Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

[Filesharing] The Cost Of An Idea

Posted by Lex Fear on June 22, 2009

David Dunham at CaPC poses the question “So is the judge making an example out of her or does this seem like a reasonable price to pay?”

I started commenting but realised it was too long and so I’ve moved my response here.

Let’s start by saying that these fines are supposed to be representative of lost sales.

Forget the fact that many people who download music tracks wouldn’t buy them anyway (and – shockingly – might even delete the crap ones).

What I think the lawmakers have glossed over is the fact that if you fine one person for *every* *lost* *sale*, then there should be no-one left to pursue for the downloading of those tracks she shared. Ie. if I had downloaded those 24 tracks from Jamie Thomas, it’s OK because she is already paying for *my* lost sale – as well as – literally – millions of others.

I’m pro-filesharing and I file-share.

I look forward to the day that these media companies grovel in the dirt – I’ll make no bones about that fact. Increasingly I’m ‘coming out’ to many friends and people I wouldn’t have before, because I see it as a revolution, a cold war, where as many people need to be recruited as possible.

I look forward to the day that we look back on these events in history and marvel at the ignorance of the politicians and industry that supported this 21st Century ‘House of Un-American Activities’.

I see filesharing as the future – setting knowledge, information and arts free – like they used to be before the 20th Century. Perhaps it’s not ‘the future’, perhaps it’s simply restoring values of the past.

Did any of those black slaves or their families who worked in the cotton fields see a ‘dime’ for their musical contribution to the blues? Intellectual Property is about as anti-creativity as I can imagine.

How do you prevent new ideas and human progress? Introduce ownership of ideas by long lasting corporate bodies to buy up and own *ideas*, then sue anyone who independently thinks up, tries to share or improve that idea for an arm and a leg.

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Posted in Bad Company, Copywrong, Corporate Irresponsibility, Free as in Speech, Little Hitlers, Morals & Ethics, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Resistance, Takeback, Technology, Terrorist State | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

[Linux] How Xandros Shot Linux In The Foot

Posted by Lex Fear on April 6, 2009

It was an open goal. M$ decommissioning  XP, Linux being the only capable OS of running on this tight new ultra-portable sub-notebook. Dare we say it… “The year…” had finally arrived?!

So how could it go wrong?

El Reg has just published a new article on the competition between Windows and Linux on the Netbook, and by outward appearances, it looks like Micro$haft is has caught up and overtaken Linux in popularity… but I haven’t seen anyone yet analyse WHY:

Microsoft cries netbook victory against Linux

Rubbing in the salt, LeBlanc added: “Not only are people overwhelmingly buying Windows, but those that try Linux are often returning it,” he said.

Why, you might ask? LeBlanc: “Because users simply expect the Windows experience. When they realize their Linux-based netbook PC doesn’t deliver that same quality of experience, they get frustrated and take it back.”

Aah, the Windows experience, but what is this elusive ‘Windows Experience’ that Linux lacks? Is it the need to purchase an external DVD drive in order to install software? Is it the slow-down and need to defrag every couple of months in order to return to a usable speed? Is it the comfort of knowing you will get no vendor support from M$ and have to rely on techy friends to spend 30 hours ridding your system of that pesky “mywebsearch” trojan that you got from accepting some preloaded-with-malware stupid free game download that you installed last week which is now bringing your system to a halt?

No, let me attempt to define the “Windows Experience”… It’s the comfort of having a logical bottom of screen taskbar, showing the time/date, running programs, background programs and a start/logo to click on which gives you instant access to all your programs.

Sure Windows XP is old, it’s vulnerable to every security risk going, it randomly does things in the background and must be constantly purged of bloat. But the thing about Windows XP is that it feels professional. It feels like a grown up operating system.

Don’t tell me about familiarity, plenty of boomers have managed to get their heads around Firefox, Google, Skype, Blogger, MySpace, Facebook and the rest of Web 2.0 not to mention the myriad of operating systems installed with their mobile phones. Last time I checked Web 2.0 was not bundled with Windows XP. No, it’s not familiarity that’s an issue here, it’s the GUI.

Just contrast this child-friendly looking interface:

To this more grown up one:

If something looks like it’s made for children, adults won’t use it for themselves. I mean, couldn’t Asus/Xandros just package the Easy Mode GUI as an option rather than the default GUI?

It doesn’t matter that the Easy Mode is more intuitive and ‘easy’ for a smaller screen. Mainstream people don’t mind the small text, the small buttons, the little graphical issues that a full blown OS like XP presents when it tries to open a 1100×600 window on a 1024 x 600 screen. They accept that as part of the package, just like they accept they’ve got to run several different internet security solutions in tandem just to be able to surf and write email.

