Archive for August 2005

RMS line of the day

“Clo, are you buying Jello from a colored man on the street?”

“Yes I am!”

Man. Clois is gone. I need to see Bourbon Street one day.

Follow the Money

Varun Dubey asks Is It Wrong to Love Microsoft? Well, yes. Yes it is.

Microsoft is perhaps the most hated company in the history of business. Anointed with names such as the Redmond Giant, Microshaft, Microsloth, so on and so forth, the nicknames and jokes are perhaps exceeded only by the vengeance with which people hate it.

You forgot the ever popular Micro$oft.

The question is why do they? I love Microsoft. Absolutely adore it and what’s more, I hate Linux. I think it’s the most over rated piece of software ever built and survives simply out of spite and not because it is terribly good at doing something because it is not!

True. Of course, if you switch “linux” and “windows” around in that paragraph, it is still true. In fact, it is more true.

What has Microsoft given us? It has given us Windows, sure, it was buggy earlier and a lot of things didn’t work like they were supposed to (plug and play springs to mind) but it was a pioneering effort. No one was even close to the ease of use that Windows offered. Sure, Mac OS was a lot prettier but then it cost the moon and the stars along with both your arms and legs.

Mac OS wasn’t “even close to the ease of use that Windows offered”? Wow. I’ve never seen someone stake his own credibility down and bash its head in with a sledgehammer right off the bat like that before. The best a reasonable person can say is that Windows was easy enough to use. Not that it was easier than a Mac. That is like saying that Macs were cheaper than anything else at the time. You could say that they were a good value for what you were getting, but you had to be brain damaged to go further.

I understand the criticisms about the security of the software, the critical flaws and what not but again, we must look at things in the proper perspective. More than 95 pecent computers in the world use one form of Windows OS or another. The remaining being divided between Linux, MAC etc. now lets say MAC has 1 percent, does it make sense for a hacker to create a virus that can at best infect just 1 percent of the computers in the world? It doesn’t, therefore you don’t have as many security threats for other software as most of the people developing Linux probably sit at night writing up malicious code for windows!

… except that people sit up writing viruses for even more obscure setups than Linux OR Macintosh, like Windows machines running very specific and obscure firewalls. And please, it is Mac, not MAC. It doesn’t stand for anything. Writing it in all CAPS is soooooo 1989. We’re in the twenty-first century, Varun. Welcome. And Macintosh is 4%, Windows is 92%, according to Google’s usage numbers.

In a nutshell, it’s not so much as that the software is secure; it’s simply that no one is interested in spending sleepless nights writing a virus that won’t give them the satisfaction they get from causing havoc. Considering the fact that everyone who knows how to write two bits of code dreams of hitting windows with a virus, the guys at the “Redmond Giant” are doing a spectacular job.

Daring Fireball eviscerated this so completely there is no point in my duplicating the work.

XP is such a joy when it comes to simply connecting a device and watching the pretty little bubble detecting it and saying “its installed and ready for use” makes the slightly high price absolutely worth it. In Linux, you have to recompile a kernel if you want to so much as change your modem! Give me a break guys, Linux is light years behind Windows XP and I am sure it will be further back biting the dust when Longhorn (now Vista) comes out.

Yeah, uh, congratulations. Windows is now competing with Macintosh… circa 1991. They’ve closed the gap to fifteen years! Way to go, Microsoft! And the only reason you would need to recompile your kernel is if you compiled the thing yourself to start with. Amazingly enough, if you customize your system and strip out all the extra stuff, when you change it, you might need to put some of that stuff back in. Oh, the humanity!

This reminds me of the bundled issues with the antitrust lawsuits being slammed on it. It’s just sad, unfair and uncompetitive. Basically what the stupid courts in Europe said was, hey, you’re doing a great job, and you must pay for it! This coming from a bunch of people who couldn’t even agree on a constitution!

Whereas, what the stupid courts in America said was that you can’t tell your customers that if they do business with anyone else you are cutting them off, that if they try to accommodate their customers that don’t want to do business with you you are cutting them off, and that if you offer deep discounts to people to include stuff they never asked for just to hurt your competition, you are breaking the law. I don’t even agree with the law, but there is little doubt in my mind that Microsoft was violating it.

And of course, the long list of lawsuits that Microsoft is straddled with. I am sure it is a business model for companies such as Sun and Oracle to just sue Microsoft whenever their profits are down due to insanely stupid and useless products that no one is buying.

Every year, just before the FY results are out, Mr. McNealy sits with his board and shakes his head, guys, we are in the red, what do we do? How do we turn it around? Suddenly a bright face says, I know, let’s sue Microsoft for a billion odd! Bill can afford it, after all, he makes such smashing products that everyone buys them, making him rich! That ought to be a crime in SOME court!

