Sunday, December 05, 2010

Today in pictures

Staroměstské náměstí


Naušnice - chameleon

Milka Singles

Roadkill plush raccoon

P.S: I didn't have sex with anyone / anything in these pictures. And yet, it was a good day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

What's Wrong With Today's Video Games?

A few days ago, I gave an interview (in Czech) where I mentioned my disdain for most of mainstream games of today.

Here I have two perfect examples of current high-profile videogames.

First, here is one of the levels of the latest Call of Duty videogame, played on "Hardened" difficulty. The player beats the level WITHOUT SHOOTING, just semi-randomly dodging bullets.

Even funnier is the following racing game using Kinect (i.e. controlling the car using your own body). Note that the player doesn't do anything during the whole race, not even pushing the gas. He finishes third out of 8 racers...

You can argue the second game is aimed at "casual" players... You can argue anything you want but I consider this to be very sad. And I consider it amazing that no high profile review mentions the interesting fact that you don't in fact have to play these games to finish them...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Whole Lotta Light Fun

For those dark moments with dogs, I got myself Philips Imageo TableLights. I like them a lot. Other photos are in this photoset.


(I only got 2 of them and photographed them between two large mirrors.)

And here is the self-explanatory video about how they work. After charging, they last for about 12 hours.

They still got them at

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Yo Ho Ho, I'm An MP3 Pirate!

I wanted to legally buy full MP3 album of Trent Reznor's Social Network soundtrack from I wanted to pay my money to support Reznor & Co. and the price seemed more than fair ($2.99). I was glad they don't use any stupid pointless DRM and are offering the MP3 files.

I clicked on "1-Click Buy" and was greeted with the page explaining that I need Amazon's special downloader in order to downoload the MP3s. I thought "WTF, these files are freely copyable MP3s without DRM, why should I use any kind of downloader?" but I had good will. My OS (Ubuntu 10.04) was not listed amongst the offered version. I tried older Ubuntu version and the Debian version. Both gave me the "Error: Dependency is not satisfiable: libboost-filesystem1.34.1" error.

I could've probably solved this in some way but... Why the fuck should I attempt to fix non-working software whose sole reason to exist is to complicate perfectly simple task of downloading one MP3 album?

I cancelled my purchase and downloaded the MP3 album elsewhere, in a matter of seconds.

I hope Amazon is happy now...

UPDATE: One day later, I bought the same MP3 album directly, for $5. More precisely, I just gave them my $5 and I didn't download anything because I already had the MP3s on my drive...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Two Android bits

I am now a proud owner of HTC Desire Android phone (I am very happy with it) and I would like to share two interesting bits of information with you:
  1. Android 2.1 (at least on HTC phones) includes the option for USB Internet tethering. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out this works as a charm even in Linux (at least in Ubuntu 10.04). Just connect your phone to your laptop using USB cable, select "Internet Sharing" on the phone and that's all - your laptop now has full Internet connectivity. No need for any configuration or special drivers.
  2. There is a nice site called AppBrain which allows you to install Android Market applications to your phone from your PC, using normal Internet browser. Amongst other things, it also suggests what apps to install and allows you to share with the world the information about what you have installed. See this link which shows what is currently installed on my phone.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mel Gibson's Epic Rant Ringtone

Mel Gibson Really knows how to talk to a woman.

If you are a woman and/or if you like Mel Gibson's sexy voice, you can download this MP3 file I edited from his recording and use it as a ringtone or alarm sound.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Problem solved!

My mother informed me she is getting ready to kill herself but she is worried about what will happen to her goldfish.

My dear ex-girlfriend offered she will take the goldfish with her to her new flat.

I just love it when everything works.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Yesterday, Albert was 8 years old. In other news...

...In other news, me and Jitushka have broken up today.

