Sunday, August 31, 2014

Munich to Dump Linux

I'm a pretty open-minded guy, so if igor says there's something amiss in the Linux desktop scene, there's something amiss. Microsoft is eating Linux for breakfast. Munich, Germany is all set to dump Linux for Microsoft, because Linux sucks. This news jibes with my own experiences trying to introduce some of my customers to Linux. Well, they don't like it. Why don't they like it? Mainly because they can't get some of their hardware to work and can't manage their photo collection in a civilized manner with Linux. Photo management is probably the most important thing for a computer besides Internet these days. There needs to be a Manhattan Project among Linux devs to work on that application, but instead Linux gearheads spend all their time reinventing the wheel with twenty different desktops and a couple hundred different distros. Microsoft just focuses upon creating one single killer desktop, meanwhile, that slays all the Linux competition. Another area that needs to be addressed in Linux is the problem of associating applications with filetypes. Most Linux distributions are completely retarded in this area. They open a dialog window requiring the user to hunt down a binary executable somewhere in the file system in order to open, say, an .htaccess file in a text editor. Well, that's a lot of silly nonsense, that's what that is. Instead of fixing this rather obvious problem for the end user, distros are instead working on what? Integration of the desktop model with that of smart phones? I don't know what KDE is doing, and I'm not sure KDE knows, either. XFCE is doing nothing. Aah, well, I think one can appreciate the viewpoint of Munich. At the end of the day people just want their computer to work and not have to spend a lot of time and effort in order to make that happen. At the end of the day, maybe it is worth it to pay Microsoft a hundred bucks or so to ensure the computer will work the first time, rather than the fifty-first time after a thousand hours of troubleshooting. KISS applies--Keep It Simple, Stupid.

The one thing Linux does well is Internet surfing, and that is mainly thanks to Mozilla supporting Linux with Thunderbird and Firefox. Okular is another killer app in Linux, superb for .pdf files. LibreOffice is great, although it does have limitations in terms of compatibility with Microsoft Word, and I'm sure that was a huge issue for Munich, just like it was a problem for me and my users. However, users expect a lot more from their computers than just surfing the Internet. Everybody and their brother has a digital camera these days, and the first thing they are going to do in Linux is try and manage their photo collection. Well, after a look at Gimp and Digikam, most users are going to ask me how much I will charge to install Windows and ACDSee. Those projects need a lot more developers and a lot more money in order to compete. However, I think the most logical alternative would simply be to entice ACDSee to support Linux. Probably the only group with the clout to do that would be Canonical, but they're busy plotting to take over the mobile phone market.

No More Passwords

In the not-so-distant future, people will wear rings containing a universal password--in a matter of speaking--for all their personal online services and data. This ring will transmit via direct physical contact to a computer or other device that has been granted access to that individual ring. Devices that have not been granted access will not be able to access the ring. The ring will allow browsing sites without logging in and with near-perfect security. Mobile phones and computers owned by the user will be inoperable and in lockdown mode, broadcasting their GPS location to their owner, should anyone other than the owner attempt to access them.

I say the ring contains only a password "in a matter of speaking," because passwords are insecure by their very nature, subject to brute-force attacks. People of the future will look at passwords as a primitive stepping stone to the next generation, which is algorithm-based. An algorithm encoded within a ring can decrypt any encrypted data owned by the user and log in to any web site instantly. This method of encryption cannot be defeated, because the encrypted data is not sequential and is not key-based, but deciphered using a complicated matrix-based algorithm which varies for each individual and which also varies depending upon the time of day and time of year, body temperature, and perhaps some other environmental factors as yet to be determined. To decode such data is impossible, regardless of available resources. . .

The ring functions as a unique key that can be stolen or copied, perhaps, but needs physical possession. Thus, hackers without access to the ring are without any luck at all. Theft will consist of old-fashioned robbery or burglary to obtain the ring. But a ring is relatively easy to secure, certainly easier than many alternatives such as passwords. If one's person is safe, then one's data is safe. This is both a natural and very simple method of safeguarding data, requiring little more vigilance than people ordinarily exercise in safeguarding precious gold and platinum rings. However, there will have to be a way for law enforcement to inactivate stolen rings following a complaint of theft and DNA confirmation that the real owner is who he says he is.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Security 101


1. Any competent programmer can devise a nonsequential, noisy encryption scheme that unlocks by algorithm, not key, and thus cannot be defeated by any method.

