Wednesday, May 12, 2010

M$ Office goes free - why should you care?

Microsoft have finally launched a free version of their Office suite. Actually there are two versions, a web-based one, and a regular one. Why should anyone care?

We're already got Google Docs for our web needs, and we've already got Open Office or Lotus Symphony for our off-line needs. All of them are easy to work with, ad-free and work on a number of operating systems and browsers.

Microsoft Office, on the other hand, isn't. They've managed to infest the applications with ads (really???), and I can only presume that the regular version is only available for the Windows operating system, excluding all Mac and Linux users.

So why bother when there are better options out there?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Telia charging for an encrypted experience

There are few things that annoy me as much as outrageous fees and taxes. Road tolls on old narrow roads, additional "recreation fees" on top of the $250 a night you pay at that resort, and here's another one for you:

My cable provider Telia has the nerve to charge me 500 SEK per year in encryption fees! Yes, they are in fact charging me, the customer, for crippling their own service with encryption making it impossible for me to watch the cable channels on more than one TV at a time. Unless I buy a second decryption card, which will incur other fees, of course.

This is just as ridiculous as having Skatteverket (the Swedish equivalent to the IRS) sending me an invoice together with my tax return to cover the costs of processing it.

P.S. Yes, I know this is a common practice among TV providers, but that doesn't mean it's not outrageous.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ban studded winter tires and brakes

Miljöpartiet, that bunch of no-good tree-huggers who are only out to make life more miserable for the average Swede, or so it seems, have announced that they would like a ban on studded winter tires in the entire city of Stockholm. Apparently creating chaos on just one street isn't enough.

What these morons fail to realize though is that car brakes, when used, emit an equal amount of polluting particles. So why not simply ban the use of car brakes as well, while you're at it? If any motorist is observed using the brakes he or she should be presented with a shockingly high fine, as well as a damn good beating. That'll teach those bastards to pollute the fresh Stockholm air.

Or you could do the smart thing and introduce a tax for using studded tires, making it possible for those who need such tires to actually travel to Stockholm without stopping along the way to change tires - provided they pay the mandatory studded tire tax. That way the use of studded tires will decline, the city will make some money out of it, and we won't be plagued by yet another stupid ban.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Poor British bastards

Apparently the Brits will be getting "their own Reinfeldt" according to Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt himself.

What have those poor bastards done to deserve even more surveillance and oppression?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pleading incompetence

I've heard about pleading ignorance, but pleading incompetence, and actually getting away with it? Seriously? The Swedish Security Service has unclear rules on how to treat surveillance material (isn't that the main part of their job?), and to add insult to injury the employees are so incompetent that they can't be held responsible for their actions:
Lind pekar ut oklara beslutsordningar samt brister i interna regler och kompetens på Säpo, men han bedömer att inga tjänstefel begåtts.

Juristens Funderingar has a few more thoughts on the subject.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

This site is "optimized" for users within the USA

That's what they call it these days...
Because clearly no European user would be interested in any American music. And obviously we wouldn't want to promote that music to fans around the world anyway. They could end up buying a CD or some merchandise, or even - God forbid - go see an artist in concert.

The entertainment mafia just never ceases to amaze me.

Since when is religion an ethnic group?

A poster by an obscure political party, Skånepartiet, has caused some controversy with the overly sensitive muslim community, as it depicts a nude prophet Mohammed with one of his 9 year old brides by his side.

Now what I don't get is how this is could be considered agitation against an ethnic group, and thus a criminal offence? Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Mohammed in fact have a 9 year old wife, making this poster more or less historically correct? And since when is a world religion equal to an ethnic group? If it is, I guess posters depicting Jesus Christ in various less flattering settings should suffer the same fate? Come on, take a chill pill and focus on what's important instead.

I'm taking my chances here, hoping I'm not persecuted for showing Jesus Christ in an epic light sabre duel with Santa Claus.

Photo: mootrealm

May 4: The day against DRM

So, apparently today is the day against DRM. Every day is a day against DRM in my world, and I'm proud to say I haven't bought a DRM-infested product in years.

Nevertheless I wholeheartedly support any kind of awareness campaign against this evil. So, in addition to a total boycott of the media industry, I signed the iPad DRM petition. How about you?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Gumball - what's the fuss about?

The infamous Gumball 3000 race has finally (?) reached Swedish soil. And I have to admit I was a bit disappointed when I read about it in Swedish newspapers SvD and DN: The maximum speed recorded through Skåne was 148 km/h, merely 38 km/h over the speed limit, on what I presume were pristine motorways with minimal risk of incidents. Not really what you'd expect from 300 supercars piloted by a bunch of crazy millionaires, and certainly nothing to get worked up about, like Jan Sanberg from NTF does:

– Det är ju helt befängt, bra att polisen har koll på dem. Men man kan ju undra vad det är för personer som utsätter andra bilförare för den här sortens risker, säger han till 

Come on. As if your average Volvo V70 doesn't do the same speed down E6... Give the millionaires a break.

Photo: tonylanciabeta

Joined Twitter

I can't really be bothered to blog about all the little annoyances out there, some of them simply don't require a long blogpost. So I finally caved in and joined Twitter, as a way of venting my frustrations within the limits of 140 characters. Hell, sometimes a sarcastic remark is enough. Of course some matters are so frustrating that they might even require a blogpost AND a twitterpost. You can see my twitter feed on the right, should that be of any interest.