alex asunder

Ellison, Stallman on that “thing” called “cloud computing”
September 30, 2008, 5:05 pm
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Selena Frye at TechRepublic cites some interesting comments from Larry Ellison and Richard Stallman (published in an article by the Guardian‘s Bobbie Johnson) on the this thing we keep hearing about, “celestial information computation” or whatever.

Frye: Cloud computing is ’stupidity’ says GNU guru Richard Stallman

Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle:

“The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we’ve redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do, he said. “The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It’s complete gibberish. It’s insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?”

Richard Stallman, FSF founder/GNU creator:

“One reason you should not use web applications to do your computing is that you lose control,” he said. “It’s just as bad as using a proprietary program. Do your own computing on your own computer with your copy of a freedom-respecting program. If you use a proprietary program or somebody else’s web server, you’re defenceless. You’re putty in the hands of whoever developed that software.”

Amazon and Google are two of the prominent pushers of this cloud computing concept.  With all the talk about Google’s EULA in relation to Chrome (See Google changes Chrome EULA over privacy concerns), you have to wonder if Mr Stallman might have a point there…

In related news, TR’s John Sheesley has a nice rundown on the several definitions of “cloud computing.”

I believe in free market capitalism but…
September 30, 2008, 2:00 pm
Filed under: freedom | Tags: , , ,

Like many Americans, I’m at a loss as to what is the best course of action to get our economy out of this mess.  I cringe when I read/hear some of the details about several of the proposed solutions flying around.

Some of the proposed “powers” (read: “unconstitutional”) that seem to be intended for the Treasury Secretary include the ability for the secretary to attempt to restore liquidity to the markets.  As El Rushbo said, this plan brings two words to mind:

“Central planning.”

I am inclined to stick to my free market guns and just “let the market work itself out.”

Ace commenter Ella notes that most depressions last 4 years or so at best and in 5 years, the US will be back on track, sans the socialist intervention.

The short term will suck, but the long term is still fine. There’s a difference between mono and cancer.

But when even non-alarmist types like Steve Forbes are sweating, I begin to wonder:

“I’ve never been an alarmist…I’ve never seen a situation as dark as it is today…people genuinely don’t understand the magnitude of what is before us.”

Jawa blogger Ragnar frames it nicely – The Bailout : I’m at a Loss

A whole lot of folks I’ve always trusted as staunch free marketeers are telling us it’s time to put all that “nice theory” aside and accept that massive government intervention is an “unpleasant reality” if we’re even going to HAVE a market system tomorrow.

I feel a little bit like I might feel if my pastor advised me on the sly to visit the mosque every once in a while–ya know, just in case this whole “Jesus” thing doesn’t end up panning out.

These times call for the optimism of President Reagan:

“Can we solve the problems confronting us? Well the answer is an unequivocal and emphatic ‘Yes.’

[This crisis] does require, however, our best effort and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds, to believe that together with God’s help we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.

And after all, why shouldn’t we believe that? We are Americans.

Despite the wonderful voices confronting you…
September 23, 2008, 3:43 pm
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“It takes leadership to commit our soldiers to a cause of peace in faraway places. It takes leadership to speak out for justice. To act on climate change despite wonderful voices against you.

Who said this notable quotable?

Yep, you guessed it.

Governor Sarah Pal….

No, sorry.

UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon, who should be banned to the moon for such drivel.

He also added this little gem:

“We need a new understanding on business ethics and governance, with more compassion and less uncritical faith in the ‘magic’ of markets,

Yep, those magical markets that led to the development of a certain unnamed economy that was strong enough in the 1940s to bail out AN ENTIRE CONTINENT.

Palin on Fey
September 23, 2008, 1:17 pm
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(AP) […] Palin also said she watched Tina Fey impersonate her last weekend on “Saturday Night Live” – but only with the volume turned off.

“I thought it was hilarious. I thought she was spot on,” Palin said. “Didn’t hear a word she said, but the visual, spot on.” She said people in Alaska have remarked on the similarities for years, and that she once dressed up as Fey for Halloween.

For Halloween.

That’s priceless.

Germany’s Die Welt on the current American financial crisis
September 18, 2008, 5:23 pm
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Spot. On.

“Greed is the theme that resonates with both the schadenfreude of the outsider and the remorse of the insider. The words of the apostle Paul are appropriate: ‘Money is the root of all evil.’ … Max Weber, the great German sociologist of the beginning of the 20th century, argued that American dynamism was the product of the Puritan ethic and the spirit of capitalism, together forming an accord for worldly success for God’s chosen people. First came the mortgage crisis in which first class banks mistook mountains of clouds for stable floors. Then came the banking crisis, which destroyed confidence. And in addition people were seduced by tricks made possible with computers. These are all trials and crises, but they will not spell the end of America’s distinctiveness.”

“The country will never convert to socialism, nor will it become a mega-state. Faced with similar circumstances, that might be the response of the pessimistic Europeans. America’s culture of optimism — which all too often gets on the Europeans’ nerves because they consider it to be naïve and superficial — also has the power to identify a setback as exactly that and not the end of the world.