2. Such a run-of-the-mill coder can also devise a virus that cannot be detected by any method.

3. No complicated software can be certified virus, malware, and trojan-free with 100% certainty, even if the source code is exhaustively reviewed by a national security agency over a period of a hundred years and with a billion-dollar budget. (If you are in any doubt about this, review #1 & #2.)

4. No complicated software can be certified to be free of all present and future security vulnerabilities, intentional or unintentional.

5. People who download programs or operating systems from Pirate Bay are either kidding themselves or don't care because they have taken precautions such as running the software in a sandbox, etc.

6. People who think it is fine and dandy to install software from China, etc. are in the same boat as the #5 group.

The bottom line is this--and everyone using the Internet today needs to know this not now, but yesterday--computer programs are just as complicated, diverse, and potentially harmful and untrustworthy as human beings. Therefore, the same rules apply. Consider the source, reputation, and available references. Take precautions and reduce risk. And continue observing.

DistroWatch Silly Over Deepin

Distrowatch is silly to repeat their assertion that anyone who doesn't have an open mind about Deepin is "tribalist."

Probably more than half the people reading this blog don't know what Distrowatch is or Deepin is, but I digress. Research 'em if you like. I usually start at Wikipedia for my research. On the other hand, most people won't care. I care, not because it's a fascinating subject, but mostly because I'm right, and it always feels good to be right about something.

Now looky here, Distrowatch. If a Linux distro pops up from, say, Brazil or even Japan, then I'm OK with it. Different tribes than mine, but no biggie. Hey, live and let live--the more, the merrier. Brazil and Japan have something I respect. It's called Freedom of the Press. Nice concept. It means web sites like DistroWatch don't have to sit a-quivering in their shoes that the police are going to bust down the door and drag them away by their hair for writing something on their web site. Ain't that nice, Distrowatch? I think so.

So Distrowatch, that's why I won't install a Chinese-made Linux distro on my computer. It's not because they're from a different tribe than mine. It's because China ain't free. Someone slips a trojan or a subtle, intentional vulnerability into Deepin. . . then there's no one in China that can talk about it without fear of the police. Point made. End of discussion.

One would think that people with an education--ahem--would already know all this, but perhaps they have a certain motive to pretend otherwise. Hmm . . .

Putin the Putrid

Bush's Folly (Iraq & Afghanistan) becomes all the more costly now that China and Russia are asserting their aggressive natures. Bush blew too many trillions on little cesspools around the world that didn't matter and dug the country into a hole of debt from which we may never emerge. I honestly don't see a way out of the national debt besides massive inflation that will see the dollar's purchasing power plummet. I expect a day to come when a gallon of milk costs $20. Of course, paying off the debt will be easy then, because the government will be printing money. Here, China, here's your dough, have a nice day.

Whenever Republicans gain power, massive debt is the result, because Republicans know only one thing: Spend, Spend, Spend, to enrich their cronies and spread war all over the world. Iraq was just revenge for dissing Bush's Daddy. Spending trillions of dollars over there was in no way wise. I can think of a lot of uses I would like to see even a single trillion dollars spent, and none of those ideas involve giving lots of money to the arms industry to blow up Iraq. The entire reason this country is in the doghouse economically is because Bush chose to focus on a region of the world he knew little about rather than focus on his job. Playing toy soldiers might be more fun, but paying attention to the financial markets was what Bush ought to have been doing. Should the government have done a better job of regulating and enforcing existing laws in the financial markets? Not yes, but Hell, yes.

Now Russia is threatening the world with nuclear weapons, which highlights the need to develop new measures against the real threat to U.S. security. Russia was and is now the only real threat. Russia is led by an immature little tyrant with a noodle for a brain. Bringing up the possibility of nuclear war is just the latest example of Putin's putridity. Only an evil person would threaten such an evil fate for all of humankind. Of course, he is poisoning Russia's relations with the rest of the world.

