October 04, 2005

question 23

23. What do you prefer, having 9 meter arms, or having to say: "immahunig haaarv birramlkiogg nizatbipprfd :) " before you could say anything else each time you wanted to speak?

Ok, don't rush to answer! And remember that whatever you choose, it is for a liftime. So think it twice. Maybe you haven't considered yet all the setbacks that 9 meter long arms are implicating. Well, think about each time you want to dress, and how can you drive? Alternatively, you may have thought that saying
"immahunig haaarv birramlkiogg nizatbipprfd :)" is quite easy but try to say it just once. What about when everybody is talking around you and you want to participate in the conversation but can't because each time you manage to say something that make sense they're all busiy talking about something else? Wouldn't that be frustrating? So you see it s not that easy to answer.


October 02, 2005

on s'fait discret?

Alors, les gnouses, pour ceux qui sont pas au courant, je suis à WARWICK (on prononce warick). Voilà, et je fais un master MSc Information Systems and Management à la Warwick Business School. Waip, rien qu ça. Warwick c'est à Coventry, dans la gentille campagne anglaise des Midlands, pas loin de Birmingham. Je suis très bien logé dans une petite chambre sur le campus, avec plein de petits amis en postgrad, très gentils (ils sont tous chinois).. Non, je déconne. Mais la WBS est super internationale, il y a 2 anglais dans mon master! Il y a des chinois, bien sur, de Hong Kong, de Taiwan, et des gens de tous les pays du monde, Nigeria, Syrie, Lebanon, Thailande, Maurice, Inde, Pakistan, Espagne, Russie.. C'est vraiment hyper génial. L'uniersité est magnifique, on a un campus avec des batiments hyper modernes des salles de conf comme à l'opéra bastille (non, quand meme pas.. mais ce serait bien!) Je suis dans l'équipe de rowing, le boat club, c'est de l'aviron. Sur le campus, il y a le Warwick Arts Center, qui est parait il le meilleur lieu culturel après Londres. Il y a aussi le Union, qui est le deuxième plus important d'angleterre, ils organisent pleins de soirées et d'évenements tous les soirs. Il y a pleins de petits et de grands jardins et parcs où il fait toujours très beau le matin, les oiseaux gazouillent dans les arbres et les petits écureils sautillent dans l'herbe fraiche et bien verte, il y a meme des renards qui s'enfuient dans les fourrés le matins très tot quand on passe pas loin avec nos cours sous le bras. Oui, c'est vrai, je suis très fleur bleue, en ce moment. D'ailleurs, j'ai arreté le rugby et je me suis acheté tellement de plantes pour ma petite chambre que je ne sais plus
très bien où les mettre. En effet, j'ai un dilemne avec un palmier, soit il bloque la porte d'entré, soit le placard, soit la fenêtre. J'ai résolu le pb en lui
ménageant une petite place sur mon lit, en attendant (je sais pas quoi, d'ailleurs, car je ne pense pas qu'il va rétrécir..). Je me suis acheté un poster de Miles Davis, car j'adore la trompette. C'est mon instrument préféré, j'aimerai bien en jouer et je vais m'y mettre un jour seulement pas aujourd hui car j'ai encore quelques trucs à étudier.

Et c'est pas des conneries,car il faut que je trouve les réponses à des questions que je me pose sur la possibilité et l'intérêt de révolutionner les sciences et la technology en créant les conditions pour rendre obsolète tous les brevets d'inventions et les propriétés intellectuelles. Le but est de rendre toute l'information libre pour le bénéfice de tous. Je suis sûr que se serait économiquement très profitable et se serait l'entrée dans une nouvelle ère économique, "l'économie du partage", basée en partie sur le don. Il ne s'agit pas du tout d'abolir le capitalisme, mais d'aller plus loin dans l'abolition des barrières à l'innovation et à l'activité industrielle et commerciale. Il y a justement un lien très fort entre ce projet et les systèmes d'information. Ce sont les logiciels open source. Ces logiciels se développent par les utilisateurs, qui travaillent bénévolement, ou pour eux même, mais qui rendent leurs travaux accessibles à tous. Les entreprises qui abandonnent leur licences augmentent leurs parts de marché et vendent des services de consulting et de maintenance liés au logiciel. C'est comme cela que je voit l'avenir des systèmes d'information. Voilà, mais y a du boulot parce que pour l'instant, je suis pas encore très sûr de ce que c'est qu'un système d'information…

Bonne nuit les amis,


welcome to play GO

*Who wants to play GO? *

For those who know this game, maybe some of you are already playing at the campus in that case I would like to join. For those who don't know it, I would like to introduce this game to you.

GO is a very old game from China. It was invented more than 4 thousand years ago (2000 b.c). It is a board game like chess. Its rules are the most simple possible. But the possibilities of the game are so numerous that no program on earth can reach the level of play of human beings. It is a game about strategy and tactics, about influence and power, it is a game about war. It is such an inspiring game, that I suspect that Sun Tzu was a GO player and that this game influenced his Art of war. GO really is an art, a martial art. In which you deal with space, structure, life and death.

The aim is to get the largest territory on the board, each player drops one stone at a time on any of the 19 X 19 intersections of the board. You cannot move a stone once you ve played it. The 19 X 19 grid forms the GO bang on which the black stones fight against the white stones. You can kill the ennemy by surrounding him. You have to protect your stones by forming living structures, which cannot be killed.

GO is a universe in itself. The professional players now come mostly from Japan and China. Like golf there are handicaps which goes from 35 kyu to 0 kyu (better) and then from 1st dan to 8th dan (best).

