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Stop the War, Stop Economic Decline.

The United States, and indeed the world, seems to be entering an economic slump. I’m not sure about the rest of the world but the economy in the United States has been taking a nose dive ever since King George entered office, however it seems to bee accelerating as of late. Lets apply some logic to this situation and what our brilliant government officials are doing about it.

NOTE! I am not an economist and I do not claim to even be in anyway similar to one. These are only my opinions!

So, to start things out lets take a look at why The U.S.A.’s economy is on the decline. A lack of money. The Average consumer doesn’t have a whole lot of money and what they do have they have to spend to pay for the things they have already bought. This isn’t really anything new it has been going on for the last decade maybe (that is a guess so don’t hold me to it). The real problem here as that somebody got the bright idea to give these people huge loans they couldn’t pay for. Not all of the blame is on the people though; in fact, I put most of the blame on the Government, king George that is. To have a stable economy the government must have money and they don’t because they are spending it all to “liberate” the shit out of Iraq and Afghanistan (and soon Iran). The government is spending $275,000,000 (275 million) a day fighting this pointless war with a total cost of over $489,000,000,000 as I write this (source).

In the past I have actually been against pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan (though I did promote a very different management of the war) because we screwed up their countries and I think the least we could do before we leave is fix it, but things have changed. In my opinion, if we don’t pull out we could bring down the global economy with us.

That is my take on the Economy and how it should be fixed. Now lets look at what the government is doing. king George and his marry men(congress) want to give already cash strapped people $600 with the hopes that they will immediately turn around and spend it on new crap they don’t need. If people are as smart as I hope they are when they get their $600 checks they will only have two thought: save it or pay off my debt. I say that they shouldn’t spend it which won’t help the economy because in the long run I don’t think this will do diddly squat anyway, because those people who choose to spend it (assuming they are people of the cash strapped kind) will then again not have any money to put into the economy. Congratulations Congress you just spend a bunch of money to do nothing! Did FDR hand people a pile of money and say go buy shit. no!

So, I urge you citizen of this country don’t vote another crazy neocon in to office.

P.S. I really wanted to give this a title which invoked “Save the cheerleader, save the world.” but I couldn’t think of anything. So if can think of a better title let me know.

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Posted by on January 28, 2008 in economics, opinion, politics

 

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Big Corporations Hate You

It is my opinion that big corporations(or at least electronics corporations such as Sony) hate every single one of their customers.My proof for this is every product made my a large electronics company, especially Sony. When the PSP came out a few years ago the first thing I thought was “Awesome I’ll be able to carry around roms of old out of copyright games and play them when ever I want!.” NOPE! Sony has repeatedly gone out of their way to make it harder and harder to get hombrew code onto a PSP and for what? Are they trying to protect us from viruses or root kits? I doubt it. I think they are doing it just to annoy the snot out of users. The sad thing is that it hasn’t hurt their sales (that much).

Lo I have more. Sometimes last year I bough a new Samsung SPH A900M to replace my old failing (the mic was going out) Samsung phone (I like Samsung). This phone is, in my opinion, the best dumb phone you can (or can’t because it isn’t sold anymore except maybe in some walmarts), but It has some huge problems. This first problem I don’t know who to attribute too. So my phone is a “media” meaning it comes with a usb cable and acts as a mass storage device so I can put music on it and stream music and video and stuff like that (more about all of this later). The only problem is that I can’t use the mp3s I put onto it as ring tones. If I want new ring tones I have to buy them from Sprints store (and they all suck)! Ok fine, it is just a phone I don’t need it to play music when I call as long as it can make some kind of noise; whatever. I would just like to know if it is Samsung of Sprint that is blocking me from using my own mp3s as ring tones. Now because this phone is a “media phone” Sprint wants me to pay an extra monthly fee to get power vision (EVDO internet) and won’t even allow me to use the regular vision that already came standard with my package! The worst thing is that I asked the guys working at the sprint store if I would still be able to send and receive test messages. They said of course you just can’t send picture mail. So I’m ok with not having internet on my phones tiny screen I guess. Well after I had the phone for a few month a send a few test messages (I don’t use them that much because they are pointless) and I got charged for them. My dad (The stuff is in his name) called up sprint to ask what was up. They said that my phone did not have vision and thus could not send/receive text messages and then tried to get us to buy the power vision package (witch doesn’t even work where I live so I would be using regular vision anyway and he told them this) even after we explained to him that we were told that I would still be able to send/receive text messages. Did you get that? I need EVDO to send a freaking text message!

