Arghl! Du spam par SMS! On fait quoi? [fr]

Il y a quelques minutes, la sonnerie de mon portable m’informe qu’un nouveau SMS m’attend. J’avoue que c’est assez fréquent, avec [twitter surtout](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/09/13/manuel-de-survie-twitter-pour-francophones/). Mais bon.

Je regarde mon SMS, toute curieuse, et… Un message m’invitant à obtenir des SMS gratuits ou que sais-je, depuis un numéro court.

Reviennent des souvenirs du temps où je bossais chez Orange: des histoires de numéros courts qui se comportaient mal, de clients spammés…

J’appelle Orange, service clientèle. Je demande à qui appartient le numéro court, ils me donnent le nom de l’entreprise et le numéro de leur service clientèle.

J’appelle, j’explique (poliment!) que je viens de recevoir un SMS du numéro court xyz, et que j’aimerais savoir comment ils ont eu mon numéro de téléphone. La gentille dame au bout du fil me demande mon numéro, fait quelques recherches, et m’informe qu’en 2006 j’ai envoyé un SMS contenant la lettre “b” au numéro zxy, et que j’ai reçu en retour un SMS en anglais disant ceci et cela. Et bien sûr, elle a spontanément dit qu’elle allait faire stopper les SMS publicitaires.

Nickel!

Je récapitule:

– prendre note du numéro court en question
– appeler son opérateur pour demander leur numéro de contact
– appeler le numéro de contact associé au numéro court et demander comment ils ont eu notre numéro (si ça nous intéresse)
– demander l’arrêt des SMS.

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Vilain cafard ou jolie blatte forestière ambrée ? [fr]

[en] I thought we had cockroaches in the house, but it turns out to be a harmless, outdoor variety which sometimes gets lost inside (ectobius vittiventris). Here is the explanation leaflet we got from the company we contacted -- in hope that it might be useful to others.

Depuis que j’habite ici, je vois régulièrement voleter autour de la porte d’entrée de l’immeuble, surtout la nuit, des insectes qui ressemblent furieusement à des cafards. Après mon retour des États-Unis, j’en ai tué plusieurs dans mon appartement, et j’ai décidé qu’il était temps de prendre le taureau par les cornes et d’alerter concierge et gérance.

Après capture et analyse d’une des bestioles, il s’avère que nous n’avons pas affaire à des vilains cafards, mais à des jolies blattes forestières ambrées inoffensives. Elles vivent à l’extérieur et ne se retrouvent à l’intérieur que par mégarde, n’y survivant pas. Je reproduis ci-dessous l’information qui nous a été communiquée (par l’entreprise contactée j’imagine) au sujet de ce petit insecte, puisqu’il ne semble pas se trouver déjà en français sur Internet. J’espère qu’elle pourra être utile à autrui!

> **Blatte forestière ambrée / *Ectobius vittiventris***

> Une blatte sauvage, qui n’est pas un parasite de l’habitat, est de plus en plus signalée en Suisse romande. On la trouve égarée à l’intérieur des bâtiments, mais elle ne peut survivre sans l’humidité et les conditions qu’elle trouve dans son environnement naturel, jardins ou parcs, sous la végétation. Originellement située dans le bassin méditerranéen de l’Italie à la Turquie, elle était très présente au Tessin ces vingt dernières années.

> Au nord des Alpes, elle est en forte augmentation ces dix dernières années, particulièrement en milieu urbain et jusqu’à une altitude de 700 mètres environ. Elle recherche la chaleur des façades ; capable de voler, par temps chaud elle pénètre dans les immeubles par les fenêtres ouvertes. Ces dernières années en Suisse, sa présence sur ou dans des bâtiments a été signalée durant tous les mois de l’année, mais c’est surtout entre juin et novembre que son activité a été observée, avec un maximum en août.

> Aucun piège connu ne peut valablement la capturer et l’usage d’insecticide est inutile étant donné que cette blatte est sans danger et meurt rapidement à l’intérieur (un à trois jours maximum). Le seul moyen connu de limiter les incursions de cet insecte dans l’habitat est la pose de moustiquaires.

> Le problème réside dans sa ressemblance avec la blatte germanique, redoutable parasite très prolifique bien connu dans la restauration, l’hôtellerie, l’industrie alimentaire et l’immobilier en général. Elle lui ressemble par sa taille. Sa coloration est légèrement plus claire et nous pensons qu’il est important, lors de découverte, de confier sa détermination à un spécialiste éclairé.

Source: I. Landau – H. Baur – G. Müller – M. Schmidt, UGZ ZürichMax Hagner SA

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Diving Into Something New [en]

[fr] Pour se familiariser avec un sujet nouveau, il faut lire, et même si on ne comprend pas tout, continuer à lire. Au bout d'un moment, les choses commencent à tomber en place, et on peut reprendre avec plus de succès les premiers textes que l'on avait compris que partiellement.

