Censorship and Technology

Should we censor ourselves because a country like China doesn’t want its citizens to hear nasty words like “freedomâ€? and “democracy?â€? BetaNews reports today that: “Following the lead of competitors Yahoo and Google, Microsoft has blocked the use of words such as ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ in some of its services for Chinese users – including its Spaces blogs. The move is likely to appease the Chinese government, which has strongly urged Web sites to self-censor themselves.â€? Should we “cave” to such requests? In a word, “No!â€? We shouldn’t refrain from saying exactly what we think. That is the beauty of the Internet, and blogging, specifically… if you don’t like what I say, you can comment, or you can write your own blog… but such “ominousâ€? concepts as freedom will still get through to Chinese readers even if the ‘net at large does try to appease China’s oppressive government. Freedom is like a virus… it is communicable, and it spreads!

We should continue to say what we think, be free to speak our minds, and engage in critical thinking! “Big Brother,â€? whether in China, or any other country, has no right to force “his” thoughts on the citizenry. I have found technology to be a force for freedom, and freedom of expression. The Internet, and its related technologies certainly is! And, by quickly, and efficiently, disseminating information, I believe it will continue to “spreadâ€? freedom of thought… even if some try and use censorship as the “cureâ€? to it!

So, come on American corporations… stay on the side of freedom… don’t take a stand against it!

More M$ Security Patches Coming!

Microsoft (which I like to shorten to M$, for various reasons) is preparing to release 10 new “Security Fixesâ€? this coming Tuesday. BetaNews says: “Microsoft on Tuesday will release patches for 10 security vulnerabilities, 7 of which affect Windows with a maximum rating of “Critical” – the company’s highest designation. Microsoft will also issue its monthly update to the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, which detects and removes malware. Aside from Windows patches, Microsoft Exchange Server will receive a fix for an “Important” vulnerability while Microsoft Services for Unix and ISA Server each will receive a “Moderate” security update.â€?

Can anyone still doubt that no matter how much M$ tries to fix it’s software, it is still horribly bug ridden and full of security holes? It comes from a culture at M$ of “we are Microsoft, we are right, we are in control,� meanwhile they let simple buffer overflow bugs slip through their quality control process… (I assume they have one!) Anyway, until we are all using Linux, and Open Source, we will have to put up with these shenanigans, I suppose. But you would think one of the richest companies in the world could do better! Wouldn’t you?

Mac on Intel?

I lot of folks are very excited about Apple announcing that they plan on moving to an Intel processor. Well, let’s put that into perspective! They also said that they are still a HARDWARE company! They have no plans to sell OS/X without a system. Don’t get the idea that you will be able to run OS/X on your beige box! However, what it will give Apple are much faster processors! Motorola has had a very hard time trying to play “gHz keep up” with Intel. Now, Apple can have MUCH faster boxes… and they still plan to sell those boxes. How long will it take until someone runs Windows on a Mac box? Not long… in fact, there was some talk of a “dual boot” environment. We’ll see. I don’t know that Apple would benefit from such a configuration. Now, how long will it take for an enterprising hacker to run OS/X on a “home built” Intel box? Not long! Then what? Well, Apple’s market share SHOULD go up… though it will be with them kicking and screaming! I don’t think they “get” true MASS marketing!

Podcasting & iPodder (now called “Juice”)

What is Podcasting? Well, think of it as having “radio shows” that are really MP3 files that you have an application automatically (in the background) download to your computer. You can then listen to them on your computer, or put them on your iPod (or other MP3 player) thus the term “Pod”casting. This has become a HOT new phenomenon that is taking off BIG time! For instance, the old Screensavers crew from TechTV now has a podcast called “This Week in Tech” (TWiT.com) that is downloaded every week by over 80,000 listeners! (I am one.) I also listen to Chris Pirillo’s show (another geek news update/talk show,) and the SciFi Podcast “Slice of ScFi” to keep up on news for SciFi fans. So, how do you automatically download podcasts, and how do you subscribe to podcasts? Using this week’s Geek Software of the Week! And, of course, it is free! Here you go!

Juice Podcatcher Software

They have free (Open Source) versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux! Very nice! I am pondering becoming a podcaster myself. Stay tuned!

Welcome to my Blog!

I have been sending e-mails to a group of folks for quite some time with my thoughts on computer software, life, the universe… and everything. So now, it is time to actually break into the world of Blogging. Or is that: “Join the Blogosphere?” Ah well, whatever floats your boat! I trust you will find my ramblings interesting, entertaining, and maybe even a little unsettling! Otherwise, why bother, right?!

So, OK, I should tell you something about myself… in a nutshell, here is an official description taken off one of my other websites (HealingPathways.org):

Dr. Bill Bailey is a Certified Natural Health Professional, and a Doctor of Naturopathy. He has a Ph.D. in Theology, and is a Board Certified Traditional Naturopath, certified by the American Naturopathic Certification Board (ANCB). He is also a Master Herbalist, and a Professional Member of the American Association of Nutritional Consultants, and of the Coalition for Natural Health.

So I like to study natural health, herbs and such. And then, there is the blurb from the Faith & Victory Christian University Site (fvcu.org):

Dr. Bill Bailey, BA, MA, Ph.D., MH, ND
Academic Dean
Dr. Bailey is a graduate of Life Christian University, with a Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. in Theology. He has been an ordained minister since 1977. Dr. Bailey has served as pastor of several churches, served as an itinerant Bible teacher with a radio broadcast called “The Spirit of Faith Broadcast”, and was founder and President of the North Carolina Fellowship of Word Ministers. He is also a Certified Natural Health Professional, holds a Doctor of Naturopathy degree, and is a Board Certified Traditional Naturopath, certified by the American Naturopathic Certification Board (ANCB.) He is also a Master Herbalist, and a Professional Member of the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. He was a charter member (chartered in 1979) of the International Convention of Faith Ministries (ICFM.)

So, I am a teacher of the Word of God, and I will have things to say about the spiritual horizons of our fair country! Then, there’s the description field from my personal Home Page (www.drbillbailey.net/baileyb):

Dr. Bailey is known among his friends as a strange but fairly interesting individual; his site is presented for your enjoyment, and to boost his already fairly large ego!

That may say more than anything else! Then, there’s the intro on my main web page (www.drbillbailey.net):

Bill Bailey, Ph.D., professionally, is Webmaster for Guilford County Information Services. His background in art, photography and computer technology combine to make him a strong advocate of the new media revolution… which we know as “the Web!”

Dr. Bill is also a promoter of Open Source software, which supports an Open Web!

From this you will see that many of my thoughts will involve the state of computing, the web, and technology in today’s world. (By the way, ANYTHING I say should not be construed as the feelings, thoughts or position of my employer! I am speaking ONLY for myself here!)

So, my words and thoughts will be here, when you need a grin, drop on by… “set a spell” as Jed Clampett might say, and you might just have some fun!

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