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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

conversation: politics and tech

A short time ago... in cyberspace very close to you.... a small, ordinarly light freighter of unremarkable design flew across cyberspace. across her bow--- she carried the symbol of the Republic, of which she is affiliated. within her simple bridge, a master and his apprentice held this small vessel by their fingers. and as is their habbit each start of the work day, Master and Apprentice discuss technology, and politics.

Master Alex Cruizer, tall and thin, though still on the side of youth, is a veteran of countless battles sat by the helm and defly, fingers flew across the control panel. Beside him sat his former apprentice, the younger Caden Batmaker wearing his black padawan robes.

"The new force booster worked pretty well my young apprentice"

"that's excellent master!" the slightly younger man replied.

"at first i wan't able to get a signal," Alex started. "and then?" the young man asked. "i shifted the router to make use of 802.11b only, and it worked! well... good signal din. i guess 11b has longer reach... anyway, i'm not going to be able to make use of the full 11Mbps bandwidth."

"wow!" then the apprentice added, "i guess so". "Skype was great!" Master Cruizer said.

"Pero, how was your not-so-smart-bro?" The apprentice asked and as he looked up from his heads-up-display added, "And yes, Skype is great!"

"Haven't tried calling yet, but I tried the test call, and ok naman. Malinaw (clear) with minimal echoing on my part (yun ire-repeat yun voice recording mo). after 5.30pm yesterday 'di na nagloko... hopefully smart-bro will be trouble free from this point on."

The younger man raised his free left hand and crosses his fingers. The master, chuckled. "but bad news."

"what?" the apprentice asked.

"my ubuntu doesn't get any wifi signal."

"hmmm," the younger man started to think.

"actually, it does but it can't get an IP address."

"it could be the wifi stuff isn't enabled? dhcp doesn't work?"

"actually, i've read about it from the ubuntu forums... i'll really need to compile the driver manually".

"aaahh" Caden nods in understanding.

"actually, nakita niya (it saw) yung ESS ID ng router... but that's all. and it says the interface is active (so does ifconfig) but no IP."

"guess ubuntu's not ready for the wifi world just yet" the apprentice replied.

"out of the box kasi itong support eh, haven't compiled it manually yet. So I'll try later." Caden nodded. "excellent!"

The hum of the engines slightly palpable in the background. "my router is an open hot spot..." Master Cruizer chuckled.

"ingat ka dyan!" Batmaker replied. Chuckling, Alex continued, "i'll lock it down as soon as i get my linux box to connect to it. wala naman yata gaano may wireless notebook sa amin sa correctional compound (i don't think there are that many wireless notebooks in our compound)."

"Ever considered sharing with your neighbors? Sympre may bayad sila (of course they have to pay). "

"Well one neighbor got a smart bro a day ahead of us, ok lang... 999 ain't bad at all. Mabilis din pag umaga (it's fast during dawn)... i get upto 380kbps. Torrents way past 47KB/sec."

"That is good!" The younger man exclaimed.

"pero pag saturday tanghali...! (however when its saturday at noon..!)" Alex lamented, "must be because a lot of people are online! so its not an issue of antenna signal quality."

"ugh," Caden pounds his console in frustration. "eto this is my 5th time to be building gentoo on parallels. laging nag exception error (always getting an exception error)!"

the master laughs quietly. "OK ba during compile? (is it ok during compile?)"

"pagdating sa kernel compile... installation pa... eto i've reduced my settings to the basics... yung ilang try ko kasi i pushed the limits... stage 1... yung isa hardened kernel pa... eto i'm being conservative, out of the box." trans: "when it comes to compiling the kernel... at the installation level... here i've reduced my settings to the basics... because my previous trials, i pushed the limits of stage one, another even had hardened krenel settings... here i'm being conservative, out of the box".

"bakit kaya nag e error pag kernel compile? (how come we get an error during kernel compile?) masyadong (uber) stressful? i remember some AMD k6s in the past could not compile the kernel properly."

"that is also a possibility. my activity monitor measured 102% cpu load for parallels!" for a moment the young padawan though it through. "pero i don't think so." he continued, "kasi... hindi naman nag crash yung vm (because the virtual machine didn't crash). just the installation/compile--- and the system (gentoo) was still running."

