Nov 302010

It must be something in the thin SLC air. In addition to the winning ways of the football team, Utah Jazz has taken to returning from double-digit deficits across a wide variety of teams.

The victories could obviously be easier, but hardly sweeter.

Nov 282010

Utah Utes logoLast night, when checking the score of the annual ultimate Utahn rivalry game, I was quite quite worried, the score was 3-13 to the team in blue.

Shouldn’t have, as the Utes proved worthy of their top 25-ranking and rose to the occasion with a squeaking 17-16 victory (courtesy of a last moment blocked field goal).

The Utes capped their season at 10-2, and look destined to one of the lesser bowls.

Nov 272010

All good things come to and end. The ten game victory streak is not an exception to the truth.

Indeed, the first loss in the public league was by a margin of ten points. The main culprits: me not noticing Tony Moeaki being injured and not replacing the Chiefs’ TE as well as the San Francisco Fortyniners offense being shut down by the Buccaneers. The loss was inevitable, I much rather take one on the nose during the regular season than in the playoffs. Replaced Moeaki (took back Mercedes Lewis) and picked my perennial favorite, Marques Colston off the waiver wire.

The Finland Fantasy Football game, on the other hand, was a victory. I was getting worried by the losses and the potential for post-season somewhere else than consolation. The hero of the game was once again Aaron Rodgers, who’s been a steady source of points at the helm of the Packers’ offense. Othen than him, the only scorers in double digits were the RBs: old warhorses Cadillac Williams and LaDainian Tomlinson. The receivers failed to impress once again (Michael Crabtree especially), took red-hot Robert Meachem off the waivers.

Bring on week twelve!

Nov 242010

The report is delayed by a week. Previous excuses apply.

The public league team won for the tenth time in a row. Peyton Manning had an off night (only seven points scored), so it fell to Frank Gore to buoy the team. Which hde did, in a win over St Louis. Replacement kicker (Nick Folk from Jets) was OK, Tennessee defense just plain awful.

The Finland Fantasy Football team lost, basically due to truly suboptimal squad availability. Packers had a bye, and that meant finding a replacement for Rodgers. In a sixteen team league that was far from easy. Picked Drew Stanton, who ended up not even playing (as Shaun Hill returned from injury earlier than thought). Opponent’s 2nd QB was the final blow – San Francisco’s Troy Smith put up 19 points, about a third what the entire niners were able to muster.

Bring on week eleven!

Nov 242010

Big barrel of GuinnessHotel breakfast was so thoroughly inedible that I no longer kicked myself for having missed it on Monday. White toast, bacon, overcooked sausages and such is not the best set of options to choose from.

First presentation of the day was the overview of the MeeGo developer offering. The presentation got semi-derailed on account of audience interaction, they were clearly looking for something that was not on the slides (nor really available anywhere else either).

Community anti-patterns was an amusing trip through dysfunctional software projects. Communication can go so wrong so easily.

OpenGL emulation hardships was an interesting show, the issues are the same all over the place. Getting the graphics pipeline seamlessly to transport the commands from the emulated instance to the host GPU is never too easy.

Application design survival guide is the first presentation in a long time where the audience got abused from the lectern. Clearly the presented thought designers to be a vastly higher breed when it comes to designing the user interface of the application.

Lunch continued to be pleasant, and this time avoided hungerpangs in the afternoon by stocking up on everything on offer. Sadly the very same Ben & Jerry’s flavors were the only ones available for dessert.

Missed most of the afternoon presentations on account of some slidework that needed to be ready by Thursday morning.

No idea whether the slides from the conference are easily available somewhere. Last year put mine up in Slideshare, but the practice seems to be pretty much unknown this time around.

The evening was fully programmed. An evening at the Guinness Brewery was a pleasant occasion. The party spread across the entire building, and access to the Gravity Bar on the highest floor was quite limited. Saw U2 covers (loud). Learned to pour a perfect pint (not that hard). Bought a couple of kitchen towels and some chocolate (toucan_count++);. And avoided any nachspiel, as Wednesday morning was an early one.

Nov 232010

The first day of the conference began with a long line at registration.

So long, that the organizers just waved us in and advised to pick up the badges and goodie bags on the break.

First up, the keynotes.

Keynotes in MeeGo Conference 2010Intel’s was flashy, and centered on continuous computing done in an open fashion. With a surprising guest star appearance by the N900 MeeGo port maintainer, this was an entertaining beginning for the shindig. With a perfect ending – the promise of a Lenovo Ideapad (a law-abiding netbook by day, a crime-fighting tablet by night) for every attendee. Sadly “every attendee” officially included only people NOT from the two organizing companies.

Nokia’s was more down to earth. No animations, and no news. The official story held: MeeGo devices will be announced in 2011. Sadly, no promise of loot as the stinger.

Missed the third keynote (by Amino, makers of a wicked DVR system) on account of queuing up for the registration and picking up the first pieces of booty (Qt lanyard, USB cup warmer).

The third keynote (a shared keynote by Intel & Nokia) began with a bang – AMD will join MeeGo. Following that the news were nowhere near as exciting (openness and UX differentiation as key messages).

Lunch was better than expected, if a bit small. The cup of Ben & Jerry’s for dessert was definitely an appreciated touch.

Afternoon was spent in more or less relevant sessions: Qt Roadmap, Testing tools for end-users, Qt Quick (by far the slickest display of combining code and slides in a long long while), More Qt Quick, MeeGo compliance and finally a Birds of a Feather session on the MeeGo SDK.

Following a long exit from the BoF, got a late start in the reception: had a few pints of Guinness, way too few pieces of hors d’oeuvres and ran into unexpected ex-colleagues.

The fingerfood was nowhere near enough, and decamped to downtown, to Temple Bar once again. Dinner at Quay’s was large, irish and all business (apart from obligatory sports talk with Intel’s Bob Spencer, who hails from Utah). Excellent clam chowder, decent steak and a plain awful mudcake (nowhere near chocolate-y enough, and plagued with weird flakes).

Walk back to the hotel was brisk and chilly, enough to lull to sleep in short order.

Nov 212010

First pint of Guinness on the tripFlew to Dublin after an uncomfortably early wakeup call. The Finnair flight to London was as smooth as they come, but troubles started upon landing in the UK.

The Aer Lingus shuttle was delayed, and no gate information was given. Clearly an opportunity for an early lunch. Which Giraffe in Terminal Three served in the form of huevos rancheros.

In addition to being late, the flight to Dublin was very crowded. Took no chances with checked-in luggage on the inbound trip and had two pieces of baggage – recipe for trouble on a plane where the overhead compartments were full way before I boarded.

Cab to the hotel seemed to take a roundabout route. Then again, it was the cup final in the neighboring stadium and that might have closed some routes for traffic.

The hotel, D4 Ballsbridge Inn, turned out quite dingy. The rooms were large, but that’s about the sole good thing about them. The bed was straight out of a jesuit training centre, the faucets predictably british and drippy, the carpet soiled thoroughly in the years in service.

The environment was packed with football fans – Sligo fans in the hotel and Shamrock fans everywhere else.

Downtown was a soccer-free zone. Had the first pint of Guinness at the first opportunity (in such a hurry that the name of the bar went unnoted – on the corner of O’Connell Street and the Liffey River) and that eased matters a lot.

A slow Sunday meant that a lot of restaurants were closed. Settled on Winding Stair (after a long walk) next to Liffey. Sheep kidneys for starter, a pork chop for the main course and an apple cobbler for dessert, accompanied by a very nice amarone. Much better than expected, and the environment was far from the usual pub fare.

After a final pint (Smithwick’s, for a change) in the Temple Bar in Temple Bar (drunken locals and tourists both milling around) it was time to head back to the hotel for a decent sleep before the early morning wakeup for the conference.

Dublin, sunset on Liffey

Nov 202010

Land of Guinness was busy and had poor connectivity. Two good reasons not to blog.

Regular service resumes with a report on the MeeGo Conference 2010, pneding photo memes and random ramblings in short order.

Nov 102010

Had the first draw of the season, and a MNF pulloff victory.

The public league game was a victory, the ninth in a row, and one cemented by the actions of one man only. The hero of the week was Terrell Owens, off the waiver wire a couple of weeks ago, who score twice in the Cincinnati Bengals’ loss to Steelers. I was losing the game big time before the receiver turned up the heat in Monday Night Football. Eli Manning outplayed his big brother – Colts lost, but that’s not a surprise considering how decimated their offense is these days. The other players on the bench were enjoying a bye week, so there wasn’t much room dfor Tuesday Morning Quarterbacking.

The Finland Fantasy Football game. on the other hand, ended up a tie, with the score drawn at 76 points each. Apart from Aaron Rodgers (27 points in the massacre over Dallas) and the Saints defense (21 points vs. Carolina) were the only decent team members this week. Everybody else was held to single digits and no touchdowns at all.

In the real NFL the biggest news were Cleveland Browns continuing campaign for more than a little respectability – this time the New England Patriots fell, and the twenty point margin proves that this was not just luck.

Bring on week nine!