Mixed Messages

This morning, I filled up my car, as I often do, at the Shell station near my house. I use Shell not because I think they’re a wonderful petroleum company (are there any?) but because it’s the closest to my house. As I often do, as I fill up, my mind wanders to pretty much anything my eyes land on, including the advertising on the pump itself. Which got me to thinking, as I often do, about the mixed messages on that pump. Consider the following. The industry has been trying to tell us that it cares about the environment and, because it …

What Kind Of Bird Are You Booting?

Consider this a Thanksgiving post. I know most of you are away eating, or arguing with family. Up here, in the Great White North, Thanksgiving was back in early October so I’m sort of working today. You might say I’m indulging in a different kind of bird. Just what kind of bird, however, was something I was very curious about. Like many others, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the new killer OS from Google. I wanted to try it out. Kick the tires. Take it for a spin. That sort of thing. So I …

The Earth should have rings, like Saturn.

 After looking at this rather cool animation, I am sold. I think the earth should have rings, just like Saturn. As an astronomy buff from forever ago, I can tell you that while Jupiter is very cool in a backyard telescope (and took my breath away during the great comet crash of 1994), Saturn is a singular, and spectacular, jewel in the night sky. Thanks to Lew Pitcher for pointing this one out to me.  Let me quote this observation from Lew: "Now, given that the moon has been both an inspiration for astronomy and a source of endless measurements, …

The Earth should have rings, like Saturn.

 After looking at this rather cool animation, I am sold. I think the earth should have rings, just like Saturn. As an astronomy buff from forever ago, I can tell you that while Jupiter is very cool in a backyard telescope (and took my breath away during the great comet crash of 1994), Saturn is a singular, and spectacular, jewel in the night sky. Thanks to Lew Pitcher for pointing this one out to me.  Let me quote this observation from Lew: "Now, given that the moon has been both an inspiration for astronomy and a source of endless measurements, …

Ubuntu, Google, and the Future of Linux. And rsync too.

There’s a provocatively titled article by Robert Strohmeyer over at PC World that professes "The Future of Linux is Google". It waxes prophetically about how Google will eventually dominate all that is Linux and Open Source, and that "it’s time for the Linux world to rally". It starts off with a nod to Ubuntu, with the author telling us he used to believe Ubuntu (and Canonical) was destined to lead Linux into the mainstream. The reason I can’t seem to get this one out of my mind is because of the whole rallying thing; the idea that Google is now …

Doctors All, Car Crashes, and Insurance

A few days have passed since the big exciting release of the Karmic Koala. Reviews are mixed with people claiming it’s the greatest Ubuntu release of all time, and others saying it’s an utter disappointment. That’s to be expected, of course. People focus on different things and some people will find themselves running a trouble free release. Others will notice weird video problems, flickering screens, and application crashes. If you really must ask, my experience is mixed. All in all, I am feeling rather positive about where things are going. An other issue that clouds my judgement somewhat is that …