I remember very clearly when I understood this: I was working on my coursework about gnosticism. I didn’t know anything about the subject and had a pile of about 10 books to go through.

I started reading, and felt completely lost: I couldn’t really understand much. But by the time I reached the middle of the pile of books, things started to make sense. I went back to the first books, and they were making sense too.

To learn about something new, one method is to dive in, and just read on even if you don’t understand. At some point, it will sink in, come together, and you’ll start to get it.

Something about [Agile](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agile_software_development) popped up this morning when I clicked [my Google Reader “Next” bookmarklet](http://www.stoweboyd.com/message/2007/09/the-google-read.html) this morning. This isn’t the first time I hear about Agile, and I have a rough idea what it is, but I thought that I should probably read up a bit on it. So I’m [reading this case study](http://www.agilejournal.com/articles/case-study/case-study:-how-bmc-is-scaling-agile-development.html), even though not everything makes sense. At some point, it will. I’m just starting.

*Note: don’t misunderstand. I’m not heading for a career change into software development. I just want to understand more.*

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CASH Cards and Cellphone Train Tickets [en]

[fr] En Suisse, on a la carte CASH (avec laquelle je paie parcomètres, billets de bus, et parkings souterrains), le numéro court 222/999 pour recevoir les horaires de train par SMS, et maintenant les billets de train par MMS (pour certains trajets, commandables en ligne ou par téléphone).

Near the end of the [latest Cranky Geeks episode](http://www.crankygeeks.com/2007/02/cranky_geeks_episode_53_bittor.html) there is some talk about paying things through cellphones, general lack of quarters (change) in the world, and concert ticket barcodes sent by MMS.

Here are some of the things we already have in sometimes-backward Switzerland.

First, the [CASH Card](http://www.cashcard.ch/en/ca_home.htm). It’s basically a chip which is added to nearly all the current debit cards banks provide their customers (people here use debit — [Maestro](http://www.maestrocard.com/) — much more than credit). It’s specifically designed for the payment of small amounts. You “put cash” on your card at the ATM through your debit account (30-300CHF). Then, off you go, your pockets full of virtual change.

I use CASH to pay my bus fares, feed the parking meter, underground parking, payphones, and even small purchases in kiosks or the baker’s. It’s cheaper for the vendor than either debit or credit, and doesn’t require an authentification code. It’s fast.

Second, [train tickets on your mobile](http://mct.sbb.ch/mct/en/mobile-ticket). For certain trips, you can order the ticket online or by phone (I called them to make sure I’d understood things right, as the web page is a bit confusing), and receive the barcode for this ticket by MMS. This does require going through a [somewhat cumbersome sign-up process](https://www.sbb.ch/mct/wi/shop/b2c/register.do), but hey, you only need to do it once (and I did *manage* to follow through to the end).

One very useful thing the SBB/CFF have been doing for sometime now is they allow you to [query the train timetables by SMS](http://mct.sbb.ch/mct/en/sms.html). Send “Lausanne Geneva” (without quotes) to 222 or 999 (depends on carrier) and they’ll give you the timetable of the three next trains for that trip. It gets smarter, too: “Lausanne Geneva 1500” gives you the first three trains after 3pm, and “Lausanne Geneva 1800.ar” the three last trains to arrive before 6pm. If you want platform information, try “Lausanne Geneva 1700 g”. You can also ask for trains departing in 2 hours, for example: “Lausanne Morges 2”.

I’m waiting to see a merge between these two last services: ask for timetables via SMS, and then order the MMS ticket directly for that trip (when those will be available for all trips). But actually, it’s not too bad as it is: you can order your MMS ticket by calling the free number 0800222211. They answer fast and are friendly (I called them three times with nasty questions as I was writing this post).

[When I was in Lisbon](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2006/09/26/scattered-lisbon-travel-notes/), I was totally impressed by the little black box that my host had under his windscreen, and which let him in and out of paid parkings, sending him a bill at the end of the month. That would be fun and practical to have.

What useful mobile/card services does your country have?

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On the Road to Being a Healthier Geek [en]

[fr] Il y a un mois environ, une petite conversation avec mon médecin a eu des conséquences remarquables sur mon mode de vie:

  • je mange plus équilibré (pas dur de faire mieux que le régime pizzas)
  • je me déplace plus souvent à pied et je vais vendre ma voiture.
  • Sans rentrer dans tous les détails relatés dans la version anglaise de ce billet, mon médecin a réussi le tour de force de me motiver à faire quelques aménagements dans mon mode de vie, sans me culpabiliser (ce que je faisais déjà bien assez toute seule). J'ai pris conscience que ma mauvaise alimentation et mon manque d'exercice étaient probablement en train d'avoir un impact sur ma santé (physique et psychique), et qu'il n'était pas nécessaire de bouleverser complètement ma vie pour arranger un peu les choses.

