelø, næstformand i URK, fortalte bla. om hvordan URK er organiseret, det er noget anderledes end Dansk Flygtningehjælp (DFH). URK har en noget fladere struktur end den der er i DFH.

Et konkret eksempel på hvor det kan skabe problemer, var i forbindelse med “børneattester”, dvs. det faktum at alle der arbejder med børn skal underskrive en erklæring om at der kan indhentes en børneattest, altså en straffeattest der kun indeholder evt. pædofæli. URK havde talt og talt om det, men fik pludselig problemer da det skulle udføres i praksis. DFH valgte at håndtere det centralt, og at bede alle frivillige om at underskrive en samtykke erklæring, uanset om de arbejdede med børn eller ej.

Laust Kristensen, centerleder for Center for Frivilligt Socialt Arbejde, talte om hvordan den offentlige sektor prøver på at indtænke det frivillige sociale arbejde. Der var både plads til teori og praksis, men også en snak om den mytologiske “zapper”, altså en person der ofte skifter mellem forskellige frivliig sociale projekter.

En interessant kommentar var at den selvejende institution var under pres, og at det måske var en fremragende model for frivilligt socialt arbejde. Jeg er enig, skal vi starte en?

Herefter var der paneldebat med tre socialordførere Martin Lidegaard, Det Radikale Venstre, Hans Andersen, Venstre og Pia Kristensen, Dansk Folkeparti.

Jeg var positivt overrasket over at socialordførene fra partierne Venstre, Dansk Folkeparti og Det Radikale Venstre alle ønsker at opprioritere det frivillige sociale arbejde.

Specielt syntes jeg repræsentanten fra Dansk Folkeparti, Pia Kristensen, var yderst velstruktureret, og hun har selv lavet frivilligt socialt arbejde og har kendskab til værdien af det. Selv om hendes oplæg i starten blot var en opremsning af definitionen af frivilligt arbejde fra Social Ministeriets hjemmeside. Og den havde vi faktisk lige fået gennemgået af Laust Kristensen, så det var lidt hult, men bestemt professionelt!

Pia Kristensen kom også med et frisk pust (kunne ikke dy mig). Nemlig det noget anti-elitære og populistiske forslag at alle folketingsmedlemmer skulle udføre frivilligt socialt arbejde en måned om året. Det er ikke tit jeg er enig med Dansk Folkeparti, og de har muligvis visse indvendinger mod det arbejde vi f.eks. udfører i Hjemmelektiehjælpen, men der er ingen tvivl om at Pia Kristensen ved hvad hun taler om!

Et tilbagevendende spørgsmål var hvordan det offentlige kunne være katalysator for frivilligt arbejde, også uden om de eksisterende foreninger. I Tyskland har unge tilsyneladende mulighed for at vælge at udføre frivilligt arbejde i et år, lidt som en slags samfunds værnepligt, politikerne lød oprigtigt interesserede i det.

Et spørgsmål som jeg blev stillet, og ikke fik besvaret tilfredsstillende var:

“Hvorfor blev du frivillig?”

Jeg svarede at jeg længe havde været interesseret i at udføre frivilligt arbejde, men at det krævede at jeg så et opslag på Oranges Intranet før jeg fandt det rigtige…

Men jeg skulle også have svaret, at det der gjorde at Lektiehjælpen i Mjølnerparken blev mit projekt, var muligheden for at arbejde med etniske minoriteter, og at jeg dermed kunne få min “pladder-humanisme”, som jeg altid er blevet beskyldt for at have, sat i et praktisk perspektiv.

En vigtig ting jeg har fået ud af denne praktiske erfaring, er at jeg i diskussioner ikke kan beskyldes for ikke at vide hvad jeg taler om. Jeg kender faktisk efterhånden en del indvandrere, og jeg regner mange af dem for at være mine venner.

For at citere Laust Kristensens far: “Folk er jo ret normale når man lærer dem at kende”.

Tak for et godt og inspirerende arrangement.

ps…Billedet? Det kræver nok at man var der, men ellers kan I mine kære læsere nok gætte det.