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Archive for November, 2008

Why Mandriva Should Rehire Adam Williamson

I am an exceptionally satisfied Mandriva user who considers it to be the best desktop distribution at the moment. I also recommend it to a lot of people.

The news about Adam Williamson receiving a pink slip is beyond shocking. As Rodger Dean put it, “They don’t get it, without the community involvement there will be no more Mandriva.” And as Wolfgang Bornath put it, “Were it not for Mr. Williamson Mandriva’s output of news and information would have gone down to zero after Mr. Duval and Mr. N’Doua had left the company.”

It’s people like Adam that give the distribution presence and a face, Without him, where would be the push for the distribution and the company to grow? It will be a colossal mistake if the company does not restore Adam’s role. He accepted things politely, having previously made humble and correct remarks about Canonical.

It was weird enough that the company sacked the very symbol and father of the distribution, Gaël Duval, an insightful person whom I’ve had the pleasure of hearing from.

Mandriva, please offer Adam his job back. You will regret it if you don’t, even if you never realise this.

A Case for Unbundling

A computer needs to be as simple to use as an appliance. Whenever you switch it on, it enters a mode of full operation.

When you install software on it, everything should be set up completely, without a hitch.

Failing to achieve a simple installation, it’s clear that something is amiss.

PCs should be sold separately from software. If the software is trivial to install, then it can be offered as an option alongside hardware. It only takes minutes to install from a CD-ROM.

A good set of software can also include customised images and plenty of software of interest, such as an office suite.

Why can’t PCs be sold without an operating system? Because, as Microsoft wishfully argues, customers would struggle to install the operating system.

So make it easier.

Windows will continue to be a hard-to-install mess as long as it provides this argument that Joe Sixpack can’t have it installed.

In other words, as long as Windows is bad, it’s more likely to be bundled, without the offering of choice.

Apple and its separate universe of ‘xenophobic’ hardware and software is another matter altogether.

Should houses also be built with furniture bolted in? Or restaurant serve just one meal because choice is bad and cooking is too complicated?

Being a norm does not make anything right or acceptable.

The ‘Country’ of Africa

A friend told me last month that all candidates this year were bad. Why could no campaign produce decent figure that is able to handle the complexity?

Watch this.

Direct link

On Presidential Power

Direct link

Internet Cafe No Longer Honours Privacy?

EasyInternetCafe (354-358 Oxford Street, London) appears to have nice little spyware running on PCs in the Internet Cafe. Is this legal, ethical or safe? It’s now run under the brand name Swirl.

So here I was in an Internet Cafe in Oxford St. and all these applications were running on it. What do they do? What does it do for security? Is it just for users’ security or so-called ‘national security’ too? They already put keyloggers in India, so it would be shameful to find the same thing in the UK.

Here is what was running, ID information stripped off.

Name Rating PID CPU Memory Active File Type Start Title, Description Manufacturer : product
Remote Administrator v2.2 54% 472 C:\WINDOWS\system32\r_server.exe Program 20:32:15 Remote control tool – Server part : Remote Administrator
Windows Live Sign-in Assistant 46% C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live\WindowsLiveLogin.dll Internet when Internet Explorer starts WindowsLiveLogin.dll – IDBHO.IDBrowserExtension.1 (Browser Extension) Microsoft Corporation : Microsoft? Windows Live Login Helper
CafeAgent 3.49g 44% 1956 C:\Program Files\CafeAgent\CafeAgent.exe Program 19:32:07 SOFCIK : CafeAgent of CafeSuite
SpStart.exe 31% 1992 C:\Program Files\CafeSuite Recovery Module\1.0\SpStart.exe Taskicon 19:32:11 CafeSuite Recovery Module -
hkcmd Module 24% 1712 3.8 MB C:\WINDOWS\system32\hkcmd.exe Program 19:32:02 when Windows starts, Registry: Machine\Run HkWndName Intel Corporation : Intel(R) Common User Interface
PC Tools AntiVirus Engine 23% 256 C:\Program Files\PC Tools AntiVirus\PCTAVSvc.exe Program 20:32:12 PC Tools : PC Tools AntiVirus Engine
Surfovisor Client Service 21% 608 C:\Program Files\SurfovisorClient\Surfovisor.exe Taskicon 20:32:17 Surfovisor, Server PhaseFive AG : Surfovisor
Windows Live Sign-in Assistant 21% 3564 7.4 MB C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live\WLLoginProxy.exe Program 22:17:52 WLLoginProxy.exe Microsoft Corporation : Microsoft? Windows Live Login Helper
Windows User Mode Driver Manager 16% 672 C:\WINDOWS\system32\wdfmgr.exe Program 20:32:17 Microsoft Corporation : Microsoft? Windows? Operating System
CafeAgent 3.49g 6% 1792 15.6 MB 0:05 C:\Program Files\CafeAgent\CafeAgent.exe Program 19:32:03 when Windows starts, Registry: Machine\Run CafeAgent SOFCIK : CafeAgent of CafeSuite
Windows Explorer 0% 1516 21.3 MB 0:42 C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE Program 19:32:01 My Documents, Volume Microsoft Corporation : Microsoft? Windows? Operating System
Internet Explorer 0% 1160 19.0 MB 0:01 C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE Program 22:17:50 from Windows Explorer Security Task Manager – Windows Internet Explorer Microsoft Corporation : Windows? Internet Explorer
PC Tools AntiVirus Client 0% 1720 1% 12.7 MB 0:04 C:\Program Files\PC Tools AntiVirus\PCTAV.exe Taskicon 19:32:02 when Windows starts, Registry: Machine\Run E1DB6607, PC Tools AntiVirus PC Tools : PC Tools AntiVirus Client
igfxTray Module 0% C:\WINDOWS\system32\igfxtray.exe Program when Windows starts, Registry: Machine\Run IgfxTray (not active) Intel Corporation : Intel(R) Common User Interface
Security Task Manager 0% 1124 8% 13.8 MB 0:19 C:\dell\Security Task Manager\taskman.exe Program 22:15:24 Security Task Manager A. & M. Neuber Software : Security Task Manager

Change, Hopefully?

THERE will be a new guy and a new political party in the House. My personal feeling, however, is that the United States administration has done nothing to rid itself of corruption, despite the depression that seems to be coming as a result of deregulation. This means that those running the country will continue to be mega-corporations which fund and contribute to decision-making figures like Obama.

Obama

Democrats, Endorsed by Republicans

‘Some guy’ called Colin Powell had this to say.

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