Beauty in the sorrow

I don’t care about baseball. I actively dislike ESPN – though not enough to give up The Sports Guy. But there’s something a little bit poignant in the emotions being expressed by these Red Sox fans. Sports is not important, but perhaps because they are not important we are able to express ourselves freely about how they make us feel.

Pure Halloween evil

The so-called Halloween document makes for some fascinating reading, especially where it is annotated by open source advocates. I found the following section to be very interesting, considering that I had independently come to the conclusion that Microsoft is a force working against freedom of choice and human liberty. As described by the annotator, it was written by a Microsoft staff engineer “with contributions, endorsements, and reviews by two Program Managers, the Senior Vice President in charge of NT development, and two members of the eight-person Executive Committee (Microsoft’s Politburo, answering only to Bill Gates).”

After reading it, you’ll probably conclude two things: a) I’m glad I migrated / I really should migrate to Linux; b) Politburo is really an apt appellation.

One of the most interesting implications of viable OSS ecosystems is long-term credibility.

Long-Term Credibility Defined

Long term credibility exists if there is no way you can be driven out of business in the near term. This forces change in how competitors deal with you.

{ TN comments: Note the terminology used here “driven out of business”. MS believes that putting other companies out of business is not merely “collateral damage” — a byproduct of selling better stuff — but rather, a direct business goal. To put this in perspective, economic theory and the typical honest, customer-oriented businessperson will think of business as a stock-car race — the fastest car with the most skillful driver wins. Microsoft views business as a demolition derby — you knock out as many competitors as possible, and try to maneuver things so that your competitors wipe each other out and thereby eliminate themselves. In a stock car race there are many finishers and thus many drivers get a paycheck. In a demolition derby there is just one survivor. Can you see why “Microsoft” and “freedom of choice” are absolutely in two different universes? }

apt-get for Redhat

apt-get is a very useful Debian application, which is often cited as the reason that Debian’s installation tends to the crude side – not much point in polishing it up when it’s so easy to get everything configured after the fact with apt-get. Apt-get has been ported to Redhat Linux, and in combination with synaptic, provides the Redhat user with a graphical apt-get. It’s rather like Red Carpet, only with far more RPMs to choose from. This download is a no-brainer – I’ll have to add it to yesterday’s installation guide.

I’ve found the combination of apt-get and synaptic to be very useful, in part because they tell me what some of these random applications on my system actually do. I just used it to download XMAME, for which I already have all of the necessary roms to transform my Linux machine into a full-blown arcade. Wocka-wocka-wocka!

Sure you can!

“You can’t explain a 12 percent decline in men 18 to 34 or close to 20 percent in men 18 to 24 by saying they’re playing a lot more video games,” said David F. Poltrack, the executive vice president for research at CBS.”

I don’t watch much television. There’s only one of my friends who watches television with any degree of regularity, except for the NFL, of course. Why would any guy waste his time on vegging out in front of the TV, when it is a) stupid, b) boring, c) broken up into five-minute segments and d) propagandistic. The Internet, computer games and video games are all significantly more entertaining and interesting. Not to mention books. I think it’s amusing that the networks try to cram homosexuality and feminist indoctrination down our throats, then are surprised when guys shrug their shoulders, say ‘forget that’ and hit the off button.

We’re guys, after all. We don’t make a scene. We don’t throw hissy fits and protest marches. We just go away.

Flaky little machine

My Alphasmart Dana died yesterday. Repeatedly turning off on her own, she couldn’t recognize her SD card for a minute there before conking out altogether. She’s too flaky to even stay dead, though, as a hardware reset and hotsync – Kardorto – has restored her to seeming full health. I get the feeling that she was protesting my repeated attempts to sync her under Linux.

It’s okay, baby… it’s okay. If you want Windows, you can stick with Windows… for now. In keeping with the theme, I’m reading Copeland’s Microserfs on her now. Isilo is a little disappointing, as it doesn’t jump pages as inobtrusively as Palm Reader, so I switched back to Palm Reader.

You have to love a device with 30 hours of battery life, a wide-screen and a full keyboard. Great for reading in bed and writing on the go.

Missing the point

She’s a lovely woman, and a bright one, but Michelle Malkin completely misses the point. Grover Norquist’s pro-growth, anti-tax Republican credentials are pretty close to impeccable. The fact that Mr. Norquist is keeping company with the likes of Alec Baldwin and the left-wing People for the American Way does not mean that he is a closet leftist. Just as a stopped clock is right twice a day, these quasi-sentient socialists are right, for once, to oppose the Patriot Act and some of the ways in which the Justice Department is handling its “terrorist” investigations. You would think that the unusual fact that Mr. Norquist sees fit to join forces with these polar opposites on this particular issue should cause Michelle to reconsider her opinion, not leap to kick Norquist out of the Republican party.

Like Mrs. Malkin, National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, of whom I am a fan, defends the Patriot Act because none of its intrusive aspects have been invoked yet: “This would even be defensible if there were one iota, one scintilla (is a scintilla smaller than an iota?) of evidence that the Patriot Act has been abused. But there hasn’t been a single allegation of abuse of the Patriot Act that has survived judicial or any other reasonable scrutiny.”

This analysis is disturbing, as it seems that some on the Right are now beginning to develop the same historical amnesia that pervades the mainstream media. This fact that the Patriot Act is being unused is nevertheless absolutely in keeping with the history of many other cancerous laws, which are passed and kept in the scabbard for a while, only to be unsheathed later when people are accustomed to the concept and the political protests have lost their steam. No one was concerned about the income tax in 1913 because it did not affect anyone that anyone knew – but everybody sure knows about it now. The reasonable person should assume that those dangerous provisions are in the Patriot Act because there are plans to use them in the future, not that they are harmless because they have not been used yet.

The Patriot Act and the IAO are constitutional abominations. The War on Terror is being used exactly in the same way that the War on Drugs has been used for decades – to provide the federal government with the ability to infringe upon the liberty of the American people. Your house can get stormed with a no-knock raid if an anonymous telephone call accuses you of the wrong sort of botany project, and soon the same thing will be the case if you happen to visit the wrong web sites or use dangerous terminology in your emails. Echelon is still out there transcribing American faxes, emails and telephone calls, after all.

I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that the same so-called conservatives who support the latter also support the former now. As for me, I’ll consider taking the federal government’s commitment to fighting “terror” seriously when it stops cuddling up to the Saudis, begins deporting illegal aliens, refuses entry to the citizens of all terrorist states and cuts off funding to the godfather of terrorism, Yasser Arafat.