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Cogs can think.

I'm a mere, tiny, insignificant cog in a whole clockwork of stupidity.
The little cog that wanted to break free, I am.

Important notice

Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Okay, everything went a bit quicker than I had anticipated. I'm hosting my blog somwhere else now-- with the use of Wordpress.

MY NEW BLOG

So there you have it. It ain't done yet; I need to familiarize myself with Wordpress, and then I'll personalize it further.

Cogs can think.

Monday, September 12, 2005
As you surely've seen by now, I have changed a few things on my blog.

I renamed my blog to "Cogs can think." It stems from this post, and I really like the analogy of the world being a huge clockwork of stupidity, in which we are nothing but mere cogs, without a true free will, all connected to one another. Every action has an equal reaction.

I thought of this analogy myself (ahey), but I'm pretty sure on what it's based: "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland", and part II, "Through The Looking Glass" (previous entry about dear Alice).

So, what is the goal of my ramblings and rants here? Well, a lot has happened in my personal life this year-- my mother's illness, me quitting psychology, taking on a new study-- and it's really miraculous to see how I've changed in that period; from a kid, to more of a, dare I say it, grown-up. Well, sort of. The real Thom is still there-- I'll never really grow up. What were you thinking.

I'm trying to understand what makes the clockwork of stupidity tick. The world, politics, music, film, social life, computing, automotive, all from my very own paradigm. And on this blog, screw everybody else's.

That's it, basically. Oh, and in the future I might buy me a nice domain name, put Wordpress on it, and stop leaching off of Google.

Explanation

Sunday, September 11, 2005
This is going to be a very boring blog post. You can stop reading this now if you're not interested in OSNews. In this post I will explain everything about the "dispute" between me and Kelly McNeill, managing editor of osViews.com.

OSNews is anti-Mac

All this started with an email (in forwarded nature due to me forwarding it from my iBook to my Linux box) from Kelly to the osnews-crew mailinglist, in which he claimed that OSNews was deliberately having an anti-Apple stance, and he listed the last four Apple newsitems in a big and bold font. He then listed a few newsitems in that email that should've been posted on OSNews.

I kindly replied, explaining why the newsitems he listed in that email weren't posted. The 'Amazon top seller's list'-item was deemed inappropriate because a top seller's list doesn't mean anything, especially if it's from a site that is mostly US-only. The item on Apple's 64bit breakage *was* posted on OSNews, just first as an item they broke 64bit support, and shortly after in another item that they had fixed it. The iPod patent thing has little to do with operating systems; other than that, Andrew submitted a similar item the day before (I wouldn't have posted that item either, but hey, Andrew has the right ti post whatever he wants, I'm not responsible for that. It's called diversity and that's a good thing). Finally, I didn't post his last suggestion because I've grown weary of analysts; they usually say a lot of fantastic stuff, but it rarely turns out. Other than that, th eitem was about hardware, not about OSs.

So, a decent justification of why I dismissed those items. Yet, the tone was set. OSNews "goes out of [its] way to only report negative things about [Apple]". Right. That's probably why me, David, Andrew and Eugenia all use Macs.

Then, Kelly started submitting the exact same newsitems he posts on osV to OSN. Now, I turned almost all of them down. While I for each item obviously had specific reasons to put them down, the general reason was that osV is a very biased site. Almost all content on osV is anti-MS and pro-Apple. Also, most of the items aren't newsworthy anyway, pro-Apple/anti-MS or not. A few examples:

Example I
Example II
Example II
Example IV

Now, obviously, not all items on osV suck; that might be because some of the items I post on OSN, gets posted a few hours later on osV. It's just that the items that Kelly submits to OSN, suck. I cannot help it.

He then got another crazy idea in his head. I'll get to that shortly.

Original content

During this, another thing played. osV, just like OSN, sometimes publishes original content. Now, that's a thing I applaud. However, the original content on osV is, well, quite often very low. Two times in a row, osV published very bad articles, full of factual errors and mistakes. The most notable one was about BeOS-- this article got submitted by Kelly to OSN-- and Andrew, not very knowledgeable about BeOS, put it up on OSN's frontpage. A few hours later, when I read the article, I was shocked. It was so full of errors, it just wasn;t funny anymore. Anyway, I wasn't the only one who saw that, as many people in OSN's comment's section thought the same. As a consequence, the article was removed from osV. I let the item on OSN stay up, and asked the people to simply start a discussion on BeOS and Zeta. This happened.

