Heh. I was reading an old issue of Instinct (gay magazine) that was lying around the bathroom. In an article on gay guys who are married but haven't told (and don't plan to tell) their wives about it, they just fool around on the side, one of the guys interviewed had this to say (in response to a question about what kind of guys he's attracted to):

"If there is any advice I can give to a gay guy who might want to sleep with me, it's to tell the truth about yourself when we begin to chat, and just be yourself."

Mmmm...tastes like iron!

XGL redux

So the blue drop shadows guy wrote back by way of a new blog post to explain that I'm a silly bunny and it's fine because it's just a technology demonstration. He also suggested I read the comments on his entry, where people have come up with Really Useful Applications for his technology demonstration, such as:

"Use a different color for windows running as another user. For example, if I start an admin tool with root priviligies that windows would use a different color for the shadow."

So the problem with the suggestions is they stink of doing things ass-backwards: instead of identifying a problem then deciding on the best solution, someone codes up a piece of borderline useless eye candy and people come up with the best half-hearted justification they can manage for why it's Really Useful. Now if we were doing things forward, we would start by identifying a problem: there's no indicator of what user a particular application is running as. Now we've identified this problem, we try and pick the best possible solution. If we were working this way around, would the solution that immediately jumped into anyone's mind be "I know! Let's use a different coloured drop shadow!"? No. I don't think it would.

The problem with the "ooh, it's just a technology demonstration!" excuse is it's getting old. Novell has developed this shiny Xgl thing and touted it around as the next big thing. Everyone's jumping on the bandwagon and declaring how great it is. They're making it one of the cornerstone features of the next SUSE release. And yet, several months after it first broke, the only things that have actually been DONE with it are the useless bits of eye candy which were justified by the "it's just a demonstration!" excuse. The Xgl features Novell developers (and Novell - see for e.g. , where Xgl is featured prominently as a new feature in their enterprise desktop product, for Pete's sake) are making a big deal about shipping in SUSE 10.1 are...the useless bits of eye candy that everyone said were just technology demonstrations. Where's the beef? Hasn't it been long enough that it's reasonable to start asking this question? Isn't it reasonable to argue that the development process of this technology has been compromised in the pursuit of PR opportunities?

Those are my questions.

Activity log #19

Publish newsletter #119 on Club, send to news outlets

interesting discussion with vdanen re security lifetimes and such

Ubuntu - groundbreaking!

In an article with this subhead: "The Ubuntu Linux project hopes to release a groundbreaking product later this year..."

I see this Shuttleworth quote:

"So dream a little about Xen for virtualisation, Xgl/AIGLX and other wonderful wobbly window bits, the goodness of Network Manager, a first flirt with multiarch [multiple architecture] support for true mixed 32-bit and 64-bit computing on AMD64, the interesting possibilities of the SMART package manager... and other pieces of infrastructure which have appeared tantalisingly on the horizon"

Hmm, yes. Pieces of infrastructure which have appeared tantalisingly on the horizon, or, alternatively, which have been in one or more of your competitors' products for months now. Welcome to the present, Mark. Still, I wish I knew what magic button you have to press to get major sites to release puff pieces like this as 'news stories' without even doing any checking to see what the rest of the Linux world is doing...

Activity log #18

More Inside drafting

Futile attempt to stop world's longest and most pointless flamewar

various correspondence (Walt about Inside, reminding John Dvorak that we're not Mandrake any more...)

Activity log #17

Final final FINAL draft of newsletter #119 with new submission from wobo

various discussion with walt pennington (including news we've done a bunch of nice printed copies of One to give away - yay!)

draft of CWN section for Inside

Activity log #16

weekend / monday

final draft for newsletter #119 various forum admin things

wrote club article on MDV 2006 VMware image -

trying to organise with david and warly to have VMware image linked from VMware's site

not much else, since it was a long weekend and everyone else was off work (and I had vital Gran Turismo 4-related duties to attend to...:>)


This BBC News story has me utterly flabbergasted. How anyone with a functioning brain, let alone university tenure, can suggest with a straight face that there could be "more money generated by the gambling sector than any other" escapes me. It should be immediately and patently obvious to anyone more evolved than a rhesus monkey that gambling can by its very nature never generate money. All any form of gambling can possibly do is redistribute money that is already available, and a sustainable gambling industry can only function by redistributing money from consumers to casinos. Gambling does not produce any form of goods useful to anyone at all, nor does it perform any useful service or even provide something you could define as art or culture. The only situation under which it can possibly perform a useful economic function is in an economy with a culture of savings where it would be in the interest of the overall economy for more money to be spent, but this hardly applies to the U.K., with its gigantic mountain of credit card debts. In a society where people are already spending more than they can afford, all gambling can do in economic terms is redistribute some of that spending away from other areas which do produce some kind of tangible good, service or cultural artifact. It can never provide a benefit to the economy in general or individual consumers on average. I'd love to see how that guy manages to prop up his ridiculous argument.

Activity log #14 / #15

#14, Thursday:

more Kiosk testing on Community

draft Mandriva In Depth page for Inside

write Club announcement for Kiosk testing (not published yet, waiting on translations)

correspondence (trying to clear out Club packages, proposal from reinout on club newsletter generation system)

15, Friday:

first draft for newsletter #119