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YOur a Troll

Linux Rants is a Troll!

<RandomInternetGuy> YOur a Troll.
<LinuxRants> Uh, it’s “you’re” actually.
<RandomInternetGuy> What?
<LinuxRants> It’s “You’re a Troll”, not “Your a Troll”. “Your” is the possessive.
<RandomInternetGuy2> STOP FEEDING THE TROLL!1!!

I get called a Troll quite a lot. And not just Troll either. I’ve been called “useless”, “a puke”, “dead weight”, and many other even less polite names. I’ve had my posts intentionally edited (and not even subtly) by site Admins because they didn’t like what I had to say. I’ve been Ignored, Banned, and had my accounts deleted and/or submitted to an Administrator to be disabled. There are a more than a few people that don’t like me very much.

Wrong on the Internet

xkcd.com

The above conversation would be uncommon for me, since I don’t tend to correct people’s spelling or grammar. If I did, I could be at it all day. To be honest, my spelling and grammar isn’t that great either, so attempting to correct others would be a touch hypocritical. As long as I can understand what you’re (See? “You’re” not “your”.) saying, I’ll let it ride. I don’t go out of my way to troll other people’s conversations, but sometimes when I feel that something has been said that is egregiously wrong, I’ll say something. I’m also very passionate about my opinions, and if someone says that I’m wrong, they better damn well be able to prove it.

Not Agreeing is Not Trolling

I don’t believe that the fact that I may reply to a comment that I don’t agree with automatically makes my response trolling. Quite the opposite in fact. I think half the reason that people call me a troll is because they don’t like what I have to say, but don’t have the facts to back up their own position. But what is a troll anyway? Well, on the Internet, the way a troll is defined is like this:

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. The noun troll may also refer to the provocative message itself, as in: “That was an excellent troll you posted.”

Looking for Agreement

Disagreeing with someone’s opinion is not being a troll. Sticking to your guns despite lame counters is not trolling. When someone says, “OSX is based on Linux”, correcting them is not trolling. To me, what you’re (See? “You’re” not “your”.) saying is this: “I don’t have an argument, so how can I walk away from this looking like the winner?” The Internet has become a place where people go when they’re looking for reinforcement. They want to throw their opinions out on to the net and have “The World” tell them “You’re so right”, and “What a brilliant mind you have!” What they don’t want is a challenge. They’re looking for agreement, so they get sensitive very quickly when they don’t get it.

Quit Whining

I just want to close with this message to these people. Quit your (See? “Your” not “you’re”.) damn whining. Not everybody is going to agree with you. You’re not the smartest person on the planet, and all of your opinions aren’t right just because you have them. I realize that I’m not always right, and I actually appreciate it when someone legitimately points out a failing in my logic. It makes me reevaluate my position with this new information, and that makes me better. Hiding behind your name calling and ban button makes you less. I also become a better person every time someone blocks me. No longer being subjected to your idiocy and cowardice is better in the long run.

Why I’m Grateful for Android Malware

Hardly a couple days can go by without some horror story about the latest Android malware. The one I think I saw most recently was a story about how Android faces more malware attacks than PCs in the United States. Now, besides sounding like click bate and total fiction, I find that I don’t really care about Android malware. Quite the contrary, I’m grateful for it.

Grateful for malware?!? Yep, and here’s why.

The Trojan Horse

Pretty much all malware on the Android platform is a Trojan Horse. For those unfamiliar with the Trojan Horse, it’s really just software that fools the person using the device into installing it. It doesn’t use any kind of software or security vulnerabilities. It attacks the person. All this boils down to is that any platform that has someone using it is vulnerable to a Trojan Horse.

Those Other Platforms

Are there platforms out there that have less malware than Android does?

Yep.

Would I use those platforms over Android?

Nope.

Why? Isn’t less malware good?

That depends on what you’re giving up to rid yourself of this malware. See, Android is very secure. Google goes to great lengths to protect their users from malware, and in cases where infection does occur through the Play Store, they can remotely repair your device. They’ve even implemented checks for apps that are sideloaded onto your device, which is where most malware infections come from.

Don’t other devices do this too?

Well, not really. Microsoft and Apple have more stringent restrictions on the apps that make it into their store, it’s true. There’s no real protection from side loaded applications because to even get an app sideloaded on to the device, it has to be jailbroken. The user doesn’t have permissions to install applications that aren’t approved by Microsoft or Apple respectively.

