Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gmail Helps You Waste Time

Look, Google spent some of their 20% time editing a video, their managers will be glad! But that's not the worst, they encouraged at least 1100 Gmail users to waste time with them.

How? By making a semi-humorous video where an envelope is handed from the left side of the screen to the right.

Yeah I know.


Professor Scoble on the Future of Search

Professor Scoble is lecturing us on search engines. He tells us how they work. How facebook works. How Techmeme works. Thank you professor!


It hard to describe how I feel about Robert Scoble. He used to work at Microsoft, he was sort of cool then. But then he quit and started working for PodTech, a podcasting company. His videos were real podcasting material -- badly filmed, hardly edited. Even though he had a $4,000 camera, which he could not mention enough during his interviews in the beginning.

Scoble believes himself to be a visionary and profiles himself like that. He feels he is important. He is a true pet peever. Most of his talks are about what he cares about and his super power RSS-reading abilities. His current pet peeves: facebook, techmeme and twitter.

These three lectures are no different. It's about facebook, Techmeme and Mahalo. He thinks that these three together can beat Google in four years.

Here's why he's wrong. To start off, he's addressing a problem that does not exist. It's not like Google's search results are bad or not relevant or of poor quality at all. You couldn't say that of Altavista, they were bad and everybody knew it. Second of all (and I assume you watched the videos I linked to) his idea does not scale. He mentions this as a problem in his last video and does not convincingly explain why it does. Second of all, the system is based on trusting humans. Humans cannot be trusted, machines can. The system is based on human labor. Humans are expensive and slow. A search engine like Mahalo only returns results for a few terms, it's really unusable. Sure, in 4 years it will be much bigger (if it still exists, because projects by Jason Calacanis -- who founded Mahalo -- tend to die), but by the time they covered all search terms, the early ones will already be outdated.

As I said, stupid idea.

Wikipedia Burns Trees

How much paper would it take to print out Wikipedia? Or let me rephrase that: how many forests would it take to print Wikipedia?


I may be working in IT, but still I prefer to spend my free time away from computers. Just relax. Read a book. Watch TV. Go to the movies. Play with the kids. Often I look things up in an encyclopedia. As I'm sitting in the living room I don't want to go upstairs, switch on my computer and go to some website to get my information from (let alone unreliable information), I want to be able to reach out and get a encyclopedia volume from a shelf. The only way I would consider using Wikipedia (this is purely hypothetical) is when it would come in a printed edition.

Someone calculated Wikipedia printed would be at the very least 750 volumes. That's right. Wouldn't that be a waste of paper. It would take a forest to produce a printed Wikipedia. So nobody does, meaning, Wikipedia is pointless for normal people like me: it's unreliable and requires a computer at all times.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It's a Bird, No it's DRM... or Something?

From the mail:

Hey IT-conservative,

Suck on this!

20,000 views on youtube and growing.

Read it and weep. My comrades here in the Red Hat video department are dancing on our desks. HA!

And look out, there's more to come, and we will bury you. Good thing we have a strong welfare state and free healthcare for the indigent in our society to support you when all you proprietards (I know it doesn't have the same ring to it, we're working on it) are unemployed.

Freetardly yours

T. Colin Dodd

For your convenience (and to be safe, so you don't have to visit this Linux vendor-associated website), here's the video:

It's very amazing this video got "20,000 views". Here's my theory of how it happened. Mr. Dodd posted it on his freetard site and some people watched it. The responses were different. One group was like "woah, I have no clue what this is or what this is supposed to symbolize, but it's deep man!" and forwarded it to freetard friends, hoping they would be impressed by his intellect. The second group was like "WTF?" and forwarded it to their friends.

You can tell this is true by the responses.
That's brilliant! Which software did you use to create it?

i.e. I have no idea what this is about, but the drawings are cool!

I had no idea what this was about at first until I read the description..

Music's come a long way hasn't it?

i.e. I read the description and still think it's about how music evolved (as in quality, not protection).

wow... That was abstract

i.e. woah! I have no clue what this was about!

And proprietards? Really? Yeah, I would work on that before you take that public. Woops, I just did.

FSF to Microsoft: Fuck You!

The Free Software Fundamentalists (FSF) issued a press release saying that Microsoft can't exempt from the GPL:

Microsoft cannot declare itself exempt from the requirements of GPLv3....Microsoft cannot by any act of anticipatory repudiation divest itself of its obligation to respect others' copyrights. If Microsoft distributes our works licensed under GPLv3, or pays others to distribute them on its behalf, it is bound to do so under the terms of that license. It may not do so under any other terms; it cannot declare itself exempt from the requirements of GPLv3.

Microsoft has said that it expects respect for its so-called "intellectual property" -- a propaganda term designed to confuse patent law with copyright and other unrelated laws, and to muddy the different issues they raise. We will ensure -- and, to the extent of our resources, assist other GPLv3 licensors in ensuring -- that Microsoft respects our copyrights and complies with our licenses.

First of all, who do the freetards think they are. This is Microsoft they're talking to. One of the most powerful corporations in the world. Do they really think Microsoft won't crush them in court?

Second, why would Microsoft use any GPL software at all? Imagine you go to the butcher and you see two piles of pork chops, one says "Free (but with GPL virus)" and has a peculiar color, and the other one says "$5" and looks great. Which one would you choose?

Legal GaPeebLe

In the e-mail some people have sent me a link to this. Pointing in particular at this part:

It seems from my reading of the daily press that the Free Software Foundation, Presided Over by Richard Stallman and being legally represented by Eben Mogen, is taking the position that the terms of the GPL (GNU Public License) define MS as a distributor of Linux, and as such, the patent protections it agreed to previously with Novell under GPL2 now apply to all Linux users.

You read that well. In terms of the GPL, Microsoft is a Linux distributer. This, once again, shows that the GPL is one crazy license written by crazy people, there is no reason to be worried. Microsoft is not seriously involving with open source. It is infiltrating and killing it from the inside.

Microsoft Bought Apple?

At least that's what this paper article would make you believe (source):


Notice that first line. "Hackers have unlocked Microsoft's new iPhone." Do they know something that we don't know. Is Apple now Microsoft. Has Microsoft finally bought them? Would be about time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Our Influence

As Steve notes, we can make a difference. The i.Beat blaxx player I discussed yesterday has been renamed to simply blaxx.

Monday, August 27, 2007

That'll Teach Them

Here's a nice way to straighten out criminals (also known as Linux users): lock them up and force them to use Windows. It's bound to work.


Chalk up another new-found power to the Motion Picture Association of America: the ability to force someone to change operating systems. Scott McCausland, who pleaded guilty last September in 2006 to the crime of uploading Star Wars: Episode III to the site, was charged with "conspiracy to commit copyright infringement" and "criminal copyright infringement" by the FBI. This charge carried a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release. He wound up serving five months in prison and is now on probation. The probation, however, has now taken a strange turn into forced platform advocacy.