Another article from osV with a lot of factual errors made it into OSNews (about QNX, I believe). This was the drop for me. I imposed a direct ban on any original content from osV; I did not want any more of that crap on OSN. I think you guys can agree with me that that is the wisest thing to do, hmm? It's better to prevent than to heal, as we Dutch say.

Another crazy idea

Now, let's get to that crazy idea I just mentioned. As I said, Kelly started submitting dozens of items (he even counted (!) them, ~100!), and almost all of them were turned down by me, because of mostly similar reasons as I mentioned in my paragraph on that first email he sent me.

This gave him a crazy idea. He IMd me, saying that I was turning down his items because they came from him. As tempting as that may sound, that obviously wasn't true. I turned his items down, like I turned down a gazillion other items, because I simply didn't found them important enough to be published on a *general* newssite about operating systems. It's like someone in Cupertino letting one rip constitutes as news, according to Kelly.

So, a few days ago, when he again submitted a whole batch of items, I decided to email him, carefully explaining why each of them was turned down. Obviously, to no avail. He had already made up his mind: I turn down newsitems just because they come from him. A large email discussion followed, in which he accused me of being biased, he accused me of purposefully turning down items because they came from him. As "proof", he stated that some items I had turned down, a few days later got published when they were submitted by someone else. Naturally I asked him to present me with examples; up until now he has failed to do so.

Kelly's views

In that large email discussion, he explained why osV is per definition less biased than OSN, because osV publishes newsitems as soon as they get submitted a few times by readers. And since OSN does not do that, OSN is biased. So, I asked him if there is any form of control over what get's submitted to osV's front page; suprisingly, he said that he decides what goes up and what doesn't. Most sane people will already see that this makes osV exactly the same as OSNews; with the only difference that OSNews has 140 000 readers, and 5 times as many editors than osV.

So, I presented him with an example. I know out of experience that Kelly is very active in fighting the opinion that Macs are expensive. So, I said to him "So, if I were to submit under 5 different names a piece that confirms that Apple stuff is more expensive, you'd agree with it and post it." Not surprisingly, he responded: "If Macs were indeed more expensive and it was submitted 5 times then yes, that would be a newsworthy news item."

So, there I nailed him. If Macs are expensive or not is a completely subjective matter; to some, they are, to other, they aren't. As with anything that costs money, something's 'expensive-ness' is dependent on a multitude of factors, including income, perceived value of the goods, and much, much more.

Yet, his bias that Macs are not expensive stops him from posting any articles claiming otherwise. You get how completely fcuked up that is, don't you?

The aftermath

The aftermath is the email I posted on my blog here. I sincerely felt insulted by all his accusations. However, the reply to this email literally is completely out-of-this-world. A few quotes:

When did I insult or make any false accusations toward you?

You DID in fact choose to not publish many of the links I submitted because they came from me. If it bruises your ego too much to admit that, don't bother. It's pretty obvious to the both of us, and now since you've decided to include the rest of OS News editors in our conversation, I'm sure it has become glaringly obvious to them as well.


Somehow our friend decided that I admitted to not posting his items due to the items coming from his hand... I could post all the emails on this blog, but you can take my word for it. I obviously did not admit to anything, as there is nothing to admit to. I did, however, without any form of secrecy, explained why I put a ban on osV's original content (he even tried to lie about the articles that were removed from his site due to their factual errors).

I simply pointed out 4 links on OS News that showed a trend in the style of publishing links of which I had a problem with and you took it personally. I even apologized if you took it the wrong way. However, you took it personal and decided that you weren't going to publish any of the links I sent in.


Again, he promotes his own sick ideas as facts. Very, very disturbing.

I could go on for another ten pages about this, but I think most of you have seen enough.

---

Now, as that email I published on my blog already explained, I feel truly offended by this guy's sick ideas. I put so much effort into making OSN a balanced, fair, fun place to visit-- and then, when some guy comes along, promoting his own sick assumptions as fact, putting words in my mouth I never said, playing the supreme being and innocent victim, it just hurts.

I can take criticism-- when it's founded. I surely will admit any mistakes I make. I am arrogant sometimes, and I can be very stubborn-- but anyone who's involved with me for a longer time knows that I *will* swallow my pride if someone truly points out errors or mistakes on my part.

