19/06/2010

Glister

Yesterday night, I finished Glister, a novel that I started reading following a tantalising review of its German edition. It is an extraordinarily dark, gothic story involving a premature teenager by the name of Leonard who meets his tragic end in classic greek style . The atmosphere is dense and overpowering, but the characters somehow lack credibility. I understand their precocity as a dramatic device representing the Innertown's venomous environment, but still ... and yet, there are a few gems like this that make it worth your while, although they may not be to everybody's taste:
"the soul is wet and dark, a creature that takes up residence in the human body like a parasite and feeds on it, a creature hungry for experience and power and possessed of an inhuman joy that cares nothing for its host, but lives, as it must live, in perpetual, disfigured longing."

12/06/2010

An incredible story

The small, border village of Sch├Ânenbuch has suffered a high incidence of break-ins of late. Some say it co├»ncides with the abolition of border controls due to Schengen, but I'd say that's a post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

Anyway, here's the stupid story: There was an attempted break-in at my neighbours' house across the street yesterday night. Their house is secured by an alarm, which I heard going off, but didn't do anything about it because I thought it was a car alarm of one of the visitors they had earlier. I didn't realise that everybody had left, so I didn't care, and that was stupid of me because I could have and should have intervened.

But that's not the end of the story. Because of the aforementioned break-in activity, we often have a police patrol positioned behind the house to watch for suspect activity - so yesterday night. But they hadn't heard the alarm either! So there was in fact a police patrol less than 100 metres away from the attempted break-in, and the perpetrators are no worse for wear, except maybe for the thrill when the alarm went off! How embarrassing is that?! Touch wood, but I'm increasingly convinced that we would have had break-ins in my house a long time ago, were it not for the evil Laika!

10/06/2010

Discovering Sir John

During my last trip to London (which was a 13h stint on a splendid day), I discovered Sir John Soane's Museum. This is an absolutely marvellous little big place which bristles with classical erudition, wit and beauty. I shall definitely go back and try out the audio tour available on the Museum's website. You should do the same. In the meantime, have a gander via this virtual reality gadget. It cannot do the place justice, but you get an idea.

06/06/2010

Closing that chapter

As flagged to my facebook friends a few weeks ago, I've just deleted my account, removed the profile badge from this blog, deleted the fb app on iPhone as well as the bookmarks in the browser, so this is my good-bye from facebook.

The reason why I've decided to take that contrarian step is that I simply don't trust the firm, hence do not want to support them and add to their valuation by being a member. That lack of trust has been on the way up ever since I joined. The firm is apparently incompetent in security matters (serial incidents over the recent past) and always tries to push as far ahead as it can in terms of capitalising on their users' content and personal details, only to take a reluctant step back when they absolutely have to. What's more, their recently announced technology strategy give us a hint of how they want to position their firm as an even more important hub of the internets than it already is by putting in centralising features hosted on their own servers. Also, they seem to have started to act politically by compromising free speech in cooperation with governments. Et ceteris praeteritis propositis ... 

So, that's me gone then. Will I come back? Probably not. I might reconsider if their privacy declaration shrunk from being bigger than the US Constitution to - say - five points, one of them saying that user data and content always belongs to users. Secondly, they have to commit to always having a complete & comprehensive export feature with which users can pull their info from the greedy clutches of the provider (Google does that, and it's a great exercise in self-discipline, I think). Meanwhile, you can always connect with me here or on Google Buzz or LinkedIn or elsewhere. Looking forward to hearing from you!