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British Men Jailed For Online Hate Crimes

jeevesbond Actually there is (778 comments)

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.

about 5 years ago

MS Money Poll

jeevesbond Re:Missing Option: ABS (291 comments)

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! ;)

more than 5 years ago

UK Government To Back Off Plans To Share Private Data

jeevesbond Re:Orwell's 1984 (54 comments)

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.

more than 5 years ago

Dreamweaver Is Dying; Long Live Drupal!

jeevesbond Re:But Drupal, etc. are U-G-L-Y (318 comments)

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 than 5 years ago

More Indications Windows 7 Is Coming In 2009

jeevesbond Re:Surprise to Anyone? (369 comments)

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.

more than 5 years ago

Can a Small Business Migrate Smoothly To v3?

jeevesbond Instead of asking Slashdot (503 comments)

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!

more than 5 years ago

In my life, I've filed ...

jeevesbond Re:I'm an Entomologist (310 comments)

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

Importance: Critical

Milestone: 1.2

Description: 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.

more than 5 years ago

Aussies Hit the Streets Over Gov't Internet Filters

jeevesbond Et tu Australia? (224 comments)

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.

more than 5 years ago

Windows Drops Below 90% Market Share

jeevesbond How do these people get their stats? (595 comments)

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.

* Sorry I haven't a citation for this, but just look at the source code of almost any site and you'll see a Javascript block from Google Analytics. Also, see this unscientific evidence.

more than 5 years ago

German Foreign Ministry Migrates Desktops To OSS

jeevesbond Why this will never happen in other countries (147 comments)

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.'

(emphasis mine)

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.

more than 5 years ago

University Brings Charges Against White Hat Hacker

jeevesbond Re:No harm, no foul (540 comments)

No harm, no foul

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.

more than 5 years ago



Harsh Words From Google On Linux Development

jeevesbond jeevesbond writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jeevesbond writes "The alpha version of Google Chrome is now available for GNU/Linux. Google Chrome developer and former Firefox lead Ben Goodger has some problems with the platform though. His complaints range from the lack of a standardised UI toolkit, inconsistencies across applications, the lack of a unified and comprehensive HIG, to GTK not being a very compelling toolkit. With Adobe getting twitchy about the glibc fork and previously describing the various audio systems as welcome to the jungle, is it time to concentrate on consolidation and standardisation in GNU/Linux in general, and the desktop in particular?"
Link to Original Source

Ubuntu's Laptop Killing Bug Fixed

jeevesbond jeevesbond writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jeevesbond writes "Back in October of 2007 Slashdot reported on a bug that would dramatically shorten the life of laptops using Ubuntu. Ubuntu users will be glad to know that a fix has finally been released for Ubuntu versions: 9.04, 8.10 and 8.04 (LTS). However, as this fix is not yet in the update repositories, anyone wishing to test it should follow these instructions for enabling the 'proposed' repository. Report your results on the original bug report. Happy testing!"
Link to Original Source

Asus to Phase out sub-10in, Linux Eee-PCs

jeevesbond jeevesbond writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jeevesbond writes "The Register reports Asus company chief Jerry Shen has revealed his company will be phasing out all sub-10in Eee-PCs. According to Shen, the 'standard' netbook next year will be a 10in model with a hard drive and running XP. GNU/Linux, it appears, will fall by the wayside on Asus' offerings.

Shen also said XP is outselling GNU/Linux on netbooks by a ratio of 7:3. This is somewhat contrary to news from the UK, earlier in the year, that GNU/Linux units were out of stock while XP machines sat unsold. Are Brits more open-minded than the rest of the world when it comes to choosing an OS?"

Link to Original Source

UK Government Drops 42 Days Without Charge

jeevesbond jeevesbond writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jeevesbond writes "The UK House of Lords has been successful in forcing the government to drop a law that would allow government to hold people without charge for 42 days. The defeat was described by the Conservative MP David Davis as "the biggest defeat in the Lords in living memory". The UK government is also dropping the idea of secret inquests.

The subject of 42 days detention without trial has been discussed on Slashdot before."

Link to Original Source

Conservatives Promise to Re-Introduce Canadian DMC

jeevesbond jeevesbond writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jeevesbond writes "It's election time up here in Canada, oddly the Conservatives have been very slow — advanced polls have already started, voting proper happens on the 14th — to release a party platform, showing what they plan to do if elected. Now the platform has been released, their reason for hiding it becomes a little clearer: it includes a promise to re-introduce the Canadian DMCA. Backed by US media, this legislation has proved to be controversial, and was withdrawn on the last attempt.

Michael Geist has a post on his blog showing election candidates who have signed a pledge for fair copyright."

Link to Original Source

Did Microsoft Buy Netcraft?

jeevesbond jeevesbond writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jeevesbond writes "Linux Journal has a story noting the discrepancies between the Web server surveys from Netcraft and Security Space.

While Netcraft says Apache represents 51% market share and rapidly shrinking, Security Space puts Apache at 74% and growing! Netcraft says Microsoft IIS has 34% market share and is rapidly growing, Security Space pegs Microsoft IIS at 20% market share, as it continues to shrink.

