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gsake.info My Notepad - Athens by night... At office! - News Blog
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My Notepad : Athens by night... At office!
on 08.01.08 (1879 reads)
My Notepad

Already in 2008 and I feel bad about abandoning this site with no updates for such a long time. To be honest I have also “forgotten” the fact that my laptop has a burnt-out graphics card, three months must have passed since the first time I saw that lovely blue screen warning me about the permanent hardware failure... My daily routine has changed (me) dramatically since this magic word called “work” entered my world. Even when the pressure is a bit lighter (right now I am posting from work), there is always a “next issue” to work on. Well, leaving the legal training alone, one of the fascinating things here is this good old Pentium III that I am using right now, forget about the other specs of this “baby”, which runs under Linux, Ubuntu distribution. Not bad at all I would say, this old fellow would be totally useless right now if it wasn't for Linux. The open source motives are ringing bells and I can hardly say that I miss any of the Windows' features in a strictly professional environment that needs no more than a good office suite and a stable browser to be complete. Well, sometimes lawyers are boring even when referring to their software needs to run their office...

How on earth did I end up talking about software again? I blame the labor law overdose under which I was exposed today! Sometimes I miss Edinburgh, sometimes I don't. What I must start getting used to missing, is the careless Edinburgh's mornings, when the only problems to care about were the empty fridge (which meant go to TESCO) and some hundreds of pages about IT,IP law and crazy AI stuff that I had to go through... Oh, I also miss that -5C training night... Not joking!

My Notepad : One year and eighty-one days
on 12.12.07 (1671 reads)
My Notepad

Well, it has been months since I published anything here. Its is beyond no doubt that the daily schedule has totally changed since I left Edinburgh. Last act was “on stage” on the 28th November 2007, a few weeks ago, when old friends met once again for the graduation ceremony and had the opportunity to have a few drinks at their classical meeting point, next to the School of Law. Good old fellows were there to celebrate drinking our last Scottish pints, wandering around Edinburgh's city, which had already worn its Christmas spirit suit.

Weather was sweet and everyone was in a very good mood, all of us laughing to each other at the sight of the gown and especially during the very moment when we graduated, making fun of our awfully pronounced surnames. Ceremony was nice, neither casual nor hyper-luxurious, just like the way it should be I would say. Everything was perfectly organized, everything was scheduled with precision, the contrast between the graduation ceremony in Athens, in October 2006 and this one was definitely great. But I doubt if there is any comparison to be made; different philosophy, and approach, two totally unalike “systems”, the British one fighting with its own industry of academic institutions, the Greek one still haunted by the ghosts of the past, uncertainty, insecurity, lack of mission and concrete philosophy; but still not less qualitative than the first one; two different aspects of the west European higher education's system.

I really don't know if there is an “Edinburgh's Review” to be written down, or not. But what I am totally sure of, is that I spent one fantastic year up there, full of new experiences and I managed to collect great supplies for the future. Only one promise to make, no way I wont return to Calton Hill to spare some minutes exploring the North See under the clouded Edinburgh's skies...

General News : No tears left...
on 27.08.07 (1748 reads)
General News

One would seriously doubt if there are any words at all to describe what Greece is experiencing these days... The whole country is burning; trees, houses, people, a national tragedy has struck all Greeks and will remain in our memory as the saddest summer of our lives. I doubt if there is anything to be written about what has happened; a work of arsonists this horrible nightmare has already changed the way Greeks will feel about their country from now on; many used the expression "our 11th September" to describe the way we feel about it; the Greek version of "ground zero" was released during these days: no direct violent attack, but a cruel "asymmetric threats" like model was used in order to achieve such a high level of disaster; we keep questioning what will be left from this country, will people be able to live in these areas anymore? Even ancient Olympia was threatened by the flames; there is no humanity left in this world, no honour, no feelings; what kind of future are we building for our selves... We are used to blaming the older generations for all problems in Greece, but unfortunately I can't see why we claim to be better. Let us believe that there are still some tears left to shed for future tragedies...

