Random stuff…

* The GPE project launched a GPE Phone sub-project. A clever move, as the PDA market is dead in favor of smartphones. However, their current alpha build is disappointing (I tried it). Yes, it’s alpha, but it feels a lot like the MS Smartphone story: they had a PocketPC interface and then they had to find a way to shrink and adapt that interface for their smartphone edition. The result was atrocious in terms of usability. Same goes for GPE: they should have started more “cleanly” rather than trying to move a few widgets around. The phone market is not the same as the PDA one and it requires a different interface that it can be used with only a few softkeys and one-hand navigation.

* I met a guy in-the-know the other night and he assured me that there won’t be any open source or highly-tested/optimized Linux driver for the nVidia consumer cards, because Linux’s desktop market has been stack at 2-3% the last few years and no one wants to pay nVidia to fix the driver (they would probably do it for the right price). He specifically said that the currently released desktop driver is simply a “byproduct of the Quadro drivers”. NVidia is very interested in the professional 3D Animation Linux market (which flourishes after the demise of the SGI IRIX) and they are getting paid well to do good Quadro drivers. Additionally, he said that (at least in USA) users who are leaving Windows are mostly going to the Mac platform rather than in desktop Linux, so there is not a strong incentive for nVidia to work for desktop Linux. Of course, this is nothing that we didn’t already know (it’s pretty much public information), but hey.

* I tried XFce 4.4 over the weekend. Consumes considerably less RAM than Gnome, but it is not polished. There are a number of inconveniences that I personally would not be able to live with on a daily basis. I emailed the XFce guys about it, hopefully some of them will be fixed for v4.4.1 so I can write a less-than-bitchy review.

* If there is one thing I don’t like about US sports is that the American people are getting all psyched about games between US teams instead of international games. This does not happen in any other country. For example, when your country is in the world’s final of football/soccer with another country, this is the one huge event compared to the country’s internal champions league final. To me, this shows how Americans are living within the constraints of their own country and they have not learned to embrace the international community as much as they should have. And sports is a great example of this. Heck, most Americans don’t even know where China is on the map.

* I love the song “Flathead” by the Fratellis in the new iPod ads (check the ad on the left, it’s better than the one on the right hand side).

* We ordered the complete series of the “Lone Gunmen” on DVD. Also, we ordered the X-Files movie and two Madonna concerts, including her newest one.

* My ciabatta seems to have been a hit last Saturday with our friends. I will bake some more today for my JBQ.


Stefan wrote on February 6th, 2007 at 1:58 AM PST:

Welcome to planet America! It should have a separate orbit from Terra :)

Peejay wrote on February 6th, 2007 at 2:01 AM PST:

> My ciabatta seems to have been a hit last Saturday with our friends.

I should hope so. I almost took a bite out of my monitor, anyways. ;)

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on February 6th, 2007 at 3:10 AM PST:

Thanks Peejay! Actually, I baked today’s ciabatta on our pizza stone instead of the cookie sheet that the recipe calls for (it was JBQ’s idea), and the crust was much crustier than usual. It was great.

memson wrote on February 6th, 2007 at 4:44 AM PST:

The US is a union of “states”. In English, the word “state” referes to many things, but the most common notion in this context is “nation state”. Indeed, the US is made up of multiple “states” with their own law and governments, but has a federal government over the top. That is why the federal government exists. It’s a bit like the EU and the European parliment. In fact, the EU is just a rehash of the beginnings of the US.

States can theoretically petition to leave the Union. They would therefore be a stand alone country. Places can petition to join the Union, hence Hawaii and Alaska.

The UK is a union in the same way. Made up of 4 nations as well as a bunch of seperately governed islands. The English are actually the underdogs too, believe it or not. All the other countries have their own parliment. England only has the government that governs the entire union. Westminster is the UK government, not the English government.

Vaspers: No greeks are homos. That is the stereotype here at any rate.

Vassilis 'vasper' Perantzakis wrote on February 6th, 2007 at 5:24 AM PST:

Greeks homos… Well…in Thessaloniki sure, but no Athens…. :-)
Ancient Greeks perhaps. And even that is a historical misunderstanding for Platonic love.

mikesum32 wrote on February 6th, 2007 at 6:09 AM PST:

>Heck, most Americans don’t even know where China is on the map.

Don’t perpetuate false stereotypes. That’s absolute grade A bullshit, and I do not appreciate it from someone who should know better. Plus you just pulled that little factoid out of your ass.

There are ignorant people everywhere !
I could go to Canada, Greece, France or the Netherlands and ask people simple, easy questions and edit all the wrong answers together to mock whichever county I choose. “Oh look, Greeks can’t even find Italy on a map. “They are teh stoopid. OMG, LOL. ”

All Greeks are homos, and the women have mustaches. All Greeks are ignorant of technology.

Your family doesn’t know who Steve Jobs is. “They are teh stoopid. OMG, LOL. ”

Frenchmen swill wine and eat nothing but stinky cheese and frog legs, and are arrogant snobs to foreigners.

See, that wasn’t very nice, was it ?

The reason you Euros (yeah I just made that up) get so excited is because all of your little teenybopper countries are packed so tight and are mutually incomprehensible to one another.