There is really nothing to add, except maybe:
  • p_2009-10-18_20-49-36.jpgThere is no "clear single act" that caused this, much less anything scandalous.
  • We were together for almost three years. That's not bad!
  • Any sort-of-clever aphorism or short summary I'd write about the reasons (e.g. "She was too good for me!") would trivialize the whole thing immensely and unjustly.
  • In the foreseeable future, Jitushka will still live with me, until everything is sorted out. For example, we are preparing Albert's birthday party for our friends (and dogs).
  • I am quite positive our age difference was not the main problem. Nor the fact she doesn't like Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
  • No, this will not "be over in a few days" and we are not "going to be back together", at least not in the foreseeable future.
  • I sincerely hope (although I cannot be sure, of course) that we are both the sort of people who can remain friends even if they are (currently) not partners.
This is all really just FYI, so that I don't have to answer similar questions again and again. If you are feeling miserable for me, please don't. I am fully capable of feeling miserable on my own.
  • You really don't have to remind me about "all the good things we experienced together" and how intelligent and beautiful Jitushka is. I am aware of those things better than you are, thank you.
  • You really don't have to ask me if I am sure I did the right thing, what will happen in X days / months / years and if there's life on Mars.
  • You really don't have to tell me that you are sorry, you feel for me, "Time is the greatest healer", "You'll find better girl" and similar crap.
Of course I am not ordering you what to write / say, but these things won't help me at all so you really don't have to bother unless you really cannot control you goodwill ejaculations.

If you have original (legal!) suggestions about what to do with the spare time after I am done translating "Predators" and "Inception", feel free to suggest...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Time to get less social

I discovered there are hundreds of comments and personal messages waiting for me at Twitter. The trouble is, I never log in to my Twitter account so I didn't read them. My Twitter was automatically populated from my "Favorite Links and Detailed Activities" feed, that's all. It has no other use.

The solution: I am no longer putting anything on Twitter (manually or automatically).

Dozens of people ask me to "become friends" with them at Foursquare. I don't get it. The reason for being connected at Foursquare is to know when YOUR FRIEND is sitting in the pub somewhere so that I can stop by. I never met most of these people. What could be the reason to add them as friends at Foursquare??? So that I can see that someone who I don't know is at the pub nearby? If they want to know where I am for any reason, they can see that on the top right of this page. I have less than 10 "real" friends on Foursquare and most of them don't update their status there. Also, after experimenting with Foursquare, I have doubts about its usefulness, with many venues duplicated and many having wrong adresses / locations which no one fixes (I tried reporting them, nothing happened).

The solution: I am blocking my Foursquare account.

I am also getting extremely irritated by Facebook: For example, I once "Liked" the movie "Kick-Ass" at and I immediately began receiving "News" from IMDB to my Facebook account. News that have nothing to do with Kick-Ass. I also became a member of the Facebook Group "KickAssCZ" and I found out later that I now have "KickAssCZ" as my favorite movie on Facebook, without me adding it there (ignoring the fact that there is not any movie called "KickAssCZ"). Worst of all, I clicked on someone's bizarre Facebook link, which resulted in ME sending the same bizarre link to my FB friends. Again, without me knowing about it and without possibility for removing this link.

The solution: The solution does not exist so far, I am afraid, because I have to keep my Facebook presence intact for now (because of my work). But note that I am only adding people who I can call my friends to my "Friends" list - read about it here.

If you somehow want to see what I enjoyed seeing / reading on the web, there has always been one single best solution: Watch my "Interesting Links" feed. Several links appear in it every day and it can be viewed using anything that handles RSS. It's generated by Google Buzz / Reader but that doesn't matter. If the Google ceased to exist, this feed would still be at the same address, generated by some other means. If you want to be more social and comment on these items, I suggest using Google Buzz (which is connected to this feed).

In any case, please note that my Google account is "". This is my e-mail, my Jabber/GoogleTalk id and also my Google Wave id! If you still have my old Google account mentioned somewhere (, please delete it, I no longer use it (for several years now).

My other "live feeds" (my blogs, my photos etc., including the "Everything Fuxoft" feed previously used to populate the Twitter) are explained on my homepage.

The decision factor

This was the final reason why I voted for his party:

Proč jsem ho volil!

P.S: This is real, not photoshopped!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

His Name Was Sonic

Today, I found a hedgehog on a busy road.


I took him home (riding on Metro throught the whole city), showed him to Jitushka and the dogs, tried to feed him and then let him go.

Note that if I'd left him alone in the first place, he would be certainly killed by cars.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

How Much Freedom Can You Have In A Game?

I like games. And videogames. However, I don't like the fact that vast majority of today's games are all the same. That's why I enjoy seeing something that dares to be different. Unfortunately, most game publishers don't dare to be different. Apart from some freak coincidence (like Ubisoft rather succesfully trying to re-shape RTS genre for consoles), the exceptions usually are independent developers and Japanese companies.