Nothing good ever emerges from the mouth of Putin. He is father of lies. From now on, I call Putin "Putrid," because the decay and stench about his spirit is all too apparent.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Even when immersed in the darkness--do you know? or have you forgotten again?--even then. . . thou art cradled in the arms of the goddess. The light surrounds you, and no harm can come to you. Thou art joined to the light and become that light that spans alpha and omega, so there is no beginning and no end. When one story ends another begins and so on forever and ever.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Replace 'Em

What we need to do in Western countries is get rid of recent immigrants that hate the West, like this scum, send them back to Iraq or wherever they come from, and replace them with immigrants that like the West. Wannabe jihadists have no business getting a free education, meals, and protection on the taxpayer's dime. There are tons of people around the world that would be grateful to the U.S. just to be allowed a visa. Replace the Islamofascists with some of our gentle and mild friends south of the Border, I say. Law-abiding and hard-working people are welcome, but fanatics are not. Whatever policy is allowing evil-doers to come in needs to be changed, and existing fanatics need to be sent to the land of fanatics, the middle east. They can pay for an inflatable raft to get back to their mess or else swim, because the taxpayers cannot afford to provide them with a free cruise either. We've got enough debt and problems as it is without having to deal with crazy terrorists that blindly follow a barbarous anti-human cult. Anyone with half a brain can see through the ridiculous delusions, pretensions, lies and nonsense of the Islamic jihadists. It's sad we even have to hear about them in 2014, but their presence is a reminder that we descended from humbler origins.

UK Intelligence close to nabbing Foley's Killer

Looks like Foley's murderer's days are numbered, judging by media reports. What galls is that the vermin that shot the video could not, given a million years and infinite resources, have developed a camera, nor a computer, nor an Internet capable of broadcasting the video. I doubt they could discover the means by which to produce fire. All their technology comes from the West, and all their barbarism and wickedness is the product of their own culture.

Alas, if only--long ago--if only the West had presented a united front, instead of pointless in-fighting, we would not be playing whack-a-mole right now in 2014. This brings to mind the old saw, "a stitch in time saves nine." Eliminating the central problem in 1946 would have been a relatively easy task. Instead we allowed Saddam and other local tyrants to rule unchecked, a lingering malignancy that festered and now erupts with pus and gore.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Islam's Prohibition of Alcohol

This 1508 engraving by Dutch artist Lucas van Leyden illustrates a story about Mohammed and the Monk Sergius. Mohammed, when in company with his lover Sergius, drank too much wine and fell asleep. Before he awakened, a soldier killed Sergius and placed the sword in Mohammed's hand. When the prophet wakened, the soldier and his companions told him that while drunk he had slain his lover. Therefore Mohammed forbade the drinking of wine by his followers.

One cannot but admire the sergian abstinence from alcohol, however. I propose a toast--of simple tea, of course--to the good Monk Sergius.

Hamas Kills Unarmed Civilians

So, Hamas rounded up a bunch of random innocent men off the street, called them "informers" and summarily killed them. No surprise. Cannibalism is common among primitive species. After all, cockroaches eat their own kind. Besides, the main criteria Hamas has for its victims is that they be unarmed civilians that aren't firing back.

Hamas needs to be more thorough, though. In order to root out the informers, the first thing Hamas has to do is execute everyone in Hamas. That's the only way to be sure.

Linux for Light Duty

Since upgrading from Linux to Windows 8.1, I do feel more productive on my workstation. There was long list of "can't do that" when I was using Linux and a lot of little annoyances. Having to enter a password to rename a file is just one example. I bought a remote control and tried to get it to work in Linux. Well, there's something you need in order for that to happen, some odd package that needs to be hunted down, installed, and painstakingly configured--it has about five or six different configuration files with a very long list of settings. I forget what the thing is called, but I tried it, and after about four hours of tinkering with it, I finally succeeded in getting the remote control to work in Linux. Trouble was, there was a lengthy delay when pressing buttons on the remote control, and sometimes Linux would not interpret button presses at all, for whatever reason. Having a remote control that works some of the time, but not all of the time, is not a tenable situation.

