Monday, June 28, 2010


After months of enjoying my HP mini, I decided to see what else runs on these devices and came across Jolicloud. The install went smoothly, and it took about as long to install Jolicloud as it does for WinXP to boot. Joli starts faster and uses the wifi natively, however there is not yet any support for 3G. I thought that might be a problem, but there's only two places I ever go where wifi hasn't been available. Now that McD's and SB both offer free wifi, it seems like I won't really need to worry about when Joli releases the post-beta version with 3G.

As with most linux distributions, Jolicloud comes with a lot of software ready to go, such as Chrome and Firefox, Pidgin, and so on. It does not have Open Office or GIMP because of the small install size, but you can add them quite easily. It does have Quake Live, and that's been quite a distraction recently. Takes me back...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

OpenComments goes Full Retard. Film at Eleven.

OC is apparently little more than a spammish redirect to the already stupidly useless google groups. There's no warning or mention of the very inanely useless nature of the "application" or the need to sixteen clicks to install, redirect, register, redirect again, find what page you're on, close those extra six window tabs, and then wonder why you still can't see a single message because you're still not "joined" to a group.

What a pile of shite.

I can't get past the incredibly roundabout way the "application" just forces you into google groups, a den of mediocrity at best, often only slightly more intelligent than IRC chats. What's the point? There are already websites and plugins for using groups, and I highly doubt that this is a productive or useful way to use the groups. Furthermore, it's not really an application so much as a hopelessly complicated way to bookmark a service that I hate.

Upon install you'll immediately want to gouge your eyes out due to the extremely ugly configuration. AFter a few dozen clicks you'll start to get sick of the bullshit. Just how damned hard does it need to be to leave a freakin comment? I don't want a damn comment group chat buddy system anywa. I want a way to warn other people about BAD sites like or whatever the fuck they call themselves - which is just a website populated by keywords, with the sole purpose of getting clicks on ads.

Open Comments is Total Failure. Get rid of the mandatory groups drivel. Why the HELL would you make people log in six times? Who in their left mind would ever want to do that? Two minutes using this interface and I already hate you.

Uninstalled, shitlisted, and banned from my servers.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Free, but... is it worth it?

University of the People, an interesting study in how to educate the poor, is just clearing the fourth quarter of its first year. There are A LOT of things that need to be fixed, and I can provide a laundry list of details, but for a free institution it's not bad. Is it worth it? I can't even say. The quality is NOT high, but what's the harm in repeating a class when there's no tuition or fees? Well, there's still time wasted. 10 weeks is 10 weeks.

These classes need serious overhauling for structure, communication, and the testing is especially poor quality. If these things are fixed, then when UofP is ready to begin handing out Bachelors degrees I may be willing to pay the graduation fee [expected to be merely one hundred dollars.]

It's hard to complain too loudly over something so incredibly low priced, and I want to encourage them to continue, but it still has to work. It can't be a joke, or it will never get accredited, and then nobody will want to attend.

Still, it's worthwhile I believe, and I'm going to continue attending despite some howling errors in the website and a pathetic testing system. "a) all of the above" is not a logical answer when all the "above" questions are b, d, and e. Yes, 'c' was "none of the above." Scrambled questions, anyone? At least one final exam question was a BLANK that merely inquired "true or false." There's an existential question...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

seriously... what the hell is wrong with ubuntu?

I've never seen so much asshattery as I encounter with the ubuntu team. From the hostile forums, to the beta-testing of inferior tools to the exclusion of tools that WORK, to the limitations of the installer, to the deletion of popular programs that have WORKED VERY WELL, to releasing immature software, and above all THE EXTREME ATTITUDE.

Your way is not the only way, nor is it even among the best.

Ubuntu has lost my trust, permanently, with this latest fiasco. They fucked up the IPV6 stack. You update to 10.04 and BAM, no internet. You can NOT get back online. You have to do a FRESH install of an older version and at the cost of formatting your drive. Hope you backup your stuff as aggressively as I do!

NOBODY can claim competence and fuck up that badly. It's like hiring a highly trained combat experienced limo driver who suddenly can't stop slamming into people whenever he drives you anywhere. You just can't trust them anymore. At all. It doesn't matter what the reason is.

Ubuntu used to be my favorite thing in the world of software. It was a delight. Well, they've fallen quite a long way from BEST and most popular to 'best imitation of a Windows Release.'


Changes. Speaking of Change, what've we got?

- The Bill of Rights. None of these rights are intact. The Nazi Supreme Court sides with only corporate interests.
- Enjoying music on the PC. All but gone. DRM has derailed Operating Systems, and the CIA backdoors that are legally required make for easy pickings with virus writers.
- Privacy. Gone, if you are not aware of Linux. Computer privacy is all but vanquished, and only the millions of linux users are keeping it alive, but it's really on a downhill slide to hell.
- International Rights. These are a joke. Corporate interests dictate policy to Canada, United States, all of Europe, and most of the world.
- Right to citizenship. Not.
- Peace. Goodbye, we barely knew thee.

