Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ubuntu CDs

Arrived in the mail for our SFD celebration.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Farewell for Mom Edith

In Catholic tradition, we refer to the day of the death of a saint as "dies natalis." It's a contradiction that turns grief to joy because the phrase translates to "day of birth." While we acknowledge the sadness of the passing from this mortal world, we also celebrate the birth of the saint into Heaven.

The phrase came to mind last Sunday evening when I received the sad news: Dr. Edith Tiempo had passed away. The message came from a number I did not recognize, so I did not believe it straightaway. I tried to contact a number of friends but did not get an answer. And yet somehow, deep down, I also knew that the message was true.

So, indeed, sadness. I will not be able to visit Mom Edith again, or hold her hand, or listen to her stories. But it's a sadness that I'll temper with joy because, after all, we're all called to be saints and that Sunday Mom Edith was born into Heaven.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Why I Stopped Reading

I have a confession to make: the last novel I read was months ago. It's been so long, in fact, I don't any more recall the title or the author. As someone who at one time went through a novel a week, I find this devolution in my own reading habits rather sad.

I haven't actually stopped reading altogether. I still have to follow industry news and brush up on technical material. Every now and then, a feature story will catch my fancy. From time to time, I still try to take in a short story or two. But all in all, my appetite for fiction has greatly diminished.

Why is this, I wonder. When I ask why I stopped reading, it's not with the intent of justifying myself. I don't think this was a conscious decision to begin with. It's an honest question in search of answers, of which I'm afraid I might not have the right ones.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Lion-O Action Figure

Lion-O Deluxe Action Figure by way of ThinkGeek. Quite pricey at $39.95, but darned does it look good!

When patents attack Android

Google finally takes off the kid gloves and calls out Microsoft, Apple, and Oracle for their tactics in trying to "strangle" Android. And I can't say I blame Google; of late, the three have been engaged in underhanded techniques alternately trying to kill Android or squeeze more money out of it. From the article:

Android’s success has yielded something else: a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents.

They’re doing this by banding together to acquire Novell’s old patents (the “CPTN” group including Microsoft and Apple) and Nortel’s old patents (the “Rockstar” group including Microsoft and Apple), to make sure Google didn’t get them; seeking $15 licensing fees for every Android device; attempting to make it more expensive for phone manufacturers to license Android (which we provide free of charge) than Windows Mobile; and even suing Barnes & Noble, HTC, Motorola, and Samsung. Patents were meant to encourage innovation, but lately they are being used as a weapon to stop it.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Planning & Executing the Mission to Get Bin Laden : The New Yorker

Quite a gripping read from Planning & Executing the Mission to Get Bin Laden. An excerpt:

Minutes after hitting the ground, Mark and the other team members began streaming out the side doors of helo one. Mud sucked at their boots as they ran alongside a ten-foot-high wall that enclosed the animal pen. A three-man demolition unit hustled ahead to the pen’s closed metal gate, reached into bags containing explosives, and placed C-4 charges on the hinges. After a loud bang, the door fell open. The nine other SEALs rushed forward, ending up in an alleylike driveway with their backs to the house’s main entrance. They moved down the alley, silenced rifles pressed against their shoulders. Mark hung toward the rear as he established radio communications with the other team. At the end of the driveway, the Americans blew through yet another locked gate and stepped into a courtyard facing the guesthouse, where Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, bin Laden’s courier, lived with his wife and four children.

Three SEALs in front broke off to clear the guesthouse as the remaining nine blasted through another gate and entered an inner courtyard, which faced the main house. When the smaller unit rounded the corner to face the doors of the guesthouse, they spotted Kuwaiti running inside to warn his wife and children. The Americans’ night-vision goggles cast the scene in pixellated shades of emerald green. Kuwaiti, wearing a white shalwar kameez, had grabbed a weapon and was coming back outside when the SEALs opened fire and killed him.