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In the last couple of days, the oft-promised rain has finally arrived. My jacket got moderately damp for both the past two mornings. It cleared by around lunchtime and the walk home was dry. It reminds me of the old joke about a first mate, on hearing that the captain had written in his log, "The first mate was drunk today," wrote in his log, "The captain was sober today."
After the excitement of last week, this week has been a bit of a let down. My computer still has not arrived (despite being supposed to arrive on Tuesday) and, while I have a space to put my equipment, I am waiting for electricians to put in a safety switch. It is very frustrating, to say the least.
Rebecca has started her job, and, while busy, seems to be enjoying it, but apart from odd comments like "Bec was in Edinburgh Monday" I probably won't say too much about her work. She can get her own blog if she wants to communicate to the old country about what she is doing.
Finally, I just thought I'd include a bit of news from the old country (coals to Newcastle, I know). This story appeared recently talking about how the NSW government is considering using Open Source solutions such as Linux. While Microsoft can finance as many TCO studies showing how linux is more expensive, its about as believable as a Coke-funded study showing that water causes more obesity problems. If nothing else, it is democratically irresponsible for any Government to lock itself into proprietary systems. Anyone's proprietary systems. This has the effect of making people without access to the appropriate commercial software 2nd class citizens because they are unable to access Government information. And while we're at it, because of both its security and scalability features, Linux makes far more sense for a huge organisation such as a Government than windows - you don't need to worry about issues such as interoperability between that old Win95 box, the Win98 laptop you have for occasional take-home use, the 2000 desktop the boss uses and the new one with Vista that you are waiting on. You don't need to worry about continued support issues, and you have a much lower concern with viruses.
Comment from Gillian
Just to cheer you up-the ATO says you should have IE or Netscape to run its software, but in the instructions it also tells you how to use firefox. So they at least are slowly coming round. Unlike the CBA...
Is it really acceptable for sensitive Government information, such as tax, to be stored on closed proprietary software written, owned and controlled by foreign nationals? The computer I had in my PhD had a security scare a while ago because the company that sold it had installed a backdoor so that they could get in if they needed to, and someone had obtained their password. Think about it: How do we know that m$ or apple don't do it? The answer is that we don't. While this doesn't really make much of a difference to normal users, it is an obscene risk for people charged with the safety and security of the country to be taking. What if the US Government secretly ordered them to do it?
My favourite procrastinations
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.