And that’s the gotcha for me. This is my device. I paid for it, but I need someone else’s permission to install software on it? I call BS on that.

Conclusion

Sure, Apple and Microsoft limiting what the user can install theoretically makes the platform less vulnerable to malware, but it does it by restricting what the user can do. It’s taking away your capabilities on the device. It’s making it more of a toaster oven than a smart phone. I guess that’s why I find myself grateful for Android malware, and every time I see some news article regarding Android malware, I’m more grateful for it. It means that I continue to have rights on my device that users of other platforms can’t claim. To me, that makes malware something to be grateful for.

Microsoft Screwing The Linux Foundation

A while ago, The Linux Foundation announced a plan to allow for Linux to boot on systems with Secure Boot enabled. Lately, it has come to light that Microsoft is screwing with The Linux Foundation, and not granting the key required despite the fact that The Linux Foundation has already paid for it. Oddly enough, certain Microsoft apologists still believe that this is the fault of The Linux Foundation, despite the fact that there is nothing to support that contention. Here is a list of links that disagree with that fantasy.

http://www.zdnet.com/linux-foundation-support-for-booting-linux-on-windows-8-pcs-delayed-7000007673/
http://www.muktware.com/4855/microsoft-holding-keys-linux-foundations-secure-boot-solution
http://mrpogson.com/2012/11/20/m-sabotages-uefi-secure-boot-for-linux-foundation/
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/21/linux_foundation_secure_boot_fix_delays/
http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Linux-Foundation-struggles-with-Microsoft-s-Secure-Boot-signing-service-1754209.html
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-Delays-UEFI-Workaround-for-Linux-309070.shtml
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTIzMjE
http://blog.hansenpartnership.com/adventures-in-microsoft-uefi-signing/

Of course, this won’t convince Microsoft fans. Facts seldom do.

Is Samsung Copying Apple Again?

I have to ask, do the people who are fans of Apple think that this new device from Samsung is shamelessly copying Apple again? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Florian Mueller is no Pamela Jones

pamelajones

Today both Google and Oracle submitted filings to the court detailing individuals that they pay to blog on their side. Google doesn’t pay anybody. Oracle pays Florian Mueller.

Rememberings of Pamela Jones

This whole court case brings me back to the SCO/IBM trial. SCO with grandiose claims, and no facts. It’s just like Oracle’s grandiose claims with no facts. I think that Oracle saw that parallel too, and saw the influence one person had over the SCO/IBM case. Pamela Jones, or pj for short. For those who are unaware, Pamela Jones was the founder of Groklaw. Groklaw covered legal news that was interesting to the free and open source software community. Of particular interest to the free and open source community at the time was the SCO/IBM trial, and Groklaw spent a great deal of time focused on it.

I shouldn’t say “focused”. I should say that Groklaw systematically destroyed any and all claims made by SCO. It really didn’t stand a chance.

History Repeating…. well Not Quite

Oracle must have remembered what happened to SCO at the hands of Groklaw. Rather than try to avoid that, they tried to turn it to their advantage. Oracle thought that if they had their very own Pamela Jones, they could easily take Google down. Enter Florian Mueller.

Mueller wrote some computer books in the 80s, and then did some publishing and distribution. He did some marketing, and founded a game company that went nowhere. After that, he campaigned against European software patents (failed at that too), and then had enough and focused on Soccer. His first post on his blog appeared on Saturday, April 3rd, 2010. Four months and change before Oracle sued Google for various copyright and patent infringement claims.

Mueller took notice of the Oracle/Google case right away, and wrote prolifically about it over the course of the case. Seldom was a positive thing said about Google. In April of 2012, Mueller decided that “transparency” was suddenly important and admitted to being on the payroll at Oracle.

Outcome of the Case

So how did things work out? Well, depends on if you’re a fan of Open Source, or if you’re Florian Mueller. Like almost every other venture Florian Mueller has been involved in, he failed. Oracle was decimated in the courts, and won only a tiny sum based on a Copyright that no one is even sure is going to be valid yet. It could be that Oracle walks away owing Google.

Why Didn’t It Work?

So, why did the this method work so well in the SCO/IBM trial, and work so poorly in the Oracle/Google trial? It’s all about the community.

