This is why I wanted to do policy and law

Copper-wire is neither digital nor analog; it's just . . . copper-wire.

I believe that the people drafting legislation regulating technologies and those reporting on them must understand those technologies. If they don't, we run the risk of enacting laws that are at best silly and at worst damaging and/or dangerous. When the New York Times reports that,

Kolab3 install on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

I installed Kolab3 on a fresh Ubuntu 12.04 LTS box this morning. It was a bit more than simply running an apt-get, so I thought I document the basic process I used. Most of this is documented around the web in various places, but I didn't find a single resource with the process.

Remember to do all your work as root or privileged user ;)

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Red Hat puzzles

Imagine you're Red Hat . . .

You buy an awesome distributed file system architecture (Gluster)
You embrace an awesome virtualization system (KVM)

Then you take your nice new PAAS cloud offering, and . . . wait for it . . .

you host it on your competitor's Xen-based infrastructure!?!?! I mean . . . WTF Red Hat?

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Global Watersheds

I've been curious about the relationship between major continental watersheds and national borders for some time. I'd like to get some hard data about how closely national borders mirror watershed boundaries and if there's a relationship between conflict and discrepancies in these borders. Yes, it's simplistic . . . but interesting.

Looking for a Skype alternative on Gnu/Linux

UPDATE:

I'm on 4.0.0.x now . . . much needed improvements. I'll reserve judgement for a bit yet.

Ok . . . I'm officially fed-up with the 'beta' 2.2.0.35 version of Skype for Gnu/Linux, which hasn't seen an update in over a year and is THREE major versions behind other OS releases. I've been a die-hard Skype user for neigh-on a decade and I've brought more than a few people onto the platform, but enough is enough.

Leave your suggestions below.

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Boxing Trophy

I've been training-up for the Shanghai White-Collar Boxing event, which comes up in a couple of months. It's a charity event for The Foundation for Newborns with Respiratory Failure.

The training is excellent! I never thought I'd find boxing as interesting as I do. It's mostly due to having an instructor like Michelle Aboro (21-0-0; Super Bantamweight World Champion). Tres cool!

The only trophy I've received so far is this shiner under my left-eye. ;)

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The WTC Towers, Pruitt-Igoe and the legacy of Minoru Yamasaki

Sometimes you discover things in surprisingly serendipitous ways.

I spent part of the day today doing research on a condominium development in Singapore that my girlfriend and I are interested in. In the process I inadvertently learned a few things about architecture, architectural history, social/urban planning and the architect who designed the World Trade Center Towers; which seemed appropriate on this the ten-year anniversary of their destruction.

The condominium I was researching proves to be a very unique development in that each unit has a high degree of outdoor space that is relatively public (almost like a suburban front-yard) and which neighbors must pass on their way to the elevator. This semi-private space is included in each unit even as far as the top levels of the development and is staggered to provide two floors of volume above each space. Some inhabitants have quite lush gardens growing in these spaces, some use it as an open-air shed. Some of the units are small, some are huge. The architect reportedly modeled the development on the native Malay Kampung (village), renown for it's communal and family-oriented style of life. I do not know the specific design choices that make the development work, but . . . it works. Even during our brief visit to look at one of the units, we struck up a lengthy conversation with one of the neighbors 'over the fence'. A recent survey conducted with the inhabitants indicated their (self-reported) communal interactions, feeling of security, etc were all in the 90th percentiles.

Change

"It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones. "

— Niccolò Machiavelli

Two simple modernizations

Here are two simple ideas for improving our democracy that are so obviously good that we should immediately start petitioning for their implementation.

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