Older blog entries for haruspex (starting at number 66)

15 Mar 2004 (updated 16 Mar 2004 at 08:34 UTC) »
dyork: a kindly meant comment from a typographer. Small caps, at least in Safari+Helvetica, are ugly and much harder to read than simple Upper and Lower Case.

Re: mentifex: He's found us...

14 Mar 2004 (updated 14 Mar 2004 at 11:34 UTC) »

No surprises here:

Jamal al-Harith, 37, who arrived home three days ago after two years of confinement, is the first detainee to lift the lid on the US regime in Cuba's Camp X-Ray and Camp Delta. ... HE was talking from a secret location after being reunited with his family. The website designer, a convert to Islam, had gone to Pakistan in October 2001, a few weeks after September 11, to study Muslim culture.

The father-of-three, from Manchester, told how he was assaulted with fists, feet and batons after refusing a mystery injection.

He claims punishment beatings were handed out by guards known as the Extreme Reaction Force. They waded into inmates in full riot-gear, raining blows on them. ... Jamal said victims of the Extreme Reaction Force were paraded in front of cells. "It was a horrible sight and it was a frequent sight."

Medical treatment was sparse and brutal and amputations of limbs were more drastic than required, claimed Jamal.

Now Jamal bears the scars of Guantanamo. He stoops into a hunch as he walks because the shackles that bound him were too short.

As a punishment, inmates would be confined so tightly they would be forced to lie in a ball for hours. During lengthy interrogation, they would be tethered to a metal ring on the floor.

"They would shut off the water before prayers so we couldn't wash ourselves according to our religion." ... Prisoners who had never seen an "unveiled" woman before would be forced to watch as the hookers touched their own naked bodies. The men would return distraught. One said an American girl had smeared menstrual blood across his face in an act of humiliation.

Jamal said they were told they had no rights. "They actually said that - 'You have no rights here'. After a while, we stopped asking for human rights - we wanted animal rights."

Geneva Convention. Geneva Convention. Geneva Convention. Geneva Convention. Geneva Convention. Geneva Convention?

I would like to hear the men who authorised these illegal detentions of innocents try to defend all this. Better still, I'd like to see them tell a judge at the ICCC.

The Guardian has more:

Three British prisoners released last week from Guantanamo Bay have revealed the full extent of British government involvement in the American detention camp ...

The Court of Appeal criticised the absence of any legal due process at Guantanamo as a 'legal black hole' in a case brought on behalf of Abbasi last year, while the laws lord, Lord Steyn, has described the camp in a speech as a 'monstrous failure of justice'.

After more than 200 interrogation sessions each, with the CIA, FBI, Defence Intelligence Agency, MI5 and MI6, America has been forced to admit its claims that the three were terrorists who supported al-Qaeda had no foundation.

13 Mar 2004 (updated 14 Mar 2004 at 00:37 UTC) »

The mysterious M. Anderer surfaces, accidentally (?) revealing the anti-Linux master plan:

In a world where there are $500 million dollar patent infringement lawsuits imposed on OS companies (although this is not completely settled yet), how would somebody like Red Hat compete when 6 months ago they only had $80-$90 million in cash? At that point they could not even afford to settle a fraction of a single judgment without devastating their shareholders. I suspect Microsoft may have 50 or more of these lawsuits in the queue. All of them are not asking for hundreds of millions, but most would be large enough to ruin anything but the largest companies. ...

I think the dispute with SCO would have been settled a long time ago if everybody knew this was the last one. The problem is there will probably be hundreds or even thousands of these disputes in the future and the targets will be the companies with the deepest pockets.

More, as usual, at Groklaw - don't forget to donate if you can.

This is the kind of attack that the GPL is proof against - RMS foresaw all this - and that's why it has not succeeded in the 20 years since the FSF has been around, and will not succeed today.

11 Mar 2004 (updated 11 Mar 2004 at 09:12 UTC) »
raph: Re: long-anticipated hikes in display resolution
Unless someone can explain otherwise, I strongly suspect Apple may have inexplicably missed an opportunity to create a resolution-independent UI with OS X/Quartz...
11 Mar 2004 (updated 11 Mar 2004 at 06:45 UTC) »

Quoted on Baselinemag.com:

Scott Charney, chief strategist for Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing plan, says the ultimate goal is better initial software. "We have a large installed base with software that was not designed with today's threat model in mind," he says. "You have to have R&D, coding, testing, getting software into market, adoption--it takes time."

