Sunday, February 5, 2012

That pipe of trash that someone smoked

The Pirate Bay's press release, Interesting in the extreme.

Over a century ago Thomas Edison got the patent for a device which would "do for the eye what the phonograph does for
the ear". He called it the Kinetoscope. He was not only amongst the first to record video, he was also the first person to own the copyright to a motion picture.

Because of Edison’s patents for the motion pictures it was close to financially impossible to create motion pictures in the North American East coast. The movie studios therefor relocated to California, and founded what we today call Hollywood. The reason was mostly because there was no patent.
There was also no copyright to speak of, so the studios could copy old stories and make movies out of them – like Fantasia, one of Disney's biggest hits ever.

So, the whole basis of this industry, that today is screaming about losing control over immaterial rights, is that they circumvented immaterial rights. They copied (or put in their terminology: "stole") other peoples creative works, without paying for it. They did it in order to make a huge profit. Today, they're all successful and most of the studios are on the Fortune 500 list of the richest companies in the world. Congratulations - it's all based on being able to re-use other peoples creative works. And today they hold the rights to what other people create.
If you want to get something released, you have to abide to their rules. The ones they created after circumventing other peoples rules.

The reason they are always complaining about "pirates" today is simple. We've done what they did. We circumvented the rules they created and created our own. We crushed their monopoly by giving people something more efficient. We allow people to have direct communication between each other, circumventing the profitable middle man, that in some cases take over 107% of the profits (yes, you pay to work for them). It's all based on the fact that we're competition.
We've proven that their existence in their current form is no longer needed. We're just better than they are.

And the funny part is that our rules are very similar to the founding ideas of the USA. We fight for freedom of speech.
We see all people as equal. We believe that the public, not the elite, should rule the nation. We believe that laws should be created to serve the public, not the rich corporations.

The Pirate Bay is truly an international community. The team is spread all over the globe - but we've stayed out of the USA. We have Swedish roots and a Swedish friend said this:
The word SOPA means "trash" in Swedish. The word PIPA means "a pipe" in Swedish. This is of course not a coincidence.
They want to make the internet into a one way pipe, with them at the top, shoving trash through the pipe down to the rest of us obedient consumers.
The public opinion on this matter is clear. Ask anyone on the street and you'll learn that no one wants to be fed with trash. Why the US government want the American people to be fed with trash is beyond our imagination but we hope that you will stop them, before we all drown.

SOPA can't do anything to stop TPB. Worst case we'll change top level domain from our current .org to one of the hundreds of other names that we already also use. In countries where TPB is blocked, China and Saudi Arabia springs to mind, they block hundreds of our domain names. And did it work? Not really.
To fix the "problem of piracy" one should go to the source of the problem. The entertainment industry say they're creating "culture" but what they really do is stuff like selling overpriced plushy dolls and making 11 year old girls become anorexic. Either from working in the factories that creates the dolls for basically no salary or by watching movies and TV shows that make them think that they're fat.

In the great Sid Meiers computer game Civilization you can build Wonders of the world. One of the most powerful ones is Hollywood. With that you control all culture and media in the world. Rupert Murdoch was happy with MySpace and had no problems with their own piracy until it failed. Now he's complaining that Google is the biggest source of piracy in the world - because he's jealous. He wants to retain his mind control over people and clearly you'd get a more honest view of things on Wikipedia and Google than on Fox News.

Some facts (years, dates) are probably wrong in this press release. The reason is that we can't access this information when Wikipedia is blacked out. Because of pressure from our failing competitors. We're sorry for that.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

The great Linux Noob Experiment

The Objective: For a total Linux Noob to experience the Operating Sys. as a hard-core Windows  user, to be open minded and experience the software, with the objective of deploying it in a business environment. 
The Machine:           My venerable HP / Compaq 6910p
The Specifications:  Duo Core 2.4 GHz, 32 bit, RAM reserved for Linux: 2.9 GB
Install spec:              Dual Boot, as per Ubuntu 11.10
Display:                    1440 X 900 pix’s
After downloading the ISO file from Ubuntu mirror servers, I decided to burn it to disc, using Power ISO, a long-time favourite for this type of work.  The initial objective was to use the disc to carry out the installation from disc as per the Ubuntu site suggestion. BUT, all that windows user experience and laziness kicked in and in short: Power ISO was used to mount the image in virtual drive and the install was run from there. 

The dual boot / boot manager process worried me, as I have not done one of these since XP stopped being what all the cool kids played with. My trepidation was unwarranted and my concerns amounted to precisely nothing. It occurred to me that the initial installation was probably better than a lot of Windows installs I have done in the past.

