What is the cause for the degradation of environment?
Capitalism, corruption, consuming society? - OVERPOPULATION!
Please, save the Planet - kill yourself...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blogs of the ex-NGO "Russian Geographical Society" - a model of the freedom of speech in Russia

Several months ego dead NGO "Russian Geographical Society" was possessed by a dreadful evil  (Putin&Co) and animated. Only the Holy Smite would be able to destroy this undead and save the future of the Russian Geography. 

De jure Russian Geographical Society (RGS) is still an "NGO", but the quotation marks are more important than the letters in this case. Recently they've launched the GEOblogs. Pathetic...

I've checked it out and found some really stupid shit in some of the posts. Anfortunately I was unable to leave a comment or something - there were no openID at these blogs or even a possibility to register (cause you need an invitation)!

There was a pal of mine among the GEObloggers and I've send him an e-mail: asked him about the situation with the EdRo (a nickname for  the major piece of shit) and RGS, his involvement; suggested to demand an openID and to blog about an important stuff, like corruption of the RGS... His reply was quite sincere  and I was unable not to paste the part of it here even if normally I do not share a private correspondence (the background colour and the [brackets] are mine):
"Привет! это же госструктура, вот и боятся они пока открытых блогов и возможности всеобщих комментариев. Пишу там только по случаю знакомства с их редактором. Я уже давно им об openID говорил.
По этой же причине [что РГО на самом деле - госструктура] там не стоит писать о чём-либо важном или плохом, а можно только об чём-то общем и позитивном.
Я далеко не фанат нынешней власти РГО (и уж тем более я не фанат ЕдРа), но любая серьёзная негативная новость на сайте окажется последней для её автора. Да и удалят раньше, чем кто-либо прочитает..."
 The same in English:
"Hi! this is the state structure, so for now they fear an open blogs and they fear to let everyone comment posts. I'm able to post there only because I'm the acquaintance of the editor. I've  already told them about the openID a long time ago.
For the same reason [that the RGS is not an NGO, but the state structure] you should not to write about something important or negative - only about something general and positive.
I'm far not a fan of the current authority of the RGS (and even more so I'm not a fan of the EdRo), but any important negative news at the site will be the last for its author. And they will delete it sooner than anyone will be able to read it..."
The point is that RGS is really the state structure under the "NGO" lable, and no one will let someone to post some important negative news (i.e. the truth) on this site. This is the model of the relationship between government and society in Russia and the model of the freedom of speech: a guy with the bad news - a dead guy.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Intellegent design is a bullshit!

At first, some citing from the bash.org.ru:
Сегодня к нам в школу приходил священник. Видимо, на урок православия, детей просвещать. Бедняга не ожидал, что дети будут бегать за ним с криком: "Бафни на стамину!"
A priest came to our school today. Obviously to brain-wash pupils on christianity. Poor gay-pedobear guy didn't expect that children would run after him, shouting: "Buff my stamina!"

Another worth spreading video on a subject.

Adjustment of the QGIS appearance

It is a strange thing, but as I noticed (you may search for the screen-shots), the most of QGIS users do not use 2 quite helpful options for customisation of the program’s appearance: the side toolbars and the background color. I don't understand why. It is irrational!

A sidebar will save space of the map canvas even if you have a square monitor just because it's thinner than a regular one, and it will save even more space for a rectangle monitor (you can calculate it by yourself).

A dark-colored (I chose gray) background will save not only your eyes (they will get tired slower) and time (in cases when you will need to determine whether this white area on a raster is a white color or a transparent area) but your money too - the monitor will consume less power.


Mail.Ru is a batch of spammers

Of course this is an open secret, but the spammers of this company continue to hunt me. I thought that was able to get rid of them, when abandoned my account @their.domain several years ago... No, it's not so simple to escape enterprises nowadays.

A month ago I started to receive a lot of spam, a Russian spam at my gmail account, which is unusual for gmail. And I was sure I didn't exposed my  gmail account to any suspicious sites at least for a several months.  I decided to check detailed information on these mails. I found that actually this spam was from my account @rambler.ru. I do not use it since I started to use gmail, but still  keep to collect incoming mail from it. 

As I was sure I didn't exposed my gmail account for months, I was dead sure that I didn't exposed my rambler account for years! WTF? The answer was somewhere near, but not too obvious, so it took time to discover the truth. The reason for spam was that Mail.Ru purchased the ICQ! I bet you didn't get it ;-) Let me explain:
1) the spam-attack started right after that bargain;
2) my ICQ number is connected to my rambler account;
3) Mail.Ru acquired information about my rambler account and started to send spam. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Installing QuantumGIS

On Friday and Saturday I performed 2 installations of QGIS. Not a big deal, but...

