Of geeks, girls, and geek girls :-)

Out in the west, it is traditional to joke that a "geek" (a very technical person, especially in computers) does not have much of a social life, and indeed can't even get a girlfriend. This is only a joke, mind you, since most geeks actually have better communication skills than the average non-geek!

What's more fun to note, though, is that I found a girl geek can sometimes get a whole lot of attention from non-geek guys! In this case, this young friend of mine was part of a dance group, and she just happened to use a FOSS program called audacity on Linux to slice-and-dice some song clips for a mixed dance number they were doing!

As a bonus, some of those guys are now interested, if not in Linux itself, at least in audacity!

Hey, we'll do anything to spread the religion -- even dance ;-)


Java being challenged

Technologies to Watch: A Look at Four That May Challenge Java's Development Dominance

As I did my research for Beyond Java, one recurring theme was that a growing number of people just don't believe Java is productive enough anymore.

Since I never managed to learn Java (I call it the "COBOL of the internet", and one COBOL is enough for one lifetime, thanks you!), I'm quite happy to hear something even remotely suggesting this.

(criminal) Secret Code in Color Printers Lets Government Track You

LWN: EFF: Secret Code in Color Printers Lets Government Track You

Even worse, it shows how the government and private industry make backroom deals to weaken our privacy by compromising everyday equipment like printers. The logical next question is: what other deals have been or are being made to ensure that our technology rats on us?

The spooks apparently said that they did this to combat "counterfeiting". I presume they don't mean currency (since with currency the paper itself is a major part of the security), so they probably mean bonds and stocks, etc. Even then, the real problem is elsewhere. Telgi did not need these kinds of printers to run his stamp paper scam.

The real damage is to people like political dissidents. Hopefully they'll start using black and white printers! Or at least yellow paper ;-)

[Actually, by keeping the whole scheme secret, they tacitly admit that this scheme will not actually achieve much. Security that depends on secrecy of the design is, in the end, useless security.]


(DRM) Declaration of InDRMpendence

Declaration of InDRMpendence | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com

Go ahead. Ask your favorite iPod owner if he or she knows that by buying songs from the iTunes store, they're actually assuring Apple's legacy.

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. Or, as some people have started calling it, Digital Restrictions Management.

I don't even have a TV right now, and my interest in music is rather limited, so I am very far from being personally affected by this. But it does p*ss me off quite a bit. And the possibility of seeing monitors and PC speakers be DRM-disabled in the next few years is quite frightening.


(FOSS,wow) Cool stuff -- radio running Linux!

Especially check out the picture at the start of the article!

Radio's Next Generation: Radii | Linux Journal

Radii is a radio: a box with buttons and dials used to select bands and tune stations in a familiar way. Because this radio receives Internet radio, it provides hundreds of noise-free stations with a wide variety of listening options. The band selection dial, instead of AM and FM, is used to select genres such as News, Sports and Rock. The station selection dial scrolls through station names that can be tuned by clicking the select button.