Showing posts from November, 2006

The Windows Shutdown crapfest

Here's an amazing explanation of why Longhorn/Vista took so long to reach market and why it's going to be a dud. An entire team of people working for a full year to code the shutdown menu. Sheesh.

Free, AntiVirus for Windows, Free

Individual Windows users concerned with cost have multiple choices for free anti-virus software. All of these publishers want to impress you with how good their systems are, to encourage you to buy their products or services, but that seems a reasonable trade IMHO. Reviews of some of these may be found here and there.

AOL Active Virus Shield (requires you accept spamvertising, which can later be turned off).


Avira PE

AVG anti-virus and anti-spyware



Antidote SuperLite (scanning only)

Geek Numbers

This is a GizmoNumber sticker. The small sticker was placed on hard drives, iMacs and other gear stolen from FreeGeek. The larger sticker below was on complete computer systems (e.g., laptops, iMac, white boxen, et al.)

FreeGeek RipOff

Update: Watch for a small, about-inch-square white paper label with a ballpoint-ink hand-written six digit number, on possibly stolen objects. (Picture at the next blog post; click here to see.) That number, which IIRC was in the 3xxxxx range, is the GizmoNumber, used for internal QC and other purposes. There may also be a larger sticker, vertical layout, a form with tickboxes and such, which stolen things may also have.
FreeGeek.Org is the the website for a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in Portland, Oregon, which is dedicated to spreading the Open Source ethos.

Portland's a great place for Open Source; O'Reilly recognized that when they held OSCON (the Open Source CONvention) here this summer and in years past.

Many, many volunteers help make FreeGeek work by recycling corporate cast-off and personally donated computers; receiving, evaluating, reassembling, loading Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xbuntu on the machines (many of which were OK mechanically, but had Windows so badly corrupted …

Documentary on Diebold E-voting Errors

Slashdot reports on an HBO documentary showing large-scale e-voting problems with Diebold systems. One Slashdotter noted:
Regarding Diebold's claims, although the article is a little short on facts, for instance, following this section, "According to Byrd's letter, inaccuracies in the film include the assertion that Diebold, whose election systems unit is based in Allen, Texas, tabulated more than 40 percent of the votes cast in the 2000 presidential election." ... "'s probably safe to assume if HBO isn't backing down, and does air the documentary, that this is largely smokescreen on the part of Diebold to try and convince the public that HBO is just an extension of the "liberal media" lying to them.

Furthermore, the article is short on explanation, but I don't think this is just a crass comment, "It appears that the film Diebold is responding to is not the film HBO is airing." ..but rather that HBO's spokesman is actually …

National Energy Dependence

A recent New Yorker article notes a puzzling stance by the Bush Administration against energy independence, more than once. For the wonks among you, here's an explanation of the original issue:

A distribution transformer, much, say, like an elevator, is easy to ignore until it malfunctions. Its unromantic job, in most cases, is to take the high-voltage current transmitted over the grid and convert it—or step it down—to the lower-voltage current that emerges from a wall socket. There are an estimated three million distribution transformers in operation in the United States, and virtually all the electricity produced in the country—some four trillion kilowatt hours per year—passes through at least one of them en route from the plant where it was generated to the heating element in your toaster. Along the way, some energy is inevitably lost, and even though proportionately these losses are small, when you’re talking about four trillion kilowatt hours they quickly add up.

Last month, …