Steve Jobs Just Loves Windows Vista!

As more Windows users cry “Help, I’ve been Vista whipped!”, I thought that the introduction of the oppressive Windows Vista was going to be a boon for Linux.

I got the first part right. As Vista subverts your computer into a Microsoft Peripheral, subject to whatever whim “Balmer and The Boys” cook up, users have resisted. A large number of not-so-technical people I’ve talked to want to avoid Vista like the plague. [And in my opinion, rightly so.]

My assumption was that given reasonably priced hardware from several suppliers and completely free Linux distributions like Ubuntu, the discomfort with Vista would be the kick that finally pushed Linux into the consumer mainstream.

Not so. (more…)

Is Microsoft Windows About to Collapse Under its Own Weight?

My McAfee anti-viral, anti-hack, anti-this, anti-that software service updated itself a little while back. Aside from an irritating attempt to assume control over some security functions that I use other tools for, it dropped in a pretty large set of generally reasonable functions to protect my system. Let me qualify that. That’s “generally reasonable” for Windows. For just about any other modern operating system, they’d be redundant or meaningless.

The problem is that even after disabling a lot of the new functionality, this update also did a fine job of reducing the overall performance of my machine by about 30 percent. The incredible load imposed by this class of “defensive software” is a direct result of major architectural flaws in Microsoft Windows.

Intellectual Property in a Digital Era

Last night I attended a presentation by Doug Hyatt, Business Economics Professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business. Although billed as focusing on the music industry, his comments were actually more broad ranging, even abstract.

I guess that is a telling indication of how early we are in the process of adapting to the digital era. When very smart people who make their careers from studying these problems speak in abstract terms, you know we have a long way to go. (more…)

Abandoning the Blogosphere?

Leah McLaren recently wrote an interesting article, titled “Logging out of the blogosphere” where she describes the reasoning behind her decision to stop reading blogs. I must admit I find myself agreeing with her in many respects. Even correcting for the volumes of garbage from spam and search engine placement games, the signal to noise ratio — the ratio of useful, accurate, or meaningful content to incoherent, unoriginal and redundant content is disturbingly low. This is a problem with ideas that get picked up en masse on the net. Universal accessibility implies average results. For this a favourite phrase comes to mind: It’s almost like half the people have below average intelligence.