"I had a meeting with my probation officer today and he told me that he has to install monitoring software onto my PC. No big deal to me; that is part of my sentence," he wrote on his Lost and Alone blog. "However, their software doesn't support GNU/Linux (Which is what I use). So, he told me that if I want to use a computer, I would have to use an OS that the software can be installed on." The monitoring software in question is only available for Microsoft Windows. Neither Linux nor a Macintosh running OS X would be an acceptable platform.

Let's Name an MP3 Player!

MP3 players are hot. Well, one in particular -- the iPod. But let's say that we're going to compete with Apple and have designed our own MP3 player. It's totally awesome. We made it black and beautiful.

Here's a pic.


Ok, so how do we call this baby? The cool thing is to let it start with an 'i'. Like iPod. Now what do we put behind this 'i'? How about 'Beat'? I mean it's a music player and music can't do without beats! Yeah, great idea. So let's call it 'iBeat', except that's too obviously a copy of iPod, so let's subtilize it a bit: i.Beat. ok?

Now we have to add something to that. Something to make clear it's the black edition, because well, we might make other colors right? We're using cool slang language anyway, so let's say we don't say 'black', which would be too obvious, but say 'blaxx' instead. How about that?

We'll call this thing the i.Beat blaxx!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

An Oldie, But A Goodie

It's old. But it's good. Click on the image for a larger version.

Click for bigger version

If You Program Open Source...

Got this from Fake Bill Gate's blog, don't know if he made it. It's cool, though. And true.

If you program open source

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"Web 2.0 Tools Favor Democrats"

Read/Write Web writes (nice alliteration huh?) that web 2.0 tools favor democrats. The proof they have for this is that the Democratic candidates have far more "friends" on social networks like facebook and myspace than the republicans do. There's two things I'd like to say to that.

One, this means that there's more democrats using these "web 2.0 tools", not that the tools themselves favor democrats.


Second, of course this is the case. Republicans are conservative -- like me. They don't care about all this web 2.0 horse shit. Yeah, they sometimes participate in these silly things because they have to when challenged by hippy democrats. And sure, they don't have lots of those 16-year-old look-at-my-nipples-through-my-wet-shirt party-pic-posting virtual friends on the Internet, they have actual friends. And powerful ones at that. That's how the real world works.

Linux Whores

Linux girlLook at this. It's disgusting. It's pure propaganda. And it involved hours of photoshopping. Or Gimping (if that can even be considered a word), or whatever. Tell me freetards, do you really feel accepted now? Do you feel you're part of the 3l33t of chick magnets now? "Look, we photoshopped Linux into some pictures of beautiful women -- so they really must be hot for Linux. That's how it works, right?"

"They love us now, right?"

Friday, August 24, 2007


Moan my IP

Moan my

Taking nerdiness to a new level. Don't try this at work with your speakers on.

A Look at the OpenMoko Audience 3

Lachlan Rogers, one of the five people who got a domain name in this world, writes about his feelings when seeing and playing with an OpenMoko phone:

Last night I went along to the Canberra Linux User Group meeting and saw a FIC Neo1973 running OpenMoko. I got to touch it, play with it, listen to it, drool at it, and the end result was basically a mixture of raw excitement and desire.


About the screen:
The Neo1973 has a full vga display of 640×480 pixels, which is twice the Iphone’s 320×480.

Yeah, real useful on a frickin' tiny screen. Like you can read your console with a screen resolution like that. Does it come with a magnifying glass?

Alert: New Sys Admin

We got a new sys admin in our department. Yes, this may surprise you, but I do have a job. Don't worry, what we do strictly involves Microsoft-related technologies. Our system administrator, let's call him Frank, was a great guy. He always solved any problems I had with my Windows box instantly (but of course, this hardly occurred, it being, you know, Windows). He taught me a whole lot about Windows and other great Microsoft products.

But he's retiring. In a week he's gone. An hour ago I met his replacement, who he'll show around for the next week to show how things are organized here.

The new sys admin is a gal. And a not too bad looking one at that. Oh no, I see what you're thinking. I'm married, have been for 26 years. I have two children. I'm not the kind of guy who has office romances. But still it's strange to see an attractive woman work the computers like that.

"Hey, I'm Dee." she said when she entered my office. What followed was the usual chit chat, about who I was, how long I had been working there and so forth. She turned out to be 25, it's not really clear from her stories what she did before. Travel or something. Of course I told here about how very fond of Frank I had been, and how I liked to keep everything the same as it was before. "I don't know about that." she said. "I was hired on the basis of a cost-cutting program, so things'll change around here."

I wasn't too pleased to hear that. But the most disturbing part was about to come. "Psst," she whispered. "Don't tell anyone, but look what I got up my sleeve." She pulled up her sleeve and I was completely shocked when I saw what she had there.

Linux tattoo

"That... that's... great." I murmured. "Look Dee, I really got to be going back to work. It was nice to meet you."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Windows Most Secure

As a follow up to yesterday's post on Linux' poor security, here's a nice post which analyses the amount and priority of different OS vulnerabilities.

The result? Guess.


The author also ran into some problems finding security updates for Sun's Solaris and Novell's SuSE Linux. Novell places them all over their website and in Sun's case he just had to give up finding them. Of course, fixing security issues (if any) is easy using Windows Update.

Technorati Tags: ,

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Linux Security Demonstrated

Freetards now even have trouble keeping their own software distribution sites secure. The Ubuntu servers were hacked, it turns out.


The Ubuntu community had to yank five of the eight Ubuntu-hosted community servers sponsored by Canonical offline Aug. 6 after discovering that the servers had been hijacked and were attacking other machines.

King Richard Causes Quake

It turns out that King Richard was in Peru when the disastrous earth quake happened that killed 500 people. Some see it as a strange coincidence that Stallman was there at the time. But think about it, perhaps it was a sign?

More than 500 people were killed when Peru was hit with by an enormous earthquake last week. When we learned that Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and author of the GPL under which the GNU/Linux operating system is licensed, was in Peru during the quake, we asked if he would share his experiences with us. Here's his report.

Google Phone Might Be Based On OpenMoko?

This is disgusting, so let's hope it's a really bad joke. Phoronix:

There has been a new batch of rumors swirling about Google producing a "gPhone" mobile telephone after a Reuters reporter stated High Tech Computer Corp would be designing the Linux phone for Google. A friendly penguin has told us at Phoronix that Google is looking to team up with OpenMoko for their "gPhone". Google will not be using the FIC Neo1973 GTA01, but they will be bringing the open-source OpenMoko platform to their own hardware, which looks to be manufactured through HTC, and making a few changes along the way.

I can't find words. Let's just hope that it's not true.

Linux Journal Knows Its Audience


Yes. This ad appeared in the print edition of freetard magazine Linux Journal.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Microsoft's Plan to Kill Open Source (don't worry, I emptied my cache after visiting this site):

The OSI License-Discuss mailing list has been ablaze for the past few days since Microsoft submitted its Permissive License (MS-PL) to the OSI [Open Source Initiative] for official open source license approval. Jon Rosenberg, source program director for Microsoft, posted, "Microsoft believes that this license provides unique value to the open source community by delivering simplicity, brevity, and permissive terms combined with intellectual property protection."

