Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Anonymous is Black and Green.

We don't need a "new" party, we need to vote for a party that already exists and represents us. Vote Green. The Green party is in 49 states. Anonymous should vote Green. If you like Anon, you should vote Green. If you want a transparent government, Vote Green.

Do you like torture? Go on and vote Democrat.
Do you like being broke? Vote Republican.
Do you want to work at Walmart when you retire? Vote Democrat.
Do you want to see your children working as slaves? Vote Republican.
Do you hate having health care? Vote Democrat.
Do you love chaos and anarchy? Vote Republican.

It doesn't really matter whether its Dem, or Rep, they're two sides of the same coin: Corruption.

The Green party will ban lobbying INSIDE government offices.
The Green party will make it illegal to vote on any issue for which large donations were paid, or to submit laws written by lobbyists.

Do you want GOVERNMENT, or this Fourth-Reich divine right insanity? America is already a Tyranny, already Fascist, already over the edge. It's time to change. Obama had his chance and failed miserably. He extended the Patriot Act. he allows torture and rendition. Look at how he treats Manning. Look at how he plots against Assange. Someone told the truth? How evil of them.


This ad paid for by Anon

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

comment on a comment?

Meant to be a response to VIVA LA VIDA, but something is whack with the XML and I can't post there. Haven't seen an XML error in a long time, so that was interesting.

Anyway, She[WhoMustBeObeyed] rightly posts that it seems that Christians who flagellate themselves publicly are doing something that is at the least, redundant. Christ already forgave them. At worst, they are sinning exactly in a way prohibited by Christ, by doing it in public so that they can be "seen to be pious."

This has long been my view, but 'She' takes it a step along, and thinks they're doing it because THEY LIKE IT. Yeah, that's true, they may be masochists who get off on the pain, which would be therefore sexual and sinful in itself. Or, they may be so into suffering for attention that they "like" it in that way even though they may not enjoy the pain itself. Now, there I had to pause.

Wow. Talk about an attention whore of the century! If you're willing to have your skin flayed just to get attention, I think you need some therapy. I can barely imagine being THAT desperate for acceptance and approval of others. Can you imagine doing this from PEER PRESSURE? That's gotta suck dirt like a hoover.

Leave it to 'Her' to reveal the truth. They're POSERS. If they were REALLY SPIRITUAL they'd do it in private at some extremely expensive monastery, and NOT TELL ANYONE. Only their own brethren and sistern* would know.

* I looked it up. Yep.

That would be very Christian, to suffer secretly for the sake of others, and to make sure that your direct actions are of real benefit and not just well-wishing. Supporting the monastery and feeding homeless, or something.

As a scientist I am unavoidably an ex-christian, born Jewish and raised both Baptist and Catholic - I know what guilt is. Sure, some people feel bad and think they need to suffer. That's called the martyr complex. The average person keeps a hair shirt or two around for when they feel like they've been sufficiently wrong to merit wearing it. Nothing really unusual there, and many people find ways to make their 'cause' more beneficial and logical than an actual hair shirt. Some just donate time at a library, or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Others are campfire leaders. Whatever, that's all a good logical reaction to the martyr complex.

Cutting yourself, beating yourself bloody, scarring and even causing permanent injury to yourself is not a healthy option. It's an option that is clinically known as a 'self esteem issue' on a grand scale. People get locked up for that, for their own protection. But, if you do it for religion, that's ok. Sigh.

My comments on Google Apps...

To me, Google is a corporation like few others, and in particular it is a company which stepped in and found success in every instance where MSFT has failed. Not only is it better at almost anything it does than any other corporation, it does it with far less evil. It's hard not to like the big G.

Now, I just wish that Google had a test platform online where I can develop new hardware... hint hint. You see, there isn't any other company on Earth that I could even dream of asking such things, and that's what I like about Google more than anything.

Google will let you dream, and often fills those wishes, going far and above the call of duty. That's more than just "not failing" at something, that's the best possible outcome. I have no special reason to hate MSFT, as I used to work there, but Google just does it all better, without evil.

Most important of all, Google does it without attempting to rebrand everything commonplace in a desperate attempt at appearing to be useful. C#, dotNet, sharepoint, et al are nothing more than customized trickery, a usurping of existing technology labelled MSFT, named 'innovative,' and hooked into the darkest of evil.

The Ad-Hoc "Office" products are all separate software bought, literally "taken" AKA "without payment", and absorbed by MSFT from other companies and software. This is why they still don't work well together after more than two decades. MSFT isn't smart enough to make Access and Excel cooperate, and you'll have to use OTHER software to convert between them effectively. That's why I left MSFT. They weren't bright enough to streamline Office and put it in Windows Mobile 6 like I wanted to do. Their loss. I now use Android, and Google Apps.

MSFT isn't totally evil, but they do misrepresent facts, spin the truth, and bury you in propaganda about themselves. Working there was similar to being employed by Disneyland [My Ex was,] because no reality will enter the site.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Soon: IBM CPU @ 300 GHz

What's 100 times faster than silicon? Graphene.

Not only is it faster, it's much smaller. One atom thick, or hundreds of times smaller than silicon layers.

Not only is it faster, it can run hotter. 125 degrees Celsius. That's 257 degrees Fahrenheit, or about three times hotter than what your CPU should be running at now. However, this is not the heat given off by the CPU itself - this is the tolerance of the material.

Silicon actually runs hot, to the point that the temperature it operates at is close to the temperature at which it fails, thus: CPU Cooling fans.

IBM has taken fifty plus years since 1911 to get its first 5,000 patents, but now holds the #1 spot as the most patented company in the world with more than 5,000 patents being registered to it EVERY YEAR.

These aren't "MSFT style" software patents for things like "Click, then redirect to webpage" which already existed prior to MSFT. This isn't trivial. IBM is patenting nanotechnology. If I had millions to invest in stocks I'd look at IBM as a sure bet for the future, on a long term hold.

For the record, the fastest CPU out there right now barely clears THREE GHz. It does so by running at more than 140F. This is why PCs are getting faster by running MULTIPLE CORES rather than faster GHz. There's no room for increasing the temperature range because the chip will fry.

PC cases can maintain a low-humidity -100F temperature gradient, or temperature drop, to keep such chips from melting the entire computer. Most do this with self-contained liquid cooling systems. "Hot" gaming PCs are set up that way.

With graphene, we can go back to the days of the 286, when cooling fans were unheard of!

[At least for the CPU, the power supply will still have a fan even for graphene based power supplies unless IBM invents a low-temperature transformer mated to cool FETs.]


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A year later...

I'm making a third attempt to upgrade to 10.10 with Ubuntu. The first two passes at this resulted in a nearly-bricked laptop, but fortunately with GRUB I was able to reboot into the older installations, and I had to go back more than three of these, to get a working -but not stable- Ubuntu just so I could undo the damage. In the end, I couldn't completely fix how badly the upgrade process had screwed up the system and had to burn a CD to do an ALL NEW 10.04 install. This is why I keep /home on a separate partition!

