Real-Time Google Earth GPS Tracking
In a recent trip I incorrectly assumed that real-time tracking of
Google Earth's pre-cached maps with a GPS receiver would be sufficient
help for navigating around the highways in Los Angeles.
I therefore experimented with the way Google Earth's
sparsely-documented real time tracking works,
and wrote a small program to interface Google Earth with a GPS receiver.
Fortunately, after seeing a colleague drive with a car-GPS device
on the dashboard I came to my senses, and got a real
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Sound-Bytes from the Open World Forum
I'm currently attending the
Open World Forum taking place
The conference is proving extremely interesting with many notables,
Jim Whitehurst the president and CEO of Red Hat and
Mike Milinkovich the executive director of the Eclipse Foundation,
talking and exchanging opinions.
Many of the discussions are too cerebral to be effectively blogged,
but here are some sound-bytes I noted down from the session on
public policies to promote sustainable development of shared resources.
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A Visit at BMW's Leipzig Factory
Yesterday I had a chance to tour the BMW Leipzig factory.
It was a unique experience, in which I witnessed
the sophistication of modern production methods,
and the most well-organized complex human undertaking I have seen first hand.
The factory literally runs like a clockwork, eerily bringing to my mind
the descriptions of Mars's factories in Bogdanov's science fiction novel
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International BSD Conference in Turkey
I'm on my way back from the
International BSD Conference in Turkey,
which a group of enthusiastic members of our community organized on
Friday and Saturday.
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Of Wine and Software
Today, following the yearly IEEE Software
we visited the Casa Valduga winery near Bento Gonçalves at Rio Grande do Sul.
The guide told us that the winery nowadays made all its
wine in stainless steel vats, which have largely replaced the traditional
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Secure Passports and IT Problems
In 2003 Greece, in response to new international requirements for secure travel documents, revised the application process and contents of its passports. From January 1st 2006 passports are no longer issued by the prefectures, but by the police, and from August 26th passports include an RFID chip. The new process has been fraught with problems; many of these difficulties stem from the IT system used for issuing the passports.
On December 12th, the Greek Ombudsman
(human rights section) issued a special 22-page report on the problems of the new passport issuing process.
The report is based on 43 official citizen complaints.
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NASSCOM Quality Summit 2006
Last week I attended NASSCOM's 2006 Quality Summit in Bangalore, India.
There I gave a tutorial on tooling with open source software, and
delivered a talk on Global Software Development in the FreeBSD Project.
It was an edifying trip.
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Security is a Problem of the Weakest Link
While attending the ICSE 2006 conference I stayed at the Tong Mao hotel.
My room featured an impressive-looking safe:
thick steel, two bolts, and a digital lock.
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Cats and Cigarette Lighters
On April 14th, the US Transportation Security Administration
started enforcing a new ban on cigarette lighters.
A month later,
I saw the corresponding announcement posted on a check-in desk
at the Samos international airport.
At the same airport I also saw a free-roaming cat getting its food delivered
directly on the tarmac.
I entered my flight feeling a lot safer.
Continue reading "Cats and Cigarette Lighters"