At the same time I threw in the towel on Linux, one of my customers did, too. She had been eager and willing to give Xubuntu a try, but there's a huge problem with Linux. Other than Internet surfing, retro video games and basic word processing, there really is not much in the way of cutting-edge apps available to the Linux user. Want to manage your photo collection? Lots of luck with Digikam or Gimp. If you are one of the few that use Linux and you edit or manage photos--and many people do nowadays--welcome to the Land of Suck. Gimp is a turkey. I would never dream of using Gimp, not in a million years. Digikam is almost plausible. Digikam looks like ACDSee might have looked in beta back in the 1990s. The trouble is that ACDSee won't work in Linux. No one really minds paying money for a photo manager, but it needs to be easy to use. Dear mister Developer: People don't want to learn to use your program. You need to program an intuitive creature that adapts to the human user. I don't know where some of these Linux devs learned their design principles. I think if someone set out to make a program completely impossible for the average user to use, then Gimp would be the end result. The first problem is that Gimp will not save to a universal format like .jpg, .gif, or .png by default, and the second problem is that Gimp opens three different windows, and then there are about a thousand other problems. Each new version of Gimp or Digikam offers some useless tweak that I never heard of and would never use in an entire lifetime, when really a complete overhaul of the UI is all that is needed. Improve the UI, and you might get some users. Keep it cryptic and stay small-time.

For the home user, Linux remains useful for two main purposes: htpc (despite certain limitations such as remote controls) and light desktop use such as internet surfing, word processing, and retro games like Dungeon Crawl. My rule of thumb now is Windows for heavy-duty work and Linux for light duty.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bravo to the IDF

The whole reason for existence for Hamas is to kill teenage pedestrians. Apparently the Palestinian terror group has declared war on anybody that walks instead of drives. The kidnappers and murderers, Hamas praises as "heroic." That's a pretty odd definition of heroism, if you ask me, and reflects a twisted and depraved mind that is of no value to anyone. Perhaps there was a time when a single member of Hamas was a human being, but no more. Hamas is aligned to absolute evil, by their own admission, and what they are admitting is that any action taken against them is justified. When cockroaches abound, one reaches for the roach spray. Cockroaches breed like--well, cockroaches. One must take care of the entire nest. Bravo to the heroes of the IDF for their heroic mission in Gaza!

Right Abideth

Right is what matters. Only the good can see that. Their Eye sees that which is hidden from the wicked, a secret path. This is a great gift denied to those that are evil.

The wicked, seeing only the obvious, assume that only they matter, but their understanding, like that of simple creatures, is not necessary.

Right abideth

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Not a Big Fan of Islam

Islam has gotten the worst reputation of all religions in the world, but the cult deserves that reputation. I think there is something wrong with a cult that holds sway to varying extents over a billion humans but has contributed little to the fund of human knowledge outside the 16th century. Other than terrorism, Al Qaeda, ISIS, and billionaire and millionaire sheiks jet-setting around the world doing their whoring, gambling and drinking away from the eyes of their people, it is not clear what Islam contributes to the modern world, if anything. Had there not been such a heavy concentration of Muslims on oil-producing regions, then we would not be hearing about Muslims at all. The superstitious Muslims believe oil was given them by Allah as a reward for stroking his beard. They seem to pour all their money and energy into building grander mosques and launching so-called "holy" wars of one sort or another. I don't think a war could possibly be holy. Maybe childbirth is holy, because it is certainly miraculous, but not war. War is ugly business, and ISIS has waged the ugliest kind of war seen since the Middle Ages Ancient times. I struck out the Middle Ages, because people of the West in the Middle Ages were a little bit more civilized and advanced than the ISIS fighters, who are evil incarnate.

The Challenge

One of the hardest things about growing up is learning ways to avoid crazy and violent people. In school, one is exposed to sociopaths, psychopaths, and every species of criminal, as yet unidentified. One not only has to avoid getting mixed up in violence against or with those individuals but also to avoid their memes or thought-patterns, which perpetuate a culture of violence.

When I think about all the times I was tested, I think it's amazing that I am still alive. I have no feeling whatsoever for my old schools and regard them in the same light as an ex-prisoner would his prison. I never dreamed I would make it even to thirty, but here I am. The human animal is remarkably resilient and resourceful. Marijuana, which was strictly forbidden in school, was one of the means by which memories of the school were annihilated. The other means were simply the passage of time and replacement of bad memories with good memories. I don't know why the modern world thinks it is a good idea to make school into a Hell, but it does. The more hellish the school, the better, in the opinion of most. I would have been much better off in a library by myself.