If I have even the slightest trouble with 10.10 I will switch to Arch Linux for this laptop. After all, if I'm going to struggle with settings and making things work, mightn't I be better off with a more powerful system? Why struggle just to hold the status quo if I can struggle LESS, and get a better system? That's my question today. Ubuntu better not fuck it up AGAIN.

And, for the curious, I'm not talking about the wireless drivers or touchpad driver, and other more proprietary difficulties. Those I'm used to. I'm talking about Ubuntu base system not upgrading correctly and having serious ability with even being able to start a VGA screen in X11. This is a no-brainer, as it's already working now, so only a kludged upgrade script could kill it - and it did the previous two attempts at some three months apart. I thought they'd have fixed it by then.

No, Ubuntu Forums is well populated with unanswered threads, followed closely by threads answered only with rude sniping comments rather than actual assistance, then by threads which are closed without being correctly answered, with the smallest threads losing the chase as containing useful information.

I love the idea of Ubuntu, and it's just too bad that Canonical sucks so badly at actual delivery of the promises. That's one linux based company that I refuse to send money to. I've paid for Red Hat in the past, and SuSE, among others. So far, there's no way I'm paying for Ubuntu. I pay for things I want to support, not half-formed betaware.

Speaking of minecraft, I've paid for that, so my sons can play it, and I regret it. What a piece of shite. I'm glad for the opencraft and other actual free versions that are better. Java? Really? I bet that's scalable. LTNS, 8 bit graphics. Howya been? Shit, that's how.

If I'm going to play a BETA game of an 8-bit throwback to days of yore, and you ask me to pay for it, it better be worth it. Minecraft blows goats. I like the idea, but the blocks should be smaller, fuck sakes, at least 16 bit! Who in hades doesn't have a 32 bit computer these days?

In the meantime, the actually GOOD looking freecraft server demanded an update to Ubuntu... which is why I'm trying 10.10 again. Ubuntu ain't going to stand between me and a game, that's certain. There will be no fourth chance.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A New Bubble and RIP Reaganomics.

RIP Reaganomics. FINALLY. At long tired last.

We can finally wave goodbye to the Voodoo Economics zombies. So long, sorry it took the destruction of our nation for people to see you go.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Ubuntu Trials and Tribulations. BTW - Better than windows.

It's amusing and annoying at the same time, how something can be terrible in some ways, and yet still be a thousand times better than windows ever was. I've seen "seven" and I remain underwhelmed. I'd almost be disgusted, but I'm far too jaded by Microsoft.

I've noticed many quirks with Ubuntu that make it very annoying, especially the samba implementation. The "Network" window often displays nothing, not even the computer I'm using. "Can't load smb://location/" happens all the time. Thankfully, I've learned how to encourage Ubuntu to work properly.

By going to a Chrome window and typing in "192.168.1.x" with x being the location of my NAS device, the login window appears. Immediately, I return to the Network tab on Konqueror or 'File Browser' and lo! The SMB devices are all listed now.

Strange, but it's been working like this for weeks. It may have been like this for the last two years, but I've only recently discovered the trick to "waking" samba.

It's not just the NAS, either. ALL network locations are invisible until I do this. I know the NAS is cheap and "sleeps" too rapidly, and doesn't wake readily, but that shouldn't have much to do with other SMB broadcasts.

So, Ubuntu continues to underperform, and yet it's a blessing too. Just don't try to use the "ubuntu forums" for support or you'll get flamed. I've seen posts on that forum go unanswered for more than 4 years!

In most cases, silence is the best you can hope for from that crowd. I find most ubuntu answers on blogger, private blogs, and wordpress. I don't think that I've found a SINGLE useful response from anyone on an Ubuntu Forum in more than FIVE YEARS now.

Even so, Ubuntu itself remains the best free Operating System for casual PC enthusiasts. Be it laptop, workstation, or desktop, Ubuntu has consistent versioning and appropriate technologies to utilize most hardware.

Of course, when you install a new version, you'll need to re-install the MP3, DVD, Wifi, and other components that are not wholly "open source" from the 'multiverse' and whatever 'proprietary hardware drivers' that Ubuntu says you need. Mine has the "Symantec Touchpad", "NVidia Gforce" and "Broadcom Wifi" devices.

A few clicks, a quick download, and I was online. Few problems, and none that couldn't be resolved. I know that there are better versions of Linux, and Debian, out there such as "Arch Linux" or "Slackware" but these require much more user experience to install and are not for the faint-hearted.

To date I've used SuSE, Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS, Slackware, Ubuntu, Mandrake, FreeBSD, and many many others I can't recall now. Some are pretty obscure.

#1 best LINUX = Slackware. Hands-down the best linux version you'll ever use.
Pros: Horsepower to make your PC do burnouts on your desk. Ultimate control of your hardware.
Cons: BS degree required or equal experience in PC hardware and software. Can be rough on even experienced users.

#2 great LINUX = Arch Linux. Awesomely powerful, sleek, top-end linux distro that focuses on NEW technology.
Pros: Built for the fastest machines and newest hardware. Can run your newest video cards.
Cons: Will NOT run on older machines. REQUIRES building kernels and other high-end knowledge to fully configure.

#3 good LINUX = Ubuntu. Most common linux distro in circulation.
Pros: WAY way easy to use.
Cons: lacks a LOT of power, utility, and control of your hardware. Barely able to handle 3D desktops. Community support is tenuous at best.

These are my preferences from DECADES of using Linux, since 1991. My ideas of great, good, and best may not be the same as yours. My reviews center on USABLE, working, fully developed code.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Thinktanks Gone Wild" - Best Headline of 2011.

This is why I love Math, even though I'm not the best mathematician, and this is also why I love reading 538.

"I want to point out that just because a study uses objective criteria, that doesn’t make it sensible. In fact, studies that try to rank or rate things seem especially susceptible to slapdash, unthoughtful methodology (here is another example: a study which concludes that Gainesville, Fla., is a more gay-friendly city than San Francisco). If you come up with a result that defies common sense — like Modesto’s having better public transit than New York — then once in a blue moon, you may be on to something: conventional wisdom is fallible. But much, much more often, it’s a sign that you’ve done something wrong, and it’s time to reconsider your assumptions before publishing."

Monday, May 23, 2011

little known tricks... and how forums don't cut it as a form of help.

ubuntuforums were filled with not only wrong information, but repeated the same wrong information over a period of two years.

The problem was a simple hole in VNC for Ubuntu that, if you have Compiz installed on an Nvidia card system - you'd have no mouse or keyboard. Three years went by, but ubuntu's crack forum teams couldn't figure it out.

The solution they said, after more than a year of winging it... was to turn off Compiz.

This guy had the right answer, and I'm posting this blog through exactly this same compiz/nvidia setup right now. It now works, thanks to TRS-80 guy/girl.

nswered Oct 2 '09 at 9:45

The answer? An obscure setting I hadn't viewed anywhere else using command line for gconftool-2, disable "xdamage."