My Notepad : Where do I start, where do I begin?
on 25.07.07 (1239 reads)
My Notepad

This is the last post from Edinburgh. I am about to return to Scotland for a few days at the end of August and for the Graduation Ceremony in November of course - but still this is the last post from my flat. Ten months have passed, a whole academic year has nearly come to its end. Not sure what was the exact "taste" of this period, definitely a special one that I am going to remember forever. What is now left for this summer is to finalize my dissertation and spend some days with friends on an isle of our choice. Given that everything works fine with dissertation and other academic duties, even if I still can't tell where do I start from now on, at least I can tell a little bit more of myself. That's not bad at all...

ps: Did I forget to mention that I am already posting here for more than a year?

My Notepad : The Final Countdown
on 09.07.07 (1142 reads)
My Notepad

It has been a very fascinating year so far, a wonderful experience of studying abroad in one of the best universities in United Kingdom. There are many things one could write down about these nine months that I stayed in Edinburgh; it was not only the academic level and facilities but the general aura of this city that granted a very special character to my studies. Fully satisfied from all the knowledge offered there is nothing left to do but follow the developments in the field of IT Law; now that one has learnt where to search for information and how to interpret them, the most important is keeping in touch. Apart from excellent knowledge, this year offered me great friends and the unique and sometimes humorous experience of living alone in a flat; but still it was a "student's flat", so no one is claiming a real simulation! There is no time and I am not in the mood to summarize this year; will never forget the gold medal from scottish universities athletics events! Never expected to win a gold medal abroad, six years after I had retired from training and races; so there is so much to talk about, so little time to waste. There is only one thing I am sure of: Ready for Athens or not, there is lots of work that has to be done; and quickly!

Technology : Technorati (In)Compatibility
on 01.07.07 (1127 reads)
Technology

Taking a break from Creative Commons licences (dissertation mode: on) I browsed through one of the most famous and useful Web 2.0 services, the Technorati engine. No better way to understand what exactly this service bundle offers, than reading their own "About Us" article. The question triggered was if Technorati is able of monitoring online activity in sites that consist of "News Blog" entries and other relevant content under a common domain (like gsake.info) and how effective this monitoring is. Will the monitoring expand to all content of the web site or will their engine fail to monitor anything posted here... It is more than obvious that the Technorati engine is optimized for Blogger and Wordpress software, or relevant to them clones. The registration with Technorati will also test the engine's interoperability; do we all have to create a typical blog in order to be listed in Technorati or not? Hopefully I will find out soon and come back with more details.


Update:

Well, obviously no Technorati service for this site... As stated above, the interoperability of their engine is highly questionable. The compatibility is restricted to the most famous blogging software and the engine cannot recognize blogs that are based on other scripts; as a result it is impossible to track the news from a web site unless the user has ported a blogging script, mostly Wordpress which has the highest grade of interoperability with various CMSs. Pity they did not make their software robust enough to catch all news systems and not only the mainstream blogging scripts. A blog is not what is hosted under blogspot or wordpress but "a website or section of website where entries in a whole page are written, submitted, and displayed in chronological order from top to bottom" as stated in Wikipedia. Well, true that the so called "blogosphere" has set a new status quo for Internet and social networking (hotlinking from blogger to blogger) but still there is a whole industry that "allowed" blogs to become what they are today; a great example of this is that services like Technorati - from Web 2.0 repository - are incompatible with typical web sites and available only for blogs; users are indirectly forced to start a blog, in order to join! By the way, Opera Browser is totally incompatible with the Technorati site, produced many blank pages and errors, where IE7 had no problem and loaded pages faster. Wasted time again? YES.


Web Site : Image Bank
on 23.06.07 (1102 reads)
Web Site

Having some more ideas about this repository, I found out that 10 gigs of web space were just getting wasted, since only 25Mb were used till now for the files of this site. There could be no better idea than installing an image bank. That was a plan made long time ago, but the limited web space had always been a problem. I do not claim that I am a good photographer, so I should upload my photos, I know nothing about photographs. But it is enjoyable to take your camera and shoot landscapes or beautiful areas within cities or random nature scenes. The creation of a small selective collection of photographs is the goal for this gallery, since it is more preferable to host my own image bank than uploading to random servers; it gives a more personal feel to the pics and a better integration with the rest of the site. For the present there are only a few Edinburgh's pics, as a "showcase" mode for the image bank. Hope there will be time for more; back to Creative Commons licenses now...

