Has takes some incredible pictures of Iran
I am William "Papa" Meloney and I endorse this message.
Posted by William Meloney at 6:51 AM
from Global Voices Online by Sami Ben Gharbia
In Saudi Arabia, there is no guarantee that you won't be arrested because of your frankness and speaking your mind on your blog.
Posted by William Meloney at 6:33 AM
This isn't a conflict...
I caught myself typing the title of this post as 'Linux vs. Microsoft' and I realized that "vs." is the real problem. Somewhere along the line somebody insisted that Linux and Microsoft were in competition. Now it is easy to understand how this might have come about. I have certainly contributed many glowing Linux endorsements and many vitriolic slams against Microsoft. From my rhetoric alone it would be easy to assume some gladiatorial Life-to-the-Victorious Death-to-the-Vanquished drama being played out in the coliseum of world PC computing.
After long reflection and introspection I have come to realize that the battle, the 'vs.' just isn't so. Oh, I will not dismiss certain interested parties and passionate extremists their claims. I will say that when I shed the purple rhetoric and reflect on the reality of my situation I can say that there is no battle. Alas, there are only casualties.
Allow me to lay out the terrain of this non-battle.
Through all of my experience in PC computing runs the thread of Microsoft. I was able to parlay an interest in PCs into a career and a profession as an Information Systems Manager. I have seen the business computing environment evolve from Win3.x and Novell to XP-Pro and Server2003. Windows is a business reality.
A little more than a decade ago I became interested in Linux, Slackware 4.1 to be exact. Alone in this mid-western wilderness I struggled. A user group, if there were any, was 1-3 hours away. So I was content to find my way through How-To's and man pages alone. As I progressed I came to realize a very important fact - in those early months and years of struggling with Linux I learned more about computers and computing than I had in the previous decade.
My point is that I wear two hats. My business hat is decidedly Microsoft. My PC hat is Slackware Linux. I am bi-lingual if you will. I am comfortable in each camp. I recognize the merit of each Operating System and computing environment. But it was not always so clearly delineated. As I have ashamedly acknowledge elsewhere I spent my first 18 months trying to bend Linux into some sort of Windows replacement (Ah, the heady days of new wine. - Sorry, geek joke.) It was then that I first realized the linguistic and almost Jungian collective-consciousness connection between PC computing and Microsoft Windows.
This morning I read a rather pointed criticism of Open Source Software (OSS). This particular article was speaking to the viability of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) and its dependence on OSS. The future of OLPC seems to be drawn into question because of the functionality of OSS. In short the article observes that OSS is not Windows and as such OLPC will either fail or have to adopt a Windows solution to survive.
Now we see that OLPC may switch to Windows XP, as Negroponte says that the open source Sugar GUI on the Linux-based OLPC is inferior in several ways, including being able to run the Flash files common to educational Web sites.
Negroponte is right to move away from the utopian vision that led OLPC to an all-open-source-based approach. Kudos for trying, but the OLPC experience shows that good intentions don't necessarily lead to good software.
Look how long the concept of desktop Linux has been around: a decade. Now look at how few desktop Linux PCs there are. Red Hat and Novell have pulled away from the consumer-oriented desktop Linux development, leaving Ubuntu to cheer on the cause to its small clique.
With all the antipathy toward Microsoft over the years, you'd think the open source community could have developed a credible desktop OS and related application stack during the past decade. But it has not.
Before going any further I feel it is imperative to acknowledge how emotionally charged the OLPC issue is separate from the Linux (OSS) & Windows issue. I don't believe that anyone is really against the OLPC initiative. That young people everywhere should have access to affordable computing infrastructure is laudable.
I believe the real issue is value.
Posted by William Meloney at 2:46 PM
I have to admit that The Mesh appears appealing. Having access to all my files, any where I am seems like a great idea ... except for a couple of wee small issues.
#1: Microsoft has all your stuff!!!
So, when I say "all your stuff" I mean ALL YOUR STUFF. All your stuff are belong to Microsoft.
Now this is certainly of little concern to Aunt Jane and her recipe for stuffed cabbage. But what of the road warrior? Innocently 'uploading' the sales presentation for the pitch to Acme Corporation to the Mesh. Or that conscientious administrative assistant who 'uploads' that spreadsheet to the Mesh so she can finish working on it over the weekend. That spreadsheet detailing the coming lay-offs and resultant savings in wages and salaries.
"I'd like to listen to my music at work, just like I do at home."
