foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world


Attack on net neutrality right here in New Zealand

, posted: 3-Apr-2012 12:21

A very good article today on the NZ Herald web site about how Sky's exclusive deals are locking out possible competitors in the emerging video streaming market. Specifically: Sky has struck special deals with a number of ISPs in New Zealand, which gives customers un-metered access to Sky's online streaming services. Sounds, good, doesn't it? Free online TV for consumers, what could possibly be wrong with that?

Well, a number of things:
It shows how cheap national bandwidth here i (read the entire post)...



Munich already saved millions by switching to Linux

, posted: 30-Mar-2012 15:57

'LiMux' is the project of the city of Munich to switch all its public servants' desktops from Windows and MS Office to Linux and OpenOffice. More than 10,000 of them. It's a big project by all accounts. While not completed yet, the city is already reaping the benefits: Here is some information and discussion on Slashdot about it.

Interestingly, the city has not only already saved itself some NZ$ 6.4 million in Microsoft license fees, but in addition the Linux desktops turned out to be (read the entire post)...



Iceland's public administration and schools moving towards open source

, posted: 22-Mar-2012 06:50

Encouraging news from Iceland, where a concerted effort is underway to move public administration towards open source in a sensible and deliberate manner. Scroll down a little in that article and you will find an interesting chapter about their schools:

"We are also making sure that in our public schools, the national curricula does not restrict the use of free and open source software."

The project is also working on a call for tender to purchase services based on free an (read the entire post)...



More Apple madness (follow up)

, posted: 24-Apr-2010 07:10

Yesterday I wrote down my opinions about how Apple manages to successfully sell crappy products (with my own definition of 'crappy'). Specifically, I was bothered by how Apple treats customers and developers with contempt

In a very timely manner today I found this article here. It's the story of a kind soul who bought iPads and sent them to friends in those countries where they are not available yet. For his effort, he was banned from buying further iPads. He reached his 'lifetime lim (read the entire post)...



Apple demonstrates: With great marketing even the crappiest product can be sold

, posted: 22-Apr-2010 08:44

It amazes me how much Apple gets away with. Their systems are DRM infested, closed and tightly locked down. Yet, go to any developer conference, even an open-source conference, and you will find masses of Apple gear being used.

Likewise, their app-store for the iPhone has become hugely successful. Not because of technical merits or a superior developer experience (quite the opposite, actually), and despite lack of freedom and Apple's well-documented arrogant approach on how to deal wi (read the entire post)...



Smooth sailing with the Karmic Koala

, posted: 23-Nov-2009 05:39

When Ubuntu 9.10 ("Karmic Koala") came out, the first reports were somewhat discouraging: While Karmic brought lots of nice, new additions, some people discovered that for them things which had worked nicely on 9.04 were suddenly broken, stuff didn't seem to fit together well and so overall - they said - a 'disappointing release'. So, it was with some trepidation that I decided to finally give it a go, about a month after it came out. Waiting for those few weeks sounded like a good idea, since j (read the entire post)...



Censorship in New Zealand: Wide-spread public brain-wash

, posted: 16-Jul-2009 12:11

A lot has been written about the coming age of Internet censorship in New Zealand. What I find disturbing in this debate is that many in the public are agreeing that 'something should be done' against child-porn and focus on the budget or the technical details of the implementation, and thus completely miss the bigger picture.

I responded to an article in The Standard. I have replicated, slightly edited and extended that comment here.

We have to remember that any possibilit (read the entire post)...



Image roll-over effects without code clutter

, posted: 27-Apr-2009 14:08

To make web-pages appear more dynamic and interactive, it has long been established practice to add mouseover effects to links and link-images: Hover with the mouse over a link and the link will optically change to provide the user additional feedback and indication that this is indeed something to click on. It's a nice touch.

Recently, I had to add such mouseover effects for a client. Since normally I don't work a lot on the front-end of web-pages, I'm really not much of of a JavaScr (read the entire post)...



How about: Three strikes and YOU are out, Xnet?

, posted: 20-Mar-2009 10:08

A recent article on TorrentFreak refers to investigations by the New Zealand Herald, highlighting the case of an Internet user being disconnected by Xnet, merely based on a single alleged copyright infringement. The Herald article states:
... WorldXChange ... says the company is using a system in some ways more draconian than Section 92a. ... "We took the commercial risk of terminating customers but there is nothing to stop those customers taking a swing at us. But most of my customers are (read the entire post)...



UK government supports open source

, posted: 26-Feb-2009 13:09

The BBC is reporting today that the UK government is putting more emphasis on opens source software. The article quotes Tom Watson MP, minister for digital engagement:
...public services should where possible avoid being "locked into proprietary software".
The government says:
Government departments will be required to adopt open source software when "there is no significant overall cost difference between open and non-open source products" because of its "inherent flexibility".read the entire post)...



Blackout to demonstrate against S92A

, posted: 17-Feb-2009 06:36

To protest against Section 92A of New Zealand law, which will come into effect on February 28th and which allows Internet users to be disconnected through unproven accusation, this blog and many other sites are changing their color theme to black. Information about the blackout campaign and S92A can be found here and here. Geekzone officially participates as well.

