Monthly Archives: June 2010

AbiWord

I came across an article today and thought it was worth mentioning. AbiWord is a word processor similar to open office or MS word, but much much faster. It can be installed on both windows and linux. If you just want a word processor that’s free, light and fast, then give it a try. You wont regret it ^_^

Original article Here

You can read about and download AbiWord Here

Meritocracy not Democracy in Ubuntu

I read this article that reminded me a bit about The Venus Project. It talks about how the founder of the Ubuntu OS, Mark Shuttleworth, made a comment when people where complaining about the close/minimize/maximize buttons being moved to the left hand side in Ubuntu. Here’s what he said.

“(Jono Bacon says) As we discussed different approaches, I recommended that we could hold a vote, to which Mark responded: “No, this is not a democracy.” At first, my reaction was pretty much the same rabbit-caught-in-headlights response that some people experienced recently. Democracy felt like a culturally familiar, comfortable and fair approach to community, so the idea it was not our culture came as a bit of a bolt out of the blue. Mark continued to explain the position:
“In Ubuntu, decisions are not driven by a popularity contest, but instead by informed decision-makers with firm experience of the problem and making solutions.” After he’d clarified what Ubuntu was not, he followed up with what it was: “Ubuntu is a meritocracy.” “

It reminded me of The Venus Project because they don’t advocate democracy for every decision. Not every one is well enough informed to make an appropriate decision in all areas. Think of it this way, would you ask your mechanic to fix your computer? or your lawyer to to plan your dream wedding? or your plumber to fix your teeth? Of course not, because that is not their area of expertise. Of course input is welcomed and encouraged because you don’t need to be an expert in order to think of something to contribute, but its up to the people who are well informed to interpret your idea’s and suggestions and ultimately make a decision.

Read the full story Here

Anti-consumer copyright bill

This is classic! The ministers that are introducing this copyright bill have admited to contradicting it by having lots of music and TV shows on their iPods.

“Last year James Moore admitted he watched “more television on my iPod than I do on an actual conventional television set or through my personal video recorder.” (Canwest News, May 10, 2009) Under his own government’s previous copyright legislation, Bill C-61, this would have been illegal, making Minister Moore liable to punitive fines and jail time. Why is Mr. Moore today proposing legislation that might limit his own use of digital material?

Industry Minister Tony Clement amassed a whopping 10,452 song collection on his iPod by breaking Canada’s existing copyright laws (Canwest May 27, 2010). Today in the Globe and Mail, digital rights expert Michael Geist said he’s “expecting the legislation will lack a flexible ‘fair dealing’ provision that gives users broader leeway to use copyrighted works without permission for legal purposes such as research, reporting, or private study.” (Globe and Mail, June 1 2010)”

Read the full story Here

Flash Destroyer!

This is pretty awesome! It tests flash memory to see what its actual write limit is. Of course it destroys it in the process… but they are currently testing it on some flash that has a 1 million write limit (in theory), but as of this writing its already at 6.7 million writes!

Link Here

Education is a marketplace.

Here is a sad, but true article from slashdot. You can get the paper saying you have a degree in computers, yet know very little practical information about them. Also education is a huge business! How big are most students loans? Huge! As such colleges and university are run like a business, to make money. This means advertising will be less then forth coming. I have also heard that important things are being left out of the curriculum to be replaced by what a company’s “Human resources” are looking for, which often has little to nothing to do with what you will actually be doing at the job. This is probably why I keep seeing clueless people running I.T. departments and find very talented people as the grunts (of course this is not the norm, but I see it enough to be disturbed).

“Advice Line’s Bob Lewis comments on the mixed state of IT education in the US, which sees some students graduating with computer-related degrees despite never having written a line of code. And while some institutions are emphasizing the value of teamwork in their curricula, an approach that fosters specialization in lieu of uniform standards, others are simply advertising their ‘success rates’ in graduating students. ‘Education is a marketplace, and if you have the money and want to buy, you can find someone willing to sell,’ Lewis writes. In other words, ‘If you want a degree that indicates you know something about computers without having to actually know very much about computers, you can get one.'”

Original Post Here