castanyes blaves

Random ramblings about some random stuff, and things; but more stuff than things -- all in a mesmerizing and kaleidoscopic soapbox-like flow of words.


Google Summer of Code

> > Why Google is funding open source development? Why Google is funding

> > GNOME? Just because we are so cool and smart? Just to deduce some taxes?


1) We like open source.

2) We like open source people, including Gnomers (gnomites? Gnomes?)

3) We use open source.

4) We are open source people.

5) We felt open source needs a little fresh blood now and then. *

6) We felt that there were a lot of students who would work on open

source, if they didn't have to flip burgers.

Hence: Summer of Code.

Chris (Google Open Source Programs Manager)

* not that I mind running into Nat and Miguel at every damn conference

I go to. :-)

NASA Open Source Software


vi editor -- the clipo way


Read and Write Linux partitions from Windows


Your bloody bloodiness...

I rented the DVD of Closer ( last Sunday: this is a potentially great script that results in a good movie.

Natalie Portman's performance as Alice may be the best, although it fades out at the end.

Great British accent by Clive Owen as Larry: How many "bloody"s can fit inside a sentence"


newicktree LaTeX printing

Found newicktree for LaTeX phylogeny printing:

-rw-r--r-- 1 avb avb 10539 2004-03-02 10:51 newicktree.sty

-rw-r--r-- 1 avb avb 207311 2004-03-02 10:51 ntdoc.pdf

-rw-r--r-- 1 avb avb 860 2004-03-02 10:51 psttest.tex

-rw-r--r-- 1 avb avb 767 2004-03-02 10:51 nttest.tex

latex nttest.tex

will generate:

-rw-r--r-- 1 avb avb 8 2005-08-09 18:39 nttest.aux

-rw-r--r-- 1 avb avb 3899 2005-08-09 18:39 nttest.log

-rw-r--r-- 1 avb avb 11928 2005-08-09 18:39 nttest.dvi

Which can be viewed with:

xdvi nttest.dvi


\righttree \usebranchlengths


\drawtree{(Tkodak: 1.742475, (Pfurio: 1.492971, (Pabyss: 1.117458, Phorik: 1.362452): 0.871056): 2.177561);}

\par Scale: \scalebar[0.1]


latex m0.tex && dvips m0.dvi && ggv

Awesome stuff!


There is nothing to fear except fear itself

August 2005: Five months ahead for the end of my PhD, as my fellowship/contract will end at 31th December. I plan to stick on the schedules and have a PhD dissertation by then.

I told it so to my PhD advisor, Dr. J.R., some months ago, just to expose my intentions -- crystal clear. He seemed to be fine with that, although he encouraged me to push hard from then on for a half-year sprint.

But two weeks ago we were commenting on the plans of the microbial project I am currently working on. From his comments, it was clear that he wouldn't let me present the dissertation without a similar project with Drosophila. That project, that I haven't prospected or started at all, at least for the two phrases summary that he throwed at me, is extremely complex to carry on with the time I have. Or more precisely, with the time I will have when having finished the microbial project. This was two weeks ago, and the microbial project is still advancing but not shaping into a paper yet.

I wouldn't mind to have to spend a couple extra months with my PhD, considering that one month and a half is actually given to the PhD commitee to evaluate the written report.

The problem is that I felt threatened and horrified when he stated that I would have to use my unemployment benefits for those extra months. I don't want to do that, and I won't. It's not fair to make me to use the unemployment benefits to continue working, doing the same I am doing, but employed. Unemployment payments are meant to give me time to find the next job.

My case is somewhat special as I'm an employee in my last two Phd years of Generalitat's FI fellowship, while most of the other fellowships are simple grants with no further unemployment benefits. So I don't have close cases to compare my situation with. But I can see what is happening with all the other Phd students in the group, and it doesn't look good: A.S. is in his fifth/sixth? year, and has been working in his Phd dissertation in the last year without getting any money at all. The same situation with D.B. A.B. is jumping from one 3 months grant to another, from one lab to another, mostly doing part-time highly-qualified work, Postdoc-level, but getting miserably paid for it.

