Category Archives: Computing

Free speech on the internet

 

 
 
 
 
 

In my 14 effective days of internship so far in a large law firm, i.e. at the 2/3rds of the internship, I have mainly worked on one single, important case involving freedom of speech on the internet. Though there were times during my research when I felt despair for lack of tangible results (basically, few people seem to tackle the subject in a manner of interest to us in the case), the subject was truly interesting, and the occasional golden find encouraged me to keep going.

This research, mainly focussed on internet liability (legal responsibility, for non-lawyers), was a true eye-opener, because I had never thought of the internet from that angle: how free is speech on the internet?

Continue reading Free speech on the internet

Website errors hopefully over

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Over the past few months, the quality of the hosting provided by my current provider, OVH (the largest hosting provider in France, apparently), has steadily decreased. I’ve seen an increase in database connection errors, in “HTTP 500 – Internal Server Error” messages, and so on.

It had become bad to the point where in IE6 and Firefox, I seemed to systematically get an error when trying to access the ARPIA2 and iTunesque pages. Why on earth they worked fine in Safari and Opera, I do not know.

Anyway, as I saw the quality of OVH’s service decrease, I entered into contact with ICDSoft, a company with servers in Germany, the USA and Hong Kong, and whose reputation seems excellent.

In a moment of frustration, I finally decided to make the move. Hopefully all problems should be over. Let me know if you experience anything weird!

Edit: sometimes I feel so stupid. I forgot to check all caching systems. *hits himself on the head*

A new webboard design: critique?

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Now that I have defended my Master Thesis, I “only” have three exams to prepare (one of which is basically a 15-page paper). As such, the Master Thesis was by far the largest work to be done for university, and I therefore took a small break from working.

That break turned out to be spent on another kind of work, web design. In July, I will normally become the administrator for our Law Faculty student webboard & website, and I grew somewhat tired of the Cobalt theme for phpBB2, which is currently used.
I therefore got to work on another design, something fresh.

The result is a working board on www.arpia.be/droides/, only a test so far. The board is in French, but I’m looking for feedback on the general design, which shouldn’t require a great deal of linguistic skills. There’s a test user, “Test”, with the password set as “testpass”.
Anything that desperately needs changing? Suggestions? …?
There are two working themes, and you can switch between them in the footer (“Droïdes – Droïdes2”). Just click, and a whole new layout appears.

Edit: updated.

Having fun with maps

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

The subject of my “Mémoire”, the 60-page “Master Thesis” I have to write for university, is linked to European law, and I therefore use the europa.eu portal a lot (read: the EU institution websites and EUR-Lex were by far the websites I visited the most these past weeks).

The problem is, they all use text to get users to select their language. If it were a bilingual website, it would be easy. But there are 23 official languages in the EU, and so it takes time to figure out which string of text is “yours”.
The worst front page, in my opinion, is the Council’s homepage, which I find impossible to use under five seconds.

I therefore decided to try (during a small break) my hand at another system: maps.

Continue reading Having fun with maps

The billionth download in the App Store

 

 
 
 

If you keep up with Apple-related news, you’re bound to know that Apple is approaching 1 billion downloads at the App Store, and will be giving 13.000 USD worth of gifts to whomever either downloads the billionth app, or sends a form right after the 999.999.999th app has been downloaded.

So, the question is: when will that be?
Turns out the counter can help us have a certain strategy.

Continue reading The billionth download in the App Store

The Heist

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

There we go, I’ve finally done it. The Heist of the year is over for me. It took time and dedication, logical thinking and puzzle-solving, but I managed. I am talking of course of MacHeist 3.

MacHeist is a web community of Mac users in which the Directorate (the big bosses) organise “Heists”, missions for the community members to solve in exchange for free software, and once the missions are over, a bundle of applications is revealed.
A few days ago, finally, the MacHeist 3 bundle was revealed, and I’ve shelled out 31 US dollars (thanks to my Heister discounts) for the nice applications that compose it.

It was loads of fun, and now it’s over. Well, almost: the Directorate should be revealing one or two other apps in the coming days, or something like it. We’ll see what happens next.
If you’re a Mac user, have the available funds and haven’t done so yet, go get your bundle now.

Proof of the advantages of MacHeist for users: in total, when all applications are unlocked, I’ll have obtained over 1500 USD-worth of applications during MacHeist 3, all for 31 USD. Awesome!

Still, I should add that I’m slightly disappointed in the bundle, which has many applications that I shall not be using all that often. Previous bundles, especially the MacHeist 2 one, seemed to be more interesting overall. However, this opinion may change in the coming days if the Directorate announces new applications to go with the bundle.

Arpia forums back online

 

 
 
 

Well, there we go. Finally, problems are resolved, and we’re on a new forum system.

So, why don’t you go check it out and talk about ARPIA2 or SFA?

I should add that, unfortunately, passwords from the previous board no longer work (well, the hashes do, but I won’t be distributing those 😉 ). You will therefore have to request a new password.

Of course, if there are any problems, do let me know.

Arpia forum troubles

 

 
 
 

For those who visit the Arpia forum, it is currently down. The reason is that I have encountered substantial problems relating to the database and to the templates, and am therefore in the process of trying to re-install the whole thing.

I’m afraid all access to the forum will be cut until I can fix this.
SFA’ers and ARPIA2’ers, I would suggest finding temporary shelter back on the EV Nova boards. Or you can use this post or the ARPIA2 page to discuss your woes.