And yet the list continues… Apple tries very hard to keep hombrew code off of their ipods and iphones and may even be going as far as bricking their own products on purpose. With the new ipods the library is hashed so that if any program other than itunes edits the content all of it will become unusable, yes I know here is a work around. Microsoft does everything they can to inhibit a users abilities. Sony makes some of the best game consoles out there (hardware wise) and then makes impossible rules to get content onto them. Just take a look around you at all of the electronics in your house that you can’t use properly because they have been intentionally crippled by their manufacture. What kind of a company does this? How can they expect to continue to make money when everyone hates them? They don’t because they haven’t thought that far ahead yet. These corporations can’t think past the next quarter. If just one could think in the long run and they could crush all of their competition by making good products. I know they have a legal obligation too make money for their share holders, but if I were a shareholder in one of these companies I would be worried about the things they are doing to make me money could cause the collapse of the company. The share holders don’t make any money if the corporation goes out of business and they stand to make a lot more money if the company would only stop worrying about making the biggest profits they can right now and think about how to make boat loads of money over a long period of time.

Rant over.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2008 in economics, opinion

 

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Windows 7 Sounds like it is going to Suck Hard

Update: Dec 23, 2008 Most of my prodictions in this post have proven to be wrong. I have used a beta (or was it alpha?) of windows 7 (don’t ask me for a copy) and I can say it is a lot like vista, but with many improvements. I haven’t used vista much (for personal use anyway) since the beta so I’m probably not the best person to ask regarding the improvements windows 7 has made, but I have told by windows fanboys that they are rather significant. Needless to say windows 7 is not a thin client like I predicted in this post (thankfuly), however they are going to be doing something with cloud networking but I no idea what it is (I don’t know if it is really known/understood what they are doing). If you have any information or input about the reality of windows 7 please leave a comment.

Bill gates on windows 7 ” That means that right now when you move from one PC to another, you’ve got to install apps on each one, do upgrades on each one. Moving information between them is very painful. We can use Live Services to know what you’re interested in. So even if you drop by a [public] kiosk or somebody else’s PC, we can bring down your home page, your files, your fonts, your favourites and those things. So that’s kind of the user-centric thing that Live Services can enable. [Also,] in Vista, things got a lot better with [digital] ink and speech, but by the next release there will be a much bigger bet. Students won’t need textbooks; they can just use these tablet devices. Parallel computing is pretty important for the next release. We’ll make it so that a lot of the high-level graphics will be just built into the operating system. So we’ve got a pretty good outline.” (from Wikipedia)

What that means is that windows 7 is going to be a thin client which is just used to connect to a copy of windows server over prised edition that isn’t any better than the previous edition but cost a lot more because we like to rip you off edition (or what ever the version is when windows 7 comes out). You will have to pay a monthly fee to access this server, which is the entire reason they are doing it like that in the first place, and it will be very sloooooow and unreliable. Oh and lets not forget that they will have complete access to your unencrypted files, because they would never offer to encrypt them for you, but don’t worry they won’t look at them.

ReactOS is starting to smell really good right about now… Though their homepage doesn’t reflect it if you look over at SourceForge you will see that they have just pushed out Build Environment 1.0!

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2007 in Microsoft, opinion

 

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Microsoft will Die, part 2

Last time I talked about why I think Microsoft is going to die and what I think they should do to save themselves. I got the response that I expected to get, disagreement, but that is ok because I like to argue.