So Microsoft is getting a bit into the open source game. To the lay eye this may seem like a strange move. Is Microsoft opening up?

Of course not. Microsoft is doing exactly what the GPL has been doing -- growing like a cancer and silently killing an industry. Except now it's Microsoft that is going to kill what has become an industry of its own: open source. Microsoft's tactic is simple: stretch the meaning of the term open source.

Open source is already a stretched term. It started out as Free Software, you know, the brainchild of King Richard. However people found it too political and, frankly, extremist. So they created something more liberal: open source.

Microsoft will now start submitting licenses that are more and more restrictive. The first step is the Permissive License. When this one is accepted, Microsoft will create a more restrictive one. Not much more restrictive, just a little. So the open source people will say, well, we accepted the previous one and this one is only a little bit more restrictive, so we'll allow it.

Give it a few years and open source will be just as closed as your average bank safe.

Skype: It Wasn't Us, It Was Windows!

skype.jpgVoIP system Skype was down for two days some days ago. Now, finally they tell their users what they think was the source of the problem: Windows users -- as sources report.

In a statement posted on the company's support page, the company claims: "The disruption was initiated by a massive restart of our user's computers across the globe within a very short timeframe as they re-booted after receiving a routine software update." This is presumably the Windows updates that were sent out on Patch Tuesday last week, which required the PC to be restarted.

What is that? How has this all of the sudden become a problem for Skype? Windows computers are improved all the time by Microsoft updates, why hasn't Skype gone down before?

I think someone is pointing fingers.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Linux Torvalds: "I'm not much of a visionary"

Linus Torvalds in a Speedo.jpg

Linus Torvalds, who was humble enough to name an operating system after himself, did an interview with geekpaper EFY Times:

I've never been much of a visionary -- instead of looking at huge plans for the future, I tend to have a rather short time frame of 'issues in the next few months'. I'm a big believer in that the 'details' matter, and if you take care of the details, the big issues will end up sorting themselves out on their own.

Figures. Long-term thinking is for losers anyway. Right?


People have too much time on their hands. People spend hours, days, weeks, months, years of their life creating things that already exist. WankiWankis (or WikiWikis or wiki as they tend to call thems) are the ultimate platform for this kind of time wastage.

One fella called David now attempts to save these people some time by allowing them to steal content from normal sites (written in HTML, rather than WankiWanki code). This was possible already of course, but now it's even easier!

Here's HTML2Wiki. An online HTML to WankiWanki code converter. You can even fill in a URL to convert to make stealing even easier. I'm waiting for the option to instantly put the resulting Wanki code on a Wikipedia page.

Perl 6

Perl is the perfect example of a language that proves that amateurs cannot be trusted with developing programming languages. It was developed by a linguist of all people, called Larry Wall (picture below) and it shows. Perl is just as illogical as human language, except impossible to understand. Here's a snippet of Perl code:

sub soundex
local (@s, $f, $fc, $_) = @_;
push @s, '' unless @s;
foreach (@s)
if ($_ eq '')
$_ = $soundex_nocode;
($f) = /^(.)/;
($fc) = /^(.)/;
$_ = $f . $_ . '000';
wantarray ? @s : shift @s;


Did I mention Larry is buddies with King Richard?


As if this is not enough reason to avoid Perl, there's something else. Freetards constantly blame companies like Microsoft with showing off and promoting software that does not exist yet, that doesn't ship. Vaporware they call it. However the biggest example of Vaporware (leaving out Duke Nukum Forever) is Perl 6. Perl 6 was first mentioned in 2000. That's 7 years ago. Perl 6 is still not out and it's entirely unclear when (and if) it ever will be.

I'd stick to VB Script thank you very much. That's actually code-like-you-talk done right.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

King Richard: "Can You Trust Your Computer?"

Be aware friends. King Richard is on to Intel and Microsoft's plan for world domination -- and they may turn your computer against you!

From a Richard Stallman essay:

Who should your computer take its orders from? Most people think their computers should obey them, not obey someone else. With a plan they call "trusted computing," large media corporations (including the movie companies and record companies), together with computer companies such as Microsoft and Intel, are planning to make your computer obey them instead of you. Proprietary programs have included malicious features before, but this plan would make it universal.

Have you seen Transformers? Best movie ever. But it's fiction. Believe me it is. But silly little men like King Richard do believe this movie will become true. "Computers are becoming ubiquitous," they'll say. "Computers will be everywhere and all contain this little device that Intel and Microsoft crafted to make the computer obey them, not you. All they have to do is flip the switch and they'll take over the planet."

Sounds like Ritchie shouldn't watch so many science-fiction movies.

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Look at the OpenMoko Audience 2


I’m not going to lie, the OpenMoko Neo 1973 makes me hot. Not that I’ll be able to afford it for a little while, but as soon as I can, I am all over that shit (especially when they get 3G up and running)...

"It's a Development Device!"

People in the comments of my OpenMoko coverage are complaining that I'm not being fair towards the Neo1973. "It's a Development Device!" they yell.

Let me tell you about development devices in the real world. Whenever Nokia, Samsung or HTC release a new phone, they send some to individual software vendors for free. Why? Because the platform is only as strong as the applications running on it. What they'll send are also development devices, but the difference is that these actually work. You don't have to put them together first. There's not "Some assembly required". They work, at least to a large extent. Beta quality let's say. Not pre-alpha like the OpenMoko phones. They don't ask you to finish their software for them.

And you get these development devices for free, not for $300 up to $450. See the irony here? Freetard phone -- $300-$450, proper phone -- $0.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

King Richard is Talking to a Woman

Yes, believe it or not, he is. She's asking him all kinds of questions about women in the Free Software world. King Richard answers.

Everyone on the FSF board is male. The founders of the FSF were all male. This reflects the fact that the software field and the free software community are mostly male.

I don’t know whether any women are involved in FSF Europe, but there is a woman on the board of directors of FSF Latin America.


Her name is Fernanda G. Weiden (click for a very elaborate and high-quality wikipedia page). Turns out she's a system administrator.

Do you have an opinion about women groups such as the Debian Women or Ubuntu Women?
Sorry, I don’t know anything about those groups.

At the end of the interview she asks him what kind of computer he's using:
I’m using an IBM laptop that is around 6 years old. We have not got newer machines because the newer ones have more treacherous computing support.

It's all part of the free software lifestyle -- never upgrading your hardware again, cause the world is evil.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Google and Universal to Sell DRM-Free Music

eliminatedrm.jpgGoogle seems to be making strange turns in the past weeks. Recently it dropped its DRM-protected video store and now The York Times reports that Google and Universal together will sell songs DRM free.

I don't have to tell you about the advantages of DRM and therefore don't have to mention that the customer options in this music store will be limited. Want to rent music? Forget it. Not going to happen. You can only buy music on a per-song, and if you're lucky, per-album basis. Yes friends, look forward to pull out your wallet at every single purchase.

Go to the Zune Music store if you want options.