The master switched monitors and said, "hey take a look at this: http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20060520/tc_cmp/188100630"

the young man opened the link and said after briefly reading the article "tama naman yung article (the article is correct). kasi (because) on average, you get a more powerful pc each year for the same price if not less than the one you bought last year. dahil din master sa more efficient manufacturing processes from intel to the major manufacturers".

"how about this? http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060520-6877.html," Alex went on and said, "i gues so. if apple goes to PA Semiconductor... mamaya iiwanan pa silang nakabiti pagdating sa supply at reliability, di ba? (later on they might leave Apple hanging when it goes down to supply and reliability." He went on saying, "i think it was a good choice by apple to go Intel... whatever works for the PC platform will work for them, but they have a unique selling proposition too (OS X)"


"yep that was really the breaking point. they couldn't compete sa (in the) laptop world because of supply problems and that led to maintaining their marketshare... tapos the added benefit pa of being able to boot windows on the fly or with a bit of a hack..." Caden chuckled knowingly.

the young man continued saying, "oo naman (yes). osx is really the heart of the mac." Caden paused and pointed to his machine. "this imac?" "oks cya (it's ok)". the goes on and said "i would want more power mind you--- faster processor, better ram, its elegant. run windows on it... then its just another pc that happens to look good."

"take a look at this!" Alex sent to Caden this link:
this link: http://lists.nongnu.org/archive/html/freetype-devel/2006-05/msg00052.html

He then said, "better subpixel font rendering on Linux: see screenshot at the end of this: http://lists.nongnu.org/archive/html/freetype-devel/2006-05/msg00052.html

span >"Wow! subpixel font rendering! you know master, here i am chatting with you and opening browser windows, i hardly notice that i'm running parallels in the backgound"

Alex laughed at that. "how great dual core really is!"

"yep," Caden nodded. His eyes grew when he saw the screenshot "looks good yung screenshot niya!"

"oo nga makinis (yes, its smooth)"

"and master, yung hindi universal binary apps are killer ram/cpu users! buti na lang ym at msn lang yun (good thing its just yahoo messenger and msn messenger) referring to the apps that are not universal binary).

"so rosetta really eats lotsa RAM/CPU" Alex stated. "i can really expect skype (with voip) eating lots of RAM/CPU if its a powerpc binary"

"yep rosetta does. it used to be that skype was my number one user of resources, until they had the universal binary version out... yun oks na (then it's ok already)."

the master while looking at his console said, "I observed that Windows' ClearType is better than that of LInux (at present)... but this one, if it succeeds, will be better than Windows'!

"yep! its also because windows has had good experience on the mobile PC business--- maganda ang Windows Pocket PC PDA"

Alex Cruizer suddenly laughed. "Guess who sent me spam this morning... SIGAW NG BAYAN!"

"Wow! Bad! anong sabi nila? sa spam i mean? (trans: what did they say in the spam email?)"

"let me forward it to you"

"OK" and a moment later, "Got it--- is reading now..."

the system started to display

-----
poster's note... as distasteful as it is, we wanted to be fair as much as for the sake of discussion, so we are displaying except for the removal of certain script tags, the full text of the said spam with appropriate links:
-----


OPLAN SIGAW NG PILIPINO SA MUNDO!