Source: Spiegel Online International (“A Crisis, But Not The End of The World“) quoting Die Welt.

Wednesday Hero – Lance Cpl. Jason Hanson – USMC
September 17, 2008, 8:49 pm
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Lt. Cpl. Jason Hanson

U.S. Marine Corps.

L/Cpl. Jason Hanson
21 years old from Forks, Washington
3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion,
1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force

July 29, 2006

Lt. Cpl. Jason Hanson died when a gasoline truck near a building he was in exploded, causing the building to collapse in Al Anbar province, Iraq.  Three other Marines were also killed in the blast.  Lance Cpl. Anthony E. Butterfield, 19 yrs. old, of Clovis, California; Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus, 28 yrs. old, of Wolf Creek, Montana; Sgt. Christian B. Williams, 27 yrs. old, of Winter Haven, Florida.

Hanson graduated in 2003 and joined the Marines in 2005. He married his wife just before shipping out.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived.

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Flogging Tuesday
September 16, 2008, 1:03 pm
Filed under: freedom

Flogging Molly is playing tonight in Philly but alas, ’tis a school (er…work) night and I’m old so I won’t be venturing out to see them so late but here is a vid of Black Friday Rule performed as an encore May of this year in Köln, Deutschland.

And for every tear that is lost from an eye
I’d dig me a well where no man could destroy
I want to believe in a freedom that’s bold
But all I remember is the freedom of old

Premiership Saturday – 09/13/08
September 13, 2008, 11:45 pm
Filed under: football | Tags: ,

Of course, let’s start with my Gunners.

Arsenal: 4


You get the point.

Ade owned with a hat-trick with RVP notching one as well.   Theo set one up and Jack Wilshere became the youngest player to grace the pitch in a League game for the club at 16 years 256 days.

Liverpool: 2

ManYoo: 1


Sorry.  Can’t disguise my joy at the Reds victory over United.

Don’t know what to make of Berbatov in place of Rooney with Rooney on the wing… I kinda think some of the comments I’ve read suggesting Tevez go to the wing makes more sense.

But what do I care? As long as they’re losing!

Hull beat further added to the Toon misery of late following Keegan’s exit with their 2-1 win.  I know it’s stupid early in the campaign but I’m kinda pulling for Hull to do well this year, at least stay in the top 10 (or close to it).  How great would that be for a Champs quality team?

On a non-EPL note… what’s with Henry riding the pine in Barca’s latest loss?  As much as I would like to see him back in the red n’ white at Emirates, I do hope he is able to turn his Barca career around.  Hate to see him end his career on a note like that… but with rumors abound claiming he’s MLS-bound next year, it’s not like it could get much worse.  I’m sorry, but there’s no way he’d go to the Galaxy… Zoo York maybe, but not LA.

A strong showing by Arsenal and a United loss makes for a great football weekend.

No Google logo for 9/11
September 11, 2008, 8:03 pm
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Never really noticed this before.  I checked through their “logo archives” and I couldn’t seem to find any special Google logo commemorating 9/11.   And yet… they had one to mark the 125th Birthday of Walter Gropius.  An important figure to millions across the world.


Cassy Fiano: Google remembers 9-11, too… by doing nothing; Dogpile remembers

While I can’t say I’m going to boycott Google for this (there’s so many other things one could choose in addition this instance) but Dogpile seems like an interesting meta-search engine.  I was about to say it’s sleeker looking than the “classic” bare-bones MetaCrawler…until I realized Infospace owned by Dogpile and MetaCrawler too. heh. Foiled Terror Attempts since 9/11/01
September 11, 2008, 7:44 pm
Filed under: freedom

The following is a list of known terror plots thwarted by the U.S. government since Sept. 11, 2001.

• December 2001, Richard Reid: British citizen attempted to ignite shoe bomb on flight from Paris to Miami.

• May 2002, Jose Padilla: American citizen accused of seeking radioactive-laced “dirty bomb” to use in an attack against Amrica. Padilla was convicted of conspiracy in August, 2007.

• September 2002, Lackawanna Six: American citizens of Yemeni origin convicted of supporting Al Qaeda after attending jihadist camp in Pakistan. Five of six were from Lackawanna, N.Y.

• May 2003, Iyman Faris: American citizen charged with plotting to use blowtorches to collapse the Brooklyn Bridge.

• June 2003, Virginia Jihad Network: Eleven men from Alexandria, Va., trained for jihad against American soldiers, convicted of violating the Neutrality Act, conspiracy.

• August 2004, Dhiren Barot: Indian-born leader of terror cell plotted bombings on financial centers (see additional images).

• August 2004, James Elshafay and Shahawar Matin Siraj: Sought to plant bomb at New York’s Penn Station during the Republican National Convention.

• August 2004, Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain: Plotted to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat on American soil.

Find the rest of them at FNC.