Karen Sandler’s Keynote address to Linux Australia conference

 

This is the keynote address that Karen Sandler (executive director of the GNOME Foundation) recently gave to the Linux Australia conference. It goes to the heart of why software is important, and why we should all have access to the sourcecode of the products which we all use everyday.

Karen has a rare heart condition and needed a defibrulator/pacemaker. One of her first questions when talking to a cardiologist about it was ‘what does it run’ – to which he had no answer, and didn’t understand why she cared. Yet, she cared for the same reason that *everyone* should care. ‘New’ defibrulators today are openly broadcasting over wifi patient details – so that when a patient walks into his/her doctors office, they no longer have to take their pulse – its on the computer already. Seems like a nifty feature, right? But the problem is, its not just broadcasting that info in the doctors office. It’s broadcasting it 24/7. In the mall. At school. In the airport. Everywhere. And the devices have been *proven* to be hackable – that is to say, it *IS* possible to hack into them and make them give the patient a shock. Or stop working entirely. Or any number of other things.

And yet, no-one can legally look at the software. And its not even reviewed (or tested!!) by any 3rd party – not by the FDA, not by anyone at all outside of the company that makes it. They say its ‘bug free’ – but anyone who knows about computers knows that there is *no such thing* as bug-free code. No. Such. Thing.

It goes to the heart of why open source is so important today – because we use computers constantly, everyday, without even thinking about it. We no longer drive cars; we ride in computers that drive. We no longer fly in airplanes; we ride in computers that fly. We no longer vote in elections; we tell a computer how to vote *for* us. Etc. And virtually all of these computers run on proprietary software which no-one outside the company that makes it has access to, to double check its safety, its security or anything else. And most of us don’t think twice about it.

Anyhow, its a long talk (nearly an hour), but is completely worth it. Its the reason that I use, love, and support Open Source Software. Its the reason why we all should.

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SOPA & NDAA

First off, in case you haven’t heard, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has passed both houses of congress with huge majorities and Obama has now said he will sign it. This is absolutely terrifying. Why? Because it codifies into #USA law indefinite detention, of anyone and everyone the president *accuses* of being a terrorist, or even merely supporting:

http://www.salon.com/2011/12/16/three_myths_about_the_detention_bill/

It simply cannot be any clearer within the confines of the English language that this bill codifies the power of indefinite detention. It expressly empowers the President — with regard to anyone accused of the acts in section (b) – to detain them “without trial until the end of the hostilities.” That is the very definition of “indefinite detention,” and the statute could not be clearer that it vests this power. Anyone claiming this bill does not codify indefinite detention should be forced to explain how they can claim that in light of this crystal clear provision.

So basically, assuming Obama truly does sign this in the coming days, anyone the president *accuses* of terrorism, can be held indefinitely. Accused. Not convicted of being, but merely *accused*. This bill passed the US Senate 93-7. Ninety-three to *seven*. So much for freedom in the USA.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/10/sopa-hollywood-finally-gets-chance-break-internet

Next up is SOPA – Stop Online Privacy Act. Sounds noble, doesn’t it? Its aim? Stop piracy Though of course there is absolutely no way to do this. If it passes though, we will end up with a corporate shell for the internet, at least in the USA. Companies will be able to (once again) merely accuse a website of infringing on their copyright, and thence force ad services (Google, Facebook, etc), and payment processors (PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, etc) to stop funding you. It will essentially force anyone who allows posting of content to constantly monitor & censor what is being posted. No more Youtube. No more Facebook. But we might stop a tiny bit of privacy.

Life & Politics

Yesterday we finally got up to Canton to see my Grandma, who broke her left leg last weekend. She was in the hospital down in Columbus till Thursday when she was transferred up to a rehab center in Canton. She looked OK, but was pretty out of it when we saw her. Personally, I think its the drugs for pain that she’s on that are making her a little loopy.

Anyhow, when we came home I made Braised Lentils Moroccan Style, which turned out very good. I’m having so much fun cooking totally new things lately, its amazing. I haven’t made the same thing twice in weeks, and there’s still a lot of recipes I really want to try. As I cook more and more from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, I like it more and more. The recipes are good, easy, and mostly pretty quick.

On the political front, Clinton’s campaign just keeps getting slimier and slimier. First there were the “3am” commercials, which were far more fear-mongering and rovian than anything that Obama has ever put out. And now there’s talk that she’s trying to play dirty in Texas’ carcases? It’s really pretty sad that she’s ready & willing to do literally anything to win, even if it means breaking the rules and cheating to do it.

Obama in Akron

So, I finally got to see Barack Obama today, which was very cool. He was up in Akron at the John S Knight Center, at “5:30” with the doors “opening at 4:00”. Which makes me wonder why on earth I stood outside in the freezing cold from 4:20ish till 6:00ish!! I’m not sure what they were doing to everyone as they entered the building – patting every single person down? Strip searching them? Doing a background check? Seriously, I don’t know, but the line that stretched around the block when we got their at 4:15 barely moved for the first 1.5 hours we stood in it. And then around 6 we all just walked right in, just like I figured we would to begin with! Only, we got stuck up on a balcony with nowhere to sit… But, at least we got to see (ok, mostly hear), him, and it wasn’t freezing ass cold anymore, which was an *AWESOME* change!! Oh, and I nursed Andros twice while we were there – once standing in line (which really seemed to empress Kevin for some reason), briefly, and then again for longer once we got inside in the warmth!