The requirements for a proper education are as follows:

1. Books.
2. Time.

Teachers and other students are unnecessary distractions.

I understand nowadays the boneheaded politicians are pouring billions of dollars down the drain on fancy computer gadgetry for the classroom, such as electronic blackboards, online videos and computers. All of that is just pure waste designed to enrich the cronies of the political elite. Anyone with normal intelligence should be able to perceive the potential for corruption. If Shakespeare, Plato, Lincoln, Churchill, Einstein, et al, learned the old-fashioned way, then what the hell is wrong with the old-fashioned way? What the hell is wrong with modern kids that they need all these gadgets? They don't. A means to extract money from the public coffers, pure and simple--money that would be better spent augmenting teacher's salaries.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Windows 8.1 Replaces Netrunner 14.04

I overwrote Netrunner 14.04 with Windows 8.1 Pro and could not be happier. Windows 8.1 has the key feature that Netrunner 14.04 lacks. It is possible, in Windows, to right-click on a text file and open that file immediately into a text editor of my choice, in this case Notepad++. With Netrunner 14.04, everytime I tried to edit a text file, Netrunner would pester me for the exact location of the text editor, because apparently the operating system does not know where any of its applications are stored. Well, I am not the operating system, and I don't know, either; I rather expect the operating system to keep track of things like that for me, and if it does not, then the operating system has no business operating in 2014 and needs replacing.

I didn't mind so much the requirement of a password to edit a text file, which is a standard security measure among Linux distros, although it is boneheaded and wrong. But asking the user to go and find the text editor executable among the hundreds of paths on the hard drive is really the final insult. I regret to say I spent a collective hour over the course of several weeks trying to find the executable for Jedit before I finally realized the obvious, that Netrunner must be replaced at all costs, because it is costing me time and energy. There were other problems with that old thing, but this was by far the worst. I really don't know what the devs are working on, but apparently they never consult the users when determining their priorities.

As for the much-maligned Windows 8, I do not concur with all the naysayers that hate Eight. Yes, it is slightly more difficult to use than Windows 7. The main problem is the lack of a Start button. A lesser annoyance is the infernal Charms menu. I turned off all the tiles in my Charms menu, just to avoid any potential bandwidth drain. I think they are stupid, but they can be rather easily avoided by pressing Win+D whenever they pop up. I was pleased to read the Charms menu will be eliminated in Windows 9, and indeed the main reason I purchased Windows 8 was to be able to purchase a low-cost upgrade to Windows 9 when it is released.

In the past, keyboard shortcuts were for power users. The main thing to keep in mind with Windows 8 is that keyboard shortcuts are more useful than ever. I am able to short-circuit most Windows 8 annoyances and design blunders by using keyboard shortcuts. Simply being patient and taking the time to learn the quirks of Eight will suffice to overcome all confusion. The lack of a Start button can be rather easily circumvented by following the simple instructions found here to create something that approximates a Start button. This is not entirely sufficient, but is adequate. I have taken to allowing more icons on my desktop than usual in order to make programs more accessible.

I think that corporations and individuals in general are just following the money. They see a lot of money in mobile gadgets, and so they ignore or redesign their successful existing products to please mobile users. In the process, they annoy their true customer base, those with desktops, the people who tend to do actual work on the computer. I wish that more engineers would head corporations and fewer business managers. What is needed are people who understand how things work, not people who understand how to make money.

I also think mobile gadgets are stupid. Just plain old stupid. The proper place to operate a computer is seated at a desk in front of a very large screen with an optimal input device of one's choice. Staring at a device with a three inch screen and no mouse or keyboard is not my cup of tea. I do not know how anyone can get any real work done on such a gadget. And when one is out in the world, outside of a secure and controlled environment, among strangers and motor vehicles, it is not such a great idea to be staring at a screen.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Be Safe on the Internet

Most people don't realize just how dangerous the internet can be, especially to Windows users. Everyone that is not a tech gets a computer virus sooner or later. The typical response is to discard the old computer or put it in the attic and buy a brand new one, an unnecessary waste of money. Where knowledge is lacking, the wallet must compensate.