From The Mail

Darren writes:

wanted to say two things. first, youre a gigantic loser. second your coverage of the tech news is very selective. you say DRM is good but ignore the news on techcrunch that says that because of drm people who bought video on Google video, can now no longer watch it. I dare you to respond to that.


Thanks for heads up Darren. Yes, I am a loser, what can I say. Still I'm not enough of a loser not to deserve any attention, apparently.

Your claim that I selectively cover stories is absurd. As far as this particular story goes -- I'll grant you a mayor Quimby response.


Look at this cute puppy. Look deep into his eyes and say that I'm wrong.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Real Dwight Schrute

The Office is probably the best TV show in the US right now. It's hilarious. One of the characters is Dwight Schrute. In case you don't know The Office, here's 6 minutes to give you an impression:

To keep an open mind I sometimes watch videos part of so-called podcasts, vidcasts, vlogs and junk like that. One which appears to be very popular is DL.TV. One of the hosts of that show, Robert Heron, is incredibly annoying. Having a closer look, he looks awfully familiar. He either is Dwight Schrute or he's his brother. Is has to be. See the picture and video.


Linux Foundation: "Microsoft Deserves Respect"

Another example of watch-me-pretending-to-be-nice-while-I-fart-in-your-face freetard talk.

Jim-Zemlin.jpg talked to Jim Zemlin, exectuve director for the Linux Foundation:

As Linux has become a mainstream operating system, it is exiting the first stage of its life. The second stage requires a different strategy form the first one, said the Linux promotor.

Let me stop you right there Mr. Zemlin: in your dreams. Linux is not a mainstream operating system and it never will be. But alright, you were supposed to say something nice, so go ahead.
Open source vendors have to recognise that Windows is here to stay and that together with Microsoft it will form a duopoly in the market for operating systems. This also requires that the Linux community respects Microsoft rather than ridicule it.

I agree, Microsoft deserved to be respected rather than ridiculed.

But now the fart-in-your-face part:
"There are some things that Windows does pretty well," Zemlin said. Microsoft for instance has excelled in marketing the operating system, and has a good track record in fending off competition.

This may look like a compliment. Yes, in our world marketing and fending off competition are the gods we worship, but in the weirdo Linux world, marketing is a cuss word. And if there's something the freetards hate about Microsoft it's their market domination strategy. Mr. Zemlin is in fact insulting Microsoft here by not mentioning Microsoft's true strength: making frickin' good software.

We're on to you Mr. Zemlin, don't take us for retards.

Monday, August 13, 2007

OpenMoko Boot Video

Here's a video of OpenMoko booting up and shutting down. The video lasts 2 minutes and 14 seconds, of which about 2 are used for booting. You can say that other phones have boot times too, but it's not close to 2 minutes.


And Palm Treos are Out Too


To coincide with the LinuxWorld conference taking place in San Francisco, ACCESS launched a new website and also some screenshots of its ACCESS Linux Platform (ALP) which helps to give us an indication as to what the future of Palm’s own next generation operating system might look like (a Treo running this new OS is anticipated at the beginning of 2008).

I owned a Palm recently, they're incredibly unstable. I doubt that will get any better once they start running Linux. At least they'll get a whole lot slower. You do get a kick-ass clock though. And admit it, we all love clocks. It's what we buy $300+ PDAs and phones for.


All 10 OpenMoko Phones Sold And The Proof That OpenMoko Guys Are Terrorists

openmoko.pngSorry for the extremely long title, but this is really two interesting stories in one. This appeared on Technocrat:

OpenMoko, the first Open Source cell phone, has sold out the entire planned production run for the device's developer preview after unexpected demand. No more units until September 10, when they can finish another production run.

Yes, all 10 OpenMoko phones have been sold out. King Richard called the OpenMoko a very successful release that went beyond his wildest (wet) dreams. Apparently there are more than 10 freetards willing to purchase a $300-$450 phone in pre-alpha state of development, running software that is free.

Even more interesting is the the date that the second production run will be finished -- September 10th. Now, when would you guess these phone will be sent out. How about one day later? Which would be September 11th. Coincidence?

America prepare.

Google Pack to Include StarOffice

If there's one piece of shit office suite, it's this dreadful thing called OpenOffice. I talked about the complete superfluity of other office suites than the office (meaning Microsoft Office) before, so I won't repeat myself. There is one thing a tad less dreadful than OpenOffice and that is StarOffice, which is the pimped OpenOffice that is being sold by Sun for $69.95. StarOffice adds some proprietary coating to OpenOffice, which, quite frankly, doesn't make that much of a difference.

Anyhoo, Google is now going to bundle StarOffice, not OpenOffice, with Google Pack. This can be a seen as an attempt to give open source haters, like myself, some love. Still it's not very convincing as Google continues to invest in freetard1-run projects.

Also, the Google Pack is free (as in $0) software, so so much for Sun making any money.

1) I decided to adopt the term freetard, originally coined by the late Fake Steve Jobs, who, although fake, still had some original and good ideas.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

MySQL's First Steps Towards Commercial Software

mysql.jpgFollowing the example of BitTorrent a few days ago, MySQL is now also taking its first baby steps towards becoming a proper commercial product. MySQL from now on only releases binary versions (executable versions that is) of its enterprise edition to paying customers.

PC World:

MySQL AB has made it harder for developers to use the enterprise edition of its database software for free, sparking a debate about whether the company has strayed from its obligation to its open-source community.

Kaj Arno, MySQL vice president for community, announced in his blog this week that the company will no longer host the code for MySQL Enterprise Server in binary form on its public FTP servers, and will offer that version only to paying customers.

Great news. Can't wait to see who's next to take such a step.

Motorola Also Infected

motorolaLogo.jpgCell Phone Blog:

Motorola developed a new platform for their devices, based on Linux. The name of the new platform is Motomagx. It is based on Linux and developed with an aim, to give third-party developers a possibility to develop applications for Motorola mobile phones. For those purposes the programmers of Motorola are working now at some kind of framework that should make developing of applications for Motomagx more simply.

I used to like the Motorola phone. I have owned a Motorola Razr for years. Very cool-looking phone, with proper, reliable commercial software. And now they're saying Motorola is also jumping the Linux bandwagon?

It seems time for me to switch to another brand of phone. It's getting harder to pick one though, quite a few brands use open source stuff now. There's a lot of open source stuff also on Nokia phones. Maybe I should get a Windows Mobile phone of some sort.

SCO Loses

It seems like 20 years ago that SCO sued different Linux vendors because they bits of the original UNIX owned by SCO. Now, finally the court made up its mind and decided that Novell Owns the UNIX and UnixWare copyrights.

To me this sounds like a very strange comedy scene.

SCO: "We're here to let Novell, IBM and lots of others cough up lots of do for infringing the copyright of UNIX that we own."

Judge: "I hereby decide that UNIX is owned by Novell."

Google Goes Paid and Drops DRM

It's interesting to see how a company can both do a step forward and backwards at the same time. Google did that. The step forward is that you can now actually pay for extra storage on Gmail and Picasa.

