British Men Jailed For Online Hate Crimes
Actually, freedom of speech is guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, 1689. However, keeping a freedom requires the populace to care about it. In Britain's case everyone's too busy hating Europeans (then going on holiday there), being paranoid about jails full of paedophiles and being scared of terrorists and KnifeCrime(tm) to worry about the finer points of freedom of speech. Obviously these two are a pair of scum bags, so no-one cares to defend them, for what it's worth I believe their freedom of speech should be guaranteed, but try telling that to the populace.
Here are a few ideas of w h o, and wh at, might be responsible for this situation. :)
The 1285 Statute of Westminster even gave the English people the right (actually it was a requirement) to bear arms, it was due to this -- and technologically 'advanced' longbows -- that we managed to trounce those ghaslty frogs at Agincourt, but that's another story.
MS Money Poll
Wow. Seriously, this looks pretty good, seems it can actually format invoices without having to learn an obscure LISP dialect (unlike GNUcash).
Your site could do with some globalisation though. For example: up here in Canada we have GST as well, but Americans probably have no idea what that is. In Europe/UK GST is called VAT. Your site aside, how well does the application handle the different global tax systems? Also, all your prices for the hosted service are in NZ dollars, it would be great if you could provide a currency select box, or country picker.
I'm a Web designer/developer, so I get grumpy when I see table-based layouts. Since it's accounting software I understand design isn't really your thing (nor should it be), but see how nice your site could look if you switch to a properly designed site, with separated code and layout! :) In particular your hosted plan page could be made to look a lot more inviting.
Anyway, not trying to be rude, just offering some constructive criticism. What you've got there looks really promising and I've been looking for a GNU/Linux friendly accounts package. Oh, and give me a shout if you need some help with the design side of things! ;)
UK Government To Back Off Plans To Share Private Data
is Orwell's "1984" being used as a policy guide in the UK by her politicians?
No, but Franz Kafka's The Trial is. :)
The people comparing today's Britain to Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four are not taking everything into account. For a start the government isn't trying to insert cameras in everyone's bedrooms, they're not that cynical. They actually believe what they're doing is for the benefit of the people.
Also, many of these awful laws are driven by tabloid newspapers (Rupert Murdoch and The Sun). Part of Tony Blair's success was thanks to his schmoozing with Murdoch's and other tabloids, Brown has continued this trend. Now, despite crime rates decreasing, tabloids have been screeching about youth and 'knife-crime' for a while. Now the government are desperate to be seen to be doing something about it (since their popularity is at an all-time low).
So the source of these laws is public hysteria over knife-crime (generated by The Sun et al), pressuring an unpopular government into doing something, anything so they will be seen to be trying to fix a problem that only exists to sell newspapers.
The reason British tabloids have become so sensationalist is they're losing market share to Internet sites. The government are, as are the tabloids, stuck in a pre-Internet mindset where newspapers have more power than they actually do.
This is not Orwellian. The British government have not set out to control the populace, that will just be a purely unintentional side-effect. What they are doing is creating Kafka-esque bureaucracies -- particularly at local level, see: local authorities using anti-terror laws to check whether kids actually live within the catchment area of their schools, for example -- with the power to decide a persons guilt without giving that person an opportunity to defend themselves. Indeed, without that person even realising they're being investigated, or that they're committing a crime. They may not be using The Trial as a reference when doing this, but they certainly seem to think government should be able to determine guilt without any interference from annoying things like defence lawyers and juries. :)
There are many other dissimilarities with Nineteen Eighty Four, but that's the primary one.
Dreamweaver Is Dying; Long Live Drupal!
I find most CMS all so cookie-cutter dreadful and difficult to enhance.
Drupal aint like that. You can theme anything in Drupal.
What these new web programming frameworks all lack is some good designers on their team.
More Indications Windows 7 Is Coming In 2009
There have been large amounts of astroturf around this latest release, Slashdot has certainly played its part in posting many articles fawning over the new operating system.
Personally, I installed the beta on a VM, it's certainly slower than XP (in terms of time to start up and resources used when booted). Once the feeling of wow, this really does look like KDE4! was gone, I was left feeling rather deflated and eventually just went back to my Ubuntu desktop. It looks, feels, and even the feature list reveals, that this is just another minor release of Vista. A Vista SE, if you will. :)
Having said this, it's is just my opinion and I'm not representative of the great computer-using public. Here are my predictions for the release of Windows 7:
- sites like ZDnet and Slashdot will continue to hype the release -- Microsoft's PR dollars at work;
- GNU/Linux users may try the release, acknowledge it's a minor improvement and go back to their GNOME/KDE desktops;
- 'power users' will get excited about the release, because sites like ZDnet tell them to (and it is an incremental improvement);
- people who like Microsoft stuff, and have been silent during the Vista debacle, will loudly crow about Windows 7 as their sense of shame in Vista diminishes with the promise of a new release;
- the general public won't care, but will receive seven when they get a new computer, or because their 'power user' friend gets them a cracked copy;
One more thing: incremental releases, like Windows 7 are a good idea. Ubuntu, Apple, etc. do this themseleves. However, if Microsoft charge the same amount for seven as they did for Vista, they deserve to be mocked.
