The Phantom of the Opera

Just a quickie to tell you that your favourite browser Opera is available in a new version, 7.50 Preview 1. Actually, I happened on Decemeber 19, I was just a little slow to notice. Unfortunately, the GUI was to cluttered, I’m sticking to 7.23 until it’s possible to customize it more. New features include

  • RSS reader
  • Experimental IRC support
  • Spell checking using external checkers like Aspell
  • Learning message filters

You might see all these new features as a good thing. I see them as a bad thing, at least the IRC and RSS support. Opera is supposed to be a web browser. Now it’s turning into an Internet Swiss Army Knife, a bloated feature creep, with all kinds of semi-useful features I’ll rather have in separate applications and launch them whenever I need them instead. What Opera need to do is what Mozilla has done: Release an Internet suite thingy, Mozilla, and also make separate clients for web browsing, Mozilla Firebird, and for e-mail and news, Mozilla Thunderbird available. Or at least make some options in the installer that lets you trash features you really don’t want.

Is this the beginning of the end for Opera? In my opinion, it could be. Download and read more about the preview version over at the Opera forums.

Apple also finally revealed their iPod-secret; the iPod mini. Another one of those Apple-gadgets you’ll want.

1/52: Jim Stärk – No Time Wasted (2/6)

I obviously know nothing about music. I thought Jim Stärk was a guy from Sweden. And I thought this guy Jim Stärk played pop-rock. So I guess I confused this Jim Stärk with someone else, because the Jim Stärk who released this album is not a person, it’s a band, they are not from Sweden, they’re Norwegian, and they’re certainly not playing pop-rock.

So, first album in this year’s series of 52 is Jim Stärk‘s 2003 release No Time Wasted. They play quiet guitar-pop, singer/songwriter-style. Some people have labeled their music a “nice mixture between alternative countryrock and bluegrass”. Countryrock? I don’t know, you will be seated if you ever go to a concert with these guys, and I’m not sure if anything with “rock” in it should be suitable for a seated audience. And I don’t even know what bluegrass is, but my best guess is that it’s something Blues-ish. I think I’ll stick with my original description – this is quiet guitar-pop, singer/songwriter-style. Except maybe one of the tracks. It’s got a banjo in it, you see.

How much I like the songs varies. They go from boring to somewhat catchy, but no matter how much I listen to it, I’m not able to really like it. It’s so-so. Should this album be playing in the background while you do something else? Or should you sit down in a good chair and just listen to it. I’ve tried both. And nothing really works. A place I think this album will be a winner is at some pub, where you can drink beer and talk shit with your friends. So I guess they can be pretty entertaining live. Beer makes a lot of things exceptionally entertaining.

So, what’s the final verdict? I’m really not sure if I should give the albums I write these rather unprofessional reviews of any score. But then again, when I read reviews myself, I tend to jump straight to the verdict, score or whatever kind of summary is available to save some time and not read about the albums that suck. But you shouldn’t trust reviewer and critics. They simply don’t have your taste in music.

Still I’m writing this. For you. That’s irony for you!

Jim Stärk – No Time Wasted gets 2 out of 6. So, there you have your score, too.

A weekend for the history books

During this weekend we’ve seen events of historical proportions. Two in particular come to mind: NASA‘s Spirit made a successful landing on Mars. The American space agency sure needed a triumph now, particularly after the Columbia accident in February last year. And it was a great relief after ESA‘s Beagle 2 failed miserably on Christmas Day. According to the article on Beagle 2, there is still a slight thread of hope that ESA will establish contact with the spacecraft. Spaceflight Now brings you up-to-the-minute information about both the Spirit and the Beagles 2 Mars adventures.

The other event of the weekend that’ll find its way into 2nd grade history books is the reported wedding of all straight men’s wet dream, Britney Spears. Dressed in jeans and a cap – and probably shoes and a top, but there is no mentioning of this in the articles – she married childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander in Las Vegas yesterday. I’ve even got a copy of the marriage licence.

But, hey – stop the pressAP is reporting that the Princess of Pop is already seeking annulment! That’s a real bummer, Jason. But look at it this way: You were married to Britney long enough to make it through the wedding night. And that’s a pretty good story to tell at parties.

