Saturday, January 19, 2008

Is Putin delusional?

I would like to combine what I've heard, read and seen for the last few years and combine it all into a theory that I've come to about Mr. Vladimir Putin.

There is a continuous trend in declarations and actions by Russian administration, that Russia is up again and ready to take the place of the former Soviet Union in cold confrontation with USA.
Many consider all of the anti American sentiments part of the Putin's government's propaganda for domestic consumption. I think that they are wrong. Even if they were right to some extend, it was obvious that some day it would make it to Russia's foreign policy.

I think that Mr Putin is caught in the soviet reality, and he projects this reality on Russia's policy on every "front".

I think that Putin actually believes in "The West's" ambition to conquer Russia and all of the former Soviet Republics.
If you assume that I'm right, you can easily understand Putin's position on NATO's expansion to the east and how it must fuel his suspicions. So goes for the war in Yugoslavia and Iraq. The situation around Iran and North Korea.
Now if you look the missile systems that US wants to deploy in Europe from Putin's perspective you can see nothing but another step in the plan to conquer Russia, and all the promises and explanations that these are steps against nuclear Iran, look, at best, as cheap trick to fool the public opinion.

Unfortunately such convictions, which are often called paranoia, are really hard to cure. Often such patients require compulsory hospitalization. Being the president of the state, Putin may only be hospitalized by the Russian people, but at this stage, they are either too scared, don't care, or share his delusions.

Stop these chain mails

Damn, how I hate chain mails!
All of us have received tons of them. All those messages with shaman like prophecies:
"If you send this message to 'enter number of' friends you would get a 'enter time span' of 'enter a reward', if you send to 'enter a larger number of' friends you would get a 'greater time span' of 'the same reward', if you 'close/delete/ignore' this message you get a 'very long time span' of 'some cruel misfortune'."
Fill the italic fields with correct values.

Message like this, work on your feeling while bypassing all logic and sense. This is a marvelous display of the technique called social engineering and is often abused by various cyber criminal groups.

Therefore, I come to propose this set of rules to all of us:
If you get such a message by email, IM or SMS, you should be doing the following:
  1. Reply the person or his whole distribution list and explain to him/her the error of his/her way. Perhaps even send him to a link to a resource that will do it better and save your time, while be more successful in delivering the message.
  2. Delete this message permanently, even if it means fighting the urge to sending it to someone else.
I hope that some day we would convince all of our naive friends that forwarding all of these "I love you, my friend" messages is stupid and even dangerous.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Maybe this year Linus Torvalds is right

Lets place some facts together:
  • Dell is successfully shipping desktops and laptops with Ubuntu Linux for quite a while, and recently has updated it's line.
  • Asus EEE PC is a huge hit in US and it is shipped with Xandros Linux.
  • Everex Green PC is one of the bestsellers at Wal-Mart and it is shipped with modified Ubuntu Linux (gOS) .
  • Acer is starting a pilot in Australia, shipping it's low end laptops preinstalled with Linux.
  • Shuttle introduced an Everex Green PC competitor for similar price. Also running Ubuntu.
  • Everex is expected to start shipping their Cloudbook laptops with similar characteristics as Asus EEE PC and also at similar price. Will be shipped with gOS.
  • Lenovo has announced , that it would ship R61 and T61 Thinkpad laptops with SUSE Linux.
  • There are small companies like System76, ZaReason that, for quite a while, offer Linux based systems.
  • There are companies that offer Linux based thin clients as products (Koolu) or as service (Zonbu).
  • There are OpenMoko and Google Android projects providing Linux in cellular phones.
  • Mirus are selling another sub $200 desktop, with Linspire Linux at Sears.

Do we have a trend here?
I think that we do.
Perhaps it is not long for Linux to go mainstream.