    Côté nourriture, j'essaie vraiment de viser 3 repas et 2 collations par jour, avec 5 portions de fruits/légumes (pas si dur si on construit autour), de la viande ou du poisson une fois par jour, moins de féculents et moins de produits laitiers. En gros, les machins verts/rouges/jaunes, c'est la base. Ah oui, et du poisson 3 fois par semaine, c'est bien.

    Puis l'exercice... les fameuses 30 minutes par jour, ce n'est pas si dur si on décide d'aller à pied au centre-ville plutôt que de prendre la voiture ou le bus (Chauderon c'est à 20 minutes de chez moi). Du coup, ma voiture s'empoussière presque sur sa place de parc depuis un mois. J'ai décidé de la vendre, et l'argent ainsi économisé me permettra moult taxis et voitures Mobility...

This is the [long-overdue](http://twitter.com/stephtara/statuses/3927673) post about the groundbreaking chat I had with my doctor about a month ago.

I went through a rather rough patch in November/December. Those months are usually tough for me, but this year was particularly stressful and tiring. Of course, there were objective reasons for that: I started working for myself in the summer, burnt the candle from both ends during my first months of school-less freedom (yay! I can go to bed at 4am and not feel guilty about it!) and generally had a hard time saying no to clients’ requests even if it meant a packed agenda, because, hey, it was stuff I was excited to do **and** it was paying the bills. So yeah, I had every reason to be feeling tired. However, I was a bit concerned about the fact that I didn’t feel less tired even if I got more than enough sleep, and I decided to go to the doctor for a check-up, just in case I was “missing something” by putting the blame on my lifestyle as a freelance consultant.

After taking a blood test (I will now remember to systematically present the person holding the needle with my right arm, as the left one has non-cooperative vein) I sat at my doctor’s desk for a little chat. He asked me what was bringing me there, and I told him the story. He asked me how I was sleeping — not quite enough, but reasonably regular hours and overall good quality. He asked me how I was doing in the food department — and that’s where it suddenly got very interesting.

#### Food

**I’ve known for years that my eating habits are disastrous.** Diet based on pizza, bread, and cheese. Skipping meals. Not enough fruit or veggies. I used to joke about it and say my main source of vegetables was pizza. I’d evaluate my meat intake as roughly ok, but not enough fish — everybody knows you never eat enough fish, and I hardly ate any. The only thing I knew I was doing right was the fluids part: I drink a lot, and most of it (if not all) is tap water (healthier than bottled water around here). I hardly drink any alcohol at all and I don’t smoke.

I told my doctor I’d been gaining weight (it’s not so much the weight itself that bothers me than the fact I feel too tight in some of the clothes I love to wear them anymore), and that during the summer I had tried to eat more veggies, but my effort had collapsed after a few weeks when my life became too busy.

This is where my doctor earns extra bonus points and good karma. Without making me feel more guilty than I was about my unhealthy diet, he managed to encourage me to try and improve things in small steps by explaining to me in what way one’s diet influences general health and well-being, and walking me through a few simple, concrete things I could easily do to eat better.

**A balanced diet is the starting point for all the rest.** When your diet is unbalanced, before getting into the really nasty stuff that shows up in blood tests, you are going to suffer minor hormonal imbalance, for example. This can make you a little more tired, fall ill a little more easily, and introduce subtle imbalance in your neurotransmitter levels. Neurotransmitters? Whee. I had never given thought to the impact food I ate could have on the chemical balance of stuff in my brain, and therefore my mood and general psychological health.

So that would seem to say: “a healthy diet might help me be less tired and in better psychological health” — did I get that right, doc? Now that’s encouraging.

Then he pulled out a food pyramid from a recent presentation he had just given a bunch of professional dancers on nutrition. I’ve found quite a bunch of those pyramids online, but they all seem to be different (here [the closest match I found](http://www.prevention.ch/ima31304.jpg), so I’ll just tell you what I remember of the one he showed me and our discussion.

The bottom of the pyramid is fluids (non-alcoholic). I’m good with that one. The second floor, however, is veggies and fruit (five portions a day). Then cereals, pasta, bread… three portions. Meat/fish/eggs are on the fourth floor (once a day, fish three times a week), sitting next to dairy products (here’s the catch… I can’t remember if it was once or three times a day for those… I suspect once).