The first installations was at the department of the land management and land monitoring of the Administration of the Rosreestr in Petrozavodsk, Republick of Karelia!!! Yeah, baby! And a great thing was that I was able to provide them with the Russian manual, thanks to the GIS-Lab! People form this department (of the land management and land monitoring) had no any GIS(!!!) ... Until now.  But they needed a GIS to be able to work somehow with the MapInfo layers of the  major Land Monitoring Project of the Roseestr I took part (de jure I was a single executer for the one of the objects, but de facto beyond my primary charge, I was a supervisor for the other 3 objects out of 7). The solution was clear to me - QGIS is able to visualise .tab; it is free of charge and it is legal to use it; besides no one was going to buy anything for this department. Hope they will be using it. Here you are the place of this installation:

Watch This pseudo-map in the bigger frame

The second installation was performed on the notebook of my colleague by this project - a professor of the Politechnical University who teaches to work with MapInfo. The main part of the work with my object was done with QGIS and it was only finalised in MapInfo, and I've used an opportunity to demonstrate advantages of the open-sourced product to this professor (as I did with the Technical Report on the project to the Rosreestr). Hope he will tell about QGIS to his students (many of them are programmers for Linux by the way) and maybe he will even start to lecture on it instead of MapInfo someday. 

In addition I've taught the people from the department and the professor how to use GLOVIS.

Monday, December 13, 2010

No rest on Saturday in Moscow

On the 11 of December my wife an I arrived to the Leningrad railway station in Moscow.  I always try to achieve two or more goals with a single effort so the goals of this trip were to take part in the GIS-Lab party and to let my wife spend some time with her friend Marusia.

It was my 3-rd night running to spend in a train and on the way back I was going to equal my previous 4 nights running record established this November with a business trip St. Petersburg → Petrozavodsk  → Kosomuksha  → Petrozvodsk  → St. Petersburg and all trips were in night (unfortunately there always were no more than 7 hours to sleep). Actually for the last 3 weeks I had to work extremely hard and slept for 4-6 hours per day. I was so tired that on the way to the wife's friend in metro I used a well known opportunity to sleep in the train on the circular line. It is a really cool thing this circular line)))

Our first goal was to meet Marusia. On Friday we received a message from Marusia that she is in hospital now.  On Tuesday she decided to dye her hair in some hairdressing salon with a very expensive dye. A hairdresser performed some kind of allergy test with her which showed that Marusia had no allergic reaction with this, but... The next day an ambulance took her with a swelled face to the hospital for allergic persons. 

After the hospital my wife and I moved to the Manezh Centrall Exgibittion Hall to take a look at the photographic exhibition. At the Manezh Square we saw a lot of youngsters who looked like a soccer fans. Many of them had masks on their faces... An hour and a half later when we wanted to leave the Manezh Hall, the security told us that the doors are sealed and no one able to enter the building or leave it. The reason was unrest

While the raged mob tried to break in, people captured inside the Manezh Hall remained calm but little bored with a necessity to stay inside for a while. Luckily  there was a cafe ion the 3-rd floor We used an opportunity to eat something and take a nap.  Fortunately mindless hooligans were hurled back  soon and the pass to the metro was cleared.

We were only 20 minuets late to the GIS-Lab party - the main event of the day. It was a first time when I was able to take part in it. Twice before I wanted to come, but every time some obstacles prevented me from the trip. Even this time my employer asked me to work on Suturday despite I worked for 14 hours per day without holidays over 3 weeks (but it is another story), and these hooligans who captured us inside the Manezh...

I was glad to see people whom I knew only by virtual communication at the forum ind IRC. An interesting notice: at least 6 people (1/3 of all participants) at the party related to the ecology. I'm confused with conclusions but never the less...

A future plans of the community development were discussed. Maxim Dubinin told that he wants to save some time for his personal life and delegate some of his functions to the some kind of council. This step in GIS-Lab community development should also improve its sustainability. Of course it is necessary to transfer responsibility, but the process might be somewhat painful for the person who was in charge for all these years because the opinion of the future council might be quite different to his own. Discussion about the sandbox for the GIS-articles is an example. It was hard but the participants convinced Maxim to give a chance to the some kind of personal blogs instead of wiki to write the articles about GIS.

There was a brief discussion about the commercialisation of the GIS-Lab, but it ended up with the strong opinion of the majority that this will not gonna happen anytime soon and if this ever will occur it will destroy the community.

Another topic was future GIS-Lab's projects. I proposed creation of the data set of the conventional signs for QGIS. All the more the new symbology in QGIS is a powerful tool, but the initial data set is extremely poor. There were other interesting proposals and they will be described in the official blog of the GIS-Lab along with other topics of the meeting (link to the report). 

Unfortunately we had to move to the railway station and leave some interesting topics behind. I didn't even said goodbye properly because we were talking about issues with spatial data access, while I was dressing up and leaving the room. 

They told me that the next meeting will take place in January... I highly doubt, but I will  be waiting for the next meeting - that's for sure.