Mango / Tears of Steel

Tears of Steel is the fourth film (and the first live-action short) by the blender foundation and a giant leap forward for the community and the software. It is a sci-fi film that showcases recent work on blender, including Compositing, the Cycles render engine and many of the features introduced in the blender 2.6x series, like BMesh. Like most blender foundation films, this one suffers from the the usual suspects: bad audio, bad accents and now, for the first time, they are complemented by pretty bad acting (the guy with the monocle is borderline unbearable) and a somewhat frustrating script;…

Εκτός κατάταξης

Δεν ξέρω αν θα ήμασταν πάνω από την μεγάλη πλειοψηφία των Αφρικανικών χωρών στο Web Index του Tim Berners Lee, αλλά είμαι βέβαιος πως το γεγονός πως δεν είμαστε πουθενά στην κατάταξη είναι δείγμα της έλλειψης σοβαρότητας, ενδιαφέροντος και αξίας που δίνουμε στην δικτύωσή μας ως χώρα. Αν μη τι άλλο, εν διαμέσω κρίσης, οι επενδύσεις για την βελτίωση των δικτύων ευρυζωνικότητας φαίνεται να έχουν παύσει, οι επιδόσεις των υφιστάμενων συνδέσεων έχουν παγώσει ή χειροτερέψει για πολύ κόσμο και εκεί που η Ευρώπη περνά ταχύτατα σε δίκτυα νέας γενιάς με ευρεία διαθεσιμότητα VDSL2+ και FTTC/FTTB/FTTH εμείς ακόμη συζητούμε για εγκατάσταση περισσότερων mini DSLAMs έτσι ώστε να μην βρίσκεται η μεγάλη πλειοψηφία των συμπολιτών μας καταδικασμένη σε ταχύτητες κάτω των 5-6MBps. Φυσικά, στα μάτια των πολλών, όταν το διακύβευμα είναι η ίδια η επιβίωση, η ευρυζωνικότητα καταντά ένα γραφικό αντικείμενο συζήτησης. Κι'όμως, αν μη τι άλλο, αν η 'ανταγωνιστικότητα' της Ελλάδος θέλουμε να σημαίνει κάτι παραπάνω από την εξαθλίωση του βιοτικού επιπέδου των κατοίκων της, αν ο στόχος μας δεν είναι η εργατική τάξη, η αποδοτικότητα του δημοσίου ή η διαφθορά της Κίνας ή της Ινδίας αλλά αυτές της Σουηδίας ή της Φινλανδίας, τότε η ευρυζωνικότητα θα έπρεπε να θεωρείται μείζον θέμα στους κύκλους των αρμόδιων υπηρεσιών και υπουργείων. Και προφανώς αυτό σημαίνει πως η Ελλάδα --- μάλλον --- θα έπρεπε να εμφανίζεται στο ευρετήριο του Tim Berners Lee και δη σε θέση που δεν θα μας προκαλούσε συλλογικά κατάθλιψη.

Visualising geospatial data using SVG, Python and Javascript/d3

Geography is an immensely important tool in the modern business environment. Doing business globally was the first wave of the globalised economy, and the widespread use of internet-based services and e-commerce only accelerated and solidified the notion. The next wave came with mobility in the form of location-based services. Today everyone can create location-based tools that span the globe, and many companies do, but in my view this is akin to a car manufacturer producing a single model for Chinese farmers and European urban commuters alike. Hyperlocality, the concept that each location is worthy of particular attention, that it has…


The holidays are almost over, for those lucky enough to be able to have holidays, not in the not_working sense, but rather the peace_of_mind sense. Suddenly people remember the misery of their reality, the lack of prospects, the bleak predictions and — above all — that those who are, in theory, responsible for fixing this, at an institutional level, that is those in power, both at home and abroad, are selfish, corrupt and myopic blockheads. Here in Greece we’ve been expecting ‘talks’ about the ‘deferment’ of some payments, the ‘extension’ of the support programme even since the ‘new’ government was…

TextMate 2 is now available under GPL3!

Who would've thought a few years ago that this day would come! Given the success of TextMate 1.x and the unprecedented delay in releasing TextMate 2, I guess open sourcing it makes sense. But GPL3? Really?


In the summer of 1996 hotmail was released to the world and it wasn't much later that I opened my first account there. It was an innovative email platform that promised to liberate people from their ISP provided email. It was one of my first non-ISP provided email addresses and one I still have. Like today, the mid-1990s was an era of walled-gardens, only at the time they weren't called Facebook, twitter or Google, but AOL, Compuserve and loads of local BBSes offered by several small ISPs. Service providers were only beginning to adopt their, still current, position as 'carriers of content and services' not purveyors thereof. And in this environment, hotmail was innovative, in the same way that netflix, skype and all those other unbundled services are innovative for they liberate you from the increasingly threatening grip of ISPs and the few dominant players that keep entering new markets, doing a bad job at it, but winning 'cause their financial prowess kills the competition in the meantime. I used to use my hotmail account quite a bit between 1997 and 1999. I gave up shortly after Microsoft started really changing it --- at the beginning they didn't do much to it; it still ran on FreeBSD and Solaris. By 2001 it had already lost much of its 'innovative' features (and it ran on Windows 2000) and under Microsoft's ownership it stagnated as other services rendered it obsolete. By 2002, my hotmail account was only used for a few quasi-dodgy online merchants to whom I didn't want to give a more 'important' email address and since GMail took the world by storm with its 1GB offer in 2004, I practically stopped using it alltogether. As such it is now full of enough spam to feed the world twice over. And now, Microsoft decided that hotmail is to be no more, replaced by the title of its equally mediocre monstrosity of an email client, Outlook, and revamped to look like an app of their Metro environment. Yet another one of those early, pioneering web brands of the 1990s is, even in name, dead. Ah well, at least we still have Amazon =)