Thursday, December 17, 2009
"Yes, I was at your restaurant last night with my girlfriend, who is Asian and pretty heavy, and I overheard the waiter say "she was the fastest person he'd ever seen there and that she had more chins than a Chinese phone book".....and I don't think that's very appropriate for your establishment......yeah I know your not laughing at me you're laughing with me."
At this point I had to leave the bathroom because you can only wash your hands for so long before you look crazy yourself.
Now, I could try to analyze all the things wrong with what transpired, but I think it might be too cruel. So, I'll leave by just saying I was probably the only person aware of how strange it all really was.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Firstly, The Linux Desktop is progressing by leaps and bounds. In fact it verges on blissful perfection. It doesn't matter if your Grandma or work is using it. It still works and it's still cool as hell. It's not fringe, it's not a stigma. It's here, it's now and it kicks ass.
Secondly, There are cooler things on the horizon that make worrying about acceptance silly.
Sure the G1 was cool and relatively open. But how about the upcoming Android phones? Sure the iPhone gobbled up the smart phone market but Floss is catching up and will soon be dominant.
See, there is something that proprietary can't compete with. Free software is all about what the user want's. It's free, it powerful, it doesn't leave them stranded with vendor lock in and they won't be left unsupported when the next wave of innovation gets crammed down our throat.
It brings up an interesting use case for freedom over closed ideology. As something like the iPhone, iPod or iTunes takes over a market. It can benefit from locking things down. They create a bottle neck that funnels all income to one source. That's great for the company but sucks for the consumer. A recent trend is to use freedoms as a market getting alternative. Creating competition where there wasn't any before.
One such instance is the Amazon mp3 store. They used freedom from DRM to change the game. Now mobile phone companies are doing the same with Android because free software easily fits the bill. You can take it right now and deploy it with a minimum of resources and get it to market. Also, the open development means you will attract enough developers to start catching up with the App Store.
The next cool device running Android is the Barnes and Nobel Nook. An e-book reader that will take on the Amazon kindle. Creating a interesting irony that Amazon stole market share with more freedom and now B&N will steal market share doing the same.
When will they learn that the more freedom they afford their users the more competitive they will be in the future.
So anyways, back at the point. This is the year of the Linux personal device. When the coolest devices that your friends drool after aren't Apple or Microsoft but Linux.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Sure you saw a buddy using it at a party and you where curious. You though to yourself "Hey, he's cool and he uses it, what harm could it do!" So you took it home and got loaded.
At first you where just using it casually, nothing serious. You felt like it helped you get things done, made you more productive. You used it a little before school, then a little after work. You looked cool in front of all your friends.
But then things started changing. You noticed that you couldn't get through the day without it. You used it more and more alone in your room. Compiling kernels and hacking .conf files. Soon, your friends started to worry about you. You would disappear over the weekends feeding your addiction with injections of slackbuilds and install scrips. Still every now and then you show up at a party but you spend all night huddled in the corner starring at a gcc compiling screen.
Pretty soon your making excuses to everyone about how you don't have a problem. You just need to get the web-cam working and then you can give it up. But then your back to your old habits trying to setup servers and configure your new gadget.
What I'm trying to say is. You're a junky man and you need help.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
That's right! Every time I watch it I giggle like a school girl inside at everything that is great about it. I love the story, the characters, the style, the humor.....everything.
So, my top three list is thus.
1. The Fifth Element
2. Reservoir Dogs
3. Boondock Saints
What are your favorite movies?
Monday, September 28, 2009
Lastly, if you find that people are still pretty harsh ask yourself "Am I asking about things I should be reading about?" A lot of projects have pretty good documentation. Read it. It frustrating to have some one ask you basic questions that are all ready covered in the FAQ on their website. Asking for help should be a last resort or for those who just don't know better. Don't be lazy.
