Archive for June, 2009

Microsoft LoL

Don’t have too much to say here, just a good laugh.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/get-the-facts/browser-comparison.aspx

Economic crisis & budget cuts in Latvia

Latvia is currently probably one of the well known countries in Europe because of the economic situation. Before a year, when I stated my country-of-origin is Latvia in the Benelux, a lot of the people thought it’s Lithuania, or didn’t know where/what it is. Now the knowledge of the public has improved, asked the same question the typical reply is “Latvia? Oh, that one. Its on the news all the time”. This is partly a good thing, because it’s said there is no bad publicity. It’s just publicity.

The bad thing is how ministries/other government structures of Latvia are doing the so-much-needed budget cuts. There should be a structural reform being made (that’s what’s being requested by the international loan-givers). What happens actually is quantitative modifications of the budget by releasing a proportional amount of people/lowering analysis without any/little analysis.

The first question a good government manager should ask facing a significant budget cut is – what functions in my responsibility are critical for the mission statement.  That would mean evaluating the need of the departments and getting rid of the ones which are not critical for the primary functions of the institution (vertical cuts). There is certainly a cut to make in that area for Latvia where entire departments were created without a real need, just for relatives/friends to have a good paid work. Or high-ranking staff people returning from foreign diplomatic missions and having no according rank position – ok, lets just create a department you can manage.

What most of the Latvian goverment institutions are doing is horizontal cuts. We need to lower our expenses by 30%? No problemo, lets cut all departments by 30% (well an oversimplification, but that’s happening).

I see this time of mandatory budget cuts as a good way for the ministries to get rid of the spider webs in their human resources. There are people/departments who don’t perform but stay in the ministry because of their impressive web. Now they have at least the formal reason to get rid of those elements, and its just about the will to clean. Lets see if that chance is used.

Good weekend everybody, and lets hear some more apologies from the goverment next week 😉

Wii homebrew got really useful

The Wii homewbrew scene got important/useful for all the owners of Wii by two additions:

1. BootMii, allowing to most importantly backup your Wii’s memory at a very low level, to be able to restore  if something goes terribly wrong. http://bootmii.org/

2. USBLoader – allows saving and loading of legal and “legal” Wii game discs. Set-up guide in http://www.mikeandheth.com/games/97-connect-wii-usb-hard-drive.html Really useful if you want to do any of the following:

  • backup your Wii DVDs to protect against scratches;
  • load games much faster than from DVDs;
  • other, “legal” purposes

One of the first things I did when bought a Wii (start of 2008) is installed homebrew with the Zelda hack (for description etc. http://wiibrew.org/wiki/Index.php), because I found it a quite fun hack. Actually, when installing that one I didn’t think the homebrew would get to such usable state (was thinking about a modchip back then).

Thank you homewbrew developers for all your hard work and time, it’s highly appreciatead!

OWL and women

Don’t ever try to explain to a woman how modeling in OWL is done

To explain how that works, you will typically try model her to represent the world she lives in, and then you would have to reveal:

1. the modeling would typically start with defining her an owl:Thing

2. even if you don’t use a class, she would complain being someone’s property

3. owl:Nothing won’t make her happy, either

Move to girts.niedra.org

So, I have moved to http://girts.niedra.org/ . With the moving, as usually, you have to change the wallpaper, move the stuff from the old place, etc.

I will write more than I did before.

Saying

If You Love Someone, Set it free

If It Comes Back, It is Yours

If It Doesn’t, Hunt it Down and Kill It 😉