Three solid meals a day **and** two snacks is the way to go. Oh my god, how on earth do I squeeze **five** veggie/fruit portions in there (two of them raw)? It’s not that hard, actually:

– orange juice at breakfast = 1 portion
– those little Andros fruit mushes you can buy at Migros = 1 portion
– a fruit for snack = 1 portion (or 2, if I do two snacks)
– stick pizza in oven, [grab a fruit or two, peel, chop up](http://twitter.com/stephtara/statuses/4087943) and stick in a bowl for dessert = 1 potion (leaving them in the fruit basket doesn’t work, I won’t eat them)
– stick pizza in oven, grab a handful of pre-packaged fresh salad (Migros, Coop), add sliced tomato, sprinkle with a mix of pumpkin/sunflower/flax/sesame seeds (Migros), a little oil and vinegar = 1 portion with added [Omega-3](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-3_fatty_acid) bonus
– aubergine or other veggie sliced and steamed, add salt/lemon/whatever to taste = 1 portion (my best acquisition over the last year was my [Tefal Steam Cuisine](http://www.tefal.com/All+Products/Cooking+appliances/Steamers/Products/Steam+Cuisine+1000+Easy+Store/Steam+Cuisine+1000+Easy+Store.htm)– easy to use, great for fish, little washing-up after).

The trick is to think about eating as organised around the veggies. Before, I tended to have mono-meals: either a piece of meat, or some pasta, or a huge salad, or a pizza. Now, any of these things would *at least* be accompanied with a salad or fruit.

Three-minute salad One trick I’ve discovered for salads is to **not** prepare them in a salad bowl. It sounds silly, but one of the biggest hassles with food for me is the washing up. I have a bottle of balsamic vinegar which is made to be *sprayed* on things, so I just put the green things on a plate, spray them with balsamic vinegar and add a little oil. One possible result of this effortless process can be seen here in the photo.

Another trick (for fruit, particularly) is **not** to buy packages with 10 kiwis or 6 apples. If I buy two apples and put them in my fruit bowl, I’ll eat them. If I have 6 of them, that’s too much — and I won’t. I also noticed that so-called organic fruit, or simply fruit that you by individually, is more tasty.

Fish three times a week isn’t too difficult to achieve using the steamer (stick fish in steamer, cook five/eight minutes, yum!) — concentrate on the [Omega-3 rich ones](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-3_fatty_acid#Fish) like tuna/salmon/sardines. Fresh raw tuna is delicious too, but don’t [overestimate how much you can eat](http://twitter.com/stephtara/statuses/4209283).

One month later, I’m still happy with the improvements I’ve made to my diet. I have to say that the simple fact I “have this food thing under control” has taken away a lot of guilt and stress, and is in itself making me feel much, much better. Of course, it’s not perfect — but my experience with life tells me that striving for perfection is the best way to Not Get Things Done ™. I suspect I don’t usually get my three meals **and** two snacks each day. When I eat out, things go to the dogs (though I do now always order a salad with my pizza). I don’t think I get my five portions of veggie/fruit, it’s probably more around four. Well, you get the idea — but I’m headed in the right direction.

One thing I plan to do is to conjure up some kind of monitoring sheet where I can cross out my veggie portions, meat/fish consumption, meals etc. I tend to have very little awareness of what I’m doing/not doing — for example, I was totally incapable of answering many of my doctor’s questions on what I was/wasn’t eating. So writing it down would allow me to be aware of how regularly I skip meals, for example, or to notice if my fish consumption goes down to once a week or less. I’ll blog the document if I get around to doing it.

#### Exercise

Another painful chapter was opened when my doctor asked “so, what about physical exercise?”

Uh-oh.

What? But, don’t I, like, do [a helluvalot of judo](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/tags/judo)? What do I have to worry about exercise? Well, the “helluvalot” part might have been true ten years ago, when I was training 4-5 times a week, but for the last years, between things like [injuries](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2004/11/11/correction-cerebrale/), too much work, and [car accidents](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/tags/accident), it’s more around once a week on average over the year. And, let’s face it, with thirteen years of judo underneath my black belt, I can also go to training and not tire myself out if I’m feeling lazy or out of shape.

So, I need another source of exercise. Leading a [geeky lifestyle](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2006/12/13/ce-soir-scenes-de-menage/) is all very well, but even without being [addicted to the internet](http://www.stoweboyd.com/message/2006/10/internet_addict.html) (it might just be [technological overload](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/02/09/technological-overload-panel/)), one has to agree that sitting in front of a computer all day, many days a week, is not exactly physical exercise, and probably not what the human body was designed for. Specially when you’re working from home and you live alone — trips to the kitchen and the bathroom don’t really add up to very much.

First, as with food, motivation and encouragement: something like cutting the risk of developing breast, stomach or colon cancer by 50%, just by doing 30 minutes of exercise per day. Wow. There are a whole lot of other benefits on your health, of course, but this is the one that struck me. So, 30 minutes a day? Damn, that would mean I have to take “time off” to exercise.