One of the things I am still waiting for is: When will you really have freedom in the game world and when will you be able to really shape the story? I don't say "Dragon Age: Origins" is not a great game but it's very clear, even with all the supposed "freedom", there is rather rigid "master story" that you have to stick to if you want to play the game. You are never really "in character" because you are always trying to "cheat the system", where "the system" is a computer program which can never anticipate all your intentions. For the same reason I don't like pen & paper RPG games where most of the gameplay is based on rolling dice and consulting charts (i.e. "Dungeons & Dragons"). I very much prefer things like Universalis where you have freedom to create any sort of world and characters you imagine (without knowing what exactly you are going to create in advance).

This requires, even with today's computing power and advanced AI, a live person as the "moderator", or "Dungeon Master". However, that still doesn't solve all the problems.

Even computer games like "Neverwinter Nights" (with live "moderator") don't work very well because the moderator can only do things that are prepared in advance and present in his "library" of locations, characters and actions.

I almost thought this meant that games where you can do whatever you want can only be done as pure text games (or MUDs). However, I am very glad Jason Rohmer proved me wrong.

His latest game, "Sleep is Death" is based on an ingenious twist. There is one player and one "controller" ("Moderator" or "Dungeon Master"). They exchange "turns", each of which must take less than 30 seconds. The genius is that the game provides you with an audiovisual interface which is so simple it can be used to audiovisually represent very broad scope of ideas in those 30 seconds, including modifying or creating new game assets! Have a look at these examples of play sessions and don't tell me that isn't amazing.

I very much hope this game (or rather, "interactive fiction tool") breaks into mainstream and starts a torrent of new exciting game ideas.

As a first step, I am sure with today's technology, something at least as good as "Sleep is Death" could be implemented as a purely browser-based game!

P.S: There is some interesting discussion in the comments below.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Yes, Virginia, there are Japanese Rape Simulators

When talking about Japanese weirdness and how much I like it, my ultimate trump card is casually mentioning the 200+ page rape simulator catalogue I've got from Japan. Again and again, people think I am making this up or at least exaggerating.

Well, here is the cover:


And here is one of its 224 pages (most definitely NSFW). Try reading the Japanese text, there are some interesting English words hidden in it. The censoring of the images was not done by me, that's how the page looks. In fact, I am pretty sure even the games themselves contain this censorship because in Japan it's illegal to display images of sexual organs during the intercourse (unless it's an intercourse with a demon or an octopus, which is OK).

Believe it or not, I am really not into rape simulators very much. However, I sort of admire the fact that the people who are into this sort of thing can legally satisfy their urges in Japan. And it seems there are actually fewer rape crimes in Japan than in the rest of the world...

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Review: Orbita Mouse

I like it when someone tries to solve long-standing problems using completely fresh approach. I also like electronic gadgets and I am not afraid to learn new skills in order to use them. For example, I consider Fingerworks Mini to be an amazingly useful and visionary product and I am very sad Fingerworks is out of business.

It's only logical I was intrigued by Orbita Mouse from Cyber E Sport when I wanted to replace my trusty old Logitech mouse. Orbita Mouse tries to do some established stuff in a radical new way so it's vitally important you understand the concept well:

The mouse itself is shaped like a puck. On its top side, there are two buttons - round one and a triangular one. You can click the top of the puck (apart from the two buttons, the rest of the top side is one giant button). The sides of the puck can also be pushed and act as a button.

The mouse operates wirelessly and communicates with its receiver (which is also a recharging station) using WiFi. The receiver is connected to your PC using standard USB.

Using the included (Windows-only) software, the mouse can be configured to do various things. I'll try to explain the default setup, which I found to be most useful (although you can have several different mouse profiles, you can only switch between them using the Windows application).

The triangular button is only used for mouse calibration (this is a big mistake because you won't be using it during your normal work and it only gets in the way and you'll find out you keep pressing it involuntarily instead of pressing the main "top" button).

You move the mouse on your desk as with any other laser mouse. The selling point of Orbita mouse is the fact that it detects when you rotate it and translates this rotation to mouse or keyboard events (by default, rotating the whole mouse left or right translates to rotating mousewheel up or down). This also means that it doesn't matter which way the mouse is orientated. When you move it away from you, the mouse arrow moves up, regardless of how the mouse is rotated (that's why you must re-calibrate the orientation each time you take the mouse to different location).

