Dell's XPS Laptops with preinstalled Ubuntu

The other day Dell announced that their cute XPS M1330 can now be ordered with a pre-installed Ubuntu Linux, too. "Cool idea - that is", I though for myself in Yoda style. So I went to the Dell web-site in order to check if the thingy would fit into my budget. I was surprised about what I found at Dell's homepage.

Dissappearance of Reality and the Aura of the Original

While researching for and working on a new article here at Schloss Dagstuhl I stumbled upon a recent book of the SIG-GLUE group. The book is called "Affective and emotional aspects of human-computer interaction; game-based and innovative learning approaches". As the title already suggests, more than half of the papers published in it are about games and their effects on learning. Nevertheless, some articles deal with problems that are similar to those I research in my smart indicators project. In this book there is an article by Paechter and Schweizer in which the authors cite the work of Hartmut von Hentig. In the late eighties the author was following of a major philosophy and educational-philosophy trend of great technophobia. It is interesting in this context that many authors in that period refer that media and in particular digital technology that is used as media will cause a increasing virtualisation of life and a loss of or in case of von Hentig more difficulties of people to gain authentic real experiences. The concept of authentic real experiences is in art history, art theory, media theory and philosophy a direct reference to the works of Walter Benjamin mostly during the the first thrid of the 20th century. However, as a major misconception of Benjamin's work the loss of the "authentic real original" is nothing bad per-se but rather a way of distributing art, culture, and power.

Perl One-liners

The last days I enjoyed that perl can make little things on a computer so easy. In this posting I describe two one-liners for the dull jobs in life: removal of blank lines from a file and pretty print XML documents.