And I know what you’re going to say – “But Xandros can be configured to look just like XP, they even changed the name of the applications…” Well that just turns it into a cheaper imitation of XP, something that will turn mainstream users off faster than a childish GUI.

Average net-heads see installing Windows XP on their netbooks as a kind of technological feat, as though it somehow demonstrates their technical prowess and smarts despite the fact it’s more a demonstration of their fear or stepping outside their comfort zone.

What netbook manufacturers and Linux advocates need to do if they want to keep flogging a free OS on their netbooks- Is to offer a professional, decent looking OS which has the same functionality as Windows, the same comforting feel, yet is not, and is not trying to be, Windows. They need to embrace the alternative OS. Don’t try to make it easy and don’t try to make it like XP. Just make it good.

I got a Samsung NC10 for Christmas from my wonderful wife. It came Windows XP Home ULPC.. do you know how shitty that version is? And yet, for a larger hdd and Intel Atom processor this is the OS of choice over something like Ubuntu or Fedora!

Needless to say I set about formatting the Windows Virus off my nc10 and installing Ubuntu from a pendrive (yeah – did you know some Linux distros have options to create pendrives now?), later moving to Ubuntu Ultimate.. which wipes the floor with both XP and Vista.

Check this out:

My Atom processor handles Ultimate Edition quite well, starts to balk if I enable desktop Sphere, but handles Cylinder no problem.

Sure, there are always going to be people who are stuck in their comfort zone, and die-hard Windows fanboys, but distro makers have to stop trying to emulate the ‘Windows Experience’, and cheating newbies out of the ‘Linux Experience’ like Xandros has with the Eee PC.

It was an open goal for Linux which somehow become an own goal, but the match is not over. They seriously need to rethink and regroup if they want to prevent what is becoming the year of  Windows 7 on the Netbook.

Posted in Buyer Beware, Duh!, Open Source, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

[Intriguing] Blunkett’s Guidedog?

Posted by Lex Fear on February 23, 2009

That’s my first guess at what has caused his near U-turn on ID cards:

David Blunkett, who as Home Secretary led the government’s push for compulsory ID cards, will tomorrow call for the scheme to be curtailed, according to a report.

Instead he will propose that only foreigners be made to hold an ID card. UK nationals should only be required to hold a passport, Blunkett will argue.

For those not in the know, whilst Blunkett was in public office, flogging ID Cards and all manner of Orwellian devices to use on us, the British public, he received a nice directorship with Entrust, the company who created Spains ID card system and lobbied for the contract for the British one.

I’m sure there was no link between Blunketts cushty new job and his policy towards ID cards at the time.

A glance at the news show Entrust doing reasonably well profits wise during the recession, so what has caused Blunkett to shift his stance?

Worth watching this one, lack of sight has caused Blunketts nose to develop a keen sense of smell for money and influence.

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Posted in Absolute Power, Anti-Terrorists, Bad Company, Bollotics, Databases, Dorks, Doublespeak, Financial Terrorism, Minitruth, Pharisees, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Uncircumcised Philistines, Untouchables, Wealth Creation, Xenophobia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Copyleft] Obama And The Copyright Act

Posted by Lex Fear on February 20, 2009

From Wired:

In a few weeks, we’ll likely know the Obama administration’s position on whether it supports hefty monetary awards in file sharing litigation brought by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The Bush administration’s position was clear. It supported the Copyright Act‘s penalties of up to $150,000 per infringed song.

“Congress acted reasonably in crafting the current incarnation by ensuring that it serves both a compensatory and deterrent purpose. Congress established a damages range that provides compensation for copyright owners in a regime in which actual damages are hard to quantify,” the Bush administration wrote in 2007.

Now it’s President Barack Obama’s turn, and we’ll see how tight he is with Hollywood.

One thing I’ve thought about that I don’t see mentioned anywhere by bloggers and media, is a challenge to how the MAFIAA justify their 9-to-1 ratio cost of a single music track.

No, I don’t mean how constitutional or fair it is, I mean challenging it on the basis of lost profits. Surely, after winning* their lawsuit against Jammie Thomas, all lawsuits should have stopped right there. You see they didn’t just sue Jammie Thomas for the tracks that she had downloaded or owned (worth approximately $1 a piece) they sued her for all the other people who otherwise would have bought the shared track too**.

Therefore if the MAFIAA recovered all that lost profit from Jammie Thomas (and someone can’t own one downloaded file twice over), then the score is even and there are no further profit losses i.e. no further lawsuits needed!

