I heard the first 50 minutes or so of a one hour edition of This American Life dedicated to explaining the banking crisis in terms that can be understood by any reasonable smart (or even not so smart) person. The bottom line: Nationalize the banks, then re-privatize them as soon as possible. One expert said it this way: If you covered up the name of the country involved and showed the numbers to any World Bank operative, they would all say the same thing. Nationalize the banks right now, then re-privatize them as soon as you can. And round up the head bankers and put them on a hay cart. (I may have added the part about the hay cart.)
You should be able to get to a podcast of the show here.
This morning, interviewed by Yours Truly. Massimo was brilliant! You will not want to miss this. The podcast is up now at this location on the intertubes. You should also visit Dr. Dr. Dr. Pigliucci’s web site, Rationally Speaking, here.
Should OpenOffice.org (OOo) writer (the text editor unit of the OpenSource office suite) have the horizontal ruler, on the top of the page, visible by default, or should it be hidden by default? This is the argument that it should be hidden by default. If you become a registered user of the OOo web site, you can actually vote on this. Let me know how that goes.
Xfce 4.6 is released (yesterday). Xfce is a gnome-ish desktop for Linux that uses very few resources (and has very few bells and whistles). “Xfce 4.6 features a new configuration backend, a new settings manager, a brand new sound mixer, and several huge improvements to the session manager and the rest of Xfce’s core components.” Details here. Personally, I’m thinking about setting up an install that uses emacs as the ‘desktop.’ I’ve got an old laptop that I might try that with. I would have the simplest possible windows manager to run a web browser and do everything else in emacs. This would be for writing in coffee shops and similar locals. That would be cool. I would name the computer “Ivan.”
But even with emacs running the interface, one might want to use vim now and then. and since everything is running on the command line one would want to use regular expressions all the time. So I’ll be wanting to read about Using regular expressions in Vim
According to reports, OpenOffice 3.1 is blindingly fast, and it has some interesting new features and important bug fixes. It won’t ever be as good as my fantasy emacs system, but for a gui-office it is pretty impressive. Here’s and early look.
Qimo is Linux for kids.