Saturday, January 12, 2008

Open and Free Radicals

Online Etymology Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This
"deprive of civil or electoral privileges," 1644, from dis- + enfranchise. Earlier form was disfranchise (1467).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

When duly elected officials engage in politically expedient knee-jerk reactions like the endorsement of The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act then I have already been disenfranchised.

I believe this legislation has made the American Revolution illegal. This legislation has overturned the rights and privileges guaranteed by the framers of the Constitution. This legislation makes a mockery of the lives sacrificed by the women and men who fought and died to keep this nation free. This kind of politicized flip-flop-flappery only serves to debase this great nation further in the ethical and moral court of world opinion.

What is worse, much worse, is that by succumbing to such social paranoia in drafting this sort of legislation we have lost faith in the very democratic process that we hold so dear. When dissenting voices are suppressed either by the rule of "Law" or by violent means then we have become no better that the most petty despot.

History, and full prisons, have clearly shown that we can not legislate morality. It is laughable that our current political leadership somehow believes that they can legislate "faith" in this manner.

Save Democracy
The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

Friday, January 11, 2008

Open Coercion

This is a great analysis of the M$ vs. OLPC situation ...

  • It's a threat Microsoft can't let stand: the entire third world learning Linux as children, and growing up to use it. And Microsoft is going to get its way.
  • It comes after a sudden wave of SCO-like problems for the OLPC project. A specious patent lawsuit over keyboards. Board-member Intel thrown out of the project for attempting to convince national governments to drop OLPC purchases and go with its own (Windows) product. First, OLPC is shown what its problems will be if it doesn't cooperate with Microsoft. Then, Microsoft approaches with money and technical help - you just have to run Windows to get it.

    The move is presented as enabling choice. It starts out with a dual-boot capability, provided by Microsoft engineers. Not that any work by Microsoft was really needed, Open Source firmware that boots Microsoft operating systems has existed for ten years. Microsoft says they will issue guidelines, and start field trials this month. Dual-boot sounds harmless, but Microsoft's version of choice is better stated as we'll give you choice and then make you choose Microsoft. I'm sure there will be pressure on national governments to select Windows-only loads for their OLPC purchases, or to specify texts protected with Windows DRM for classroom use.

    Nobody can pretend that the world has ever been absent any choice to run Microsoft software, or that Microsoft must work with OLPC to increase choice. Microsoft operating systems are the only option offered with the vast majority of desktop and server computers. By refusing to tolerate hardware that runs another OS by default, Microsoft is working to reduce choice.

    Consider how good it might have been for the third world to have a computer infrasturcture they could support on their own, without any capital and technological drain to the United States. That's what they'll be losing. But that was never the goal of the OLPC project. It's meant to bring free e-Books to students, at a lower cost than their national governments could sustain. With OLPC based on all Free Software, it was likely that those books would have themselves been under similar licensing like Creative Content. Now, it is likely that third world students will be running DRM-locked textbooks that are only acessable under Windows.

    Nicholas Negroponte has always been willing to go where the wind blows: the original OLPC prototypes ran Debian, notable because it's produced by a public-benefit non-profit. Once Red Hat offered money and resources, Debian disappeared from the system. Now it's Red Hat's turn to disappear.

    The folks I have the most sympathy for are those students who might have been offered a way to take control of their own destiny, and make their nation self-sufficient for the IT infrastructure they need to participate in worldwide trade. Now, they'll get less. But I also feel sympathy for the many Open Source developers who participated in OLPC, and will now see their work discarded or perverted to support Microsoft.

    Bruce Perens

  • Open Bourdain

    An excellent interview with Anthony Bourdain

    anthony bourdain
    The well-traveled chef reflects on a life of eating and other excessive behavior.
    by Sean O'Neal

    Thursday, January 10, 2008

    Open and Shut ... Again!

    In my previous post RANT ( Open and Shut ... Picasa no es mi casa! ) I stirred up at least one hornet from the nest ... and the comment dialog with Dan Kegel isn't over yet.

    Then I found this ...