Command Line:
[gconftool-2 -s -t bool /desktop/gnome/remote_access/disable_xdamage true]

The above command I was able to execute using only SSH to the desktop, since my monitor has died some months ago. I'm only able to use that particular box with a projection screen I have had rigged for some time now, and it's nice to be able to save bulb life by using my laptop to access the server!

Ubuntu support? BUllshit! Ten Points from Griffendor. FIFTY POINTS.

Thank you, TRS-80 person. I used to own one too.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A soon to be purged comment on Persephone Magazine...

I can understand the sentiment, but this is flawed logic. The entire article is more of a rant than a point in logic. Sure, you don’t to like it, and I think it’s rather a childish or pointless thing to “like” on any website, but harmful? That’s like saying anyone who sees a horror movie advocates murder.

There’s no connection. There’s never been any connection. Self Esteem is -by definition- internal to YOU. It’s what YOU think of yourself, and as such, it’s your problem not mine. I’m not being heartless, I’m being supportive. [Yes seriously.] You need to be treated as an adult, and asked to act like one, or you’ll never believe that you are equal.

So, woman-up.

Stop whining every time you see something that’s the least bit funny. Seriously. I’m not trying to be a “jerk” -such a crime! I’m completely calm, logical, and mean you no ill-will.

Women are still in second place because so few of them have decided to be self-sufficient. There are fantastic, super intelligent, wonderful women in the world doing great things! Just not as many as are male. Why? No one is really stopping women from doing things, in fact women do more harm to women than any single demographic!

There may well be a few rapists and murderers left out there in the wild woolly world, but even us men have to worry about that. If I went to Somalia I would not be anymore safe than you are, possibly even less. Despite such facts of life, there is no reason to not strive for self-achievement in a free country. Sure, rapes happen all over the world, murder too, and it isn’t limited to women. By trying to “claim” rape and violence as a 100% female victim issue, you’ve done yourselves a massive disservice.

Yes, it’s horrible. And? Do you expect a man who has been victimized to spend the rest of his life in therapy or to get on with life? When you swap “male” and “female” in your arguments, you’ll begin to see the flaws in those arguments.

I HAVE been victimized, more than once, and I chose to move on. It’s my past, and it does not define me. When one chooses to accept a role as eternal victim, even where you have never BEEN a victim, how can you expect anyone ELSE to take you seriously?

As a real-world victim, I see most feminists as laughably inelegant, illogical privilege-meters. So you aren’t a princess, boo hoo. Get a job. Again, not to be mean, but to be supportive of your SELF IMAGE.

When you have a “self” that you are not ashamed of, then your “self image” will improve.

So, why go on being hard on yourself? Just get up, and move on, and become a rocket scientist, or Senator, or whatever else you want to do! Stop worrying about what some comedian on Facebook “liked.”

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Programming is not Gardening.

It's nice to see that Microsoft managers have determined that software engineers are actually gardeners. At least in MSFT, this might be true, given how code is seen as an organic thing that you can wish into fruition. At MSFT, I'm sure there are a LOT of managers who'd think this is accurate, insightful, spiritual, and holds any meaning whatsoever.

A rose, however you code it, still smells as sweet. And bullshit, no matter how you name it, still smells like bullshit. Name it manure, fertilizer, soil additives, or whatever you like. That doesn't change what it IS.

Code is code. It is the building of code that creates software, and the bridge analogy is severely flawed, and by that I mean it's flawed from the roots up, or utterly incorrect. Only a Microsoft executive or arts major could screw up science so badly.

Software Engineering *IS* engineering, and nothing less. Many types of software must be vigorously scrutinized, tested, retested, proven to work under stress, and then certified by official agencies. There are DoD, IEEE, Union, Legal, International, and other laws that software must adhere to. There are thousands of standards. There are software testers and entire facilities dedicated to attempting to 'crack' software. All this to prove it is worthy.

Software is generally tested, and universally scrutinized, to a much greater degree than any bridge. A bridge needs to pass only a handful of tests, and sometimes no more than one. If the bridge is on private property and does not conduct interstate transit, it need only be signed off by an architect. That's it. A public bridge is signed off in a few more steps, from design, to a model, and then in iterations through the construction phase. Once completed, a bridge is not ever scrutinized again in quite the same way, unless it is being considered for demolition following aging or earthquake events.

Software is actually tested thousands of times during the creation phase, and then after it is released into an "alpha" status is then peer reviewed and demonstrated. If it passes the alpha stage it is then beta, or issued for limited release and further testing. After tens of thousands of examinations, once all critical bugs and functional bugs are corrected, it is finally 1.0. But, that isn't the end for software.

There's 2.0, 3.0, all the way up to 10.0, a state that few software rarely achieve, as by this time they are generally quite ancient and prone to be replaced with faster and newer code. Software is also much more rapidly surpassed and redesigned than a bridge, but does not lack in quality, mathematics, nor in certifications.

To compare software engineering to mechanical engineering is an insult to software engineers who work much harder, over longer hours, with far more stress than bridge builders. Structures are never started until all the plans are ready, the money is all paid down, and then they usually take longer than planned and go over budget. Software is almost never allowed to do any of this. Software starts AS a plan, constantly gets redesigned, and has to change to accommodate new desires along development. A bridge can't be altered halfway through!

Software generally is paid along as development continues, each step requiring performance to continue, and constant communication with all vested parties is the norm. As a software engineer I have to be an author, janitor, researcher, developer, mechanical engineer, physicist, designer, project manager, AND programmer.

So, you go plant your code seed and water it. That might be how some companies write code, but no quality software will come of it. Office is on version ten now and still has problems that existed back in the first release. That's what happens when you treat your employees like cheap labor.

ANY business that attempts to label Software Engineers as gardeners will not see my resume, and I will not work for them. I would expect that any SE would balk at taking a job where they will be treated as though they are cheap replaceable labor. I have a Masters degree. Your gardener might have finished high school.

Programming is about as comparable to gardening as rocks are to water. Only an MBA could fail to understand that.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

New Chrome Netbook OS! "Alex?"

I read this with some sorrow, the new Chrome netbook is to be another slow, low-capacity Atom chip. Intel has a way with the market, a way of screwing it.

I've got an HP Mini now, also slow as F*CK powered by Intel Atom, and I don't need another netbook that locks up for 3-5 seconds every time something loads flash or javascript. Seriously, the entire machine becomes nonresponsive when I load some webpages. No mouse, no keyboard, nothing. It's too slow and gutless.

I have zero respect for Intel after they were found guilty of monopolist practices, and called out by the Justice Department for lying repeatedly about their anti-competitive contracts. I've worked at PC stores before and I know that Intel will get pissed and stop selling to you if you sell AMD and they find out.

F*** Intel. I love Google, but if they sell only Intel, I won't buy it. My next machine will have AMD, just like all my PCs do. Atom inside? Might as well say "Shit inside." Or, 'we don't think highly enough of the end user to give them a machine that really works.'



