Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Global warming hysteria finally cooling down

The article linked above is really great. I listened to the global cooling debate and later the global warming debate to a point I finally had to look at what everyone was talking about. I looked into data on global temperatures and atmospheric changes and various theories and it seemed easy to see that for hundreds of years it has been understood that seasonal droughts and what was apparently a 28 year cycle of global warming and cooling was the direct cause of the electromagnetic cycle of the sun. The sun's plasma is a giant magnet that swirls and spins, twisting its magnetic field until it snaps, resetting things back to a more stable state, and the cycle repeats. The earliest evidence of this was shown in the relationship between drought seasons / global warming and sun spots. The fields "snapping" is seen in solar flares when the "magnetic pathways" (for lack of a better word) expand beyond the surface of the sun, and plasma following these pathways flare up, cool, and fall back to the sun leaving a dim mark we call a sun spot.

I have received some criticism for this belief, I think some believing I am uncaring to the earth. On the contrary, I think it is more harmful to spread lies about the way things work. I think we should be kind to the environment and stop polluting it as much as we are, but responding to bogus science about man made global warming with extreme measures to manipulate the political and economic environment can only do harm.

Note: Too see video of all presentations from the 2009 conference, click here.

Friday, March 06, 2009

I was never really into music, until I got to middle school where you needed to know music to be cool. But listening to the radio didn't give me the right information, and the range of music just blew.

Then one day came Napster.

I started downloading everything, lyrics, album info and such and really got to get to know music, I was able to buy all the right stuff and amassed a good size collection (as much as one can at that age working odd jobs and saving lunch money)

I'd share the music with my friends, and tell them about artists I had heard, and get them to buy a copy too.

Then Metallica put out a really crappy CD. I loved their other stuff.. and I was pretty satisfied with the ones I already owned. Then THEY attacked Napster, and actually won. No surprise really, but I said **** them, and went back to listening to the radio for new music. Never bought another album again.

Today, what I see in person is in such conflict with these stupid cases. The Statute of Anne was much more sensible in so many ways. It makes sense it was written in our constitution that there needed to be limits on copyright in order to promote science and useful arts. I hang out with a log of musicians, and spend a lot of at open mics and drum circles. The music is about the music, and people live to share.

I used to copy music I liked, but I discovered I was wasting my time. Why should I promote the music written by people that don't even believe in music the way I do. Now, I use Jamendo, and when I meet an artist, and they tell me about their beliefs, I point them in the direction of creative commons.

I promote music by artists that love music the way I do. Same reason to use Linux; it is software for people that love computers, not people that found a way to make a buck at exploiting the stupidity of others. Linux is a community where everyone is given equal access to everything possible because that is the best way for new creativity to spawn, and in return the people that put in their time and effort "working for Linux" get what they want in return: Not the money to possibly afford the title of the day, but again, everything the community has to offer.

With Linux, the more I give, the more I learn, and the more I get in return.

I don't buy indy labels because I don't go to music stores. If I buy an album, I get the hand drawn, signed, one of a kind from the artist himself. One time I was listening to a guy on a street corner in Santa Cruz, California (BIG music / punk / hippy city) playing a Cello. I listened for about 2 hours, struck up a conversation with the guy, and ended up buying him a new set of strings. Still, the best concert I have ever heard.

I know it will never happen. Who ever is in power will always fight to keep the system the same because it worked for them. People will thrive in ANY environment because humans are amazing that way... but what I support is make it the best environment to promote culture, music, and education by making information distribution as awesome as possible with better Internet and better protocols like bit torrent. It is the library of the digital age.

After that, THEN let the scum of the earth come crawling out from under their rocks and find a way to exploit it and squeeze as many pennies out of the system as possible through market research and providing something unique.

You say people being able to give things away for free is communism. I say you got it all wrong. Sharing is at the heart of humanity. Communism is going to the government and making a law to put fake rules into place that allow you to control a system no matter how many people it hurts. Copyright is government trying to control the system.

