Save the climate


Come in Francia, anche in Italia, grande mobilitazione dei cittadini contro il Cambiamento Climatico. Non è un’azione impegnativa e non ci costa nulla!
La data? 1 febbraio 2007

L’ALLEANZA PER IL PIANETA TERRA (gruppo francese di associazioni ambientaliste) lancia un appello semplice a tutti i cittadini del pianeta:
spegnete la luce il 1° febbraio 2007 ore 19.55 – 20.00
5 minuti per il nostro pianeta!
Non si tratta di economizzare l’elettricità, ma di attirare l’attenzione dei cittadini e dei media, sullo spreco di energia e l’urgenza di mettere nelle agende dei nostri politici le questioni ambientali. Il cambiamento climatico ci riguarda tutti, ma é un argomento purtroppo che sembra non importare molto !

Perché proprio il 1 febbraio?
E’ il giorno in cui verrà pubblicato il nuovo rapporto del gruppo di esperti climatici delle nazioni unite.
Questo evento avrà luogo in Francia: non bisogna lasciare passare questa occasione! Se riuscissimo veramente a partecipare tutti, questa azione avrà un reale peso mediatico e politico !

Fate circolare il più possibile questo appello intorno a voi !!

Sipura Dial Plan Wizard for Windows

The Dial Plan Wizard is a Windows software application that assists in creating new dial plans, verifying existing dial plans and testing the plans. It is also an excellent tool for learning how to construct dial plans. The wiz greatly automates the otherwise difficult and confusing tasks of dial plan crafting and testing.

A dial plan is a string of characters that is entered into Sipura VoIP devices to control the device’s dialing behaviors. It is only relevant to Sipura devices.

This is the first beta of the wiz. I believe it to have suprising and considerable functionality, well worth the download/setup/learning-curve efforts — if you are a dial plan person.

The wiz is written in VB.Net 2003. The download is quite large (8MB) due to the large database and perhaps .Net stuff. The zip file probably contains the .Net framework installation. Installation is quite simple and fast on systems that already have .Net. I don’t know the experience for systems that do not. XP is certainly recommended but I believe that 98+ will work too. XGA or better resolution recommended. Feedback needed.

Please download a copy of the wizard here.

Instructions, release notes, screen shots to follow. More testing is needed on:

1. Timeout handling especially P delay
2. Situations where there are multiple matches.
3. Handling of extra dialing digits.

Macro Substitution

When the wiz encounters a text bounded by plus signs (+), it will attempt to resolve the contents according the macro processing rules. First, it tries to resolve using the builtin macro list. The values for builtin macros come from the user’s selections in the lines grid. There are four builtin macros:

1. +modelcode+ resolves to the Sipura device code (SPA3000)
2. +line code+ resolves to the devices line name (line1, gw0, etc.)
3. +line type+ resolves to the type of line (FXO, FXS)
4. +provider+ resolves to the VoIP provdiers name (BroadVoice)
5. +country name+ resolves to the selected country name
6. +country code+ resolves to the selected country code (1 for US)
7. +area code+ resolves to the selected area code

If the macro is not one of the above, it will next try to resolve the macro using the Macro table in the database (Dial Plan Wizard.mdb). There are 25 macros currently in the database such as (+Fire+, +Police+, +City Code+, +6d+). The substitution for the macro name can be either a substitute string from the Substitution column, which can also contain macros. If the substitution string is null (empty), the Query column is used. The Query column must either be null or contain a valid SQL SELECT statement. The SELECT will then be invoked. If successful, the returned result will be scaned for additional macros. If the macro still cannot be resolved, the wiz will assume it really isn’t a macro and the string will be passed on to the parser unchanged.

Here’s a dial plan that uses macro substitution:

( 011,xx. | *xx | +directory assistance+ | +fire+ | +police+ | 0 | 00 | < : 1+area code+>[2-9]+6d | 1[2-9]xx[2-9]+6d )

+area code+ is a builtin macro that resolves to, say 312 (Chicago)
+directory assistance+ is 411
+fire+ is 911
+police+ is 911
+6d is xxxxxx

Note that +6d is not terminated by a trailing +. The rules permit the omission of a trailing + if the next character would be invalid as a macro name. A macro name consists of the letters A-Z, a-z, 0-9, spaces or an underscore.

Thus, the above dial plan would resolve to:

( 011,xx. | *xx | 411 | 911 | 0 | 00 | < : 1312 >[2-9]xxxxxx | 1[2-9]xx[2-9]xxxxxx )

+fire+ and +police+ macros are resolved by the SQL SELECT statements such as:

SELECT Fire FROM Countries WHERE [Country Name] = “+Country Name+”

This SQL statement says to look in the table named Countries, in the column named Country Name for the string “United States” and return the entry under the column “Fire”. Thus 911 is retrieved for the United States but perhaps 18 or something else for other countries.

The macro feature permits generalized default dial plans such as (+fire+ | +police+ | 1[2-9]+2d[2-9]+6d | [2-9]xx.) which perhaps will resolve to a usable dial plan for many countries. Macros are also used to specify selections for the database.

All of this macro stuff is very powerful provided the database is well contructed.