Monday, April 25, 2011

Microsoft Admits: Windows Sales Dropping.

"More than one-third of all new PCs sold didn't have Windows 7" quotes this excellent source:

Two probable reasons, given what I see in Best Buy and in other PC sales stores, small and large: XP, and Linux. People still demand XP when they buy a new computer, understandably not wanting the Vista or Seven chaff, nor the extremely restrictive DRM, spyware, and viral target offered by the newer versions. Then there is the rise of Linux, the belittled, embattled, and much-maligned and yet vastly superior operating system.

Linux is on 1 in 3 netbooks, and 4 out of 5 smartphones. Why don't we talk about Macs or Apple? Because all the OSX and iPhone software is based on Linux too. You can call up the native Linux interface in your Apple device by loading "X11" or "Xwindows" which is found in your OSX menu. Surprise!

Given that Macs often outsell PCs at certain times of the year, Linux is honestly resident on at least 1 in 2 computers sold worldwide and maybe more in the US, where there is a strong "No Operating System" market. I've purchased two PCs online without an "OS" present. I put Linux on them, of course.

Sidenote - Ancient Argument:
GNU/Linux, which is the origin of Linux's wingnut-reputation moniker, is widely known simply as "Linux", and there's good reason for this. Ignore the naming arguments if you do run across any, because butthurt GNU people get upset that they don't get their way, and it's a silly argument anyway. The core of any OS is the kernel. The kernel in the "Linux" OS is a Linux kernel. Thus, it makes perfect sense to call the OS "Linux." "GNU/Linux" is stupid. That's like saying we have to call Windows "Office/Windows" because the largest and most common application used in Windows is Office.

If GNU releases an OS that has a GNU kernel, I will call it the GNU OS. End of argument. Stallman really knows how to piss people off and pit like-minded people against each other.

Back to Reality:
The truth is, Open Source is no longer the future, it's the PRESENT. We're there. Windows is already dying out despite all attempts by MSFT to force everyone on Earth to use it, like it or not. The future has yet to be defined, but it's not software patents, requiring licenses to use something you've already bought, and suing your customers if they don't pay you more each year.

I'm a game developer, working on a double Masters, and my thesis is a game engine that's designed to kick WoW off the maps. It's open source, and free. But, how will you get rich, you ask? Maybe that's not my goal. I've already got money, and enough of it to be extremely happy.

There's more on Earth than the need to Sack Rome, and Pillage. Some of us like to build Universities and Libraries, which are not known for making profits, despite all attempts by University of Washington to become a for-profit buy-your-degree institution.

My gift to the world is a game that doesn't require 60.00 per disk, can be sold or transferred to a new PC, and doesn't require a monthly credit card payment to play. There are sixteen examples of competitors to WoW/ AKA Warcraft on the market now, many of which are open source. It won't be long before mine, or another persons work, surpasses Warcraft. Quake is after all an open source game, and there is no more legendary game than Quake.

Blizzard has to do a lot of work to keep you from doing anything they don't like. I don't need to worry about all that. Copy it, share it, download it, upload it, even sell it for all I care. You can't take away open source even when you profit from it. Windows is dying, and deserves to die, and I will applaud its demise.

Since I do not need to focus on licenses, middleware, and in-game payment systems, I can focus on something else: Making the game Awesome.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Shutting Down NASA? Yes and No.

Budgets, Finance, and Reality.

NASA served a very clear purpose, full of headwinds, ideas, new scientists, old scientists, opportunity, and a future that was bright. What once was, is no more. NASA has seen more repeat failures than any Apollo launch just in recent years.

One would think that a vast agency, powerful and rich, with gobs of scientists dedicated to common causes could do better. In reality, it should. Space-X proved that a smaller leaner company can do better, faster, with less money. China and Europe are proving that NASA is not a model they'll follow closely.

All around the world, there is major competition to NASA. The ISS routinely uses Soviet, now Russian, technology to maintain orbit and safety. These are critical missions that the shuttle can't even perform, and no vessel owned or imagined by NASA is set to perform.

NASA is the past. A proud, rosy, amazing, and retiring past.

It's time to put this bull to pasture. NASA is now bloated, politics-laden, inefficient, and lately, risky.

America simply doesn't have what it takes for government to do what it once did so well in the 1960s. The fattened calf is not the way to run a space agency. NASA should be reduced to an FAA sort of status, monitoring space and providing services to competing nations, corporations, and doing what it does best. Waste money. Uh, I meant ... well, no that's what I meant. It just doesn't sound great to read it back out loud. Unfortunately, it's too true.

Many government departments are bloated and ineffective, with their primary goals being legislation, control, and keeping a fat federal workforce in place. Census is unquestionably replaceable, by something as basic as a website with a ticketing system tied into the IRS. Reward people on their taxes for filing the Census and watch all need of hand-counting vanish. What about the homeless? They get services don't they? Most of them have SSNs. In truth, only illegal aliens need to be counted, as everyone else is in one system or another in American computers.

The Census brass joked with me about how it's a good thing most Americans don't know that we can get 150% of what the Census asks for from the Credit Agencies: TRW, Experian, and Equifax.

We gotta support these billion dollar departments, for some reason, though I'm not really sure to what purpose. NASA is another such department.

We have a choice to make, America. Either stop fighting wars all over the globe, or stop paying for wasteful bloated departments of the US Government.

America can't do both and remain solvent. Debt or overspending is what's killing America, not Bin Laden.

NASA budget: 5 billion a year.

US Census budget: 7.4 Billion, 2010

US Navy ONLY: 160 Billion
Marines: 35 Billion
Army: 215 Billion
Air Force: 170 Billion
CIA: ~50 Billion
* CIA stats are always rounded, never precise. This is the gross "Black Ops" budget authorized. More is known to be released as-needed. CIA is never without funds.

Now, for comparison:
Here's all the money you "lazy b*st*rds" on Welfare get. This is national, not just DSHS spending:
Families: 95 Billion
Housing: 58 Billion
Unemployment: 160 Billion

You Retirees:
Pensions: 756 Billion
Healthcare: 820 Billion

Defense Total (Most above): 847 Billion

Housing, Welfare, and Unemployment combined (313 Billion) don't even come close to Defense, Retirement, and Health costs. So why are the GOP so eager to gut SMALL programs? To deflect attention from the TRILLION dollar war machine, and the Baby Boomer subsidy of 1.8 Trillion!

Here comes the scary part.
Miscellaneous Government Expenses: 190 Billion
Interest: 196 Billion
Deficit: 1296 Billion. That's 1.2 Trillion, folks.

And, the winner is...
Gross Public Debt: 13.5 TRILLION dollars.

Want to save money? Cut the debt down and the deficit. There's Trillions in cuts available. Want to spend less? There are hundreds of Billions throughout all branches of government to be cut. NASA and Census are "chump change" compared to HEALTH and DEFENSE.