    Give Wine apps the look and feel of GNOME or KDE

    By Andrew Min on January 10, 2008 (4:00:00 PM)
    Wine allows users to run Windows programs natively under Linux without paying a dime. However, there's a tiny problem: programs running in Wine don't look so great. They don't even try to fit into your native GNOME or KDE color scheme or use your preferred fonts. You could use a Windows theme, but themes make Wine run extremely slowly. Luckily, with a little configuration editing, it's easy to make Wine applications look at lot more like the rest of the apps on your desktop.
    My comment at, reposted here sums up my feelings....
    NO NO NO ...This is WRONG! Port applications to Linux. Do not foster the illusion that it is in any way appropriate to _make do_ with Microsoft apps in a Linux environment.
    ...and PLEASE, don't ever call them "Wine apps" again... What an insult to Wine!

    Wednesday, January 09, 2008

    Open Contradictions

    Nicholas Negroponte is skating on very thin ice. Even suggesting that OLPC should get into bed with Microsoft will have far reaching (detrimental) effects in the world of Open Source development. reported ...

    Reactions to the story this morning on the OLPC developers channel on ranged from shock to anger, with one developer saying that it is "utter crap, and is exactly the opposite of why I support this project."
    Notice the very carefully chosen words, "...why I support this project." My bet is that they were spoken by an individual who has donated his/her time to the OLPC project. Negroponte is risking future projects by debasing the value of donated time.

    Personal experience tells me that many people will make personal sacrifices (donations) that no amount of money can buy. The value to the giver of such a donation is in contributing to a project that has social value and has integrity. If the giver believes that the integrity of a project is compromised then their personal sacrifice or donation is compromised.

    Watch out for the old maxim: "Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me!"

    If Negroponte burns the contributions for this project who will step up for the next one?

    Open Countdown

    The Time is Now: Countdown Begins on 12.12.07



    Today, December 12, 2007, to mark the start of official negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiation teams, OneVoice is starting the countdown for 365 days of civic action toward a two state solution - one year of holding ourselves – the international community and our elected representatives accountable.

    Last month in Annapolis, Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas agreed "to engage in vigorous, ongoing and continuous negotiations ... [and] make every effort to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008." And OneVoice was there too in support of the leadership.

    OneVoice supports the serious steps that Abbas and Olmert are taking to negotiate a mutually-acceptable two state solution, guaranteeing a viable independent Palestinian state at peace with Israel. And we are pledging to put our support behind them as they start this difficult process.

    To remind all citizens of their duty to support the process, on December 12, 2007 OneVoice launched 11 digital screens – 5 in Ramallah and 6 in Tel Aviv – displaying countdown clocks set for a one year: one year to achieve a comprehensive two state agreement, one year to end the violence and end the conflict ... one year for citizens to take a stand in support of the process.

    OneVoice is simultaneously launching countdown clocks online, as a representation within the international community that we are holding ourselves, and our leaders who took part in the Annapolis conference, accountable to playing our part in this process.

    We all too often speak about the failures of leadership. But we too have a responsibility to do our part. We are launching a countdown clock to remind ourselves that over the next year until December 12 , 2008
    we must consider: What are WE willing to do to help end the conflict?

    Countdown with us – ways you can be involved:

    The OneVoice Teams

    You are subscribed to PeaceWorks Foundation's OneVoice Movement Update List.

    For removal requests click here or e-mail: and specify Unsubscribe in the subject line.

    Open Grammar

    Seems that proper grammar may not always be your friend...

    From Barbados offers ...

    A co-worker pointed out this paragraph from the Nation’s election coverage today.

    There is a claim that a third of our water supply is stool-contaminated and it comes from Patricia Inniss, the Democratic Labour Party’s candidate for St. Michael North East.

    Open Home

    A New Home for the Elephant God


    Near Imbi market we're alerted to an auspicious Indian occasion by the presence of hanging decorations made from coconut leaves. A new shrine to Ganesha, the Hindu elephant god, remover of all obstacles, is being conscecrated by a priest (in black) and his assistant.

    I am taken with the importance of food in the dedication of a shrine.

    Eat when you are hungry
    sleep when you are tired
    chop wood
    carry water

    Open and Shut - Picasa no es mi casa!

    There is only one reason in my mind for making Wine* a pre-requisite for a Linux application - the Picasa program is not written for Linux! This approach to application development for Linux is up-side-down and backwards. In my simple view it is kowtowing to Windows while paying lip service to Linux.

