Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Wednesday, April 4, 2012

  • Apr 04 / 2012
  • 4

Freedom to Own Property Returns to Canada Today

Well, not precisely. The motion to pass bill C-19, the bill to destroy the registry of unrestricted firearms, is due to be voted at 1730 Ottawa time today.

The debate yesterday was very bitter. Senators ridiculed each other’s efforts instead of presenting reasoned arguments. Irrelevance and misinformation flowed from the opposition. Here is an example:
Claudette Tardif – “The registry that this bill seeks to destroy provides valuable information to public safety officials regarding the use of long guns. RCMP data shows that long guns are the most common type of firearm used in spousal homicides. Over the past decade, 71 per cent of spousal homicides involved rifles and shotguns.”

Of course, there is no connection to the registry…

Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu – “Honourable senators, I have a question for you. If the period from 1979 to 1994 saw a greater decline in the number of homicides and suicides than the period from 2005 (rp: This is a glitch. It should be 1995) to 2010 — I am comparing two periods of 15 years each — can I scientifically deduce that the absence of the registry had a greater impact on the decline of homicides and suicides than the presence of the registry?”

Sigh… Soon it will be over. All that remains is to proclaim the change in law and to implement it. I wish it were as easy as “drop database…” but I guess there will be a lot of thrashing as well. I fully expect the registry will be gone before summer peaks.

  • Apr 04 / 2012
  • 3

Government as Malware

Governments exist to do what individuals and small organizations cannot. They are supposed to protect us from crime but things can go horribly wrong when governments extend their powers to the extent that they commit crimes (wars, intrusion into civil liberties, etc.).

That’s the case with MegaUpload. The US government has prosecuted MegaUpload for promoting violation of copyright and the resulting legal grid-lock has caused every user of MegaUpload to have data locked-up by the court. The prosecution eventually stated they had all the evidence they needed and means were set up to allow innocent parties to retrieve their data but now the government has told the court that some of the data on the servers is actually child pornography and cannot be released as contraband. So, conflicting legal reuirements leave everyone in a bind: the innocent parties cannot get their data, the owners of the servers have to keep their capital tied up and power bills being paid, and the courts are being choked with bloated legal processes while MegaUpload’s funds have been frozen.

We have the same effect as malware on IT. IT grinds to a halt because of irrelevant processes. If every server in the world that might have malware on it were seized, would IT operate at all?

see US government: We hear there’s child porn on those Megaupload servers, judge!

  • Apr 04 / 2012
  • 1

Moore’s Law for SSD Catching Up With Hard Drives

The hard drive has been king of PC-storage for decades. The end of the reign could be in sight. Intel has improved price/performance sufficiently to make SSD widely accessible to consumers who don’t have huge storage needs. For those of us still with huge storage SSDs are still way too expensive unless we have money/revenue to burn.

Prices are where hard drives were a few years ago in $/gB and performance is superior. In a couple of years at this rate, SSDs will be everywhere. I can seen notebooks being a prime market as the SSD weighs less, performs faster, uses less power and mobile people can access huge data on the web. SSDs are a good match. Desktops tend to be in one place doing one task longer and may need more storage. Everyone needs the improved performance. Within five years, SSDs may well be king.

see New Intel flash hardness performs faster for less – 330-series SSD is cheap as chips

  • Apr 04 / 2012
  • 2

IT Crime of the New Century

Apple and M$, two of the biggest monopolists in IT (personal computing certainly, and branching out), are accusing Motorola of doing what they do… The irony makes me chuckle. M$ and Apple have been suing the world and don’t want to be sued and injuncted in return. Bullies hate it when someone has the nerve to stand up to them. It makes being a bully difficult when the herd stands and fights.

The issue is whether or not it is fair and reasonable for Motorola to charge people suing Motorola an arm and a leg for licensing patents Motorola has promised to be FRAND about to standardization organizations. Being reasonable has two sides to it. You should not expect people you are suing to be reasonable or not discriminatory. If governments properly regulated M$ and Apple, none of this would be necessary but governments seem to see big crimes as just business as usual. Extorting $billions from the world at monopolistic prices is not business as usual.

see Motorola Mobility in double Euro probe over patent warfare

  • Apr 04 / 2012
  • 0

Creation and Evolution of OpenStack

One of the things that makes me believe FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) is the right way to do IT is that the software is easy to share, bringing together many people to get the job of creating software done sooner. It’s just more efficient.

OpenStack is an example. People around the USA working on problems of virtualizing computing found each other by accident two years ago and now OpenStack is used and contributed to by some very large players and is available for individuals and organizations of any size anywhere to use:
“OpenStack is a way of building public web services that compete directly with Amazon. But it’s also an alternative to such public services. With OpenStack, everyday businesses can build build private services dedicated to their own particular operations. Many companies are reluctant to put their corporate data onto someone else’s servers, and if they use OpenStack in their own data centers, they get the benefits of an Amazon EC2 without giving their data to Amazon.”

FLOSS principles allowed many different people from organizations with different goals to pool resources and solve problems together producing a beautiful product. They put in the work and share the benefits with the world. FLOSS works. now lists 2685 people and 156 companies in its community.

Lest anyone believe OpenStack is a toy or simply academic research, take a look at HP and the US Army. HP has just signed a contract for $249 million to create a private cloud for Army. see HP Cloud

Use FLOSS, shared software for the world.

see The Secret History of OpenStack, the Free Cloud Software That’s Changing Everything