Microsoft may be bringing about it own demise. Although unaware, Microsoft's life depends on what it calls "piracy." Think of it this way: bloggers and news analysts are saying that Vista's "anti-piracy" tactics will turn people to Linux.
Or think about this: many people see Windows as easy "home territory" where they know how to do everything. It's appeal, and their idea of "easy" or "user-friendly," is defined by how similar something is to what they're used to. And what they're used to is currently (drum roll please) XP or 98. Although the new UI is better designed, it will lose the "old faithful" feel which has made so many consider it easier than Linux or OSX.
Microsoft is tearing itself to pieces, so lets just sit back and enjoy the show.
Secondly and more personally, I am trying to win her over to the FOSS world. I have, within the past several hours, installed Firefox 2.0, OpenOffice.org, and AVG free. That may not seem like much, but she proceeded to ask me if I could come down one time and install Linux on her computer. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL! I must have done something right.
As for Firefox 2.0, I simply love it. The two add-ons I used to install immediately when I installed Firefox were Tab Mix Plus and some theme, usually Abstract PC. Tab Mix Plus has been pretty much completely incorporated and the horrendous 1.5 theme has been replaced by a theme reminiscent of the Ubuntu Human theme.
PS: If you are reading this, said Grandmother has read this post without forcing me to unpost it.
Who cares? I mean this totally honestly. Who cares whether Debian uses another name for Firefox? People are talking about how Firefox's market share will be damaged, this is destroying brand recognition, it will make people feel unsafe using Linux. Wait a minute. Just wait a minute. Ubuntu, the most user-friendly and most-used distribution, already uses a "generic" icon for Firefox. So what's wrong with also changing the name? Really, I have trouble seeing the difference it will make to anyone other than a FOSS fanatic. Personally, I try to use FOSS, but I don't cringe at the prospect of good, free, proprietary software if the FOSS equivalent is much less powerful.
Anyway, I read in the New York Times today that Libya has signed a contract with One Laptop Per Child, which will provide Libya's schools with a $100 laptop for each of Libya's 1.2 million schoolchildren. As you might expect, these laptops will be running the best and least expensive OS in the world: Linux.
Actually, this represents a growing trend towards Open Source in developing nations. More on this (hopefully) later.
So much for "new" and "innovative." Still, Apple seems to be far ahead of Microsoft on this one, no surprise there. Maybe someday Mac OS [insert appropriate number] will actually be a serious competitor with Linux. But if they want to start coming up with stuff before us, they're going to have to be much more open source. Now that would be "reaching enlightenment" as this page so modestly puts it.
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”--Mahatma Gandhi
Religion might be a good thing if its leaders followed its doctrines. Christ taught peace and love, he was anti-imperialist and anti-rich. (It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God [Matt 10:25]) How many of those does George Bush embody?
I feel the need to respond. Israel is an unstopable power in the Middle East. Unfortunately this may go to Olmert's head. However, there is no reason not to use that area as a buffer zone, since it has already been evacuated and mostly leveled. Why doesn't Secretary Rice broker a treaty now? It could be done.
Also, the Lebanese Christians, a sizeable minority, who have not been bombed, resent Hezbollah more than Israel.
Actually, this software does exist. It's called Windows Genuine Advantage. Well, you might be saying, what a smart idea those spyware-makers had, pretending to be Microsoft. There's one catch: it isn't pretending to be Microsoft. It is Microsoft. Our good friend Bill Gates has information on any Windows user who has updated in the past month.
It's things like this that make me glad I switched to Linux: I can live without the iTunes Music Store knowing that my web history (which websites I visited and when) is not being read by the company which makes my OS and which I should supposedly trust.
The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting. - Charles Bukowski
Me: Stockpiling is unfair because if someone cannot afford to stockpile and they get infected there may not be any Tamiflu left, while those who stockpile may not get infected and therefore may never need it.
Her: But Roche plans to make enough for everyone in the world.
Me: If they make enough for everybody, why do you need to stockpile it? If not, then who gets medication should be decided by who needs it, not by who can pay for it before the epidemic even reaches the continent.
Unfortunately, right about there she left the room, so no more dialogue. But the saddest thing is that she isn't really doing anything wrong by wanting to stockpile. Inevitably, those who don't stockpile will be unsafe. This is the prisoner's dilemma. Altogether it shouldn't be done, but individually everyone feels that they have to do it to survive.
P.S. Please comment on this.
One day, Ubuntu went for a walk. He saw a man who looked very tired. “Who are you and why are you so tired?” asked Ubuntu.
“My name is Bill the Gatekeeper, and I am tired because I have just been fighting with that apple over there.”
Ubuntu walked over to the apple. “Hello apple,” he said. “What are you fighting over?”
“Do you see that silver castle over there? That’s the castle of wealth. Whoever lives there will be the happiest person in the world.”
“I want to live in that beautiful castle,” said Ubuntu. “But I don’t like to fight.”
Then he heard something. Was someone talking to him? It seemed to be coming from above. Ubuntu looked up. The sun itself was speaking to him. “There is another castle, you know,” said the sun. “The golden castle of happiness. Whoever lives there will be the happiest person in the world. But it lies deep in the dark forest, and even my light cannot get there. You will need a guide.”
Ubuntu went to Bill the Gatekeeper. “Will you help me find the golden castle of happiness?” he asked.
“Go away,” said Bill. “Never mention that castle to me again. It doesn’t exist.”
Ubuntu went to the apple. “Will you help me find the golden castle of happiness?” he asked.
“I’d love to,” answered the apple kindly. “But I have to keep fighting Bill the Gatekeeper.”
“I can help you,” said a shy voice behind Ubuntu.
“Who are you?” asked Ubuntu.
“I am Firefox, who brings light into the darkness. I can light up the forest path for you.” And indeed, his tail was alight with flame.
So they set off into the forest to find the golden castle of happiness.
They came to a young man in a red hat. “Hello,” said Ubuntu. “Can you direct me to the golden castle of happiness? Or do you want to come with us?”
“It’s that way,” said the young man. “But I can’t come with you.”
“Why not?” asked Firefox.
“You see,” answered the young man. “I want both the silver castle of wealth and the golden castle of happiness. So I live in this little hut exactly halfway between.”
“That man was too greedy,” said Firefox as they walked on. “He wants more than he can have, so he gets nothing at all.”
Finally, they reached the castle. But the door was locked, and they couldn’t get in.
“Let me help,” said a large horned animal. “I’m a gnu, and these strong horns can break through any lock.” He ran at the lock a few times and it fell off cleanly.
Ubuntu, Firefox, and the gnu entered the castle and lived there happily ever after.
For Bush, it's a matter of having an excuse to get rid of the country he still claims is provoking resistance in Iraq. Iran has been a threat since 2003 because it shares a border with Iraq, so Bush probably will invade for his own reasons.
While it's true that the US army would wipe out Iran long before it could do much to the US, it might appeal to the Jihadist mentality to take as many "infidels" with them as possible.
Still, some companies have continued to help humans as much as themselves: I'm thinking of Red Hat Linux and Sun Microsystems. And even Microsoft, may its name be blotted out, has links on its site to some free or open-source programs. So just because Google Pack lets one download open-source software, we have to keep in mind that Google is out only to make money. One of the Google Pack products is the trial version of Trillian, an IM client that does not support Google Talk unless one spends $25 on the full version.