Lust and the New Droid X

After being around everyone at ALA who had shiny phones with internet access and iPads, I have had some serious tecnohlust going on. I would absolutely adore a Droid X, but we can not afford two and Mr. Rochester already assured me we would have to fight for it. He was not joking, but I think he underestimates how dirty I would fight for a Droid.

The Smart Bitches, while usually purveyors of all that is romantic and full of man titty, are some very smart ladies who love their technology. They tend to choose technology for similar reasons that I would and use their tech tools for similar purposes. Sarah reviews her new Driod X phone in a recent post and loves it, because it has some great features and works as a cell phone (unlike the iPhone). This is the review I would have written if I could afford the data plan.

Thanks Sarah, for keeping the tech reviews real and the man titty fresh.

–Jane, wishes she could meet the SBs in person one day

Net Neutrality Needs a Cooler Name

I have been listening to TWiT, The Week in Tech podcast, for a little while now and I really like the banter on the show. I am a couple weeks behind, but show 219 had a great discussion of net neutrality. The transcript is available, but here are my two favorite quotes:

Jason Calacanis: But for the leadership [of Comcast and AT&T], gosh how do you sleep at night knowing that you want to take something that’s been so valuable to so many. You don’t need to corrupt this, I mean you are making a lot of money already, last time I saw Comcast, Verizon and AT&T are crushing it, I mean how much more money do you DBs need to make? F you guys, greedy bastards. Really, I mean what..[ph] No, seriously these greedy mother effers (1:34:02) are going to, now they will start like oh, by the way, yeah, which level of internet service did you want, or do you, oh you haven’t subscribed to the voice over IP channel, we will get you HBO and VOIP and oh, there’s an extra fee for gaming packets and oh, you are a level 57…

Patrick Norton: It’s so scumbaggy. That’s the problem. It’s Internet – it’s the ‘Internet large ISPs Right to Take You Anyway They Can’ Act. That’s what this is all about. This is about AT&T wanting to be able to restrict VOIP access. It’s about Comcast wanting to rake it in on crushing P2P and other traffic they find annoying like video traffic. And what it comes down to is that in many cases they don’t deliver the level of service they want or they feel they are incapable of delivering a level of service the customers think they have paid for. You’ve got 16 megabits except we only want to give it to you when you are downloading one webpage at a time. Not for video, not for software downloads, certainly not for peer-to-peer. And you look at what’s going on and it’s really depressing. I mean how much money is AT&T spending on technical economists – I love that name. Well, if people actually really want to have this level of service 24×7 for downloads they would need to be equivalent of corporate account and that’s a $400 a month fee. We can’t afford to do this.

I liked that Patrick Norton pointed out that many people turn to the Internet to fill gaps in the services provided by Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T. The Rochester house used to have Comcast everything and we got tired of being fleeced by them while being provided a sub-par service. We now have TiVo and no cable. Sadly,we still have Comcast Internet because there is not other alternative in our area that doe not require a phone line.

If you would like more information on Net Neutrality and the oxymoronic named Internet Freedom Act, please do some research. Here are some places to start.

Save the Internet
: you can send a letter to your rep

What is Net Neutrality?

Daily Show on Net Neutrality (from 2006! This issue is not new!)

Internet Freedom Act (official govt. page where you can indicate your support or not)

Also, the above act should not be confused with a similar bill, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, which does support net neutrality. Net neutrality needs a better name so that ordinary people know what it means.

–Jane, the Internet should be an equal playing field

I Broke Up With Windows

I have an Alienware laptop that I love. I mean I really love this laptop. Her name is Inara (not Vera, sorry, Jayne!) I think geeks feel about their computers the way some people feel about cars. Seriously, Mr. Rochester just built a computer, which we dubbed Nightcrawler (we have decided to go with an X-Men theme from now on), that I am fairly certain he would marry if we were not already legally joined.

I bought Inara about 4 years ago because I needed something small to take to conferences and she has served me very well. I was running Windows XP on my system. Somewhere in there, I had some issues and had to partition the hard drive and install a second instance of Windows. From then on, things went down hill. There was increasing slowness, the CMOS battery died on me, and bootup and shut down time was like pulling teeth.

Mr. R has been wanting me to try Linux and I have considered going open source but that was such a big step; I was not sure I was ready. I love technology, but I hate coding. HATE. IT. It requires more patience and rational thinking than I believe I possess. I just want someone else to build the guts and GUI and let me play with it and teach other people how to play. I know what I want, but I want someone else to build it.

This is the general reason why I have resisted Linux, but I kept hearing how fabulous Ubuntu was and really, my computer was in the throes – the I might throw it out the window throes.

I read this Tom’s Hardware article and took the plunge. I installed Ubuntu with a clean wipe. No partitions. No more Windows. No more pain. Mr. Rochester changed my CMOS battery (I think this bothered him more than me) and it was like I got a brand new computer.

Ubuntu has been a dream. Ubuntu comes with email, Open Office, Rythymbox, and a slew of other useful stuff. If I want more programs, I simply look at a list and click “Install” and it magically appears, for free. FREE. Need a program for screen shots with editing? Free. Need a compressor? Free. Need a flickr uploader? Click. Install. Need a program to convert all those pesky MP4 files from iTunes into a usable format? No problem. The Software Center makes installing plugins and getting other programs simple and does not require me mucking around in the /root and remembering what to type when, in what order.

The one thing I have not done yet is try to sinc my iPod shuffle with Rhythmbox. I have read articles on people’s various success with this. I only use it for podcasts and I figured if it did not work, I can use one of our other three computers for that.

Now I wonder what held me back. We will always have a PC with Windows in this house; we are gamers after all with triple the amount of computers and consoles as adults in the house, but I think my laptops will always run Linux from now on.

If you have hesitated to run a Linux machine, if you have a computer that needs to be freed from Windows, or if you simply can not afford the overpriced software on a Windows or Apple machine, I recommend taking the plunge. Install Ubuntu and never look back.

–Jane, all hail open source computing