Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy or Sad?

Should I be happy or sad? I just did a search for Sidux and Webcams and the top hit below the sidux homepage was my blog. If I wanted to do a search for my blog, I would already know where it was! So, is it good that my blog comes up for this? I mean, I don't answer the question that I had, so it's probably not a very good idea to have my blog be in the top ten.

But I'm happy that my blog is apparently deemed relevant by digital brains.

So I'm conflicted. Maybe people will start reading my blog, thus giving me a feeling of self worth, and pushing me upward to global domination.

Or more likely, people will hit that little "down" arrow next to the search results, thus relegating me to a life of complete obscurity.

Oh well. Read the netflix post, it has meaning.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Open Letter to Netflix And Networks

Dear Visual Media Moguls.

First of all, to be perfectly clear, we don't really care about you. There will always be media, there will always be things we can watch. If you fail, someone else will be willing to work within our constraints and will be willing to play fair.

What do I mean by "play fair?" It is simple. We want to watch our shows. We don't want to be harrassed by your petty protection of rights. We are happy with commericals, and will frequently enjoy watching them, but we are not very pleased with jumping through hoops to view our content.

This world has changed, yet you seem to believe that business should continue as it always has. You no longer control the media. If we want to get it, we will. You cannot control the information. There are thousands of ways to 'steal' media with more coming.

That is not to say that I want to steal media. I do not. I pay for what I want to watch, or I watch commericals that pay for what I want to watch. I am happy with this arrangment. This is not what should change.

The attitude is what should change. The silly petty competition between networks should change. You do not argue about what television set is allowed to attach to which providers, do not incure the same restrictions online.

I am, of course, talking about Boxee and Hulu. Hulu has affiliations, I understand, with NBC and Fox, where Boxee has affiliations with CBS. Whoo-de-friggin-doo. Who cares? If I like NCIS and McGyver, I will watch those shows. If I like Heros, I will watch that show. The commercials are traced the same way, do not force me to endure your petty squabbles. I want a single interface and I want it to be open source.

Why Open Source? So it can be the best possible solution. You seem to think that the open source community is bent on stealing media. Really, if something is easily downloadable, it is not worth anything on the market of theivery. Just accept that, make your content available and stop the complaining.

I'm going to go watch some ST:TOS on Boxee now.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The future of linux.

The future of linux is in change. We need to fix our image of being a difficult operating system to use, but we need to also distance ourselves from the traditional models of operating systems. Some of you might have already read my Sidux page, so you know that I'm grumpy about Ubuntu right now. Canonical has a good thing going, and I really like what they are doing. I just don't agree with the bloatware.

Why do you need all the zings and doo-dads? I would argue that the Linux niche should be in forwarding the Open Source movement, instead of being a result of it.

Jelki, what the heck! You're nuts. You don't even make sense!

I know, which is why this is a blog and you are still reading.

In the open source movement, we know that there is GREAT software out there that enables you to do wonderful things. But most of these things are either Linux dependent or Linux afterthought. That is, you have to already have bought-in to the Linux idea or you have to have already been in the community for a long while.

We need to be offering solutions that the commercial groups cannot because they do not see a profit in doing so.

This is easier than you might think.

First, project management is too convoluted for this solution, but it's the answer. Massive corporations spend millions of dollars on complex e-mail systems to increase cooperation of staff. This is stupid. E-mail is a lousy collaborative tool as any group of more than two gets muddled and confused as to what is going where, when and how.

Enter SVN, CVS or Git. These tools are setup with concurrent versioning already. Beyond being hoplessly confusing to use, they are perfect for building proposals or developing research. Why are no corporations using this as a tool? Why are universities not using it? The answer is in another question: Have YOU managed to install a working and simply CVS implementation? What? No you say?

Hmmm... I've not fiddled with these tools. I've fiddled with their very basic cousins, the Wiki page. Wiki pages are frequently used for collaborative efforts. Why not concurrent versioning tools?

Take the tools we use every day, make them just a little easier to use, and Linux will take off like mad. There I said it... Maybe in a few years I can be as eccentric and odd as RMS...



I love Sidux. Really. A lot. It's nice. So far I have only had two problems, both of which were problems I've had previously and don't have nice solutions. They both seem to stem form Kernel issues in 2.6.27+ kernels. It just seems that being where I'm at in the Kernel dev schedule, my stuff isn't fully supported. Namely, NVIDIA drivers and GSPCA USB camera drivers.

No big deal, I'm not all that concerned about snazzy graphics and USB Cameras.

Beyond that, Sidux is fast. It's got KDE on it, but it doesn't bog down at all. My previous experiences with KDE have been Ubuntu based, and they really like to bloat it down with extra apps and such. Here, it's a really nice usable desktop environment.

It's also madly configurable. I can get Sidux to do just about anything that I want it to without it telling me that I have to remove this or that package, and that it's not recommended or some such.

Finally, I'll never have to upgrade again! Yay! Just running regular upgrades will keep me up to date with everything that I need to do!

Did I mention it was fast? Blazingly fast?


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Update: 8.10

Well, I have updated to Ubuntu 8.10. Some of you may already know this, if you're on IRC with me, or if you've been following my twitter feed.

The Good:

The Pulse Audio Support is much better in this release. I'm still not sold on the idea that pulse is the way to go, but at least I have (or rather had) Lives running, sort of had Cinelerra running, and Audacity is going fine.

Lives was running, then started crashing, not sure what I did there. Cinelerra is still not happy with the Ubuntu way of doing things. I'm not sure if it's something I'm doing wrong in my configuration or if it's just a compatibility issue.

The Bad:

Upgrading releases of Ubuntu has never (EVER) worked correctly for me. I've been running Ubuntu since the very early days. It was perhaps my fourth distro. (I started off with FC3, then 4, Mandriva, Debian then Ubuntu.) This trip around was no different. Lost my GUI and had to reinstall the nvidia drivers. Pain in the rear!

8.10 is loading slowly. I know I can probably fix this, but I don't want to HAVE to fix it.


Ubuntu continues to be a very nice distro, but still falls down on the upgrade level. But the good news is that most people will NEVER need to really upgrade it. My parents are still running 7.04 on their home computer. It doesn't crash, it's stable and does what they need.


Ok, So I was driving home from the park with my wife and little boy. Driving, quite happily, just watching cars and trees and all those road-ish kind of things. An there, out of the blue, a bumper sticker.

Let me back up in my thinking. According to the wags and pundits, the people who supported George Bush as president were the conservative Christians. I generally found this to be true, as being a somewhat liberal Christian, I have many conservative Christian friends.

According to the same wags and pundits, it was the Liberal non-believers who were most against the Bush Regime. Which sounds about right to me.

Now, I would assume that this model is following; that the Conservative Christians are against Obama and the Liberals are in favor of Obama.

So when I saw the bumper sticker, "Hate Obama" I was surprised! I can understand "Impeach Obama," "Export Obama," and even, "Obama is Evil," even if I disagree with all those statements. But the imperative, "Hate Obama?" That's just strange.

Why would you encourage more hatred? Assuming that you are a conservative Christian, why are you hating at all? Or have you removed yourself so far from Christ that hate has become second nature to you? Or are you just some moron who can't feel anything other than hatred?

It's a sad commentary on the world that such a sentiment exists towards our President. Like him or not, we should at least give him a few weeks before declaring our undying hatred of the man!

Personally, I think that he'll do just a fine job. He doesn't seem to have any ulterior motives, and seems to be doing the best he can for the country. He doesn't seem to be overly concerned about formalities or other mostly trivial concepts, so let us see if he's got what it takes to make America a nice place to live again.