To all users, I recommend the following. Use Firefox, and do not install any toolbars, but do install the addons AdBlock and NoScript. NoScript requires extra effort on the part of the end user, but the payoff in security is worth it. I do not install NoScript for clients unless specifically asked, because I appreciate the annoyance it can cause. For myself and loved ones, I will always install NoScript and train them how to work with it to have a safer browsing experience. Only scripts that have been specifically greenlighted by the user will be permitted to run. I also teach my users to be extremely skeptical of anything they read on a web site, in particular regarding their computer, but even beyond personal computer security, much of the information one finds on the internet is paid advertising or else people looking to "monetize" (the verb they choose) their web domain.

Also, backup an image of your Windows system to a separate hard drive--built-in Windows functionality available via the Control Panel--it only takes 20-60 gigs of space and will save your bacon in the event of operating system loss. I image my Windows systems every 3-4 months to capture any new program additions or removals. Be aware that backing up the system image is different than a complete backup. Microsoft does not make the differences quite clear to the user, but I discovered the differences through the time-honored method of trial and error. A system image backup captures the operating system and all files needed for Windows operation. A complete backup captures that as well as media files that may be stored on different drives. Everything should be backed up, but the system image is really important, because it allows very fast restoration of Windows in the event of a malware infection.

This is the best advice I can give to Windows users with my 30 years of experience, other than to consider giving Xubuntu a try for light duty such as Internet browsing. I use Xubuntu or SolydX on three different systems and consider it a worthwhile tool. It boots faster than Windows, is free, does not require much in the way of configuration, allows a high degree of customization, and requires very little in the way of system resources. Mine all run fine with 2 gigs of RAM in each box. The limitations of Linux have been described elsewhere on this blog.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bigoted Against China?

DistroWatch expressed their disdain of my rumour-mongering:

I can tell you that my reviews contain only my observations, facts I can gather and my opinions on the experiences I have. I see no reason to consider rumours about which products may or may not include malware without proof. Almost all governments use spy tools and find ways to introduce back doors into operating systems. Those which do not make their own software back doors purchase such tools from companies in other countries. People who point fingers solely at Chinese products and complain about intentional back doors are either ignorant of other governments' actions or simply bigoted. I think it is worth noting that China has been restricting sales of selected closed source products because their government is just as concerned about American technologies as American organizations are concerned about products made in China.

I'm biased against China, because it is a tyranny. Period.

Look, if China puts a backdoor in a Linux distro, and anyone in China talks about it, that blabbermouth is going to prison for a long time. If Distrowatch headquarters itself in China and starts talking trash about the government, then they can experience the tender mercies of Chinese tyranny first-hand. Funny how apologists for China like Distrowatch are careful to locate their offices and their families outside of tyrannical regions, while publishing an astonishingly all-positive review of a Chinese distro--the most positive review I've yet read in Distrowatch--for some as-yet undisclo$ed rea$on. I'm bluffing, of course--I don't actually know where the Distrowatchers are located. But if they call my bluff and declare themselves to be located in China, then that would be interesting.

Contrast China with the U.S. of A. If our NSA puts a backdoor in a Linux distro, and anyone in the U.S. talks about it, the blabbermouth is going to be featured in the media and earn a lot of money and recognition and career advancement for doing so. As for Eric Snowden, he signed a contract of non-disclosure, from what I understand, and so the Obama Administration is essentially pursuing him for violation of his contract. I don't approve of the Obama Administration's hunt for Eric Snowden. I believe that Eric Snowden did the right thing in principle, if not in execution. But in the U.S., we have people who do the right thing. A conscience is a very American trait.

So, yeah, I'm against tyranny, and for free speech. I am biased in the sense that I favor good over evil. And I do believe that such things exist--that there is a definite good and a definite evil that characterize the actions of human beings. And I think that choosing good matters. I have explained why many times in this space and will continue to do so.

Ignorant? I rather think DistroWatch pretends to be ignorant--of history, politics, current affairs--whether they are so or not. But perhaps they understand certain other matter$ well enough. I really doubt Distrowatch is as mind-numbingly naive as they pretend to be. Breezing by China's tyranny with the "all governments use spy tools" line just won't cut it with anyone that has any kind of education, but might deceive a certain percentage of geeks that only know computers and nothing else. Perhaps China calculates that even a tiny 1-5% penetration into the Linux market will help with its cyberattacks.