The Microsoft Mesh becomes the largest repository of ripped music on the planet. I bet that RIAA is preparing subpoenas as I type.
#2: You have to use Microsoft's sub-standard products to access your stuff.
Sadly, this is the most insidious aspect of the appealing Microsoft Mesh. This is just one more in a very long litany of ploys to lock unsuspecting users into the family of Microsoft substandard products. Just like a drug dealer offering the first "high" for free - the intent is to addict the user. Make them dependent. Make them climb into the "box" then convinces them that as mediocre as it is there is nothing better out side. All the while making them pay for the privilege of being an addict.
Could this be Microsoft's new business philosophy?
"There is a sucker born every minute."
Posted by William Meloney at 1:53 AM
Until just recently I had been committing suicide very slowly . . . by bacon. Bacon & Eggs, Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato, Triple Bacon Cheeseburger, Bacon wrapped shrimp, Bacon wrapped scallops, Bacon wrapped ... anything. Oh, and did I mention an all time personal favorite, Grilled Bacon and Peanutbutter sandwich - it is to die for... er, literally.
My cardiologist would be the first to confirm my self-destructive tendency. His assertion is that consumption of excessive amounts of animal fat, tri-glycerides and sodium would have just such an effect; Death. Slow death by bacon.
Then I began to pay attention to the presidential primaries. Soon my attention was drawn to the Senator from Illinois, a young man by the name of Barack Obama. An idealist in the realm of American politics believing that in fact any young person can grow up to be President. A realist in daily American life understanding and being willing to speak the truth. A man willing to speak truth to power. An advocate for change.
The more I listened the more I wanted to hear. The more I heard the better I felt. The weight of disenfranchisement began to fall away. Enduring over 20 debates bolstered my stamina. Seeing Barack Obama successfully challenge the good-ol'-girl political machine gave me courage. I am no longer depressed. I am ready and willing to fight. I want to live ... to see Barack Obama elected to office of President of the United States of America.
...and that gentle reader is how Barack Obama Saved My Life.
[Disclosure: I probably will go back to eating bacon. After all some of my best friends are Mega-Agri-Corporate Republican pig farmers who have insisted on their share of don't-grow-the-crops farm subsidies and other pork-barrel projects.]
Posted by William Meloney at 10:27 AM
Dictators and despots, particularly those who came to power as "Revolutionaries", should, no, must remember the rule:
If Mama is not happy then nobody is happy!(Let me spell it out for you in no uncertain terms - the revolution worked once before when the people became unhappy. Learn your lessons before you are fed you own dog food.)
Marc Frank , ReutersPublished: Monday, April 21, 2008
HAVANA (Reuters) - A group of Cuban women peacefully demonstrating for the release of their jailed husbands were roughed up by a mob and arrested on Monday near the offices of President Raul Castro.
The 10 women, members of an organization known as the "Women in White," gathered at a park Monday morning at the edge of Cuba's Revolution Square, where the government and Communist Party headquarters are located.
They wore white T-shirts emblazoned with the faces and names of their loved ones, but carried no signs.View Larger Image
Members of the group "Ladies in White" are being removed by police from a park near Havana's Revolution Square April 21, 2008. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa
"We are here to demand the release of our husbands and won't leave until they are free or they arrest us. We have waited long enough, we want to talk to the new president," group leader Laura Pollan said.
Moments later, a bus pulled up and about 20 female corrections officers tried to arrest the women, who sat on the sidewalk, clasped arms and refused to move.
"They are dying, they are dying," one women yelled with tears in her eyes as the corrections officer tried to move her toward the bus.
A mob of about 100 government supporters, mainly women from nearby government buildings, quickly entered the fray, pushing the women, picking them up, throwing them into the waiting bus and yelling insults.
Posted by William Meloney at 7:38 AM
On April 14 Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov held a government meeting, which addressed the results of the first quarter of 2008 as well as the future strategy for improving the country’s socio-economic development.
In particular, a decree “On introducing the redenomination (changing the currency value) of the national currency of Turkmenistan” was adopted. The session also highlighted that a unified dollar exchange rate is scheduled to replace the state-controlled аnd commercial rates.
The next day the news caused panic among the Turkmen residents. Starting from May 1 (or throughout May) a new dollar exchange rate will allegedly be introduced. One dollar is expected to equal 10,000 manats whereas according to other sources one dollar will equal 17,000-18,000 manats. People rushed to the currency exchange offices to exchange their foreign currency savings. However, referring to a manat shortage, the exchange offices allow each person to sell up to 100 dollars at a time. In order to exchange as much cash as possible, people bring their relatives and friends. Huge hour-long queues have formed at the currency exchange offices.
