Monday, October 26, 2009

Dear Windows 7 users, from a Linux user: You're welcome.

So Windows 7 was launched this week and it went surprisingly well, most people are generally quite content with the improvements to the Windows 7 experience.

Speaking as someone who has used every version of Windows since 3.1, and hated every single one (except windows 3.1, it had a certain charm to it, although 98 and 2000 were certainly serviceable) the new release looks surprisingly usable. And again, as someone who has used Linux since finding Slackware 3.0 in the back of some discount book somewhere, as someone who remembers the glory days of Gnome .98 segfaulting every which way, the days of enlightenment themes and netscape navigator, and is now using Ubuntu, well I'd just like to say you're welcome.

You see, without Linux, and sure, Mac OSX, you would not have Windows 7. Microsoft NEEDS Linux, and Mac OSX. It NEEDS someone to rip off features. Microsoft has been doing this since the days of DOS. MS DOS was the KING of DOS'es even if DR DOS was probably technically superior. But the days of DOS were numbered after DOS 5.1. Microsoft was too powerful already, and had nobody left to rip off. So they ripped off the GUI and created Windows. Okay technically they helped create OS/2 and screwed over IBM by championing Windows which IBM is bitter about to this day, but that's just history. Dos 6.0 came out and it was pretty much bullshit. Heck I think MS even added a virus scanner to DOS 6.0. Didn't they just add a virus scanner to Windows 7? Probably.

To be fair, Vista was a first attempt at giving Windows users some of the functionality Linux and Mac users take for granted. pretty desktop themes? Yeah, way ahead of you. Superior install programs? Yeah, Linux boot CD's can give you a workable desktop in less than a minute, and get you on the net while you install. Windows still doesn't seem to do that, but hey, it can finally load drivers in Windows 7 from something more than a floppy disk. Isn't that handy? Bravo, Windows 7 users. Kudos to you.

Windows 7 also offers much saner security measures, unlike Vistas horrible "you will need permission to install this shortcut to your desktop (wtf)" bullshittery. Similar to the way most Linuxes do things now.

Tabs in Microsoft Internet Explorer? You can thank Firefox for that (yeah I know that Opera came up with it first, but Microsoft could give a fuck until Firefox did it) every single browser created for linux in the last decade had a tabs feature. Again, you're welcome.

Now, you windows 7 users probably still have to reboot after installing drivers, and you know what, I agree, that sucks, cause we don't have to do the rebooting thing. But still, its probably a good idea for Windows users to reboot after driver installation anyways. It's like having a shower after crawling through the sewers, you know? Just cleanse yourself of the whole experience.

The ribbon interface is pretty kewl, the UI seems to be much improved, all in all, Windows 7 (Windows kernel rev 6.1) seems like a remarkably improved upon release candidate of Windows, much improved from the Alpha version software that Microsoft has been charging money for the last few years. So Windows users, you're welcome. And to Microsoft, thanks. Thanks for finally giving something back to Linux. (mildly) Worthy Competition other than Mac OSX. Heres to Ubuntu 9.10 coming out next week.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

True Fans

So the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defeated the Montreal Alouettes the other day. The crowd was just over 20,000. The Bombers have been disappointing all year, but they've been steadily improving, so why aren't people going to the games?

I know why I'm not going to the games. I don't appreciate being insulted by head coaches. I don't appreciate being taken for granted. I don't like being called a fairweather fan (even if I personally am, it's just rude and counter productive). If the Bombers lose, c'est la vie, as long as I believe they had a good team and they played the best they could. That was not what I saw the first half of the season.

Just winning in the CFL doesn't make you a good team or worthy of being supported either. Theres only 7 teams. You could have the shittiest season and still make the playoffs. Did you deserve it? Probably not.

Most Bombers fans have written off the season already. I don't blame them. If they pull of a miracle and win the grey cup, fantastic. And yes, when the playoffs begin, its a new season and anything goes, but the Bombers have done nothing this season to endear themselves to me.

True fans are staying home and making a stand with their wallets. It's the only thing that the Bombers organization understands.

Friday, October 23, 2009

From Yahoo : http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/091021/entertainment/tv_cbc_rebrand

So the CBC is rebranding their news channel. Apparently CBC NewsWorld does not convey that CBC NewsWorld is a news network.

So in the single most dimwitted line of thinking they could come up with, they're renaming it CBC NN. CB CNN. Canadian broadcasting corporation news network.

like BNN, the business news network, or all the other *NN's, or CTV NN, everyones a news network now.

I thought NewsWorld was a classy name. Way to fuck up yet again, CBC. I guess 20 years of branding and name recognition is not as valuable as hiring mentally retarded consultants to come up with a name change.

Because you know that's probably what they did.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Astroturfing?

There is a little radio spot played locally on KICK FM -- and I think i've heard it on power 97 and CJOB at various points in time -- that seems like such an industry advertising stooge that its ridiculous. That they get CJOB and KICK FM to air this, possibly for free, is somewhat sad. How do we know its advertising?