The step back is that Google Video is dropping its video store. Which, according to that post means that "the end of DRM is closer". If that were true, would definitely be a step back.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

"Windows Made Me Look Like This!"


Microsoft hired Miss Australia Erin McNaught.

She doesn't have any IT qualifications – in fact she's a university drop-out – but that hasn't stopped software giant Microsoft hiring former Miss Australia Erin McNaught to sex up the computer industry's geeky image.

McNaught, who deferred a science degree at the Queensland Institute of Technology to pursue a modelling career, has been chosen as poster girl for a campaign to encourage young people into the computer industry.

Microsoft is awesome.

Ok, here's one more picture, I know you're screaming for it.


BitTorrent No Longer Open Source

Closed BitTorrentThings are moving in the right direction for BitTorrent. The official BitTorrent client, as well as the most popular BitTorrent client out there: uTorrent, are both closing down. In the sense of source code releases.

Slyck News:

BitTorrent 6.0, the official mainline client based on uTorrent, was released on July 28, 2006. Unlike previous official releases, there was no corresponding source code. While it's understandable that uTorrent's code may not be released, concerns remain that the protocol may advance while leaving the open source community behind.

"Sorry, source code for BitTorrent 6.0, like the source code for uTorrent, will not be released. However, versions 5 and earlier were of course released under open source licenses, and remain available for you to modify and redistribute subject to the terms of their respective licenses."

It's true enough that earlier versions of the BitTorrent protocol are available, however considering that BitTorrent is continuously evolving, older versions offer little benefit to a forward looking developer. To many in the BitTorrent community, BitTorrent, Inc. has turned its back on the open source movement.

I never was a big fan of BT to be quite honest. First of all it's slow. It's way slower than normal, proper HTTP downloads. If you run a site with big downloads and cannot handle the load, why not partner up with companies like Akamai or CacheFly? BT is only interesting for poor people and software and movie pirates. And I was never fond of them. They're criminals. That's all they are.

OpenMoko Experiences

R. Tyler Ballance has received his Neo1973 OpenMoko phone and he's very excited. Here's why.

So far I've been able to use my Cingular SIM card, if you use AT&T/Cingular, you can check if yours is supported on the wiki. I can run the general built in suite of applications without too much trouble, I also made a phone call, which worked!

Yes, believe it or not. His phone could make a phone call! Of course, as the phone runs Linux it's really surprising that the product actually does what it is advertised to do. But yes, it does make phone calls (or at least a phone call).
Unfortunately however the latest build that I have on my Neo doesn't have sound properly working, which sagacis from the #openmoko channel on Freenode is helping me with currently. I'm a bit over-excited so I'll let the images do the rest of the talking for me.

The sound doesn't work. That's no biggie. When I tried installing Linux on my PC once, sound also didn't work, neither did my graphics card, but I'm sure that's a feature. It comes with the territory. Luckily there's an IRC channel, on no less, home of all free thinkers (a.k.a. morons) to help you out with your sound problems. But problems with a device that should just work are not annoying to Mr. Ballance, no he's actually over-excited because of them.

But now the best part of this first look at OpenMoko. Screenshots! You know, when I mentioned the booting procedure, which, according to my guesses would take a few minutes, I was kidding. I mean, it's a phone, there's no real boot time in a phone right? Well, OpenMoko actually has a very visible boot sequence. You guess what it shows.

Ahuh. You guessed right.


A Linux CLI boot screen. Awesome. This really is Linux on your phone.

HTML Terrorism

David Siegel has a very long post about his opinion of HTML and his use of it. It caught my intention because he speaks of HTML terrorism and purism. I like that, the IT industry has too many of these purists. What I'm fighting for here is pragmatism. Whether it comes to software licensing (like the GPL) or anything else in this industry.

To be honest the post is too long for me to remain focussed, but I recommend you read it.

Why The Public Cannot Be Trusted

The video below, a home-made music video by Tay Zonday called "Chocolate Rain", was the big hit on Youtube the past weeks.

Now is it me or does this song simply suck? It's annoying. It's long. It's frickin' boring. If this is what the public loves, the public cannot be trusted. It needs proper TV programming to re-obtain its taste -- stupid web 2.0 video sites like Youtube spoiled the people's taste.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A Look at the OpenMoko Audience

Richard McBeef (with a livejournal blog):

The OpenMoko is out!!!!!!!

The Neo 1973 runs totally Free Software. Even hardware-wise we're pushing things drastically further than most device manufacturers. The Neo was specifically designed with openness and ease of developer-access from very start


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mike Shaver Get Screwed by Mozilla

A few days ago I wrote about Mike Shaver's claim that a security hole in Firefox would be fixed within ten "fucking" days. I called him an arrogant prick.

Now, Window Snyder (interesting name), head of security at the Mozilla Foundation, essentially screws him by saying that those "ten fucking days" are not Mozilla policy:

This is the official Mozilla word: This is not our policy. We do not think security is a game, nor do we issue challenges or ultimatums. We are proud of our track record of quickly releasing critical security patches, often in days. We work hard to ship fixes as fast as possible because it keeps people safe. We hope these comments do not overshadow the tremendous efforts of the Mozilla community to keep the Internet secure.

Take that Mike.

DRM is All About Freedom

eliminatedrm.jpgFinally a big company is jumping on the DRM bandwagon instead of off of it (yes, that's a lot of "of"s in a row). Nokia is adding Microsoft's PlayReady music DRM to its S60 series phones. A great move. A move in the right direction.

The popular shift seems to be to eliminate DRM, but this is a horrible trend. DRM is necessary and in the end offers more options to both producers and consumers rather than less, as bozos like Cory Doctorow will make you believe.

More options for consumers

The iTunes Music Store, the biggest online music store, has limited options for its consumers. You buy songs. Either single ones or whole albums. You don't have the option of renting music. Other online music stores, like Microsoft's Zune music store (or whatever it's called exactly) allows you to rent music. You can download all the music you want for $15 per month. All the music you want. For as you long as you keep paying the $15 per month. Not a bad deal huh?

Mr. Jobs has been pushing the music industry to allow him to sell music tracks to consumers without DRM. That worked, some tracks you can now buy for $0.30 more and get less, you get the track without DRM. This works for iTunes, but again, iTunes options are limited. Music stores that rent music, like the Zune music store will never be able to do this. If people would demand Microsoft to stop putting DRM on its music that would kill music rentals. Why? Because it's way to easy to steal music then. You buy a subscription for a month and download all music from the music store. It's unprotected so you can do whatever you want with it. This simply would not work, right?

So DRM is necessary. It is necessary to protect the artists so that their music is not ripped off on a larger scale than it already is. It is necessary to keep offering a subscription-based music rental option to consumers. It offers the consumer more options.

