Archive for June 2009

Never visited Nantes, Fr? Nevermind sing it with me and Zach.

June 29, 2009

Zach Condon from Beirut folk band has never visited Nantes, France. But he wrote a very pleasant song called Nantes. And he sings along:

Well, it’s been a long time, long time now
since I’ve seen you smile

Nobody raise your voices
Just another night in Nantes


a human wolfpack sacked an art gallery in Nantes, France

June 28, 2009

Very strange story indeed: ten people wearing wolf masks sacked yesterday an art gallery (LU cultural center) in Nantes, France.


The place has been closed for one day. The commando called himself “the wolfpack”. The cause of that curious behaviour? According to the curator in chief, a link exists between that human wildness and one of the opus featured by the topical art festival initiated by the curator himself. This opus is a an actual wolfpack living in the ditches of the castle of Nantes (a 13th century fortified castle).

Homo homini lupus dixit Plautus.

One more worry: Cyberattack: no more access to emergency numbers.

June 28, 2009

The Gardian’s John Naughton told us, in a recent tech post, that the two years old cyberattack against Estonian main information systems also hit telephone exchanges. The estonian emergency number used to call ambulance and fire services was out of action for more than an hour.

Black swans

The cause?: individual “ports” (firewall gates) of mission-critical computers in Estonia’s telephone exchanges, Naughton wrote, were targeted.

“Our societies have become hugely dependent on a functioning, reliable internet. Life would go on without it, but most people would be shocked by how difficult much of the routine business of living would become. It would be like being teleported back to the 1970s. Even a minor conflict could slow the global internet to a crawl. So cyberwar is a bit like nuclear war, in that even a minor outbreak threatens everyone’s life and welfare.”

Indeed black swans exist.

No answer when calling 911, 112, 18? What’s behind the curtain?

June 28, 2009

I’ve just read TechCrunch’s article deploring repetitive failures to reach public safety emergency call center (911). TechCrunch’s J.Kincaid concluded: “this is more a political issue than a purely technological problem: more money needs to be routeAgner Krarup Erlangd to the right places. But at the same time, there’s no denying that technology plays an important role here”. TDM Telephony engineers are at ease with the Erlang laws, especially the C law which expresses the waiting probability in a queuing system. This law is fundamental to size the call center, and specially the operators team workforce and the telephony carrier lines trunk. Erlang law is an old engineering rule, easy to implement. What’s is really a  political choice is the money citizens are ready to spend to extend the number and the knowledge level of the operators and supervisors workforce, and to extend the number of lines into the trunk. These costs are not neutral: the high availability service level imposes call center IT managers to multiply the number of trunks by 2 or 3. One trends may soon renewed radically: the use of telephony over IP (ToIP), and why not twitter-like tools, to handle emergency calls. More ambitious business rules could then be introduced, at low cost, into the ACD (automatic call distribution) flowchart diagram. But, for now, ToIP do not reach a sufficient high availability service level. Public safety managers stay timorous.


A guy who is afraid of biocides, but does nothing

June 27, 2009

When used in fielCropduster_spraying_pesticidesds & gardens, the pesticides are controlled. European rules apply. Whereas used in my home, these products are considered as biocides, and no rule applies. We have to wait  until 2013, to get some draft regulation. Doctors underlined a curious disease known as SBS or sick building syndrome. Building occupants complain of symptoms:  irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, skin irritation, hypersensitivity reactions. Until 2013, to avoid that, I have to exchange my home indoor air a minimum of 8.4 times per 24 hour period. What a tedious work! Won’t make it.

A flower (power) seed is leaving from Earth

June 27, 2009

Muffled by Michael J. death buzz, I did not pay attention to Seeds’ Sky Saxon’s leaving from Earth. His music was psychedelic, “flower power”. It already belonged to the outer word. Respect.

In memoriam Michael J. puer aeternus

June 27, 2009

Enfant divin aux prises avec ses démons intérieurs. by William Blake