I'm sure if you are respectful and take your time you will find a home in the community just like everyone else.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
After some experiments I discovered that it's brain dead simple to stream using my Zoom H4 and my Asus eeePC using the program BUTT. Another friend of the show, who is an amazing bass player and an owner of an H4 and EEEpc setup, streamed a rehearsal and a couple of his bands shows live. So right now we have about 3 musicians that are streaming live music.
This has given birth to a fun project called OSMLive. It's a chance for musicians in the Free Culture community to share their art. The concept is simple, we handle the scheduling of great artists and you tune in. Simple, right? The streams are all using the free ogg vorbis format that can be played in the latest Firefox or using the very popular and cross platform VLC media player.
More information on how and when to tune in as well as schedualing your own show can be found at http://live.pipemanmusic.com. There is a calendar and an rss feed for the shows. You can contact us about the show at live at pipemanmusic.com
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thinking about this it led me down the path of thinking not just about how but about why.
I have a firm belief that one of the strongest human emotions is the need to feel like you belong to something that is greater than yourself. I think that this need is more intense for some than others and is a driving force for good and evil. It could even explain some of the darker times in human history. But, that's a discussion for another post, or maybe not.
For me, I've always had deep need to feel like I belong and am accepted. I can think back on many periods of my life where this has had a profound effect on the trajectory of my life. I think it's the human need to be a part of the community that draws most people into the Linux/free culture. Not the geekyness of it or the software itself. Computers are cool but I don't think that is why free software is successful. Further more, I don't think the thing that will win people over to Linux will be more or better apps. I think it will be the draw that everyone has a place in the community and everyone is important to its success.
What people don't use as an argument for free software enough is:
- No matter what your interest there is a sub-community that is dying to have you as a member.
- No matter how insignificant your contribution to free software might seem, it's the rich tapestry of different abilities that make Linux great. We will always need wide diversity in the community.
- Free software people are not just friendly, they take great pleasure in helping you find a place in community. We love it when some one new finds that feeling of acceptance that we do.
- Black, white, skinny, fat, pretty, ugly, rich, poor, genius, average, cool, geek, religious, agnostic, political or not? No one gives a crap. I've never heard anyone not getting accepted because of their background.
So, If you feel like you need to find some where that people not only accept you but need you. Where you can find people just as exited about your interests as you are. We would love to have you as one of our own. We want you! We need you! Jump in, the water is just fine. What are you waiting for?
Friday, August 21, 2009
Do you suffer from holding an opinion that you have no real argument for?
Do you lose debates simply because there are no fact to support your case?
Are you sick of your stupidity not being listened to by "main stream media"?
By following my special brand of Conversational Kung Fu you can be sure to take over any debate your idiotic mind can dream up. Why have a sensible argument when you can kick someone in their metaphorical nuts! Put them in a soliloquy choke hold till they tap out from intellectual exhaustion. Beat them about the brain till they can't help but accept your poorly thought out conclusions and ignorant illogical positions on popular topics.
If someone has a well thought out and researched opinion about a popular social issue that differs from your crack pot sensibilities. Just use what I call the "spoken round house!". It's a simple maneuver that even the most uneducated illiterate back woods yokel can pull off. Call them a "Nazi!". Sure it might sound a little harsh to compare their compassion for the homeless, concern for the future of human existence or want to provide basic human rights to all people to an icon of hate who orchestrated one of the worst acts of democide in recorded history. But hey, you don't have any rational at all so anything goes. Right? This also works by inserting any other demonic historic figure, Joseph Stalin(more on him in a moment), Pol Pot and if you want it to give a slight impression you might actually know what you are talking about use more obscure dictators like Genghis Khan or Mao Zedong.
Once you have launched your initial attack it's time to move into what I call "annoying chop". Here you try to drown out their rational arguments by making references to the initial attach such as....
Where are your Jack Boots?
Typical Nazi rhetoric!
You want to send us all to work in the Gulag?
