Party of GNO

I have to heartily agree with Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier's article about the party of GNO. Where the FSF and other organizations have been useful is where they have been able to point out viable alternatives. Where it has fallen down is where it has gotten into "no don't use THAT.. we have a cathedral that will have all that and more Real Soon Now (TM)"

In the end this is where the 'rubber' meets the road. Humans are beings that crave immediate rewards and will put off potential long term risks as non-existent for as long as possible.

I am not saying that you should not point out that SaaS or DRM has issues. But unless you have a marketable alternative, it only sounds like the fellow yelling "Repent! The End is Nigh!" After a bit no one will listen even if someday you will be right.


Board Appointment

I wanted to thank everyone for their confidence in me to be a part of the Fedora Board for 2010-2011.

I appreciate the thought and will use my appointed position as best I can. Please let me know if there are issues you feel need answers from the board on or are unclear. I can be reached via email or this blog.


Google keeps track of cannibals

I was reading through a Google blog post about the release of their RLZ code.

Google Picture from Blog

What truly scares me was that each line lets you know if someone is a cannibal or not. They say its because:

cannibal tells if the library has evidence that the user was a user prior to installing the software. It's from the term "cannibalization" which refers to the fact that users who get client products through distribution were already loyal customers, thus impacting the actual incremental value of the channel.

But I wonder... is it more likely a setting to let you know what kind of customer you really have?
  • c for cannibal. (possible competition.. use caution and extra tenderizer.)
  • z for zombie. (definite competition and are undead so no eating value.)
  • v for vegetarian (possibly a bit stringy, but probably better to eat.)
  • b for bacon (known to be good to eat.)
  • r for runner (possibly stringy and good for long distances.. stick with b)
Filed under bizarre thoughts while out of coffee.

Reading Common Sense

Currently I am making my way through a small collection of Thomas Paine's works. Thomas Paine was a British subject who came over the Pond in 1774 or so and found that after being a failure at all his other jobs was able to find his life course as a Revolutionary propagandist. His works "Common Sense" and "The Crisis Papers" are often cited in United States high school history courses with a few fragments here and there. However it is rare for it to be read... I had put it off until this year when watching a documentary on the American Revolution, and I had said I had never read it. My wife kindly reminded me we had a copy of Thomas Paine's works, and I should read through it or turn it into the library for someone else to read.

The book is a compendium of selected works that seems to have been printed in 1943. I am guessing my grandfather picked it up at some point to read it enough to argue about politics at some point or another. "Common Sense" is a pretty strong propaganda piece about the evils of monarchy and the quick victory expected by states standing together... "The Crisis Papers" is more of a reality check to keep people together when it didn't turn out quickly.

What does this have to do with Fedora? Well the style of Common Sense is often used in writing emails about "Why FESCO is eating your babies!" or "The switch to ABC Desktop Environment will save the world!" or "As long as Red Hat is a part of Fedora there is NO FREEDOM". It is a strong rhetoric designed to move the emotions of the reader, but it falls rather empty after a bit.

I think it is time though that we move past rhetoric and towards getting work done. I hope that we are able to do that in the coming year.