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June 2009 Archives

The New York Times seems hard-wired to rarely identify any Windows malware as Windows malware, but rather as "computer malware." They seem to share this illness with other people too, such as researchers and professors. Can it be that all these educated people who make their livings knowing things and uncovering new knowledge really don't know that there are other computer operating systems besides Microsoft Windows?

Their latest failure at making this distinction is China Orders Patches to Planned Web Filter, and they also missed the real story: since this censoring software is required to be installed on all computers sold in China, does that mean that Mac, Linux, and Unix computers are banned? Because it's a Windows program.


Andy Updegrove, ace attorney and author of the excellent Standards Blog, is one of the few people who understands the real implications behind seemingly-simple goals like "Let's have paperless networked medical records so health care workers can be more efficient" and "Let's have a smart electrical grid that manages electricity delivery intelligently." As he says in Standards and the Smart Grid:

"...the many multi-billion dollar initiatives that the Obama Administration has launched that are heavily dependent on standards - which in many cases do not yet exist. Each initiative is also of great complexity, and will need to rely on a level of cooperation and collaboration that does not natively exist in the marketplace. "


Here we go, the first response to my invitation to anyone who wanted to have their say on the value and benefits of Mono, why it does not represent a threat to Linux, and anything else they might want to say about it. Thank you to Jo Shields for writing this. --ed.

Update 6/12-- in the interests of completeness, here is Mr. Shield's preamble from his blog:

This post is a repost for something I sent to Linux Today. Their original message was here, where they invited people who don’t think Mono causes AIDS to justify themselves. I replied here. This is a repost, for the benefit of assorted aggregators. Some context may be lost by not reading the original “invitation” first.

Thank you Jo, I was very worried about AIDS. I feel better now. --ed.

by Jo Shields

I am a member of the Debian Mono Group, Debian CLI Applications Team,

and Debian CLI Libraries Team. I've been working on packaging for the

Mono stack and applications which make use of it in Ubuntu (and Debian)

for just under a year. And, fully aware of the flame war, threats and

personal attacks which will follow, I'm going to take you up on your

"invitation". I speak for myself here - not for the Debian project, nor

Ubuntu, not for the Mono project, nor for my employer.


I don't like cell phones for two reasons: in the US the services cost too much and have too many restrictions, and cell phone users are annoying. Running around yakking non-stop like teenagers, blaring gawdawful tinny ringtones at maximum volume, and just try to hold a face-to-face conversation-- it's a constant battle to keep their attention because they just HAVE to read their text messages NOW, and take calls, and put people on hold until everyone they know is lined up waiting. They're worse than parents with young children.

Another sticking point is having to lug multiple gadgets around when I travel. I used to want something like a Toshiba Libretto because it was close to the perfect size. But it had three drawbacks: too expensive, an uncomfortable keyboard, and no integrated mobile phone. Now in this excellent new netbook era, I think my dream machine is finally at hand.


I may be more aware of current FUD, disinformation, and anti-Linux propaganda trends because of my job. I visit dozens of Web sites every day and read all kinds of blogs, news, articles, and reader comments. So in case you hadn't noticed, here is the latest hot trend in anti-Linux baloney: supposed Linux fans and advocates who really really love Linux and have been using it for years, but can't recommend it for anyone else because "It's not ready."


We all know that healthy eating and moderate exercise are key to living long, healthy lives. Unfortunately the ability to type 90 words per minutes without errors, or to sit and work in deep concentration for hours at a time, while strenuous in their own ways, don't do much for our physical fitness. But even the busiest Linux geek can painlessly fit pleasant, healthy exercise into a daily routine; so here are my best 5 fitness tips for busy Linuxers.