About a week ago, Skype came up with its beta version 2.5 for Mac, so today I gave it a shot. Ambitiously, I dared to call into a meeting, where I was expected to enter the access code using my phone's number pad (DTMF dialing is what they call it, I think).

Skype's built in dial pad

Of course, it did not work: The numbers I dialed were not understood and after a few seconds, the computer on the other side cut off my connection.

Sadly, this funcionality is meanwhile needed for a vast majority of automatic caller systems, for banks, insurances, other businesses, even the government. And, the respective Skype bug was therefore already found a long time ago, one of the first forum topics that I could find on the issue is dated in April 2005.

By the way, on Windows this feature allegedly works without problems, so this issue is not related to the "Skype Out provider issue" they once had.

Seeing that long-known problems like these are simply ignored does not make me feel excited about their new features like SMS, the webcam stuff etc. anymore.

Instead, this just makes me wish they would spend a little more time fixing important bugs every once in a while.

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Today, I am mo-blogging from Oregon State University, while I am here for work and "turkey week" reasons.

I came across this neat poster for the Open Source Education Lab featuring the Firefox Crop Circle. (The OSU LUG, in case you didn't know, were the people who made that famous crop circle last summer, realizing an idea by the two former Mozilla interns Matt Shichtman and John Cary!)


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Yesterday I had an interesting conversation about the meaning(lessness) of several software project names, such as the well-known PHP, Wine and others, but also smaller projects like OSUOSL's RAIV.

As it turns out, every fancy project name is also an acronym. That's something that got really popular among Open Source projects, and even though some people argue it is kind of lame, it is nice to see how many more or less meaningful project names and acronyms have come up over time.

A very nice one I learned about yesterday is: The TWAIN Scanner API, heavily used on Mac and Windows systems to connect image scanning devices to the operating system, is, when unraveled, simply:

Technology without an interesting name


But there are also projects that are missing a "useful" solution for their "acronymic" name: I recently learned about the project called Oink. Oink is a collection of C++ static analysis tools and comes with a pretty awesome, still not-yet-"acronymed" name.

Anyone want to give it a shot?

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Filmtrailer sind unglaublich wichtig dafür, wie der potentielle Kinogänger den Film aufnimmt, und ob er daran Interesse gewinnt, ein Ticket zu kaufen.

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Since my daily blog reading is more than you would want to visit "by hand", I use a news reader. For a long time I used the online newsreader Bloglines, but recently (after a kind recommendation by Jean Pierre) I switched to Vienna.

The effect is the same: The software gladly collects any changes to publishers' RSS feeds and stores/caches them locally for me to read.

Every once in a while you get articles twice, mainly because an author changed something shortly after they hit the "publish" button. This happened on bloglines a lot, apparently because blog software already pings update services and bloglines seemed to pull the respective feed immediately.

The BBC frequently pushes headlines out that it reviews minutes later, sometimes it's just horribly wrong English, sometimes it gives you a wrong impression of what was happening.

Today they write:

Spanish master's Children stolen

and the concerned reader thinks, kidnapping, ZOMG!

But then, seconds later, the writer decides to replace the headline in question by a less horrifying

Goya masterpiece stolen

I wonder... - in the internet century, don't people think twice before publishing anymore?

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A big "oops" probably went through the slashdot office when the hit the limit of 16,777,216 comments in their system which used an unsigned mediumint as the ID type in their mysql database.

Changing the column in question apparently took three hours easily -- no wonder on a multi-million row table.

A quote:

We shall flog ourselves accordingly -- the slashdot people themselves

Or, to say it with the words of the first commenter (after the issue was solved...):

*Clap clap clap*

Golfclap for slashdot!

(via google blogoscoped)

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Die Wahlen zum Senat und Repräsentantenhaus in den USA sind auch in Deutschland offenbar ganz nett durch die Presse geblubbert: Das Tauziehen um die Überhand im Senat war offenbar nicht nur für Amerikaner spannend.

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So, a few minutes ago, the Google GMail interface changed (again ;)) and has become even more "ajaxy":

GMail Interface with dropdown list

The common operations are now a dropdown list in the upper right corner of the displayed message, for example.

So far, I like it. What do you guys think?

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Heute also stehen sie an, die Midterm Elections in den USA. War auch langsam Zeit:

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Code Monkey -- "Quelltextaffe" -- so nennt man hierzulande Software schreibende Zeitgenossen (wie mich), meist scherzhaft, nur manchmal böszungig.

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