Thursday, March 01, 2012

I don't usually get into politics here, but there are some things going on in Canada right now that require a response, this is my letter to our Prime Minister:

Dear Mr. Harper

You likely won`t remember me but we met once back when you were a young Reform Party snack pack MP and I was in my university Reform Party club. I`ve always been a fan and supporter but recently I`ve been thinking back to the idealistic days of our youth and the things people on our side of the political divide talked about back in those days. Mostly, we talked about how Canadians deserved more freedom and less government intrusion, a more efficient government, smaller, less costly and with greater personal freedom and responsibility for all Canadians. My question to you is what the hell happened? Looking at the recent legislative agenda I just don`t see these values reflected. Lets start with bill C-10, two questions there, why and why now? Our crime rate has been falling for 2 decades and we`re in the middle of one of the largest economic downturns in the history of the world, so please explain to me what we`re trying to accomplish here, with an expensive over haul of our criminal law? You`ve talked about unreported crime, but that just doesn`t make sense, why would people be more likely to report crime under the new law, mandatory minimum sentences and broad new categories of criminality will do nothing to increase reporting and and may even result in a decrease in reporting due to people not wishing to report what they perceive as minor violations if the believe the people they report will receive draconian sentences that don`t fit the crime. What`s more spending millions on new prisons at a time of economic crisis, while the crime rate continues to fall, is the kind of crappy economic thinking I`ve grown to expect from the Liberals or NDP, not from us.
Moving on, bill C-30, first I should start by mentioning this won`t work, I work in the IT field and have for more than a decade, the same tools sponsored by western governments to defeat internet control schemes like the great firewall of China and Iranian internet censorship will easily defeat the technological tools available for this scheme. Nor are the tools I mention criminal in nature, the most prominent of these tools, TOR is sponsored by the US state department. In other words, anyone who really wants to hide their activities online will continue to be able to, leaving the government only able to monitor those who are innocent and those to ignorant to use the privacy tools available, the ignorant are easy to catch without having to spy on the entire nation, so really what this bill allows is police and government surveillance of innocent Canadian. I for one might be fine with that if I knew that we would always have an ethical Tory government that would never use these powers to spy on their political rivals, but in a democracy no government lasts forever and I`m simply not sure I trust the Liberals or NDP with these powers. Please explain to me how and in what way giving our cops the right to spy on all Canadians without a warrant promotes greater personal freedom for Canadians As a further note on this bill, your ministers comment that anyone who doesn`t support this bill supports child porn was both stupid and insulting to hundreds of thousands of Canadian who oppose this expensive piece of government over reach, many of whom will have voted Tory in the last election as I did. The ministers resignation would be an adequate apology.
All in all, I`m deeply concerned by the path this government is taking, I ask that you try and remember those old days when we spent our time talking about how Canadians deserved more freedom and a less intrusive government.

Tim Joyce

Monday, August 16, 2010

So Larry and the boys over at Oracle have decided to attack the Free Software community via a patent suit against Google and Android, huh? Anybody in the Free Software world have any patents they think Oracle might be treading on? I'm lookin' at you Red Hat. Seriously though, why don't we as a community go after these guys, show them that even if they win we can make sure they lose. I'm not just talking about patent suits either, if you're in the market for a data base try Postgre SQL or if you need something a little more robust even if it's proprietary DB 2 is from IBM who have always played nice with FLOSS. I'm calling for a boycott of Oracle products until they drop the suit, free the JAVA and start acting like the good open source citizens they promised to be when they bought SUN.

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Monday, August 02, 2010

Dear Lazy web, does anyone know if it's possible to use Go To Meeting in Linux? I've tried User Agent switcher and Wine, I tried installing IE7 with Wine, I tried using the Mac version. So far no go. If anyone has found a way to make this work let me know.
Weird question, why when I set the keyboard to Canada (where I live) and the language to Canadian(English) in Ubuntu do I get a French keyboard layout? Let me be very clear that the majority language in Canada is English, which is the first language for slightly more then 2/3rds of Canadians. I mean I appreciate that the Ubuntu guys have put in a bunch of work to set up a keyboard layout for my French Canadian country men, but Canada is a bilingual country with a large French speaking minority and an English speaking majority. It would be a lot more sensible to make the default keyboard layout for Canada English and add a Canada(French) layout to support the French speaking minority. At the very least when you're going through the install and pick Canada for your keyboard layout it would be nice if it informed people that the Canada keyboard layout is in fact French and if you choose it you won't be able to find the question mark. Anyone know why they do it the way they do? Well enough ranting for now. 2 interviews tomorrow so off to bed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Does anyone else wonder what happened the the frenetic energy that existed in the free software world even 5 years ago? One only needs to look at distrowatch to see the difference, back in 2005 on any given day there would have been news of one or more new flavors of Linux being released, these days though it's all point releases and version updates, I can't remember the last time I heard about a truly innovative new distro or a world shaking new open source app. What happened to that flurry of creativity and how do we get it back? I'd love to hear your thoughts?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Been to long since I posted here, and a lot has happened. On the personal front, I'm getting married to the most wonderful person in the world. However it's on the professional front that the most exciting stuff has been happening, I've started a new career as a developer and consultant. While this transition has force me to compromise some of my open source principles I am also still committed to open source and free software. Lets start with the compromises. first off Salesforce mail merge documents require IE, so IE 7 in wine was a must, this is also good for browser testing, and it works beautifully. That said I hate it and use it as little as possible. Other Proprietary stuff I've had to install includes MS office in wine, this was necessary for both the excel connector for data loading and for running MSAccess data bases given to me by clients for data integration, I found that while some would open in OpenOffice older Access BDs and passworded BDs failed to open, this has been a problem as many of the businesses moving to salesforce are relatively small and in the process of moving their data from pokey tools the put together on the fly when they started up to their first full enterprise class applications. Development wise I am currently working on a new salesforce quotes app, the plan is to sell the app on the salesforce app exchange and publish the code under a free software license, possibly on sourceforge. I won't be publishing code until I get the app to Beta one at least so watch this space for the release announcement. Also I am currently looking for development work, contract or permanent. If you need salesforce dev, config or admin work let me know.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yay for Karmic Koala

Just upgraded to Karmic Koala, easiest upgrade ever. Seriously this is the first completely trouble free distro upgrade I've ever done. In the old days everything broke and I'd end up reinstalling, the last few times something minor broke and I fixed it, this time though everything seems to be working. Awesome work Ubuntu team.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

I use linux at work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!! That's right I now use Linux as part of my daily work. I found there were some issues that were easier to sort out using Linux then trying to do the same thing using windows (sometimes you just can't beat bash). So yesterday I grabbed VMware server and installed an Ubuntu 8.04 Beta VM. Works great. I still in the process of configuring things the way I want them, but so far I very happy with the results. Next step is to get Evolution talking to Exchange.