Still, cost savings isn't the only reason to kill NASA or reduce it to a licensing agency like the FAA. NASA really is wasteful, and horridly so. But, the military also blows a lot of cash. The Acts of Congress to go wage wars in forty theaters around the globe every decade is eating us alive. There's NO END of places to look for cutting waste when it comes to the USA.

NASA item:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ubuntu Fixes for tiny problems

[As always, scroll to bottom for cheats and links, to avoid commentary.]

Ubuntu is amazing, and I can't back away from that statement I made several years ago. It continues to be the easiest user experience and best operating system on the market in 2011. I stripped the HP boot partition and windows partitions off my Pavillion years ago, and have it solely booting to Ubuntu. Since I dumped Vista, I haven't had any software issues whatsoever.

But, nothing is perfect, and Ubuntu 10.04 has its share of quirks. First, realize that every hardware system is different, and Ubuntu like any other OS has to load specific drivers for your machines hardware, which leads to variances in the user experience. Windows handles this by requiring hardware to be "windows certified," which means that they've paid MSFT for a badge. As far as I can tell, no actual "tuning" for that hardware is happening. The only difference is the vendor gets better access to the distribution channels, but still no access to code.

Ubuntu simply does its best to ensure that there's a work-around for every piece of hardware in use today. Ubuntu probably won't try to release a patch that works on a 286, but any computer made in the last few years is certain to have been examined by several coders. The bug management in Linux is astonishing, although somewhat jerky, and often populated with trite or even venomous comments. I've seen some bugs go unanswered for 4+ years, still open. Even so, these issues are in the minority, as tens of thousands of bugs get patched every year.

I'm not talking blue-screen bugs either, I mean little things like the mouse pointer going away when a window switches focus, and you have to alt-f4, wiggle mouse, or alt-tab to get it back. Ubuntu NEVER crashes. I've loaded it intentionally on a heat-damaged server in my garage that tends to shut down randomly and generate interesting garbage characters in the command line. It's pretty messed up. Ubuntu 9.10 loaded on it flawlessly, and I saw all the heat problems vanish within 24 hours. It still just shuts off once in a while, on its own, but the machine is now usable again!

I would not suggest that the new user, casual user, or business user go to Ubuntu Forums. That's a great place to get a really bad impression of Linux. These are close-to-the-machine folks who do not have great social skills, obviously from the text that they post, many of them could use a couple of classes in both grammar and professional conduct. It's also not easy to navigate, and I've had fun attempting to find solutions there even though I am also a programmer.

Blogs like my own and other gear-heads, geeks, and nerds have taken it upon themselves to post walk-throughs on how to fix common issues with Ubuntu, such as the lack of MP3 players in the default software. Trust me, going to a forum and asking where the mp3 player is will not result in happy answers.

Sometimes, they just don't even seem to understand the question. Here's one that has been plaguing me for some time, a random problem that appears when I plug a USB mouse into my laptop. The click keys of the mouse, and my entire keyboard, go dead. I have to unplug the mouse and reboot, run config again, and toggle settings in the gnome configuration to reset the mouse. Then it works fine, for a while, apparently. This is not a fix, it's a kludge, and it irritates me to need to reboot. I like touchpads when I'm on the road, but when I sit down in Starbucks I'd like to pull out my portable mouse and use it. [No, not while I'm literally driving.]

- - USB Mouse

- Description:
When plugged into an HP Pavillion, the keyboard and mouse buttons and touchpad become nonresponsive, requiring reboot to fix. Symptoms are immediately reproduced after reboot if USB mouse is plugged in again, to any USB port.
- Severity:
Computer is useless/nonresponsive. Severe.
- Previous Work Around:
Toggle gnome mouse touchpad settings off then on again.
Does not resolve issue.
- Open System, Preferences, Keyboard - Layouts tab.
* choose the correct keyboard model. Was set to default, changed to HP PV5
- Open System, Preferences, Mouse - General tab.
* DESELECT show pointer when control key is pressed.
* Touchpad tab, SELECT disable touchpad while typing.
- Open Terminal. Type 'gconf-editor' and press enter.
* Open Desktop, Gnome, Accessibility, and select mouse. DESELECT animate cursor.
Try to use ALT F2 if the problem recurs.

- - Synaptic

- Description:
Ubuntu has its own "update" software, but will not monitor or maintain your system beyond purely security measures. You need "Synaptic."
* Open 'gnome-terminal' with ALT-F2.
* Type 'sudo apt-get synaptic' and press Enter. You'll be asked for your password.

- - Wireless

- Description:
Broadcom is the Wifi card in my HP. It does not work without special drivers.

- Ubuntu recognizes the proprietary hardware and will automatically offer a download to allow you to configure your hardware if you plug into an Ethernet Jack.
- No other steps needed.

- - NVidia

- Description:
NVidia is my GPU, and it works in default mode at a lower resolution than the LCD is capable of.

- Ubuntu recognizes the proprietary hardware and will automatically offer a download to allow you to configure your hardware.
- in Synaptic, add Compiz, Compiz Config Settings Manager.
- This is one of few situations in which reboot is required for Ubuntu.

- - MP3, DVD, media

- Description:
Ubuntu and Debian do not come with software that require licenses. They also do not support license-restricted software. It is recommended to use alternatives which ARE in Ubuntu. However, sometimes you need to hear an MP3, or play a DVD.

- Open Synaptic. Click the Settings tab. Select Repositories.
* General Settings tab, SELECT "multiverse" or restricted software option.
* Select Close, and then the Reload tab.
* Search MP3, select mpg123, click mark for install.
* Search dvd, select libdvd4, click mark for install.
* Select APPLY.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Drug Science. No Lies, No Politics. The Truth.

This article is clearly labeled according to ISO 9001 standards.

Header/Title: "Drug Science. No Lies, No Politics. The Truth."

Byline: "The scientific unaltered facts about drugs, recreational and legal."

Meta: "follow, index, archive."

Notes: "Footer contains references and sources."

Body: "follows this line, precedes footer."