Freedom of the producer

Supposedly the whole big deal with DRM is that it limits the consumer's freedom. DRM can prevent you from copying your song and sending it to your friend. That is true, that is the whole point of it. The point is not to limit the rights of the consumer per se, but to have the freedom to do that. The artist and distributer together can now freely decide what other people can do with their stuff. Which is fair, right? If I create a painting I want own the rights to that. I want to decide who buys it or can copy it. If I, for some reason, want to control that the painting is never put on a wall opposite to a window, why wouldn't I be allowed to do that? I'm the author, I can decide whatever I want. The buyer does not have to agree with that of course, in turn that's the buyer's freedom.

The same thing applies to music. Let's say I'm a singer and write and record a song. Now I want to sell this to others. Shouldn't I be able to control what happens with this song? That it is not played on religious radio stations for example (I'm an atheist), or for all I care, that the song can only be played between 4-6pm on Thursdays? It may be a ridiculous demand, but still, that's my right, right? The buyer of the music has the freedom to decline.

So DRM allows more options to the consumer and gives more freedom to the producer. Everybody wins.

OpenMoko Unboxing "Experience"

I talked about OpenMoko before. Essentially it's an FSF iPhone cloning project, except it looks worse has a worse UI and runs Linux. Enough reason not to buy it, but still, people do.

Here's someone who documented the unboxing "experience". I must say, it put a smile on my face. Have you ever seen the iPhone being unboxed? Here's some pictures. The iPhone comes with 5 things in the box: earbuds, computer-connect cable, a dock, a connection adapter (or something) and the phone itself. Everything is beautifully styled. The phone is classy black and the utilities classy white. The box it comes in is surprisingly small.


Now enter the OpenMoko phone. Here's the OpenMoko suitcase (the two cool phones in the front are not included):


And then, this is the contents if you unpack the OpenMoko suitcase:


The best bit is the little booklet at the bottom left. See what it says? "Some assembly required." This makes the OpenMoko unboxing experience a true Linux experience: it does not work out of the box. You first have to get your soldering iron out, and use the included screwdriver. And after a few days of assembling, if you're lucky, you can boot the thing up and then, after five minutes of booting, you can make a call (if that part of the software came out of alpha).

iPhone eat your heart out.

Must. Not. Make. Fun. Of. King. Richard.

Oh my god.

I had been to King Richard's site before, but clearly never had a proper thorough look at it.

It is unbelievable.



Skip the first bit. It's not interesting. It's all the usual propaganda blah blah. Scroll down to the part with the "Photos and drawings". Have a look at those. They are hilarious. How self-pleased and how much of a social outcast does one have to be to put pictures of himself like that on their personal page. Better yet, look at the "Some humor" section below that. His "power tie", his applications to an "Ex Boyfriends List". His sainthood things.

Soon he'll position himself as a sex symbol.


Justin Timberlake eat your heart out.

Monday, August 6, 2007

King Richard: Don't Buy Harry Potter


While the rest of the world must wait until midnight on Friday to read the latest Harry Potter adventure, a handful of fans in a Canadian commuter town might know the book’s secrets because a supermarket broke the embargo.

Fourteen fans bought Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from The Real Canadian Superstore in Coquitlam on the west coast of Canada before managers realised their mistake. But readers will be unable to share their knowledge after Raincoast Books, the book's Canadian publisher, was granted a "John Doe" injunction prohibiting the buyers from even reading their copies before the publication date.

I think I heard about this somewhere a while ago but never got the full story until I visited one of my favorite websites for a good afternoon laugh:

King Richard no like Harry. Or more precisely he thinks Harry's author's publisher infringes on the right to read things. Oh oh oh oh oh. Bad publisher!


On his very fancy website ("coded with Emacs in HTML 1.0, because we don't need them new fancy technologies"), King Richard talks in his usual dictator tone of voice:
Read that article [link added -- ed.], then don't buy any Harry Potter books. Everyone who participated in requesting, issuing, enforcing, or trying to excuse this injunction is the enemy of human rights in Canada, and they all deserve to pay for their part in it. Not buying these books will at least make the publisher pay.

Unlike the publisher, who demands that people not read these books, I simply call on people not to buy them. If you wish to read them, wait, and you will meet someone who did get a copy. Borrow that copy--don't buy one. Or read it in the public library. Even better, read something else--there are plenty of other books just as good, or (dare one suggest) even better.

Making Canada respect human rights will be hard, but a good first step is to identify the officials and legislators who do not support them. The article quotes a lawyer as saying, "There is no human right to read." Any official, judge, or legislator who is not outraged by this position does not deserve to be in office.

But hold on. It gets even better. The publisher gets the opportunity to repent and make it up to our great lord King Richard:
On what conditions should we end this boycott? Forgiveness is called for when someone recognizes what he did wrong and acts accordingly. I think we should forgive the publisher when it
  1. Recognizes that this injunction was wrong.
  2. Promises not to do anything like it again.
  3. Calls for changes in the law so that nobody can get such an injunction again, and to establish a clear and firm "human right to read".

Here's some more info on why he cares, for those interested (note the weird name of that HTML file, Emacs messed up Richie?). Can anyone tell me why anybody listens to this guy?

Chipmunk Dr. Evil

Best 5 seconds of video. Ever.

Note: this was cut from a probably Japanese or Chinese TV program, so you can't use this as an argument of why Youtube is so great -- allowing everyone to upload their home videos -- it is not a home video, it's just a piece of illegally copied copyrighted material.

Still excellent though.

Got Myself an Email Address

I already had e-mail of course, I'm not that old fashioned, but I decided not to give out my personal and work email address. Instead I created a mailbox just for this site. Not on Gmail of course I don't want to be hacked. Instead I got a proper safe Microsoft Hotmail address.

it-conservative (at) (replace the (at) with @)

Put on your Free Software Fundamentalism radars and let me know of anything you might find so I can post it. In other words if you have any suggestions, links, questions or insults, you can now let me know at at the above address.

Disgusting: "Twittering" Your Wife Giving Birth


Like using a web 2.0 hyped application such as Twitter isn't bad enough, this guy actually had the nerve to "twitter" his wife giving birth. That's just disgusting.

For those who don't know what "twittering" is -- good for you I say! -- it is posting short messages (SMS-style) on a microblog about what you're doing right now. So in the case of a woman giving birth expect stuff like "looking at my wife's you-know-what widening."


And imagine what it's like for the woman, seeing your husband wildly typing on his mobile phone while you're having the worst pain in your life.

I say, ban it. Ban Twitter if this is how it's used. Makes me want to puke.

Fake Steve Busted

Fake Steve Jobs turns out to be Forbes editor. Fake Steve's response.

The Virus Spreads to Europe

The FSF virus has spread to europe. In the form of a "fellowship" no less. I had hoped that this craziness would just remain a US thing, or US and Africa at most. I mean, the people in Africa are poor, they need cheap software. But no, there's now also free software fundamentalism in Europe.

This is the place where the Fellows of the Free Software Foundation Europe meet and come together to share ideas, collaborate on projects and inform each other about what is going on in the world of Free Software. The Fellowship is a community of people who take interest in the multiple interactions of Free Software with economy, politics, science and society and seek to change things for the better.

It's saying, "we have belief that software should be free -- which is the one true belief -- and thou, people of Europe, shallt be converted." Pure fundamentalism. And nobody seems to care.

