Linux, Cloud Computing, Trusted computing, Gnome and other technologies to be concerned about!

As much as previous posts have lambasted Microsoft, Linux is not without its faults.

The major one being Linux distros, following in Microsoft’s Footsteps to a degree with the instant on technology, and integration of the web into the desktop experience.

Jumping on the idiotic ‘Cloud’ bandwagon, which is really if you think about it, a process to reduce your desktop to the thin client paradigm of yesterday.

The difference being that rather than trusting a centralized server for serving applications and storage of your sensitive information, the cloud is you trusting the entire internet with access to your desktop and your data. It’s the evolution of this inherently moronic Youtube, Facebook, twitter idiocy where the bulk of people blithely surrendering privacies to strangers at best, and corporations at worst.

Everyone moving to reduce the desktop experience to the same thin client style interface as the mobile experience. Hey it that’s your cup of tea, you want the entirety of your life freely roamed and stored on the internet, well more power to you, though every week brings news of one online database after another being violated and hacked.

Not to say a desktop can’t be hacked, but you’re looking at one point of failure, as opposed to having via peer to peer, and facebook, and gnome, and numerous other sites, now potentially thousands of points of failure, and entry to your sensitive data.

Ubuntu, a great Linux distro, unfortunately is also embracing this ‘no-desktop’ paradigm, as is Gnome with their latest update.

It is not for me.

I want to decide when and if my computer connects to the internet, with this new instant on/cloud push, being shoved down peoples’ throats, you don’t turn on the internet, the internet turns you on… and that is a dangerous and insecure place to go.

Trusted Computing, another Microsoft word game, doesn’t mean you can trust your computer, it means Microsoft and its partners can trust you, because they have every bit of information about what you are doing with your computer.

So Ubuntu, you’re going in the wrong direction. Gnome, you’re going in the wrong direction. And Microsoft … well that goes without saying.

I would suggest people avoiding any version of Gnome later than 3.0, (3.0 has a lot of issues, but it’s a lot to like about it as well, and with a little work you can clean up most of its garbage and built in insecurity) and I do find many Linux distros are heading toward this cloud idiocy, and becoming problematic because of it (example being Opensuse 11.2? very good, 11.3? not so much, 11.4? pretty darn broken. However Gnome 3.0 on top of 11.4 does resolve many of 11.4s issues).

So, in summation, just research your computing options with care, and realize that ease of use, at some point becomes ease of abuse.

Word to the wise.

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Just Say No to WINDOWS 8!!! or Star Trek, Al Capone, Linux, Apple and Terrorism!

The snazzy logo courtesy of LinuxBird here.

“The acquisition of wealth is not our prime motivation, we seek to better ourselves.”

That paraphrasing of Patrick Stewart’s dialogue from the film STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT, is central to Gene Roddenberry’s enduring mythos, his conceit of a world… beyond greed.

I think as mission statements go, as core beliefs go… that is as good a one for the human race as I can think of.


“The acquisition of wealth is not our prime motivation, we seek to better ourselves.”

However with the move to an industrial society at the launch of the 20th century, and the gutting of the previous agrarian/barter model, the acquisition of wealth, the consolidation of wealth, became the driving theme of the 20th century.

And it’s no coincidence that the 20th century also became the bloodiest in the history of the world, though clearly the 21st century is on fast track for supplanting it. Never in the history of the world, have so many, died so quickly, from nuclear weapons, to biological weapons, to push button wars, and all of it driven by the 20th century deification of money.

Not to say money is not felt throughout other centuries, but not to the global, and near religious personification, that the pursuit of wealth became with the 20th century, it has become idol absolute of an entire world.

But the 21st century with concepts such as peer to peer, open source, social networking, was poised to create a model for the 21st century. A model that akin to Roddenberry’s dream, could very much usurp the industrial model, just as the industrial model had usurped the Agrarian model.

The age of technology, open technology, had it, and has it in its grasp, to bring us more in line with this slightly Utopian concept, of life lived for improvement and discovery, rather than accumulation and subjugation.

But the dinosaurs, The Microsofts, the RIAAs, the Sonys, the Disneys, have co-opted, and outlawed, and sued, and bullied and terrorized the new hope, all so they may maintain… the old terror.

Scared Dinosaurs, holding humanity back… from visionary new days. Companies,courts, and politicians… and their paid enforcement arms, all working so hard to hold onto the bloody old, all working so hard not to evolve.

