2018-02-20 Freedom of speech

What is freedom of speech? It is the idea that you are allowed to criticize politicians or organized religion, without the government preventing you from doing so. This works great as long as you criticize only those in your own country, but can be a problem if you criticize politicians or the religion of another country that doesn't have freedom of speech.

Example 1: If an artist in Denmark uses his freedom of speech to draw the prophed Mohammed as a terrorist, he then risks being arrested if he visits let's say Syria.

Example 2: If a politician in Russia uses his freedom of speech to take out Facebook ads criticizing Hillary Clinton, he then risks being arrested if he visits the USA.

While the severity of these two examples are completely different, the implications to freedom of speech are the same. Neither Syria nor the USA has freedom of speech. And neither can claim to have freedom of speech without redefining freedom of speech to also include the other.

2018-02-18 He who cannot be named

Any good Christian knows, you are not supposed to say the name of the lord. That's why they always say God and not Jehova, even though "god" is a generic term that applies to any god, so unless you can infer from context (or already know they are Christian), you don't know which god they are talking about.

With that in mind, what does a good Christian call Jehovas Witnesses?

2018-02-13 Why I won't be switching to SSD

We hear it all the time. Spinning hard drives are out, and solid state drives are the new hot thing. So, why did I buy a new spinning hard drive, rather than an SSD drive?

Have you checked the prices of SSD drives? They are still way expensive. Sure, the small ones are not much more expensive than a laptop hard drive, but I'm on a desktop PC, and I do regular backups, so I don't lose everything and need to start over. My new hard drive is a 4 TB drive, because my old 1 TB drive was close to full. A 4 TB SSD from a reputable manufacturer is pretty expensive, as is four 1 TB SSDs in a raid (make that five, the R in raid i for redundant).

When I explain this, often I get the response that the way to go is to have an SSD system drive and a large spinning drive for data. I'm sure that works fine on their Windows machines, but I use an operating system that will boot in 15 seconds to a working desktop (not showing the desktop and waiting another couple of minutes for the system to become responsive), and is pretty good at caching things in RAM. RAM is a lot faster than SSD, and I have 16 GB of it - of which I currently (6 hours after boot) have 13.9 GB free and 1.9 used for disk cache.

The reason I was looking at SSDs in the first place is because they are silent. 7200 RPM hard drives are not. Putting an SSD and a spinning hard drive in my computer will not make it any less noisy than just the hard drive. So, for me, until SSD prices come down near hard drive prices, I'm not interested. And that seems to happening a lot slower than predicted. People started talking about SSD prices becoming equal to hard drive prices years ago.

2018-02-11 Racist country

Seem the country I live in is more racist than I tought. Our racist political party decided to prove that they are still racist, by introducing a law to ban muslim women from walking in public. Our right wing government was in on the idea, and thus they had a majority for the law. Or so they thought. One of the parties decided to allow their members to vote in accordance with their own views, rather than forcing the party line. Which took away just enough votes that there is no longer a majority for the law.

Of course, the other parties of the current government were pissed. That's not a surprise. But reporters are up in arms about this, because, as they say, normally a political party only allows their members to vote in accordance with their own views on ethical questions. And there are no ethical questions about forbidding muslim women from going out in public.

Really? If forbidding muslim women from going out in public is not an ethical question, then this country is a lot more racist than I thought.

2018-01-24 Fanboys

Fanboys are annoying. We all know that. But Firefox fanboys are among those who are especially annoying. So, Firefox Quantum (FF 57+) is a lot faster than XUL-based Firefox. Ok, that was the idea, and although every time a faster version of Firefox has been announced, it has ended up being even slower than the previous version, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt this time. But to say that it's so much better than the old version just because it's faster...

Look, if speed is all you care about, you should have switched to Chrome 9 years ago. I did. For a short while. But I wasn't happy with the much more limited browser, it lacked (and still lacks) a lot of features that I use in Firefox all the time. So I switched back. Over the years, all those advanced features have been removed from Firefox and turned into extensions, so that I now need more than 15 Firefox extensions installed. Firefox Quantum breaks those extensions, replacing the API that made them possible with one mostly compatible with Chrome. So the speed improvements should not be compared with previous versions of Firefox, but rather with Chrome, because that's the browser you should have been using if speed was all that mattered. Problem is, when compared to Chrome, Firefox Quantum is at most a few percent faster, best case.

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