Today I would like to talk about who could kill Microsoft and how they could do it. I want this to be from a neutral point of view from the part 1, meaning that I don’t care if it is likely for Microsoft to die I just want to talk about who could kill them if they really were going to die. What I mean by that is if Microsoft dies who is going to be the one to edge them out? Oh and this one isn’t a foss vs Microsoft thing like the last one.

Community driven linux distros are really good but they aren’t going to take on Microsoft anytime soon because they don’t have the organization, or resources. People want to get their software from a company that they can go to if they have problems. Sure they can go to a third party to get tech support but most people won’t want to mess with that because lets face it people are lazy and don’t care if the third party would be better or not.

I want to break this down to four(4) questions:
1. Who could defeat Microsoft In the home pc/workstation market?
2. How will they do it?
3. Who could defeat Microsoft in the Server market?
4. How will they do it?

1.
There is a pretty big list of people that could compete with Microsoft for the Home pc/workstation market: Apple, Sun, Novel, Red Hat, and Canonical. I previously Talked about my feelings towards Solaris. So I think I can safely say that as long as sun doesn’t drastically change directions with solaris you will not find a Solaris box in every home until everyone becomes Masochistic computer geeks. However, Sun can not be counted out of the Workstation business because as long as there is an in house IT presence willing to work with Solaris it will have a place in the work environment. I could be completely wrong and Solaris is the best thing since sliced awesome. And yes I know I’m doing them out of order.

As you may know if you’ve ever read the blog, my main computer is a mac running Mac OS 10.4. I like Mac OS because it makes some things easy, easy generally means less options though. Oh, and I also know that using a Mac makes me a hypocrite, but that is a story for another time. The average user will have no problem using a Mac as long as they are willing to learn that it is just different from windows and not just wrong because it isn’t what they are used to. Apple is pretty self explanatory so I’m not going to go on any further about them, except to say that Apple isn’t that strong in the workstation area.

Novel is a lot like Sun except that their product is more user friendly. Novel seems to be going more for the workstation sales more than anything else, which makes sense. I personally don’t like Suse that much but that isn’t to say it isn’t a great piece of software. With Novel’s stupid patent agreement thing with Microsoft they may well end up being the go to guys for businesses that fall for Microsoft’s saber rattling. I assume that Novel also offers some kind of tech support for Suse so that will bring in people that don’t care about the patent deal as well.

The thing that makes these next two different form the previous three is that they are community driven, with backing from a corporation. RHEL isn’t Community driven but fedora is so actually Red Hat fits into both, kinda. For Workstations RHEL is the best option from Red Hat if you want them to support it, but in the Home PC market RHEL is not really worth it because you can’t buy just a single license, or at least I don’t think you can, so Fedora is your best option. Red Hat doesn’t sell tech support for Fedora as far as I know but if they wanted to market it to home users in an attempt to make money they probably would offer it. If your wondering how they could make money off fedora hang on just a little bit because I’m going to explain that in answering question two.

Canonical is probably the best choice of all of these for a non-technical home user. I haven’t used the newest version of Ubuntu (Gusty Gibbon) so I can’t comment of its usability but I can comment of older versions so I will. Historically Ubuntu has been more user friendly than other distros (this is actually very arguable) but I don’t think that if I gave me dad a copy of Ubuntu he would be able to use it very well. Maybe Ubuntu has become the most user friendly (idiot friendly) OS known to man since last I used it, but I doubt it. So anyway, Canonical is in the best position of all the companies that I have mentioned to take over in the home user market because they already have a presence with Dell. If dell offered pcs that were significantly cheaper due to Ubuntu in a way that made it just as easy for your average Joe to get them as it is to get a windows box from Dell I think a lot more people would go for the machines running Ubuntu.

