Friday, 20 June 2008

Accident at the Barra Funda Metro Station

About two hours ago, there was an accident in São Paulo's Barra Funda Metro Station. I can't say I really know what happened, but it seems that an user (a women apparently) fell on the rails and was run by an incoming metro (or got some body part stuck between the platform and the incoming, most likely moving, train). Either way, by the actions of the metro agents, I would guess the victim has died from the accident (they where trying to make the rescue operations fast, and them clearly got stopped with the hurry, as if there wasn't anything that could be done anymore). Considering that the services where restored fast, without time to any kind of forensics, I would guess the victim's body wasn't too much lacerated; but all this are just speculation as I didn't see (nor wanted to) the accident scene.

I have seen some interesting things about the operations, though:

  • They seem to call this kind of accident of code A
  • All the medical stuff was behind a locked door. It took some time (at least one minute and a half) to one agent get there with the key, while there where already other agents waiting
  • Worst of all, one of security agents hit an user which tried to take a photo (or more specifically, the user's camera). Even if taking a photo in such circumstances might be of debatable taste, this reaction seems completely unacceptable in a free, democratic country which should mean people has press liberties to report whatever happens.
  • No news outlet seems to report this kind of accident; everything seems to be done in order to keep those hidden. This might support some theories I've heard that these are frequent.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Hardware failures...

The Bad:

When I got to work today, I've found our server (white box with Debian etch responsible for networking, files, printers, etc) powered off - most likely the UPS' battery didn't survive a power outage during the night. When I turned the server on I was greeted by all those nice lines telling me I had a hard disk problem.

The Ugly:

Instead off marking the disk showing the read errors as bad, the RAID stack (device mapper?) somehow concluded the "good" disk of the RAID 1 array wasn't synched and kicked it out...

The good

The bad sectors did take only some unimportant collectd status files with them. After some poking with dd trying to force the HD to redirect the bad sectors, the read errors vanished and the Reallocated Sector Count didn't increase according to smartctl, which seems like a good signal.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Book: The Servant

Last week I've got the portuguese translated version of the The Servant book (the title was adapted to O Monge e o Executivo, which would translate back to The Monk and the Executive).

The book brings a lot of principles which seem to be incredible useful to leading people on this new world, where the people aren't seem (or shouldn't be seem) as discardable, easily replaceable pawns. Even though it focus is on leading, some of the principles of the books can also be applied to more general relationships.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Manga: Karekano

Volumes: 21 (original size)
Rating: A
Strong points: Character depth, useful life lessons
Weak points: Drawing could be better, some times it's hard to identify the characters

Karekano is a classic series by Masami Tsuda, whose manga has been published in Brazil - one of the best ones, IMHO.

For those who don't know, it's a shoujo based on the history of Miyazawa, a girl who has always made everything to keep an apparency of "best student". She had no problems with this until she meets Arima, which not only shows to be a natural top-spot holder, but also ends up uncovering Miyazawa secrets (but also has its dark secrets).

The history goes around those two characters and their friends; what makes it a great manga is the depth to which each character is modeled. Even though it's all exaggerated for comic purposes, anyone who stops to think about the history will probably identify himself with some traits of the characters (and likely find out acting like that isn't really a good idea). To summarize in one line, it's a life lesson disfarced in a comedy.

For those who have watched the anime, the manga doesn't hold it's main flaw: There aren't big senseless retrospectives on every episode/volume. The history also goes on a lot after the place where the anime ends.

Highly recommended for shoujo or manga fans in general (and to those who throw their life concentrating only on studies and the other "serious" things).