Distrowatch should go have a chat with some of the bloggers busting rocks in China's labor camps who dared post unfavorable reviews of the government. Then they can decide for themselves whether all nations really are the same. Trust China for your software? Why not trust them with all of your personal and private data, and see where that gets you? Because if China writes your software, then China gets your information. I refuse to believe that bonafide software engineers, developers, technicians, whatever they are, that have been in this business and writing about this business for years on end cannot understand this extremely simple and obvious concept. There has to be another motive lurking about in the shadows other than "all governments engage in spying, so hey, what's the biggie?"

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Upgrade from Netrunner 14.04 to Windows 95?

I really need to upgrade from Netrunner 14.04. Everytime I try to edit a text file from within FileZilla, Netrunner goes haywire. The operating system cannot find Jedit. I have to drop to a command line, chdir to the correct directory, and enter "sudo jedit [ name of text file ]. What's the point of having a GUI desktop if I have to use the command line to load a text editor? None at all.

"Primitive" doesn't even begin to express my feelings here. I don't know what audience Neanderthal is designed for, but it certainly wasn't designed for anyone that needs to get work done.

The screenshot below illustrates what I call the "KDE Stupidity". There is no option for setting any default text editor in the operating system, because KDE is philosophically opposed to people getting actual work done.What does the dropdown menu display? Why, nothing, of course. There are no text editors available, according to Netrunner, despite Kate, LibreOffice and Jedit being installed on the system. A more schizophrenic operating system I never hope to see.

I did find "File Associations" in the Settings, but although it seems promising, it just doesn't work; the text editor is not known to FileZilla. Editors are listed, but the paths to those editors are not passed on to an application such as FileZilla, perhaps because FileZilla is a non-KDE app.  There is only one way to edit a text file from FileZilla when Neanderthal rules the roost, and that is to drop to a command line, chdir to the right location on the drive, and sudo jedit [ name of text file ]. And everytime I have to do that, I rue the day I ever installed Neanderthal on my machine, and go hunting on Ebay for install disks for Windows.

In Windows, editing a text file takes all of one second. I right-click on the file, load Notepad++, and I'm there. What did I, the user, have to do in order to set up this miraculous convenience? Why, absolutely nothing, other than install Notepad++. With Neanderthal, editing a text file is a complete nightmare. The operating system simply is not designed for any kind of useful work at all besides, I suppose, surfing the Net, hence the name.

I don't honestly know what KDE has been working on the past twenty years other than screensavers and desktop effects. It would be nice to have a text editor available to edit text files without having to drop to the command line. Perhaps that feature will be available in KDE by 2015?

Update: I bought a copy of Windows 8 Pro today, although Windows 95 would have been a dramatic improvement. I can't think of a better use of $100 that to be able to edit a text file whenever and wherever I please and not have to think twice about it.

Netrunner, your days are numbered. I'm going to format c:\ and get rid of the blasted thing once and for all. No more "uh, I dunno where your text editor is, go run and find it." No more of Muon's infamous "Enter your password to update your system. Okay, you entered the right password, but I still won't let you update, because I've got a bug. Thank you for helping test this alpha-ware software." No more "can't install such-and-such because it's not compatible." No more "Oops, your desktop crashed. Were you wondering why Firefox froze, and the keyboard and mouse were unresponsive? Well, that's why." No more "you cannot use the Netrunner forum and get help with technical issues, even though you did register, because the Netrunner forum registration is broken, just like Kubuntu's." No more, "Oh, were you searching for that .htaccess the past ten minutes and wondering why you couldn't find it? It's because I decided to hide it from you! Hee hee!"

As for text editors, KDE installs Kate by default and seems to prefer it, but even Kate is not accessible to FileZilla. I could possibly make do with Kate, if it would just load for once after a right-click. But Kate is not a programmer's text editor. Kate is cute, I'll grant you, but Jedit is a real programmer's text editor. Jedit is what I use when I want to get things done. Jedit is the Notepad++ to Kate's Notepad. When KDE has Jedit installed and working in all apps, including FileZilla, then it will have arrived. It will be a civilized operating system. Until then, KDE is not ready for prime-time, and sorry, but I just don't have time enough in my day to help alpha-test it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Good for Target

I admit to being a little surprised that Target came out for gay marriage. I had considered boycotting them a while back when there was news that they had contributed money to some kind of anti-gay organization, but in the end concluded that Wal-Mart was no better and probably worse, and besides, Target seems a little bit nicer or cleaner, somehow.

