11.03.2008 The Fantasy Project

The Fantasy Project is an annual challenge. Each artist who participates can create his own song, as long as he uses the lyrics given below (“Jean Lucs Poem”) unchanged. All styles of music, such as classical, blues, rock, metal, rap, dance, techno, house, … are welcome.
* Fantasy III
* Fantasy II
All songs are under a Creative Commons license.

05.03.2008 My Job at MCS

Since Monday, I am working for MCS Hamburg, which is a quite professional internet provider and systems integrator. This means getting up earlier than I usually needed to, since I have to be here from 9am until 5pm. Howerever, this also means that I will be available on IRC, ICQ and via phone during these times in March. The MCS staff is very nice, and I enjoy working here a lot :).

28.02.2008 1000 EUR for free software development

Since I have a job next month, I can afford investing some money into the projects I work on. If you have contributed anything to a project I work on (BEAST, Rapicorn or LibSydney) and want to do some paid development, drop me an email. Its good if you either know something about music or coding, but its not a requirement – basically anybody can do something useful, like reporting bugs, writing documentation, designing sounds or writing songs and of course coding.

27.02.2008 Black is beautiful – green is essential

The results of the Hamburg election are these: people do care about clean air, clean water and life. Thats why 9.6% of them voted green. They also care about economics, finance, employment, and so on. Thats why over 42% voted for the current majors Ole’s CDU. Now even although nobody at the green election party on Sunday was too eager on negotiating with the CDU, I am wondering if we will finally see a black-green coalition in Hamburg. Its the coalition I favoured since I started reading Heiner-Geisslers (CDU/CSU) books on politics when I was in school. Will it happen in Hamburg? I think for fighting against climate change or sorting out inter-religious differences that make migration harder than it ought to be, a CDU/Green coalition would be the right thing to do. So please: do it!

03.02.2008 LibSydney and PulseAudio development

I had a discussion with Lennart about the maintenence of LibSydney, and his position is that since he started the project, he would like to remain maintainer and have me only as developer contributing patches. Thats great, because then he will be able to use all the knowledge and contacts he already has to promote the use of LibSydney, while he will get some help from me. Being involved in KDE as well, that will ensure that the Linux desktop of the future will simply work as expected, when it comes to sound. In the same discussion, we also talked about PulseAudio, and I offered to help there. Having all the experience from aRts, I think its a good project for me to join, and I also believe that PulseAudio does a lot of things right already. However, it has its problems (not the least of which is that its implemented in C, which is suboptimal if you want to do object oriented programming, simply because the language does not support it). Also, the IPC of PulseAudio could be improved if BEASTs SFI object system is used. So there is a lot to do, and I am looking forward to contributing the first patches.

28.01.2008 Foundations of Open Media Systems Conference

The FOMS 2008 is over now (2 days), and I think is was very efficient. I participated in the discussions on how to fight patents (mainly get rid of FUD by counter actions like documenting why we think that a particular open source software is not affected by software patents). I also became maintainer of libsydney, a cross platform audio library for linux, windows and mac. We also discussed the last API details, so I hope to produce a first release soonish.

28.01.2008 Australia Day in Sydney and Melbourne

The australians became independant some years ago, and I was in Sydney this weekend. There was spectacular fireworks with music and lots of ships parading in the harbour in Sydney. Back in Melbourne I was out a day at the beach, and did some swimming, got a minor sun burn, and got to know some people from all over the world.

19.01.2008 KDE4 Release Party report

Yesterday I attended the KDE4 release party in Hamburg. I was there at approximately 23.00 – the party was almost over. However, I managed to meet Harri Porten, who had invited me to the Party. Most people were already leaving. Well if you haven’t checked out KDE4 yet, try it. Its certainly better than almost every Windows or Mac OS X Desktop out here. Finally I was with Harry Porten, Frerich Rabe and Benjamin Otte in a nice spot having something to drink and sharing News about the recent developments in BEAST, Benjamins Free Flash reimplementation and the stuff Harri and Frerich have been working on (a commercial product called Froglogic Squish).

05.12.2007 Getting rid of spam

Spam is one of the internet problems that I see on a daily basis in my inbox and if you’re using mail, you probably know the problem. I think one project that is getting far too little attention is Hashcash. The idea is very simple. Email senders put a stamp on their email (which takes a lot of cpu time to compute). Email receivers can validate that stamp (which is cheap), and if there is a stamp, the email is unlikely to be spam. When enough people are using hashcash, mails without stamps can simply be filtered more aggressively. Of course this depends on people using hashcash at all :) – I took some time to install it recently, which was relatively easy with my Debian/mutt setup. However, things could be made more simple if mailers and distributions came with builtin support.