Riots in Tallinn

It has been a hectic few days since late Thursday when the riots in Tallinn broke out. I happened to be out of the country, returning on Friday and trying to get information myself on what is really going on (most of Estonian online news outlets were under heavy DDoS attacks originating from “friendly neighbors”) as well as responding to worrying friends and colleagues, especially from outside Europe.

Things have calmed down now a bit. Tallinn was under police control last night, it seems. Some action shifted (in a much smaller scale) to North-Eastern cities of Estonia, but nothing extreme there, I understand. So maybe it is time to think about what happened and what’s next.

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Pied á Terre

John D on Scallop sausages
Had a lovely romantic dinner at Pied á Terre on Charlotte street in London, a two Michelin star venue run by Shane Osborn. (Trivia fact: he apparently was the first Australian to ever receive a Michelin star recognition in 1999).
Everything from the apperative Apple Martini to the basics of how bread & butter are served was as perfect as the first time I was there about 6 months ago. Highly recommended. The menu on their website seems to be out of date a bit though, prepare for some (good) surprises when you go. And unless you feel really confident around the two hardcover books of wine lists (PDF-s available) I recommend letting the sommelier matching them by glass to each dish.
The top gourmet experience for me this time: scallop sausages served along the white fish pictured above.

Chef Risto’s Magic

We had a fabulous home cooking night with a group of friends, featuring Chef Risto at my place the other night. There was too much deliciousness going around to describe it all here, but a few ideas worth trying can be shared.

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Kaval ants või trikisipelgad?

Tricky ants or  Kaval Ants?
Midagi on suures Kaval-Antsu nimelise internetiaadressi leituamise hoos pisut sassi läinud. Inglisekeelse lugeja jaoks teevad hoopis sipelgad trikke (midagi kirbutsirkuse laadset?). Ja Ants võiks olla oma olemuselt pigem cunning, nagu rebane? Mitte, et Cunning Ants kuidagi mõistlikumalt kõlaks.
Silt Uniquestay hotelli hoovilt.

Esimene pimekohting, edukas

Tänane EBS Blind Date kujunes lustlikumaks, kui ette arvata oskasin.

Viieminutiline formaat korraga ühe või kahe tudengi küsimustele vastamiseks, ja nii kaks tundi järjest on päris intensiivne. Nii mõnigi tööpäev võib küll tunduda väga sarnane, aga tihedad koosolekute seeriad on alati ju vähemalt á 15-30 minuti pikkused. Ja töökoosolekul osalejad tunnevad enamasti teineteist, teavad arutatava ümber laiemat konteksti ja eesmärki (otsust, infovahetust), mida kohtumisega on vaja saavutada.

Pimekohtingul alustad nullist (kui välja arvata paar üksikut erakordselt hästi Skype, eBay, Ambient Sound Investments‘i jm osas informeeritud vestluspartnerit) ja lõpetad kellaga, mitte tulemusega. Aga siiski meeldis see mulle vist isegi rohkem kui tavapärased esineja-saali-ees-ja-paarsada-tagasihoidlikku-tudengit-kuulamas kokkupuuted ülikoolidega.

Päeva parim küsimus: “Te olete vist erakordselt laisk?”. Jätkuks mõttevahetusele teemal juhipoolne mikromanageerimine versus ülesannete ja vastutuse maksimaalne edasidelegeerimine oma meeskonnale. Hammustati minu sügav kallutatus teise varianti läbi nigu naksti.

Päeva keerukaim küsimus: “Kuidas motiveerida laotöötajaid?”.

Päeva igavaim dialoog: ebakonkreetne kompamine teema ümber, kas ma läksin üritusele töötajaid värbama. Ei läinud, see üritus tundus minu enda jaoks teistmoodi ja huvitav. Otsene kasu Skype jaoks on vähetõenäoline. Kompamise põhjus selgus aga vestluse lõpus, kus partner avas oma Postimehe reporteri identiteedi.

Wii + Finetune: Living Room Jukebox

Got a tip from our unofficial Wiitards of Skype multichat that accidentally solved a problem I’ve pondered about for years but never have really come around to solving: an online digital music library played on where it should – the proper hifi / home theatre setup in the living room.

There is a myriad of options. MediaCenter PC-s. Sonos. Airport Express and Apple TV. XBox360 streaming from a PC. And probably hundreds of niche solutions more. I just couldn’t choose and the issue didn’t hurt enough – I do have a few CDs I like.

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Web 2.0 Applications I Use

We were discussing various well-established and hot-out-of-the press web 2.0 (pardon the overused buzzword) applications and social networking sites each other actually use and like with a colleague. I came to think that there are more of them than I thought before listing them out. In no particular order:

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Some berries are blacker than others

After the recent odysseia of fixing my broken mobile communications I’ve now solved the written comms part as well. I’ve joined what some consider the forces of evil and landed on a BlackBerry 8800.

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Ponies as Gifts, Explained

“A Trojan Horse without any soldiers hiding inside is… just a gift” – Jaan Tallinn, 2007

Bye-bye Nokia E70

That’s it. I had enough.

Nokia E70 was a dream phone found for me:

  • Nice form factor, but still with a very usable QWERTY keyboard when folded open.
  • Almost a big enough screen with an excellent resolution (640×480 or VGA).
  • Camera with minimalistic feature set (but not bad quality at all, if you’ve been following the entries below) for moblogging.
  • Wifi.
  • Very good browsers, especially the HTML one with preview mode, but also OK for WAP.
  • Downloadable applications for Exchange mail & calendar sync, GMail and even Google Maps.

Now, about half a year later of quite normal use I’m sending it back to where I bought it. And will just throw it away if they don’t want it. I couldn’t give it as a gift or sell it on eBay unless I wanted to make some enemies:

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