Tag Archives: general

UN’s stance on Sudan

Once again, I marvel at how the UN chooses to handle situations, and, onca again, I wonder why, oh why, do we continue to pour money and resources into an organization that accomplishes so little, at such great cost.

Summary: 136 men of a particular ethnic group (The Fur ethnic group) were rounded up, loaded in trucks, and gathered to a place where they were all executed. The UN Human Rights Commission has released a statement “expressing solidarity with the country in overcoming the present situation.”

That’s very comforting.

Meanwhile Sudan says it never happened.

I once said that social security is a bad system perpetuated because everyone has a grandmother. I think that, similarly, the UN is a bad system that is perpetuated because everyone wants to be seen as being on the side of peace. Peace is a good thing, right? And if we pay our annual dues to an international organization dedicated to peace (even if it doesn’t actually make the slightest headway towards that goal) then we’ve done our part.

Between this and the joke of “peacekeepers” in Bosnia, I’m increasingly persuaded that it would be better to do nothing at all, than to support the UN.

Platform independence

For a variety of strange reasons, this is my workspace today. The machine on the left is an iMac. The one in the middle is running RedHat 8, and the one on the right is running Windows 98. I should have taken pictures earlier, when I was in the coffee shop with the two laptops. *That* got some strange looks, I’ll tell you!

How it is …

Here’s a little trap
That sometimes catches everyone
When today’s as far as we can see
Faith in bright tomorrows
giving way to resignation
That’s how it is – how it’s going to be

It’s such a cloudy day
Seems we’ll never see the sun
Or feel the day has possibilities
Frozen in the moment –
the lack of imagination
Between how it is and how it ought to be

Here’s a little trap
That sometimes trips up everyone
When we tire of our own company
Sometimes we’re the last to see beyond the day’s frustrations
That’s how it is – how it’s going to be

It’s such a cloudy day
Seems we’ll never see the sun
I feel the day is all uncertainty
Burning in the moment – trapped by the desperation
Between how it is and how it ought to be

Foot upon the stair
Shoulder to the wheel
You can’t tell yourself not to care
You can’t tell yourself how to feel

That’s how it is
Another cloudy day

(“How it is”, from “Vapor Trails” by Rush. 2002 – PriceScan.com )

Windows code leaks. Who cares?

So it appears that the sourcecode for Windows got leaked. I’m finding the reactions to this to be very odd. I suppose it’s a direct consequence of my Open Source mindset, but I don’t get what the big deal is.

Sure, there will be lots of eyes on the code, and they will find bugs. Surely this is a good thing? Yeah, there will be a big surge in viruses in the next couple years. Of course, that assumes that Microsoft sits around and does nothing for the next two years. Seems to me that this incident will (or at least should) encourage Microsoft to do an actual full-scale code audit, and find those very same things that the “hackers” would find.

There are just two ways that this thing concerns me about this, and neither one of them has to do with negative impact on Microsoft.

First, it seems abundantly clear to me that Microsoft will take this incident and use it as the excuse for the next 50 security problems that are discovered. And, therefore, as “proof” that their policy of closed source equals security.

Second, we’re going to see lawsuits in the next 2 years where Microsoft identifies code in Linux, added after February 10, 2004, which are either copied from, or influenced by, the Windows source code. And, as absurd as this is, it will be used to have, as Microsoft would say, a chilling effect on innovation.

So, no, this is not bad for Microsoft. They stand only to benefit, both in improvements to their source, and in avenues for their slimy lawyers to put the squeeze on the Open Source community. Anything you hear to the contrary is marketing spin.


On Saturday morning, Sarah and I made some little clay thingies, and had about as much fun as it’s possible to have. I think I may have found my hidden skill.

And, for those of you who are unfamiliar with how art with little people works, I’ve compiled a short list of ways to squash your young artist’s joy.

Having been going to Kid’s Club at Michaels for a couple years now (10-noon, every Saturday, at your local Michael’s. Just $2), I was fortunate enough to learn these little tips a long time ago, and I thought it would be useful to pass them on. They’re little things that you don’t think about at the time, but make an enormous difference between art being fun or being a task that they need to accomplish to win your approval. YKMV (Your Kid May Vary.)

Return of the King

Last night I saw Return of the King with Andy and Lizet.


The battle scenes were just amazing. Shelob was horrifying. The Mumakil were absolutely mind-boggling. And Gollum was perhaps even more believable than in his earlier appearances.

It did go on a bit, running from 7:30 until 10:55.

I suppose I could go on and on about it, but I’m sure dozens of other people have already done so. I thoroughally enjoyed the experience, and I expect that I’ll watch it a number of times again.