Sunday, 12 July 2009

Czech Property

A nice little site, they sound enthusiastic and they don't look like ripoff merchants. I imagine Czech property prices may have become even more affordable in the past several months.

The Czech Republic looks like a delightful place to visit, perhaps to live. Here's an interesting blog written by a British woman who took the plunge into Czech property. If you go to her profile you'll see links to her other blogs, which are also interesting in this context, and from there there are also links to other Czech property blogs and ones on Cesky Krumlov in particular.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Turkey attacks China 'genocide'

So Turkey's Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has described the ethnic violence in China's Xinjiang region as "a kind of genocide".

Now at last we know then, what the Turkish authorities consider to be "genocide": it's the death of 47 people and the injury of few hundred others.

Well, not just any old people exactly. Just some people, apparently.

Because the Turkish authorities do not consider the deaths of between one and one-and-a-half million Armenians due to forced marches, ethnic cleansing and good old-fashioned massacres, to have been "a kind of genocide" at all.

What a strange, what an obscene, double standard!

To the BBC's eternal shame, the article linked at the top of this post, reporting Mr Erdogan's words, does not contain any reference to Turkey's Armenian Genocide. Which might have put things into a bit of context.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Chrome OS

I must admit, a new netbook OS from Google, and one that's not based on Android, did rather surprise me. Though there had been mutterings that Android's single-window approach, which just right for phones and (perhaps) internet tablets, was not rich enough for netbooks and (certainly) laptops and desktops, where a multiple simultaneous windows are required.

So the base is Linux, but the windowing system will be new. There might be some overlap with Android at the base, Linux level then. It looks like X gets the thumbs down from yet another vendor as a modern windowing system though.

And on top of their so-far unnamed windowing system, the GUI itself will basically be the browser: Chrome. It's not as far fetched as it sounds. While the idea itself is older, Firefox brought home to me the possibility of writing an application in a browser window. With Firefox, it's not just the inner pane, the one that displays the web page, that's a browser window: the outer pane is a browser window too, and all the menus and toolbars and whatnot that make up the browser itself are built up in the same way as web pages are.

Looking back a few years to Internet Explorers 4 to 6, Microsoft themselves reinvented the desktop as a browser pane with Active Desktop. The desktop could now include HTML fragments that contained anything from a simple specification of the background wallpaper to a desktop widget.

And now Palm's Pré mobile phone shows just how good a GUI you can build using web technologies. WebOS is the Pré's GUI and is written — you guessed it — using this now-standard approach of a browser pane as the basic window type, good for the "desktop" (phonetop?) as well as for application windows.

If Chrome OS can run Flash Player (and therefore also Air) and, dare I say it, Java as well (and there's no reason why it shouldn't, as Chrome-the-browser can certainly do all that) then I'd say it's got most bases covered, even games (to a certain degree).