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TDDPirate's Ideas Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Omer Zak" journal:

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July 24th, 2007
02:28 am


This blog was moved!
My blog was moved to where I have full control of themes and can back its contents up without undue hassles. Have a look there to see what new ideas does the TDDPirate have.
June 7th, 2007
05:40 am


It must be a Monty Python skit!
The TDDPirate was red-haired (what the English call "ginger") at his childhood. He remembers people being positive about his hair color.

He was startled by the news items Red-headed family forced to move after 'ginger' hate campaign and Is gingerism as bad as racism?.

Turns out that in England, red-haired people are singled out for teasing and harassment. And this is not an April Fool Day story either.

Thanks to peachuk for the links to the above news items.

Current Mood: surprisedsurprised

May 27th, 2007
05:25 am


Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007
Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007
Some of the stories are startling. For example:
#2 Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran
#11 Dangers of Genetically Modified Food Confirmed

The information is slanted against Israel - see:
#9 The World Bank Funds Israel-Palestine Wall
On the other hand, the story of Palestinian terror acts, before the Wall's construction was started, is not widely known outside of Israel and is not in the list.

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May 17th, 2007
09:55 pm


Hasamba-style Questions about Windows Vista Sales
It was publicized that Microsoft sold 40 million licenses of its Windows Vista OS. The question is if this is for real or not?

For real:
  • Microsoft's revenues during Q1 2007 were reported to be much higher than in previous quarters.
But more than 10% of those revenues are deferred income from the Software Assurance program, which is being recognized now.

Reasons to doubt whether those numbers mean much:
  • The already publicized reason - it is not known whether those licenses represent PCs and laptops already sold to the public, or still in warehouses.
  • How many developers received licenses as part of their MSDN subscriptions?
  • How many licenses were disbursed at no extra cost to those, who paid for Software Assurance during the last few years?
And I still do not mention the question how many people tried Windows Vista and then switched back to Windows XP. In those cases, Microsoft already got the money for the Vista license, and the customer got several more gigabytes, with which to fill his bookshelf.

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April 26th, 2007
07:39 am


"Do you need assistance?"
Recently I flew with British Airways.
They seem to have recently made commitment to provide accessible experience to passengers with special needs.
At any case, when checking in for flights, I was now asked if I need special assistance. The accessibility program seems to be relatively new - they now know how to deal with passengers with difficulties in walking, but deaf passengers are relatively new experience for them. So I had my turn at educating the airline employees that deaf passengers need a way to see the captain's messages in writing, especially in emergencies.
The airplanes, in which I flew both directions, had plasma TVs for each seat. However the video programs were suspended whenever there were announcements - with no written rendition of the announcements. This is something, which can be improved.
An hilarious experience was when the airplane neared landing. I was asked by two stewards if I need assistance. I explained that I'll need assistance, only if we crash land, and the captain gives instructions to the passengers. We all laughed.

Current Mood: productive
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April 10th, 2007
06:53 pm


Debugging the mechanism of sending feedback on GPLv3
I am subscribed to the GPLv3 Information mailing list. About two weeks ago, the new draft of GPLv3 was announced. I reviewed it and had four comments.

I tried to submit the comments via the provided E-mail address. The system requires you to associate your comment with a fragment from the GPLv3 draft. I associated my comments with fragments as requested.

All four E-mail messages bounced back to me - the fragments were not found in the draft.

I sent a bug report ( #333022). I was told that I found a bug in the comments handling system, and that now the bug has been fixed. I was asked to resubmit my comments. I resubmitted all four comments.

I got messages about delayed local delivery of my E-mail messages, but no confirmations of receipt of my comments arrived.

Another bug report was sent ( #333429). Again, apology for the problem with the E-mail system. The problem was fixed, and I was asked to resubmit my comments, which I did today.

This time, confirmation messages arrived after less than 5 minutes (Comment #2930, Comment #2931, Comment #2932, Comment #2933). The status of the above comments can be tracked by surfing to the appropriate link. For example, Comment #2930 can be tracked by browsing

I feel proud of myself. Not only did I make some comments, but I also cleared the way for other people to contribute to this very important review of the GPLv3.

Current Mood: accomplished
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March 16th, 2007
07:55 am


Meme time!
Reply to this and I will...
  1. Tell you why I befriended you.
  2. Associate you with a song/movie.
  3. Tell a random fact about you.
  4. Tell my first memory of you.
  5. Associate you with an animal/fruit.
  6. Ask something I've always wanted to know about you.
  7. In return, you MUST spread this disease in your lj.

(Inspired by moshez)

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February 21st, 2007
10:24 pm


I was in London
An unlikely chain of events, rather unlike my past experience, brought me to London.

Before departing from Israel, I was pitied because I chose the wrong time for a vacation in London. Large part of my luggage consisted of clothes meant to defend me against the arctic cold of London.

The friends, at whose home I planned to stay during my London stay, had their own plans for Valentine Day (plans of the kind which merits "Mazal Tov" from everyone who knows them), so I stayed in a hotel for the first two nights. My hotel room had a radiator which could not be turned off by the room's tenants, so any cold, which the London weather was supposed to inflict upon me, avoided me instead.

London also turned out to have several sunny hours, and not to be as cold as feared, so I did not use some of the warming clothes which I brought with me.

Anyway, I had the fortune to visit one of the offices of European Relay as it was starting its operations in Israel. Hopefully, they will at last provide the deaf in Israel with adequate relay service.

My hosts and me also saw the congestion in the Chinatown part of London, as the Chinese New Year was being celebrated.

This was also my opportunity to experience, at last, Terminal 3 of the Ben-Gurion Airport.

No account of my trip to London can be complete without a mention of the big surprise, which awaited me at its end.

When I was in the Heathrow airport, preparing to check in my luggage, I saw an head, which I dimly recognized. I approached the head and it was very similar to the photo, which I see frequently in my MSN Messenger chats, as belonging to an English girl with sharp tongue and teasing sense of humor. When I came nearer, I said the nickname, which I use on her in our chats (an Hebrew translation of her real nickname). She was so startled that she almost jumped out of her skin. It was her! She explained to me that she came to the airport to see off one of her friends. We agreed to have a proper meeting next time I come to London.

Current Mood: surprisedsurprised

February 4th, 2007
08:16 am


Rabbi Eliashiv declared war on the deaf!

Rabbi Eliashiv, an Haredi rabbi, issued a ruling forbidding schools under his control to admit children, whose parents are using non-"kosher" cellphones (cellphones with intact ability to use SMS, Internet and video).

This ruling adversely affects deaf people, who need to be in contact those parents due to reasons like:

  1. They work with those parents and need to communicate them as part of their job.
  2. They themselves are deaf children of those parents.

It is necessary to take legal action, with the aim of outlawing cellphones without functional SMS, and outlawing discrimination against deaf parents of haredi school children, who use video for Sign Language communication via 3G cellphones.

Sources (in Hebrew for the time being):

Current Mood: angryangry
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January 30th, 2007
09:16 pm


Petition! (in Hebrew)
In addition to few massive lawsuits, there is also a petition to add captions to all Hebrew language TV broadcasts in Israel, for the benefit of the hearing impaired. You can find it in

Current Mood: angryangry
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