The Old Blog Archive, 2005-2009

Archive for January, 2006

“The World Is Flat”

Read Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat. Although Friedman tries the sell the idea (or rather, the slogan) that the world is becoming flat. I tend to see this book as an urge for American to maintain their own superior position in economy, using the means that they once used during the USSR was still there. It’s just that the Russians are replaced here with Indians and Chinese. Friedman seems to over sell too much that we have all already known (Dell’s supply chain and all those flashy-flashy IT bling-bling read soooo dull: we don’t really need an example that’s got repeated over and over again to make his point clear).

Friedman tends to oversimplify the geopolitical issues in the Middle East, and attributes the antagonism towards the developed world a kind of Nietzschean ressentiment (although he never mentions that notion) and in the end he calls for “hope, not looking back” (my paraphrase).

Friedman is a seller of optimism. According to him, imagination opens up a better world. But he fails to mention the worst case scenario. And alas, we all know that even the optimism is not always rosy. In this regard, Ulrich Beck’s What Is Globalization? (Was ist Globalisierung?) and Giddens’s Runaway World may serve a better, “balanced” and more profound reflection on the phenomenon that Friedman tries to repackage under another name.

OpenVanilla 0.7.2 (beta) Released

After six months of polishing and refactoring work, OpenVanilla 0.7.2 (beta) is released. There are two installation packages for 0.7.2-beta, the Base and the Extra. The Base consists of the OpenVanilla Loader and the Standard Set of Modules (including a number of popular Chinese input methods and output filters), whereas the Extra consists of many useful plug-in’s which extend OpenVanilla. Many of the modules in the Extra serve beyond East Asian languages.

Major improvements include:

  • A “Phrase Management Tools” saves repetitive text entry efforts and facilitates translation and many writing tasks.
  • Improved reliability and loading speed for the input methods generated by Generic Input Methods Module.
  • OpenVanilla is now a “Unicode” input method listed in the Input Menu tab (under the International settings within System Preferences). This makes inter-language text entry less confusing and more consistent for certain script-sensitive applications (such as Microsoft Word).
  • Customizable “input menu” icon.
  • Extra modules and data tables can be installed into special directories within your home directory now. No more need to fiddle with system folders.
  • Hanyu Pinyin and Wubizixing, two Simplified Chinese input methods, are make part of the Standard Set of Modules.
  • A collection of tools, such as Unicode IME and Unicode Decoder, are provided via an “Extra Pack” download package.
  • A pestering bug that disabled numeric keypad whenever OpenVanilla was in use has been fixed.

For more information (where to download, how to install, activate, or uninstall it), please refer to our official site at: , and yes, it’s in two languages. :)