Pressing the top of the puck works as a standard left-click. This button is very sensitive so you cannot actually rest your palm on the mouse. The problem is, you'll often be pushing one of the two buttons (round or triangular) instead of the main "top" button.

Pressing anywhere on the side produces standard right-click event.

The round button on the top acts as a sort-of Shift button. Its default function is to switch the rotation effect between horizontal and vertical scrolling.

From the technical standpoint, the Orbita Mouse works perfectly. However, there are some important flaws in this whole concept which made me wonder what exactly the designers hoped to achieve when they came up with this concept.

First of all, the mouse moves really effortlessly, almost as if it was the puck in Air Hockey. This is unusual at first (that's why beginners should first use the interchangeable "beginners' ring" which has more friction and then move to the "normal" floating ring) but after 10 or so hours I grew accustomed to this and I really liked this smooth, floaty movement.

However, there are some important problems because of this smooth movement. For example it's not always easy to rotate the mouse and operate its buttons without involuntarily moving the mouse (and thus the mouse cursor on your monitor). The worst offender is the right-click key. Ideally, your should be able to perform a right-click by pressing anywhere on Orbita's side. But in reality, the side is not a single circular button but three buttons, each of them covering slightly less than 120 degrees, thus leaving three rather large areas which cannot be clicked! This means than when you press the sides of the puck, you cannot be sure if you are pressing the button or if you are moving the mouse. This is made even more problematic by the fact that the mouse rotation constantly changes during the standard use so you cannot really know where exactly the three "blind spots" are currently located without visually checking mouse's current orientation.

The rotation itself is very useful for quickly scrolling through long documents. However, it's maddeningly inefficient when you want to scroll by exactly one step. That's because you have no idea how far you have to rotate the mouse for the next scroll step to be generated. When I tried using the Orbita Mouse for zooming in and out in GIMP, it was almost unusable because I always either zoomed too far in or out or didn't zoom at all.

It's very difficult to use Orbita Mouse quickly and it's absolutely impossible to use it in action games that require pressing the mouse button(s). That's because you really cannot press any of the mouse buttons (and/or rotate the mouse) and move the mouse at the same time with any usable precision.

I spent about 40 hours using Orbita Mouse and after about 30 hours mark, I stopped improving. I could operate it but almost everything felt more cumbersome than standard mouse. The only highlights were scrolling through large documents (fast scrolling, not precision scrolling) and playing Flash games that don't require mouse presses.

That's why I returned the Orbita Mouse and bought myself Logitech G9x which I can wholeheartedly recommend. It's advertised as "mouse for gamers" but it works perfectly for all my needs and stores up to five profiles locally (in its own memory) so that you can switch between them without need for any special driver, under any operating system!

Also, if the makers of Orbita claim that their mouse is "3D" (while it actually has only three buttons and one scrollwheel), the G9x with its scroll wheel, tilt wheel and 7 programmable buttons should probably be called at least "5D".

Thanks to Alza for lending me the mouse.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Squeezebox: It just works - and more!

For a long time, I wanted to write something about Logitech Squeezebox line of products. From my experience, they are different from most other home electronics: Not only they really do everything they should do. They also do much more than advertised. In fact, their capabilities are so vast, most people don't even understand what this system is capable of.

Squeezebox is a line of networked audio and control components. Most of them play streaming audio from your favorite source. Most of them are able to display graphical output of various quality. Some of them are designed to control the audio players. All the communication between all components is through WiFi or standard LAN cable. All the components are connected to your home LAN as if they were standard computers (i.e. they have they normal IP addresses and hostnames, you can log into them and hack them, etc.). Any of your home computers can function as both "player" and "controller" of any other component (yes, including command line scripting).

Squeezebox Duet

First of all, these components "just work" out of the box. For example, you just connect the player to any WiFi network with access to the Internet, it automatically updates its firmware and is immediately able to play any streaming audio from the Internet. That's all. You don't have to install anything anywhere. In fact, you can just connect it to some public WiFi network and don't even have to own any computer.

However, it gets much more interesting when you have your own MP3 collection and a home computer which is running all the time. You install Squeezebox Server on this computer (it supports Windows, Mac and Linux) and then you can play anything from your music collection on any of your Squeezebox players or on any computer connected to your home network. Of course you can play different albums on different devices and everything can be controlled either via Squeezebox remote or via browser interface from any of your home computers:

Squeezebox server

Squeezebox doesn't force you into any proprietary solutions and does not lock you in. Your music collections is simply a collection of folders and subfolders containing audio files and cover art images. Everything is indexed according to standard ID3 tags and Squeezebox's private database and indexes don't clutter your music folders - they are kept completely separate.

