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User Journal

Journal: The Pirate Bay primary distribution channel for Nasty Old People

Journal by fyoder

Here's something refreshing, a filmmaker who not only doesn't gripe about The Pirate Bay, but uses it to distribute the film under a Creative Commons license. The film Nasty Old People was made for about 10,000 Euros, and at this time of writing has recovered about 2,000 Euros from donations. I'm hoping they prove this to be a viable model by making their money back and more.

User Journal

Journal: How to Vote in Canadian Election

Journal by fyoder

If you're a Canadian and uncertain how to vote in the upcoming election, go to the Vote for Environment Google Map App, find your riding, and follow the advice. Even if you're not eligible to vote, you might want to check out this interesting map application.

The strategic voting philosophy of the site is probably not terribly useful any place that has a two party system (unless you're thinking about voting for Ralph Nader), but in a country like Canada where a plethora of parties threatens to split the left, this is very useful information indeed.

Space

Journal: Tunguska More Woosh than Boom

Journal by fyoder

The Tunguska event in which an asteroid air detonated over Siberia is approaching its 100th anniversary, which will be on June 30th. A lower re-estimation of the blast force (the devastation being more from the shock wave of the air blast than the explosion itself) suggests that asteroid events capable of this level of destruction may be more common than thought, possibly occurring every few centuries. Reflecting on these 'little guys' as the anniversary approaches, also causes one to consider their rarer, but more destructive, larger cousins. Should it not be a priority to establish a self-sustaining breeding population of humans on Mars as insurance against something really nasty happening here on earth?

Collision Course Earth

Operating Systems

Journal: Negroponte vs. the open-source fundamentalists

Journal by fyoder

Within the world of One Laptop per Child, both the Negropontistas and the Benderites envision a future for Sugar where it runs on multiple platforms, but the latter don't want Windows (or closed source anything) as part of that future.

Negroponte vs. the Open-Source Fundamentalists

OLPC's emphasis has always seemed to me to be on Sugar, with Linux simply being a smart technical choice for the underlying os. Yet what is becoming more explicit with the resignation of Walter Bender is that for many involved in the project there was a strong element of Linux advocacy, such that Negroponte's flirtation with Microsoft is felt to be pure sacrilege.

User Journal

Journal: One Laptop per Child XO Borg

Journal by fyoder
Locutus of XO, a tricked out OLPC laptop, demonstrates that there's "nothing wrong with the hundred dollar laptop that a couple of hundred dollars worth of peripherals can't fix." It's fascinating the lengths people will go to to make what is essentially an educational appliance work more like a regular laptop. For the cost of the 'give one get one' program, plus the peripherals, they could get a regular laptop which would be a lot less bother. But I suppose the geeking involved is half the fun.
User Journal

Journal: Make Your Own Naturally Carbonated Ginger Ale

Journal by fyoder
Make your own naturally carbonated ginger ale through the amazing process of fermentation! You may be thinking, "Gadzooks, that must be an expensive enterprise to undertake, involving difficult to obtain ingredients and equipment of no small monetary value." But if you thought that, you would be wrong! At backofthebook.ca an experiment was conducted following simple directions at the Barley Legal web site. The process and, perhaps even more so, the results may astound you.
User Journal

Journal: Kubuntu != Kubuntu

Journal by fyoder
The results of installing Kubuntu are not the same as installing Ubuntu, then installing the KDE desktop environment. Even if you install Kubuntu and then the Gnome environment the results are not the same. Best results are achieved if you install Ubuntu first, then KDE. One person's experience and a mini review of the distro is outlined here.

When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.

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