You can play GO online at yahoo games

I have a great selection of the best web sites related to GO.
for the first time, go to the go program.
The best lessons on GO, from beginners to experts, is the sensei's library. This web site is of very high quality.
To play online, kisheido go server.
For more info about GO, the IGS or Peter Mioch interview.


September 21, 2005

The Baroness Album

A game I like in French, is to invert letters in a sentence in order to give a whole new meaning at what you ve just heard.

example:
Les laborieuses *p*opulations du *C*ap.
The working populations of Cape Town.

If you take the p and exchange it for the C the sentence becomes:

Les laborieuses copulations du Pape.
The Pope's struggling shags.

Then you have thousands of possibilities,

Voulez vous faire une esca*lope* avec une belle sa*lade*?

Il n'y a plus de *c*andeur en *b*ourse.

Rien de plus triste qu'un ami *ch*ar*p*en*t*ier. (3 in one word!)

But I don't know any in English, and this is very sad, I really need to improve. Could anyone help me to better my practice of English?


September 20, 2005

My last job in LA

The first entry on my blog
is to share a curious and fun and quite disastrous experience about a summer job I got in Los Angeles.

It s very easy now to see how stupid I have been to accept a such labeled job offer : Non paid internship at Malibu Windows & Doors in Los Angeles. You don't need any work permit we provide you the accomodation. Ok, I admit it was my mistake and that I should have listened to the people who told me it was suspicious. But on the other hand I had no time to look further and to search for other opportunities, and I wanted to spare the $700 J-1 visa (what a fool!).
I said "I don't care, we'll see, how bad can it get anyway, it s fun to work in a window factory, and I will use my negotiation skills when it comes to get compensations, plus the fact that I ve got many friends in LA and in California".. Yeah, sure…

Well, obviously I couldn t expect what really happened. To cut the story short I soon found myself carrying large panes of glass through a giant washing machine near which you couldn t hear you think. You couldn t hear the instructions, neither, but this mattered only relatively since all the factory managers were Chinese and NONE of them could speak English! So I had to understand what to do via body language and some "hauw!" , "se se" , etc.

But working all day long in the factory was not at all unpleasant, actually it was the best part of this summer job. After a week, 12 interns had joined me (all Germans) and we lived / were parked in an unfinished house in San Gabriel. There were no furniture in the house, 4 rooms, 8 beds, 2 chairs, 1 phone, a fridge and a hoven. The town in which we lived was 100% chinese, and very very few people could speak English. I soon realized that without a car in LA, you re dead. We only had the company car exclusively driven by Siau Chen (little chen) to drive us to work in the morning and back home in the evening.

Not everything was bad, though. First, I have absolutely no fear of cucroches, which crippled the house. Second, I really improved my German, since my German mates did speak English as their 7th Fremdsprache. And I made a great friend, Yang Liu. He taught me all the Chinese I know, he is a coworker at the factory and can t speak a word of English. Yang Liu is a famous painter he showed me many reproductions of his paintings and press clippings of his exhibitions in Europe, and drew skeches in my notebook.

Of course, I tried to negotiate a pay and some compensations or a car, or anything to improve the conditions, so I asked the boss Tom Chen (who could speak English). Since I became too insistant, he fired me. I then asked for a proper termination letter and he was reluctant. So I began yelling that if I didn t get what I wanted I would not move from his office and would stop feed myself untill I get what I asked. And then yelled louder: "You re not a manager, you re a fucking slave owner!" I had to say it.. So he sat back down and typed the letter as i told him to, and I left. I rented a car and looked for another job. I phoned all my friends but most of them would not pick up the phone, and the rest of them just completely ignored me or gave me appointments and didn t show up. I sent hundreds of emails and got a couple of answers like:
"oh, sorry Nick, you know I m on 3 jobs in the same time and I continue my studies so it s kind of hard to answer the phone all day.. But if you ever have a pb, just keep me informed and i ll do my best to help, take care…"

Meanwhile, things were getting tough for me since Tom wanted to kick me out of our beautiful house the same day I was fired. So I had to threaten Siau Chen to kick his ass badly in order just to sleep somewhere in the house. Soon, Tom Chen tried and succeeded to turn the German folks against me saying that if he had to call the police to kick me out of the house he would kick out all of them, too. This wonderful blackmail did function amazingly well amongst my German friends and I was soon ostracised from this pleasant group. I would sleep 2 more nights in the house thanks to my only friend and ally, Yang Liu who would open the back door for me anytime I would do the "cat code" ( scratch, scratch against the left hand side window). Of course I had already put all my stuff in the trunk of my car.

Then, I realized that it was absolutely impossible to get the slightest hope of getting a job without a proper work permit and I eventually gave up any attempts after having wasted 5 $20 phone cards in 3 days. I also forsake my attempts to see any of my american "friends". Having made these 2 salutary decisions, I began to enjoy my trip for real. I was free and wild and driving in LA! I slept in my car, took showers at the beaches and went where the wind would blow. From Manhattan beach to Melrose avenue, UCLA, Culver city, San Bernardino, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Sunset bvd, Mullholland drive, Beverley Hills, Hollywood, Venice beach, Santa Monica pier harbour, the 1Oth freeway, the 405, I travelled and met great people, reading Bukowski and eating burritos, fajitas and quesadillas.

Los Angeles is so big… but so big…

Even if the world is too small, Los Angeles is still too big. It's beautiful, too. I will come back one day, and I ll do much better.
A nous deux, Los Angeles!


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