Default Dial Plan/Element Selection

The wiz grabs default data elements from the Data Element table and supplies them to the data element grid according to a simple rule. If an entry is blank or matches the user’s selected value, then that dial element will be included in the plan and thus will appear in the grid. Relevant columns are Line Type, Provider, Country Code, and Area Code. For example, if a row has a Country Code of 1 (United States) and an area code of 312 (Chicago), and that matches the user’s selection, then that dial element will be included. Examining the various tables in the database will make this all clearer.

This feature, along with the macro processor, and a well stocked database, can provide a user with a smartly choosen default dial plan immediately upon his selection of his provider, country and area code.

Source: Voxilla

Parallels Desktop for Mac build 3120

A must-have if your happy enough to own an Apple Intel machine. Look at the goodies:

There are a lot of features and enhancements introduced in this Release Candidate, such as:

  • NEW! USB 2.0 support – “Plug and play” popular USB devices like external hard drives, printers, scanners and USB 2.0 web cameras, and use them at full native speed.
    • NOTE! Current Build 3120 doesn’t support iSight and some other web cameras
  • NEW! Full-feature virtual CD/DVD drive – Burn CDs and DVDs directly in virtual machines, and play any copy-protected CD or DVD just like you would on a real PC
  • NEW! Coherence – The groundbreaking feature that lets you run Windows applications without seeing Windows just got better! Learn more about Coherence >>
  • NEW! Better Boot Camp support – Using your Boot Camp partition in Parallels Desktop is now easier than ever. RC’s Boot Camp support includes:
    • Full support for FAT32 and NTFS partitions
    • Easy offline configuration. Simply tell Parallels Desktop that you want to create a virtual machine from a Boot Camp Partition and click start. No complicated set up required!
    • No need to re-activate Windows each time you switch between Boot Camp and Parallels. Activate Windows only once inside Parallels and work in both environments
    • IMPORTANT! It is not possible to suspend a Virtual Machine that is connected to Boot Camp as it could result in an unstable system.
    • VERY IMPORTANT! Beta1 (build 3036) users must boot natively into Boot Camp and uninstall Parallels Tools for Boot Camp prior to running it in RC (build 3120).
  • NEW! Transporter RC bundled – migrate your real Windows PC, or existing VMware or Virtual PC VMs to Parallels virtual machines! Learn more about Transporter RC >>
    • IMPORTANT! Beta1 users MUST upgrade their Transporter package on their Windows source machine before using Transporter in RC. Failing to do so may result in a system crash and loss of data
  • NEW! Added keyboard remapping configuration
  • New Look and Feel – completely redesigned windows and easier to follow dialogues to make Desktop for Mac more user-friendly than ever
  • NEW! True “Drag and Drop” functionality – a long awaited feature that lets you seamlessly drag and drop files and folders from Windows to Mac OS X and vice versa. Parallels Desktop now shares the entire Mac file structure between OS X and Windows – no more worrying about which copy of the file is the most recently updated!
  • Read/Write Boot Camp partition – use your Apple Boot Camp Partition as a virtual HDD for Parallels Desktop for Mac
  • Virtual Machine Catalogue – now all of your virtual machines are available through a centralized VM catalogue which appears on each Parallels Desktop for Mac instance
  • One-click Virtual Machine Aliases – automatically create a desktop shortcut for your virtual machine with the OS Installation Assistant, by dragging-and-dropping from title bar, or by pressing Command-Option keys combination. Clicking on Alias automatically starts the Virtual Machine
  • Resizable Main Window – resize the Parallels Desktop for Mac main window as you do with any other Mac application
  • Auto-Adjusting Screen Resolution – Windows auto-adjusts its screen resolution to the actual main window size
  • Improved graphic performance – up to 50% faster!
  • Connect/disconnect USB devices schema improved – no more annoying “wait 5-10 seconds” message on USB device connecting to Parallels Desktop for Mac!
  • Up to 5 Virtual NICs – now each Virtual Machine can have up to five virtual network interfaces
  • Enhanced Shared Networking Mode – run Cisco VPN and many other complex networking applications in conjunction with Connection Sharing Mode
  • NEW! Lots of various fixes

Get it while you can: download and get your trial key here.

Apple Special Event on February 20

I’ve just got an anonymous tip from a source that indicates that Apple is planning a special event on February 20 to introduce Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), iLife ‘07 and iWork ‘07 as well as updated Mac Pros. Mac Pros will be available immediately with a free upgrade to 10.5 when it ships, and the ship date for 10.5 will be confirmed for 3/24/07 as they have been predicting for quite some time now. There is some speculation that we may see a week earlier or later for this event, depending on the status of Leopard, but this is the most likely date which is being planned (by this time, Leopard’s new interface will be complete and the OS will be finishing up testing). What better way to demo Leopard than with a brand new 8-core Mac Pro?

Many will remember that last year, not long after Macworld, Apple had a special event on February 28, 2006, to introduce new Intel Mac Minis and iPod HiFi.
The real question on everyone’s mind, however, is…

… will we see anything unexpected? Like an updated touchscreen iPod? Or perhaps a 12″ultra-portable Mac Book Pro? I continue to believe that it’s still going to be a little bit longer before we see either of those… NAB is coming up in April (the 14th-19th) and I’d peg updated Mac Book Pros at this event.

And then when will we see the full screen iPod and updated Mac Minis, iMacs, etc.? I don’t have any recon on that, so I’m not just going to make up something like some of the other guys would…if you have any ideas, sound off in the comments section below!