I'm trying to put this issue to rest now. OSN is bigger, badder, and more fun than it has ever been nowadays. There are five honest people working on making OSN the best place for news on the alternative computing scene-- and many people can attest that we're doing a good job. Of course we have our deficiencies, but we're not afraid to admit them.

As long as your critique is founded.

Sky rocks

I've had enough

Kelly,

Have you ever stopped and thought about how your accusations towards me, and in the past Eugenia, might be very rude and offensive? How your slightly paranoial ideas hurt us?

I have no hidden agenda. I'm not out to annoy you. I'm not out to on purpose publish biased news (you still haven't explained what I'm biased against or for). I just have slightly higher standards when it comes to what I publish and don't publish.

Now, you can go ahead and say whatever you want, accuse me of whatever you want. I'm just getting really tired of it. I put a lot of effort into OSNews, and it just feels really bad if someone goes to the great lengths to undermine my work, such as yourself, with the only goal of making OSNews look bad so you can attract more readers towards your site. This is a very low and childish way of doing that. Maybe you should focus on making osV less biased, and produce better original content than we do.

This will be the last time I will mail or IM you. I can handle quite some insults and false accusations, but even I have my limit. You have grossly crossed that limit. Now, you go ahead and continue your smear campaign against me and OSNews, like you have been doing for quite some time. The amount of readers we have already tells us that we're doin a good job, and that very few people in the tech world agree with you.

Take care.


Thom Holwerda
---
Managing editor at http://www.osnews.com, exploring the future of computing
---
Read my blog: http://thom-holwerda.blogspot.com
---
Google Talk: ThomHolwerda@gmail.com

Stupid nazis

Bwahahahahahhahahahhhahahaaaahahaha! I just saw the funniest thing on TV!

On a newsshow they had an item about the growing numbers of neo-nazis in my country. This of course is a very bad thing, and it pisses the fcuk out of me. Anyway, they were talking to this guy, next to his tuned car, and he was explaining he didn't like foreigners and all that. Music was blasting thru his car stereo system. What music...?

50 Cent! 50 Cent is black!

Hahaa, what a complete bunch of morons!

Podcast yet again

Just got IMd on AIM-- the guys from a Dutch podcast about Apple and related matters, Kmac, want me for an interview on their next podcast. Remembering the fun I had with Martin over at TipMonkies when we recorded a podcast there, I immediatly said yes. Then, I actually listened to their latest podcast (all in Dutch), and my god, they sure do have a lot of fun...! So yeah, I'm happy to work with them.

I'll keep y'all posted on this. It will get recorded next friday eve.

Clockwork of stupidity

Saturday, September 10, 2005
I once called myself "the flagship in the armada of stupidity".

I just realized I'm nothing more than a mere, tiny, insignificant cog in a whole clockwork of stupidity. Guess who powers that clock.

I've got faith...

Strak Trek: Enterprise is back on TV! Woohoo 8).

I'M A NIGERIAN AND WANT TO DONATE $300 000 000 TO YOUR ACCOUNT

Friday, September 09, 2005

Coffee-to-go

Thursday, September 08, 2005
And here I am again, at university, being kinda bored. I'm meeting up with Guinievre in 45 minutes-- my schoolday ended at 10:45. I entertained myself by working on OSNews, do some blog-reading, and all that. Now, I'm bored.

Also, a girl from the first year of Psychology will buy some of my books I have left from my previous study. I've been carrying them around all morning, and they're heavy.

I do have my coffee-to-go standing next to me though, so it ain't all bad.

