SEVEN SOFTWARE COMPANIES ADDED TO “WATCH LIST”

New York, NY — People for the Ethical Treatment of Software (PETS) announced today that seven more software companies have been added to the group’s “watch list” of companies that regularly practice software testing.

”There is no need for software to be mistreated in this way so that companies like these can market new products,” said Ken Granola, spokesperson for PETS. “Alternative methods of testing these products are available.”

According to PETS, these companies force software to undergo lengthy and arduous tests, often without rest for hours or days at a time. Employees are assigned to “break” the software by any means necessary, and inside sources report that they often joke about “torturing” the software.

”It’s no joke,” said Granola. “Innocent programs, from the day they are compiled, are cooped up in tiny rooms and ‘crashed’ for hours on end. They spend their whole lives on dirty, ill-maintained computers, and are unceremoniously deleted when they’re not needed anymore.”

Granola said the software is kept in unsanitary conditions and is infested with bugs.

”We know alternatives to this horror exist,” he said, citing industry giant Microsoft Corp. as a company that has become extremely successful without resorting to software testing.

PETS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of software programs and promoting alternatives to software testing.

If you want to know about this wonderful organization, PETS, go THERE.

🙂

 

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Taiwan: High Speed Train and Price: What is the Problem?

In today Taipei Times (HERE), we have a paper about the new discriminant price policy for the High Speed Train: you are traveling during peak hours so you will pay a higher price than if you decided to travel during non-peak hours.

It seems to create a big buzz here.

But it is a totally logical decision.

This kind of system exists since a long time in Europe and everyone is happy.

According the paper, it seems that people here will be unsatisfied because if they travel during peak hours, they will spend more money.

If it is really the case, that will be stupid.

I don’t think so I need to elaborate, right?

🙂

But I feel a little bit confused with what the Director-General of the Bureau of High Speed Rail Pang Chia-hua said: he said that if you reserve unreserved seats, you could have a different price too according the time.

But… I thought that if you take the high speed train, you must have a reserved seat.

Am I wrong?

Until now, each time I bought a ticket, it was the case…

 

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Computer for Children?

Here is a picture from today Taipei Times (HERE):

This picture (from CNA) also includes this legend:

NEW TOY
Children use a notebook computer designed for children at a public welfare activity organized by C-Media Electronics and Intel in Taipei yesterday. Organizers said they hope the Kuro Kids model, the first laptop specially designed for children, will help spur the digitalization of children’s education.

I don’t see any big difference concerning the hardware, with a normal notebook.

Moreover, how to adapt the hardware to a child, especially the child been able to key in on a normal keyboard?

Of course, I suppose that in fact, the newspaper was mentioning about special software with the target to make the use of computer easier for children.

The problem for kids is not the hardware but the interface, in another word, software.

If I am correct, and if these software is really helpful, why using the title (see above): “New Toy”?

Obviously the reporter is wrong about something… Or do I?

If I am not, he should be more precise…

Maybe I am shaving eggs 🙂

What do you think?

 

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River Rifting in Hualien

After watching dolphins in the ocean, we went the next day to river rifting.

Very nice  and professional service from “peace-diving” company, the oldest one for this kind of activities according what I understood. They sent a SUV to pick up us at the hotel.

You can contact them at peace.diving@msa.hinet.net or by phone at 03-8326444.

There are 4 levels in river rifting in Taiwan: A, B, C and D. Form the easier to the most complicate run.

We were assigned to the level B.

Being the first time for me (and Queen D), I was wondering if we could do it, especially I am scared by the height (vertigo disease even though I did everything to cure it, such as bungee or sky diving).

To go to that river, we need to apply for a license (authorization from the authorities) and insurance.

We were a small group: 7 people plus 2 coaches.

Here is the first step: one of the coaches is explaining the securities rules.

The good point is that if we do not want to do something (because scared), we don’t need to.

Queen D and me did everything 🙂

But it doesn’t mean we were not worrying…

 

Here is the first target. We are supposed to climb from the right hand side, using ropes. You can see it on the right hand side of the picture:

Before using the rope: obviously all of us is wondering what we are doing here 🙂

 

First shower time after all of us climbed the rock.

First lesson, using our body to make a circle:

 

Other exercise: learn how to slide after jumping:

Same from another spot:

Going upward. Water is not so deep, but the power of the water is very strong:

Passing the point:

Same… You can guess the water power:

I am going above…

          

We are learning how to slide in the water, using its power, and (not obvious in the picture) supposed to avoid the rocks and hurt our body:

My turn:

Relax time after some efforts:

We are going to the next spot:

See how it’s beautiful and beside, that the direction we are going to 🙂

I am carrying Queen D, following the water current:

We arrived and one of the coaches is stopping us:

          

I don’t even remember how we succeeded to climb on this rock:

Same for this one, see the power of the water…

Next step, we have to climb. The coach is helping the teen up to the top:

My turn. Even I am scared about height, I did it alone:

Relax time after efforts. Relax? Are you sure? See the position 🙂

           

Second shower time with Queen D:

           

I was under the fall and I needed to fight against the power of it to stay straight:

            

That the place we are supposed to jump:

I jumped…

After… But not so much problems, just about 3 meters only:

Here was another story: about 6 meters…

Jump or not… That is the question… But coaches were very nice and never force people who didn’t want to:

                   

Not in the picture but I stayed in the fall… Whoah…

                

I jumped…

                  

 

Really, it was a great experience and Queen D and me will go back there to try the C level.