Pamela Jones wasn’t interested in being known. She didn’t even tell people her name at first (she just went by pj), and there’s still only a handful of people that have met her. Florian Mueller has a big “ABOUT ME” page right on his blog with links to a brief but puffed up profile (“award-winning intellectual property activist-turned-analyst”). The profile even has a nice vanity picture where Florian looks like he’s got enough make-up on to walk the catwalk in Milan.

Pamela Jones was interested in facts. Florian Mueller was interested in lining his own pockets with Oracle’s money, and he was willing to do anything and say anything to do it.

Due to her honesty and integrity, Pamela Jones developed a loyal following in the FOSS community. Due to deep pockets Florian Mueller somehow managed to get an unexpected number of tech journalists and bloggers to believe he knew what he was talking about, at least some of the time. Despite that, he never got the community support that Pamela Jones did.

No, Florian Mueller turned out to just be another blow hard, and Pamela Jones knew he was on Oracle’s payroll long before he admitted as such.

In short (to paraphrase), I knew Pamela Jones Mr. Mueller. Pamela Jones was a friend of mine. Mr. Mueller, you’re no Pamela Jones. (I actually don’t know pj, but I wish I did.)

Samsung vs. Apple: I’m Already Bored

Bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored boredSo, the Samsung vs. Apple trial started yesterday. I really wanted to pay a lot of attention to this one because it’s being hyped and hyped as this really big deal. So I skimmed the news stories about it, and I diligently read all about it. That lasted all of about 15 minutes before the monotony got the better of me. Two days into it, and I’m already bored out of my mind.

Apple had their opening statements.

Samsung had their opening statements.

Samsung released information to the press that the judge said couldn’t be in the trial.

Apple whined about Samsung releasing information to the press that the judge said couldn’t be in the trial.

Samsung says that the information released was public information.

It’s all the same back and forth. Now Apple is seeking emergency sanctions against Samsung for leaking  public information to the press. I don’t get that at all. IT’S PUBLIC INFORMATION. I’m not a lawyer, but how is it that Samsung can be sanctioned for releasing information that is not secret in anyway? If someone is a lawyer who is reading this, please please PLEASE explain this to me in the comments.

I’m not sure how much of this kind of news I can stand. Seriously. It’s like watching a shoving match on a playground. A lot of words, very little action. In the end, someone just might end up with a boo-boo. I say “might” because pretty much everybody knows that no matter what decision is reached, the loser is going to appeal. Apple wins, Samsung appeals. Samsung wins, Apple appeals. Then we get to sit through this same load of crap all over again. If I’m bored of it now, what is it going to be like in 6 months?

 

Will Your Next PC Be a Google Nexus?

Will your next PC be a Google Nexus? A recent “ask maggie” column addressed the question, “Is Google headed toward an Android Nexus PC?” Her conclusion was “when Google challenges Microsoft or Apple on the traditional computing OS battlefield, it won’t likely be armed with Android.”

I disagree.

Where Android and ChromeOS are Today. It’s Competition Too.

Today, Android has taken the dominant position in smart phones, and the number two position in tablets. It’s advancing at a break neck speed, and has easily surpassed it’s only real competition. It’s spread to a significant number of other platforms, such as music players, car stereos, TVs, gaming systems, and even wrist watches and reality augmentation devices. No other operating system in history has done something like this.

ChromeOS has only just begun, and has seen amazing advances since it’s introduction. It started out as a glorified browser, and now has added application functionality and remote storage capability. It also has the ability to run applications through Citrix, making it a feasible stand-in for a Microsoft or Apple based operating system anywhere in the Enterprise market.

Windows has stagnated over the last decade, accomplishing very little of value considering the ten years it’s had to do it. A recent Vanity Fair piece referred to it as “Microsoft’s Lost Decade“. Windows got some flashier graphics in Vista and 7, and then traded them for a travesty of a user interface in Windows 8.

Apple hasn’t done much better on the desktop than Microsoft. OSX has added an App Store type interface, but other than some graphical changes, there’s no significant changes to OSX since it’s arrival in 2001.

Our desktop operating systems have stagnated. Improvements are measured in baby steps rather than leaps and bounds, if they’re improvements at all.

ChromeOS or Android? Where does Nexus Figure into this?

The question that has to be asked now is, why Android? It’s not even a desktop operating system. ChromeOS is. Shouldn’t it be ChromeOS that replaces Windows and OSX, not Android?