Why do we still have libraries, and where did they come from? What are they for? Don't they just promote mass piracy? Were libraries only "acceptable" because they are hard to get to and inconvenient? Poor and low on money? Or were they meant to encourage thought and education for free to the best that the technology of the day could provide?

Well, today we have the Internet. It is revolutionizing the way people think and share. It is going to kill the library, but only because every adult and child in the world is going to have direct access the greatest library in history.

Do you think we could survive in such a world? Know what, I think we can. This is why Peter Sunde is a hero of the day. He is the great librarian of the 21st century, and we should give him praise for his vision, a vision I support with all my heart.

Long Live The Pirate Bay!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Why doesn't Microsoft have a site like ubuntuforums.org?

It would never work, at least not exactly. Its a political thing. Basically, who wants to give their time and energy away for free to help with something Microsoft is paid to do? M$ makes money, while EVERYTHING that is Gnu/Linux is created for someone's personal use and given away for free that others that create will be willing to share in the same way. Additionally, if you make a good program for yourself and share it for free, there is a good chance people will repay you through contributions of bug fixes, additional features, or maybe a really big thank you.

When was the last time you think anyone took the time to write Bill Gates and say "Thank you Bill for making a really great operating system for my computer". Not likely, cause why bother, you got your OS, M$ got their money, no more reason to really talk to each other.

It is really interesting the relationship Sun Microsystems has with the OSS community. They give away a produce for free, and open the source. However, if you contribute, you can only make code suggestions, that may or may not go in, and Sun keeps total control. Lots of people use open office, but there is no real Open Office developer community because you can't really ever be part of a team. They are 'basic' open source, meeting the dictionary definition. They arn't putting their effort into community building. Ubuntu is quite the irony. Sun is open source and discourages community (passively) while Cannonical makes proprietary software (you can't get the code for the forums, or even help) but these closed tools are used to build community.

M$ having a site like this is like having a poetry jam where they charge admission: If you are going to read poetry, you want to get paid. But make it free and charge for drinks, but put in some comfy chairs, people will want to share for free just to be heard.

I love ubuntu. I do some programming, but nothing cool enough worth inclusion in Ubuntu. Maybe some day. I am AMAZED how much Gnu/Linux has become simply through a desire for nerds to share and help each other out. I WANT to be more a part of such a great community, but my experience and skill only put me at, hopefully, very knowledgeable user. So, I try and do support. I came on the forums for the first time in a long time and found I knew the answers to many of the questions people were asking. So I figured 'why not?'

Seriously, I get this whole, wonderfully incredible operating system and software that does everything I need that would otherwise cost tens of thousands of dollars in proprietary software, and it is all given away in hopes that people will want to get involved.

Me helping any way I can makes me feel a part of that; it is how I can pay for my Linux just the way it was meant to be.

So this is my way of giving back. If there was a site like this for Microsoft (actually, there is, sort of. it is called Microsoft Knowledge Base) I, for one, wouldn't bother. I'd say "Already paid for it, let someone else do it". Why would I want to give my time away for free? This isn't free, I get Linux!

Open Movie Editor

Found a really awesome movie editor while looking through the ubuntu forums. As they put it:
a simple non-linear video editor
Open Movie Editor is designed to be a simple tool, that provides
basic movie making capabilities. It aims to be powerful enough
for the amateur movie artist, yet easy to use.
Very straight forward and easy to see what you are doing. the version released about a year ago allowed to you drag sound and video from your media directory to channels, split sound and video from files, and drag and drop images onto your time line. The latest version added a ton of transitions. Can even drag and drop svg titles.

And thanks to Fabrice Coutadeur, there are packages of the new version available for Ubuntu Hardy, intrepid, and jaunty for both 32 and 64 bit.

Highly recommended for video bloggers
https://launchpad.net/~fabricesp/+archive/ppa