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Fire in the Middle East

While Erga and I were planning to leave the war crazed country where the instigators of the massacres in Gaza are hailed by very large parts of the population I found out that Chen, a friend of mine from my time at the Conservatory in the Hague was living in Haifa. So we made a slight detour. We first visited Erga's 90 year old grandmother who lives in Netanya to drop off some stuff. Very warm and cozy. The next day we tried to hitch to Haifa, but it turned out the worst hitchhiking experience in Israel so far.

Something new is possible for the first time in thousands of years

It always makes me happy to hear from Joe.  He wrote something new: How mobile phones can replace a broken economy: The Mobile Manifesto:
When we talk about trouble with the economy, we’ve been overlooking an astounding opportunity. Something new is possible for the first time in thousands of years.

International Cost of Living Index Wiki - Blocked Again?

Through Hitchwiki.org I found wikicostofliving.org. From the Main Page: "Wiki Cost of Living is the world´s most up-to-date international price comparison index thanks to people like you. You can edit any page right now." So cool, I created an account, made an edit.

Some questions and answers

> Hope you are doing fine... At the outset, I am V Kumara Swamy, a journalist > with The Telegraph, Calcutta, India... I am doing a story on the concept of > couch surfing and your friend Thomas Goorden recommended your name while > responding to my queries on the same.

Alta - Helsinki - Tallinn - Riga

Sorry about all the detail.  The last post has been a while now and I want to write it down while it's fresh. I can always rewrite it later when I'll work on my book. We tried leaving Alta for Tromso, but after 2,5 hours of a lot of cars and none stopping we decided to just head south.  It took another 1,5 hour before someone stopped. For the shortest ride of our trip, 2 km only, but it was encouraging, especially thanks to the strawberries we got from the young woman who picked us up.

Amsterdam - Hamburg - Stockholm

We left Amsterdam last Friday, after 15:00 or so.  It took 50 minutes or so to leave Amsterdam at the liftershalte (which is also the longest wait of this trip!). We arrived at Julien's front door in Hamburg right in time for dinner. The third ride was great, a Danish managing director of 7 companies was happy to take us from the parking spot close to Osnabrueck.

The RoomWare Project

Saturday I went to visit a meet-up of Project Roomware:
The Roomware Project is an open-source framework for interactive spaces. It allows developers of multiple origins to enhance any venue or event using technologies such as BlueTooth and RFID. "Roomware" is an application running in a defined space.

Last.fm social music revolution

I signed up at Last.fm in 2005. I never really used it a lot. Until recently, when I got slightly bored by soma.fm (still great though!). I found out Last.fm is streaming tons of music. A bit like pandora.com, but way better. And it seems they have everything, ranging from Aphex Twin, to the Beatles, your local punk band, Ravi Shankar, Stockhausen, anything. It can give you recommendations, or you listen to a tag radio (try gypsy, 303, amsterdam, whatever).

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