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October 23, 2007

SVN $LastChangedDate$

Filed under: Life,Programming,Python — see @ 7:55 pm

In the cssutils sources I use the line __date__ = '$LastChangedDate$' in every file. I never figured this may be the source for any problem but it actually is.

Issue #10 in cssutils issue tracker is put up by an Argentine who had a problem with an accented “é” in the source. I never put it there. I do have some tests with non-ASCII characters in some of the testcases but specified an encoding in theses Python source files with the standard # -*- coding: utf-8 -*- as the 1st (or 2nd if a she-bang is present) line (actually in most cases # -*- coding: iso-8859-1 -*- as most tests use german umlauts which are the easiest to type on my german keyboard ;) ). But not in the where the problem occured and which is just plain ASCII.

But if you check out the files from the SVN the $LastChangedDate$ is replaced according to the locale you work in (or specify explicitly). This in my case is german so the result is something like __date__ = '$LastChangedDate: 2007-10-23 19:30:59 +0200 (Di, 23 Okt 2007) $'. Notice the “Di” which is short for “Dienstag” (Tuesday). It seems that in Argentine (which is basically spanish [shame on my not even knowing this stuff properly :( ]) some days actually have accented characters in them so the resulting string actually contains non-ASCII characters which then result in an invalid Python file – if no source encoding is specified (which I guess should be UTF-8 as e.g. ISO-8859-1 may work but I am not sure).

Very interesting…

For now I just added the encoding to only but I fear need to do this for any file :(

I guess a workaround would be to specify another encoding when checking out from Subversion. I also guess this problem will happen quite often as IMHO most English speaking people do mostly still use ASCII source code only. Even in widely used languages like Java I think this will be a problem.

October 22, 2007


Filed under: Music — see @ 9:17 pm

via Sean McGrath

October 21, 2007

Why we curse…

Filed under: Life — see @ 1:46 pm

very long but also very interesting and amusing: Why we curse.

Via Ned Batchelder

(BTW, hardly any point to do another post but just for me to “refind” it…)

October 13, 2007

ads that look like content and even worse…

Filed under: Death — see @ 11:47 pm

Ads that look like actual content but are not are known for quite some time now, the first I personally noticed were ads in FACE (print) magazine (R.I.P.) some years ago which looked like normal articles but actually were ads only noticeable by some small print “Adverticement” hidden in a corner.

Website ads use the same technique of masking ads as content but I never seen one as bold as on (may not be the only site using this kind of “marketing”):


It actually looks like the yellow Internet Explorer warning bar at the top of the window which normally is used by the browser (and not the websites content) to show infos about a missing plugin or problem with a site (I think the Firefox bar coming up if e.g. you try to install a plugin from an unknown site looks similar). To do something like this in print one would have to put in a fake TOC or use the actual page numbering for ads I guess…

IMHO this kind of ad is more like phishing than ad (maybe one can consider any ad a kind of “phishing”). Anyway it does make the website absolutely non-trustworthy. In this case not very important as it is a forum about hifi stuff (probably visited mostly by freaks like me ;) ) but I also guess this will inspire other sites to do something like this…

BTW, is there a word like “inspire” which the here intended negative notion?

May 17, 2007

only solution a whitelist?

Filed under: Death,Uncategorized — see @ 9:11 pm

I get about 200+ spam emails a day for some days now. There seems no possibility for Thunderbird to recognize these and 200 or more compared to about 2-10 wanted emails a day is simply too much. The only solution seems a whitelist which I effectively started today. I guess there will be mails being lost to me but it is way too much hassle going through 200 mails every day (not even counting the ones being reported as spam by my mail program). I am afraid if I cannot check my mails for a day or two as then the stack piles to nearly a 1000 emails which simple takes too much time to look through.

So if you really need to contact me and you are not someone I expect a mail from I don’t know what a reliable way there is anymore… for the people who have my phone number that’s ok, for others you may want to use the comments on this blog which of course are filtered too and I take the time to look through only about once a month as the ratio of spam to wanted comments is even worse of about 100:1 not counting recognized spam of course.

So this post is filed under death, and I guess emails is like that now, nearly unusable as I guess I even have not one the highest email/spam traffic of even the limited amount of people I know. Sad.

May 14, 2007

favourite comic writers (at least for Marvel)

Filed under: Comics — see @ 8:36 pm

I am collecting comics (again – before that until I was about 10 ;) ) for a few years now. Actually almost only Marvel comics and preferably Silver Age or a few selected series like the Silver Surfer stories.
Having just finished Silver Surfer Volume 3 with issue 146 (which took me more than two years to read with breaks of course) it came to my mind which writers would be my favourite ones. Vol 3 (but also vol 1 and 2 [only 1 issue though]) of Surfer is one of the few series which are good from start to finish with hardly any major breakdown. This is in stark contrast to series like Fantastic Four which had very good (and long) runs but also quite a few issues and short runs which are positively said “meager”, lines like Captain Marvel Volume 1 is almost an entire catastrophe except a few shorter runs (e.g. by one of my favorite writers, see below ;) .

So which are my favorite writers (at least with the stories I know of)?