Taking advantage of the boom and difficulties in exchanging foreign currency, illicit market traders yield cash by buying dollars at a rate of 18,000-17,000 manats.
Today the Zimbabwean dollar is trading at $200 million to £1. Yes that's true, 200 million dollars for one British pound. Not at all surprising to most Zimbabweans. The Zimbabwean dollar as well as the whole economy has been on free fall, collapsing like a sand castle.
So who would want to be the captain of this sinking titanic? Unless one has a sound turn around strategy. So I'm surprised given the current state of affairs in the Zimbabwean economy some people still claim to be the best custodians of our economy. Given their track record in managing the economy they still want us to believe they are the best Zimbabwe have! Give us a break! They have failed us, why can't they just leave and let someone try and sort this mess?
So for every one pound you get 200 million Zimbabwean dollars?
In God We Trust!
Posted by William Meloney at 6:02 AM
04/18/2008BY YUSUKE MURAYAMA AND SHINYA MINAMISHIMATHE ASAHI SHIMBUN
The government on Wednesday decided to put the global food crisis, which has sparked riots and political unrest, on the agenda of the Group of Eight summit in July, sources said.
The government plans to convey the plan to G-8 delegates attending a meeting in Japan next week to prepare for the summit at Lake Toyako, Hokkaido.
Officials hope a set of emergency measures to ease food shortages and other problems caused by soaring prices can be worked out at the fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama in May.
Those steps would be followed by mid- to long-term measures, such as setting international rules to stabilize food prices and increasing food production, to be unveiled at the G-8 summit.
Food prices have been rapidly rising due to a combination of factors: growing demand from China, India and other emerging economies; speculative investments into the grains market; and increased crop diversion to biofuel production.
Staple food prices have increased by as much as 80 percent from 2005 levels, according to the World Bank.
In March, the price of rice hit its highest level in 19 years while wheat reached a 28-year high.
The World Food Program, a United Nations aid agency that distributes food to poverty-stricken people, has reported a $500-million (50-billion-yen) shortage in its budget due to rising procurement costs.
"The rapidly escalating crisis of food availability around the world has reached emergency proportions," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said in a speech Monday.
The inability to access staple food has hit the poorest hard and brought about unrest in many developing countries.
Haiti's prime minister was dismissed early this month after widespread looting on shopping streets in the Central American nation.
Protests over food shortages have broken out in Egypt, Cameroon and other countries, leading to injuries and deaths.(IHT/Asahi: April 18,2008)
Posted by William Meloney at 9:14 PM
Posted by William Meloney at 2:42 PM
I admit to being nerd-like but I am not often late! Except with this post. It has been long overdue.
I believe there are particular words (and derivations) that have no place in polite society. I am not talking about your run-of-the-mill "Hell" or "Damn". I don't even have much concern for Bart Simpson's use of the word "Ass". I can even say that I have become desensitized to the pervasive cable-TV "F*ck" (even though I cannot bring myself to type in the actual word).
There are words that are so reprehensible that they just plain don't get used.
I believe that "tard" is one of the words that not be used in polite society.
Growing up the clinical label "retarded" was applied to people who were developmentally challenged. Literally their development was retarded.
When the term "retard" was used in common language it was indicative of a speaker who was intent on demonstrating his/her ignorance as well as insensitivity. It was well understood that the person abusing the word "retard" was demonstrating their own lack of social development, their own retardation.
I recently came across the term "freetard" in reference to the Open Source Software movement. I believe it was meant to suggest that proponents of Free/Libre Open Source Software are in some way developmentally challenged. (See above, same rules apply.)
My real and underlying concern in this matter is that words carry with them the entire weight of their history. In our socially glib ignorance we insist that we know what any given word means and so we insist on unfettered license to use then at our discretion.
How willing are we to quickly insult another while undermining the very fabric of our culture and society.
Posted by William Meloney at 10:34 AM
I am not sure what concerns me more ...
Posted by William Meloney at 8:50 AM
The Greek tragic dramatist Aeschylus (525 BC - 456 BC) said...
In war, truth is the first casualty.So it is that we find ourselves in another war, a new war. Herbert Hoover said, "Old men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die." These young people are the very promise of our future. To lose even one young person is a tragedy.
Posted by William Meloney at 7:46 AM