Ubuntu Hoary

… is the first release of a Linux distribution in a long time that I could cheer until my voice becomes hoarse (ha!) without going to very technical explanations. In other words, a lot of things Just Works™

Software installs/updates and power management.. the latter is probably an eye-popper to a veteran Linux laptop user, and the former, even Red Hat never managed to get right out of the box (while Debian never managed to get pretty-looking). The thing that prompted me to write this, though, is removable media support. Plug in a USB drive (in my case, the TunePlug from Magnatune, with 10 MP3 rock albums bundled) and up it pops on your desktop, with the correct volume label. Naturally suspicious, I did a quick directory listing of /media and, to my pleasant surprise, the mount-point was dynamically created with the same name.

I was impressed enough to start looking at fixing my desktop’s loud fans (to no avail, but I chanced upon Shuttle’s new BTX line, the XPC i-series. Gorgeous, alas, it’s for Intel CPUs.. and I’m not a fan (pun intended) of the Pentium 4’s design, even with the bolt-on 64-bit support). And looking at the notebook situation in Intel land.. which led me to humbly revise my opinion of Dell. Their Inspiron 700m is.. ooh!

Pity about the battery life though. Let’s see what Fujitsu could do with the new AMD Turion..

Informed Comment’s take on the Schiavo case

This is so far the best-written article I’ve read attacking the unconstitutional march of religious fundamentalism in the States:

The cynical use by the US Republican Party of the Terri Schiavo case repeats, whether deliberately or accidentally, the tactics of Muslim fundamentalists and theocrats in places like Egypt and Pakistan. These tactics involve a disturbing tendency to make private, intimate decisions matters of public interest and then to bring the courts and the legislature to bear on them. President George W. Bush and Republican congressional leaders like Tom Delay have taken us one step closer to theocracy on the Muslim Brotherhood model.

In this practice, any individual can use the courts to intervene in the private lives of others….

For Firefox and Mozilla users: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy search plugin

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

A couple of days ago I created a search plugin for this great encyclopedia; while it’s slowly making its way to the site, you could download it from here.

Just untar it in your searchplugins directory, restart your browser and enjoy.

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(Kudos to Oddiophile for the Technorati tagging bookmarklet)