Jun 13, 2012 GMTFor the past several days people have been tweeting at me (and Linus) to change the license of Linux to forbid the kernel's use for war. These tweets were due to the issue of Linux being used in the drones of the US Military. I tweeted back “Do not blame the tool”, but I think that answer was too subtle, as the people kept tweeting. So here is a longer answer for them.First of all, Linus (and certainly not I) do not “own” Linux. The copyright holders of Linux are many, and some of them are no longer working on the project or even dead. Therefore to change the license terms at this point is both legally and morally impossible.Secondly, this request flies in the face of GPL Freedom...
Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog
May 22, 2012 GMTMany of you know that I am involved with events called “Campus Party”, which started sixteen years ago in Spain and have spread out to Latin America.Briefly, Campus Party events bring together between 7,000 and 10,000 “campuseros” who live in tents under a gigantic roof, supplied with large amounts of electricity, tabletops, comfy chairs and state-of-the-art Internet. These “campuseros” then share ideas and experiences while having the chance to listen to some of the greatest thinkers of today.Last year Campus Party started a program called “Something Better” where groups of campuseros worked on projects during the week that benefited non-profit organizations. I was proud...
Apr 20, 2012 GMTThe Titanic is probably the most discussed ship of all times. Last weekend on the 100th anniversary of its sinking I went to see the 1953 classic movie “Titanic” with Clifton Web, Barbara Stanwyck and a very young Robert Wagner at our local “arts” theater, the Wilton Town Hall Theater. The movie was free (donations to local charities recommended), and a huge bucket of fresh-popped popcorn, with real butter, is only 5 dollars.There are also the movies “A Night to Remember” in 1958, and James Cameron's Oscar-winning movie “Titanic” in 1997 which changed a disaster movie into a love story and the 3D version out this year.The DEC Alpha version of GNU/Linux was first started as...
Apr 06, 2012 GMTThe last couple of days the press has been reporting on the glasses from Google, and the press seems to think that this is something new. Far from it.As early as 1980 at MIT “Cyborgs” roamed the halls.One of the more famous of them was Steve Mann, who now works at the University of Toronto. When Steve first started his research into “wearable computing” he was a bit strange looking, wearing a hat with rabbit-ear antennas coming out of it, a large backpack to carry the equipment and a huge “heads up” display over one eye, but over time as the equipment became smaller, lighter and more powerful he eventually could hide the equipment and all the wiring under a suit-coat. ...
Jan 05, 2012 GMTI was four years old when Alan Turing died At the age of four I never knew I would become involved with computers, in fact I did not know what a computer was.It was only when I entered university in 1968 and started studying what was then “computer black magic” that I heard about the man who conceived of the theory of the Turing Machine, and later the classic test for artificial intelligence, the Turing Test.When I worked at Digital Equipment Corporation, we had conference rooms named after great computer scientists, and of course the “Turing Room” was one of them.This year I will be 62. I will have lived twenty years longer than Alan Turing, and despite many things I am proud of...
Jan 03, 2012 GMTSince I have written about Project Cauã before, most of the readers of this blog know that Project Cauã is about using Free Software to create jobs for Systems Administrator/Entrepreneurs (SA/Es), both selling and supporting services that utilize Free Software.In implementing Project Cauã we decided to take a half-step and create a demonstration unit that people could use in their homes as a home theater, store pictures and store music. From there we would expand Project Cauã to the full vision of the home unit, adding items like home security and home automation.We have selected xbmc as the media project on which to base Project Cauã, and we are now putting together a reasonable set...
Jan 01, 2012 GMTJust when you think the copyright and patent laws have reached their peak, more atrocities whack you in the face. After all these years I find out that according to US patent law (35 U.S.C. 161 Patents for Plants) my grandmother was a thief! My grandmother loved plants. Every year seed catalogs would appear in our mailbox, and grand-mom would pour through them for hours. A couple of weeks later small packages would appear in the mail and a few weeks after that flowers would start to bloom around the yard. Of course some plants you do not grow from seed. They are propagated asexually, usually by a cutting being taken from one plant and either “rooted” (by putting it in...
Should you trust an online service to store your online passwords?
New B+ board lets you build cool things without the complication of a powered USB hub.
Redmond rushes in to root out alleged malware haven.
New initiative will bring futuristic virtual reality effects to the web surfing experience.
Dyreza malware launches a man-in-the-middle attack that compromises SSL.
New cloud combines worldwide access with local attention to data security.
A first cousin of the recent Heartbleed attack affects EAP-based wireless and peer-to-peer authentication.
FOSS community acts to protect freedom of choice for laptop devices.
Quintessential open source browser shores up its market share with a step toward the proprietary dark side.
Authorities in 16 countries take action against users of the imfamous BlackShades malware tool.