Monday, August 31, 2009

2009: Watching TV

        I haven't watch a movie on a widescreen theater since 2007 and I am not sure which film that is to be honest.  I've been watching movies through DVD's and lately online, downloaded to my hard drive.  I don't gain that much by goint to a movie theater.  The price of theater tickets and then the commute and the can of soda and sandwich afterwards just doesn't justify going this route to satisfy my hunger for entertainment. 

        Mostly family just decide on what DVD to rent or buy and then we watch it at home with our big tv and DVD player.  Yesterday it wasn't a DVD, but the complete first 6 episodes of House.  No we don't have cable.  We decided we don't need the monthly cable fees.  We downloaded these using bit torrent.  The way we watch tv and movies are changing. 

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I Use Linux

        I use Linux because it works for me.  I remember when I used to run my anti virus software and make sure it's updated.  I used to check if my anti malware application is also updated and running to optimum.  After all that I made sure that my third party firewall is set to desired security specifications.  This is the windows mind set.  All these additional applications add to the cost of running windows and they use precious computer resources each second you launch them.

        I use Linux because it adjusts for the way I work.  The first thing I do after a Linux installation is to change its default configuration.  Nothing wrong with the default, in fact I'm sorry I had to change it but that's not they way I work.  I change several keyboard shortcuts here and there to suit my habit.  I change some desktop colours.  Lessen the saturation, turn down the brightness so it doesn't hurt the eyes.  Choose preferred applications and set which application to open based on what type of file is being opened.  There is a way to tweak it to suit your preferences.  I have never found this level of freedom of choice in any other operating system I've used. 

        I use Linux because it is secure and stable.  Any bug or flaw to the operating system are reported and fixed by the community of open source developers.  The growing number of Linux developers promises more eyes on the code.  More people working on fixing it means less time using it with the flaw and worrying when an attack will come. 

        I use Linux because of its stand on software freedom.  Cloud computing is coming, if not here now, and it means putting applications and data in remote servers somewhere.  I  need to support those who work to keep my computing free from the control of censorship and from those who want to perpetuate a medieval definition of copyright. 

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Place for the Death Camps

        Auschwitz is synonymous to genocide.  The death camps that the Nazi built to murder millions of Jews and others, stand now as reminders of this horrible crime.  There are those who deny history and there are those who revise it to suit their own purposes.  This is why it is necessary to preserve relics and documents of history.

        29 sketches of the death camps, blueprints of facilities including the gas chambers were recently discovered in Berlin.  These were sent to Israel where the government plans to display them in the Holocaust Museum.  The drawings, some bearing dates as far back as 1941, prove that the death camps were products of deliberate planning by the Nazi. 

        As the survivors of the Holocaust grow fewer in numbers, their story must be told to a new generation.  For while it is true that we are born free, it is also our nature to be complacent.  Perhaps around a camp fire out in the mountains, young souls may yet hear about Auschwitz and swear it will not happen again. 

Friday, August 28, 2009

Will Work For ______ (blank)

        What truly motivates people to perform?  Money?  Incentives?  Does big pay for performers work?  If you own a business you want to know how to properly motivate your employees.  If you are an employee you have to re-examine what you value and in fact we do see this in the number of turnovers of companies.

        This pod cast of Dan Pink, a lawyer and motivational speaker, presents proof that money and incentives does not motivate people to perform better.  In some cases he points out that motivating people to accomplish a goal through money, even bigger money, will not produce results.

        Here is the link to the pod cast.  

FSF vs. Windows 7

        The Free Software Foundation is holding a demonstration against Windows 7 and Microsoft.  They definitely don't like Windows 7. 

        I believe that Windows 7 is more of the same genuine advantage bull that went overboard in its initial implementation with XP.  It is more in protecting drm and less in giving users what they are asking for in an operating system.  I think MS still don't get it.  And so we march on.

G-yahooooo!

      The Google Mail team should be congratulated with yet another innovation.  This one is quite close to my heart because I've been looking and waiting for this for years.  I don't know why it took so long to implement this.  I thought that email would soon be obsolete before this gets implemented.  Gmail can import my other email accounts.  POP? Yes. Hotmail? Yes.

      I wandered over at my Gmail inbox and was surprised at how ugly the "look" is.  I love the "ugly" look.  There are other themes I can use.  I'm not much of a skins guy.  Nope.  I'd stick with the default if there really is no great advantage in changing anything.  If it ain't broke don't fix it.

      I can't believe it.  Gmail can get my Yahoo messages and my Hotmail messages. 
      G-yahoooo!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Emailing vs Browsing

   I have always preferred emailing to browsing.  Browsing just takes too long and makes me wait all the time.  I may have a slow internet service.  Maybe that's the issue there.  But I want to concentrate on the subject here.  I like emailing as compared to browsing.

    I use an email client that let's you compose and save to draft.  You have a lot of options on what to do with your finished message.  You can save it, you can schedule the sending or even archive it to a folder customized for unsent messages.  You can forward messages and insert stuff like pictures and other documents into your message. 

    I really don't like browsing as an activity.  You click then wait, then respond to what's on the screen by clicking/typing, then wait.  I might as well be thinking long than waiting for my browser to finish offering me information.  It's dumbing.  And for this to go on all day long at work or in the home is going to make me insane.