Monday, 24 January 2011

Back at Last

I have been off blogging for too long I see ... been rained in. The rain was heavy enough to knock trees down, but I now have an overflowing water tank so its more big-baths for me :)

Since last time ... have discovered, in discussion, that there are patches already for the touchpad special functions for the Envy14, they are for openSUSE so far, reported to work in Ubuntu ... but this means I'll wait for a kernel upgrade. But the ethernet card has mysteriously stopped working. Wireless still goes so thank goodness for that, I'll have to fire up my home lan and see whats going on :( and no, it is not a linux issue - its down in Windows too. There are a number of possible culprits, including a hardware fault which would be inside of warranty so I'm not too upset.


The storm created a wild sea - so I went for a swim. Well, "swim" is not the right word: I entered the surf and (successfully) tried not to drown. There are no rips on Onetangi beach but the pull of the surf made standing impossible.

The train wreck that was my marriage looks like coming to a close .. my ex has signalled that she will start the final property settlement in the next few months and there will likely be a sale of the final bit of land - in Wells Bay (Waikorariki Bay on Waiheke Island - see below.)

View Larger Map
... cool huh? I have half the bit above (north of) the houses, touches the beach under the trees. The idea is to put it up for sale around the time people are coming over for the Rugby World Cup. Note: the mapped roads don't match up with the actual roads and I don't know, yet, how to turn the overlay off.)

In the Software Freedom world there have been two startling developments ... Microsoft appears to have filed a US patent for benificial uses of parasites and the Ozzies have mandated OOXML for government documents ... but that last has been reopened for comment, have a read, its fun. e. By mandating OOXML (ECMA 376) they are asking the impossible since there are no editions of software anywhere which conform to that standard. What they really mean is to mandate the use of Microsoft Office but they don't want to say. The main problem is that this is government - by insisting on MS Office they insist that they are only prepared to make government documents available to people who pay MS for the right to read them ... why should Australians pay a surcharge to a US company in order to read Australian government documents? Many people may find it practical, but for a government to insist on it is nuts.

Biological/medical patents from a software repackager is a bit odd until you realize that it is a "business method" patent ... they are patenting a method for injecting someone with parasitic microorganisms to help them get better... not the technology or the organisms themselves. Possible prelude to selling software to run machines to automate this perhaps? However, it looks a bit like a joke - showing up the stupidity of method patents ... Microsoft? We'll see.

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