raven333

Last active
6 months, 1 week ago
  • Perhaps there was something wrong with the kerning.

    Add one more explanation: it could be there to defuse well-grounded fears of Russian anti-semitism. The Russian government is openly anti-semitic, anti-islamic, and anti-gay. It is that regardless of hoax fliers.

    Amidst all the talk about the small right-wing minority party in Ukraine, some of us are forgetting that in Russia, the anti-semites are in charge, and have been for centuries.

  • raven333 commented on the diary post The Ukraine, US, Europe, Fascism and Imperialism by cmaukonen.

    2014-03-04 11:09:09View | Delete

    It is probably better to talk about neo-imperialism than fascism in connection with Russia. We seem to be back to great power politics, and I only hope this end better than the 19ᵗʰ century version. The cred on the quote above should have been Greg Afinogenov, who is working on a dissertation on Russian history [...]

  • raven333 commented on the diary post The Ukraine, US, Europe, Fascism and Imperialism by cmaukonen.

    2014-03-04 11:05:32View | Delete

    In its latest political swing, the regime in Russia has not made this mistake. The Great Patriotic War is more important as an ideological keystone now than it has been in decades, and its categories—fascist, collaborator, patriot—are a means of understanding politics as well as justifying repression. This is why the Maidan’s far right wing is [...]

  • raven333 wrote a new diary post: Ukraine: The Great Game, v2.0

    2014-03-03 22:56:51View | Delete

    (Cross-posted to my own blog.) The Game The original Great Game was the conflict between the British and Russian empires, played out in the territories of Central Asia. The new Great Game seems to be between the European Union and Russia, with the rest of the world’s great powers looking on: the USA, China, India. Fossil fuels [...]

  • raven333 commented on the blog post Not Quite Off Topic: Switch to Linux/Ubuntu

    2014-01-03 16:11:05View | Delete

    And very little of the software I use in my work every day is available on Linux. It does not seem likely it ever will be, except in specialized technical areas.

    Linux—so pure not even you can use it.

  • raven333 commented on the blog post I Bit the Bullet and Installed Ubuntu

    2013-11-29 18:34:42View | Delete

    Oh, heavens, yes, I agree almost entirely. I’d add that I suspect the main reason Maya still supports Linux is because Pixar wants it.

    One caution, though: most non-professional designers may not have the Adobe suite (it is now damnably expensive), but their print shop most likely does. Zero fun for the print shop in dealing with a file from an app the print shop doesn’t know, designed by someone who isn’t an expert in any app. Zero fun for casual users who get a call saying, “I’m having trouble with your file,” or even get a proof back in random colors. Also additional billings, probably, for the print shop and costs for the designer.

    For writers, it is the same story, except that the app is MS Word. If they are scientific or technical writers, you can add Excel to that list.*

    The thing about the open source apps is that what one saves in upfront costs, one spends in time. This is, of course, why the commercial apps can be so expensive; if you’re making any money at all with the work, it saves scads of money to just buy the damn app. If one is preparing a poster or self-publishing a book, maybe it’s worth the extra time.

    * Exception: mathematicians often use TEX, developed by one of their own. It is indeed capable, but its learning curve is long and hard.

  • raven333 commented on the blog post I Bit the Bullet and Installed Ubuntu

    2013-11-29 12:46:11View | Delete

    If the NSA wants to read your PGP encypted email, they’ll attack your systems directly, even physically if they decide that’s necessary. Part of the Snowden documents indicate they do this with TOR users, though I don’t believe they made it clear how common that is.

    That said, encryption will make them work harder; they won’t just put your plaintext messages in their databases, though they do keep the encrypted messages for further analysis if they take an interest in them.

    For, however, casual criminal snooping and stalking, PGP is a huge win. If you have more than casual snoopers, well, then you start to have a problem. Most computers are easy to steal, so you start needing more and more security, and techniques like key escrow and backups in vaults which prevent your own security from leading to data loss.

  • raven333 commented on the blog post I Bit the Bullet and Installed Ubuntu

    2013-11-29 12:38:58View | Delete

    Pixar is using Autodesk Maya, which I believe is the standard for film animation. Basic Maya costs $3,675 without any extensions (or you can lease it for $195/mo). It is only supported on the Red Hat and Fedora Linux–the most corporate versions of Linux.

    Pixar has its own IT staff to support its many animators. Pixar even funds research and development in animation software. Pixar ain’t most of us, in other words.

    And, yes, if you’re a serious animator with your own small studio making money at it, chances are you have leased Maya. But the chances also are you’re using Windows or Mac, rather than struggling through the Linux support tar pits.

    You do young artists no service in telling them they don’t need to know standard tools.

  • raven333 commented on the blog post I Bit the Bullet and Installed Ubuntu

    2013-11-29 00:18:45View | Delete

    LibreOffice is serviceable; the problems come when interacting with the the markup and history facilities of Word. Also its font handling is sometimes clumsy, and look out for the default paper size–it used to be metric, though this may be fixed by now. Not issues mostly for bloggers, but issues with submission of work for publication in books and magazines.

