Archive

Archive for September, 2012

Blue skies on Saturday morning

September 22, 2012 Leave a comment

When someone suggests I live in Santa Cruz, I’m quick to correct them. I live a little more than six miles northeast of that town; six twisty miles north of Surf City on Highway 9 in the town of Felton. At home, I get to look out one window facing a ridge that separates this valley from the Pacific, while looking out another and see a bunch of redwoods doing what they’ve been doing for, oh, centuries.

So on a Saturday morning filled with a blue sky that is almost painful to look at and with a couple of items worth noting — assuming I can tear myself away from staring out the window — these should be on your radar this week.

Hello, Columbus: Ohio Linux Fest 2012 is next weekend in Columbus, and for a growing show — growing in size and importance — this is one that is wrapping up the year nicely.

Of all the interesting presentations at this year’s OLF, there are two that are completely, make-sure-you-get-there, no-miss talks that you should attend. The first is Todd Robinson’s talk on his “31 distros in 31 days” project, which seemed to go off without a hitch in August — you’ll find out more if you attend the talk.

The other not-to-be-missed talk would be Joe Brockmeier’s “How to Create Your Own Cloud.” The reason I bring this up is because you’ve heard me rail in the past about what’s nebulously called “the cloud” (pun definitely intended), and how your data, important or otherwise, belongs in your physical possession always. Having your own cloud covers both these bases and puts the best of both worlds — having your data and eating it, too — at your fingertips.

So if you’re within a day’s travel on whatever vehicle you might choose — car, bus, rail, plane, spaceship — you should make it to Columbus this weekend.

Commodities, not users: Those who plan to use Ubuntu 12.10 “Quantal Quetzal” when it comes out next month have a chance to go though an interesting transformation. Those who opt for the new version next month will go from merely being Ubuntu users to Ubuntu products.

Or so says Slashdot in this article here. So some Canonical sales flack armed with charts and graphs is pitching some corporate giant — do you really think this model is going to stop with Amazon? — to put their name in front of you when you fire up your computer, whether you like it or not.

To be fair — and in anticipation of an onslaught of comments from the Ubuntu Apocalypse pointing this out, among other things — there’s a very simple way to remove having Amazon involuntary make its presence known on your chosen operating system, assuming it’s Ubuntu, by merely using this command:

sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping

Also, to be even more fair, apparently this is a Unity thing which does not apply to the other *buntus, like Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, etc., on down the line, which you should probably be using in the first place.

But here’s the 2,000-pound elephant in the middle of the room: Perhaps I missed the memo when I started with Linux and Free/Open Source Software six years ago, but I can’t remember ever seeing anything anywhere about the practice of building a community around profit rather than advancing the FOSS paradigm, let alone forcing advertisers, wanted or not, on unsuspecting users. But again, I could have missed something somewhere along the line.

Have a great day.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

Add to Technorati Favorites EFF Binary Freedom Dead button Wordpress button Xfce button dbEntrance button AntiX 7.0 fedora badge GIMP Scribus Linux Mint Kororaa Salix OS Fluxbox Conky Thunderbird LibreOffice Crunchbang Bodhi Linux PostgreSQL identi.ca python scale 10x

Eliminate DRM!

Play ball

September 3, 2012 4 comments

Warning: Very little of this blog item deals with free/open source software. In fact, with the exception of some historical references or discussions in the periphery, there’s little here on FOSS. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read it; on the contrary, you might welcome the break from my tilting at windmills and read something slightly more important.

This blog deals more with the human condition, or specifically Ken Starks’ human condition, and baseball, as well as why sometimes you need to step outside the proverbial batter’s box to get some perspective.

As many of you already know — and for those of you keeping score at home — back in the spring Ken and I planned to go to the Astros-Giants series in Houston at the end of August. Let me back up: Ken and I have been planning to go to a ballgame since 2008, since we teamed up to organize the Lindependence Project, and never got around to it until now. Last week, he and I went to Minute Maid Park to watch the three-game series and, as one might expect, the Giants swept.

That’s all the gloating I’m going to do. Honest.

As many of you also already know, Ken’s about to go under the knife for larynx cancer surgery, which many of you heard about through FOSS channels; and I would be remiss if I didn’t thank you for pitching in like most of you did. As far as the trip was concerned, we were touch-and-go on whether Ken was able to make the trip due to the fact that he may have had a quick reservation for a table for one at the hospital where his surgery will take place. But finally he was cleared for travel, and we ended up watching the series at Houston.

Let me tell you something about Ken that he relayed to me in conversation between innings, and I don’t think he’d mind if I mention it. I thought the topic was somewhat obvious to me, yet I think Ken may feel it bears repeating.

It is this: Some may be under the impression that he’s down for the count; that he’s lying in bed waiting for death. Clearly he’s not.

I got the impression that he finds it irksome that some may think he is somehow disabled or on the fast track to becoming an invalid. To say Ken has a lot on his plate at the moment is an understatement: In juggling the news of his possible mortality with negotiating the maze of the American health care system, all while continuing his day-to-day life, I think Ken wants folks to understand that he’s still standing.

Whether it’s just his Texan nature or just the fact he’s an incredibly tough guy (and I’d want him on my side in any fight), Ken’s continuing to do what he’s always been doing while he waits for the next step on his fight against cancer. Of course, that would include getting underprivileged kids computers with Linux on them, and promoting FOSS with the same passion and zeal, just as he has been doing all along. In short, he’s just getting things done; not for the accolades or for the fanfare, but because a.) it’s what he does, and b.) it’s the right thing to do.

No, he hasn’t got the strength in his hands that he used to, and there’s a self-consciousness about “the PVC pipe sticking out of my throat” that a bandana conceals. He speaks in a hushed tone now, or what he refers to as his “Godfather voice;” a voice that may even be more quiet in post-surgery. But with each time that Ken gets floored by chemo or radiation treatment — let alone by surgery — it seems he gets up off the proverbial mat, dusts himself off and is asks, “Is that all you got?”

Today, Ken blogged about the Linus Torvalds-Miguel de Icaza dustup when I’m sure he’s had some other, more weighty, things to think about. During my visit to Houston, we talked a lot about how many kids were being helped in Taylor, north of Austin, by Reglue (formerly the HeliOS Project) and how this is going to continue as he recovers. In other words, it was pretty much business as usual with a couple of hurdles in the near future to overcome.

Some of you already know this story: Ken and I would probably have never met, let alone be on speaking terms, if it wasn’t for FOSS. I wrote about it here before he and I actually met in Felton for Lindependence in 2008. Videographer Christian Einfeldt of San Francisco filmed much of Lindependence that year and did an interview with Ken and me that you can find on archive.org if you do a search for Lindependence, so you can see the Mutt and Jeff, the Laurel and Hardy, or the Abbott and Costello first-hand in unedited form.

I’m proud and honored to know Ken and I’m proud and honored to consider him a close friend and a teammate in the wide world of FOSS. And if he gets on base, you can bet I’m going to drive him in for a run, just as I know he’d do the same for me. It’s what players on the same team do.

Play ball.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

Add to Technorati Favorites EFF Binary Freedom Dead button Wordpress button Xfce button dbEntrance button AntiX 7.0 fedora badge GIMP Scribus Linux Mint Kororaa Salix OS Fluxbox Conky Thunderbird LibreOffice Crunchbang Bodhi Linux PostgreSQL identi.ca python scale 10x

Eliminate DRM!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 80 other followers