In summer, I go rollerblading by the lake. It’s nice, it’s good exercise (an hour or so from university to Ouchy and back), but it’s not so great when it rains. I need something I can do whatever the weather, says my doctor. Hmmm. I don’t like swimming. Dancing counts, he tells me — I don’t really like dancing either. Walking is ok, if it’s a brisk walk and not a gentle stroll in Ouchy on a Sunday afternoon. Cycling is ideal, he adds, specially on an indoor bike. Well, I have a bit of a space problem — but as he says, it’s all a matter of me deciding how important it is. You can buy a kind of tripod that you can stick a real outdoor bike on to turn it into an indoor bike, so it’s not that expensive (150CHF). Unfortunately, I don’t already own a bicycle.

So I decided to give walking a try. [All the walking I did in San Francisco](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/01/12/im-really-liking-san-francisco/) certainly helped me take the plunge. Minimal duration for the walk to be worth anything is 10 minutes (so 3×10 minutes = 30 minutes, good!) [Café-Café](http://cafecafe.ch) rehearsals, my brother’s place, shopping, post office — all those are 10-15 minutes away. No more taking the car to go there. I tried walking down to town, without taking the bus. Gosh, Place Chauderon is only 20 minutes away! Café de l’Evêché, 30 minutes! That’s about as central as it gets. No more taking the car to go into town either. There’s a bus-stop a minute away from where I live if I’ve done enough walking for the day and don’t want to walk home. And overall, the [Lausanne bus system](http://www.t-l.ch/) is pretty good and can take you more or less anywhere in the city.

One added advantage of walking places is that it means longer commutes (OMG! who would want that!) and allows me to listen to podcasts on the way. I miss the singing-at-the-top-of-my-lungs sessions in the car somewhat, though. Longer commutes are also good because they force me to reduce the pace of my sometimes mad days — I can’t pack meetings or activities wall-to-wall in three different places in and around Lausanne because I think “it’ll just take me five minutes to get there”. I get breathing space, and I get alone-time (time spent on the computer blogging, IMing, Skypeing and IRCing does **not** count as alone-time).

#### Going No-Car

I was telling a friend all this during [LIFT’07](http://www.liftconference.com/2007/), and the fact that my as my car was now spending many a day sitting on my parking space I was certainly not going to get a bigger one, when he flat-out suggested that I sell my car. Yeah, but… I need it to go to my sister’s, to my dad’s, etc. “Rent a car when you need it.” Hmmm, why not, but rental agencies are at the station, which is quite far off… Anyway, I dismissed the idea and enjoyed the rest of the conference.

A few days later, the background process had worked its magic, and I ended up spending a fair amount of time on the [Mobility website](http://mobility.ch/pages/?dom=6), looking up prices and figuring out how it worked. Basically, it’s a web-based car rental service which allows you to book your car, open it with your magnetic card, use it and bring it back — without having to involve another human being. You can also [rent cars from AVIS and Hertz through them at a reduced rate](http://mobility.ch/pages/index.cfm?srv=cms&pg=&dom=6&prub=623&rub=754). And more importantly, they have cars **everywhere**. At the Migros where I usually do my shopping. At the Coop in Prilly. Down the road. Up the road. All within walking distance.

It made sense to have a car when I had to drive daily to Saint-Prex or Bussigny, which is not a practical journey by public transport from my place. But now that I’m not commuting regularly anymore… The amount of money I pour into the car sitting in that parking space could just as well be spent on taxis and rental cars and leave me with extra aeroplane budget.

Bottom line? I’ve taken a four-month Mobility trial subscription, and I’m selling my car for March 9th. I’m losing my license for a month on that date because of my car accident this summer — so it’s a good time.

Thanks for the nudge, [Stowe](http://stoweboyd.com/)! 😉

#### Wrap-Up

I don’t know how many people will have the courage to read through this horribly long post, so here’s a quick wrap-up of what I’ve effortlessly changed about a month ago, and kept up with. All because the importance of a reasonably balanced diet and regular exercise for my (mental and physical) health really sunk in.

– 3 meals a day, plus two snacks (I’m still working on turning my breakfast into a “meal”)
– 5 veggie/fruit portions a day — build the rest of the food around those
– fish 3 times a week if you manage, meat/fish/eggs once a day
– eating frozen or ready-made stuff isn’t disastrous, just add salad/fruit
– commute on foot — many distances aren’t that huge if you take the trouble to try
– if you don’t use your car regularly, it might be more economical to go cab/rental.