The FSFE (Free Software Foundation Europe) even openly talks about how they are going to conceal their evil plots, namely using a crypto card:
When you join the Fellowship Community, you will automatically receive two letters: One containing your personalised Fellowship crypto card, a smart card containing state-of-the-art hardware encryption, and another one containing administrative information for the Fellowship crypto card.

Using this you can then encrypt your e-mail. Joining the fellowship costs 150 euro (around $200). That's what they call a free organization.

The FSFE has fun too. Scary fun. They have banners with slogans (containing linguistic jokes):


Plus they have a section called "Fellowship Everywhere", subtitle "The Fellowship is everywhere. Check out these pictures as proof." Luckily these pictures are still mostly mockups and logos painted on nails.

But even so, the FSF has spread to Europe which is bad, bad news. What can we do about it? Ignore them. Pretend they don't exist. I mean literally, if you meet someone who's part of this, just stop talking to them. Lock them out of your life. Plus, if you see posters or other propaganda, rip it of and burn it.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Breaking Law for Fun

"2 Guys, 25 Dumb Laws, 1 Absurd American Crime Spree"

This is the tagline of You Can Get Arrested For That, a site and book about "dumb laws" in the US. I find this insulting. I think these two guys are highly underestimating the law makers in the USA. They did this for good reasons, these laws were only made because people requested them. That's how democracy works. By saying these laws are dumb you are insulting thousands, sometimes millions of people. And why? -- Just because your peanut-sized brains cannot understand the history behind them.

Worse than just laughing at these laws, these two guys are purposely breaking all these laws and photograph themselves while doing it. Sigh... That's just childish.

Here's three laws from the site.

Law: It is illegal to peel an orange in a hotel room in Los Angeles.

This makes perfect sense. Oranges make a mess if not peeled well. If the juice gets into the hotel carpets it's practically impossible to get rid of the stains. Research shows that 90% of Americans spill while peeling oranges, so there you go. And it looks like the guy on the picture is one of them, at least I hope that's the stains in his pants there...

I'm not even mentioning peeling an orange in a hotel room with no shirt on.

Law: Fishing in your pajamas is illegal in Chicago.

This law was established in the late 19th century when Harry Thresh, also known as Pajama Harry, was terrorizing the Chicago lakes with his fishing. He had a pajama fishing fetish of some kind and they were the only clothes he wore during fishing. Mind my words: the only clothes he wore. His pajamas were quite thin so a lot of fishermen got uncomfortable around him. Hence the law.

Law: It is illegal in Globe, AZ to play cards with a Native American.

Simple reason for this: they will cheat and beat you.

Anyway, the two guys appear clearly on the pictures so I'm sure the cops won't have a problem tracking them down and putting them in jail.

Mike Shaver is an Arrogant Prick

Some wannabe-hacker dude went to some Mozilla Pajama party or whatever (don't ask):

At this point Mike Shaver threw down the gauntlet. He gave me his business card with a hand written note on it, laying his claim on the line. The claim being - with responsible disclosure Mozilla can patch and deploy any critical severity holes within "Ten Fucking Days"


Does anybody agree this is just arrogant tough behavior? First of all 10 "fucking" days is really fast, as people at Microsoft and Amazon agree:
I shopped the business card around to some various people while I was at the Microsoft party the next day to get people's reaction. The consensus was that it was funny, very difficult to achieve and in one case, one of the head guys of security at Amazon simply doubted that the patches would be of sufficient quality.

Second of all, what's up with this attitude? Does Mr. Shaver think he's cool putting the f-word in there? -- Ooh, look at me, I wrote fucking on a business card.


My mom always told me: tough behavior is stupid behavior. That makes you stupid Mr. Shaver. Take that.

Hacking Gmail

Web 2.0 is a stupid idea in more ways than one, and today it proves to be a security risk too. I get my e-mail from a secure Microsoft Exchange IMAP server, but that's not affordable to some so they choose the free Gmail -- Gmail that you access through a web browser and uses all these "fancy" AJAX techniques. What does free buy you? Nothing. Nothing of quality and substance, and now it turns out that it doesn't give you anything secure either.

It turns out to be very easy to hack a Gmail account:

I've just received an email that says "I like sheep", but it wasn't sent by my friend – it was sent by a hacker posing as my friend. At the Black Hat security convention, Robert Graham, the CEO of errata security, surprised attendees by hijacking a Gmail session on camera and reading the victim's email. He went even further by demonstrating the attack to us in person, taking over another journalist's Gmail account and then sending us sheep-loving emails.


Spice Girls Going to Iraq?


My former favorite band the Spice Girls will reunite for a concert and their fans can choose where they will go.


And now a massive internet campaign could mean the Spice Girls end up performing... in war-torn Iraq.

We can reveal that fans have already voted in their thousands for the girls to play Baghdad.
Click here to find out more!

And a Spice Girls spokesman told 3am: "The girls will go anywhere in the world that gets the most votes - be it Baghdad or Antarctica."

Crazy awesome!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Valleywag: Calacanis and Rose are Pussies

Valleywag reports on the recent GigaOM "Show" episode. Jason Calacanis (the guy behind the new Digg-copy Netscape site) and Kevin Rose (founder of Digg) were invited for a cat fight. But no such thing happened. Read the valleywag report for more.

The Real Harry Potter


Washington Post:

Sometimes it's a hassle being Harry Potter. Especially when you're a 78-year-old man who happens to share the name of a certain fictional boy wizard who is famous the world over.

Each time a new Harry Potter book or movie comes out, Bradenton resident Harry Potter starts getting phone calls from children, interview requests from the TV networks and autograph requests.

"The kids want to know if I'm Harry Potter," he said with a chuckle. "I tell them I've been Harry Potter for darn near 80 years!"

WebbAlert: Pretty Lady TV

Video blogging, vlogging, video podcasting or whatever you want to call it has allows every incompetent moron to start his/her own TV show. The result of this is mostly terrabytes of video material that nobody watches. However, sometimes a show manages to attract and maintain some kind of audience.

"How do they do that?" You will ask. One must understand that at this point (and likely for a very long time to come), only geeks are the ones that will actually sit behind a PC to watch this new "TV". So geeks, and let's face it these are going to be 99% males, are the main audience. On Techcrunch I found this about the new show WebbAlert:

The focus of the show will be the major breaking technology and gaming news of the day. Like Rocketboom, each show will be no more than 5 minutes long, for easy consumption. Unlike Rocketboom, I’ve been able to sit through a whole episode - the early content that I’ve seen, including the pilot, is interesting and compelling.

Of course I was intrigued. What was it in this show that makes it so compelling? Quickly I found the answer:

Ms Webb.png

Some things are just not that difficult to figure out. A pair of boobs will make your show a whole lot more "interesting and compelling".

Friday, August 3, 2007

OS X 10.5 to be Fully Certified Unix

Apple Mac OS X 10.5 has been certified as a true Unix:

[M]eaning that Leopard conforms to the Single UNIX Specification Version 3 (SUS), which defines how components like the command shell, the compiler, and C APIs should function and behave.

