Happy Towel Day!

DON’T PANIC! Today, being the 25th of May, is also Towel Day, a mostly harmless holiday in which fans of the late great author, Douglas Adams, carry a towel to recognize the man who brought us the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and introduced us to Vogon Poetry (described in the Hitchhiker’s Guide as "the third worst poetry in the universe"). Douglas Adams died on May 11, 2001. Dude! This towel’s for you.

Canonical Cozies Up To Skype

Surprise, surprise! Canonical and Skype appear to be setting us up for the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Recent updates to the Ubuntu partner repository now shows Skype as a supported package. It's all there in that magic word, partner. Skype is now a Canonical partner. Given how often I've complained about the lack of a credible open source VoIP client under Linux, this smells an awful lot like good news. Perhaps with Skype opening up to Open Source and Canonical, the days of the Linux port of Skype being the red-headed step child may, one day soon, finally be over. I can dream . …

Bad Stuff About Facebook, But Not What You Think

I'm going to start this Ubuntu-User blog entry with an apology combined with a bit of an explanation. I'm going to talk about Facebook. Yes, me too — I'm sorry.You all know what Facebook is, of course.With nearly 3 out of ever 4 intelligent beings in the known universe having their own Facebook page, it's a social networking behemoth. Facebook is so cool and so popular, everyone has either done it, is doing it, or plans on doing it. But a cursory scan of the news will tell you that it's not all rosy for Facebook. Everywhere you turn today, there's a news …

Copyrights, Copywrongs, and Copyconfusion

Last week, I received a call from Erin Anderssen, a writer and reporter from the Globe and Mail, Canada's great national newspaper. She was directed to me by a colleague of mine who suggested that I might just be the sort of person she wanted to talk to. Specifically, she wanted tech-savvy parents so she could find out how they explain copyright violations to their children.  My children are a little young yet (not quite 3 and not quite 6) so that discussion is a few years away. Nevertheless, as those of you who know me will not find surprising, …