“Odin Linux” big joke

Several people warned me today about a guy in Denmark who was using Ulteo material on his website. The guy, J*************, is “starting” a new Linux-based project called “Odin Linux”. Looking at his website, you’ll notice that he was more than inspired by Ulteo web pages content since he mostly used them without any change but replacing “Ulteo” by “Odin Linux”. Worse: he used some Ulteo graphical material for Odin Linux, and worse, he claimed that all this material was created and copyrighted by him. Of course that’s a big (ridiculous) joke, but anyhow, I’m not laughing that much since some people asked me why Ulteo were using some stuff from “Odin Linux”! So until we can force him to wipe out our stuff from his website or enter a case if he’s reluctant to do so, I wanted to tell eveyrone that, of course, Ulteo owns all this graphics stuff. We can prove it easily, by providing the original vector files (Illustrator files), as well by challenging Mr S******** to provide 3000px width of these images, that of course we can provide without using any interpolation. Frankly, I really wonder why someone can just copy-paste our ideas and material and claim to be his own project. There is so much to do in the software field, why can’t he have his own ideas and have someone to design his pictures? J************, sorry for that, but you really deserve a _bad_ reputation. Update: “How could Ulteo rip off a logo from a lower resolution :p?” (thx to Raven) 🙂 Update2: he removed most of the Ulteo material.

iPhone reloaded

Got my hands on the iPhone today and successfully unlocked it, thanks to DVD Jon. My feeling is that in term of user interface, there was the world before, and there is the world after. I’m impressed. Safari sucks a bit though. Note to all non-US users: you can’t use YouTube with the iPhone, but DailyMotion seems to work well. Now why can’t I scroll the screen on my lap with… just my finger?

The iPhone wild ride

Despite their excellent brand image, Apple is truly a close-source minded company. We all know about iTunes and the use of DRM, now it’s the iPhone turn: if you purchase an iPhone, good luck to use it with another phone operator than AT&T, or even use for its basic features (camera, wifi…). If you are outside the USA, it’s still worse: while you can easily order an iPhone on eBay, you have to wait they decide that European people can enjoy the iPhone too. The good news, is that smart people are working legitimately to circumvent these awful practises. As a result, “DVD Jon” already posted how to unlock the iPhone and use its basic capabilities (such as Wifi access and iPod player). Others are already providing ways to access the iPhone and modify it (and they need help!). The next step is to get support for any SIM card, which will let iPhone owners to just… use the iPhone as a cell-phone! And don’t forget the Nokia N95.

Is it still worth going to school?

I first wondered about this question considering my personal case: since I was young, at least since 8 years old, I have been attracted by computers and software. I learned by myself a lot, mostly in books and magazines, but at this time there was still no Internet, no Wikipedia, so you couldn’t learn everything. When I went to college and passed my “baccalaureat” (this is the exam you pass in France when you are 18, just before going to University), I had always the maximum note in computer sciences because it was so… simple. Then I went to Uni and had still to study physics, chemistry and mathematics for 2 years before specializing in computer sciences and software engineering. During this period, I (and all others) became a kind of specialist of n-dimension spaces, vectorial spaces, Schrödinger and Maxwell equations, orbitals, neutrophil and electrophil molecule sites, pKa, pKb and a mountain of things that were very interesting and exciting. But for computers sciences, I only got 2hours a week + a specialization in OO programming. Serious things only started the next three years when I was able to end (totally) with Physics, Chemistry and Maths, and focus on software development and related. At this stage I was 21. I really started to study computers sciences and learn something about it at 21! Of course, I started to learn a lot by myself on the net too (and still doing!), but I had to start doing something in my life. It’s already been a long time I wanted to start a software project/company and at 25 years old I was able to do so. I really think I could have started sooner. I like Physics, Maths and others, but really, I was in computer sciences since 1982, and couldn’t participate sooner while I’d had loved to do so. Now with Ulteo I’m meeting software developers who, at 18 or 20, have the same or better programming skills of people who, in the past, usually had to wait to complete their cursus and be 24 or 25 and acquire some experience for several years in real situation. These young guys I’m meeting (and trying to hire!) have been into software development for years, learned everything on the Internet (and also learning with others on Internet). They are going to school at the same time, because here, you have to get your exams and diplomas or your salary will be miserable. They are just going to school to have the University or school diploma and get a good position. Is it serious? The only benefit they get by continuing to go to school is to learn something else than computer sciences, just for their personal benefit.

D.A.N.C.E. – a rocket!

Yesterday, while driving my car and listening to the radio, I was thinking that I hadn’t heard anything exciting for a long time. And boom! I listened to this Paris-based band called “Justice” (what an odd name for a band), and their latest single “D.A.N.C.E.”. Thirty years of club music revisited in four minutes, with awesome vocals. I bet you’ll love it.

Note: this streamed version from radioblogbluc.com was probably recorded from Radio 1 (BBC Radio1 I guess) so sometimes you can hear the DJ speaking over the song. Pretty bad, but enough to discover the song.

The benefits of green walls

That’s still an “underground hype”, but green walls are catching up attention from many people in Europe who see them as a real way to improve our environment, especially within towns and surbubs. The principle is to cover a building wall with a substrate where moss and various plants can take roots, grow up naturally and cover the entire surface of the wall. Expected benefits include: thermal isolation, phonic isolation (up to 16dbA), aesthetic and… depollution, including absorption of air’s CO2.  The best green walls benefit from the ambiant air’s humidity and are self-maintaining! More sophisticated ones require a regulated water and nutritive contribution system. Several technical options for the initial structure are available, from steel grids that encapsulate the substrate, to affordable cut felt!  Read the Wikipedia entry in English  (quite short though) or better the French Wikipedia entry

Green Wall at Quai Branly museum, Paris.

pre-history (Jobs vs Gates)

The former is certainly a visionary, he has started Apple, NeXT (besides other companies), and more recently has launched the iPod and iTunes, making Apple back to success. The latter has built Microsoft and he certainly knows how to make business. Both of them are very rich, and are 50 or so. While I’ve always been fascinated by Jobs and what he’s done, I’ve never liked Gates that much since the first time I heard from him in 1983. Anyway, for me both of them represent the past of the computing industry. We can love them or not, that’s not the question. They are unlikely to spark any new technology revolution but they certainly can be respected for what they have done (in good or… bad!), which is basically: bring computers and software to the masses. Will you like it or not, they recently met in a show and where asked some question between their relationship since… 1977. Interesting links also include: the full transcript and video extracts of older Jobs/Gates meetings.