The US and other national standards offer legal standings on drugs and drug use that do not match scientific data. These laws are supposed or assumed to be politically biased, and may be morality induced rather than factual. The clearest known bias is against the natural herb 'Cannabis Majoris'.[1,2]

Example of Bias:
Black or African and Hispanic Americans are sent to prison for 20 years to life for possession of CM,[3] while Rich and White Americans are given suspended sentences and probation for possession of powder cocaine or barbituates.[4] Wealthy Americans are also given prescriptions for hard drugs such as speed, meth, and other drugs that poor people are sent to jail for using without official permit.[5,6] The permission is difficult to obtain, and Doctors routinely refuse those without health care insurance.[7] ER and free clinics decline to dispense controlled substances at all, even where it would be of medical aid. The default assumption is that poor people are addicts, and wealthy people are sick.[8,9,10]

Drug Addiction side effects:
Addition is a chemical dependency which can cause illness, mental instability, and even death.[11] Treatment and Legal methods of dealing with addictive substances and abusers, or victims, of them have not been reliable without addressing underlying causes.[12] People who have a hard life or reasoning to be depressed, or a mental issue, will resume using drugs after being released from jail or treatment facilities. People who DO NOT have these issue will ALSO relapse into drug abuse if they are not correctly treated, supported, and given power over their addiction.[13]

Systemic Problems of the Health Industry:
Despite efforts to improve the system, communication does not happen between hospitals in a timely manner. Only state and federally mandated incidents are reported, and not accurately. In one hospital, a patient's request for hard drugs might be documented, but in another it will be ignored. Even when documented, it may not be properly reported, or it may be illegal in that state to report out-of-hand without a matching legal incident. Hospitals and Doctors are secretive about what they must report, and how they do so, or for another reason no information on this reporting can not be found outside of voluminous legal codes. As I am a scientist and not an attorney, I will not address this particular facet.

Without solid records, it's easy for addicts to relocate to gain more services when cut off, as many charitable clinics are too cash-starved to perform well or at all in enforcement. Unfunded mandates do result in lack of compliance.[14]

Student run clinics inside of major education institutions are the only ones likely to comply with regulations thoroughly.[15] However, access to these institutions is not universal, despite any claims to the contrary. They deal with known patients, other students, and privileged classes as a priority. Emergencies are stabilized and sent to a professional ER. Triage is a term which most poor people learn to hate, because it is in triage with a low-paid nurse that the determination is made as to whether any assistance will be given. Children who later died have been turned away from hospital ERs when they had no insurance.[15,16]

These problems combine to effectively deny care to the poor, and fail to track potential drug problems.

Drug Industry:
Despite an apparent campaign against drug abuse, the United States promotes and provides monopoly status to some of the world's largest drug cartels, collectively known as the Pharmaceutical Industry. They enjoy an ability to promote lifetime drug dependency based upon a system which works to prohibit cures in preference to drug treatments. Therapy is usually incidental to medication.[17]

The only beneficiary of a continued policy of criminalized street drug use is the Drug Industry. No person, no government, and no other corporations benefit from this hazardous policy. The appearance of Pharma Lobbyists at any 'legalization' vote is damning.[18,19]

The beneficiary of decriminalizing, or legalizing and regulation of drug use is twofold, the people of the United States, and the Government of the United States. The people gain access to safe drugs, treatment, and can then be monitored. Monitoring is not remotely possible while drugs are illegal. The Government saves billions spent on law enforcement[20], and gains billions more in taxes on the now legal drugs.[21] This is simple economics.

Drug damage from use:
Overwhelmingly, the primary harm is criminal activity.[22] Between manufacturing, distributing, selling, and using drugs is a very long list of criminal acts which feeds organized crime. Many thousands of people die every year, not from USING drugs, but from the crime of making and selling them. Competition is deadly, and law enforcement will shoot first, ask questions later. The risks are so high that it seems to be worth risking death to avoid being caught, and the profits are obviously high enough to encourage this.[23] It dwarfs the amount consumers spend on legal drugs.[24]

More people die in car accidents than from drug use deaths AND cancer combined.[25,26]

Drug recreation:
People use drugs because they either are fun to use, or are promoted as fun to use. Being as the illegal drug industry enjoys zero ability to advertise anywhere in the world, the likelihood is that some drugs are enjoyable. Prevention by education does not appear to have offset this trend, as drug use is rising despite decades of education against it. When people feel that life isn't going to end well, that retirement isn't possible, or that they have no future, there is little reason to expect that they wouldn't want to try drugs. The poor overwhelmingly suffer from drug abuse.[27,28,29]

Based upon relatively low rates of death, and obvious long term use throughout America, drugs seem to be more of a problem for those who lack health care and have little or no income. People who work or have a family to live with can enjoy all the drugs that they'd like to. This does little to reduce the demand for illegal drugs! "If drugs were really bad", I've heard teenagers state, "more people would die from them." The common-man perception is that drugs are NOT HARMFUL, but that lack of health care IS harmful. The fact that millions of people are able to use drugs without serious health issues will not diminish this popular view.

Everyone knows college kids use drugs. Anyone who wants to deny this needs to read a newspaper, or perhaps has never been to college. Though I never participated, I learned most of what I know about drugs from going to college, and not from attending the classes! So, 1 in 3 college students uses drugs, is the national average from about 2005. So, there should be a lot of crime on campus, right? Actually, No.[30] Colleges with thousands of students typically experience only a handful of crimes per year, and they are not all drug related. The vast majority of drug related crimes involve alcohol - WHICH IS LEGAL.[31]

Rates of substance abuse now approach 50% in college.[32] Why are we not seeing large scale arrests, massive crime waves, and thousands of students dying every year? Because drug use is not as harmful as authorities want people to believe. The perception of deadly drugs is intended to stop people from using them. In fact, more people die from simply doing stupid things, than from the drugs themselves. Drugs do in fact impair your senses, sometimes fatally. No, that train does not want to play tag with you. If you think it does, you are either high, or you need to stop listening to those voices.

There are few factual statistics about an illegal substance, because it's illegal. There are no sales records. Nobody knows how many people really use drugs every day. It is known to be millions of people PER DAY based upon drug busts and review of the criminal drug trail. It is clear that millions of people are consuming drugs each day based upon the rate of influx to the United States. However, there are also home grown, and home made drugs, which are not tracked at all.[33]

Despite illegality, US banks, the CIA, and the US government have actually been able to PROFIT from ILLEGAL DRUGS.[34] THIS is something that HAS TO STOP. Our government can not, should not, and must not EVER BE ALLOWED to act illegally, for any reason. A government MAKES the law, and therefor it should not be difficult for a government to OBEY the law they MAKE.

Footer: "sources follow this line."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Transit Woes of Seattle

What's it really COST to build, manage, and use different types of transportation? Rather than opine, simply gaze upon this table of data for a few minutes... [Story at Bottom.]

Link to readable spreadsheet:

Transportation Costs

TYPE Initial Cost Annual Cost* People Cost Origin Trip Cost Typical Distance Cost per Mile Lane USE Cost

Walking 2000000 36000 1 36000.00 120.00 2 60 0.0000277777777777778
Car 2000000 36000 2 18000.00 60.00 26 2.30769230769231 0.0000555555555555556
Bicycle 2000000 36000 1 36000.00 120.00 8 15 0.0000277777777777778
Motorcycle 2000000 36000 1 36000.00 120.00 26 4.61538461538462 0.0000277777777777778
Van 2000000 36000 12 3000.00 10.00 26 0.384615384615385 0.000333333333333333
Bus 2000000 36000 46 782.61 2.61 15 0.173913043478261 0.00127777777777778
Light Rail 180000000 10000000 400 25000.00 83.33 15 5.55555555555556 0.00004
Subway 300000000 20000000 800 25000.00 83.33 31 2.68817204301075 0.00004
Heavy Rail 22000000000 400000000 2000 200000.00 666.67 200 3.33333333333333 0.000005
Charter Air 1200000 800000 120 6666.67 22.22 500 0.0444444444444445 0.00015
Airlines 110000000 60000000 400 150000.00 500.00 1500 0.333333333333333 0.00000666666666666667
Sources for above figures:$.htm

These costs are PER MILE of ROAD or rail, not per car or per train engine. Aircraft costs are thrown in as comparison per AIRLINE, rather than lane. Most airports have multiple airlines. For long distances it is still really the least expensive option. But, walking? That's very expensive when you consider the cost of the pathway, and the fact that the path usually occupies space that could be used for traffic. Recreational paths are not considered, and do not impact traffic.