Our Beloved Kababayan:
Our hearts truly swell with pride in knowing that there are many of you out there in various parts of the world supporting the cause of the Sigaw ng Bayan (SnB) movement. We are profuse in our gratitude for your participation in this crux of our nation's history and we pray that our Almighty Lord would bless you more abundantly.
As we write this letter to you, we are facing all kinds of opposition from all fronts in what we do. Least of them is that anti-Charter change forces do not give any qualm in threatening harm even to our own love ones and families. This pains us a lot for we only dream and are acting simply to elevate the lives not only of our kinsmen in the dirt poor communities that we ourselves came from but possibly of every Filipino. It is a lofty dream alright, but every Filipino deserves nothing less! We believe Charter change will do away with so much corruption and politics in our country and will usher in a new order that will at least give more benefits for every Filipino, to wipe out generational poverty starting now.
We appeal to you, kabayan. Help us spread the word that Filipinos WANT CHANGE NOW! Time is fast running out as the mighty forces that dictate the lives of 99 percent of Filipinos are on the over-drive to quell this thunderous clamor of our people for change. The biggest lie that these Interest Groups composed of the Elitists, the Oligarchs and those with Extreme Political Beliefs peddle is that only a handful of us want change. Help us tell them straight to their faces that this is not so. Let them hear us cry our deafening shout: \nPAGBABAGO, NGAYON NA!
YOU CAN HELP\n US roll out this mighty shout of the Filipino people we will call as "Oplan Sigaw Ng Pilipino Sa Mundo" to the world by doing the following:
\n>>> 1. Forward this e-mail to at least 10 of your family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances and encourage them to pass it on to others. Every one can pass this letter on for as many people as he/she wants to reach a greater number of Filipinos worldwide. Tell everyone who receives this letter to visit \nwww.sigawngbayan.com and participate in the E-Petition signing and in the PinoySpeak forum. Everyone can also forward the news updates in the websites so more Filipinos will learn of the real issues in the homefront.\n
>>> 2. For those who maintain their own websites or weblogs, make a \nwww.sigawngbayan.com
>>> 2. For those who maintain their own websites or weblogs, make a www.sigawngbayan.com link to your sites\n so others can visit and learn of this historical move happening in the Philippines. Make a link and discuss about \nwww.sigawngbayan.com in your chatrooms and forums, putting it in your Friendster or Instant Messenger accounts, as an example. Tell fellow Pinoys to flock in, sign up in the E-Petition and shout out in the PinoySpeak forum.\n
>>> 3. Bookmark \nwww.sigawngbayan.com in your favorite sites and\n commit yourself to visit www.sigawngbayan.com at least two (2) times every week or more frequently than that. As it is, oppositors play us up in numbers so we will give them the numbers they want. The more Filipinos visit the site, the more slaps these oppositors to change will get. \n
Between now and the month of June, this may be our only chance to speak out. Let us show to the world what kind of stuff Pinoys are made of: We are peace-loving, morally upright, skilled, educated, honest, hospitable, friendly and above all, God-fearing. We shall regain our standing in the world as the best people in the fields of diplomacy, human rights, freedom and all humanly platforms.\n
The burden to do something right for the Philippines has now been passed to your hands. The lives of the next generation of Filipinos now largely depend on the\n move you will take NOW. Kabayan, kumilos na tayo para sa mga susunod na mga supling ng dugong Pilipino. link to your sites so others can visit and learn of this historical move happening in the Philippines. Make a link and discuss about www.sigawngbayan.com in your chatrooms and forums, putting it in your Friendster or Instant Messenger accounts, as an example. Tell fellow Pinoys to flock in, sign up in the E-Petition and shout out in the PinoySpeak forum.
>>> 3. Bookmark www.sigawngbayan.com in your favorite sites and commit yourself to visit www.sigawngbayan.com at least two (2) times every week or more frequently than that. As it is, oppositors play us up in numbers so we will give them the numbers they want. The more Filipinos visit the site, the more slaps these oppositors to change will get.
Between now and the month of June, this may be our only chance to speak out. Let us show to the world what kind of stuff Pinoys are made of: We are peace-loving, morally upright, skilled, educated, honest, hospitable, friendly and above all, God-fearing. We shall regain our standing in the world as the best people in the fields of diplomacy, human rights, freedom and all humanly platforms.
The burden to do something right for the Philippines has now been passed to your hands. The lives of the next generation of Filipinos now largely depend on the move you will take NOW. Kabayan, kumilos na tayo para sa mga susunod na mga supling ng dugong Pilipino.
Muli, maraming salamat po sa inyong suporta. Pagpalain po kayo ng Maykapal at Mabuhay ang Lahing Pilipino! \n
Atty. RAUL LAMBINO
SnB Spokesperson
Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now! Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now!
Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now! Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now!
Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now! Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now!
Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now! Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now!
Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now! Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now!
Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now! Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now!
Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now! Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now!
Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now! Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now!
Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now! Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now!
Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now! Go to www.sigawngbayan.com Now!

Alex said, "i wrote back: please don't send me spam. i am against charter change."

Caden laughed at that comment. Alex then said, "Well to put it more accurately, I am against Charter Change at present. but i maybe in the future ok lang..."

"oo nga master (yes, master). ako din (me too) ... i am all for changing the constitution, pero hindi now na binabastos nila yung process (not now when they're not following the right process. i mean, kung makakabuti, why not (i mean if i will help, why not). pero at the rate they're going, it's all for them. not for the many na naghihirap out there. (not for the many that are suffering out there). so i'll vote no for charter change."



Alex laughed. "they're the one's that control 99% of the population!"

