Windows receives a permanent ctrl-alt-delete from NASA aboard the International Space Station, with a special emphasis on the “delete”.
According to an article at ExtremeTech, NASA has given Microsoft Windows the boot out of the nearest airlock that it should have gotten a long time ago.
According to the article, dozens of laptops aboard the space station will be purged of their Windows infestations and transitioned over to the more reliable Debian GNU/Linux.
In the end, there will apparently be no Windows systems left aboard the space station.
The article also notes some of the reliability problems that the crew had been having out of the Windows system, long noted for its total lack of security.
In the time that the crew was using Windows, they had been dealing with all of its expected malfunctions, including at least one virus, which was brought onboard by a Russian Cosmonaut, which quickly spread to the other Windows systems on the space station.
The article notes that the applications that the crew was using on Windows have been made to run on the GNU/Linux platform. For some reason, they “hope” it’s not WINE, although I don’t know why that would be of particular concern, as long as they run. (I’ve had some great success with Wine, lately preferring to use the PlayOnLinux front end to set up a wall of separation between all of my Windows applications).
The training for the Debian systems will be provided by the Linux Foundation.
As a footnote, the article mentions a robot which also runs GNU/Linux, aboard the station, which will be used to perform some housekeeping, and perhaps spacewalks, which will make the mission run more smoothly and safely for the crew.
On May 1st, you can take the opportunity to affirm your loyalty to the United States, and all the freedoms you have.
Americans who are on the kill list, indefinitely detained, or are awaiting their day in front of the Military Tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, excluded.
I didn’t even know Loyalty Day existed until KDE’s calendar highlighted it.
Also, it seems a little bizarre to celebrate freedom in a country that incarcerates more of its own citizens than the People’s Republic of China or the Soviet Union ever did.
It’s also International Workers Day pretty much everywhere else in the world except here, so…
Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.
With Digital Restrictions Malware and proprietary software, Amazon’s Swindle and similar devices are the “gift that keeps on taking”.
Digital Restrictions Malware has been with us for years now. It’s not getting any better with age. Like an unwelcome house guest that can’t take a hint, movie, book, and music publishers can’t seem to take the hint that they are destroying their own sales when they use it.
The copyright maximalism lobbyists would have us believe that when they publish a work, that this work is their exclusive property, forever and ever, until the end of time. Convenient for them, were it true, US Copyright Law says that it is not so. US Copyright Law gives users rights, albeit few, to reuse copyrighted materials without owing the original author or publishers anything. This is called “Fair Use”.
Another right that Copyright Law gives the purchaser of a copyrighted work is the right to resell their copy, known as the “First Sale Doctrine”.
Both of these concepts have been consistently and repeatedly upheld by the US Supreme Court, but authors and publishers have found a legal maneuver that takes away your rights, called DRM. Euphemistically, “Digital Rights Management”. But, DRM has nothing to do with your rights, other than taking away what few of them copyright law left you with.
Thanks to a US federal law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, it is illegal to remove Digital Restrictions Malware, even if you are only doing it to use the copyrighted work for a legal purpose which is otherwise allowed by law. It is also illegal to tell people how to break their handcuffs, which makes the DMCA unconstitutional, because it violates the First Amendment right of freedom of speech.
DRM has never stopped a single pirate; not one. While companies that develop DRM no doubt have a few intelligent, albeit amoral, software developers on the payroll, there are thousands of intelligent software developers that are going to start chipping away at the handcuffs the instant they are inflicted upon the public.
Not only that, but there are non-technical people who figure out easy ways around Digital Restrictions, such as by re-typing an ebook into a text editor program and saving it to a file.
This is time consuming, but it’s obvious, and it works.
Clearly, the main purpose of ebook DRM (just as with DRM applied to audio files or movies) is that it locks the end user into a perpetual obligation to a particular company.
For example, since Amazon’s DRM only works with the Kindle or the Kindle App, you are prevented from “moving your books to another shelf” if you decide later that you want to take your business to a competitor of Amazon’s.
When you decide you wish to sell your collection of books that you paid for, you can’t.
When you want to copy and paste an excerpt as allowed under Fair Use, it can be difficult and time consuming.
Even worse, most ebooks that are infected with DRM, allow the publisher or the book store to remotely wipe things that you paid for from your device. Amazon has done this with Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell, which ironically depict a dystopian society where the government does the exact same thing. Publishers and book stores have never had the right to break into your home and steal your entire bookshelf, until now.
What’s most unfortunate about ebook DRM is that some public libraries have started using it, and by extension, demanding that users use proprietary software to read their books. This also applies to books you “buy” from an ebook store with DRM, but it is even worse when public libraries do it, because they are effectively using your tax dollars on something that forces you to use software you may not want, and purchase expensive licenses to use the software, that many people can ill-afford, or you can’t read any of the books (even though, as a taxpayer, you are paying for this “service” you are prevented from using anyway).