Am I just stating the obvious that no-one has thought up yet, or am I missing something?

*I say ‘won’, but it’s been public knowledge for a while now that the original judge has dismissed the original trial as a mistrial and it will be heard again.
**I’m obviously ignoring the fact that ( a ) many filesharers will buy an album anyway and ( b ) many other fileshares would not even buy if it was not available for download – so no profit to be had in the first place.

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Posted in Bad Company, Bollotics, Buyer Beware, Copywrong, Little Hitlers, Morals & Ethics, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Takeback, Technology, Wealth Creation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[MAFIAA Pwn UK] All Your Rights Are Belong To Us

Posted by Lex Fear on February 8, 2009

Two items of interest posted last year on TorrentFreak and The Register, that I never got round to commenting on.

Both Cleveland and Lancashire police caught defrauding the music industry, much like those it has arrested in the OiNK case before. Cleveland particularly appear to be hoisted by their own petard in this case, being the force to bring prosecution against the OiNKers.

Meanwhile it seems that Gordon Brown is also embracing piracy, by failing to acknowledge creative commons licensing.

I’ve been wrong all theses years. The government understands freedom perfectly, it just doesn’t want us to have any.

If the MAFIAA succeed in prosecuting Lancashire Police, then we are truly approaching a state where intellectual property rights trump all other forms of rights we know.

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Posted in Absolute Power, Bad Company, Civil Disobedience, Copland, Copywrong, Doublethink, Free as in Speech, Morals & Ethics, Pharisees, Untouchables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Detux] 2 Years of Ubuntu

Posted by Lex Fear on January 30, 2009

It’s almost 2 years since I freed myself of Microsoft’s propriety OS and I’ve even converted my wife (though she occasionally falls back onto MS Office when OpenOffice just doesn’t quite do it the way she wants).

I’m still using Ubuntu, despite playing with other distros, I’ve found myself coming back just because of the great support forums and hardware support. I use Red Hat Linux at work and on a VM, but with my home PCs I just want it to work out of the box as much as possible, I don’t want to spend time installing wireless drivers or tweaking xorg.conf – I think this is the success of Ubuntu.

My desktop PC is now running Ubuntu Ultimate Edition, after running Linux Mint for a few months. My Ubuntu installation was crashing every time I plugged in an external drive, Mint performed better but even after upgrading my PSU I had the ocassional crash. Ultimate Edition seems to have cured it and had no problems when I added a 500gb internal drive.
Ultimate Edition also has some wicked themes and pretty much all the software you’ll need pre-installed. So the lesson is, if you distro isn’t quite working, try out a derivative or another one entirely. Some are more stable due to later upgrades.

Anytime I have to log into a Windows machine I am reminded of why I switched and no matter how bad problems can get with Linux, all I need is to boot into my Windows partition to remember how bad things really could be!

The lastest Ubuntu distro now comes with a handy USB Live Disc creator which came in handy when I wanted to replace the old, outdated default Windows XP Home Edition on my new Samsung NC10. For anyone that has an NC10 and wants to put freedom on it, this blog was a lifesaver – read before you start, there are a few customisations needed after install.

The NC10 has an 89% full size keyboard which I’m using right now, so it’s not difficult to type on. It has 1gb ram, Atom processor and 160gb hard drive, the spec is so good I’m using it instead of my work laptop – even running VMware player.

It’s light weight and 6 hours battery life means I can use it on the tube or long car journeys. I occasionally download and read graphic novels with Comix or Okular, it’s just the right size to rotate the book 90º and hold the netbook lengthways like the way books are supposed to be read. I even found a neat little script to rotate pages of pdf files automatically using pdftk.

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Posted in Free as in Speech, Open Source, Opinion, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Free At Last] Going Open Source

Posted by Lex Fear on April 28, 2007

So I finally found the nerve to uninstall MS Office 2000, which I have faithfully relied upon for 5 years for my letters, spreadsheets and database needs. I’ve never really had the money to keep current with MS Office versions, and never really had the need either, but Office has now moved on a bit, it was crunch time.

Lately I’ve been on a sharp Unix learning curve, for work, which inspired me to install Linux on my ‘puter duel booted with Windows XP. Later I decided to revamp an old laptop with Linux and it’s worked quite well. It was during this I discovered the beauty that is Open Source (free). I also came across OpenOffice.org.

