nordic currents

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[Last post?]
This post is written in case there is anyone out there that has been reading this blog.
I doubt it. Anyway - if you would like continue reading my stuff you should move on to High Level Bits - a new blog created by myself and my friend and former cocoder Hardy Ferentschik. Its gonna be lots of fun. Welcome!

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 21:04 | | 0 comment(s) ---



Originally uploaded by freddie boy.
All set to leave för Greece. Just making sure the blog thing works!

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 16:25 | | 0 comment(s) ---


[Mother Earth]
Nasa is keen enough to provide a huge picture of Mother Earth. An obvious choice for desktop background. [thanks to wired news]

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 22:04 | | 0 comment(s) ---


[Lactose Intolerace]
I developed lactose intolerance as an adult. Some years ago I started having stomach aches for no apparent reason. At the time I was working a lot - not extreme in any way but still with some stress so I thought that was the reason for an upset stomach. A doctor suggested that it might be the milk. She turned out to be right. The accidental hedonist says
something interesting:

What makes Lactase Persistence so interesting to me is that it's a dietary genetic mutation that has occurred in homo sapiens that has created a clear delineation within the world population. Sometime between 4500 and 4000 BCE, a group or groups of people adapted to their diet of milk, even after weaning off of mother’s milk. This adaptation allowed their bodies to process lactose long into adulthood. If you can drink milk without difficulty, it's reasonably safe to assume you can trace your ancestry to Western Eurasia and/or parts of the Mediterranean. If you can't drink milk as an adult, some of your ancestors come from elsewhere in the world.

Interesting indeed. I am definitily eurasisan though... Someone suggested to me that the way we treat milk nowadays (pasteurization, homogenization etc) may have increased intolerance. A bit contradicting to the hedonist findings. Interesting is that Finland seems to have a large portion of intolerant people. Their milk producer Valio have som great milk products without the evil lactose and they are sold in Sweden (lucky me).

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 22:00 | | 0 comment(s) ---


[O'Reilly Radar > IMDb API??]
Radar Tim asks O'Reilly Radar >What you would do with an IMDb API? Funny to get this question just some days after I thought about my need to log my whereabouts. I don't remember what movies I saw and when. I don't remember what books I have read. I don't remember the name of the wine I drank to the outstanding fish dish in a nameforgotten (starting with R?) brilliant London restauarant the easter 2005. I need to log it somewhere. And I don't mean writing about it - just a log entry saying that I did it. I will need it 4 years from now. What I would like to have is some kind of unified web and handheld interface which I easily can tell: tonight I saw Underworld: Evolution, yesterday I drank Gobelsburger Riesling 2004 which was excellent to curry cod with rice, this summer I read A second chance at Eden by Peter F. Hamilton or in June I saw Porcupine Tree live at Sweden Rock. To make this happen nice APIs to imdb and allmusic would be nice. How to make the book and wine thing happen I have no idea of. Haven't found anything resembling an Internet Wine DataBase yet. Lets pray for it to emerge in the future.

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 12:40 | | 0 comment(s) ---

[Pandora goes public sort of]
Pandora announces that they now will use other users feedback to in order to decide what happens on my station. I think it is a great step forward. Some of my stations haven't managed to find much that I would classify as similar to the station artist or song. I made one on Abba for example and it turned up with the worst of the bad 70s music. Not likeable at all. Most of the time it is brilliant though. My "Hearts Radio" based on the Yes song Hearts from 90125 produced almost only great songs. However - by a quick look at the post comments most users are happy about this change. Keep up the good work.

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 11:47 | | 0 comment(s) ---


[Music I like]
I found Pandora 2 or 3 weeks ago and now all my coworkers are using it. All of them. And it is really understandable since it is really all you need in ways of streaming Internet audio. the way pandora finds new music based on your preferences is just great. If they can keep adding music to the site it will turn out really awesome. Great stuff. (I haven't been this enthusiastic about a newfound site for quite some time. Well - reddit was kind of cool too, and delicious of course... thats where I found pandora. Listed first under popular radio one day when the excellent Radio Paradise wasn't conforming to my taste.)

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 22:01 | | 0 comment(s) ---


I really like the way reddit works. It is good to get a news feed with recommenation based on my ratings. This works great for news about tech and all the geeky stuff that comes with it but for more normal interests like wine, italian food, travel and scifi, to name a few of mine, it doesn't work at all. The reddit users are too different and not plenty enough for it to work properly. If reddit became mainstream (and improved the recommendation code) it might actually work. Problem is that nongeeks have no great interest in (pro|de)moting web pages. It is a true marketing challenge to turn nontech users into reddit users. Im afraid that the same is true for The good news here is that works better with marginal interests. The only thing needed for me to find other sites about cyberpunk is that a few other users have the same idea about that the word cyberpunk means. Sooner or later we will see a new concept that joins the reddit and delicious ways of doing it. One big tag promotion mashup. (And no - I don't think it is digg.)

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 21:13 | | 0 comment(s) ---


Last saturday a prearranged fight took place at Stadshagen [wannabee Stockholm downtown but is semisuburb] subway station. (Swedish readers can read about it here.) Apparently the two groups used new technology like the web and cell phones to set the thing up. (No - I wont say that the web is evil....) This got me and my wife talking about what make youngsters turn into irresponsible monsters living for kicks and why this seems to happen more nowadays compared to the good old days. (Based on gut feeling....) We identified 3 distinguished trends that may be part of the cause.