The public should never be forced to use proprietary software and secret undocumented file formats by a government agency that they are forced to support with tax money.
The benefits of Free Software (software which gives the users Four Freedoms), as defined by the Free Software Foundation are as follows:
- The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
- The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
- The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
When a user if forced to use “proprietary software”, such as Microsoft Windows or Apple OS X, or various “tablet” or “smartphone” operating systems, such as Android, iOS, or Windows, they obviously do not have these freedoms.
Conversely, when a user chooses to use Free (as in Freedom) software, such as a GNU/Linux operating system, they have these freedoms built in.
This is a problem. To use a taxpayer-funded library, you must surrender your freedoms. Leave them at the door. If you don’t, you simply pay taxes for a service that is useless and unavailable to you.
We should not allow libraries to seduce us into surrendering freedom for expedience. We must tell them that they are abusing taxpayers when they do these things to us. We should ask that libraries use open standard formats, such as OpenDocument, PDF, and ePub, without Digital Restrictions Malware.
To that effect, I am sending a copy of this post to my library and my local newspaper. You can feel free to do the same.
I strongly encourage anyone who reads this to join the Defective By Design campaign against DRM, and to tag anything on Amazon that uses DRM with the phrase “defective by design”, including their Kindle and any book that uses DRM. (Obviously, Blu Ray movies are all encumbered by this malicious software as well, and are good candidates for tagging.) http://www.defectivebydesign.org/
Brad is a longtime customer of Comcast, and he planned to take Comcast with him to his new home. This was a mistake. Not the part where he was going to keep using Comcast: in many areas, people who want cable don't really have a choice. His mistake was letting Comcast know ahead of time that he planned to move. Things began to go terribly wrong within mere minutes, and he is still without any of his Comcast services, even though the move is weeks away.
So Comcast sent a technician out to shut off my cable internet today.
I am current on my bill. I’ve never been late on a bill in my entire life. I could never get an answer as to why they shut it off, but I eventually got it turned back on.
While they were out here, they managed to knock out the power, and everything in my apartment went dark for a few seconds. When the power came back up, I had no internet.
I spent two
FUCKING wonderful more hours of my life on FUCKING wonderful hold with Comcast, listening all about their customer fuck service guarantee.
I am so mad about this right now. I’m going to bring this up at the next tenant meeting. I know that other tenants in this complex have had enough of
those fucking idiots those wonderful people at Comcast with the 24-hour Customer Guarantee (apparently, the actual guarantee is that you’ll be on 1-800-COMCAST trying to sort out the problems they created for you, 24 hours a day, and might get your service shut off even though you pay your bills) and I’m going to petition the owners of this complex to let us get Cinergy Metronet.
(Oh well, I guess I should be glad they didn’t blow up the building, like they did when their technician hit a gas line a few blocks from my home a few years back and KILLED two people.)
All I can say is that if you have options, choose something else.
Comcast was rated America’s worst company several times by The Consumerist, and I don’t think they’ve changed much.
There’s an Android app called ibotta, that lets you sign up for grocery coupons that give you the credit as rebates.
So, I tried loading it onto my…..ANDROID tablet, and it said it doesn’t support my device, an Archos G9 tablet with Android 4. It easily meets the requirements listed on ibotta’s site and there’s no reason I can think of why it wouldn’t work.
I emailed their customer service and got this reply…
Chris replied:Hi Ryan,Unfortunately that is not a supported device for the app at the moment. We support mostly Apple products and Android devices. And have some future plans for some Windows based phones. I do encourage you to install the app on your phone if it is either of the 2 supported brands of devices. Thanks for choosing iBotta and have a great day!
Please refer to Ibotta’s 24/7 Help Center at ibotta.desk.com for answers to your questions
First of all, I don’t care what they do with Windows *anything*. I already lose out on some of my couponing because I don’t think the value of the coupons I’m missing would be worth the colossal pain in the ass of having to use Windows.
I don’t care what they are doing with iThings, because iThings use malicious software from a malicious company. The excess markup on the devices would pretty much wipe out any possible savings from running ibotta on it.
Really, I have little need for an expensive cell phone. I do enough shopping at Kroger to get enough minutes on my i-wireless phone (an LG102) to never pay a cell phone bill, and I sure don’t plan to start paying one as long as I can possibly avoid doing so.
The fact remains that I have an Android device that is refusing to run an Android app, possibly, no PROBABLY, because the app developer is incompetent about how they are flagging compatibility options.
I could probably root the device and make it work, but whatever. Screw you guys, I’m going home.
Comcast’s account login is down. I can’t access my Comcast mail or my account settings. This is the second week in a row.
Is this going on for everyone, or am I just the lucky Comcast customer again?
I really don’t want to play the usual 10 hour “Hello my name is Peggy” phone tag with Comcast support that it takes for them to resolve any issue.
Just leave a comment if you have a “me too”.