Link to Original Source

Microsoft Brainwashes UK National Archives

jeevesbond jeevesbond writes  |  about 7 years ago

jeevesbond writes "The BBC is reporting on a move by the UK National Archive to adopt Microsoft's OOXML format. Apparently to avoid incompatibilities between proprietary file formats. Microsoft's UK head Gordon Frazer:

Historically within the IT industry, the prevailing trend was for proprietary file formats. We have worked very hard to embrace open standards, specifically in the area of file formats.
It's an open international standard under independent control. These are no longer under control of Microsoft and are free for access by all.

Link to Original Source

Microsoft launches new low-cost PC effort in India

jeevesbond jeevesbond writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jeevesbond writes "Beginning next month, Microsoft and its partners plan to start selling the IQ PC through computer retailers, bookshops and other stores in Bangalore and Pune, with plans to sell it throughout the country by November. The company expects the machines to start selling for 21,000 Indian rupees ($513), though it hopes to bring those prices down over time."
Link to Original Source

Is Open Source Dying?

jeevesbond jeevesbond writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jeevesbond writes "With companies like IBM publically supporting Open Source but quietly scuttling it in the background, suffocating attacks from Microsoft, the impending approval of the OOXML specification as an ISO standard, Dell refusing to sell Linux to businesses, failed legislation in many states, and the 'pissing match' over GPLv3, eWeek asks: 'Is Open Source dying?'"
Link to Original Source

jeevesbond jeevesbond writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jeevesbond writes "Groklaw has an article that unravels some of the mystery of GPLv3 and the clauses dealing with the Microsoft/Novell Patent Agreement. From the article:

I take it that the focus is upon preventing Microsoft from being able to pursue its patent strategy, and rather than "punishing" Novell, instead protecting noncommercial developers, and thus depriving Novell of economic benefits of the deal. It really makes it more important than ever that the kernel guys realize that if they do not go to GPLv3, they will be enabling Novell's patent deal and preventing the effects of GPLv3 from taking effect.

jeevesbond jeevesbond writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jeevesbond writes "A video on Youtube shows Opera running on the OLPC laptop, demonstrated by Håkon Wium Lie. Naturally he picks Slashdot as the website for the demonstration. Providing proof that Slashdot is the choice of professionals, a good look at the ergonomics of the OLPC laptop and a tiny peek at the OS interface.

Worth a look, even if you're not interested in blatant Slashvertisments."

jeevesbond jeevesbond writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jeevesbond writes "Hot on the heels of the revealing post from Kathy Sierra of death and sexual harm threats made against her, comes this from — well known Microsoft contractor/Web Standards blogger — Molly Holzschlag:

Today I found out that I am no longer welcome at the Web Directions event. Instead, the man who used me for the last two years to forward his career will be invited.

It appears Andy Clarke used Molly to get a book published, more details on Molly's blog post: 'Stuffed with Nonsense'."

jeevesbond jeevesbond writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jeevesbond writes "The merge is on:

Well, I've read all the arguments, and I think I may have been being overly cautious. It is indeed a concern that we might lose our freedom in a 'merge', but I have been convinced that it isn't a major concern (and of course we reserve the right to re-fork).

jeevesbond jeevesbond writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jeevesbond writes "Utah's governor and state legislature has lent its weight to efforts to persuade Congress to pass laws requiring adult content providers to stay off port 80, which generally carries HTTP web surfing traffic.

Governor Jon Huntsman last week backed a resolution from the state's parliament calling for the net to be split into "adult content channel" and a "family content". Utah's support for the proposed Internet Community Ports Act lends support to anti-porn group CP80, though it has little bearing on whether Congress will back the idea."

jeevesbond jeevesbond writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jeevesbond writes "Red Hat is planning a packaged Linux desktop solution that it hopes will push its Linux desktop offering to a far broader audience than exists for its current client solution.

This will be a more comprehensive offering that will target markets like the small and medium-sized business [SMB] sector and emerging markets."

jeevesbond jeevesbond writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jeevesbond writes "I have been doing some feasibility work on creating a FLOSS Intranet Portal for ODF documents; the first task is to find existing projects that already provide some of the required functionality. The requirements are: version control — including diff and merge capabilities for ODF, integration with OpenOffice for check-in/out as a starting point, a Web-based CMS for group sharing of files (preferably one that can be extended to perform other tasks), and network authentication for the CMS: so users don't have to login twice. The eventual aim is to be able to bundle all this up in some way: 'apt-get odf-portal', for instance. Which FLOSS tools would you use for this job? How would you handle diffs and merges for ODF documents?"

jeevesbond jeevesbond writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jeevesbond writes "Microsoft Office program manager Brian Jones, whose work has centered around the Open XML document format, now says the so-called format war with OpenDocument is officially over. The winner, he says, is both.

"I think at this point we can really move onto more productive and collaborative discussion and admit that we are no longer in any sort of "file format war."
My translation: Sharepoint (and its tight integration with Office 2007) is what's important now, something FLOSS has no equivalent for."


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