    Unless you use serious Excel macros or really large data sets LibreOffice Calc will do for you; it’s clumsier than Excel, but it does work.

    And, yes, UI design and testing is another thing, like documentation, that you can’t get people to do for free.

  • raven333 commented on the blog post I Bit the Bullet and Installed Ubuntu

    2013-11-29 00:09:27View | Delete

    One doesn’t need a threat model to know that mail in envelopes is more secure than postcards. Seriously, it’s best for anyone who is transmitting legal documents, health care documents, or financial documents to use encryption.

    And, no, PGP probably won’t keep out the NSA, though it may make them work bit harder. But it will keep out identity thieves, stalkers, and gangsters, which strikes me as worthwhile.

    …besides, if most people used PGP signatures, fraudulent spam would be a thing of the past.

  • raven333 commented on the blog post I Bit the Bullet and Installed Ubuntu

    2013-11-28 13:11:19View | Delete

    There’s such a huge contradiction, though. The creators of FOSS do not retain any rights in their work. Yet liberals traditionally support the rights of people to get paid for their work.

    …?

    Now, this is nothing new. But it’s hard to escape the reality that for everyone who has made decent money from FOSS, there are a hundred people who made their academic salaries, if that. And all the while Google, Apple, and IBM rely on FOSS to make their huge profits.

    Feet of clay, feet of clay.

  • raven333 commented on the blog post I Bit the Bullet and Installed Ubuntu

    2013-11-28 12:54:07View | Delete

    My Unix, and now Linux experience goes back decades.

    One suggestion: install and start using GPG (GNU Privacy Guard) to secure your e-mail.

    Linux is an excellent choice for web servers and scientific computing. However, as a desktop or laptop system, it is problematic. For apps that do more than access the web or do rather specialized software tasks, everything is worse. For people who use computers for design and art, Linux is possible, but it’s a step down, sometimes a very large step down. Even for professional writing, it’s a problem, because Word is an industry standard in publishing, and Word is not available for Linux.

    Of course, one can use Google apps in a browser. Somehow I don’t think your view of this will be positive.

    The documentation problem is a problem of most free and open source software (FOSS.) FOSS usually starts as research projects, sometimes amateur research projects. (Linux itself started that way.) Since it’s very hard for a FOSS project to attract grants and contributions, and only huge sales in the various app stores will amount to much of anything, it’s very hard to get the funding to finish FOSS projects, provide documentation, graphics, and even testing. Unless there is substantial funding which from other sources, like hardware sales (IBM, Apple) or network integration (Google, a huge Linux user and supporter of free software development), there is not funding to pay writers and artists to finish the work.

  • raven333 commented on the diary post Is Obama Considering Invoking The Fourteenth Amendment? by Phoenix Woman.

    2013-09-29 12:03:54View | Delete

    Constitutional crisis, here we come!

  • They’d get a credit, or perhaps even Medicaid. It isn’t quite that bad. (Except in red states where the Medicaid expansion won’t be implemented.) The biggest problems of the system show up at the income levels where people are coming off Medicaid and into the exchanges, or where the tax credit shuts off.

  • raven333 commented on the blog post NSA Bugged the United Nations’ Headquarters

    2013-08-25 10:23:27View | Delete

    “80 embassies? Does America have so many enemies?”

    It does now.

  • I think I’m voting for a third-party Presidential candidate again, at least unless the latest Repubster stands a chance of winning in my state. Gods, I hate this.

  • raven333 commented on the blog post Homeland Security Shuts Down Bitcoin Use By Startup Company

    2013-05-15 18:17:53View | Delete

    It’s an electronic currency in which untraceable transactions can be made. I suppose you could say it democratizes one of the worst problems of the banking system–with bitcoin, everyone can make secret system-destroying transactions.

    Bitcoins are generated by computation, and the amount of computation required to generate bitcoins increases over time, so the cost of generating bitcoins increases over time. The maximum number of bitcoins is fixed. It is not possible, as far as is known, to counterfeit bitcoins.

    Lots more at The Bitcoin FAQ.

  • raven333 commented on the blog post Homeland Security Shuts Down Bitcoin Use By Startup Company

    2013-05-15 18:05:28View | Delete

    Law and democratic government.

  • raven333 commented on the blog post Homeland Security Shuts Down Bitcoin Use By Startup Company

    2013-05-15 14:24:25View | Delete

    And so you are suddenly a cipherpunk, regardless of any other effects on the world? Hunh. Well, maybe the cipherpunks will win, then.

  • raven333 commented on the blog post Homeland Security Shuts Down Bitcoin Use By Startup Company

    2013-05-15 14:23:29View | Delete

    Drug money is a common way of funding insurrections. DHS is, in this, right to be concerned.

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