True, ChromeOS is the desktop operating system. Android has always taken it’s position on other kinds of systems, never the desktop.

It really comes back to why Google decided to do two different OSs to begin with, and what their plans were.

The Nexus Consolidation.

The thing that no one seems to be taking into consideration is Google’s plans. Maybe it’s because it’s not convenient, or maybe it’s just because their memories are short. We need to think back to 2009. In an interview with CNET, Sergey Brin was asked about ChromeOS and Android, and why the two seperate Operating Systems. His reply was that Android and the Chrome OS “will likely converge over time.” In fact, the two operating systems share a common Webkit and Linux foundation.

Today, we’ve already seen Google add the Chrome Browser to the Android operating system. Much of the ChromeOS functionality is already incorporated with Android Jellybean. All that remains is the right hardware to bring the two operating systems together.

This is where Nexus comes in.

Nexus systems are designed by Google to Google’s specifications. It could be that the first Nexus “PC” could be a hybrid device, similar to the Motorola Atrix or the ASUS PadFone. We’ve already seen such a hybrid type system with Ubuntu for Android. When in “phone mode”, it’s Android. When it’s docked, it becomes a more desktop type system. Google’s moves to combine the functionality of the two OSs would make a move like this easy. Both systems are already Linux. Both systems already have use WebKit. Both systems are already Google.

The Nexus Solution.

A Nexus based PC would solve any number of problems with the PC. Files would be stored in the cloud, making it infinitely more secure and easily backed up. Lost hardware could be shutdown and wiped from a distance. A dock at home and a dock at work would be all that’s required. Your pocket is your new laptop case. Any location with a dock is a your home workstation.

Google has already gotten themselves into a position to implement a consolidation of Android and ChromeOS. All that Google needs now is the hardware. This is why your next computer just might be a Nexus computer.

Tux: Modern Olympic Champion

Tux: Olympic ChampionThe Olympics are known throughout the world and have been going on for centuries. The first Olympic games were thought to have occurred in the sixth century BC, and it consisted of foot races only. It started as a race for young women to compete for the honor of being a priestess for the goddess, Hera. A second race was run for young men for the right to be a consort for the priestess.

A lot has happened since then.

This year, the Olympic games are being held in London, and champions from all over the world are attending in the hopes of taking home Olympic gold.

One champion there is nothing like the others, and you won’t see in any of the events. It’s Linux.

When the Olympic Games needed a server to host their web page, they chose to rely on the same server that anyone in the world can download free of charge. Linux. The web services are provided by Apache and PHP, the database by MySQL. Like other Olympic competitors, the demands placed on Linux will be high. The website will be responsible for distributing stats for all of the events, receiving their information and making it available to other organizations to broadcast. That includes the event video distribution organization. You know all that information you see on the bottom of your television screen during the broadcast? That will be coming from the Linux server.

Don’t be confused though. There were other runners in the race. The Olympics could have chosen a Microsoft Server, or a traditional Unix server. They could have run their DBs on MSSQL or Oracle, but they didn’t. They chose a LAMP server.

To me, this shows a great deal of faith in the Linux environment. The Olympics chose to use the same software you can download from the Internet free of charge for their mission critical needs, and the world is watching. If Linux stumbles, the world will see. If Linux runs it’s race with speed and grace (which I am pretty sure it will), it will be a great victory for Linux.

Here’s to Olympic Gold in 2012.

#boycottapple

Just wanted to make a quick note about the #boycottapple thing going on on Google+ and on Twitter. I’ve read several people saying that boycotting Apple is dumb, and that the real problem is with the patent system. To the people pointing out that the patent system is broken I have one thing to say.

DUH.

We know this people. We’re not stupid. Here’s the issue though.

The patent system is broken for the entire software industry, so why isn’t anybody boycotting EA? Why isn’t anybody boycotting Adobe? Why isn’t anybody boycotting Attachmate?

The answer is easy. EA, Adobe, and Attachmate aren’t acting like assholes. Apple is. Apple is the one going “thermonuclear” on their competitors, and they’re the one using the broken patent system to do it.

Does the Software Patent system need to be fixed? I’d argue that it doesn’t need to be fixed so much as thrown out altogether, but I think we all agree that it’s broken. That’s not the point of the #boycottapple “movement” (if you will). The point is that Apple is being a bad player, and because of their behavior, they should be boycotted.

Updating a Linux System