Support the Free Tree Foundation and General Tree License

Wednesday, September 07, 2005
(21:07:20) Youlle: meh, dont give 2 monkeys lol
(21:08:01) Thom: do those monkeys use Open Trees?
(21:08:03) Thom: else i dont want m
(21:08:28) Youlle: no they're Closed Tree Only, they dont trust open trees, they get chopped down more often
(21:08:56) Youlle: also the Grapevine has faster connection speed over Close Tree Networks
(21:09:32) Thom: yeah but can you modify the roots of closed trees? you CAN do that with open trees
(21:09:37) Thom: make them grow faster
(21:09:46) Thom: find weaknesses inside the roots and fix them
(21:09:47) Thom: etc.
(21:10:16) Youlle: my Fertiliser provider supplies root upgrades every 2mnths or so... so really no need for access to the root system
(21:10:22) Thom: however, it does take some googling before you fully grasp climbing an Open Tree, let alone swinging from it
(21:10:46) Youlle: yeah i hear the branch drivers arent as advanced on Treenux
(21:11:15) Thom: then again, closed trees only allow you to climb them from the west side, and swinging can only be done forward/backwards, not sideways, that would break the license
(21:11:50) Youlle: yeah but our branch drivers support all branch types and have Branch-leaf acceleration
(21:12:19) Thom: yeah but that acceleration requires a closed add-in that costs a lot of $$$
(21:12:34) Thom: open trees have experimental branch-leaf acceleration-- for free
(21:12:43) Thom: requires some root modifying though
(21:13:04) Youlle: its included for free in this months Root upgrade, okay you need an OAK-225 or an ASH-543e to use it for free, but other systems arent that common
(21:13:28) Thom: ok
(21:13:32) Thom: lol blog time

[Indian Accent] I am from India [/Indian accent]

At university again, I'm really liking living wirelessly. It's very handy :).

Anyway, just finished reading Lizet and Erik Jan's first report from India. EJ is there for his study; he observes a commune there, and does research. At the same time, he is part of the commune and helps out and all that. Lizet (his girlfriend) came along with him; she's also going to work inside the commune. They will stay there for five months, with the last month being a sort of vacation.

The report is obviously in Dutch, so I'll give a short recap. First of all, people from India smell. Badly. They sat in a plane from Heathrow, London, to Chennai, India, filled with smelly people. Arrived in India, they noticed the horrible traffic, the animals everywhere, and lots of bums.

They were surprised by the poor condition of the commune itself. They saw pictures of it before they left, and those pictures gave them a far more positive view of the whole. It dissapointed them-- then again, they are in the poorer part of the country (the south), so this was to be expected. Also, they noted how dirty and unclean everything is. Well, that's what you get when you're from one of the richest countries in the world :).

Anyway, I want to whish them a fantastic 5 months together!

Live wirelessly

Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Testing the wireless around campus-- works pretty damn good! Had to configure a lot of technical stuff to get it to connect, but it's working all fine now. My university is becoming modern!

Anyway, I'm just now testing the speed by downloading the latest Breezy release-- I'm pulling 1.3MB per second! :o Compare that to the lousy 400KB per second at home...

Update: I just bought me a wireless router too, for at home. Eugenia recommended a LinkSYS to me, but hell, those things don't come cheaper than €129,-! I like spending money, but fcuk that. So, I bought a Sweex, as it said 'Mac Compatible' on the box. It's working mighty fine, got everything encrypted, passwords, the whole nine yards. Really cool, and only €49,99!

Update II: I'm sitting in our backyard now! I can internet while sitting in my backyard! And still a strong signal! And that damn thing is in my room, in the attic! :o

Airport Extreme

Monday, September 05, 2005
Just bought me an Airport Extreme card for my iBook (a hefty €79,-), and so I'm making this post wirelessly... Which is quite awesome seeing we don't have a wireless router! I'm assuming the network I'm connected to now is from accross the street; I'll check it out when I'm there tonight (I take care of their cats and house while they're on vacation). If it is indeed their network, I could easily make use of it, as they are very friendly people and I assume would be happy to let me browse the internet using their wireless router.

Cool stuff!

First day

I had my first day of my new study today, Information and Communication Sciences (a study that has to do with what the name implies, but a large part of it is a modern foreign language, Spanish, French, German or English-- I chose the last). I was quite nervous, seeing I have to start all over again. Also, it still feels very weird not being part of the Psychology faculty anymore. After two years, it really felt as if I was part of that faculty, even though the study itself wasn't really my thing.

I've had a wonderful time the past two years with Psychology, all due to the friends I have there. In the first year, I had so much fun with Sascha, Dagmar, Renate and to a lesser extent Zdena-- the 2nd year I had a lot of fun with Renate (Sascha, Dagmar and Zdena stopped), Mascha, Henriëtte and Malou. There were a lot of other nice people too, but I can't name all of you.