Can a Small Business Migrate Smoothly To OpenOffice.org v3?
Instead of asking Slashdot, although I'm happy you did as OpenOffice always generates a good flameware, you should be asking your users.
In particular you should gather the people who're likely to have the biggest problems with migrating: accountants for example, often have massive and complex spreadsheets, not to mention VB macros. Create a focus group, or go around each of these people to see how they're using the software, then create a requirements document and test OpenOffice against it.
The advantage of a requirements document is that if OpenOffice doesn't 'fit the bill' at the moment, you'll be able to check newer versions (and even different office suites, such as KOffice) against it in future.
If OpenOffice meets the requirements of your users in theory, test them in practice. Gather anyone who's adventurous enough to try out OpenOffice alongside Microsoft Office and get them to give you feedback. Even if OpenOffice doesn't meet requirements now, check back in a year. Also, check on how other office suites, such as KOffice, are coming along. You may not be able to replace Office immediately, but that doesn't mean you should give up on trying!
In my life, I've filed ...
Some people I worked with decided to liven up their bug reports by subtly infusing bits of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness into the descriptions. So a bug report would read something like:
Bug No.: #48247
The software was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when 80117654 errors rioted on the earth and the printed error sheets were kings. An empty screen, a great bleeping to indicate the phone line is busy, follwed by an impenetrable diagnostic message of 'Corrupt System module'. The air was warm, thick, heavy, sluggish. There was no joy in the brilliance of the bug report.
Political and Technical Implications of GitTorrent
'Whilst' is still widely used in the UK.
Aussies Hit the Streets Over Gov't Internet Filters
So Australia, you voted in a Labour government, thinking you were going to get a moderate, left of centre government? A change from the Neo-Liberal (see Thatcher and Reagan) fiscal policies of the right.
But what you got is a bunch of socially right-wing, authoritarian cock-wads, who think the solution to any social problem is making new laws. As a Brit, I have to say this sounds disturbingly familiar.
If it's not Stephane Dion declaring that he's "Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime," Australians electing a Tony Blair clone, or the Canadian Prime Minister ripping-off speeches from John Howard; it continues to amaze me how the Commonwealth leaders copy each other.
Windows Drops Below 90% Market Share
I just don't trust these stats (and that's not because they don't say what I want them to), from the Net Applications site:
We use a unique methodology for collecting this data. We collect data from the browsers of site visitors to our exclusive on-demand network of live stats customers. The data is compiled from approximately 160 million visitors per month.
So it's all customers from some analytics service these guys own. But what type of sites use their service? It's hard to believe these figures do not have a built-in bias due to the types of sites providing them.
By far the most popular analytics service is Google Analytics.* If Google were to produce figures like these, I'd be more inclined to believe them, as their analytics software is used on a decent cross-section of sites, including technical ones like Slashdot.
My own data -- with bias due to having a technical audience -- across two sites, says roughly: Windows 75%; Mac 9%; Linux 13% (with 3% AWStats reports as 'Unknown', and other sundry OSs like BSD, OS/2, AmigaOS, BeOS etc.) None of my sites use Net Applications' software, and get around 125,000 visitors a month.
German Foreign Ministry Migrates Desktops To OSS
From the Guardian article:
Another interesting aspect of the Munich decision is that it was not driven simply by cost savings, because industry gossip has it that Ballmer offered heavy discounts on Microsoft software to stave off the threat. This was also the case in the Ministry decision to plump for open source. According to a BBC report, Interior Minister Otto Schily said the move was motivated by a desire to improve security in the nation's computer networks as well as to save public money. 'We are raising computer security by avoiding a monoculture,' he said, 'and we are lowering dependence on a single supplier. And so we are a leader in creating more diversity in the computer field.'
And this is why, ladies and gentlemen, we won't be seeing this in many countries outside Germany. They have a politician who knows what he's talking about, and doesn't pander to the whims of industrial lobbyists.
University Brings Charges Against White Hat Hacker
Exactly, if the law were balanced in this area the case will probably be thrown out (if it even reached court) and the student let-off. I bet he gets a prison sentence, or harsh fine and community service. Worst of all he'll have a criminal record, meaning he might not be able to get a job. Is one other person on the dole -- when their crime is nothing more than curiosity and a desire to help -- useful to society?
It's not just the university admins who have a bad attitude, it's all society that have been conditioned to believe the hacking == terrrism meme.
I would suggest that any prospective students reading this politely contact this university and explain why you will not be choosing them. Same for any parents who's kids might be thinking of going to Carleton.
Do have some pity for those admins though: they're probably just MCSE's.
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