"yep."

"sa akin talaga, if there's a need for charter change, let's do it through con-con"

"yep"

"sa akin talaga if there's a need for charter change, let's do it thru con-con"

"yep"

"exactly master. pero... is those kinds of provisions that i want kicked out of the constitution--- because hindi naman dapat nakalagay... i mean dapat priority one ang education. we don't need to put it there na priority one because it could also change in twenty, thirty years. i mean--- its just a personality quirk... masgusto ko more abstract yung language/content ng constitution pero on one hand hindi naman dapat priority natin yun. like you said... its not the language... its how people actually use the tools which makes a country good or bad."

"Certainly there are things that need changing in the consti... it's been 20 years since it was made and at teh time we were largely idealistic, having just overthrown Darth Marku--- but a major change? not yet... not now!

"pero we shouldn't rush into it like there will be no tomorrow or give people the impression na this is an answer to every little problem we have--- which it isn't. oo not now. bad now."

"exactly. that's what i am against. it's like charter change is being peddled as a silver bullet that is guaranteed to solve all our country's problems."

"yep. dangerous yung ganun."

"it's like... "hey parliamentary is cool, singapore does it and singapore is doing good right now. let's imitate them."

"kaya ako din. i'm not in favor of it."

"pathetic reasoning."

"yep. and its not like we haven't tried it before. we have. several times."

"if they really present concrete evidence or sound ideas about how change is goign to be done... yun ang maganda."

"and its the people/leaders that are at fault not our system. oo naman. kaso personal agenda yung gusto ng mga leaders natin."

"like i think maybe we can go feudalism... kasi kanya-kanya naman talaga tayo sa pinas eh... might as well harness that tendency for independence but again it won't be easy to do it overnight... and today's not the time to do it kasi marami pang ibang dapat problemahin. it's like... hey i'll buy this TV set, it'll make me happier... but you are in a serious financial crunch... sure it can make you "happier" but it doesn't solve the financial problem."

"federalism you mean. feaudalism na tayo now... yung mga barons ang mayayaman." Laughter filled the small bridge.

"seriously. oo naman Master. gradual change and like i said... if it takes 20 years to make the transition, why not? pero people should be made aware why we're doing it that way. tama ka master! slow and steady dapat tayo, master"

"slow and sure, right. dosen't matter if we're slow, as long as we're sure... para walang vested interest ng gobyerno na makapasok. but then... what's broke with the consti? the american consti hasn't changed much in 200 years or so di ba? It's the implementation that's broke!"

"i mean, if a future con-con says it will take them 10 years, lets give them that."

"we can definitely devote more funds to education. sayang lang pera."

"and tama din yung argument na... wala naman correlation between success and method of government. yung nagpapatakbo ang may problem."

"i think it's said in the constitution that education will be the government's priority but that hasn't happened... so is it the fault of the constitution or the fault of the implementators?"

"implementators"

"it's loud and clear"

"yep, and i think, more importantly, insitutional memory ang priority natin--- like project ng previous admin na oks naman... should be continued and such." the padawan thought it a bit then said, "iba talaga mang manipulate c Darth Insidious! i mean, before naman nung "rescue" niya kay Darth Pandac... eh hindi naman natin pinaguusapan ang cha-cha, nt at this kind of frenzy."

Alex laughed. "in fact, he was the only one talking about it... not even Count Dookster

"Master, mga subtle hints sa likod... like i hear stuff from congress... pero i didn't think at the time it would push though. Lord Insidious lang talaga ang nag move ng strings."

"Lord Pandac wanted to use it as a carrot... to appease the people. Lord Insidious saw that too... he knew Lord Pandac will take the Charter Change option as a means to either stay in power or survive the crisis."

"Master! idol ko talaga si Darth Insidious! sa mga manipulations na ganyan... parang c Lord Lionel ang kanyang puppet abilities!"

"OO nga! I wonder where he gets his skill from"

"oo nga, useful skill that is, baka may school sila... enroll tayo!"

master and apprentice laughed at the thought.

"eh the school of newspeak... for ermita/bunye/lomibao/querol?"

"ayaw ko nun! hindi tayo papasa dun master! hirap maging sinungaling!"

"oo nga!"

"actually, madali magsinungaling, mahirap magsinugaling with a straight face!"

Caden Batmaker laughed hard. "oo, exactly!"

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