If they haven't shaken their heads and walked away in disgust it's time to pull out the big guns. This is the "rhetoric leg sweep" stage and should at the very least halt all progress in the discussion and put the spot light on you and your brain dead point. This technique is the hardest to master and may take some time since you obviously haven't mastered any of the other learned arts. In this stage we try to string as many of the following words into a nonstop rant that is impossible to counter.
Pinko, Commy, Nazi, Unpatriotic, Fascist, Bastard, Socialist, Tree Hugging, Liberal, Nut Job, Wacko.....ect.
For example: "You pinko, commy bastards just don't get it. You're too busy hugging trees with your other liberal, wacko, nut jobs to see you unpatriotic, fascists are turning America into the Soviet Empire." (Note: If the person you are arguing with notices that you can't be both Communist and Fascist pay them no mind and keep on trukin'. You're almost there!)
If none of these tactics work then there is probably no hope for you and your fellow dumb asses so you might as well go watch NASCAR.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I don't consider myself a Free Software zealot but I want nothing more than a world where there is no restrictions on the technologies we use. I am a believer in the philosophy of free culture and it's ability to unite in a way that nothing else can. So in short, I'm a pragmatist who leans towards being a fundamentalist.
I won't go into all the pros and cons of Mono as they are better covered by much more intelligent people than me. My purpose is to raise a few considerations that I haven't heard talked about.
Firstly, My dear ol' Mom, for a long time, was the President, and now Vice President, of the Wheat Ridge Historical Society. As such she instilled in me a reverence for history and our past culture. I am a sentimental guy at heart and feel there is a deep purpose to preserving the relics of the past. To that end I think having free implementations of technologies is important in preventing parts of our culture from being unrecoverable. I have an affinity for projects that allow me to relive my youth like DOSBox. Similar projects like Freedos, ReactOS, and Haiku are important to preserve the technologies of our computing past. I would hate to have Mozart's Symphonies or DaVinci's journal locked in DRM or in a technology that is lost or abandoned. So, I consider Mono as an important tool for preserving the ability to use .net software.
Secondly, On coat tails of Google's announcement of ChromeOS, witch brings the hope of greater Linux desktop adoption, I think a tool like Mono is necessary to entice developers to support Linux as that market emerges with a greater presence. In fact, I'll bet that just the announcement of Google CromeOS will get software companies to re-evaluate their Linux support. Also, it allows company's who didn't have Linux on their radar 12 months ago stay competitive by offering their software cross platform. It also has the benefit of allowing businesses that use .net software and want to migrate the opportunity to make the transition to Linux without extra development.
Third, if you can except that Mono is important to support freedom then I would argue than in order to have a usable implementation the .net framework you need developers who are using the tool to create software. Otherwise you risk an incomplete implementation that will turn companies away from Linux. In order for developers to use Mono you need users to use their software. So, active Mono projects are necessary to insure Linux is competitive with the Windows .net implementation.
Lastly, we all live in a world of compromise. Many of the people who are the most against Mono programs have been using MP3 playback and DVD playback and many other technologies with similar or worse potential for patent lawsuits. Very few people don't use other software that is certainly not free like Flash and the non-free Nvidia drivers without so much as a blog post or a tweet. That being said most of those are not install by default in the major Distributions. I don't think that the major Distros should install Mono apps by default but I take no issue with people who want to install them on their own. That being said, the popularity of Distos that do install software that posses a patent risk such as Linux Mint and the prevalence of using the ubuntu-restricted-extras package proves that most people don't care about the risk they just want a feature full and rich desktop experience. In the end choice is always better then the alternatives and using Mono apps doesn't make you any less of a lover of freedom.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
So fathers day is comming up and I have an idea for those of you that want to give an inexpensive gift that involves Free Software.
Buy a Sandisk Sansa e250 for $30 from here.
Download the Rockbox installer here.
Use the utility to install the specific build for the Sansa e200 seiries. (This step is so easy!)
Pick a really cool theme you think he will enjoy.
Wrap it up and give it to your father for fathers day!
