Moved to Rackspace Cloud

A couple of days ago, I encountered a database corruption. One sentence: My access log grew so huge it took up 100% of the disk space; MySQL can no longer write the database files and a few tables got corrupted.

Okay I cheated on the one sentence.

Rackspace Cloud has similar build as Slicehost (my previous host). I moved a few of my blogs over. Currently Slicehost is like an expensive DNS server. That said, Rackspace Cloud is cheaper than Slicehost. Slicehost is a subsidiary of Rackspace. Well anyway, if you do like to use Rackspace and would like to make my day, use my referrer code ‘REF-KW’ without quotations. It gives me some rebate, I think.

Ubuntu Netbook drops OpenOffice in favor of Google Docs

Ubuntu Netbook remix is planned to remove OpenOffice.org and replace it with Google Docs. It’s an odd choice and it probably is some Google influence. Probably Google paid them or something.

According to the latest Ubuntu Netbook Remix Blueprint, the Ubuntu community have decided to drop OpenOffice from the default installation of Ubuntu Netbook Edition for the upcoming Lucid Lynx release, atleast for now. Now documents will be opened by default in Google Docs.

The developers have been removing applications that are irrelevant on a netbook. While document editing is clearly a not irrelevant on a netbook, the developers feel that with netbooks being used mostly for internet related works, Google Docs will suffice. (Source: Digitizor)

Honestly I hardly use OpenOffice in my netbook. The screen estate made it unsuitable for editing. If you still want OpenOffice.org, you can always download manually of course but I suspect most would probably stick with Google Docs.

Reading cuts stress levels by 68%

Reading helps keep stress down:

Reading is the best way to relax and even six minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds or 68%.

New research by consultancy Mindlab International at the University of Sussex says reading works better and faster than other methods to calm frazzled nerves such as listening to music, going for a walk or settling down with a cup of tea.

Listening to music reduced the levels by 61 per cent, have a cup of tea of coffee lowered them by 54 per cent and taking a walk by 42 per cent. Playing video games brought them down by 21 per cent from their highest level but still left the volunteers with heart rates above their starting point. (Source: Marie Claire)

I’ve been reading quite a bit these couple of months. What I feel is that reading from a book helps reduce stress much more than reading from the screen.

If you don’t like reading books typically, you may get humor books just to have a laugh. I have a book with only funny pictures — that worked too. I probably flipped through hundreds of times, each time looking at around 10 pictures. That seems to keep my stress level down. Whoever said “laughing is the best medicine” might just be right.

Start with a new email subject when the topic is different

I can’t emphasize more on not resurrecting old email conversations by just replying blindly. The following meant something:

RE: Request for inspection

It meant replying to the previous conversation regarding “Request for inspection”. If it’s not the same topic, start a new email message with a brand new title. Don’t be lazy, new email subjects are free too, please have fun with it. Finding mail has become a challenge recently.

Why I (sort of) stopped reading newspapers

Random note: Don’t buy newspapers, queue up at 7 a.m. and get it for free. And don’t bring home newspaper; disposing them is a hassle. Better yet, get news online and hug some trees at the park.

The amount of hassle involved in obtaining newspaper such is not that worth it if you think about it. How many times do you make an informed decision based on a news event? Hardly for me. I don’t mind getting my news one week late or view a consolidation of news since newspapers are a day late anyway.

My only issue with getting late news is that I end up missing out on the beginning since the news article report only the progression of the event; this makes the news article difficult to understand. I probably need something like a recap that typically isn’t available in newspaper. What I want is probably a news magazine and not a newspaper. We do not have localized news magazines like the fortnightly-published Newsweek.

Furthermore, newspaper reports can be bias; Singapore is ranked 147 out of 167 in the Annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index for 2004. In Singapore, since we only have one English non-tabloid newspaper, there is little competition on who can provide better news coverage. Also, there’s no way to see how objective a newspaper is if there is no other local newspaper to compare with.

These days, I just wait for local news to come to me.