Five vaguely-attached ideas

Once again I’ve collected a few links that I thought might make interesting posts, but to be honest, all of these are of a larger scale that what I usually focus on. And since some of them work on national and international levels, what I have to say about them is hardly important.

So in the format established by this post, I’m going to jot a quick note about each, and remove them from my to-write list.

  1. Starting with the most immediate, some folks have taken to calling YouTube “UselessTube” around the office. This stems from their dissatisfaction and being unable to see Olympic replays on the site. Personally I am not a big Olympics watcher, and I am not a big YouTube fan either, so the two things together don’t really enter my figurative consciousness. I will, however, agree that any time corporations get involved with things that began at a community level — like YouTube was, years ago — they quickly become less and less fun.
  2. Moving back toward Linux, apparently some people still think, even at this late date, that Ubuntu is not a contender. Three years ago you might have been able to make that argument, but we’re too far down the road with a product that only gets more and more popular to suggest it will fail. If a corporation could come up with a project or product that had even half the success that Ubuntu has had over the past five years, they would be rolling in money. So let’s get past the idea that Ubuntu and Linux “can’t compete” — by including them in the argument, you invalidate your position.
  3. Having said that, Matt Asay’s blueprint for Canonical’s future is a bit hollow to me. I hold Mr. Asay in about as much regard as I do Rory Clellan-Jones, in that marketing and corporate types aren’t much different from journalists any more. And I expect lofty overblown predictions from people like Mr. Asay, who are company front men. And personally I stand behind my comment from years ago, that Linux is essentially a follower, but no worse for being one.
  4. “More corporate funny business” is how I mentally categorize the recent shutdown of a botnet by Microsoft. Personally I’d like a lot more information on what exactly gets done when a botnet is “shut down,” because if it’s that easy, then you’d think they would be able to do a lot more to stop the other ones that are out there. Then again, if Microsoft hadn’t created such weak-sauce products, then maybe it wouldn’t a problem in the first place. …
  5. Microsoft is just another company trying to milk you of every dollar you have though, so I wouldn’t doubt for a second that it’s in league with the clowns trying to politicize open source as an axis of evil. The sad part is, judging by my experiences living in America, it’s altogether possible that such efforts will see fruit. I suppose, by extension, as someone who uses open-source applications and software, I am now an enemy of the American public. …
  6. (Bonus!) The sad part is, there are actually places on the planet where freedom and access to information are in danger, and not just from political shenanigans, as they often are in America. This note about the importance of TOR access in places like China or Iran will tug on your heartstrings, and had me halfway convinced that a building a TOR access point out of an old laptop is a worthy project. If I get the time and the know-how, I’ll give it a try, but of course, time and know-how are two things I just don’t have much of these days. … :|

That’s probably enough rambling. Now where’s my to-write list, so I can scratch those off. … :)

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3 Responses to “Five vaguely-attached ideas”


  1. 1 JoshMiller 2010/03/02 at 12:57 AM

    On Number 2

    While I use Linux more and more and find it useful, It’s still “not quite there” for most use. I know what I’m doing so I can poke around and fix the issues I come across but most people will have no clue.

    For example, I put Ubuntu on my new netbook. I had issues such as, the USB key build didn’t load even though I followed the instructions. The Wireless didn’t work “out of the box” because it used the so called restricted drivers. These seem like minor issues and they were resolved but the reality is they would be complete deal breakers for people who aren’t familiar with how a computer works on a more fundamental level than “you turn it on and type”. Or even for people who have no clue how to properly use Google.

  2. 2 Dan 2010/03/09 at 9:52 PM

    On Number 6:
    The Blog you link to about the importance of TOR seems to have been killed.
    It’s still in google’s chache at the moment but given that google must have killed the blog I don’t know how long that will stay true.
    http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:6i0sqBvkN2YJ:shensimilia.blogspot.com/2010/02/broken-onion.html+shensimilia+tor&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&client=firefox-a

  3. 3 Loui 2010/03/13 at 3:24 AM

    Looks like the blog’s name was changed. http://anavahavana.blogspot.com/2010/02/broken-onion.html

    Cheers


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