Download WinFF for his computer to convert video to the correct format for the player. It is a simple gui tool that is a front end for FFMPEG and has presets for Rockbox Sansa e200.
Download gPodder and set him up with some cool podcast about whatever your eccentric father is into...model airplanes, stamp collection even crazy conspiracys. Now you've connected him to the immense content that the internet provides.
Download and settup Amazons mp3 downloader. This will give him access to all the music he wants.
What will he get?
A cool player:
The player has a microSD slot to extend it's capacity, an FM tuner to catch his morning radio shows and a voice recorder to help him remember things.
Extended media support:
Rockbox includes support for more media formats than it did out of the box meaning when your Dad downloads something off the internet to listen to on the player there is a better chance of it working without bugging you to convert it.
The Rockbox firmware provides a much plesenter user experience with faster fast forwards, video resume points, fade in/out on pause, more information on the now playing screen and much, much more!
Rockbox comes with great applications that are helpfull everything like Calculator, Calendar, Clock, Stopwatch, lamp(turns the screen all white to help navigate the dark), and more.
Rockbox comes with quite a few time killers like Solitare, Blackjack, Roxblocks(Tetris Clone), and even Doom.
DRM free music:
You won't have to explane to him why the music he bought won't work when the next generation of players comes out.
It might not be as expensive as an iPod and some might argue not as cool looking, however, this baby does a lot with a little and will bring your father into this century with style.
What do you get?
The satisfaction on introducing dear ol' Dad to free software without turning his world upside down and getting him a cool gadget that he can use.
All Apps listed are Windows and Linux compatible so if you turned him into a convert or not it will all work and make him a happy pappy.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
In retrospect my first suspicions of little girls began with the birth of my first daughter. Her ability to control my emotions with nothing more than a flippant look should have alerted me early on to the mounting storm that, I now suspect, is on the horizon. Now that I have two more daughters I know that the powers that infant girls hold over me is nothing compared that of a more experienced toddler who has honed her skills at captivation to the precipice of breaking point and even that is but child's play compared to their denarian counterparts. My oldest daughter, now ten years old, has achieved grand master status in exerting her will over me.
Now, until last night I was blissfully unaware of the scope of this problem. In a seaming innocuous conversation with a friend, that was purely innocent, the proverbial wool was removed from my eyes. Walk with me now down the road that led me to my current state of paranoia.
My daughter is, among other things, a girl scout and in that capacity she has recently been peddling cookies which arrived in their packaging to my house last night. This not so unexpected event sparked what I like to call "The Thin Mint Conversation." If, like me, you have a particular affinity for these little culinary wonders you have invariably had this conversation. It goes some thing like this:
Person 1: "Hey, I see you have procured some Thin Mints"
Person 2: "Indeed, they are a favorite of mine!"
Person 3: "I as well list these among my favorites. However, When consuming them I am unable to limit myself and invariably eat an entire sleeve."
Person 4: "I also find myself in a similar predicament."
or some variation and the two people continue there lives unaffected. I myself would have not given this common conversation any more though if this particular conversation hadn't included an addenda that include how Thin Mint's plastic sleeving splits all the way down the middle no matter how much attention and care is given to opening the packaging. This phenomena leads one to not risk wasting any that might have spilled out let alone those now unprotected cookies that will probably go stale if placed back in the box. As such, one finds themselves in a position of eating the entire sleeve to save them from an unfortunate loss of flavor. Having finished this conversation my friend left and probably didn't give it any mind. I however couldn't help contemplating the fact that this design might be intentional and part of a greater plan for little girls to advance some agenda I was unaware of.