So far, it doesn't look good. But I think it is otherwise very reassuring if closely analysed: I am convinced that my decision to stick to the 4-year PhD route, or 48 months route, is the right thing to do, and that I shouldn't fear anything that makes me feel this won't happen or shouldn't happen. Scientifically, my 4-years PhD work is sound, and that's what counts.


Pointing to the neighbours...

Ill Will Rising Between China and Japan - nytimes

Japan is asserting itself: seeking a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, transforming its Self-Defense Forces into a real military and revising its war-renouncing Constitution.

To Japanese conservatives, becoming a normal nation amounts to a revision of the American-imposed peace Constitution that they feel castrated - a term they use deliberately and frequently - their country.

Arguing that Japan must draw closer to the United States, Mr. Koizumi's government has reinterpreted the Constitution to allow Japanese troops in Iraq and has reversed a longtime ban on the export of arms to join the American missile defense shield. Recent polls show an increasing percentage of Japanese favoring a revision of the Constitution.

The conservative news media have helped demonize China, as well as North Korea, to soften popular resistance to remilitarization. Sankei Shimbun, the country's most conservative daily, recently ran a series about China called "The Threatening Superpower."

Hiromu Nonaka, 79, who retired as secretary general about a year ago, said the present situation reminded him of prewar Japan, when politicians manipulated public opinion to rouse nationalism through slogans like "Destroy the brute Americans and British."

Hidekazu Inubushi, a politician and leader of the protest, added that forcing respect of the Japanese national anthem and flag was necessary because postwar Japanese education had focused too much on wartime misdeeds and produced graduates who were not proud of their country.

This is utterly bad. I think Japanese succeeded as no other country in building a peaceful society after the imperialist regime. A war-renouncing Constitution is one of the best decisions a country can stand for. No more wars please: "remilitarization" is an awful word.

Smoking out the bees

There has been a law in preparation in Spain to restrict tobacco publicity by the end of the year, following the course of the new EU tobacco law. It is already illegal to sponsorship, for example, Formula 1 teams.

I hope this new enforcements will diminish the striking numbers of young people getting addicted to destroy their lungs with cigarettes.

I also hope, as a non-smoker, to be able to have lunch at the faculty's cafeteria without having to use fog lights to see through the smoke of others...


Business Readiness Rating - A Proposed Open Standard to Facilitate Assessment and Adoption of Open Source Software

The rating system will employ an open-source model with scores determined by those who use certain programs and contribute their judgments.

The rating system has 12 categories, including functionality, usability, quality, security, documentation and technical support. Each category is to be rated 1 to 5. There will also be filtering tools so a potential corporate user can specify its most important considerations.

Companies want to spend their engineering time and money building useful software that can help them find customers, improve service and streamline purchasing, and not on evaluating software building blocks by themselves, said Kim Polese, chief executive of SpikeSource, a start-up firm in Redwood City, Calif.

Let me entertain you... with a Linux supercomputer

Sony's Playstation 3 (PS3), expected to ship next spring, will revolutionize personal computing, says Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Ken Kutaragi in an EETimes Asia interview. The PS3 will have a Cell processor that runs multiple OSes -- including Linux -- concurrently in different OS "cells."

In June, Sony revealed that the PS3 will be marketed as both a gaming device and an "entertainment supercomputer" that can run Linux and other PC operating systems on removable, interchangeable hard drives. The drives will include task-specific Linux environments that can be used to edit videos, serve multimedia streams, and more. A Cell Linux port developed at an IBM facility in Austin, Texas is expected to appear in the 2.6.13 kernel.

A Level 2 OS -- also called a guest OS layer -- might be Linux, a PC OS, or a Playstation OS, depending on how the user wishes to apply the device. Sony and its ISV (independent software vendor) and gaming content partners will sell guest OSes on interchangeable, removable hard drives pre-installed with task-based operating systems of various kinds.


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