I believe the government should focus on helping parents being good parents rather than stepping in and doing the parents job. The parents will always be there but the government sadly withdraws when it runs out of money.

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 21:06 | | 0 comment(s) ---


Viktor Narovski is from Krakozhia and gets stuck in The Terminal (2004) of John F. Kennedy International Airport due to a revolution in his homeland. He is in NY to fulfill a promise to his dead father - to get the last autograph for his fathers jazz musician autograph collection based on an old picture of a group of musicians. Well thats about it. Not much of a story, great original idea and Spielberg makes a really great movie out of it.

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 13:57 | | 0 comment(s) ---


Definitely check the Web 2.0 Workgroup at some future time. Seems to be a great resource hub.

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 14:12 | | 0 comment(s) ---

Behold - the ProgrammableWeb: Web 2.0 Mashup Matrix. Kind of cool but maybe a little short on content? Come back later.

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 14:07 | | 0 comment(s) ---


As I strongly suspected - Ruby is a great tool to Create Happy Programmers. After me (1) being a couple of abstractions too low (doing Java) for some years now, (2) creating a databaseaware class from scratch with Ruby on Rails (that I didn't know about at all) in less time than it would have take me to create it in Java (been working with for 8 years or so), (3) browsing through the wonderful why's (poignant) guide to Ruby and (4) being tired from all the Java buzz I strongly ponder the option to go for it. Stop being a Java developer and turn into a Ruby developer. It is such a nice language and the missing types are really making it just so much nicer to read. When doing the test-driven thing it doesn't really matter much if the language re typed or not, good tests will get the bugs anyway. Now this is a cool quote by David Heinemeier Hansson creator of Ruby on Rails:

Rails is better suited for the applications that most people do most of the time. It has its eye on the big 80 percent. There are 15 percent of the applications that are so tiny that they might make a better fit in PHP [it's available on every $2 host, you can have your entire application in one page] and then there's the most complex 5 percent that needs advanced integration with legacy systems or have other specialized needs. Java is definitely a great fit for that.

Now thats a thought. Seems like we are using Java in all the wrong places and will all the wrong techniques. I am currently stuck in a project with a webapp publishing read-only data: Tomcat on Hibernate (?!) on top of SQL Server. It is working but I believe the same app with Ruby on Rails could be written 20-40% of the code.

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 22:21 | | 0 comment(s) ---


Wow - look at this. Lulu is a book publisher that comes with no costs for the author. Lulu just grabs 20% of the profit and of you go. The dream of being an author and actually getting the book printed is now more real than ever..... The book still needs to be written though.....

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 13:56 | | 0 comment(s) ---

Saw The Manchurian Candidate on DVD the other day. This remake of a 1962 movie was really worth the 2 plus hours spent. Denzel Washington is good as always and Meryl Streep splendid - this time playing a pure bitch which may be a bit uncommon. Cool quote: The assassin always dies, baby. It's necessary for the national healing.

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 09:49 | | 0 comment(s) ---


It is a shame that I have been to both souther france (late july) and prague (early october) without notifying my blog. And I even have my Nokia setup to make emailing happen. (Finding an internet cafe is far too much trouble....) An oldstyle diary has been written as always though. The stuff that goes here is the extras - maybe a note on a painting or a contemplation on history and culture or just a note of praise to the adriatic breeze.

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 22:48 | | 0 comment(s) ---

Visited the magic Royal Opera of our beautiful capital last week for some ballet. 3 small pieces in one night. The first piece (Dreamland) was performed to a clarinet concerto by Aaron Copland and was the one we liked the least. It was kind of sterile but not entirely bad. It had its points. The best piece was the middel one called Por Vos Muera made by spanish choreographer Nacho Duato to spanish music from the 16th and 17th centuries. It was suggestive, dreamy, vivid and just very beautiful. The last piece was called Before Nightfall made by Nils Christe (originally ordere by Nurejev) performed to a concerto by Bohuslav Martinu. Also nice but not as good as the previous one. [more info | scentidningen nummer | eskilstunakuriren | expressen | göteborgsposten | google]

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 22:13 | | 0 comment(s) ---


Being in a state when only new music is interesting and purchased records gets boring too soon Radio Paradise is the ultimate rescue. Most of the time playing songs that I want to hear. Which is strange. I mean - how can they know what I like? Me and the otherlisteners rates songs so maybe they run some wares on it to get the utlimate play list suiting most of us. Hmmm. The LRC (Listener Review Channel) makes sure that only good tunes gets added to the list. And then there is the taste of the station owners/DJs/gods. Brilliant.

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 11:23 | | 0 comment(s) ---


The foo campers may be an interesting source of blog authors.

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 13:40 | | 0 comment(s) ---


I just finished reading Tricia Sullivans excellent Maul. A twisted piece that takes place in a not so distant future where males aren't needed anymore and most of the have been wiped out by a deadly virus. However - virus resistant examples are emerging - one of them is using a kind of game - the maul to visualize and understand the battle inside his body. This may be the reason for very strange things happening in the mall - the parallell story of the book. At first it is not obvious but the interrelation between the virus battling male and the mall gets more and more intricate and obvious the longer into the book one gets. [interview and review in the computers crows nest | guardian | | infinityplus]

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 10:48 | | 0 comment(s) ---

A rather funny sort of news vlog is the Rocketboom.

--- posted by Fredrik Rubensson | 10:43 | | 0 comment(s) ---


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