I have heard of WebOS from HP but knew nothing about it. I guess I assumed it was another in-house OS like Symbian, etc. SJVN set me straight. It’s yet another environment on top of the Linux kernel. So, while I was clueless and thinking Android/Linux on ARM was the big play this year to get GNU/Linux into the PC game widely, in fact, the number one PC OEM is talking up WebOS, based on Linux, on general PCs. Continue reading ‘I May Be Ignorant, But Occasionally I Luck Out’
Archive for February 9th, 2011
Often life is not much fun but it beats the alternative…
Today, though, I had tears of laughter rolling down my cheeks. Sony, who is suing a guy for figuring out how to put GNU/Linux back on the PlayStation, has spread the “secret key” which is fundamental to the hacking. A guy posted it on Twitter and Sony’s guy on Twitter retweeted it… Sony has asked for a court order to clean up all instances of this key on the web and Sony just created thousands more. I had to laugh. I wonder if the judge will laugh after Sony made solemn declarations about how that key harmed Sony and that the defendant had to make things right again… Chuckle. It is so cool to see corporate bullies hoisted on their own petard.
Departures happen for many reasons in diverse organizations. A large outfit like M$ has its share. The 32 mentioned at eWeek interest me. Only 2 have no/little hair and only 2 are women. Presuming this is some kind of statistical sample of M$’s staff, I come to the alarming conclusion that youth and women are fleeing M$. That bodes ill in a society where more than half are young or female.
From a technological perspective the age or sex of the staff may be of little relevance but it is one more sign that M$ has lost its way if that other OS was to be the standard in operating systems. It is relevant that while some of the refugees have given decades of their productive years to M$ they see no future for themselves there. Freedom does have value in all our lives.
In this forum and on other sites, I am often told that until PhotoShop is on GNU/Linux, GNU/Linux will never amount to much on the desktop. That is a load of tripe. My mother was fond of tripe but it offended me…
From Adobe’s latest annual report we see that Adobe had revenue of just over $3billion from “product”, that is licensing fees for their products which include Photoshop. 350 million PCs shipped in 2010 so this revenue amounts to $9 per PC. Looking at their licensing fees which start at $0 for Air and Flashplayer to $600 for things like CS5. There is a maze of prices in there but PhotoShop shows for $700.
Let’s do some mathematics. The most licences of PhotoShop that they could have sold for $700 in $3billion in revenue is a little over 4 million licences. Even if all Adobe sold were licences for “Elements” for consumers at $70, we are talking about no more than 40 million licences/PCs.
So, cut out the talk of PhotoShop being a determining factor. It might be a determining factor in 10% of purchasing decisions and no more. My brief exposure to PhotoShop was not fun. It did no more for me than I could do with Gimp for $0 and ImageMagick for $0. Debian GNU/Linux has 480 packages containing the “works-with::image” tag and 360 in “Section: graphics“. The value just is not there for most of us for Photoshop and the FLOSS alternatives work.
The same could be said for lots of the other must-have applications. Those who must have them are in a niche. On the other hand almost everyone needs stuff that comes for free in many distributions of GNU/Linux and many of us need no more than that. If you are in such a deep hole that you need multiple must-have applications that prevent you from using FLOSS, perhaps you should quit digging and climb out. In recent years I have met many people who have used nothing beyond the office suite and the browser. FLOSS has several of both.
Protest in Egypt is approaching the kindling point. Previously youth and intelligentsia seemed to be involved in a major way. Now labour has stepped up. Protests have spread and now involve several large employers like the Suez Canal and the Ministry of Health. Yesterday the vice president of the country declared that the protests could not be allowed to continue much longer. The converse is also true. The dictatorship cannot be allowed to continue much longer. Even a dictatorship requires the consent (willingly or unwillingly given) of the governed to continue. The dictatorship in Egypt no longer has that consent. The protestors working together are stronger than the dictatorship.
see New York Times
see Al Jazeera
According to a report on Al Jazeera, the addition of labour is a critical stage in protest and 8 cities now have huge protests. Unless the government can cause the army to hold together and repress protest by force, the end of dictatorship is near, perhaps within a few days. How general does the protest have to be before the government becomes irrelevant? I can see the protests morphing into a constitutional convention resulting in some interim government and fresh elections this year.
802.11n is still wet behind the ears and the next big thing, 802.11ac is on the horizon. Gigabit/s (nearly) over wireless? That changes a lot. When will the web catch up? Gigabit/s is already available in a few countries but not where I live. I did a wireless to wireless copy the other day at 3 megabytes/s and that is with 802.11g in my home. That would be sad with a classroom full of thin clients. Gigabit/s would be much more fun.
With the present concentration on video, more bandwidth is needed and sooner rather than later. With the move to mobile in high gear, it cannot come fast enough.
FLOSS has huge advantages for businesses working in a competitive environment where agility and speed of product development is very important:
- the wheel does not re-inventing,
- thousands of outside developers contribute at no extra cost, and
- a much larger set of ideas goes into the pot producing better soup.
Some idiot at M$ decided it would be a great idea if code on mountable volumes would be automatically executed in that other OS. That decision makes that other OS fertile ground for malware. After a decade, M$ has decided to do away with “autorun” on USB drives while leaving it on CDs… HAHAHA Those guys just don’t get security and if you run that other OS you won’t have security either. Of course, you can turn off that “feature” if you know what you are doing but it is obvious that many millions of users do not. In simple terms, the “autorun” feature was like an open door and welcome mat for criminals.
Please, use an operating system that is not out to get you… like Debian GNU/Linux.
In 2010 we saw smartphones pushing $1000 in price. Now that the number and kind of suppliers has exploded, prices are coming down to Earth.
“China-based white-box vendors to offer below US$100 Android smartphones for emerging markets“ Continue reading ‘Smartphones Coming Down in Price’