  1. It is a crime.
  2. They aren’t doing it.
  3. That isn’t the business model.

Microsoft made some products which it would like to ship together with its OS, no where in the EULA does it say that “you are not authorized to install other software” If Mr. John Doe thinks media player is the worst piece of software he has ever used, he is free to go and download Winamp or Musicmatch Jukebox (neither of these offer free full versions).

Except that this was what was in the license agreement with the manufacturers, which is why Microsoft lost its antitrust proceedings in America. There is no doubt that this is Microsoft’s intent — they just haven’t figured out a legal way to do it yet.

Lets be fair and honest about this. Here is a company that single handedly created the market for Personal Computers,

Actually, that would be Apple (Apple II)

brought computing to ordinary folks like you and me,

Apple II

made it affordable by encouraging mass acceptance and constantly strives to provide us ease of use in every sphere it touches.

Apple II, Macintosh.

From tablet PCs

Which nobody wants

to handhelds

Apple Newton, Palm

to media centers

TiVo (linux)

but he didn’t do it for free and wants to protect it’s own interests. What is wrong with that?

Because he didn’t do it in the first place, you dummy!

After all, the people who are suing Microsoft, aren’t they looking after their interests as well? Why do we think or believe that if they were in the position Microsoft is in, they would do things differently.

Because they aren’t in the position that Microsoft is in. MS didn’t just wake up on the wrong side of the bed one day. They put themselves in the position that they are in. Microsoft today is the sum of Microsoft’s actions over the last thirty years.

I do not for a moment think or believe they would be philanthropic and give away years of toil away for free or act in the best interests of everyone but themselves. It is about time we stopped being hypocritical and appreciated a job really well done.

Isn’t this the same guy that bitched at the start about how expensive Apple is?

(I think this whole article was probably a troll-bait, but I couldn’t resist it.)


Hear hear.

(Via Catalarchy)

Jury Nullificaion

Radley Balko wrote a column on jury nullification — the idea that a jury has the authority to refuse to convict a person under an unjust law or in an unconscionable situation — and drew plenty of criticism, with Patterico and Xrlq weighing in against, and others (like Michael Williams) arguing for. I argue for jury nullification, and I think I have come to the root cause of the dispute.

I will be up front. I would be for refusing to convict under unjust laws regardless of the history of jury nullification in common law. I would be against finding guilt in unconscionable situations even if it was enumerated as a capital crime in the first article of the constitution. I would support it because it is what is right, and what is right, in my opinion, trumps the Rule of Law.

I am no enemy of the Rule of Law. I think that the Rule of Law is vital in a civilized society. Civilized society is based on trust, and the Rule of Law creates a framework of implicit trust. But slavish devotion to the Law creates the danger of the corruption of that law. I firmly believe that our law has been horribly, deeply corrupted. It is by no means irredeemable. I firmly believe that if we act decisively and firmly, the law can be redeemed, using the legal tools that we have available to us. Those tools are the ballot box, and the jury box. If jury nullification wasn’t one of those options, then we would be much, much closer to the ammunition box, our last resort. It is much harder to corrupt the People than to corrupt the Law, and should the People become corrupt, the Law is irrelevant.

The real question I have for those who oppose the idea of jury nullification is this: is there a situation where you are willing to set aside the Law, and act unlawfully in support of what is right and moral? Is there a point where you would be willing to act unlawfully to prevent a great injustice?

I have no doubt in my mind that I would. I would nullify a case against a defendant that was being pursued unjustly and immorally. I would do more — I would violently resist an attempt by my government to commit genocide (and many lesser transgressions that I would do best not to enumerate.) If the founders did not anticipate that the law could become corrupt, then what is the purpose of the Second Amendment? If the legal system is infallible, then what is the point of keeping the tools of revolution at hand? And if the system is fallible, then by God why should we tolerate that fallibility with a shrug?

I will not tolerate it. I will certainly not participate in it as a juror. To adopt a phrase, if you value the law more than justice, if you value the stability of the state over the liberty of the People, depart from me in peace. I ask not your counsel nor your support. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

Williams Chicken

I love fried chicken. Why should black folks have all the fun? Williams Chicken is the best around. The downtown Dallas outlet is super. I still have to get used to having a dozen women yell, “good afternoon sir!” at me as soon as I walk in, though.

What I’m really trying to say is that Wlliams Chicken is delicious. And they aren’t paying me to say that, but if they wanted to, I would take it in chicken and fried okra.

