Category Archives: English

Server Error 500, Tikiwiki 6.1 and XAMPP Lite 1.7.3

Synopsis: Getting Server Error 500’s trying to install Tikiwiki 6.1 on a Vista machine using XAMPP Lite 1.7.3

Specifics: The Tiki installer launch and I could enter all details about the database but when i clicked on the blue Install button I ended up with a Server Error 500.

Solution: Remove the .htaccess file from the folder containing the Tikiwiki code (e.i: c:/xamplite/htdocs/tiki-[version]/.htaccess)

Issues: You may need to put the .htaccess file back after the installation for security and functionality reasons – haven’t tried this though.

A Quarter Million Hungarians Can’t Pay Their Mortgage On Time

NOTE: I made a hughe translational error. It is supposed to be a quarter of a million and NOT 4 million as my original translation said. The error has been corrected below! Mea Culpa!!!

A report by Hungarian Financial Supervisory Authority claims that a quarter million mortgage payers are in trouble. I have translated an article form a Hungarian news site on this topic.

Some things to consider:

  • Hungary has a total population of 10 million people
  • 2.5% of the total population is late paying their mortgages
  • 1% of the total population is already 3 months behind in paying their mortgages
  • 1% of the total population have already re-negotiated their mortgages
  • A new law  forbidding any forced evictions until April 2011
  • Banks are being pressured to convert private loans taken in CHF to HUF, 15% below market value
  • The article concludes by de facto villainizing the banks for making profits while Hungarians can’t pay their mortgages

The original article, in Hungarian, can be found here

A quater million mortgage owners in trouble

Many people won’t be able to pay their debts on time even after re-negotiating their mortgages and the upcoming school-start will make life difficult for a number of families.

A quarter million mortgages are in trouble according to the Hungarian Financial Supervisory Authority. This is the number of people who are late with their payments.  Almost 100 000 of them are more than three months late with their mortgage payments. The financial institutions have already re-negotiated 130 000 mortgages but many will remain unable to pay on time even after the re-negotiations. The HFSA report warns about the significant weakening of the Hungarian Forint against the Swiss Franc in the second quarter which may lead to an increase in defaults.

The troubles of the debtors is somewhat lessened by the fact that the President has signed a law about legal enforcement whereby there will not be any forced evictions until April 15, 2010. Unfortunately the school-start will make things more difficult and even those who were able to pay on time this far may experience difficulties in August and September. A long term solution for them would be if they were able to convert their CHF debts to HUF using a favorable exchange rate.

According to our analysis, a conversion of the debts using a 170-180 CHF/HUF exchange rate would lead to a stabilization of the situation – says Mariann Lénárd, the head of the Victims of Bank Loans Union to Híradó [Hungarian News Chanel – transl. note].

Following the trends of previous years, the Hungarian banks are making significant profits – over ten billion HUF during the first quarter of this year. According to experts, these profits were not made on loans, but on government securities. The banks will be able to close the second quarter with profits as well although these profits are expected to be smaller since the weakening HUF exchange rate will increase their losses from loans.


World Bank opens it’s data-banks

The world bank opens up a special site with a Data Catalog which provides download access to over 2,000 indicators from World Bank data sources.

The World Bank’s Open Data initiative is intended to provide all users with access to World Bank data. The data catalog is a listing of available World Bank data sources. This listing will continue to be updated as additional data resources are added. These resources include databases, pre-formatted tables and reports. Each of the listings includes a description of the data source and a direct link to that source. Where possible, the databases are linked directly to a selection screen to allow users to select the countries, indicators, and years they would like to search. Those search results can be exported in different formats. Users can also choose to download the entire database directly from the catalog.

Visit the World Bank’s Open Data Center

Cybercrime Legislation – Setting the Score Straight

In an article published by the Swedish on-line edition of Computer Sweden, security expert Rik Ferguson from Trend Micro comments on the Mariposa bot-net and the fact that the guys running the bot-net are up for trial. Translated to English he is claimed to say the following in the article: “The men behind the bot-net were running it from Spain where it is not an illegal act”. He also calls for the need to harmonize legislation dealing with cybercrime and claims that the prosecutors have to prove that the perpetrators have stolen information as that is the (only) act that is criminalized in Spain.

Now, granted, I do not know what the Spanish regulations say about denial of service attacks carried out by bot-nets from Spain, but I would like to point to two pieces of legislation which are precisely the kind of harmonization attempts that he calls for and which (at least one of them at least) legally binds Spain to criminalize the crimes he describes.