More important than the specifics, what’s to note here is a change of attitude. Details are important, of course, as they are often what’s needed to make an intention into Things That Happen (check out GTD again). But alone, they are not sufficient. In my case, it took a few months of feeling rather unwell, and the fact that my doctor **took the trouble** to talk to me about these issues, for me to realise (a) they were important (b) they were probably having an impact on my life right now and (c) I wanted to do something about them.

Today, instead of thinking “what do I feel like eating” or “do I want to go rollerblading/walking”, I think “where am I with my quota of veggies/exercise, and what do I need to eat/do to reach it”. I don’t do it in an obsessive way, mind you. It’s just that food and exercise have become goal-driven, and there are rather effortless things I can do to move towards a goal I find worthwhile — so I do them.

On the road to being healthier geeks!

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Je passe à Orange Maxima [en]

[fr] I've switched to a flat fee mobile phone subscription. A good investment for the money saved by cancelling my land line.

Voilà, c’est fait. Hier, j’ai appelé Orange (et on m’a répondu sans que je doive attendre) pour passer au nouveau plan tarifaire [Optima avec les trois numéros gratuits](http://www.orange.ch/priceplans/optima). Du coup, je suis allée jeter un oeil sur le site, et j’ai vu les conditions pour le plan tarifaire [Maxima](http://www.orange.ch/priceplans/maxima). En résumé:

– 89CHF/mois
– appels gratuits vers fixes et mobiles Orange, -.30/min pour les autres mobiles
– 0.15/sms, MMS option, option Travel Pro pour le roaming international
– remplacement du téléphone à tarif avantageux en cas de perte (en 24h en Suisse)
– 2Mb de données gratuites par mois (WAP, GPRS, UMTS), 2.50/Mb pour la suite.

Je trouve que c’est une bonne utilisation des 25CHF/mois économisés suite à la [résiliation de mon téléphone fixe](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2006/11/18/skype-mon-ordinateur-comme-centrale-telephonique/).

Si je décide de retourner à Optima, je peux le faire pour la fin de n’importe quel mois une fois les six premiers mois de mon contrat passés. Par contre, pour avoir droit à une offre pour un téléphone, je dois attendre juillet 2008… On dirait que je suis coincée avec mon [Nokia 6280](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2006/09/02/nokia-6280-compatible-mac/) pour encore un moment. Quoique, d’ici là, on aura tous des [iPhones](http://www.apple.com/iphone/)!

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Great Indian Food in Leeds [en]

[fr] Maliks Restaurant est un excellent endroit où manger de la nourriture indienne à Leeds.

Besides telling you about an excellent place to eat Indian food in Leeds, let me try my hand at using the [hReview plugin](http://www.aes.id.au/?page_id=28).

ew, it breaks. Maybe it doens’t like Markdown? help?


11 Merrion Way,
Leeds,
LS28BT,

+44-1132-246-8828

place

Best Indian food I’ve eaten since India!

Maliks outside

I went to Leeds Market this morning with my Dad, and we had decided to go and eat some Indian food. The places he remembered were (un)fortunately all closed, and we ended up having a meal at Maliks, just behind Merrion Centre.

Well, let me tell you — this is the best Indian food I’ve eaten since I came back from India! We chose the lunchtime buffet, a real deal at £6.95: two delicious starters (fish and tandoori chicken wings, really yummy), vegetables and two choices of meat which actually tasted like they’d been cooked in India. I ordered a naan to eat my meat with (extra but really worth it), and I wasn’t disappointed: huge and fluffy.

Maliks first floor 1

There were two choices of dessert included in the buffet: Rasmalai (perfect, not chewy at all) and rose-flavoured rice pudding.

Unlike most Indian restaurants which tend to be a bit dark and stuffy, the inside is modern and well-lit. It’s a nice change. I mean, “exotic Indian” interiors are nice the first few times you go and eat Indian food, but one can get fed up of them.

We talked a bit with the owner at the end of the meal. He told us they’d only just opened. I asked him if I could take a photo with him on it for my review. He also showed us upstairs — there’s a huge room there if you’re thinking “reception”.

More photos:

Maliks Restaurant in Leeds: here it is! Maliks Restaurant in Leeds: upper room Maliks Restaurant in Leeds: location

My rating: 5.0 stars
*****

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Constat d'ordre [fr]

[en] The weak link in the "keep kitchen clean" workflow is the bin. A full bin means I have to take it out to the container. That tends to not happen, and therefore various types of clutter tend to accumulate.

Le goulot d’étranglement dans le workflow qui maintient la cuisine propre, c’est la poubelle. Une poubelle pleine génère presque immanquablement une accumulation de “choses en attente” (soyons pudiques) sur les surfaces disponibles.

C’est une étape demandant un effort important, changer cette poubelle pleine: il faut la monter en haut du chemin pour la mettre au container.