His speech was basically the same one that he’s been giving (I think) for the last while, but it was very good. He talked about Clinton’s recent attacks on his health care plan, and what he said made sense. I don’t think there’s any way that a plan that mandates people buy coverage will get through the congress, not right now. But one that dramatically cuts the costs of it, and helps people to buy it? That just might make it.

In anycase, I’m glad we went, glad we got to see him, in person, finally. It was a good time, even the part where we had to stand outside in the cold.

Myers-Briggs/Jung Personality Tests

 So, I read an article about the current presidential candidate’s Myers-brigg/Jung personality types on Slate.com (http://www.slate.com/id/2184696/). It’s results make sense – Hillary is an ESTJ (Guardian/Supervisor), Obama’s an ENFP (Idealist/Champion), and McCain’s an ESTP (Promoter) (he “couldn’t bare to imagine a Huckabee administration”). Its an interesting read.

However, what I find fascinating right now, is that I am apparently an INTP the “Architect”. I say this because after taking 4 different tests they have all come back to this type. I’m fairly sure I’ve done these things before and gotten INTP then too, though its been a while now. In anycase, after reading several of the descriptions of architect’s I have to say that it does seem to fit me fairly well, though its apparently a fairly rare type to be, especially as a woman (which might be why so many see me as so wierd…). But, what I find most exciting is that in the results of the last test I took was a link to a forum for INTP’s, which looks very fun.

My results from SimilarMinds.com  are as follows:

Introverted (I) 76.92% Extroverted (E) 23.08%
Intuitive (N) 60% Sensing (S) 40%
Thinking (T) 66.67% Feeling (F) 33.33%
Perceiving (P) 65.63% Judging (J) 34.38%

“INTP – “Architect”. Greatest precision in thought and language. Can readily discern contradictions and inconsistencies. The world exists primarily to be understood. 3.3% of total population.”

Dear Hillary,

I have never been one of your supporters, but I have also not always been one of your opponents. Before February 5th, I didn’t honestly think that my state (Ohio) would matter in the least. It was never supposed to – you were supposed to clinch the nomination long before it was our ‘turn’. I planned on voting for Kucinich or Edwards… and then they dropped out, and you started attacking Obama like mad.

You and Bill, you just couldn’t hold it in. Couldn’t stand to be ‘beaten’. So you started the race baiting, started misquoting.

Now your talking about wanting Michigan and Florida Delegates to be seated at the convention – after they were disqualified for moving their primaries up. After yours was the only name on the ballot in Michigan, and the only one who did *any* kind of campaigning in Florida.

“YES WE CAN” is his rallying cry – what’s yours? He’s calling us, all of us, to action. He’s calling us, asking us, to hope and to believe in change. To believe that this country can do better. That we can move past the divisive politics of the past, the racism, sexism, and insanity. That together, we can make a change. That lobbyists and PACs don’t have to run the country like they do today. He won’t take their money.

But, you will. You think the status quo is just fine. Oh, sure your a woman, so it must be a big change… But, its not the change that I want. I don’t want lobbyists to run this country. I don’t want a president who’s just as devisive and apt to misquote people, to skew the truth as Bush is and has been. I’ve had enough of state secrets. Why won’t you, why haven’t you, signed the American Freedom Campaign’s pledge? Obama did.

My reaction to all of this? Go Obamaa!! I will not vote for you in the Ohio primary – I and all of my family will be voting for Obama. I hope and I pray that Ohio has some sense and votes for change – real change. Not just a change from Bush, but a change from the kind of politics that we have now. No more rovian politics. No more race baiting, no more divisiveness. We can change this country for the better – and we will. But we’re going to do it without you, because YES WE CAN!

Obama wins the Potomac Primaries!!

Awesome. Spectacular. Wonderful. What more can I say, I’m thrilled – Obama has done it again, winning Maryland – 67%/30%; DC – 75%/24%; & Virginia – 63%/36%; primaries this time too not “just more caucuses” as Hillary said about his other recent wins this past weekend

Delegate tally’s:

Clinton: 944 won + 234 supers = 1178

Obama: 1046 won + 156 supers = 1202

So yeah, Obama is now in the lead with delegate counts for the first time. Only slightly so if you add in the “super delegates”, but much more so if you just count those that they have actually “won”.

Obama won a lot of the groups that were voting pretty heavily for clinton before – women, whites, latinos, 65+, etc. Its pretty amazing, pretty fantastic. I’m just so psyched… I can’t wait for the Wisconsin primary in another week, and then Ohio and Texas on the 4th and Pennsylvania on the 12th. So exciting!!