Free Flowing Hostility

This is a list of people who deserve to be strangled with their own viscera while their genitalia is burned away with an iron set on “delicate.”

  • People who yell into the telephone. Hey, asshole, Alexander Graham Bell has been dead a long time. We’ve got this long-distance thing worked out. You don’t have to yell anymore. If you are under 40 and you yell, then you are a goddamned idiot, because you have never had to yell into the phone. It is harder to understand someone who is speaking too loudly than someone who is speaking too softly. If I could reach through the phone and rip your lungs out through your mouth then you would be wishing you could grow gills.
  • People who take corners downtown at 1.5 mph. Stay home. Really. If you can’t navigate a left turn from a one way onto a two way street at a pace fast enough to outrun the snot dribbling from your nose, then just stay home. If you absolutely have to go downtown, park on the outskirts and walk the rest of the way. You’ll save time. Better yet, take the bus. Just don’t bring your minivan downtown.
  • People who make fun of professional wrestling for being “fake”. Welcome to the 21st century. Our anthropologists would love to know what it is like in the 1970s, which is apparently where you are living. We know that wrestling is “fake,” okay? Ooh, look! Stone Cold Steve Austin is a big phoney! Steve Austin is a big phoney! Yeah, yeah. Everyone over the age of 10 who is watching the WWE knows that it is just a story. The same people who believe wresting is real also believe in the Easter Bunny. The only idiots involved in wrestling are the ones who think that the fans are the dupes. We aren’t dupes. We are participants.

    What the hell, do you go to a magic show and yell, “fake! Fake! He palmed the card!” Because it is the same thing. The fact of the matter is that every professional wrestler is a hell of an athlete who performs almost nightly a show that most circus performers would find too dangerous to even try. At least these guys aren’t acting like they are some sort of Holy and Pure Figure, Completely Untainted like Juice Palmiero and Corky Sosa.

  • People who still pay attention to old presidential candidates. Do you give a shit what Al Gore has to say? I don’t. John Kerry? Fuck him. Bob Dole? Take your Viagra and go bother Elizabeth. You lost. America broke up with you. It’s over. Get your albums and go back to your apartment before we get a restraining order.

    And Jimmy Carter should hurry up and die. You think he is a good man? Then why aren’t you helping to hurry him along to heaven? You know who is smart enough to shut the hell up? Bill Clinton. Take a hint from him. He got re-elected.

  • People who bitch about Fox News. I don’t mean people who don’t prefer Fox. I mean people for whom the very existence of Fox News is a constant source of anger. Look, there are dozens of major news agencies. You have choices. So do I. If I decide to watch Fox, it isn’t going to destroy the world. Fox News isn’t even “right wing”. It is slightly — slightly — right of center. The only reason it seems right wing is that all the rest of the TV news is far left to slightly left of center. “Fox News deserves my attention because it has high ratings.” Uh… if a news agency is pulling in half the total viewers… and the country is split about 50% Republican voting, 50% Democrat voting… and Fox News is “far right Republican TV”… then it stands to reason that the other 50% of the entire industry is “far left Democrat TV.”

    It’s a news channel. You have the entire rest of the industry. Stop getting so worked up.

  • People who go to Grand Openings. Bastards. What the hell is the big draw for Ikea? Yes, I get the utility of flat-packaged furniture at reasonable prices. You can wait a few days. When did the opening of the store turn into an event in and of itself? I love Cabelas. I really do. I’m not showing up to the “Grand Opening.” Because I have a triple digit IQ. I know you have been waiting sooooooo long to get Wal-Mart Supercenter right down the road. You can wait a couple more days. The new Arbys isn’t that big a deal.

    The whole damned things need to be nuked. One tactical thermonuclear device, right at the front door. Better yet, shove it up the ass of that bubble-headed bleach blonde that the local news sent out to cover the damned opening on live TV and then set if off. ARGHHHH!!!

The Road

Mike has his rules of the road up. Take a gander. My daddy has driven trucks for 30 years now, and he’s passed some knowledge on to me, and I do indeed remember them:

  • No, that truck will not stop, so don’t cut him off. He couldn’t if he wanted to.
  • Don’t pass that truck on the right, because he can’t see you.
  • When you do pass him on the left, do it as fast as possible, because you never know when that left front tire is going to blow.
  • Always assume that driver is asleep, because if he is, you will die in the wreck.
  • Always assume that driver can’t see you, that he couldn’t do anything about it if he could, and that he wouldn’t even if he did see you and could do something about it. You will always lose that fight, and your life with it. Your car is fast and nimble, and his truck isn’t. Use that to your advantage.

(Via the Anarchangel)