Archive for January 19th, 2007

Sedgwick Gets More ‘Closer’ Cash

“The Closer” star Kyra Sedgwick is having a pretty good week. […] The new deal will pay her in the range of $250,000 to $300,000 per episode”

I know that this is a free market and all, but man, a quarter of a million every 10 days (that’s how long it takes to complete a TV episode) is a bit too much for the kind of service she offers. Besides, her cable TV show has only 6 million viewers per week, and if it was on a networked TV channel instead she wouldn’t last a single season.

Hey, I don’t like the communistic economic system, but it’s times like these that capitalism sounds sour to me. I am happy for Sedgwick’s success, but I don’t think she offers to the world more than even that open source Gimp developer who doesn’t get paid for his work does. I am fine with skilled people getting paid higher than others (e.g. my husband is getting paid pretty well compared to most US citizens, other professionals do too), but when it comes to huge sums of money for just a few days of work, I somehow have a problem with it.

No, I am not jealous, I live an easy life (we aren’t rich, but we do live in considerable comfortability). It’s just that it feels unfair than an individual can make so much money in 10 days of work while others have to look at the garbage cans for your old burger. I swear to the bones of my grandfather that if *I* (not JBQ) was making so much easy money, a huge sum would go to charity. And if JBQ wouldn’t agree with me giving away so much money, I would divorce him so I could do so, or, I would stop working so I wouldn’t have to make money that I could not share with others.

While right now I live a good life (only my health sucks), I grew up poorer than most kids around me. I have no attachment to money, none whatsoever. As long as I have enough money to make me feel safe from starvation and enough to get me a roof above my head, I am good.

Ugly Betty rules

Ok, am I slow or “The Office” doesn’t make sense? What’s the point of that show? When I see an actor sitting in a chair and the camera zooms on him and he doesn’t talk, and then suddenly he starts talking a tiny bit about off topic crap, what’s up with this? I simply don’t get “The Office”. I don’t find it funny and I don’t find it coherent. I guess that’s because it’s a “mockumentary supposedly-reality show” rather than a traditional sit-com, but this just doesn’t work for me. At least not for 2 years in the row. The “feel” of the show gets old.

The reason I write this is because some people online expressed their disapproval of “Ugly Betty” winning a Golden Globe award against “The Office“. Well, duh. “Ugly Betty” actually is funny, it has some interesting twists (anyone saw coming Rebecca Romijn now portrays Daniel’s… brother?), it is romantic and well-directed (in a coherent way that is). And I know this because it has captivated me, as I am a person that I would never sit down and watch such a “fashion drama” TV series under normal circumstances.

In fact, I remember in 1988, when “The Bold and the Beautiful” started broadcasting in the Greek TV and it had taken the female population by storm back then. I remember specifically a time period of 3 days where my two girlfriend’s TVs were busted and they were coming to my home to watch it. In order to fit in with them I lied to their face that I liked that fashion soap opera too and watched it with them, while in reality I could not stand 5 minutes of it. Brother steals his brother’s wife, fathers stealing their son’s girlfriends, people divorcing and getting back together just to divorce again a few weeks later etc etc. Yuck. Why the hell are people are watching soap operas? Thank God “Ugly Betty” has nothing to do with all that.

Like a virgin, hey!

I was reading in the Greek news that some people in the government advocate that the new vaccine against some forms of cervical cancer should be obligatory. Personally, I am against this as of yet, because the vaccine is very new and has not proven itself outside of the lab as being truly without major side-effects (I am sure it works, but at what cost?). Mandatory vaccines should only be enforced to the population after the particular drug has been out and about for at least 10 years, OR, if the population dies or gets sick in large numbers and desperate measures must be taken.

Of course, what is the alternative, right? I took my first PAP test when I was 22 years old. But if the law instead requires all girls above 16 to take the PAP test, this can find opposition by many parents in the rural Greece. For example, my father would never allow me to take the PAP test or wear a tampon as a teenager, because that would cause loss of my virginity. And this is something absolutely unacceptable for him until engagement or marriage.

Linux Guru Argues Against Security Liability

“Alan Cox, one of the leading Linux kernel developers, has told a House of Lords hearing that neither open- nor closed-source developers should be liable for the security of the code they write.”

I beg to differ. There should be a limit as to how much “stupid” or “malicious” a developer can be. This is like saying that a house built with bad quality parts should not hold liable the house builder that picked them and used them and that eventually led to the destruction of the house even with a 5 Richter earthquake. I can tell you right now that my father (a house/roof builder) is liable if this happens. So if my father is liable, why a developer can’t be? Loss or destruction of someone’s information on a PC can ultimately be more expensive than losing a house or a roof.

Of course, there is absolutely no software that is 100% secure (sometimes might even be a combination of different libraries working together, or the compiler itself that is buggy), this is why such a potential law should be flexible. When a developer has a track record of badly written software, or way too many holes are found in one of his programs, or if the software is way too popular and the developer didn’t take care of it properly, or when security patches were sent to him and failed to follow up on them in a timely manner etc etc, then that developer should be hold liable.

This might sound preposterous right now, because everyone thinks “hey, it’s just software”. But you know, times change. What you call “just software”, today has evolved to be part of our lives and integral part of businesses. While 10 or 20 years ago such a law would indeed be preposterous (simply because it would only affect very few people or businesses), today it is not so. No matter if software is a hobby for someone or not, there is a responsibility that comes with it if released to the public.

Someone said in the OSNews forums “wouldn’t that kill the freeware scene?”. Well, maybe. But at least your computer will be safer. There is a price to pay for everything in this world. If you want security (and the majority of people want just that, out of the box), someone will have to be more careful as to what he/she releases to the public.

Look, this is similar to the practicing license for doctors. Back in the day you didn’t need a license to practice it. When the law got in place I am sure it was greeted with the same kind of skepticism. 200 years later, I say we are better off with licensed doctors rather than random people knocking in our door to sell us snake oil.

Yes, I trade the freedom of an individual who expresses himself via software, for security. Thing is though, in the case of software, other people use it, and they can indeed get hurt by it, financially or otherwise. If there was a way to become blind because you stared at Mona Lisa, then I am sure Leonardo da Vinci would be held liable AS WELL. So if a law helps my PC become more secure, I don’t care how Joe Developer actually does it, as long as he/she takes the right steps to do so. It will make the development of software more expensive and tedious, but as a user, this is something I can live with.

A new car in the family

My mom got a new car, a Toyota Aygo, same color as in the picture below. Hopefully this city car can actually manage the 40 Khm+ she has to drive daily to go to her job and come back.