Thursday, March 29, 2007

Vista - not really enjoying the view?

If any one of you just bought a new computer with Windows Vista on it, my condolences. You've been sold a very capable machine, which Microsoft has thrown up in.

On your first day, you realized, too late, that the Mac commercial below wasn't even exaggerating. In fact, they probably understate the annoyance of Vista's UAC.

Well, so Vista sucks, right? Honestly your only mistake was not sticking with XP until Vista's major kinks are worked out. Macs are great, no doubt, but some people don't have an extra grand lying around to pay the "Mac tax".

Consider ubuntu linux. You can try it out so easily - just download a file, burn it to a CD, and boot the CD. If it doesn't work well (and honestly it may not work well with all your hardware), take the CD out, and windows is back again. If you want to install ubuntu, one click and it installs itself, alongside windows. You can boot either one.

It takes full advantage of modern graphics hardware (which all of you now have but probably didn't realize, because windows left it unused). See below what a modern desktop can do. Granted a lot of that is pure showing off, but other features are truly indispensable. Trust me on that.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Al Gore's self contradiction

I recently watched "An Inconvenient Truth". Overall, I thought it was well done. I could see what Al Gore intended to accomplish with it, and I think he did an excellent job.

The main thing that made me wince was his use of Mark Twain's quote,
"It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so"
And then he immediately proceeds show everyone what he knows for sure.

I'm not a Global Warming denier. I believe that the best scientific evidence available to us today is quite alarming.

However, I do not see how these facts predict the future climate with any accuracy whatsoever. All they show is that the current conditions are unprecedented in recent earth history. The fact that it's unprecedented is exactly what makes it so difficult to predict what is going to happen. It could very well turn out that balancing forces will come into play that we haven't thought of yet. For instance, vast forests spring up near the poles (where few plants could live before), inhaling vast amounts of C02 and putting the brakes on Global Warming. That's just off the top of my head.

I am not saying that I'm going to drive a Hummer in circles just for fun, because all this Global Warming stuff is bunk. All of us have known that our cars waste energy and pollute, regardless of Global Warming. And there's plenty of other ways we waste energy and pollute. Why not clean up our act for those reasons, and just throw in the possibility of disastrous climate change to seal the deal?

I'm calling it.

At some point we have to officially declare the war in Iraq a huge mistake. Most people have been in agreement on this for quite some time. However, there have been a few holdouts (including the entire Bush administration) who continue to wait for Jesus to come down from heaven and turn blood into lattes.

Can we officially call it 'over', and take our enormous losses? Whoever thought we could go into a completely different culture that lived under an iron fist for decades, wreck their infrastructure, remove every barrier to all-out civil war, and somehow end up with a democratic, peaceful, secure country in a year or two... could you please raise your hand?

I think I hear crickets.

When Bush says we're going to stay until the job is done, what he means is, until he can sneak off to his ranch in 2009 and leave the country wallowing in the biggest disaster of our lifetime.

Here's today's headline, complete with question that should have been asked four years ago:

'Silent victims':What will become of Iraq's children?