2. How will they do it? If I were put in charge of one of these companies and asked to try and gain market in the Home the first thing I would do is to through it in a box and ask Walmart, Best Buy, Circuit City, and who ever else I could find to sell my stuff. I would sell it as cheaply as possible and since all of the Companies I mentioned are selling Free Software (excluding apple) as cheaply as possible means free. Of course, I would charge something for the box but I wouldn’t actually charge for the OS. So I would charge a few bucks to compensate the money I spent to make the physical box itself (paper, cd, ink, shipping) and I would charge a fee for tech support. As long as the price is lower than windows and you can make money off of tech support this should work. The major advantage this has over windows is that tech support is not included when you buy windows, If you want tech support from Microsoft it will cost you on a per call basis. Like I said before people like tech support, but they like “free” tech support better.

The next thing I would do is try to get an already established hardware vendor to sell my product. I’ve already discussed why I would do that so I’m not going to do it again.

3. The list of contenders in the server market is about the same as the home pc market. you have, Sun, IBM, Novel, Apple, Red Hat, and Canonical. Microsoft is not as strong in the server business as they are in the home/workstation business so it wouldn’t really take much to beat them. The only place where I can think of windows servers being dominant is file servers or windows domain for a businesses and organizations that don’t know better. Because I feel that a lot of this is obvious and this is starting to get long and I don’t want to split it into another post I’m only going to talk about the exceptional companies.

I would not use Ubuntu as a server for any purpose at all. Ubuntu isn’t designed to be a server it is designed to be human friendly which is a direct con tradition of what a server is. Ubuntu is designed for people that don’t know what they are doing and not for people that want to do it themselves or do it right. Now I’ve never used Ubuntu sever but if it is anything like the normal version what I have said is true. If you want a Linux server you need a Linux for geeks not for human beings.

4. How will they do it? simple Charge less. If Microsoft is charging a $10000 per year site license fee for a host to run Windows give them them your OS with hardware included for the same price in a one time deal. Or you could just show them your uptimes ;).

I did end up talking a lot about free software but that is just because there is very little non-free software out there that isn’t Unix. Unix is great but is it becoming less important as business move away from it towards Gnu/Linux. On top of that the one Unixen I did mention is free; the world seems to be moving towards free software so that is what I had to discuss.

If I forgot anything let me know.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2007 in Microsoft, opinion

 

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Fun with Solaris

I previously talked about my experiences with Fedora 7 and I would like to update you on that a little bit before I move on. I tried my Nvidia card of doom and as expected it didn’t work but that is okay because it really isn’t much of an improvement over the onboard intel graphics. So last time I complained about the lack of vlc in the repository well sense then I have found livna.org which seems to be a repository or rpms for fedora, and I think maybe some other rpm based distros. Unlike apt-get on Debian, yum takes care of all the stuff that the user shouldn’t have to mess with; you just download an rpm from them and their repository, key, and whatever else it might need are added to your system. I’m not sure if that is a feature of yum or just something linva went out of their way to do. If you know let me know in the comments.

Now for the stuff for which this post is being made.

As I said last time I got some of Suns free Solaris DVDs and though it took me a lot longer to get around to it then I thought it would I tried to install it. I say tried because after I got it installed I couldn’t get it to boot; I think this was because my computer has a bad bios and can’t keep time (ntp wasn’t available). I have had several issues with that problem. From what I saw of Solaris it seems to be a really bad system for the average user; Solaris is Unix and shows it. Because my computer can’t keep time every time it boots it gets really confused because it thinks it has been years sense the last time it had booted; Ok that that big of a problem just keep going and ignore it right? Not with Solaris, Solaris wants to run some scripts to “fix” stuff, which never worked, and after you get passed the scripts you are dumped to a bash login. Again I thought ok this isn’t a problem I’ll just run the GDM and log in, Think again. Root for somereason doesn’t get to run the GDM because he doesn’t own it. I tried a few more times and then I gave up. Maybe I was just doing it wrong or something… If you know please tell me how to fix this. After I couldn’t get Solaris to work I tried Sabayon for a while and then went back to Fedora.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2007 in linux, opinion, review

 

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