From New York to LA is over 2000 miles, and all you might hear is English. Try that in Europe and you get a plethora of languages and cultures.

American (with Alaska) is two and a half times the size of the European Union and about the size of China.

Americans aren’t known for being huge fans of soccer/football anyway, so why should we get all excited about some games half a world away ? It might as well be on the moon. Hell, I used to play soccer and I hardly ever watch it, even then. Sports don’t hold my interest.

Our state vs. state is like the country vs country in Europe because we are our own neighbors, while European countries have other countries as their rivals. We have Mexico and Canada. *cough*

Suppose the America is like grammar school and you’re the bully. Beating Mexico is like beating up a drunk hobo, and beating Canada is like beating up that whiny emotional kid that writes poetry. Maybe it’s a challenge, maybe not, but it won’t earn you respect from your clique of asshole jock friends. Europe is the naive foreign exchange student that nobody cares about.

So when it’s, say, Indiana vs Illinois, it’s like fighting another bully who has been challenging you. Id est, it’s a challenging fight, it’ll earn respect, and it’s just good fun.

Yeah, I was pretty pissed off when I started writing this, but I feel better now.

-Michael “that whiny emotional kid that writes poetry” Summers

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on February 6th, 2007 at 6:40 AM PST:


The point remains, state vs state is NOT the same as country vs country in sports. Americans MUST care about the countries that are half a world away. Right now, I see USA being very isolated. Sports could help this very problem. You just proved it.

mikesum32 wrote on February 6th, 2007 at 8:02 AM PST:

State vs State vs Country vs Country

It’s the equivalent. Did it cross your mind that a union of separate European countries and a union of separate American states is similar ? Of course there are differences.

>Americans MUST care about the countries that are half a world away.
>Right now, I see USA being very isolated.

Why MUST we, on a sports level, care about other countries ?

So we can have crazy soccer riots ? Why should America care if England beats France or vice versa ? You say we are isolated. We are geographically speaking, isolated. We aren’t European. We aren’t even near Europe. That isn’t going to change unless Superman spins the Earth backwards and time goes in reverse. Then our continents will drift back together. We’re isolated geographically and there is nothing anyone can do.

>Sports could help this very problem.
>You just proved it.

How could sports *rivalry* do anything but create rivals ?

Why can’t we, worry about us, and you, worry about you ?

Why do we have to be exactly like you and care about the things you care about ? That your way is the one, true way. It seems somewhat fascist.

You didn’t mention the fact that you, without forethought, just spread a false stereotype about America.

Did you even consider that your slight would anger people ? Do you actually believe that Americans can’t find China ?

“Gee, everybody knows American are ignorant and stupid.”

That’s what you are saying, and you’re wrong. Maybe we aren’t the bests in geography, but we aren’t the fools you have portrayed us as.

Gene Roddenberry had a problem with Star Trek: TOS. It portrayed all Klingons as villains. So for Star Trek: TNG, he created Worf. He understood that no peoples, be them Americans, Russians, or Klingons, are all the same.

I try not to group all peoples, be they nations, sexual orientations, or minorities, with one broad brush stroke.

What I’m trying to say is: Treat everyone as individuals and not as labels (Greek, Gay, Female, Black, Handicapped, former OS News Editor, American)

Sometimes I find myself not doing that, but I try, and I think you should too.

Plus I’m pretty sure most Americans could find China on a map, thank you very much.

Now off to bed, because I’m not sure I’m making sense.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on February 6th, 2007 at 8:07 AM PST:

Mike, you are obviously taking everything way too personal. Generalizations are bad, but sometimes do serve to bring up a point. MY point, which in this case was about the ISOLATION of US citizens. The China thing and sports are EXAMPLES. You don’t have to reply here in this fashion to fight a single sentence. I am not interested in your reply, because I agree with it in the most part. Reply on the meat of my blog post, not taking apart the words just because you have a thinner skin.

Vassilis 'vasper' Perantzakis wrote on February 6th, 2007 at 8:34 AM PST:

>All Greeks are homos,
Actually those are the British… :-)

>and the women have mustaches.
true :-)

>“Gee, everybody knows American are ignorant and stupid.”
only the Republicans

>Do you actually believe that Americans can’t find China ?
Oh… if they can read a map they can find it… but Eugenia said they don’t know where it is (which unfortunately is true), not that they can’t find it.

>so why should we get all excited about some games half a world away
Actually… it is only 1/4 of a world away.

Luis wrote on February 6th, 2007 at 12:32 PM PST:

One great thing about internet is that it has brought American citizens to be MUCH more aware about the rest of the world than they were before. Ten years ago I would have to agree much more about Americans knowing (and caring to know) almost nothing about the rest of the world, but today they get in touch with foreigners (on-line) every day, and that has made a difference. Those who are up to 20 y.o. have grown up meeting people from all around the world.

About sports I’d agree with mikesum32 except maybe in Basketball. After all, it’s the only international one of the big 3 sports for them. And in the last 10-15 years they’ve been beaten once and again by “small” European countries (last time Greece), and still they don’t care about international competitions and think the NBA is the most important.

memson wrote on February 8th, 2007 at 1:30 AM PST:

> And even that is a historical misunderstanding for
> Platonic love

And I guess the Greeks grooming young boys for Platonic love isn’t at all true too.. lol.

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