For example, most of the Burke-Gilman trail occupies easement alongside traffic, and could easily be made into one or two more lanes. Where it goes rural, it's not a commuter route, especially in zones where the "trail" is nothing more than signs and you're just riding in normal streets with traffic or on a sidewalk.

The chart reveals some interesting data, and even though I just cobbled it together from the diverse data I was able to dredge up on various transit pages, it rapidly becomes clear why transportation remains an ongoing problem in the United States.

Facts of the chart:
Walking wastes the most lane space. Many thousands of people would need to use EACH mile to make the cost of NOT using a Bus or Train worthwhile. At best I see a few dozen people per hour on the B&G, and they're mostly cyclists.

Cyclists tend to ride a bus partway and ride the bike partway. That data is nearly impossible to obtain, so I haven't compared it. Cyclists in this chart are assumed to ride the entire commute on a bike. They share a feature with motorcycles - it takes a LOT of them to offset the use of mass transit.

Buses have the 2nd lowest cost per mile based on ridership, but have the highest per lane expense! It's the least efficient form of mass transit. Partly because busing shares lanes with traffic, and even the largest buses only hold a few dozen people, but also because of the fuel and maintenance costs buses are grossly inefficient. This chart ignores that mechanical cost though and simply looks at per use cost or passenger efficiency. Busing is worse than any other mode of transit.

Vans and Airlines are both cost effective, but Vans are 2nd worst at passenger efficiency, while airlines are the best choice possible.

Cars and Motorcycles have a higher per mile cost, but are far more passenger efficient. This should come as no surprise to anyone who would rather drive to work alone than ride a bus or carpool.

Light rail costs the most per mile, but has the 3rd highest passenger efficiency, only after both modes of flight. It's the most efficient ground transportation possible.

These figures are not considering gas prices, ticket costs, or any single-use factor. These are facts concerning the construction and maintenance costs of a SYSTEM, and how well that SYSTEM serves the public. An aircraft carrying 400 people is better than 1 person in a car if the destinations are similar. However, the car is better than any other mode of transit for flexibility and costs [road costs, not car costs!]

Buses and trains are hugely expensive systems, and of the two only a train has the carry capacity to offset that cost. Busing has ALWAYS been subsidized by the state and rarely makes any money. That is why you don't have bus lines going right by your house in a rural area. The density of an area has to be HIGH for a bus to be cost effective.

Still, cities rely on busing primarily because it puts more people to work [repairs, drivers, and maintenance] than any other system except an airport. Many cities rely on the state subsidies given for busing, thus their reluctance to develop better systems.

Trains actually have far fewer maintenance and staffing requirements than any other system, and serve the greatest number of people, but not as rapidly as aircraft can. The greater the distance, the more useful it is to fly. [At least until Mag-Lev is developed and widespread.]

As our nation grows more tightly packed, with an excess of 300 million people in America now, the need for additional infrastructure for both transit and employment are more important than ever before. Obama was right to demand a nation wide rail system.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Iran was never a threat, and the US knows it.

What's a threat to the US isn't Iran, or Iraq, or Afghanistan. It's any nation that doesn't swallow the national "party line" without resistance, and that line is "let our corporations plunder your nation." In Iran's case, firm commitments by Russia and China hinder any attempt by the USA to enter that nation and create more war.[1]

America got Iraq, Russia gets Iran. That's the deal that was cut long before America went after Saddam for a crime he never committed, for weapons that the US never sold him. Funny that the United States never charged Saddam with having the weapons that the US DID sell him. Iraq was nearly 70% funded by the US military industrial complex. His only mistake was seeking full independence from - The United States.

It's hard to read the news today, because every Western paper is shouting hate at China, even the best and most "literary" papers are broadcasting the corporate dogma of "China is evil." Why? Just because they won't let America bleed it dry? China has better human rights than America does at this point. America still executes children, the mentally ill, and people who are known to be innocent. America invades nations that have done nothing, not just not attacking America, but posing no threat to America whatsoever. America still creates, sponsors, and controls terrorist states. America has overthrown Democracies, and admits doing so. China has done none of these things.[2]

Here is what an American military tribunal will get you: Four innocent men sent to prison for life without parole. That's the best justice America has to offer. Professional conviction by high ranking military experts. Review of the case? Oh yeah, they're completely innocent.[3]

America continues to spout increasing record levels of propaganda, far eclipsing both the Nazi war propaganda and the USSR information campaign by a factor of about 40. It's less than 100, but more than 20, and accuracy is very difficult in calculating the extents of this volcano of B.S. The lies are so far-reaching, so constant, that it's like trying to divide by zero.[4]

Hermes is hardly neutral, they read like 'birthers' but raise a lot of valid points when you ignore the anti-Obama and anti-Democrat bias. Most anti-American sites tend to be wingnuts, right? No, actually. Xinhua, the Register, the WSJ, the Guardian, and other newspapers are not at all wingnuts. These are Progressive Liberal Press. Fiscal conservative organs of a commercial media, with a socially liberal bias. One would actually expect them to be pro-America. In general, they are.

The WSJ? Yes, apart from the editorials, the reporting is very excellent and largely liberal, which is to state, most clearly, that they give credit to both sides of an issue - to a fault. Few issues really have ONLY two sides, and rarely are all sides of equal weight. The "liberal press" flaw is that they polarize issues.[5]

If you want to read actual liberal press, and not commercial media, you need to read and sites like it that accurately document history, review ethical processes, and don't parrot the State Dogma. For an idea of how difficult this task is, just finding "real" news, check the wiki article on media ownership[6].

You will be largely limited to small, nonprofit, independent press. But, that's how newspapers started, you say? Well, sort-of. The history of the press in the USA is also mostly B.S. Few were ever neutral, independent, or even at all honest. Many newspapers originating in the West based their entire business on selling lies. It's only since the dawn of the internet that truly free press has arisen.[7]

It is free, liberal, and specialty news websites like groklaw and news lists like reddit that aid the distribution of more factual information in the United States, where turning on the Television is akin to strapping yourself in for a voluntary lobotomy.[8] Unpaid individuals who profit mostly from web banner ads and tee shirt sales are the true investigative reporters of America since the internet began to distribute news.

