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Archive for September, 2007

Office Suites — A Rant

WHAT is all that nonesense that we find in the news about “OpenOffice.org lacking a mail and collaboration” component? Office suites are made to produce files, not to communicate directly with people. The instant messenger and the mail clients might be suitable for integration. The FTP client and the file manager also. But just as the Web browser (page renderer) never belonged next to/inside a file manager, the mail clients (e.g. Thunderbird) should remain separate from tools that are used to put together and manage complex data.

We don’t need another emacs (program as an “O/S”). Separability facilitates choice and integration can be achieved through standards. Do not borrow Microsoft’s example of integrating the Web browser with the O/S just as means of pushing Netscape out of the market. Don’t repeat mistakes by assuming that one giant framework of programs can replace a personalised collection of pertinent tools.

What on Earth Have I Become?

Help human rights. Help Earth.

OKAY, the title is just sort of humorous and it’s designed to draw your attention. I once foresaw myself as someone who would work in industry making a decent living. That was when I learned. Later I envisioned myself exploring and researching. That was when I worked on my Ph.D. which I could probably finish when I was 24. But then came the stage when I worked. But I enjoyed it. I was drawn to a newly-found passion of mine. I scratched an itch which was identified when I discovered hostility and propaganda directed at the very same thing that I used and loved — Free software.

Things have changed a lot, but it was not an overnight transformation.

At present, I’m a forever-procrastinating Ph.D. candidate who has been virtually sitting on a ready thesis for over a year but not just in order to stay in campus life, which is convenient and liberating (I’ll be forced to just submit it at the end of this month). I’ve been advocating Free software vigorously for about 2 years and I began helping with Groklaw News Picks a year and a half ago. I consider myself to be one who is intimately familiar with many of Microsoft’s misconducts (recent past, but particularly present) and I recently started to share my findings in more visible places. I find it utterly appalling — knowing what I know — that Microsoft is practically above international laws.

What’s next? Who the heck knows…

All I know is that I’ve become part of a force that brings change. The world will continue to change and I wish to be part it, not a residue or a side effect.

If you don’t stand up for what you believe it, you’ll live according to someone else’s desires. Other people’s personal goals sometimes lead to harm. Our rights are taken away, our home (or planet) is gradually destroyed, and people at the top strive to keep everyone else ignorant enough to not realise this.

I had my childhood and I’ve had what people call a “normal” life. Maybe it’s time to ensure that tomorrow children can have a normal life too because the world is becoming worse and worse as the days go by.

Roy as a baby
Me, when I was happy to know nothing about
the way our world really operates

The Great Thing About YouTube

Where else would you find some invaluable videos that are otherwise difficult to get hold of?

Just ignore the disgraceful adverts at the start.

ATI/AMD Announces Driver Breakthrough, Linux Users Rejoice

AMD has just dropped the bomb when it announced a major driver breakthrough. To Linux users, the effect of this news is enormous. To gamers and to projects like Compiz-Fusion, this will be the end of a lot of trouble. Phoronix.com seems to have had some insider information because the site already boasts extensive benchmarks and detailed information. From one among five articles: “Whether you are using a Radeon X300 purchased a few years ago or the Radeon X1950PRO, the 8.41 driver is noticeably faster. How much faster? In many cases it is about 50% faster while in some configurations it may go as high as 90% or more. In fact, in some benchmarks the Mobility Radeon X300 was over 10x faster!”

Monopolies Government Will Not Have You Aware of

Money on keyboard

I have just come across a fascinating little gem which is another example of sheer monopoly abuse that goes uninterrupted.

Joel Klein does not have a well-developed sense of irony. As Clinton Administration antitrust czar, he became a household name with his relentless pursuit of Microsoft, a $40 billion company with 70,000 employees in 100 countries. Today Klein heads the New York City public school system, a conglomeration of 1,450 schools with 136,000 employees, 1.1 million students, and a $15 billion operating budget. Oh, did I mention that it’s a monopoly? Not a private company with a large market share, but an actual monopoly, an organization protected from competition by an exclusive government franchise.

This is terrible, if true. That’s the sort of high-level corruption that goes behind many people’s backs. And while people are encouraged to follow the sports news and celebrities on televisions, such government fraud goes unnoticed and a few individuals rake in billions of dollars.

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