Microsoft and their setting up of the DMCA, and their last couple of years of buying their way into the open-source movement, worming their way into ‘helping’ with the open-source movement, particularly Linux, all so they could destroy and extort the movement from within.

You see this on the mobile side, where their various mobile Window initiatives cannot compete with Apple or Android. They now are extorting money from companies that do utilize Android on the basis of ridiculous and innovation killing software patents.

(It’s largely recognized that Software Patents are a lunacy that need to be done away with)

It is the act of a gangster and a thug, and if IBM was allowed to act like this in the 80s there would have been no Microsoft and no Apple, because these actions exterminate free enterprise and innovation.

Microsoft has spent the last twenty years burning every bridge and every freedom, that they themselves utilized in order to be innovative and initially successful, and now completely outlawing those liberties, indeed those necessities, for companies other than themselves.

Microsoft’s time has passed. They are a dinosaur using terror and intimidation to extort customers they can no longer earn with quality. They are no different than a 20th century Capone, selling liquor and protection at the barrel of a gun.

And Windows 7 was an improvement over Vista, they had ‘borrowed’ enough of the concepts and look from other operating systems to make it one. But that said, Windows 7 was and is still inferior to any half decent Linux Distribution.

So just as they are committing extortion against Android on the mobile front, on the Desktop/Server front they are dealing with the brilliance and the growth of Linux, that is now ready for prime-time, ready to be the next big thing, to replace the sick, twisted, decaying, and immoral dinosaur that Microsoft has become…. they are dealing with this fresh beautiful new thing, by basically collaborating with hardware vendors to KILL the very ability to install Linux operating systems on your computer. They are so afraid of Linux they want to make it impossible for you to even install it on YOUR computer.

It is so sad and pathetic, that it is almost funny.

Again what if IBM had done that to them, Microsoft and Apple? We would, as a society, be the poorer for it. And we are going to be the poorer for it if we allow Microsoft to continue to get away with dismantling any innovative idea or company they can’t compete with.

Can you understand? For Microsoft to do this, for a tech, for a software person, for someone with a rudimentary concept of how companies like Microsoft and Apple came to be, it is a betrayal of not just everything that is the technology movement, it is an attack on innovation and free enterprise that must stand as one of the most blatant and disgusting that I have ever witnessed.

It is a crime. As great a crime, in its way, as US drone airplanes killing indiscriminatingly in darker lands, so that a white press can gloat about another bounty collected, another arab, another nigger dead.

Though they don’t dress it, this 21st century crusade, in those crude terms, any more then Microsoft dresses its actions as what it is, a bloody monopoly committed to eradicating your option to choose.

“Pay us or else!” That’s how business talks to consumers in the 21st century. And it is a form of war. Less bloody to be sure, but the repercussions of what it can mean to freedoms subtle and gross… is staggering.

And I… am not having it.

I haven’t used Windows in my personal computer in 3 to 4 years. I fix Windows machines and work on them for other people, but for myself Linux is the only OS/distribution I deal with. I love the freedom of it, the very thing Microsoft is working so hard to legalize and sue and intimidate away.

I’m not going back to Microsoft. And to those companies that they are intimidating, extorting, bullying, I can only tell you what I would tell anyone being bullied… you start letting people push you, and they are never going to stop.

You have to stand against them.

And maybe you win, and maybe you lose. But you teach them to pay for every foot of ground. You give them a bloody nose, and win, lose or draw… it will give them pause.

Microsoft is a pathetic, barren, immoral, and worst of all inferior and scared technology company, and they are standing in the way of a better life…for everyone.

They are protecting the rotting, diseased old, when what it is time for… is the new.

And if you’re a company, and have been on the Microsoft merry-go-round it’s scary to consider getting off of it, but it is infinitely scarier to stay at the mercy of an immoral monopoly.

There are viable open source alternatives to Microsoft’s over priced crap.

Explore them.

Not only for your own sake, but for something companies start out believing in, but lose along the way, for the sake… of progress.

That’s an idea that Microsoft gave up on, a long time ago.


“The acquisition of wealth is not our prime motivation, we seek to better ourselves.”

It’s the only goal, that will save us from all this blood.

If you’re a subscriber to this blog and want help ditching Microsoft and finding something that works for you, reach out to me… and we’ll find an answer that works for you.

We’ll be a new age Untouchables, facing the tyranny that is Microsoft’s Capone.

And maybe we win, and maybe we lose. But my God, we’ll give them reason to pause.

Here endeth the Lesson.

