GTFO Nicotine!

cigarette

Goodbye cigarettes.

This Wednesday I’m going to stop smoking, which is probably going to be a pain in the a**. I don’t know what it will be like – never tried before – but I reckon it won’t be nice.

With that in mind I knew I had to decide on a date – a place and time when I’m not going to smoke anymore. It’s one of my ‘new years resolutions’, but if I wouldn’t decide exactly when to do it, then I probably would keep saying “I’ll do it tomorrow”…

Although it’s a good thing I decided to do it this way, it’s not an easy call. I know (or I think I know) it’s going to be though, and putting me through this is just like forcing yourself to walk into a room full of spiders when you are afraid of them. Perhaps not the best comparison, but nevertheless.

My plan? Pure and simple – just stop smoking on Wednesday. Aaaand I’m probably going to whine about it on my blog (in Swedish), hurr hurr.

I’m wishing myself the best of luck, probably going to need it.

Det lilla landet Småland

Nu sitter jag här i småland igen,landet bebott av skog och snåla människor. Snålt är det då att ta 50:- för 13min tågresa (kommer man inte från Helsingborg till Malmö som ungdom för de pengarna med Skånetrafiken?), tycker jag i alla fall.

Skog finns det massor av. Nu är det en liten stad jag uppehåller mig i, men att se riktiga träd växa vilt vid bostadsområden är något nytt för mig. Där jag växte upp fanns det visserligen en massa natur, men den var stadsplanerad. Här är det oplanerat. Rått. Svenskt?

Jag kommer nog aldrig sluta fascineras av hur olika delar av Sverige ser ut och beter sig. Under en och en halv timma, då jag var instängd på ett öresundståg, så fick jag se hur både människor och natur förändrades. I Osby steg ett par regelrätta fjortisar på, och de var helt annorlunda från det jag var van vid. Den stora skillnaden ligger i detaljerna.

För att ta med något teknikrelaterat i även denna post så kan jag meddela att en iPhone fungerar utmärkt att använda som 3G-modem, och det krävs ingen modifikation av telefonen.

And Then Came The Update

Alright! The new main page is up! I know it’s not much to look at, but at least it’s something (and hey, anything is better than that QR-code I had before).

For a quick personal update, I’m currently installing the lastest Ubuntu release on my Acer One netbook. As with every Linux-install, I will sacrifice a glass of Pepsi Cola to my stomach in order to make the boot-gods happy. Superstition, but it works!

How to set up a Minecraft Server on Linux

Screenshot of minecraftOne of the bad things with Minecraft (if there is such a thing), except being addicted is that you can’t easily “click-and-play” online with your friends. In Counter-Strike, for example, you can host a server while you play using only two mouse-clicks – but how do you do you host a Minecraft Server?

Read on to get the full walkthrough of how to set up a Minecraft Server.  Continue reading

New Main Page

I’m currently working on creating a new main page for oscarhjelm.com. Yesterday I realized that it’s kind of counter-intuitive to have a personal domain without a personal main page.

I’m coding the PHP needed for the page (to load news and to pull WordPress content if that’s possible…), and later on I’ll try to steal some javascript for an image slider. Well, you probably can’t steal something that goes under a public license :3.

Spam

Spiced Ham!

First, there were ads. Then, TV-commercials came. Today? Spam!

We all know about spam – trash e-mail – and we all hate it. The question is, why do we get it? I mean, if we hate spam (because it takes a time to separate it from real mail) we would surely not like the products mentioned in the spam, and then we would not buy anything. Ergo there is no reason for spam in the first place.

Unfortunately for all of us, there are a few out there paying for products because the spam “informed” them about an “awesome” product or service. This is also the reason why I’m getting 8-12 spam-comments per day. If you’re wondering why your comments aren’t displayed on this blog immediately – it is because I have to hold them in a moderation queue to make sure no spam gets through.

A while back I had another blog (had some free space on another domain before I got this personal one)  set up without a moderation queue or spam filer. What was the result? Devastation. Before I know what hit me, it was too late – I got no less than 650 spam comments during 8 hours.

It seems that comment-spam is not that unusual, and as I understand it comes in three forms. The first one is outright spam i.e. “Come buy this ‘awesome’ product!”, while the two others are far more complex. The second type is the “I like this blog/post/site and I will continue to read it/recommend it to a friend”, which can be hard to detect. The third type makes me sad – it’s a real user comment with spam in the Name, Email and Website fields (although the email is hidden from readers).

All these types use the name and website to get traffic, whereas only the first type actually says something about the site or product. It seems that some computers are infected and will send another website link than the one intended, it’s problematic because they probably don’t know that they’re doing it.

Spam goes to trash and as for the real comments with bad links – I fix them.

Thoughts on Freedom of Speech

What is Freedom of Speech, are there any limits, and does companies like Apple infringe it?

There is, as far as I’m aware, two viewpoints on the subject. The first one is that you’re allowed to say or publish anything without being censored or moderated by the government, while the second viewpoint states that it’s the ability to say or publish anything without having any censor, moderation or penalties at all.

Unfortunately for Apple, a lot of people are using the second way of thinking. Since the launch of their App Store they are moderating what apps are allowed and which are not, and some see this as Apple limiting their Freedom of Speech. Now, an app – i.e. game – might not be that big of a deal, but as if turns out, Apple gave a no-go for a Danish newspaper-app because it featured some nude content. Is this an infringement of Freedom of Speech?

Some people clam it is, since they’re limiting a newspaper from publishing news, opinions and information to the public. This is indeed censoring content, and would normally be against freedom of speech – but I don’t agree. Let me explain why.

If I open a store for furniture, and some company want to sell a couch with a swastika symbol on it in my store, and I decline the offer – am I then against freedom of speech? What if I have a supermarket and refuse to sell one of the many available newspapers because it doesn’t appeal to me – am I then against freedom of speech?

The App Store is a store owned and maintained by Apple, ergo they can allow or disallow any products to be published. It’s not “censoring” in my opinion, it’s selecting what they want to have in their store. They do however offer developers a solution to get their app in the store, by censoring their content – which is like a furniture store asking to censor out a swastika in order to sell a couch.

I believe that free speech is important, but that does not magically grant individuals the right to have every single channel of communication available at their disposal. If I write an article about how I think the world should be and a newspaper refuses to publish it they aren’t automatically against freedom of speech. Free speech is about being free to express whatever you want without the government trying to censor you or telling you what’s right and what’s wrong.

If free speech means no limits in any form, then it cannot exist. One example would be what to reply to the question “Does this dress make me look fat?”. It’s a rhetorical question because you can’t answer “yes” since it’ll make you look like an asshole and she might break up with you. Services such as YouTube and Facebook would also be against free speech since it can ban you from its services if you publish whatever you want.

One could argue that you have the ability to say whatever you want, and that is true free speech, even though the consequences might be harsh. With this way of thinking, Apple does indeed infringe freedom of speech, but so would every other store, newspaper and all forms of communication and distribution that moderates content.

As a last thought, for you who read this post, can’t the action of NOT publishing something be seen as a form of communication? I mean, you cannot not communicate – since not saying anything is still a form of communication (being silent). Therefore one could argue that by enforcing total free speech, we would infringe the right that companies have to express themselves.
Cheers!