1. Jim Starlin

Not a big question here, his stories are simply great. Best “villains” (Thanos) but also the whole stories are just great, not just action but with quite a bit of depth (although some people say comics cannot have any depth by definition…). Sometimes the difference in the way he tells stories compared to most other authors is a bit like the difference between films made like theater plays compared to just (action) movies. Well, others are probably better explaining why…
Don’t miss Dreadstar including the introducing Metamorphosis Odyssey storyline which is like most Starlin stuff “epic”. A very positive surprise was also the new (I hardly ever read “modern” stuff (or DC…)) “Mystery in Space” miniseries with the Weird (whose 4 issue miniseries from the 80s is very good as well). And almost the only really good stories with Captain Marvel and also Warlock are his credit.

2. Steve Englehart

His initial run on Silver Surfer Volume 3 which is a massive 31 issue story (which means at the time it came out people had to wait for almost 3 years for an end – and only as the Marvel editor at that time literally throw him out, Google for more infos…) is “marvel”ous. But also other runs in other series like the Celestial Madonna in Avengers is just a good read. Only point which is sometimes a little bit difficult is that his stories sometimes disgress so far or have so many interweaved different storylines in them that they may be a bit hard to follow, but at the same time thats the interesting bit as well…

3. J. M. DeMatteis

I actually only recall having read his storyline of the finishing issues of Surfer Volume 3 (from around 120 I think) but these are actually one of the best storylines (well in comics that is) I have ever read, at least among the very best stories of the Surfer.

EDIT: I noticed that Defenders 92 upto something about 100 are by DeMatteis too. When I read these (must be a year or two ago) I did not notice they were written by DeMatteis but I really did like the stories and how they develop, even though I did not know or even like the characters themselves too much. So I guess it depends mostly how a story is written and not really about which character a story is (I do prefer Surfer stories though, maybe there are not many bad Surfer stories?).

Out of competition lies Stan “the man” Lee of course. Sometimes I think Steve Englehart’s style of writing these intertweened stories is a bit like the later style (end 60s) of Stan Lee. Still among my favorite comics are Volume 1 of the Silver Surfer by Stan Lee.

I hope I have not been unjust ignoring all the other people involved in the great stories I just rambled about, so just to let know I know the writers are not the only people to “praise”. On the other hand even more credit to Jim Starlin who writes and draws most of his stuff as well…


Another writer I became quite fond of is Steve Gerber. I have probably not read his major comics like Howard the Duck but I really like his runs on Marvel Two-in-One and Defenders (all early 70s).

I guess I have to add some more writers which I did not realize have been writing quite a few stories I have already read…

March 27, 2007

Casino Royale on DVD and Blu-Ray

Filed under: Death,Film — see @ 7:53 pm

More or less the day after it came out I got the DVD of Casino Royale, the lastest Bond movie. I was pleasently surprised when it came out last year in the cinema, saw it only once though, guess due to lack of time. So I was quite eager to get the DVD, also because I assumed the extras are as good as the ones on the older Bonds which are about the best DVD extras you can get (Lord of the Rings is fine too, but almost too much…).

Watching the film on DVD is still good but the quality of the DVD picture is not what a good film like this deserves. I noticed during the opening titles that the whole picture is not as sharp as it could be (compaired to other DVDs). The sound is ok, but the picture is really not good.

I have thought before a company which produces Blu-Ray discs (and a BD player/gamestation ;) would not be too eager to produce DVDs as good as technically possible and this seems exactly what happens. The review of both the DVD and Blu-Ray version on german DVD magazine AreaDVD (see google…) sadly affirmed this thought.
The review says that both versions have a strange coloring (so no winner here, but still not a good reference to the DVD producer) but the DVD is really NOT sharp, the BD is…

I know BD being HD should have a sharper picture but a DVD can be better. I guess it makes more sense for a BD and DVD producer to hype BDs, still not good style…

The whole HD thing is quite annoying already. Having copy protection which is only a hassle for me as I do not copy DVDs or CDs at all but like to have the best quality which for example with a copy protected CD is certainly not what I get, maybe even another region code madness (which AFAIK is in the pipeline at least for BD), 2 different HD formats (HD-DVD and BD), expensive players and discs and now it seems DVD gets worse quality just to be able to promote HD better…

BTW, the DVD extras are just lame, nothing compared to the really interesting features on the older Bond films. Maybe I should have bought the single disc version (but of course I got the 2 Disc Special Edition). Maybe next time I should wait for a review first…

February 10, 2007

Water Madness

Filed under: Death — see @ 6:22 pm

how much water, fuel etc is used to sell one bottle of water in the U.S.

nothing to add really

January 17, 2007

and Green Lantern

Filed under: Comics,Life — see @ 7:38 pm

Your results:
You are Green Lantern

Green Lantern
The Flash
Iron Man
Wonder Woman
Hot-headed. You have strong
will power and a good imagination.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Funny enough, I did not really DC Comics (I prefer Marvel). But Green Lantern was actually the one I was eager to swap with ;)

oops, I am Dr. Doom…

Filed under: Comics,Life — see @ 7:35 pm

Your results:
You are Dr. Doom

Dr. Doom
Lex Luthor
The Joker
Mr. Freeze
Green Goblin
Dark Phoenix
Poison Ivy
Blessed with smarts and power but burdened by vanity.

Click here to take the Super Villain Personality Test

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