Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ask Me, But cc:everybody

Every now and then one of my friends asks me a question which I'd prefer to respond to publicly. What does that mean? It means I think that others could benefit from the answer to the question as well.

Up until now there were several ways to do so:
  1. Answer the question in private, and answer it again every time someone else would ask it.
  2. Write the entire question and answer story in this blog.
  3. Use some service such as Google Buzz for the entire conversation.
None of these solutions really fits the need. Now, a friend of mine created this simple, yet brilliant, application, called CC:Everybody.

The idea is simple: you can send me an email to Mosh at, and if I choose to reply to it, the answer appears publicly in the site. Also, I can publish mails I already have in my mailbox to CC:Everybody without that first step.

There's a short video on the site which explains exactly how this service works.
So now, if any of you guys want to ask me again why do I think Mercurial is better than SVN, you're welcome, just remember to address my CCEverybody account.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Getting PS3 games without bankrupting

It is a well known fact that PlayStation 3 games in Israel costs a fortune. This is probably the reason why there are so many few PS3 consoles in Israel compared to other consoles which can be cracked and run copied games. Of course the last claim is only an estimate of mine, but take a look around you and tell me if you feel otherwise.

Take for example one of the more popular games for all of the consoles and the PC: Assassin's Creed 2 (and try to forget the long DRM debate around it). Most stores sell it at a crazy price of over 400 NIS. That's over 110$ for a game which costs about 50-60$ in the rest of the world. About 100% more.

Finally, I was able to find a decent store in Israel that sells games at sane prices: PCGames. They sell AC2 at 250 NIS, which is roughly 65$. What a difference! AC2 is not an exception. You can go through their inventory and see. Almost half the price on all games.

So I ordered myself AC2 and God of War 3 at a price that in other stores would get me only one game, PLUS, there was a free delivery straight to my home/office via a courier. How awesome is that?

Obviously, I recommend everyone to buy games only at stores that gives fair prices, and don't take 100% "interest" just because they can.
Oh, and I also recommend AC2. Don't buy it for PC because of the awful DRM engine, instead get it for your console. It is a great game.

Bezeq Customer? Check Your Internet Speed

In our little country, people are already used to get bad service from the big media providers (TV, ISP, cellphone, etc.). Here's a story.

My wife's parents live in a moshav in the Galilee area. For a few years now they have been paying for a 2.5Mbps Internet connection both to Bezeq and to the ISP. A few weeks ago I noticed that Israeli sites loads pretty slow, so I did a speed test. Unsurprisingly, I found out the the connection was 750kbps.

Upset, we've called Bezeq. After doing some tests they declared that the line in the moshav doesn't support the 2.5Mbps connection speed, and this is the reason the result returns 750kbps.
So we asked the representative (actually, more than one) over the phone "why would they sell a 2.5Mbps service in places where it's not even supported". Bezeq's answer was evasive, to say the least. Moreover, they asked why do we complain only now when the situation is like that for years (?!). For years. So Bezeq knows the 2.5Mbps isn't supported, and was never supported, and yet keeps selling the service.

A money refund was given for the past few months (since February), and that's it.

Actually, this is the second time I encounter a similar issue. About a year ago I noticed at my brother's apartment that the phone line is a bit noisy (the apartment is in a city near Tel Aviv). So I did a speed test and found out that while he's paying for 4Mbps, he receives 1.5Mbps. The technician over the phone said that we're right and that someone will come and replace the phone wiring in the building. Yet again, Bezeq knew (from remote) that the speed being paid for isn't available, and yet kept charging for the higher speed.

My advice to you: If you're a Bezeq ADSL customer - Check your Internet connection speed.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sparsing my reading list

Here's a phenomena you all know: you search the web for some info or answers regarding some issues you have. While doing so, you come across a blog that looks interesting and that provides the answer you seek. After wondering around in that blog you decide to add it to your RSS aggregator.

Few months later, you try to read the stuff queued in your reading list, and don't understand why is it that you have a "1000+" label saying you're gonna spend your entire day sorting it out.

Some of the blogs you're subscribed to are no longer relevant to you anymore. Others has changed direction and now you don't find them interesting. There are other cases as well.
This is a good time to use the unsubscribe feature of the RSS aggregator.

This is exactly what I do today. I no longer need to follow all of those KDE related blogs. I don't develop anything for KDE anymore, and I barely use it.

The "holes in the net blog" ceased from being interesting. Now it's just full of marketing stuff and social media topics.
Other subscriptions will be removed as well. Finally, I can focus on what's important.

But hey, don't unsubscribe from this blog, OK?