Web Site : RSS Playground
on 19.06.07 (1034 reads)
Web Site

After having a long conversation with grammo about RSS feeds, I realized that apart from providing a "manual" link for all users who want to add the available feeds, a website should interact with the new generation of browsers that recognize the RSS compatibility feature and display a small icon next to the address bar (Opera and Firefox), or make a button to flash indicating that feeds are available, like Internet Explorer version 7. This means that users should always have two ways of subscribing to RSS feeds: Using the browser's compatibility engine by single clicking on the RSS icon, or manually for those who have older browsers or other software, via clicking on the link of the the feed. In this website I used only the latter, since I had no idea that I should do the coding in order to have a browser displaying the RSS availability. I actually thought that this would be done automatically; silly me. So viewing the source code of grammo's blog, I found out that there was some code within the header that did the trick. I felt like I discovered America again, and was ready to write an article - guide about it. Then I understood that I just found out something basic I did not know, but still in order to satisfy my joy I am writing this news blog entry! Being aware of the code, I found an exceptional article about RSS feeds and compatibility issues. Feeling a bit wiser I moved forward to add the code. The whole work is done within the "head" tag of the page. One can add as many feeds as one likes, all latest browsers are robust enough to display a little menu including all RSS syndication options. For the record, if anyone is interested in this, here is the added code within the "head" tag that made the difference and now the feeds are automatically recognized:

<link rel="alternate" 
    type="application/rss+xml" 
    title="News Blog RSS Feed" 
    href="http://gsake.info/backend.php" />
<link rel="alternate" 
    type="application/rss+xml" 
    title="Sections RSS Feed" 
    href="http://gsake.info/modules/smartsection/backend.php" />

or via FeedBurner (default)

<link rel="alternate" 
    type="application/rss+xml" 
    title="News Blog RSS Feed" 
    href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/gsakenews" />
<link rel="alternate" 
    type="application/rss+xml" 
    title="Sections RSS Feed" 
    href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/gsakesections" />


General News : Explore your senses...
on 17.06.07 (1041 reads)
General News

Feeling depressed because of being away from the beautiful, warm and sunny Greece, I started browsing through the official web site of the Greek National Tourism Organisation (G.N.T.O.). I was delighted to see that they update regularly their portal, already added multilingual support and many other sections and information about tourism in Greece. It is well known that Greece depends on tourism and the number of tourists who visit Greece on yearly basis exceeds the Greek population! This means that the advertising and promotional campaigns should be carried out very carefully and with no tolerance of aesthetic failure. This year's campaign was really astonishing; I was impressed by the images and designing concepts used for the multiple posters that G.N.T.O. released for its advertising purposes. The result is exceptional and the quality of a high level. I managed to download all sample images for my personal image bank. The question is under which license are these images released? Is one allowed to use them as a banner at a web site linking to G.N.T.O.'s site and promote the campaign or not? It is not clearly stated that these images are provided to the public "as is" in order to be used for promotional purposes; on the other hand intellectual property law applies to all works, including these images of course. So am I allowed to post a small banner to my web site without their special permission to do so? I have already done this, but I will mail the web site admin in order to find out how they feel about it... No matter what comes out from this communication, I strongly advise for this summer to... "explore your senses" in Greece!

InfoSoc & Law : It was an excellent debate!
on 17.06.07 (831 reads)
InfoSoc & Law

Two days after the FOSS NTUA Community's debate "Open Software and Alternative Technologies", I am more than happy that I was given the chance to take part in this wonderful panel and make a small presentation about patents on CII and their future within the European area. The organizing committee did a very good job. Not only did they provide a live video feed of acceptable quality (real format), but they managed to set up a video conference connection for me to deliver my speech live. Unfortunately the problems that we had with sound made things a bit difficult, since I could only see and talk but not hear what was happening in the auditorium through the conference connection. So I had to deliver my speech without "interaction". Rest of the debate was available for me through the live feed (streaming has always at least 20-30 secs delay) and I think that the level was really high and the audience paid attention, even when they disagreed or could not follow the legal terms used by many speakers on various topics. The workshops that were presented after the end of the "legal debate" were very good organized as well, even if I could not deal with most of the technical details... This experience was great and I am looking forward to having more opportunities to discuss and exchange opinions with people that are not originating from the field of law, which means that they have a different aspect of the whole debate, about patents, licenses and generally participation in the information society. Feedback about the debate can be found at a special section on their wiki; material is all in Greek of course. Well done FOSS NTUA Community!

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Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
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