On to the main installation which followed on from the dual boot setup, seamlessly, funnily enough I was expecting to see the enter license information here portion of the installation, and then I remembered that Ubuntu is free software, like Android OS, its cousin once or twice removed, but never forcefully. So far the Linux experiment had cost me nothing at all. I brightened up considerably, bracing myself the all the horrors of open source software and the need to learn to write code to make it work.

None of that happened. It installed, no problem, detected the hardware, no problem, connected to the WIFI network in the office, no problem. Updated it-self, no problem. Offered various User interface options, some of my online/ real life friends had suggested Gnome 3 User Interface; I used the vanilla version of the Gnome 3, works beautiful. On to the serious stuff.

First Impressions of Applications
I thought I would need a mail client, so I downloaded Thunderbird from Mozilla, it worked had no built in calendar. Turns out Ubuntu carries an Office bundle which includes Evolution Mail and Calendar, caused me to uninstall Thunderbird, with mental apologies to Mozilla, as I like their applications, but Evolution just works better. The other Libre Office applications all seem to do the job, all seem to be compatible with Microsoft docs. Interestingly, I was able to import .PST files into Evolution Mail and Calendar, so 8.4 Mb of address book was imported via the network from a shared folder, no problems. Oh did I forget to say that the network connection was painless? Consisted of inputting the network password after enabling the MAC address on the router? 

The next major test was how well and how effectively 3G connectivity could be established. Bearing in mind the somewhat diabolical nature of W7 with 3G devices [ Firmware, Network interfaces, general connectivity, yada yada, generally experienced with network USB type dongles] The latest Huawei E36 HSDPA+ modem from MTN was inserted into the USB port,  and it appeared that nothing was happening. As I went to start muttering and fiddling with the network settings, the dialog window said: You are now connected to the GSM network.  So much for struggling with installations from MTN, to get control of the modem..

A minute or two later, the experience gained in setting up the modem in windows, was utilised to get into the network device settings and I had HSDPA+ functioning and was surfing away and downloading mail to the machine. And sending responses via the Evolution mail client, which had been no harder to set up than any version of Outlook. All the expected option were in the Evolution mail client, it seemed like a direct clone of Outlook, spam filters, junk mail filters all in evidence. No problems there.

Next, the browsers, present in the install was Firefox, worked without issues, imported my Bookmarks from the windows version, as a html file, no problem, same with Opera for Linux, no problem. Ubuntu has also come with Epiphany web browser, which I opened and it seemed to work as well as any of the other two browsers, no problems there.

Then I had a brainstorm, why not try Chrome to see if I can break something? Off to the Ubuntu cyber store and Chromium duly installed. Its fast! It’s faster than FF or Opera on the same sites. Definitely faster, so where to from here, more tests or just use it for a while? 

In the spirit of using it for a while I also tried variety of twitter clients, this area needs work! The best of the lot was Turpial, which worked most of the time. It was susceptible to becoming occasionally unresponsive.

Skype works, no issues to report, a variety of messengers, work well, supporting Gtalk, Mxit, MSN chat and all of the other suspects, all work on my accounts.
Movie players /streamers that came with Ubuntu all played my clips, audio and video.
The whole package works well, it’s easy to install, its user friendly if you don’t expect a Windows clone, take the time to figure out what goes where, it will make the experience more pleasant. The Linux OS appears to me to have a lot to offer, in some ways it was far easier than Windows, in others, I just had to learn new menus options, like anything that’s different it can cause frustration if you’re impatient with it.
The really big question for last: Would I go out into the wild armed only with a Linux machine to do business? 

Long Answer: I have many years of experience on Windows machines, enabling me to resolve many issues on the fly, from that aspect I would not be comfortable yet, BUT with a few more WEEKS of Linux exposure, I have no doubt that I would be comfortable to switch Operating Systems and not become frustrated because of functionality issues. 

The other issue of course is cost, Cost of W7 professional compared to cost of Ubuntu 11.10 is a strong motivator to people who rather limit their spend on software licences, but don’t forget to bear in mind that not ALL applications are directly translatable from W7 to Linux, TweetDeck is only available for Win and Mac and it was the one app I really missed. 

Many people opt for Hootsuite,  browser-based cross-platform, no issues there.

Lastly, if you’re the kind of person who abhors change and resists it at every turn [still using that old Nokia 6310i ?] rather don’t get involved in try Linux, avoid the stress. If however you are not averse to mildly different things and would like to pay nothing for your next OS, then by all means, go for it, and I hope my experience will be valuable to you.