Microsoft, Apple, Marvel, DC, Boom Studios, FBI, HTML Comics and suing customers to own them

On my mind

A few things.

We’ll start with 2:

1/Marvel and DC trademarking the term Super-Hero and 2/The “Task-Force” of comic companies that unleashed the FBI on HTML comics.

Stick with me, we’ll get to the other stuff. But a lot of it begins here.

With comics.

On the first point, Marvel and DC trademarking the term Super-Hero, yes, as quiet as it is kept these 2 companies have trademarked that term. Originally done in 1978 an odd time, when the field was looking ripe for the plucking. With Charlton on its last legs, and soon to sell their superhero interest to DC. and Time/Kinney/Warner in all its various names having owned DC since 1967, with the Superman Movie on the horizon, the TW/Kinney/WB suits smell… that finally they can make some money from these stupid comic properties. And bringing that studio mentality of trademark everything they’ll let you get away with, they do just that, even partnering (out of necessity) with the only other big player on the field, Marvel Comics, to push their trademark claim through. And having recently (smelling a new generation of superhero money in the water) renewed that trademark.

Trademarking the term super-hero when both companies are quite aware they have no claim to that term. Here is how you know the validity of that trademark. Would DC have been able to trademark the term Superhero without Marvel objecting (and I think successfully spoiling any trademark attempt)? No.

Would Marvel have been able to trademark the term Superhero without DC objecting (and successfully spoiling any trademark attempt)? No.

So if individually neither company has a valid trademark claim, why together should their claim be any more valid?

Answer: It’s not.

I understand they are thinking in terms of 25 year plans, and the new money-making viability of concepts such as comics and superheroes, that were considered, just a decade ago, as beneath notice.

But that mindset taking into consideration, it still takes some fing balls to try and trademark that term, just as it takes a monumental amount of ignorance (or greed) on the US Trademark Office’s part to actually award such a trademark.

But make no mistake, these companies have no more right to trademark that term then they have to trademark the word man or dog or adventurer or witch. It’s part of the popular lexicon and is used by companies besides the so-called “Big 2”. Used before the so-called “Big 2”., and it is used by other companies today. Small startups like Marvel and DC used to be.

If I’m a comic company in the business today, Like BOOM or IDW or Dynamic Forces or Dark Horse or Image, then one of my goals would be putting out a superhero book every other month, or something with superhero on the cover every other month.

Not because you particularly care for Superhero books or have any real interest in that market, but because you one day may have an interest, and you don’t want to, on that day, have to beg Marvel /DC to use that term. You make an issue if it now, because you do not want to roll over for that ideological land-grab by these two companies .

That trade-mark is bs, and any creative person at marvel and DC, is aware it’s bs.

But it is a funny thing, we tend to cede our better natures to the storms that carry us. So while a company may boast talented, creative, and astute, humanitarian people, the actually company they work for may be one step away from barbarism. And because of the storm, they don’t even think of questioning their companies policies (providing they are in positions to do so. Though none of us should be so lowly at a company that we can’t share a constructive viewpoint on that company. If you are unable to, that may be a sign you need to find a different company).

So whether that storm is Marvel or DC or Germany of 1937 or America post 2001, what is best and rational in us, tends to remain quiet to the insane storms that decide to see how far they can blow every so often. But I find that you have to hold your ground, sometimes I think that’s even what the wind is looking for, a man who will stand up to it, until it can put its heavy weight of howling down.

So comic book companies of today would be well served by challenging that particular trademark and getting it thrown out while there is still plentiful proof of prior art, and living reminders to the fact that Marvel and DC did not invent, nor do they own the term super-hero.

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But it never fails, companies that only gained popularity and market share due to certain freedoms, use those freedoms as a ladder, than start outlawing and destroying those freedoms, they burn the ladder, for others. Like robber barons of oil, or rubber or transportation who only gained their status by taking liberties of the most heinous nature, now having the temerity to use their clout to get declared illegal the very practices they used to gain market share!!

Amazing, and predatory and nothing remotely resembling free enterprise, at least not in any sane definition of that term.

In a free enterprise system Linux and not Microsoft would be the major operating system being used. It’s benefits over Microsoft are just staggering, and on a side by side comparison, the best Linux distros, blow Microsoft away!

But what does Microsoft do when they can not out innovate a problem, or buy it out? They get in bed with the movie studios, and they lobby to make various codecs (software) illegal. Like record companies, and every other company these days, they don’t want to earn your business by creating a better product, they want to force, sue, intimidate, and lock, you… their supposed customer, the person they are supposed to be working for, into paying.

