I just heard a story on the radio about the EU enforcing a tariff on shoes imported from China and Vietnam. Apparently the governments there have been subsidising manufacturers, who can now make shoes so cheaply that they can dump their products on the European market and undercut swanky Italian cobblers and what not. The radio journalist was talking to someone from Brussels about the news, and he said, "Of course, what everyone listening will want to know is, how will this affect the price of shoes on the high street?"
I'm back from holiday now, and - thank God - have a clear month ahead of me. I'm looking forward to rest, relaxation and Battlestar Galactica. Yes, I do consider programming to be relaxation.
Fuzz 0.5 has been released publically on SourceForge. If you haven't been following this blog (admittedly, my work on Fuzz has been off and on for a long time - largely thanks to Brain Party!), then you probably don't know what Fuzz is or why you absolutely must have it. Fuzz is an SDL/.NET-based 2D games engine that lets game developers (that's you) "program" your games in XML.
Well, I made it to Ireland. I'm getting used to tight airport security in these dangerous times, and after disembarking from the aeroplane at Dublin airport, we were warned that we'd need our passports and boarding cards for immigration. I carefully slid my boarding card into the photo page so the official wouldn't need to flick through the pages to check my identity. It was a long walk to the passport checkpoint, and I joined the queueing immigrants with my prepared passport in my hand.
I write this from the Hermitage in St Petersburg. It makes the Louvre look like my shed. Best bit so far: going into Christ the Saviour church in Moscow on Sunday morning, during a service (their churches are very open in this way). Worst bit so far: seeing how some Russians treat animals. More on that later - Ildiko has just finished her lunch so I'd better skedaddle!
I write this, the first Channelle-post to the LXF blog (thanks Mike), having - hopefully - finished my part in the massive feature being prepared for issue 86 of the magazine on the history of Linux over the last decade and a half. Fortunately Nelz was given the job of actually delving through the history books and web archives to research the main text of the feature, while I got to interview a good selection of very smart people covering various 'eras' in the development of a world dominating operating system.
Sad as I was to hear of Steve Irwin's death, I was reminded last night of our own stocky khaki-decked bundle of enthusiasm: Ray Mears. He is unlikely to ever say, "Crikey! Look at the teeth on that fella!", but in his own intense, geeky Grey Owl way he is just as entertaining.
It must seem like Team Linux Format is becoming a bona fide member of the jet-set. Over the last two months, various members of the team have crawled their way across half the northern hemisphere. I was in Portland for OSCON at the end of July, Nick was then in Lyon for OpenOffice.org, then Nick and Paul were both in Belgium last week for EuroOSCON. We all seem to have taken our holidays at the same time too, as I've just got back from Corsica, Andrew's just returned from Berlin and Prague while Paul has managed to fit in a trip to Hungary and is off to Russia.
No, not Brain Party. Mark Shuttleworth has given the closing keynote for EuroOSCON 06, and we're now all wrapped up. There's the usual feeling of emptiness as the signs come down, the geeks leave, the few remaining Coke bottles get put away and the laptops get switched off. On the plus side, it means the wireless is a darn sight faster for the rest of us - hurrah!
Yesterday was a bit of a yawnathon here at OSCON, largely because the style for the previous days was flipped: great keynotes (Tom Steinberg, TheyWorkForYou/MySociety; Dale Dougherty, MAKE; Jim Purbrick, Second Life; Marten Mickos, MySQL), but many more dull sessions. So, the lobby became the place to hang out, the wireless took slowness to all new levels, many games of Set were played, and we all got to make new friends. I'm a bit bored.