I still do not know their demands, probably something to do with ponies, and I don't know if they will be forgiving overlords, but the execution of their devious plan is brilliant. Every facet is carefully crafted to make me completely docile and in their control. They leverage their cuteness and charm to get me to buy a frightfully addictive product who's very packaging is designed to coerce you into eating and buying more, all the while pacifying you and fattening you into complete complacency. If they apply these tactics to any other industry, well, god help us all. I can only hope that they remember how good I was to them when their regime finally gains control.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Currently the project receives $1632 per month from 195 subscribers using their PayPal accounts to show continued support for Paul's work. However, Paul is making a plea to the community to increase the monthly contributions to the project to $4500 per month($54,000 per year). This would allow Ardour development to continues as it did with SAE's financial support.
I have to admit that, although I use Ardour nearly daily, I hadn't contributed to the project financially. As soon as I heard the news though I went to the site and subscribed at the $10 per month level. Shamefully, deep down I know the reason I didn't support the project financially before was most likely because of SAE's financial contribution. I guess I had the attitude that the project was doing all right and didn't need any of my hard earned money. I also think that this was pretty common among Ardour users.
So, in a strange way, albeit bad for Paul in the sort term, this might just be a catalyst in the community to take more responsibility for the project. It's just not acceptable to sit back and hope that another SAE is going to come along an make everything right. I don't use free software because I'm cheap, maybe complacent sometimes but not cheap. I use it because it's what is right.
It's scary to think that the music that is being recorded right now is held in proprietary formats and in 50 years from now, when the next great development in music technology comes down the pipe, we won't be able to work with that material in it's native format. Think about digitally re mastering audio for CD. Sure, Pro Tools might be an "Industry Standard" but the format is not a Open. There is no competition or alternatives that read all the info contained in a Pro Tools session. That means that very talented producers and mixers work is going to be forfeited to the history books because we won't be able to read automation data, what plug-ins they used, etc. Instead of taking advantage of digitals ability to preserve data we are trapping our data into undocumented file formats and doing nothing about it.
This brings us to the heart of "Free Culture". Enabling creators to create by giving them the tools to develop their art freely. Not based on how much money they have, but by how much skill they have at their art. Eventually art becomes public domain and I would hate to think that the works of Mozart or Bach would be lost to eternity because we couldn't read the paper it was printed on because of proprietary ink technology or even works some type of DRM that coded the music so it could only be read by special glasses that aren't made any more.
Art should not be about elitism, as Apple would wish, it should be about expression of anthropomorphic ideas and of the human experience. Supporting projects like Ardour breaks down barriers that are being forced on us by our technology. I urge everyone to step up to the plate and make the continued development of Ardour a reality.
Friday, January 16, 2009
The obstacle as I see it is the lack of Free Software for CAD/CAM and CNC. While there are small projects out there for this sort of stuff it doesn't even come close to projects like Blender3d and other similar technologies. I get exited about Open Source Hardware projects that could really have an impact like the self replicating 3d printer RepRap. But, it doesn't matter if you build a $300 machine that is like a $30,000 if the software to produce with it costs $6,000. There are a lot of challenges to solving the worlds problems and if we want a new Renascence of design we need the free software to do it. So this is my plea to the community. If you want to take on a project that could change the world here it is.
The next obstacles is the closed nature of the DWG format. Autodesk has exerted too much control over this file format. They have created an industry that relies on one of the worst file formats for design. It's closed and impossible to implement in open source. They frequently make changes to the format that break backwards compatibility and no one is really doing anything about it. They have almost complete control over the way that your world is designed. The impact of the DWG format is profound and we desperately need an open format to exchange design information.
This could not only have an impact on poverty but on science as a whole. Inventors can invent and build using computers to power innovation in the physical world. Architectural design could be kept as public record in an open digital format. It opens to the possibility for digital submission of designs for patents.
A new CAD system similar to AutoCad that is extendable to suit everyones needs isn't just a good idea it's a necessity. If you ask me it more important than any other free software project out there and no one is really working on it. That makes me sad and unfortunately I lack the requisite skills to even know where to start but maybe my little rant hear will spark something and then again maybe not. I'll keep doing research on it and keep my eye on the horizon and maybe one day if I get to a point I think I could do some thing I will. Till then I hope someone who does know what they are doing is working on it.