Now I have mixed feelings about Mac OS X. I use Windows Vista myself of course, but admitted, the OS X UI looks kind of cool. That is not surprising because the UI is the proprietary part of the operating system. The underlying Unix was originally based on FreeBSD as I understand it. FreeBSD is under a BSD license, also open source, but not as bad as the viral GPL.

So I guess that if you have to use a Unix system OS X is a reasonable choice, better than Linux and Solaris anyway. At least Apple has people who are paid to work on this OS.

Release the Hound

Don't try to break into my house, or I'll release fluffy.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Bubble 2.0 Soon to Pop

I like John C. Dvorak because a cranky ass and manages to stay independent with all the Mac and Linux sissies dancing around. He's now predicting a Bubble 2.0. We had the .com bubble in the 90's and now it's time for another one -- the bubble of web 2.0 -- Bubble 2.0.

Each of these bubbles had a distinctive theme. For the dot-com bubble, it was e-commerce—it really should have been called the e-commerce bubble. Everything was focused on how the Internet was going to destroy all existing brick-and-mortar operations. We were told that you'd be buying sandwiches over the Internet and having them delivered the next day by FedEx. Everything was about "eyeballs" and finding ways to attract customers, whether they bought anything or not. Every article in every newspaper in the country parroted the litany as to how you'd be out of business in a year or two if you were not present on the Web in a big way. Of course, this was all crap.

Although John has trouble pointing out why the Web 2.0 bubble will pop I can give him a hint: lack of business model. Yes, that's a boring answer and it was the same as in Bubble 1.0, but as we all know: in the end it is about the money.

Web 2.0 start-ups are now wildly invested in and spending loads of money, only to attract an audience and build expensive products. Youtube spends $1,000,000 per month on bandwidth alone. That's crazy. How much do they make? Not much. How did they maintain themselves? Investors. For them it paid off, they were bought by Google. It paid off. But the thing is, the story doesn't end at an acquisition. What is Google going to do? They have the monetization problem now. They are desperately trying to come up with some kind of advertising thing, but my prediction is that in the end it won't work.

A small part of the little start-ups will be bought by big monsters like Yahoo, Google and Microsoft, the others will die by themselves, because they were not built to make money -- they were built to be sold. The big monsters then end up with very expensive money losing machines that they somehow have to turn to make a profit. It's going to be a challenge.

Don't be surprised if you hear a loud popping sound within the next few years.

iPhone Runs Windows XP


'nuff said. (source)

Massachusetts Gives OpenXML Some Love

Office2007logo.pngNow, I'm not really an XML fanboy, but the rest of the world is and sometimes you just have to be acceptant of things. So I am. Still, when it comes to XML standards there are two important different types:

  1. Free and open standards, such as the Open Document Format (ODF), backed by GPL lovers such as Sun
  2. Seemingly-open, but in fact proper closed proprietary formats like OpenXML, backed by Microsoft
There is good news about number 2, as Massachusetts has finally come to its senses and now allows state employees to use OpenXML:
"The Open XML format may be used for office documents such as text documents (.docx), spreadsheets (.xlsx), and presentations (.pptx)," the final draft reads. "The Open XML format is currently supported by a variety of office applications including Microsoft Office 2007, OpenOffice Novell Edition, and NeoOffice 2.1. Corel has announced Open XML support for WordPerfect 2007. In addition, the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack enables older versions of Microsoft Office such as Office 2003, XP and 2000, to translate documents to and from Open XML Format for text, presentation and spreadsheet documents."

Don't read too much in this compatibility thing though, we all know that the only software that properly interprets and generates OpenXML is the office suite that everybody uses anyway: Microsoft Office. There's a reason people refer to it as "Office" and it doesn't need a prefix like "Open" (puke) or "Neo" (nerd!). And honestly, nobody cares about Wordperfect anymore.

So, welcome back to Office, Massachusetts!

Paul's Stuff

One has to earn fame and do stuff to reinforce this claim to fame. I really do not like people that did something remarkable once (say, sell a company for a couple million to Yahoo) and then exploit this "fame" by giving semi-intellectual talks and writing semi-intellectual books and articles years and years after.

The person I'm talking about, of course, is Paul Graham. He once built (I think) the first web shopping site (written in the purely academic parenthesis-paradise language LISP of all things) and then sold it to Yahoo. Yahoo wasn't too pleased with the fact that it was a LISP system, but Joel said they shouldn't rewrite it, so there they have it.


Since then, what has Paul done, really? He wrote essays, gave talks about how great he felt he was, how LISP programmers are smarter than others, how important it is to start a start-up (which he all of the sudden became an experience expert on). Blah blah blah. Oh, and he started a company with the geeky name Y combinator that gives small amounts of funding to start-ups. One of the start-ups, of course, was Reddit. It's a cheap way of reinforcing your fame, just give a couple of bucks to geeks who will build a product for you that they will then sell for a huge amount -- and there you are, you got your money back and headlines will say that a company funded by you sold for X million dollars. Easy peasy.

Paul's latest semi-intellectual essay is entitled "Stuff". Promising huh?

I have too much stuff. Most people in America do. In fact, the poorer people are, the more stuff they seem to have. Hardly anyone is so poor that they can't afford a front yard full of old cars.

I love the premise! Are you as excited as me? Continue reading!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

How Linuxers Don't Get It

Quality Linux site has published an opinion piece entitled "How Microsoft bought China", which complains about Microsoft lowering prices of Office and Windows to as low as $3. Because of this Linux does not stand a chance, why not, you may ask, well, according to the author, Mr. Nichols:

[SuSE 9] was, in my opinion, the first desktop Linux that had the right combination of ease of use, business-level support and features to be just as good a choice as any version of Windows for a company's desktop use.
What this argument ignores is that for 90 percent of all office workers, Linux does provide 100 percent of the application functionality they need.

So, according to this guy Linux is just as good as Windows. So my question is, why do the Chinese still choose to pay $3 (which I think is about a day's wage for them) if they can get Linux for free? To me that just doesn't make sense. The only explanation I have is that Mr. Nichols is in fact full of crap. Linux is not as easy to use and not even close to a superior product like Windows. Maybe the Chinese are in fact not stupid enough to buy into the GPL lock-in.

Fake Steve Jobs makes good points too:
Freetard the Bootlicker says Microsoft is "dumping products on the market at far below cost." Um, is that not exactly what Linux vendors have been doing? Enabled by rich subsidies from IBM and other hardware players? And has it not occurred to you that the reason IBM pumped one billion dollars (visualize pinkie in corner of Palmisano's mouth) into Linux was precisely so that it could force Microsoft to cut prices on Windows and thereby choke off Microsoft's oxygen supply? Think, jackass. Why is it okay for IBM and its Linux puppets to give software away free but not Microsoft? And why do you care anyway? What difference does it make to you what OS some people in China use? Why does this bother you? Why do you filthy hacks come so unhinged when it comes to Linux? Why are you so emotionally wrapped up in the fortunes of some weird bit of software?