Well guess what, Scott - UNIX/Linux IS designed with today's "threat model" in mind. You've just hung yourself with your own spin-doctoring tongue.

raph, rare it is I get to quibble with one of your posts, but
It's not impossible to run NFS on Windows or Mac, but it's not exactly convenient either.
OS X makes it easy and convenient... unless Vesta needs unusual hooks?
4 Mar 2004 (updated 4 Mar 2004 at 09:13 UTC) »
AlanHorkan, CharlesGoodwin: There is a thread on the Adobe forums at the moment - offering more heat than light, unfortunately - on why there is no Linux version of Photoshop. One thing no-one's mentioned, hardly surprising given the low level of commentary, is that Photoshop on Linux would likely outperform the Windows and Mac versions by a comfy margin.

Intra-Adobe pundits (of the non-executive sort) have from time to time given unconvincing excuses as to why it's too hard for them, but we are all still waiting for any substantive reason why Adobe should not test the Linux market.

Having used Photoshop since version 0.x, I well know that the GIMP ain't the same thing. That's not to say there's anything wrong with the GIMP. Sometimes I wonder why there is no Photoshop clone; the underlying algorithms are more basic than many OSS projects.

Re: the interface, while I would not enter the debate about which is superior, it seems that (viz. OpenOffice etc) adoption of an OSS package is greatly aided if the interfaces are closely compatible (but presumably not patent-infringing, eh, Macromedia?)

2 Mar 2004 (updated 2 Mar 2004 at 04:52 UTC) »
Archit: Interesting read? Not really. I've read that kind of crap before.

Romantic is what you can get out of that money and that's a decent life with a house, a car and a family. 

LOL! I can't think of anything less romantic.

The whole thing about ``free software'' is a lie. It's a dream created and made popular by people who have a keen interest in having cheap software so that they can drive down their own cost and profit more or by people who can easily demand it, because they make their money out of speaking at conferences or write books about how nice it is to have free software. At the bottom of the food chain are people like you, who are easily fooled by the ``let's make the world a better place'' rhetoric and who are so enthusiastic about technology that writing open-source - or any source for that matter - is the absolutely best imaginable way to spend their time. It doesn't matter whether you love what you are doing and consider this the hobby you want to spend 110% of your time on: It's exploitation by companies who are not at all interested in creating stuff. They want to use your stuff for free. That's why they trick you into doing it. 
This nonsense hardly merits a response. The writer is seriously delusional and projecting his own fears and inadequacies on to an ecosystem and value-system he doesn't understand. Perhaps he is jealous of the Tim O'Reillys of the world.

What's spooky is the writer's random sprinkling of the word "family" throughout the text... he is making a subliminal emotional appeal instead of making his points with evidence.

The way it's written, it could have been planted as part of a coordinated FUD-Astroturf campaign to attack free/open source software on a "populist" level. A groklaw user has summarised the lies which comprise this "strategy":

  • Open source destroys the value of programmers' labor
  • Programmers who code OSS are putting other programmers out of work
  • Programmers should stop coding OSS and start thinking from a traditional career value perspective (they will present this as an either-or choice)
  • The OSS ideologues (Stallman et al.) want all software to be free (as in beer) and you to be out of work
The gimmick here is that they're trying to radicalize the debate and to portray both sides as slippery slopes. This is a way of herding people and excluding the middle.

The middle of course is that OSS represents a way for the free market to escape from the lock-in entrapments of commercial operating systems by commoditizing the basic OS and working environment of computing. In turn, this provides an open platform on which any kind of solution (commercial, free, hybrid, etc.) can be developed without the encumberance of proprietary lock-in to a single platform.

This is the reality and the excluded middle that they don't want you to see: FOSS as a free-market response to lock-in and a mechanism for constructing an open platform on which to build new levels of business and technology.

I have added emphasis to the points which specifically refute the bullshit quoted at top.

Welcome back, Lobster!

deekayen: I think you should send the résumé - not like I have my shit together or anything...
24 Feb 2004 (updated 24 Feb 2004 at 08:38 UTC) »
mrd: The Australian-US "F"TA: what a disaster. If I'd wanted to be an American, I'd freaking move there. Let's hope John Howard retires to the US, the sooner the better. Clearly he'd rather be living there.

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