The response to my 52 albums or burn!-project is exceeding my wildest expectations thanks to Jason Kottke and all the kind, intelligent and music loving visitors he sent my way. I’ve had a quick count, and it looks like I’m already past 52 suggestions, so I’ll just start at the bottom and work my way up. I sure hope that the better part of the albums I’ll listen to during 2004 are more entertaining than the Jim Stärk CD I bought on Friday. There’s a good chance that it’ll just get covered in dust somewhere in my collection.

52 Albums or Burn!

A new year is a good time to start doing new things, so I decided to set in motion a rather ambitious project. It’s somewhat inspired by Jason Kottke‘s 52 magazines or bust-project where he has got the bright idea to read a new magazine every week for a variety of reasons.

I quote:

1) I’m hoping magazines will be a welcome change from books and weblogs, 2) I want to explore some new subjects/viewpoints, and 3) why the hell not?

Looks like same reasons to me. But I’m more interested in music than in magazines, so I decided to explore the huge universe of music instead. I’ll pick up a new album every Friday for the rest of 2004. Including today. I went for something semi-safe not to overdo it at the first go. So I picked up something I’d heard of, Jim Stärk. It’s had two spins in my CD player so far tonight, and so far it’s Minor Majority, only even more quiet. Great for lazy days in the hammock. I realized that I’ve heard a couple of the songs on the radio. So far it doesn’t sound like this is my new favourite album. I could probably write a lot about this, but I don’t think I’ll do that until I’ve listened to it some more. Maybe it grows on me.

To have some real fun with this project, I need your help. Do you have a favourite band no one has heard of? Or is it some main stream music I don’t think I like that I’ll love? Maybe you even have a band yourself? Please drop a comment. It doesn’t matter if I have to order it from a web shop in Guatemala. As long as they take Visa. And now I can buy stuff like Stacie Orrico and blame it on this project. Sweet! I would’ve talked to a doctor about that thing in your face, Stacie.

And now for something completely different.

I called someone in Bergen about a job today. You could call it an unofficial phone interview, and I think it went reasonably well. They wanted me to send them my college and university diplomas, and they would call me back on monday for a longer chat. Let’s hope I hear something. Bad thing about this job: It’s in Bergen, which is not Oslo, and I hardly know anyone there. Good things: Semi-secure and more money. But there is no reason to ponder now.

Tomorrow: Throw away the to huge collection of empty glass bottles and tin cans that are piling up under the sink, yeah, I still recycle, try to find the hidden gym at NRK and do my best to get some good seats for next weekends screening of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Good luck with that. Then bug someone if I feel like it.

Someone think of the children!

Well, happy new year to you, too. My site is miraculously still alive, it seems that the W2K problem was a bit exaggerated. Or maybe it was all the preparations that saved us from the end of the world. My theory is that the whole Y2K-bug thing was just an elaborate and well-organized scam by system administrators and c0d3 /\/\0nk3ys around the world to get their hardware and software upgraded and to be able to cash in a considerable amount of overtime. And when I think of it the Y2K-bug was something we all talked about four years ago and totally forgot on January 1 2000. But have you thought about the coming 2038-bug? Not even heard of it? That’s what I thought! The article measures a good 6.8 on the Nerd scale. Consider yourself warned.

What did I do on New Year’s Eve, then? I suddenly found myself in Roar’s quite stylish apartment in Kongsberg, about one hour and twenty minutes by bus from here. It was a nice New Year’s Eve, and most certainly better than last year, which generally just sucked. I didn’t drunk much, in spite of numerous attempts from Kristoffer and Håkon to get me drunk and beyond. Kristoffer was also doing his best to crash various Italian SMS servers. Why he did just that is a another story entirely.

It’s been a while now since I’ve brought you anything from Cali es Cali, and since my irregular postings of pictures from this site is the main reason for most of you to stop by, I think it’s time to give you what you want:

Earlobes for the Guinness Book of Records?

Feeling a little disappointed and frustrated right now? Because she has a lot of clothes on? That’s possible, too, you know. This time it seems like the Cali es Cali photographers decided to go semi-artistic, and in some ways, it worked, too. Pictures from Cali es Cali usually shows busty babes with a come-get-me-look in their eyes, dressed up in bikinis, sexy lingerie or revealing evening dresses.

This was a nice picture of a good looking woman until I noticed her enormous earlobes. Now it just creeps me out. Guinness Book of Records, anyone?