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iPhone apps won’t launch

Just a quick fix for people who are experiencing that all of the sudden, without any warning, they can’t start their downloaded apps on their iPhone.

Here is what happens:
– you click on app
– app starts loading
– title screen for app is shown
– app doesn’t start but you end up on the Home screen

Here is the fix:
1. delete a free app that you may have on your phone (NOTE: it must be an app downloaded from AppStore – I don’t think apps from downloaded from Cydia or Rock will work).
2. download and install a free app from AppStore
3. launch the app you downloaded in step 2
4. try launching any other app that didn’t work before

You can try skipping step 1 above if you want.

I think that this problem only occurs on jailbroken iPhones and/or ones with pirated apps on it. Anyhoop, this fix worked on my jailbroken (but not SIM unlocked) 3G phone with OS 3.1.2.

Update on swine flu vaccine Pandemrix side effects in Sweden

The Swedish Medical Products Agency (MPA) released on November 12, 2009 an updated compilation regarding reported side effects of the A(H1N1) flu vaccine Pandemrix.

This compilation continues to detail allergic reactions along with neurological reactions. There is also reporting of side effects experienced by children who received the vaccination. The MPA recommends now that children with severe allergies or even children who have family members with sever allergies only receive vaccinations after consultation with a specialist.

There are still no evidence to indicate that the 8 people who have died a couple of days after taking the vaccine passed away because of taking the vaccination. These people were suffering from chronic diseases.

The original report in Swedish is available here

Read more for the translation of the whole article

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The swine flu situation in Sweden mid November 2009

Today, 12 November 2009, the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control (SMI [Swedish abbreviation]) released an update on the current situation with the A(H1N1) in the country.

According to the press release:

The activities of the new flu A(H1N1) continued to rise during week 45 [Nov. 2-8] and the number of cases verified by laboratories doubled again. During week 45, 1233 new cases of the new flu were reported to the SMI compared to 776 from week 44.

Almost all counties reported an increased number of cases compared to week 44. In total, 4133 cases of the new flu verified in laboratories have been reported in Sweden. In particular the reports have increased for children between the ages of 0-4 years. The number of cases in proportion to the population remained the highest in the county of Norrland. The spreading of the flu was less in the south eastern part of Sweden. The SMI estimates that 150 000 to 390 000 people have had the new flu in Sweden since week 38 [Oct. 14-20].

Medical treatment has been reported for 74 patients during week 45 with the below age distribution:
• Under 5 years: 18 people
• 5-14 years: 7 persons
• 15-39 years: 30 persons
• 40-65 years: 15 persons
• Over 65 years: 4 persons

According to estimates made by the SMI, the number of people in hospital are probably more than what have been reported.

The full report provides detail analysis and an official overview of the swine flu situation in Sweden during the first week of November 2009. It also provides a summary of the situation in other countries. You can read the full report under “Read More”

The original article, in Swedish, can be found here

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Update on swine flu vaccine Pandermix side effects in Sweden

The Swedish Medlical Products Agency (MPA) released on October 29, 2009 an updated compilation regarding reported side effects of the A(H1N1) flu vaccine Pandermix.

The only side effect that was “unexpected”, and unreported by Pandermix, is the allergic reactions that have occurred. Although the report only says that 1,4 million doses of the vaccine have been delivered to Sweden, not how many people have actually received the inoculation, a total of 500-600 side effects have been reported with symptoms ranging from head aches to deaths.

There were five reported deaths all together that may have been linked to the vaccine. The deceased persons were all between the ages 54-74 and suffering from chronic diseases.

The original report in Swedish is available here

Read more for the translation of the report.

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The truth about the Swine flu vaccine in Sweden

With more and more uncertainty, information and disinformation circulating about the A(H1Ni) virus, various vaccinations and various vaccination programs it is becoming increasingly difficult to figure out what is going on. The global media and various conspiracy sites will soon be jumping all over Sweden where one person has died soon after receiving inoculation for the Swine flu and several other people have reported various other side effects to the vaccine.

Under these circumstances, however, I find it important to document the facts of what have been happening, since there will be plenty half-assed blogs echoing tabloid articles without any research or analysis.

The Swedish Medical Products Agency (MPA) released an official update and compilation of the side effects of the Panadermix vaccine on October 22, 2009. In this post, I have translated the update from the MPA which, amongst others, details that the person who died was a man with serious heart conditions and previous organ failures. Not to be down played, however, are the severe flu like symptoms and reactions reported by several health care staff who have received the vaccine. These reactions have been reported in Swedish media but are not specifically mentioned in the MPA report.

Click on “Read More” for the full translation of the report.

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