My comment on Section 92A can be found here. (read the entire post)...



A Linux distro for Cuba

, posted: 12-Feb-2009 11:35

Cuba has presented its own Linux distro, called Nova. Some of the argumentation laid out by the Cuban officials is very good:
...Nova was introduced at a Havana computer conference on "technological sovereignty" and is central to the Cuban government's desire to replace the Microsoft software running most of the island's computers....
Unlike Microsoft, Linux is free and has open access that allows users to modify its code to fit their needs. "Private software can have black holes and (read the entire post)...

Permalink to A Linux distro for Cuba | Add a comment (2 comments) | Main Index


Follow up: How to write a Linux virus

, posted: 12-Feb-2009 08:10

Yesterday I published an article about How to write a Linux virus in 5 easy steps. There has been quite an overwhelming response for this. Within just a few hours this article became my most visited blog post ever. Wow! Just goes to show that either the article hit a real nerve, or the other articles on my blog are just really boring. :-)

Anyway, a lot of interesting feedback arrived, some of which tthrough the comments on Reddit, some in the comment section of my article, some by ema (read the entire post)...



How to write a Linux virus in 5 easy steps

, posted: 11-Feb-2009 06:33

Note: I posted a follow up to summarise points and comments I received
as part of the overwhelming feedback to this article. Please read this follow-up
before (!) posting a comment, since some of what you might want to say
may already have been addressed.
For the gist of it...... just scroll down to the compact step-by-step guide. But if you like to get some of the background and related explanations then just read on. The rumor of the bullet-proof Linux architecture (read the entire post)...



The GPU, your personal desktop super computer

, posted: 6-Feb-2009 07:19

There once was a time (70s, 80s and early 90s) when a lot of interesting research was done in the field of computer architectures. Researchers and specialised companies developed MIMD, SIMD, array, vector, pipeline and other exciting and innovative computing architectures in order to win the race to the top, to be able to claim the 'fastest computer in the world' title (usually measured in FLOPS, Floating Point Operations per Second). The money was there to buy those multi-million dollar machine (read the entire post)...



Half of Australians think it's OK to pirate Microsoft software

, posted: 5-Feb-2009 09:49

Nice little article on The Inquirer. Apparently, a survey has found that almost half of Australians think it's perfectly ok to run pirated versions of Microsoft software (I assume the percentage is similar in other countries as well):
[Microsoft] has decided to release Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) software down under to cope with what it feels is a rising tide of pirating in Godzone. The OGA, like Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), operates through the Windows updates service.

[M (read the entire post)...



Windows 7 Starter: The anti-feature edition

, posted: 5-Feb-2009 07:29

Much has been written about the many SKUs (editions) in which Microsoft Windows 7 will hit the market. There are the usual subjects, such as 'Professional' or 'Enterprise'. These editions are defined by the additional features they provide. For example, to get the Aero graphical user interface, you will need to have at least the 'Premium' edition. To get encrypted file systems, you need at least the 'Professional Edition', and so on. This type of re-packaging of different feature sets is a prett (read the entire post)...



11 reasons to switch to Linux

, posted: 4-Feb-2009 09:24

People like to publish top-10 lists of all sorts. And "reasons to switch to Linux" is no exception. Many of those have been published, and the latest entry is here. However, I think the author completely forgot a very important point. Also, some of the points he makes should be examined a bit more closely and critically. The comments on the original article reflect some valid and some unfounded criticism. Let me just run through those points (italics are quotes from the original 10-point list, m (read the entire post)...



Section 92A (three strikes law) is not a New Zealand novelty

, posted: 4-Feb-2009 07:08

With rightful indignation people here in New Zealand have commented on Section 92a in our law, which allows copyright holders to tell ISPs which of their customers to disconnect, without trial, without means of objection, without recourse or punishment for wrong accusations. After being informed of a particular IP address for the third time, the ISP is required to disconnect the user. No need for the copyright holder to actually prove anything. They merely need to accuse.

The copyrigh (read the entire post)...



Vista: Microsoft's biggest failure yet?

, posted: 3-Feb-2009 12:19

Not much love for Vista

The Register comments on a recent report by Forrester (the report itself is not a free download). Apparently, adoption of Vista in the enterprise market has not moved much since last July. It's still just under 10% of corporate PCs that run Vista. The Register article then concludes that Windows 7 will come to the market sooner, rather than later.

In essence, the quick release of Windows 7 is seen as both a necessity for Microsoft as well as an admis (read the entire post)...



foobar's profile

 
New Zealand


  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
  • What I like: I'm a big fan of free and open source software. I'm Windows-free, running Ubuntu on my laptop. To a somewhat lesser degree, I also follow the SaaS industry.
  • Where I have been: Here and there, all over the place.




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Recent posts

Attack on net neutrality right...
Munich already saved millions ...
Iceland's public administratio...
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Apple demonstrates: With great...
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Image roll-over effects withou...
How about: Three strikes and Y...
UK government supports open so...


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