- Morality based laws where poverty is a crime.
- Failing to buy something you don't need is becoming a crime.
- Enforced marketing tactics. Can you imagine US Marshals selling diamonds? Get used to the idea.
- Debtor Prison. This is already happening in 38 states! Behind on payments? You're under arrest! Several nations including Canada have begun arresting those who suffer economically - as though ANYONE WANTS TO BE POOR.
- Nazi SS international military forces. Ala Blackwater/Halliburton. Corporate police ten times as frightening as those portrayed in Brave New World or 1984.

Welcome to your new world order.

Hail Halliburton.

"War is Peace.
Slavery is Freedom." - 1984

Monday, June 7, 2010

I am a Web Project Developer. This is how you attract me to your company...

First, I scan employment ads looking for keywords the same way you scan resumes. I'd rather be contracted than hourly, so I look for the type of position offered as either "contract" or "consultant". If the word "salary" pops up, I will read that one too. Salary is the best world for web project design and development managers. You can rest assured that this first step eliminates most job offers. I'm not the least bit worried about that.

Hourly web developer? In house? No thanks, I don't want to work in a boiler room with irate management constantly changing the terms under which I'm supposed to be productive! This week it's all Java, next week the flavor is Ruby and I'm supposed to redo the entire site overnight. You can do that, right? No. I'd need to be three people AND like you. I live by contracts that have my productivity measured by outcome and final product.

Second, when you overuse technology terms I delete your email, ESPECIALLY when you mix and match incompatible technologies! That tells me that you're going to micromanage me, and that you don't know anything about what I'll be doing. GOOD websites require a development path that you're unlikely to understand - or even allow.

Third, expressly listing all Microsoft's most recent software does the opposite of impress me. I delete those job offers without even looking at the money offered. I can't stand working for people who have no idea what I do. The presence of ANY Microsoft trade names in your job offer or advertisement is a giant red flag visible from space.

A: The web runs best and longest on linux servers. Less downtime, less maintenance, and no licensing headaches. Microsoft has only one goal: To get all your money. They have no goal of being an excellent software producer or they'd have gone open-source ages ago. Linux has only one goal: To be the best software. That's where I want to be.
B: Microsoft tools, development, and education is horridly expensive. You have a limited pool of skilled people with Microsoft, whereas anyone can use and learn linux for free. I'd prefer to have my budget dictated by the product, not the license.

Finally, the world uses linux voluntarily. People are forced to use Microsoft. That alone should tell you something! You think MSFT is better? I have bad news for you. Every major OS on the planet right now is derived from UNIX, even MSFT's systems. The primary difference is that MSFT's take on *nix is called "NT." That still stands for "Not today, and not Tommorrow." Is that the way you want to operate your company, with software that fails to deliver on promises?

Don't cripple me with bad software and then ask me to be a wizard for your company!

Also, posting .ASP, .NET, and C# in your employment offer has a certain appeal to it, and here are comparable levels of appeal:
- Graphic artist wanted, must know how to use MSFT "Paint."
- CEO wanted, must know how to spin around in her chair while speaking.
- Air Force Pilot wanted, must know how to make airplane noises with your mouth.
- Layout Designer wanted, must know how to use "Internet Exploder 5.0".

I could go on.

What to do?

DO state what the purpose of your web project IS.
DO state that you are open about which tools may be used.
DO listen and look for LINUX respondents to your advertising.
DO avoid overloading the job offer with lots of buzzwords.
DO avoid wish-listing the employee skills. Do you want one person or a horde?
DO avoid insinuating, or expecting, that I will want to wear "several hats." I do NOT.

Best practices?

Accept that people like me are highly intelligent, self-employed, and often own other companies. I own two. We want to do our best for you. It's in my nature, for example, to want to finish everything that I start.

I do NOT interview well. I am shy, joke too much, and interrupt. I'd prefer you asked me math or programming questions. I'd rather take a test than interview. Be aware that highly technical people can be loose on the human interactions scale. I prefer machines to most people. The machines are smarter.

Do expect that if you hire a genius, you'll get someone with their own ideas who'll want to merge with your company - not be consumed by it.

Do attempt to hire people for ingenuity, initiative, and education. Don't fear including self-education. Lots of geeks are self-taught. If someone offers books by someone called "OReilly" as their education, don't be surprised. Also expect to see more than one school. I've been in 12 different colleges.

The technology job market requires constant re-evaluation not just of your business, but of my skills. I'm constantly having to learn new things. That does NOT mean that what you want to do requires all the newest things! Many "web 2.0" ideas are completely rehashed from the nineties and can be accomplished with XML.

If you want real genius, ask for code samples or software demos instead of a resume.