I have now decided to become an Open Source Evangelist and broadcast the deep joy in my heart that it has brought. For almost every copy of proprietary software out there, there is an open source alternative, so I’ve decided to list a few that I have been using for a couple of months now. I can say, with the exception of being on a Vista operating system, I am probably using 60% Open Source software. I encourage you to join the revolution:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Anecdotes, How I Did It, Open Source, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Freedom] Xubuntu…

Posted by Lex Fear on April 26, 2007

Is what I went with in the end. I am now posting this from my 266mhz, 64mb ram Laptop with Xubuntu installed… it’s a Xubuntop!

I actually had it up and running with the wireless last week but I found the OS just a tad slow to respond, as well as surfing. I then de-installed it and tried Vector Linux (also based on XFCE) which was reasonable speed at performing tasks on the desktop, but once I got the wireless going and onto Firefox the thing fell over. Xubuntu runs Firefox, but as I type the letters take half a second to appear onscreen. I still may go back and test Damn Small Linux, I also downloaded some over ISO distributions I will try soon.

I currently have no sound, the software updates take hours to download, indeed the Xubuntop itself took over 10 hours to install. But in the end the wireless is actually easy to install since Xubuntu has the drivers for my card (Netgear MA521). Video and even YouTube is a no go. I could do it but I’m not going to attempt to add pictures to this post. But it will be useful for the odd game (I intend to download Pingus) and for some lightweight blogging.

No links in this post, sorry but once again it would take me a while to load web pages! Just highlight any of the words and right-click, select google “…” to search for it (don’t know if that works in IE).

Xubuntu is a version of Linux and open source (‘freeware’ for you who are still hooked up to Microsoft), I’ll be doing a follow up post on my move to open source software soon, and how I almost ditched Vista for a Linux OS on my main PC! Unfortunately I shall be remaining with Vista for now (it was a free upgrade) but again, I can’t recommend this enough, if you have any one these below, step out of the boat and go for Linux:

  • A slightly older machine that could not support Vista
  • Can’t afford or refuse to pay the high cost for Vista
  • Desire to cut dependency on Microsoft
  • Want to get your hands on tons of free, secure and up to date software
  • A system that doesn’t crash or hit you with the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) every now and then.

And If you want to try an alternative to MS (and wanting to avoiding Mac), but are still unsure of Linux and how it all works. Don’t be afraid, there are

  • Thousands of helpful people out there on the forums,
  • hundreds of different brands of Linux for different levels of knowledge and experience

I recommend Ubuntu as it comes with lots of drivers and software pre-installed, lots of Microsoft Asylum seekers are switching to it and raving about it. It has great support forums.

Posted in Anecdotes, Free as in Speech, Open Source, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Cover-Ups] Test Case For Legalised Murder Under Terror Laws

Posted by Lex Fear on September 19, 2006

It turns out the execution shooting of Jean Charles De Menezes was a test case for the Met.

“It is not about diminishing the tragedy of Charles de Menezes’ death. We see it as a test case, not only for policing in London but for the police service nationally.” – Commander Moir Stewart

Gosh! Really? So did De Menezes know he was just being volunteered for a test case? What determines if the ‘test’ is successful?

The way I see it for The Met, if this ‘test case’ is successful, they have a license to shoot anyone they like in the head, so long as it is in the name of terror. If unsuccessful, the public at least has the assurity that if they do get murdered killed they can make a Health & Safety claim.

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Posted in Absolute Power, Anti-Terrorists, Copland, Doublethink, Fact Erosion, Justice & Mercy, Little Hitlers, Londonland, Minitruth, Opinion, Pharisees, Propaganda, Smear Campaigns, Uncircumcised Philistines | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Religious Peedom] Don’t Shit On Mecca

Posted by Lex Fear on August 23, 2006

I was sent this link to BBC News this morning:

“Facilities in a prison are being built so Muslim inmates do not have to face Mecca while sitting on the toilet…

“…Faith leaders had told prison bosses it was unacceptable for Muslim inmates to face Mecca while using the toilet…

…The refurbishment has been carried out with due consideration for all faiths”, a Home Office spokeswoman said…”

If you ask me this is just a waste of your “freedom of religious expression”. If it was me I’d be milking it for all I could get-

“Sorry, these bars are facing the wrong way to my spiritual homeland, please move them”
“My faith calls for me to do everything wearing no clothes for at least 5 hours a day”
“Allah gets offended if I don’t eat enough Ben & Jerry’s”
“My faith requires me to attend a cinema to pray at least twice a week”

Still, we have to give them credit for toilets, I don’t think anyone could top that idea! So is this asymmetrical warfare against plumbers or what?

There’s too many jokes in this and I’ve gone for the obvious, can you do any better? Leave a comment, that goes for all you lurkers…

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Posted in Dark Side of the Light, Ha-has, The Religious Wrong | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »