27 March 2009

Learning French

I have been trying to learn to speak French, but so far I can't say it's been going well. It would have been nice to have the change to live there for a year or so, but I suspect with the current economic outlook, it's not very likely.

I have a few books on the country and some teaching aids, so to get a deeper understanding of the country, I have read or am reading:-

Sixty million Frenchmen can't be wrong

50 things to hate about the French

The discovery of France

The complete Merde

Unleash your inner Gaul

Two lipsticks and a lover

For the language itself:-

Teach yourself French in 3 months

BBC the French experience

Michael Thomas

Accelerated learning French

I'm still working my way though them, Michael Thomas has a good reputation for his European languages, but I have yet to see how the Chinese course works.

Can't say I found French For Dummies very helpful, it was very dry, and not very interesting.

There is also Rosetta Stone software, I hear it's very good. But these days I use Linux at home, and it's Windows only

I would love to spend some time in France hopefully in July, but that is when the French all take holidays.

It's also a case to decide what part of France to visit.

The history of the country is surprisingly diverse, at least as written by Graham Robb. Much more than the simplistic ideas than the Anglo Saxons moved in after the Romans left.

I've been to Paris once before, and Calais twice, and living in the UK for so many years I really would like to see more of Europe.

We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be, detested in France.
The Duke of Wellington

21 March 2009


GoSpeed Racer has started http://fmyslife.wordpress.com/

I hope it becomes a place of angry venting :-)

Life may suck, but it beats the alternative.

Censorship and who is touching your ports.

The Australian Senator Steven Conroy has had a few set backs recently, the main one being his blacklist being published on Wikileaks, this brought the entire list under scrutiny.

What was found was not impressive, I quote from the Brisbane Times

But about half of the sites on the list are not related to child porn and include a slew of online poker sites, YouTube links, regular gay and straight porn sites, Wikipedia entries, euthanasia sites, websites of fringe religions such as satanic sites, fetish sites, Christian sites, the website of a tour operator and even a Queensland dentist.

Clever isn't it. Blocking a Dentist.

I used to work and help run an ISP in Australia, and the Govt have been trying to find ways to censor it for over ten years. I remember having discussions about it in 1999.

Remember this is for our own good, just like the Australia Card was supposed to be as well. This was a National ID Card for everyone, that was to be implemented in the 80s, it never got off the ground. Two years ago, the Howard Government was going to give it another try. But it would only be needed to access the Government provided Medicare system, so as long as you had enough money for private heath care you were fine. (HA!)
BTW I asked Vint Falken if they had ID cards in Belgium, they do, and you can find a list of countries that have them here.

So what else other treats to the Internet have surfaced recently?
SCO have a Morality police section it seems.

SCO is short for Santa Cruz Organisation, they are, or were a major player in the Unix software field, but when faced with declining sales due to Linux, they decided to take Linux to court. So they have taken Red Hat, IBM, and Novel to court for various things, and have found to be totally wrong in pretty much everything they alleged.

They also share with this group cp80.org an intersection of Mormons

So this group of Mormons want to stop all porn and objectionable material from TCP/IP port 80, that the main web browsers port. Weird.

I understand Mormons are very popular in California right now in the way they made sure that Prop 8 didn't pass.

It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creeds into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.”

Robert Heinlein