I now have Squeezebox Player (just a miniature box connected to external speakers), Squeezebox Remote (WiFi remote control with full color display) and Squeezebox Boom (audio system with built-in speakers and large monochromatic display).

Audio quality obviously depends on what kind of Squeezebox device you are using (the most expensive system costs 10x more than the cheapest one) but my mid-range Boom has perfectly clear sound and is totally quiet when not playing.

I know there are many similar soultions but I have never experienced anything that simply works as effortlessly as the Squeezebox. There are lots of thoughtful touches, for example the way the alarms and display dimming work and can be configured so that the device does not disturb you when you sleep and you can be awakened by your favorite song or your favorite radio station.

On the other hand, Squeezebox is a godsend for all control freaks because the configuration possibilities are staggering and all the software (including the server and firmware in all devices) can be fully customized - the server itself is written in Perl and the devices are running Linux. However, I didn't have to do that - I am perfectly happy with the standard configuration options and I don't even use all of them: For example, your Squeezebox device can display your Flickr photos, your RSS feeds, you can play games on it etc...

I really love tech gadgets and I must stress again that there are not many gadgets that I found as useful and as capable as the Squeezebox family of products.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Accessing Google Buzz from Google Apps Domain accounts!

When Google Buzz was recently launched, I was rather sad because I wasn't able to use it. It's currently only available from GMail (not from Google Mail on my domain, hosted by Google). I also have standard Google account for the same e-mail ( so that I can log into Google Reader or Google Maps, but this was also no help because you cannot have GMail for an account that doesn't end with "" (obviously).

However, I was able to access Buzz using my Android phone's browser (NOT using the Buzz mobile app), by simply visiting anc clicking "Continue on an usupported browser". I was then able to see the Buzz posts of my Friends and post my own. Even the geolocation and mini-maps were working (although there are probably many other features I cannot access at all, e.g. linking Buzz to different services).

This method also works with standard PC browser, providing you the way (although not very elegant) to access Google Buzz if your Google account is not - just visit from your standard desktop browser!

Accessing Google Buzz from Google Hosted Domain accounts

Disclaimer: I am not sure if I somehow discovered "a shape of things to come" or if this is a bug. I am also a little nervous because I am not sure what information is taken from which of my two "" accounts...

Monday, February 08, 2010

Vote for Jitushka!

My dear Jitushka decided she wants to be even more beautiful and enrolled herself into a competition where she will enter a sophisticated (and expensive) fitness program to get in shape. All of it will be documented by news server.

However, first she has to win the reader voteds because only one man and one woman will be picked.

All the nominees are here on this page. If you want to help Jitushka, just check the "dat hlas" button under her photo and then enter the CAPTCHA code at the bottom of the screen ("OPISTE KOD Z OBRAZKU") and finally submit by clicking "HLASOVAT".

Vote for Jitushka!

If she wins, you'll see more of her!

The voting ends this wednesday at midnight.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Just like "District 9" without Prawns

Watch Vice Guide to Liberia documentary and be glad that you live where you live. Powerful stuff.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Must be some destructive mutation...?

Albert imitating Jim Carrey:

Deformed Albert

From today's frolicking in the snow...

Saturday, January 02, 2010

I Pity The Foolish King Arthur

We spent the New Year's Eve in scary cottage near the Austrian border and we visited a bizarre complex called Excalibur City.

Excalibur City is located exactly at the border of Austria and Czech Republic, the reason probably being that you can pay smaller taxes here, no duties or whatever.


It looks like some demented hellish post-apocalyptic nighmarish version of Disneyland / U.S. mega mall. See my photos and more photos on their homepage.


It's evident that whoever built this monstrosity had lots of money but zero taste. There is an airplane restaurant (boasting that Niki Lauda once visited it), imitation of Planet Hollywood globe (without any Planet Hollywood type restaurant nearby), medieval restaurant, lots of super discount shops and an Asian marketplace with Asian-styled wall around it. 10% of the shops are Duty Free type shops (as seen on airports), the remaining 90% are selling unbelievable crap (mostly Vietnamese knockoffs of Chinese knockoffs). There are also some "entertainment options" for kids and adults alike, most of which look very scary or don't work at all.