Dell Computers has started selling Ubuntu Linux 7.04 on consumer machines in the United States. This can only be good news, as a supporter of Linux since late 2004/early 2005 I am fully behind this initiative to put Linux as a choice in front of people who buy computers. They are testing the market at the moment which explains why they are shipping stock drivers with the hardware, and no multimedia codecs (which is unfortunate, but understandable that this deal was done in 60 days). I think this is quite an achievement for Canonical and Mark Shuttleworth (Ubuntu Founder), as they get to do the traditional Linux business model: you pay for support, and if you don’t need it, you don’t buy it. This could confuse some people in the shorter term, but long term its a winner: Dell does what it does best (Hardware) and Software is left to Ubuntu’s parent company Canonical. This is opposed to Microsoft getting Dell to provide support for both hardware and software, sometimes a messy business in which the consumer does not know which to turn to and can often be left out in the cold. I hope Dell extends this to Europe and 6the rest of the world soon, and makes a decent stab at promoting a free software desktop. Dell list advantages in one of their videos:
- Free to use
- Upgrades are free
- All major software included
- Not prone to Viruses/Spyware/Malware
- As easy (if not easier) to use than Apple Mac OS X / Microsoft Windows
Unbeknownst to me, with my quick thinking on the positive developments regarding CBS releasing democratic debates under a permissive license in the United States has caused quite a few Irish bloggers to echo my call on RTE’s stance on releasing the Irish Election 2007 debates. If you agree we should be allowed to download, remix and share the debates while giving RTE credit for production, please:
UPDATE: Poll is now closed as the leaders debates are now finished. It was not my petition, I would have left it open to deliver to RTE anyway in respect to other programming for their consideration. Thanks to all who voted!
Well this is not a technology related post, but I get asked about it alot and people have sketchy details about what it is (ie. they know my vision is messed up). Keratoconus (from Greek: kerato- horn, cornea; and konos cone), is a degenerative non-inflammatory disorder of the eye in which structural changes within the cornea cause it to thin and change to a more conical shape than its normal gradual curve. In plain English, light bends in a distorted way to make vision ghosted, blurry and less sharp. Glasses cannot fix this problem as they fix issues with your natural lense behind the cornea, as usually it has improper focus.
Thankfully it is a rare disorder, perhaps genetic and it only occurs in 1 out of every 1,000 people or so, I am wearing hard gas permeable (Oxygen can go through them) lenses which are the biggest pain in the world to wear, hard pieces of plastic literally sitting on your eye. This is a short term solution however, as my eyes will continue to degenerate for the next 20 years or so, then will be most likely followed by a Cornea transplant (ie. I recieve some other [usually dead!] persons’ corneas). There is technology being worked on, such as slicing the cornea and inserting half a contact lense (literally) in each side to prop it up. Most likely I am more fortunate then a person diagnosed with it 10 or 20 years ago, as time is on my side. The reason I don’t talk about it as I don’t want it to be a sop story or people to have pity, it is just a fact of my life, one which I am optimistic of for the future. Maybe awareness can help raise money for reasearch and such forth, that would make make me happy. Really my only cause for concern is this: will computers catch up enough on screen readers and other disability technology by the time I am blind??!!!! The Wikipedia article is fantastic, and was my first port of call about it when I found out I had it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerataconus
This is the text of an email I sent to RTE. In America, CNN Television network is allowing the copying, remixing and free use of presidential debates as long as they are given credit, I believe RTE should follow its lead and extend to other programs:
First of all, sorry this isn’t to the right department, I couldn’t find the right one. The technical department which runs the website would make likely be able to deal with and respond to this issue.
- I would like to say thank you for the fantastic RTE.IE live service. I am writing this email to ask you follow America’s CNN in releasing Irish Election broadcasts under a permissive license, like Creative Commons. This would allow people to reproduce the content freely, and give RTE the credit it deserves. Like Democracy, Culture wants to be free and open to the people. This could serve as a trial to Creative Commons licensing other RTE produced programs.*
- Thanks for your time, I look forward to your comments/response on this issue!*
I got inspiration over this past Easter holidays, being bored, I gave Linux Gaming a shot. I am not much of a gamer myself and most websites aren’t very helpful or have too small a focus (only shoot-em-ups, or only certain Linux distros etc.). Inspired by the fine folks at OpenSourceMac.org and OpenSourceWindows.org, I announce my own project: Ultimate Games Disc. UGD is a project I think I can make very successful. My aims are as follows:
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