Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Thursday, July 28, 2011

  • Jul 28 / 2011
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Notes from All Over

ASUS new $199 eee PC X101 running MeeGo, Intel’s take on Linux, looks good to me:

Alibaba has produced a new OS with interesting features. Aliyun OS:

  • can run Android apps…
  • HTML 5 stuff…
  • has 20 “cloud” apps providing services from Alibabe… and
  • 100 gB of virtual storage.

See China’s Alibaba Unveils New Mobile OS

Userful will report at LinuxCon 2011 that the deployment of 500K GNU/Linux desktops in 50K schools in Brazil has been completed. That’s a multiseat X system. is at 112005 in Netcraft’s site ranking today. We were around 300000 a couple of years ago. At this rate, in ten years we will be really big…

A large French energy supplier uses a super-computer built on Debian GNU/Linux beowulf diskless nodes combined with some non-free software for networking and a file-system. This system is 43rd in the Top500 list of super-computers. With 1454 nodes, they saved a bundle on licensing and got improved performance.

  • Jul 28 / 2011
  • 11

Quickbooks Ported to Linux

Intuit has an app in Android Market for Quickbooks. This tool is used by many small and medium-sized business for all kinds of accounting. The port to Android/Linux will allow Quickbooks to run on any PC with an Android port. e.g. Android-x86 and dozens of smart phones and tablets. This breaks one more barrier to adoption of GNU/Linux by businesses. It will be particularly attractive to on-site or other mobile usage and allow accounts to be more up to date and accessible. Imagine a consultant being able to update his accounts on the plane or to answer questions more promptly.

Unfortunately, users find some features they would like are lacking. Presumably, Intuit will meet the needs of their customers.

see Intuit Launches QuickBooks Mobile for Android

  • Jul 28 / 2011
  • 3

US ATF Ran Amok Supplying Arms to Mexican Cartels

The US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has been found to have knowingly allowed smugglers to purchase 1900+ firearms including AK-47s, hand-guns and nineteen .50 calibre rifles in Phoenix, AZ and deliver them to cartels in Mexico. Several of these weapons were used in crimes including downing police helicopters and killing Mexican citizens and a US border patrol agent. The stated objective of the operation Fast and Furious was to track the weapons to obtain convictions of higher-ups but the operation went on far longer than that would have required. The operation was hidden from ATF agents in Mexico and their traces put on weapons at one point were stonewalled. There is suspicion the real purpose of the operation was to heat up alarm about gun smuggling to increase ATF’s budget… It is also possible the ATF was penetrated by the cartels. Nothing else makes sense.

At this time, Congress is looking for ways to trim the budget and the $billion budget of the ATF could well be on the list.

A draft of a report from the oversight committee is available here.

What I would like to know is why charges haven’t been laid against the idiots who conceived and implemented this project which led to death, mayhem and an international incident. Both ATF and US DOJ were involved. Was president Obama? If so, this could be the last nail in the coffin of his ambitions for re-election. It could be the last nail in the coffin for the ATF.

There could be valid statistical or data-collection reasons for this operation but surely they must have been overruled in the minds of rational beings when the danger of causing serious widespread harm was so real. They could have included electronic tracking devices in the weapons but they did not. They allowed them to vanish into the terrain, only to be found at great cost in money, manpower and death.