Because we don’t use to do this kind of exercise, our muscles felt sour during several days 🙂

But it was worthy!

Taiwan is a soooooo Beautiful country!

Viva Taiwan!

 

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Dolphins in Hualien

During the Double Ten week end, Queen D and me went to Hualien.

Even though the hotel was a disaster (see the previous post), the rest of the stay was really great.

First, we went to the ocean, to watch dolphins.

That’s the boat we used:

From the top front of the boat, when we were leaving the port:

Queen D enjoying the front position:

And me on my way to take a seat on the front side:

A resident:

The weather was great, almost no waves. Here is a view of Taiwan coast from the ocean. Obviously, it was raining in the mountains:

Enjoy the dolphins:

         

It took about a big 2 hours.

Really great!

Peace Sign

 

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Hotel Experience in Hualien

I do believe you know all the story about tourism in Taiwan and the fact that “they” put all their effort and money to attract Chinese tourists, even though China is far to be ready to increase its quota of visitors (still limited to 1,000 per day, compare to the 3,000 authorized by Taiwan and the real figure: less than 300 Chinese visitors per day since the opening of the direct charter flights).

I don’t want to repeat my point of view about this story, especially you already read it in some of my previous posts.

Today, I will give you my experience in an hotel in Hualien.

Queen D and me went there during the Double Ten week end, to enjoy dolphins and river rifting.

Even though we book in advance, all hotels were full but we still succeeded to book a room in the “President Hotel”, located roughly 10 minutes by taxi to the train station.

It a business hotel charging about 1,800 TWD per night (must be paid in advance…).

I never saw an hotel like that in Taiwan.

Firstly, the room is incredibly small: 2 people can’t walk side by side in this room. Have a look with this picture taken from the entrance door:

Secondly, no way to plug any device (phone charger…) wherever, room or bathroom.

The only one solution is to remove a big water dispenser (which anyway was empty (!)

No fridge.

Except a small lamp above the bed (see the above picture), all others lamps in the bedroom were out of order…

Beside (see below), the control panel above the bed was broken (even in Bagdad we don’t see that):

So we called the reception.

They brought new bulbs… And ASKED me to change it! Can you believe that?

Anyway, the problem didn’t come from the bulbs.

So they called the maintenance service.

He stayed on the bed making all the set dirty as hell. See (look at his feet):

So we called again the reception to bring a full new bed set.

They only brought a bed sheet. No cover and nothing for the pillows.

So we requested one.

Then, believe it or not, the woman asked us to make the bed.

At that stage, I exploded.

Finally, the woman made the bed. But obviously, it’s not her job and the result was a mess. But at least, it was clean.

Wait, it’s not finished yet.

No way to turn of the lights. So I have to take out all the bulbs to be able to sleep…

The plastic cover of the bed head was in bad shape:

Have a look on the wardrobe:

         

What do you want to hang there except clothes for a doll?

And obviously, they don’t use to clean the room. Dust everywhere and see the carpet: never cleaned for years:

          

One more thing: no sleepers.

I had to request it. They “forgot” and brought it later…

Hualien is a tourist area.

That is the kind of hotel the government wants to attract tourists with?

I don’t want to add anything more…

It’s a real shame!

 

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About My Watch

Because of some reasons (a too long story to explain here), I needed to buy a new watch.

Given the fact that my priorities list doesn’t include the purchase of any watch, I was looking for a simple one, such as Seiko, not expensive, the time that my priorities list allows me to choose a better brand.

Queen D and me went around NTU in Taipei (a reasonable place for shopping) and finally (even though we didn’t have so much time, we stay a while in a watch shop) we bought a brand I never heard about before (other brands didn’t fit my needs).

This brand is Junkers.

Curious, I checked on Internet and I discovered that Junkers is a German brand (so we do not pronounce the “j”).

It was a very famous aircraft constructor in the first half of the twentieth century.

With enormous advances in air travel during the 1920’s and 30’s, there was practically no airline worldwide without Junkers aircraft.

The German company POINTtec produces since a long time, Junkers aviation design wristwatches and they are popular collector items. Each watch has an edition number and the Junkers aero plane symbol engraved on the stainless steel base.

So it seems that finally, I got a very good watch even if it was not my first target.

Anyway, even when I was buying expensive watches, I never followed the trend or fashion. When I bought my Breitling several years ago, this brand was merely known. But after few years, it became a very expensive collector.

Here is it:

                   

It is a Junkers JU 52 (named after one of the aircrafts) using for the movement, the Poljot P3133, 23 Jewels.

I also discovered that since 2007, Junkers uses in many 3133 chronos the new gilded movements with blued screws and Geneva polish (as the first and only watchmaker so far !) .

It’s a mechanical chronograph (43 hours reserve), with a sapphire glass, handmade leatherband, titanium laminated dial, a screwed glassback and 5ATM water resistant.

Because this brand is (except for some professionals) merely known, the selling price was very reasonable (plus we got a discount after bargaining). Obviously, even the shopkeeper didn’t know so much about this brand.

It seems that the manufacturer doesn’t rely on marketing but on word of mouth…

And according what I read on Internet, this brand is on its way to be famous.

So if you need a new watch, very reliable, hurry because very soon, its price won’t be so attractive.

 

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