Technology Tidbits

A new thing called “sporn” hits the intertubesi-b4d74b5686c2d3e402c453f559c7c5ef-ERV_spore.jpgErv writes a post: SPORE: Obvious happens, EA shocked which points out a flaw in the plan by EA games to take over the world … they may be causing the “The Internet is ruining society” scenario du jour.You see, spores (entities that users, players of the game, create on by what is all accounts amazing entity-creating software) created in this new universe are automatically converted to readily available animations, automatically uploaded to You Tube. But they can be very racy, even pornographic.

EA has been taking down sporn YouTubes and Sporepedia entries, and putting sporn makers accounts in ‘time-out’. Evidently it is someones job to sift through every single uploaded creature to make sure they arent ‘naughty’

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OMG It’s So Cute!

i-9752b458400b54f1c64d9c8ebf6fe5df-tiny_pc.jpgI like to report advanced technology that runs open source systems, like LInux.From Manufactum of Germany, we have a two pound PC, running Linux, of course, just over seven inches maximum dimension. It runs at 500 MHz, can handle a gig of RAM (default 512 MB) and an 80 gig hard drive. It is pre-loaded with Debian with KDE as your desktop. That part is totally configurable, of course.Imagine replacing all the computers in your lab with something the size of a Tom Clancy novel. That would leave piles of room for, say, a bigger fridge in which you can store samples. And beer.

A True Linux Hero

Robin ‘Roblimo’ Miller writes:

I’ve been hearing the phrase “This is the year of the Linux desktop” for 10 years. For me, it’s been a true statement for each of those years, because GNU/Linux has been my primary desktop operating system since 1997. But for most people around the world, this is the year of the the Windows desktop, same as it was last year and the year before. But if we each spent one day telling others about GNU/Linux, could we make a difference in the lives of at least a few people? I think so. That’s why I’m promising — right here and right now — to spend at least one day in the next three months handing out free GNU/Linux install CDs, and why I invite you to join me in this effort.[source]

Hey, I may start doing that too. In fact, I’ll start now.Here, this is for you, friend.

Linux wins Nigerian school desktops back from Microsoft

They tried bribery, they tried bullying. And both worked. But only for a little while….

Mandriva had closed a deal in mid-August to provide a customised Linux operating system and support for 17,000 Intel Classmate PCs intended for Nigerian schools, but found out last week that the company deploying the computers for the government, Technology Support Center (TSC), planned to wipe the computers’ disks and install Windows XP instead.Now, however, a government agency funding 11,000 of the PCs has overruled the supplier. Nigeria’s Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) wants to keep Mandriva Linux on the Classmate PCs, said an official who identified himself as the programme manager for USPF’s Classmate PCs project.”We are sticking with that platform,” said the official, who would not give his name.[source]

There is still a chance that Microsoft will prevail and become the operating system “of choice” for the Nigerians….

Microsoft is still negotiating an agreement that would give TSC US$400,000 (£190,323) for marketing activities around the Classmate PCs when those computers are converted to Windows.

Wow. A bribe of nearly a half million dollars. Go Bill Gates!

“Microsoft is able to offer a comprehensive education solution – including software, training and support – on the 17,000 Classmate PCs for 200 schools across Nigeria,” the statement said.After public statements from Mandriva officials implied the marketing deal is legally questionable, Microsoft said last week that it complies with international law and the law of the countries in which it operates.

Complying with the law? In Nigeria? Do they understand how funny that isI strongly suspect that Microsoft will win this one. All they need to do is to keep paying more and more in the way of extortion, and they have the pockets to do this. The Nigerians will not have the will to resist.

Ancient Geek History

Those of you who know my older (now inactive) blog also know that I’m a Linux Jingoist. I like Linux because it gives me a clean, reliable, and superior user interface (I use Gnome most of the time) but also allows me to play with ancient, deeply embedded UNIX Mojo whenever I feel like it.One of the early developments on old Unix systems was the “Calendar File” which was manipulated and accessed with the command: calendar. If you go to a terminal prompt in Linux and type in the word, you get a listing of historical events people have entered for today and tomorrow. On some systems, if it is Friday, you get Friday and Monday.You can use this calendar instead of, say Microsoft Outlook if you can figure out how to enter dates for stuff you want to do. I’m still working on that.Anyway…. (more…)