Lamentable. M’en vais la sortir illico.

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Skype: mon ordinateur comme centrale téléphonique [fr]

[en] Get Skype. Get SkypeOut credit so that you can call normal phones. Get a SkypeIn number so that normal phones can call you, and cancel your landline if you're paying anything for it.

OSX people: if you're into podcasting or you need to keep track of things said to you over the phone, try Call Recorder and then buy it so that you'll get the free video call recorder upgrade when it comes out. Install Skype Caller to call and message people directly from your Address Book, and Skype beta 2.5 so that you can send those text messages. Actually, better than that if you're an Orange.ch customer: get the Orange.ch SMS dashboard widget so you can message for free.

J’ai [le cable](http://www.citycable.ch/modules/news/) depuis quelques jours. J’ai résilié l’ADSL.

Dans la foulée, j’ai payé 45.- CHF pour avoir [un numéro SkypeIn](http://www.skype.com/intl/fr/products/skypein/). 45.-, c’est la taxe annuelle. J’ai donc résilié mon abonnement Swisscom (25.- par mois? vous voulez rire?). Avis à la population: dès fin janvier mon numéro fixe actuel ne sera plus valable, et vous pourrez me joindre au 044 586 4274. (Attention: vous ne pouvez résilier votre ligne fixe et garder l’ADSL, c’est pour ça qu’il faut le câble!)

Oui, c’est ça, un numéro SkypeIn: un numéro de téléphone suisse où l’on peut me joindre depuis n’importe quel téléphone, mais que je reçois sur mon ordinateur. (On voit aussi tout de suite l’avantage: il me suit dans mes déplacements.) Bien sûr, il y a [une boîte vocale](http://www.skype.com/intl/fr/products/skypevoicemail/) — et comme c’est gratuit, je vous annonce déjà la bonne nouvelle: j’y écouterai mes messages bien plus consciencieusement que ceux sur ma boîte vocale mobile.

Ensuite, j’ai acheté pour 15.- CHF de crédit [SkypeOut](http://www.skype.com/intl/fr/products/skypeout/). C’est comme ça qu’on paie les appels sortants (on paie d’avance, et avec 15.-, on a environ 8-9 heures d’appels internationaux, suivant où on appelle). Précisons que pour appeler depuis son ordinateur vers un téléphone normal (donc avec SkypeOut) il n’est pas nécessaire d’avoir pris un numéro de téléphone Skype (SkypeIn). [Le compte gratuit suffit](http://www.skype.com/intl/fr/download/), tant qu’on achète du crédit (et au prix que ça coûte, on aurait tort de s’en priver).

En août 2005, Skype comptait [50 millions de noms d’utilisateur enregistrés](http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20050817/1359254_F.shtml).

Très joli tout ça, me direz-vous, mais il faut donc garder son ordinateur allumé en tous temps. Pas un problème pour moi puisque c’est déjà le cas, mais je comprends que nous ne vivons pas tous sur la même planète numérique. Rassurez-vous, il y a une solution (mais ça coûte un peu d’argent): [un téléphone Skype wifi](http://accessories.skype.com/item?SID=c008d82ac5175e3f77daba6ce2b2033d5d3:4530&sku=WSKP100PROMO). Un téléphone Skype, c’est comme un téléphone normal, sauf qu’au lieu de le brancher sur le réseau téléphonique à l’aide d’une prise, il se connecte sur le reseau téléphonique Skype via la connection internet. [La plupart des téléphones Skype](http://accessories.skype.com/section?SID=b1ed47f7536bba0cfd1064fc721b98bf48a:4530&secid=38893) se branchent sur l’ordinateur via la prise USB (donc il faut laisser son ordinateur allumé). Certains sont sans fil, d’autres avec (et là, franchement, à mon humble avis, autant utiliser un casque et avoir les mains libres).

Un [téléphone wifi](http://accessories.skype.com/landingpage?p=4530&page=wifi), par contre, se connecte tout seul à internet via une borne wifi (c’est ce qu’on utilise pour avoir internet “sans fil” à la maison). Le pack proposé par Skype contient même la borne wifi, si vous n’en avez pas. (Ensuite, côté argent, faites le calcul en regardant combien vous économiserez sur les frais d’abonnement Swisscom…)

Troisième étape: installé, testé et acheté [Call Recorder](http://www.ecamm.com/mac/callrecorder/), un petit utilitaire Skype qui permet d’enregistrer appels et messages vocaux. Très utile pour faire des interviews par Skype (il enregistre les deux côtés de la conversation sur des canaux séparés, ce qui facilite l’édition), ou pour retrouver des infos mal notées (instructions pour arriver quelque part, heure de rendez-vous, etc.). Ça sert aussi à se rendre compte (dans mon cas) à quel point son accent vaudois est fort (grands dieux!).