Scott James is the name of the guy and the show is called cyberworld.ca. If he mentions Linux or Apple at all, its to deflect criticism of not doing so, and mentions the microsoft offering as a superior entity. He lately has turned to suggesting people do a "bing search" ... and that he uses his "zune" ... who the fuck uses bing or a zune? NOBODY FUCKING USES BING OR A ZUNE!!!!!! people say "do a google search" or "internet search engine" but nobody says "use a bing search" unless they're getting paid for it.

Almost all the little blurbs of information are selling something. An upgrade to the latest version of Windows, a Playstation 3, an X Box, a Zune HD.

I mean, i have no problem with the guy making money, but tell us what we're really listening to, don't try to gloss it up as a little news blurb.

Maybe he doesn't get a cut from microsoft, or sony, or whoevers new product he's shilling out lately is on todays show. I don't know. I only know that my first instinct is to suspect the show is astroturfing. The bing and zune thing doesn't help.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I like to ride my Bicycle I like to ride it through stop signs


Slate has an intriguing article about Cyclists and laws in Idaho pertaining to them, which goes into the questions of bike paths and lanes vs vehicular traffic, the nature of stop signs as they relate to bikes. The benefit of a bike being that you build up momentum. if you have to come to a full stop at every stop sign, you lose one of the main benefits of said bike. The notion of bikes treating stops more as yields. Heck I think cars should be able to treat most stop signs as yields in Winnipeg anyways, they're there just as a cash cow and nothing more. We should be replacing half the stop signs in this city with yield signs. Also, Red lights at 2 in the morning should be flashing yellow or flashing red not the useless garbage we have now. Whatever happened to all the flashing lights in this city anyways? Is it just me or are there fewer now than there used to be.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Michael Dell is smarter than the average CEO

I Read this quote from Michael Dell with regards to virtualization technology potentially cutting into server sales:

From http://gigaom.com/2009/10/13/michael-dell-talks-up-services-and-coming-upgrades-but-trashes-netbooks/
“The first thing you have to remember is that any time a new technology comes along that’s good for customers, you get in the way of it at your own peril,”
This sort of philosophy explains why Dell is a market leader. If you're in the horse and buggy industry and the automobile comes out, you start selling automobiles. If you're in the book transcription business and the printing press is invented, you buy a fucking printing press. If you're in the media business and the internet takes down media walls, YOU DO NOT PUT UP NEW ONES. You do not block things by region. You do not limit what your customer can get. You do not try to set back the clock and put the genie back in the bottle by buying off politicians. It won't work, it won't solve the problem, and in fact creates new problems.

So bravo, Michael Dell. Plus their new servers and laptops are actually pretty nice. Although I'd like to see more trackpoint options on their devices. C'mon dell, put out a netbook with a trackpoint and I'll buy two.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

KNRR-DT

Congratulations to KNRR for being the first digital over the air channel receivable in Winnipeg (granted you need at least an attic or roof antenna to pick it up with any reliability unless they boost the signal a bit down the line). Though it is digital, it is still not in HD. Will we see any KNRR sub-channels? Should be fun to find out.

Meanwhile, Canwest-Global is in bankruptcy, CTV wants to shut down their OTA everywhere except toronto and vancouver apparently, CBC has "run out of money" for the conversion, and no winnipeg channel will commit to a date as to when they will be broadcasting digital over the air if ever. Although to be fair, I've never bothered to ask CBWFT. The award for the first broadcaster to have an HD signal in Winnipeg is still up for grabs though. I'd seriously laugh if it was CBWFT. But a big fuck you to the useless garbage at the CRTC for creating this mess in the first place.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Winnipeg, Alberta.

From AzCentral, a Phoenix based news portal:
The NHL Coyotes, a franchise that has yet to make a profit since moving from Winnipeg, Alberta, in 1996, filed for Chapter 11 protection in May.
Ah the joys of being an Albertan. Wheres my prosperity dividend cheque, Ed Stelmach you bastard! I want my Ralphbucks!

Not only do they serve us the indignity of stealing our beloved hockey team the Winnipeg Jets, who still don't make a profit, and probably never will in Phoenix, but they don't even give us the courtesy of remembering where they jacked it from 13 years later.

Oh Phoenix, never change, you crazy New Mexicans.

Took A screenshot on the right in case they change it later. Not that they should, not like anyone in Phoenix would care where we actually are in Canada, all tucked away down there.

Friday, October 02, 2009

DOS EQUIS GUY

I don't ever drink, but those Dos Equis commercials are well done.



Speaking of, I wonder if CBC radio is still doing the age of persuasion.

... checked the CBC website, they are! fourth season starts in january. ah well.

It's odd that I've only heard like 5 episodes yet I always listen and get the same repeats. how does that work?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Stories like these are the best



I like stories where technology is used to better peoples lives, and this one has it and then some.

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

Calvin Coolidge
30th president of US (1872 - 1933)

I agree with this sentiment as posted at gizmodo entirely.

Crappy google quote of the day

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