Taking Pictures at the Olympics

In 2016 the Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro. Considering my connections to Brazil, I’d love to be able to be there. Six years should be enough to prepare, right? It’s hard for me to think that my daughter will already be 18 and my son 13 that year. Ouch. One thing I’d better not do if we do make it to the games: Take pictures and then share them under a Creative Commons agreement.

Click here to read about the IOC’s draconian anti-photo sharing policy.

Let’s hope that the power-mad IOC comes to its senses soon.

A descoberta de um novo planeta

Já escrevi dando a minha opinião que o Brasil deveria se envolver mais na exploração espacial. Gostaria de apontar o fato que, na descoberta relatada no vídeo aqui, a agência espacial americana NASA não pegou estas informações através de astronautas que foram até estes planetas. Provavelmente foram utilizados satélites, observatórios e técnicas avançadas para enxergar e analisar estes planetas que existem fora do nosso sistema solar.

O Brasil pode também desenvolver métodos para participar nos trabalhos científicos internacionais, contribuindo para aumentar o conhecimento humano. O que falta são programas governamentais e projetos de ONGs para incentivar os jovens a procurar fazer uma carreira nas ciências.

Veja também:

Deixe o povo sonhar!

O Povoamento do Sistema Solar

GNU/Linux: Not Just DIY Computing

There was a time, not long ago, when GNU/Linux was only for hardcore geeks. Whatever distro one used (or made from scratch), a fair amount of programming knowledge was required. Linux was almost exclusively a “back end” server system. Of course it’s still very popular for servers, but there are more and more desktop distros available that are ready “off the shelf.”

When someone buys a computer with Windows pre-installed there isn’t much to do. Just turn the computer on, adjust a few settings and that’s it. If you have to do the installation yourself, that’s somewhat more of a pain. In my experience it can take a couple of hours to install and then register Windows. By comparison, Ubuntu, a Linux distro, can be installed in minutes.

You won’t hear much about Linux in general or Ubuntu in particular in computer stores. Though Windows and Mac fanboys would have you believe that’s because Linux “isn’t ready” for the popular market, I really don’t think that’s the case. I currently use Ubuntu 9.04 on my laptop, and Ubuntu 8.10 on my family’s desktop computer. I receive regular security updates for both and there is a wealth of software applications available. I can do everything and more with Ubuntu that I could do with Windows XP.

How much does Ubuntu cost? $0. You can download the latest stable release, burn the image to a CD and either boot it as a live CD without installation or do a full install (dual boot is also an option), all at no cost other than the CD you used. If you try it out as a live CD you’ll be able to get an idea of how it works without actually installing it on your computer. If downloading the operating system sounds too technical to you, don’t worry. You can request a free CD of Ubuntu, and it will be sent to you via regular mail.

GNU/Linux isn’t just for “do it yourself” computer users any more. Give Ubuntu a try and see what free, open source software can do.

Inacreditável: Mulher reclama para Microsoft sobre Windows pirata que ela instalou


Ao invés de lidar com problemas de software pirata, meus amigos, instala Ubuntu. É um sistema operacional moderno, forte, seguro, estável e disponível de graça.

Esta mulher da gravação…ela pode ficar com a pirataria e se manter longe da comunidade de software livre!
H/T Plágios de Júnio Bocelli

Veja também:

Diga “não” ao Windows 7 (Igneous Quill)

Why I’m Going to Wait to Upgrade to Ubuntu 9.10

Ubuntu 9.10 will become available on October 29, just a couple of days from now. Ubuntu is my Linux distro of choice. I use Ubuntu 8.10 on the family computer and 9.04 on my laptop. However, I won’t be upgrading either to Ubuntu 9.10 very soon. Why?

The family computer needs to remain consistent. My wife and kids could adapt to a mildly different look and feel (it isn’t that big a leap from 8.10 to 9.10), but why bother? 8.10 is stable and works great for everything the family needs.

My laptop will eventually get the 9.10 upgrade. I’m not going for it now, though, because it needs time “in the field.” There’s been bug testing on beta editions, but now it’s going to really be put through its paces in regular use by a larger number of users. So far as I’m concerned, let them find the bugs. A month or so later I’ll be glad to upgrade.

One more reason why I’ll hold off on upgrading is that I’ve got my laptop configured just the way I want it. Although an upgrade wouldn’t necessarily lost my data (I’ll back it up anyway, of course), I will lose settings and applications in the process. I’d rather not have to “redo” all that right away.

Now, if a new computer comes my way, or a friend wants to give GNU/Linux a try, I’ll be sure to have a copy of both 9.04 and 9.10 on hand. It’s great having a sturdy, reliable and up-to-date operating system.

CatComm and the Rio Olympics

Originally Published on Igneous Quill

A group I just heard about, Catalytic Communities (CatComm), is a finalist in an Ideablob contest.  At stake is a chance to win $10,000 that CatComm could use to train community organizers in Rio de Janeiro in preparation for the 2016 Olympics to be held there.

In the process of building infrastructure in anticipation of the games, many slum communities (favelas) are at risk.  Catcomm wants to help these communities organize with a view towards using the international attention and influx of money to benefit the favelas.

Regular readers of this blog know that Brazil is near and dear to my heart, and supporting this project’s chance at $10,000 would cost you nothing.  Just go to the project page on Ideablob, register and vote.  It’s that easy.>