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Summer greetings with a sunny picture plus drinking game

Reader Tomi Nousiainen sent me this sunny and relaxed greeting for Midsummer, which he allowed me to share with all of you.

Tomi Nousiainen reading the Finnish Open Life book at his summer cottage

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Navigator, Explorer, Konqueror, Safari

The recent beta release of Apple's Safari browser for Windows made me reminisce of the history of browsers and recall a funny fact in the naming of them.

Did you ever realise, that all the major browsers follow a historical path in their naming tradition? First came the Netscape Navigator. (Well, skipping Mosaic, of course.) Then of course the navigators were followed by explorers, exploring the new continents as they were discovered. When the KDE developers decided to start creating their own browser, they set this tradition in stone by naming their browser Konqueror, with the explicit explanation that historically that's what usually followed the explorers. (Of course the fact that it's a word that could be miss-spelled with a capital K in the name was probably a factor too. You think?)

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Rights and wrongs in copyright

It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.

This slightly anarchistic, yet intuitively true and acceptable statement has been on my mind many times lately. In Finland the public discussion about copyright often circulates around some legislative questions and arguments for and against certain standpoints. I call this "the EFF tradition". In contrast in Sweden and some other Northern European countries the people active in this discussion represent the Pirate Party line. (Which also exists in Finland but is newly founded and not a dominant voice yet.) While the Finnish discussion follows the EFF-like traditions - raising questions like DRM is bad - the Pirate Party goes right for the other extreme: legalise "piracy" altogether. (Note than then it obviously wouldn't be called "piracy" anymore.) In practice, the stances of EFF/EFFI and the Pirate Party are quite close to each other, for instance on privacy issues or software patents, but the public image and the means towards the end are completely opposite.

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Finnish court rules CSS protection used in DVDs "ineffective"

I wrote two months ago about the Finnish hacker heroes Mikko Rauhala and Einari Karttunen, who were going to trial for breaking the Finnish EUCD law (equ

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Healthy hacking

After years of teaching programming, writing about programming and doing programming, last autumn there was a situation at my work where I had to step up and take the leadership for the Helsinki office of Sesca. Since then I've been doing anything but coding: sitting in meetings, checking my budget, hiring more people like crazy (yes, we're hiring, every day) and trying to keep up with everything that comes with managing a unit in one of the fastest growing companies in Finland.

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We bought a digital-tv set top box as an after-christmas present for ourselves. I went for the bells and whistles with the newest ProCaster1, yet... it wasn't the most exciting tech gadget I ever have seen.

  1. 1. ProCaster is an OEM brand of TopField, and usually the ProCaster versions come out first, kind of like Fedora before RHEL.
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Nils Torvalds is for Free Software, Jyrki Kasvi's Klingon campaign on CNN.

Finnish Linux Users Group has posted the results of their poll with election candidates. A certain Nils Torvalds, running for the Swedish Peoples Party1 was among the 10% who answered. I'll translate this just for your Saturday amusement...

  1. 1. This small party represents mainly the Swedish speaking minority in Finland. There is no connection to Sweden-the-country-next-to-us, just so you know.
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Mikko Rauhala being busy: charged for breaking EUCD, running for parliament and collecting 8k€ in 24h

According to Google this has not yet been reported in English, so I'll guess it's up to me...

Mikko Rauhala and Einar Karttunen have on February 13th, 2007 been charged with breaking parts of the Finnish copyright law that were passed in 2005 to implement the EUropean Copyright Directive, our equivalent of the DMCA. The charges are that they participated in an online service organised by Mr Rauhala to provide advice on how to circumvent DRM and in addition Mr Karttunen has published online a computer program written by him in the Haskell programming language. The charge is especially serious because Rauhala paid Karttunen 0,05€ for this program.

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