En plus, il enregistrera bientôt la vidéo, car Skype, c’est pas juste pour [la voix](http://www.skype.com/intl/fr/download/features/calling/), c’est pour l’image aussi — vous ne saviez pas? [Vidéophonie gratuite et sans frontières](http://www.skype.com/intl/fr/download/features/videocalling/), c’est plutôt cool, je trouve. Oh, puis ça permet de [chatter](http://www.skype.com/intl/fr/download/features/chat/), bien sûr. Bon, le plus simple, c’est que je vous aiguille sur [la liste des fonctionnalités de Skype](http://www.skype.com/intl/fr/download/features/). Parmi celles-ci, j’attire encore votre attention sur [l’envoi de SMS pour pas très cher](http://www.skype.com/intl/fr/products/skypesms/), car c’est plus sympa à taper avec un clavier qu’avec les touches du téléphone. Sur Mac, vous devrez [installer Skype beta 2.5](http://www.skype.com/download/skype/macosx/25beta.html) pour avoir accès à cette fonction.

Ah oui, j’oubliais: j’ai installé [Skype Caller](http://homepage.mac.com/timct/FileSharing26.html), un plugin gratuit pour le carnet d’adresses d’OSX et qui permet d’appeler directement les gens de votre répertoire depuis l’intérieur du carnet d’adresses (ctrl+click > Appel Skype). Ça permet aussi d’envoyer des SMS directement…

Côté SMS, j’ai encore plus intéressant que Skype (merci [Barzi](http://barzi.net/)). Si vous roulez avec OSX et que vous êtes client Orange, installez immédiatement le [widget Orange.ch SMS](http://studer.tv/projects-widgets.page). Il loge dans votre [Dashboard](http://www.apple.com/chfr/macosx/features/dashboard/) (la boule noire juste à côté de l’icône du Finder dans le Dock, que vous n’utilisez peut-être jamais — si vous êtes comme moi). Entrez les coordonnées de votre compte Orange.ch ([vérifiez sur le site d’Orange si vous n’êtes plus sûr des données](https://www.orange.ch/footer/login)), tapez le nom ou le prénom de la personne à laquelle vous voulez envoyer un SMS, cliquez sur l’icône “Carnet d’adresses” qui se trouve à côté, et le numéro de la personne s’affichera automatiquement dans le champ. Ne reste plus qu’à composer un SMS et à l’envoyer.

Que demande le peuple?

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ADSL, bits et bytes [fr]

[en] Don't confuse bits and bytes like me. 1B (Byte) = 8b (bits). A 2000Kb/s DSL connection will only download 250KB/s, and that's normal.

Je viens d’apprendre quelque chose. Je sais que j’ai une ligne ADSL “2000/100”, ce que j’ai toujours traduit dans ma tête comme “Deux Mégas par seconde en download, et 100 K par seconde en upload.”

Que non. Je suis en train de transférer des données de mon serveur en Allemagne sur mon ordinateur. Mon serveur en Allemagne a une grosse bande passante (enfin, relativement: 100Mbits/s). Assez pour saturer une ligne ADSL, en principe. J’étais donc un peu surprise de constater que la vitesse de téléchargement que m’indiquait ma machine tournait autour de 250KB/s. J’ouvre une deuxième connection sur un autre serveur, et la vitesse de la première chute à 130KB/s — la deuxième, je vous le donne en mille, tournant autour des 120KB/s.

**Mince, me dis-je. J’ai été trompée sur la marchandise!** Eh oui. Je m’attendais en effet à voir un total autour de 2MB/s.

“Encore une victime du marketing,” me dit [Patrick](http://gentooexperimental.org/~patrick/weblog/), avec qui j’avais partagé mon étonnement.

Une ligne de “2000”, c’est 2000K**bits**/s. La taille des fichiers sur mon disque dur, par contre, est mesurée en K**Bytes**. Bits. Bytes. **Pas la même unité.**

1B (Byte) = 8b (bits) *(pour se souvenir dans quel sens ça va, la grosse unité a droit au B majuscule)

Vous voyez où je veux en venir? On donne les vitesses des connections ADSL en *bits*, ça fait des nombres plus grands. 🙂 Du coup, cette confusion d’unités peut nous donner l’illusion que nos connections sont beaucoup plus rapides qu’elles ne le sont en réalité.

Donc, 2000K*bits*/seconde, cela veut dire en fait environ 250K*Bytes*/seconde (divisé par huit). Il faudra donc 4 secondes pour télécharger un fichier de 1MB (une grande photo par exemple, ou une minute de fichier mp3).

Alors voilà, ma connection ADSL marche très bien, mais elle est huit fois plus lente que ce que j’imaginais!

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