Dan Rather, the "Last American Journalist" was fired for reporting on the WTC demolition. He was literally thrown out of his job and threatened with arrest. His new site is one of very few liberal media websites still in existence, as the word "Professional" also usually means "Owned." Dan is the last of the un-owned journalists.[9]

Back now to my point about China, and why I love to use Xinhua. The China Daily newspaper, despite being a party-owned Chinese media, is more accurate, more fair, and more often prints actual facts about China than nearly any other press. It certainly does a better job of reporting on China than any Corporate Media in the US does![10]

American politicians and media talk tough, constantly criticize China, and are unforgiving Christians. The facts are that China has a growing robust economy based on a scientifically designed blueprint for government. China has had NO RECESSION. That economy does NOT fluctuate the way America's does. Why not? Because China controls it. The "World Wide Recession?" That's the Western World, not the GLOBE. It's not even close to being a world recession. Only the Western Banking has failed, and cost their governments Trillions.

China has seen nothing but growth for decades now, and is heading into position to become the primary, and possibly ONLY, world power. By 2020, The US will be a sad shadow of its former glory, and is already fading fast. Chinese military spending and economic strength will surpass the United States within five years at the current rate. Some economists say three years. Who says China is already the world's number one power? Americans do.[11]

Also, the facts say it too.[12] The total GDP of the planet Earth is 74 Trillion a year. The US produces 14, China is a close 2nd with 10. Japan has 4. No other nation is even close. So how is China ahead? I've said it before, America has massive debts that are not calculated into the GDP. China holds very little debt. When you add in debt, China has been ahead of the USA for at least three years now. China has one fifth the debt of America proportionately.[13]

When you add in the fact that America is growing at 2%, not counting debt of 12%, and China is growing at 10%, China is winning and quickly. You can do the math in your head. Point 1 times 14 is .14, doubled for 2 percent is .28, and then added back to 14 is only 14.28 for the US in 2011. Now do China. See? How fast they overtake America is largely influenced by debts and the banking industry, and whose banking industry is rock stable right now? China. I'd be investing in Chinese advertising companies, if I were you. You have at best, five years to learn how.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Bill, you "dun goofed."

MSFT is taking a hard right turn, right for a cliff.

ARM processors are very well coded for, by a host of far-reaching, widely experienced software systems, of which MSFT has zero ability to compete with. MSFT typically needs three service packs to stabilize any offering that's ever been released by the company. Most corporations won't touch a MSFT product until at least SP1 is released, as that is generally viewed as the non-beta version.

The 12 year development window of MSFT doesn't bode well for their desire and direction in the ARM market, a fiercely competitive, and quickly changing market that's trounced AT&T, Qwest, and others. Little upstart cell phone companies like Cingular came along and kicked their asses, literally taking control of the market, and buying out AT&T.

The little companies are quick, viciously competitive, capable, and above all: talented. MSFT can't claim any of those titles. MSFT code is burdensome, huge, buggy, and prone to failure. Intel, MSFT's longest and best partner, and taken to publicly outing MSFT for failure to fix problems in all the Windows OS versions.

Intel isn't a nice company, but they know business, and despite anti-trust and even RICO problems with Intel, they know how to make chips. When they tell you to reduce the size of something to get it to run on their chip, you'd be an idiot to ignore the request. MSFT has ignored pleas from Intel for more than a decade now on streamlining the Windows bloated OS.

Even "CE", "7", and other specialized versions of the MSFT fleet of bloatware are huge when compared to the fast, not-crashing, and above all tiny software of competitors. RIM came along and trounced the phone industry, and spurned MSFT products as "useless." They based the Blackberry OS on a proprietary incarnation of Unix, and it still rocks. I use a "BB" and do not own an "iPhone." I love Apple, but the primary reasons for choosing RIM remain SECURITY, and COST. RIM's phone's don't leak data to third parties, don't crash, and above all - they don't delete what I've loaded on them. I don't have to pay RIM a fee to customize my phone "desktop" or play music. I can load my own music on the phone as ringtones without paying fees.

MSFT has about a snowball's chance in hell of catching up to RIM, let alone Android!

I don't applaud this because I hate MSFT, rather I applaud this because MSFT needs to experience a serious failure in revenue before it will ever change. In the PC market they colluded with Intel to prevent competition. Both were charged with crimes and convicted. Both Intel and MSFT are anti-trust violators. They CAN NOT function in a free market.

MSFT lacks the speed, agility, and programming talent required to take on either RIM or Google. The software from Redmond is decades behind Unix based OSes. Most people are completely unaware that practically every piece of software now in use on Earth is derived from a version of UNIX.

Microsoft is the lone holdout, because the truth is, Redmond isn't good at programming. They're good at buying up software and absorbing companies, then repackaging that product as their own. Haven't you wondered why Excel, Access, and Word still DO NOT interoperate after more than 18 years? Is TWO DECADES too much time to get an application to cooperate with another application THAT IS RELEASED IN THE SAME PACKAGE?

The reason MS Office won't, and probably never will work very well, is that each of its components were acquired separately, and never designed to work in the Office Suite they're wrapped in. Rather than FIX IT, MSFT took the typical "rewrap" approach and kludged it. To this day you still can not open a Word or Excel file with Access. I had to use custom software to import and export documents when I worked at the US Census's property management office last year. Even files from the SAME product fail to import into a NEWER version of that product.

MSFT's problems are so systemic, so cultural, and so based upon an ability to AVOID competition with lawsuits and no-bid contracts, that in an environment where they can not hold a monopoly, they are doomed.

Don't take my word for it though, read that guy up above. He knows what he's talking about. Or, you can just look at the sales figures. MSFT didn't enter the phone market until years too late, and they've never gained a foothold. Products like Mobil 5, Zune, and the Surface, were all years behind other products that worked better. The consumer never embraced Microsoft, it was forced on them. In the phone market, consumers chose anything but Microsoft, because they had a choice.

I don't expect this to change. You can polish it for 18 years, but a turd is still going to be a turd. I order new computers as either 'bare bones' or 'custom assembled' because not only do I get better pricing, I don't pay for Microsoft.

Some of the best games entering the market in 2010 were web based, and a web based game doesn't know what operating system you're using. It doesn't matter much, except that a good OS will run faster even with web apps. I've never had linux crash. Not once in 21 years. I've never had a virus. Software that doesn't work simply just doesn't work, and linux continues working fine.

People keep predicting the death of the PC, but that's one thing the market gurus have been wrong about for 10 years now. A phone doesn't have a quad-core 3ghz processor, 8 gigs of RAM, 2 terabytes of storage, DVD drives, 22" 1080p monitors, or any of the other large-format hardware that a PC has always used.

When IBM introduces a quantum processor for a phone with a 30" holographic display, datacube memory in the terabytes, and gigabyte wireless, then maybe the PC will begin to slide in popularity. Until then, I'm sipping Starbucks[tm] in my 450.00 task chair. There's a lot to be said for having a nice office, and a good gaming PC.