    Note to Google: Either support Linux or don't but do not insult us.

    * Wine is not the villan or the problem here. Wine in an exceptional program suite designed to meet a very specific need - access and integration into a Windows networking environment.

    Ok, now Papa you have really stepped in a pile of doo-doo this time... What about all the real Linux users that just want to use a Microsoft application (without having to have a complete Windows system)???

    THIS IS MY POINT EXACTLY!!! Instead of properly developing programs and applications for Linux we are relegated to second-class citizen status - stuffed inside a Microsoft box.

    Let my software go!

    [Follow-up - Added 01/10/08 in response to comments.]

    About Picasa for Linux

    So, how does it work? Picasa for Linux runs the current Windows version of Picasa using a carefully tested version of Wine, an open-source implementation of the Windows application-programming interface (API). Wine runs on top of the X Window System and Linux or Unix. But it’s not a Windows emulator; instead, it provides a Windows API middleware layer that enables Windows programs to run on Linux without the slowing effects of OS emulation or a virtual machine.

    Tuesday, January 08, 2008

    Monday, January 07, 2008

    Open to serious review

    I used to take politics, seriously...

    ...then my mom made me put them back.

    Open Mouth, insert foot

    I owe Doug Alder an apology. Doug left a perfectly correct comment on my Papa Predictions for 2008 posting. In it he observed, "I think you must have missed MS' decision to not charge any licensing fees for server 2008..." He is absolutely right. I missed that bit of news. (More on that elsewhere.)

    Doug also mentioned that "Your comment form does not appear to give me a place to put my url when signing in using my gmail account - it is             "

    Now this is a really serious matter. Apparently the comment form strips out e-mail addresses as well(?). This is not boding well for Google.

    All that aside, Doug Alder has been and continues to be a long-standing member of the blogging community. I am sorry for suggesting anything to the contrary.

    Sunday, January 06, 2008

    Open Notation

    Length: 38:20 - Longish but worth it.
    This is something akin to landing on the moon. Its potential is huge but I won't be using it in my kitchen anytime soon. Still it represents a noteworthy paradigm shift in thinking about programming.

    Actual video removed - click here to view it. Subtext

    (It was taking too long to load the entire video each time you visit this page.)

    Open Snow

    This reminds me so much of Battle Creek Michigan...


    Click on the picture to go on an adventure.

    Click here for a clue to the location ( Iran:Frozen Tehran in Photos )

    Open Popularity

    I read the following quote and was unsettled...

    Kenya: Deep lessons for South Africa

    THE events of the last two weeks in Kenya have exposed just how fragile democracy is when it does not enjoy the protection of a country’s political leadership.

    I am unsettled because I believe the onus of responsibility lays not on the political leadership but on the people. I contend that we are the keepers of our democracy, not our leaders. If we as a people do not agree with our leaders then it is our democratic responsibility to 'vote the bums out of office.' If, through a democratic process, we do not then the conclusion must be drawn that we accept a given leader.

    If a leader assumes power through a means other than the democratic process then it is our, the people's, responsibility to address the matter. Social unrest, as seen in Kenya, is an indicator that the democratic process is still just that, in process.

    I believe that the author and publication above are confusing democracy with economic stability. I believe a more apt observation might be, "THE events of the last two weeks in Kenya have exposed just how fragile an economy is when it does not enjoy the protection of a country’s political leadership."

    Open Polarity

    In a bi-polar paradigm...

    Ya'll are on one side or the other...

    pro or con
    republican or democrat
    left or right
    south or north
    east coast or west coast

    right or wrong

    ... you is either fer us or agin us...
    so make up yer mind!
    C'mon mister ya'll gotta choose 'r it don' mean nothin'.

    Which bi-polar side are you on?

    Open Celebration

    Mass in church marks Armenian Christmas

    January 5th, 2008 by anush

    On the evening of 5 January each year a special mass is conducted in Armenian churches to mark Christmas.

    Lots of visitors are here on this day. Most of them come not to hear the mass but to light a candle and take it home, which is the tradition.

    The real meaning of taking a light home, which is having it in your heart and taking it home, comes true after staying here for a couple of hours.

    . . .