21st century companies have become some twisted version of protection rackets selling liquor at the point of a gun. You have to buy their overpriced, and shoddy product, whether you want to or not, or else.

And corporate talking heads, suits, will justify this predatory and clearly immoral business model, as being true to their responsibility to increase revenue for their shareholders.

Anyone who tells you that is full of utter crap.

Fuck the bs about working for shareholders, the purpose of even having shareholders is only to earn money to better innovate and serve your customers. Your real customers! A shareholder is only a means to an end, not the end.

The satisfaction of your customer, and continued improvement of your product is the end. And the fact that companies and wall street have lost sight of this is why, particularly, the American economic outlook is so dire.

It is run by people who increasingly have no fucking common sense. People who lose sight of why they even started a business to begin with.

It wasn’t to crush other companies, and to stifle and outlaw innovation and civil liberties.

Was it Jobs? Was it Gates?

No you started the paltry startup, because it was the fucking wild west, and there was no Microsoft or Apple to legalize you out of the game, and because you were young, and you were having fun, and you had a product you thought was the bomb (yes, I did just say Da Bomb :)), , and the world looked like an endless tomorrow. I was there, I remember.

Microsoft and Apple.

My God, from where you two began how did you get to where you are. Into someplace, odd and petty, and somehow while grandiose and large, somehow… stinking of fear, and afraid of tomorrow.

So that fear at work, Linux basically is legalized into being a crippled system. Competition is legalized away. Law enforcement and the legal system again as thugs, always as thugs, for the deepest pockets.

Companies seeking to take an adversarial approach to their customer base. They seek to maintain and grow their dominance by governmental protections and indeed enforcement of their status qua. That is not free enterprise, this concept of grandfather clauses, and law enforcement and the FBI as the attack dogs of companies from Movie Studios, to Apple and Microsoft, to now the comic book companies.

This recent case of comic companies siccing the FBI on a bloke for offering scans of comics online. And everyone is rushing to roll over or attack or disparage this person’s claim of being a library, or to call it immoral.

Are you fucking kidding me?

I heard someone on a podcast saying “you can’t just call yourself a library.” Why the fuck not? You just called yourself a podcast didn’t you?

Where is your license to do that ?

You don’t need one right now do you? Same with a library.

So shut the fuck up before you do.

It’s getting to the point in this world, because of people who roll over like these fucking podcasters (and yes I like podcasters. But for the love of God, think before you talk), that you are going to need a license even to breathe.

Even to breathe.

The dictionary definition of Library is (if you need one. Or here’s a thought, be original. Define yourself) : A collection of books and a place where books are collected.

It says nothing about you having to be licensed by any particular governmental agency.

It pisses me off when people just roll over and take the side of whoever can pay the press to tell you something. Just cause someone with a badge says it’s wrong don’t make it wrong. Been a long time in this country since the law and right were the same bloody thing.

So the man says he had a library, that’s good enough for me.

Now that said, that definition of his service, does not free him from his responsibility to remove material others feel they have a right to. If indeed he received cease and desist letters for particular works he was holding (that’s another thing that pisses me off, lawyers and their fucking cease and desist letters. Come to someone like a person, before you turn the fucking lawyers loose. You might get someplace that is better than where we’re going, if we can settle things without lawyers first) he should, finding the request valid… comply.

But from what I understand a lot of the site was public domain comics. So I’m not seeing a reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and go after this dude civilly and criminally for, bottom line, being a collector.

Maybe not the brightest of collectors, but a collector none the less.

And the lawyer who commented on this case, like lawyers do, is trying to say it’s about sending a message, and a moral victory. Don’t ever say the word moral and the greed of companies (or the culpability of the FBI) in the same sentence. A lawyer has nothing to do with morality.

********************

I like collectors, always have.

I come from a people who believe in Sineaters. Believe there are those who perform a vital, if not always loved or lauded duty, to the health and functioning of a society. For the Sin-eater it was assisting with the passing of the spirit, clean, into the other world.

I think the collector, while no such spiritual heavyweight, still serves still a most significant function in our culture. Particularly the American culture, because we’re in such mercenary hands, where everything is in flux. Buildings, neighborhoods, stadiums, all having a relatively brief life before they are torn down for something else.

That’s not healthy. Never has been. Never will be.

A collector, seeks to maintain things, that the bankers of a culture, may not find value in, but things that should persist, and still have a life, beyond a mercenary and fleeting view of value. Things that in and of themselves… are beautiful or artistic.

