aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Mossberg gives Ubuntu thumbs downn
CNET’s Underexposed on Walt Mossberg’s WSJ column, Linux’s Free System Is Now Easier to Use, But Not for Everyone:
His conclusion: “Even in the relatively slick Ubuntu variation, Linux is still too rough around the edges for the vast majority of computer users. While Ubuntu looks a lot like Windows or Mac OS X, it is full of little complications and hassles that will quickly frustrate most people who just want to use their computers, not maintain or tweak them.”
Specifically, Mossberg griped about having to download codecs to play ordinary audio and video files, and some codecs were labeled “bad” or “ugly”; an oversensitive but unadjustable touch pad; and a lousy time connecting an iPod.
“Open source is a two-edged sword. While it draws on smart developers from many places, nobody is ultimately responsible for the quality of the product, and open-source developers often have an imperfect feel for how average people use software,” Mossberg said.
My pal Basil would agree.
Andrew speaker’s bad image: TB or lawyer?
“Most of the negative attention was from being an attorney,” he said. [...]
Speaker was released from National Jewish on July 26, his treatment successfully completed. He takes 11 pills every morning at 8 a.m., supervised by public health officials who drop by on their way to work—a standard regimen he will follow for the next two years to make sure the TB has been fully eradicated. He’s in excellent health and has gone back to his previous routines, unmasked and unquarantined.
But his personal injury law practice is floundering, and his life is far from normal. His existing clients have stuck with him, but there have been no new clients since the ordeal began. The perception that he’s a selfish jerk who thought nothing of exposing others to a deadly disease lingers.
“The CDC told everyone that I only care about myself,” he said. “They made statements they knew were wrong. They intentionally went after my family and our character.” [...]
Does Speaker have any plans to sue the CDC?
“They’re a federal agency. They have immunity,” he said in resignation. “It’s easier to think this guy is a jerk than that a government agency got together to intentionally misinform the public. That’s much harder to believe.”
GOP the deadbeat daddy party
The GOP’s remarkable success at presidential politics the past 40 years has been a function of its “daddy party” image-happy to exercise military power abroad, unaccommodating of misbehavior and hard-luck stories at home, penny-pinching, can-do- in contrast to the Democrats’ “mommy party” M.O. of naÃƒÂ¯vetÃƒÂ©, mollycoddling, and profligacy. And the Republicans’ only shot at electing a president next year really does depend on pushing that old trope. Ken Duberstein, the Reagan chief of staff turned lobbyist and board whore (Boeing, Fannie Mae, etc.), insisted the other day that “the Republican Party continues to be the ‘daddy party.’Ã¢â‚¬â€°”
But that is beginning to sound wishful. In fact, if the Democrats don’t blow it, 2008 could be the election that finishes off the pro-GOP salience of the tough-daddy-soft-mommy paradigm. Because the Republicans are being rapidly rebranded as a party of men who exemplify the least attractive, most pathetic aspects of the gender-they are the stubborn, arrogant, lazy, incompetent (Iraq, Katrina), hypocritical, crude, nasty fathers, Homer Simpson crossed with Tony Soprano, the kind of men who snarl and posture as old-fashioned patresfamilias but don’t come through when and where it counts. The GOP is becoming the deadbeat-daddy party.
Theirs is also the party of moral righteousness in which the Reverend Ted Haggard, Congressman Mark Foley, and Senators David Vitter and Larry Craig were all, only a year ago, leading lights. And consider the personal backgrounds of the top Republican presidential contenders, who seem more mack daddy than Father Knows Best. Rudy Giuliani contrived to annul his fourteen-year-long first marriage to his cousin, then publicly cheated on his second wife, and now, having married his mistress, has alienated both his children. Notoriously alley-catting Fred Thompson impregnated the mother of his children in high school and then married a babelicious, 24-years-younger second wife-and, lacking much (manly, paternal) taste for hard work, has by all accounts let the wives push him along in politics. It’s ironic, and a bit awkward, that the only GOP candidate who’s had just one wife, Mitt Romney, is the Mormon great-grandson of polygamists.
Companies and governments equally bad
One of the reasons I don’t buy the argument that the private sector is more efficient than the public sector (and I don’t buy the reverse argument either - I think both are equally inefficient) is that there seems to be ample evidence that most companies don’t know what they’re doing.
In response to a commenter’s argument that competition puts companies out of business while policies last forever, cactus responds:
Certainly, some dumb policies persist for generations. But is the same thing true in companies that last for generations? I believe it is. A company that gets itself into a niche and survives for a while - whether it knows why it is surviving or not - develops its own stupid internal bureaucracy and rules.
And how quickly do “bad companies” go out of business? Conversely, how quickly are “bad governments” replaced? It took a long while for people to realize that Enron was a giant fraud and not one of the most successful and brilliantly run companies in America…
Then government comes to the rescue and bails those big inept companies out.