Good for Target. I think it just shows they're smart. Not a terribly courageous gesture in this day and age, but smart enough.

I never did understand conservative opposition to gay marriage. Marriage is a conservative value. It may be the most conservative value of all values. In the past, I think some right-wingers opposed gay marriage in a knee-jerk reaction without really thinking about the idea very much. Gay marriage represents the ultimate in conformity and assimilation and brings gays "into the fold." I don't see how anyone could be opposed to that unless they're just blinded by a negative attitude.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Four Things I Hate about Linux

1. Hidden files. Why? If the file merits existence, it should be seen by the user. Many hidden files, such as .htaccess, contain critical configuration settings that must be modified to get things to work. Just stop it with the hidden files. Probably fifty million man-hours around the world have been lost because some developer thought it was wise to hide files from the user. This is anti-social sadism on the part of developers.

2. This infernal pop-up which arises in every Linux program. Trying to edit a text file from within a program like Filezilla is impossible. Instead, one must drop to the command prompt, because the Linux GUI is useless. Even if one does, somehow, track down the location of the text editor using the Browse button, Linux permissions will not allow the saving of the text file. Potential time lost? 5 - 10 minutes per attempt to edit a file. In Windows, I can load a text file from any program using Notepad++, and it takes me approximately one second to do so. Why is Linux retarded?

 3. Networking in Linux. I hate networking above all other things. But Samba is a program that is confusing in the extreme. It is designed for a server, which means it is about a trillion times more complicated than necessary for a home network. What do all the settings mean? Why do I need or want to enter a password to access a directory on a networked computer at my own home? Why is everything so slow on the network? Why isn't there some kind of GUI? Over the years, I cobbled together a configuration file for Samba that I use in every Linux distro. I spent many hours sweating over that thing, trying to figure out what it all means, but I still don't understand half of  it. I don't envy the new user to Linux that has to figure out home networking for the first time.

4. Muon. I don't like the Kubuntu Software Updater or the Kubuntu Software Manager. I can't find the programs I want in them, for one thing. In keeping with the general Linux philosophy, the program I want are "hidden". I can find the programs I want in Synaptic, but not in Kubuntu's programs. As for Muon Software Updater, it's buggy. It used to be a lot buggier, but it still has strange problems. Synaptic just works all the time, on the other hand.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Chrome Faster than Firefox? Horsefeathers!

I call horsefeathers on the Internet for all the claims that Google Chrome is faster than Mozilla Firefox.

Horsefeathers, horsefeathers, h o r s e f e a t h e r s !

Maybe Chrome is faster when watching videos. But I don't watch videos and don't give a monkey's tail about YouTube.

Firefox is fast where it counts--web sites that I must use to get work done. And it uses far less memory. Chrome opens up a new instance for every page, which makes about as much sense as paying a hundred dollars for a pack of gum. So not only is Firefox faster, but the system as a whole runs faster when the user has enough sense to steer clear of Chrome. More memory equates to a more responsive user experience on any properly configured operating system.

I used Chrome for a month at work. Then I switched over to the latest version of Firefox. The difference was like night and day. Firefox was faster all the time. The only tweaks I made were installing the AdBlock add-on and expanding Firefox's cache from the rather conservative 350-odd mb to 1 GB.

I really don't understand all the buzz about Chrome, unless Google has bought a lot of positive buzz, which seems likely to me.

I write my blog purely for pleasure--to vent and call horsefeathers--and receive no payment from anyone. Even Google won't pay me for ads due to some weird technical glitch on their end, so I'm completely unremunerated.

But the mainstream media is presumably in the game to make a profit somehow or another. Whenever I read something that sounds peculiar to me, the very first thing I think about is how much money changed hands for that article to appear on a popular web site, and who is it that wants to shape public opinion, and why.

Friday, August 1, 2014

How Much Did Hamas pay for the Telegraph?

I read the Telegraph the other day, and it sounded like a propaganda organ for Hamas. I wonder how much money they are taking from Iran?
techlorebyigor is my personal journal for ideas & opinions