In the words of a long remembered poem, “Against the day of trouble, lays by some trifling thing, a smile, a kiss, a flower, for sweet remembering”. That’s what a collector does. It’s an odd calling, neither loved nor lauded, but necessary. Oh so necessary.

This guy was/is a collector.

It’s because of guys like this that we have today copies of films such as Metropolis or The Third Man or any number of beloved Film Noir movies, saved from the bonfires of Studios that did not forsee a financial worth to old films beyond their cinema release, Companies that burned their films, and ordered theaters to do the same, when the films cinema life was up.

Thank god, for collectors, who gave a finger to big companies back then, and said, “you know what, I like this movie, and I want to keep it around, regardless if you think it has no financial value anymore”. Fast forward a few decades and those saved films now become money making DVD releases by studios that in their short sightedness would have let them burn.

Same thing for Old time Radio shows. I love listening to Old Time Radio. I was not around when that stuff came out, but today I love listening to it. I love listening to stuff like THE SHADOW, or SUSPENSE or ESCAPE, etc.

These shows didn’t survive because of the companies that produced them, or the stations that aired them, these shows survived because of collectors.

Because of collectors.

So when people start ragging about so-called “bootleggers” or “scanners” or whatever, I’m always very mindful that it was these often single minded individuals that kept alive much of what otherwise would have been lost to time and neglect.

When the production companies were erasing old tapes because they could not foresee a financial value to them, it was collectors who often, copying this stuff off the air, preserved much of these classic radio programs, and by so doing preserved not just entertainment for a new generation, but a historical record of a time, and a place in a younger America. The same goes for music.

And the same with comics. The comics medium, has survived extremely lean years, because of rabid collectors like this man they have loosed the FBI on.

“A task force to protect their rights.” really?

A man and his family being raked over the coals, because the suits smell money in the water. And they want to play RIAA. And sheep like you just bow your heads, and say “yes massa” and regurgitate words like “copyright infringement” like dogs being taught to beg.

You make me sick. And you know who you are.

Hell the companies finally caught on, years after the fact, to the viability and need for scanning because of collectors. Now I understand companies, finally pulling their head out of their ass and seeing the viability of digital distribution, may see free labors of love, that offer comics for free, as a barrier to their money making schemes. I get that.

I don’t necessarily agree with it.

I think much of the product companies claim is owned should be in public domain.

I think this continued erosion of public domain, by companies that continually push for extension of copyright is utter crap.

I think all concepts that have persisted for 50 years, should be in the public domain.

Because it means these concepts have been around long enough to be part of the cultural language, the cultural conversation and as such, have been both enhanced, diluted, and changed by that conversation.

I think there is a great beauty in anyone being able to do an Edgar Allen Poe story, I think the world is invaluably richer because we have a million different takes on Edgar Allan Poe tales, From Roger Corman to Marc Olden to Jan Svankmajer and the list goes on. We are enriched as a society by everyone being unhindered to use this common concept, that has made its way, survived as part of the cultural conversation.

So I think Superman should be in the public domain, it is a public domain concept, period. So is Batman, and Mickey Mouse, and Captain America, and the Shadow to name a few. And the fact that companies are disputing the public domain status of concepts such as these is just plain criminal.

They all need to join Frankenstein and Don Quixote and… it shows you how bad the 20th century was for the concept of Public Domain, in that you really have to go back to the 19th century to get unchallenged concepts that are in the public domain. And we as a culture and a society are poorer for it.

All that brings us back to the law being used by companies… poorly.

It is being used to deprive the individual and the culture of rights, at the behest and to the benefit of corporations.

When the last days of America are written, that will be the reason. Is the reason.

Corporations are lobbying our supposed representatives to deprive us of rights, so they can make a nickel more.

Comics were immune from this attention for a long time, but with Hollywood dollars focused on the medium, it means we now get Hollywood type “protection” or “hired thugs” whichever you prefer.

We get the F of the B of the I.

We get one of those pleasant acronyms, designed to make us… relent.

Never relent baby.

Never relent.

So in closing my support is always with the Collector. Not the companies, and not the FBI. Because these companies, these bankers of our age, gray men, with gray souls, seeking to make a gray world, do what they do for petty monetary reasons, no different from their earlier versions that burnt films or smashed records, they do nothing for beauty’s sake.

And because of that, nothing these gray men do… will last. Because in the end, even if beauty fades, the things we do for beauty’s sake… will not. These and these alone… persist.