Friday, August 26, 2005

From a Whitewash to Finger Pointing...

A highly classified report was released detailing failures within the CIA before 9/11. At last there is some semblance of accountability, but who knows if the fingers are pointing in the right direction. More misdirection as I see it.
"...But a former intelligence official close to Mr. Tenet said Mr. Helgerson's team had failed to interview policy makers and intelligence officers outside the agency or to note that the agency was more focused on Al Qaeda than any other arm of government was before 2001." (article)

Google Earth

I FINALLY got around to installing Google Earth on my WinXP partition. Simply amazing. The first time you zoom in on your house from space is mind-boggling. The community is amazing as well. I spent most of last night sight-seeing. =)

FedEx Furniture

Furniture made from FedEx boxes... Wouldn't it be cheaper to go to a garage sale or goodwill. Cool nonetheless.


Thoughts on MS Vista

Considering the hardware requirements of Vista, the majority of installations of the new Windows release will be preinstalled on new computers, rather than upgrades. An entrenched monopoly like Microsoft will have the upper hand here, an 800-ton gorilla upper hand

As for Linux competition with those taking the XP to Vista upgrade, Microsoft will need to flex its lock-in muscle. Such as with Vista-only IE feature updates, cooperation with online media outlets for Vista-only DRM, and incompatibily/reduced performance with OpenGL for games. Considering the high hardware requirements, again it seems that a consumer eying an upgrade to Vista will most likely purchase a new computer, as it will be a better value proposition. Of course the power user and enthusiast will mostly likely have the required hardware already and is probably dual booting with Linux.

Those that cannot afford the inevitable hardware and software upgrade for Vista will find Linux a very affordable and functional route.

The funtional improvements in Vista seem very debatable at this point. Businesses will ask themselves what ROI will materialize from an upgrade. Many business have not migrated from Windows2000 to XP as of yet. Case in point, I am writing this post from a Win2k machine, and there isn't a single install of XP at my choice.

So in summary, my $0.02 is that the outlook for Linux migrations look quite rosy, and the majority of MS Vista installations will be new computer purchases. I forsee retail sales of Vista to be very disappointing.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Iran and Nuclear Power

An interesting article about Iran pursuing nuclear energy. You might as well call this "The Economic Case for Nuclear Energy in Iran." Here is a nice quote from the article.
David Kay, former head of the Iraq Survey Group, speaking in November 2004 at a forum sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies said:
The first thing - of what we do know, and it's amazing how many Americans seem to skate over this - the first nuclear reactor given to Iran was given by the United States in 1967 - a five-megawatt trigger reactor, research reactor, under the Eisenhower Atoms for Peace Program. Still operated ... The other thing that Americans forget is that in 1974, the shah announced a policy of 23,000 megawatts of nuclear energy in Iraq. The US reaction? [Former US national security adviser and secretary of state] Henry Kissinger beat down the door to be sure that two US constructors, General Electric and Westinghouse, had a preferred position in selling those reactors. We did not say, "it's a stupid idea, why would you want to do that when you are flaring gas and you have immense oil reserves?" We said, "That is very interesting; it's an example of how the Iranian economy is moving and becoming modern." Imagine in Iranian ears how it sounds now when we denigrate that capacity. They remember. We were sellers of nuclear reactors and wanted to be sellers of nuclear reactors to the shah.
The Administration is showing the same kind of hypocrisy shown towards Iraq and it's "WMD"'s which were provided in-part by the US during the Iran-Iraq conflict.
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent samples directly to several Iraqi sites that U.N. weapons inspectors determined were part of Saddam Hussein's biological weapons program, CDC and congressional records from the early 1990s show. Iraq had ordered the samples, claiming it needed them for legitimate medical research." --USATODAY.COM (Another article here).

Google Talk

Yesterday, Google announced its "Google Talk" IM service which also offers voice communication. The service is Jabber based, no big surprise there. Finally an IM service I can depend not to break 3rd party client compatibility. I run Gentoo Linux, so have not tried the Windows native client, but Gaim works perfectly.

The service is obviously still in beta, so new features are bound to come. This will be necessary if Google wants to differentiate its service and expand its user base.

I would put money on that Google plans to place targeted ads in the chat window when the service comes out of beta.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

US Pressure on Iran

"The United States said that Iran should not be let off the hook although an independent probe has reportedly showed no evidence of clandestine atomic weapons activities in the Islamic republic."
Yahoo News

Here is more BS coming from the State Department. Iran's nuclear program is merely an excuse for war against Iran. Just as WMD's were for Iraq. An excuse and tool to instill fear and forward a neocon agenda. The US securing its worldwide interests is good and all, but the current implementation is unsustainable. Not to mention that the rhetoric is quite transparent.

Undoubtedly, Iran wishes to develop nuclear weapons. Just as Saddam desired to. What soverign nation wouldn't? (Key word here: sovereign) The US won't attempt to militarily intervene against a country with nukes. Case in point: North Korea. The problem in this case is that the US has little economic clout over Iran.

friggin SPAM!

...I knew it would happen eventually.

A piece of spam made it into my inbox through the to-date quite excellent combination of postfix, procmail, clamav, spamassassin, and rules de jour. The culprit: the origination address was forged to be from my account! Well, it probably would have been marked as spam if I had not whitelisted my own domain.

...reasons for existence

1. To archive opinions, news, tip-and-tricks.
2. sucks.
3. very pretty.

first post