Anyway, this first day went pretty fine. I had a sort of introductory course first; all easy stuff that I already knew from the past two years. After that, I had my first real course: English Grammar! Woohoo! I'm finally learning Real English! My English might look pretty decent, it's still all street knowledge. The English I studied at high school added little to no extra value to my language skills.

Oh, and there's a really cute looking girl in my class! :).

It's alive

Sunday, September 04, 2005
My Mighty Mouse squeals. I'm not kidding. This E59,- mouse makes high-pitched noises when clicking.

I should've known better. For mice, cheaper is usually better.

Eugenia, about the EU...

Saturday, September 03, 2005
Okay, this post is somewhat directly addressed to Eugenia.

Eugenia, even though you're an outsider (living in the US and all), you have always profiled yourself as a sort of proponent of the European Union. Now, as is no surprise, I'm not a proponent. In the recent referendum about the European Constitution, I voted 'no', and so did 64% of my fellow countrymen and women.

I have always found it hard to exactly explain why I'm against the EU in its current form. Now, today, I got a really good and simple example of how the EU is influencing far too many things in its member states. It has to do with housing.

In the Netherlands, we have a system of 'Housing Corporations' (*not* in the evil MS/Google/etc. sense). These housing corporations, 500 of them, each control the renting of most houses in specific areas; ie. the Housing Corporation Schagen takes care of most of the rental homes in the area of Schagen, Harenkarspel (where I live), etc. Now, together, all 500 of them, they have 2.4 million rental homes. These corporations are semi-state owned. They assign houses to people/families, using a point system (details vary per corp.), which comes down to the longer you're on their list AND the more active you search, the sooner you'll get a house. Other factors, like age, family size, income, etc. also weigh in.

So basically, these corp. are an instrument of the government to make sure that everyone stands an equal chance of getting a rental home. That is very nescesary here, as housing is extremely expensive, and space is very, very limited (being on of the most densily populated countries in the world and all). Being partially state-owned, the state can make sure they don't drastically raise prices and stuff.

As you can see, this is a very decent system, aimed at providing each citizen with an equal shot at getting a rental house. This way we Dutch also ensure we don't get ghettos, like you see a lot in other countries. There is now way of telling if a street only is inhabited by poor or rich people (streets with rental homes that is, my parents for instance own their own house). The corporations can spread their houses equally among wealthy and less wealthy people, putting a stop to segregation.

And now the EU comes in. Today, a leaked official letter from Brussels (where the EU is seated) to The Hague (governmnental capitol of the Netherlands) was published, written by Neelie Kroes, the woman responsible for Competition. This letter was a threat from the EU, about our housing system. What's the problem? Well, as I said, these corp. are supported by the state, financially. This is needed so that the housing corp. do not have to strive for profit; very important if you want to rent out less expensive houses too. This is what the EU does not like. This, according to the EU, creates unfair competition. Unfair competition with private home owners who rent out their houses (real-estate brokers, in English, right?). So, the EU wants us to overhaul our system and stop any form of state influence.

That's not right, as you can easily see: private home owners have no interest in keeping prices low, and/or building/renting out cheaper homes. The state corp. do! Other than that, housing has been a hot issue in my country for over 60 years, and it also falls under the category of things in which the EU is supposed to have no say.

And this is where a little local politics come into play. The woman repsonsible for Competition, Neelie Kroes, is of the Dutch political party VVD. And those real-estate owners, which party do they for 95% belong to? Exactly, the VVD.

There you have it. That's how the EU works. This is just an example out of a dozens of these sorts of issues each year. You now get a little bit why we Dutch voted 'no'?

Superpower but can't feed its own people?

Friday, September 02, 2005
And that country calls itself a superpower.

Bwahahahahaha.

Shoes & DVDs

Thursday, September 01, 2005
My yesterday's eve and today were pretty good. Yesterday eve I went to Big City Alkmaar with Renaatje, had a few drinks, some sandwiches, and then we went to her place. There she taught me a very cool and addictive boardgame (Tricktrack). Very nice evening, warm weather, just perfect.

Today me and Renate again hooked up to go to the lakeside, but it was far too cold and windy to stay there. So we hade some icecream, and she bought a pair of shoes (women...) and I bought "The Very Best Of Prince", really nice album. I brought her home, then went to another shop by myself and bought two DVDs (Forrest Gump and A Clockwork Orange).

A nice day :).