Recently my friend Alan got me to read `Blindness' from Jos� Saramago, and I loved the book immediately. The book is being removed from bookstores in Israel.
Jos� Saramago (Nobel prize winer for literature) went to Palestine and was interviewed. I have only got pieces of it, and I am trying to find an english translation, I have a copy in spanish.
The Amnesty International report: Israel and the Occupied Territories: a must read, a quote from the Amnesty report:
''The military operations we have investigated appear to be carried out not for military purposes but instead to harass, humiliate, intimidate and harm the Palestinian population. Either the Israeli army is extremely ill-disciplined or it has been ordered to carry out acts which violate the laws of war.''
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, March 5, 2002, talking to the press:
``The Palestinians must be hit and it must be very painful. We must cause them losses, victims, so that they feel the heavy price''.
Robert Fisk on the Jenin massacre. 150 civilians murdered by the Israeli Army. In the meantime, everyone is sitting still, watching what is that there is
Chomsky talks about US-Israel-Palestine.
Posted on 15 Apr 2002
| Amaya got a group of people together for dinner
outside Madrid: Amaya, Ana Carolia, Bego�a, Hector, Israel,
Juan, Marta, Lucia, Pablo, and Myself. We went outside
Madrid for dinner.
Me and Ana Carolia.
|Juantom�s joined us back in Madrid.|
Posted on 13 Apr 2002
|Morning talk in the UAM. A large group of users from the Universidad Pontificia came.|
I also had an idea during my talk: countries could have a tariff on proprietary software. This has been done for centuries for other products to protect the local economy. The money from the taxes could be used to improve free software.
Since it would be very hard to do this for every piece of software, I suggest that the tariffs are only impossed on proprietary software from mass monopolies.
Sharp readers will be thinking that this goes against free markets, and the whole invisible hand theory that "magically" fixes economies. The problem with the theory of free markets is that we do not have one. We have a monopoly that has been found guilty of abusing of their position, and can not be broken.
A tariff on proprietary software from a monopolist would help naturally balance our industry. Once they stop being a monopoly, and become another player, the tariff can be removed.
A reader found my weblog and sent me this great link. It contains all kinds of information, pictures and maps of the problem in Palestine.
Posted on 12 Apr 2002
Live report from Ramallah.
Gila Svirksy: Can you imagine life with no water, while men, women, and children are bleeding to death around you? And finally having to bury the corpses in an empty lot nearby, after days of keeping them at home?
Today I did another talk on Mono in the afternoon in the
University in Mostoles (south of Madrid).
Rodrigo Moya did a GNOME 2.0 presentation before my
This picture was taken after the talk.
Posted on 11 Apr 2002
|Today I met with the members of the special commission on new technologies in the Spanish Senate. I got to see the senate, a beautiful building and visit their library and event attended a real voting.|
|In the main room, we took many pictures.|
Later in the day, we headed to the Colegio Mayor San Juan Evangelista where I did a talk on Gnome and Mono. Since there was no projector, the conference was a bit more informal. I had fun, and the student audience was awesome.
We had a long session of questions and answers at the end. Also various good friends from the Madrid Linux Users Group were there.
Posted on 10 Apr 2002
I have been trying to understand what has happened in Palestine which started the current events, and I finally understand what has been going on. There are plenty of articles on the history of the conflict.
I particularly like this account of events: "The origin of the Palestine-Israeli conflict".
The article above is interesting in understanding why the Oslo and Madrid agreements are not being followed up on.
The Electronic Intifada has pointers and resources to information on the new intifada. I read with interest the Historical Myths section (covering for example, the origin of the various wars, and the Israeli need for security).
A countering view of things can be viewed in the Israeli Insider.
The palestinians are in checkmate: Arafat locked down, 450 tanks vs 50 and 130 helicopters vs 2 and 450k active soldiers vs 69,000 militia man (as reported by Spain's newspapers).
Elen Cantarow describes her experience.
Chomsky has covered the topic in depth in various books, there is a short Q/A with him from a couple of days ago.
Reports from the front are available on the Electronic Intifada WebLog.
Robert Frisk who has been covering the Middle East for a long time has a great piece.
Neta Golan, an Israeli part of the 40 peace observers that are in the building with Arafat has a live report
I do not know what Arafat's background is, but Robert Fisk once called him a criminal of war (He did not go into the details in the article I read that, Robert was covering the bombing in Afghanistan).
He refers in the same terms to Sharon.
Electronic Intifada has an annotated resume of Sharon.
Posted on 09 Apr 2002
Posted on 08 Apr 2002
The Guadec (The Gnome Developers and Users Conference) conference in Sevilla is over.
What a great conference we had this year. We had four tracks of activities going on. Guadec has grown a lot from the first Guadec conference we had in Paris.
Various groups have developed around the project: the Anjuta developers had a strong presence. The Gnome Hispano group and various interest groups on specific areas of Gnome: Usability, Accessibility, training, project management and bug tracking.
Everyone had a lot of fun. The Gnome Hispano group beat the record for continous partying at a conference. Many new developers came to the conference for the first time, I was looking forward to meet Naba, and finally he made it to the conference.
It is obvious that Microsoft has no intention of correcting their behaviour as Steve Ballmer had promised: to act responsible, and do the right thing, given that Microsoft is a monopoly.
The new licensing changes to the CIFS specification are disturbing. It is disturbing because you would expect that a company the size of Microsoft that previously had competed by delivering what users wanted and improving their tools would do that, rather than depend on tricky licensing issues.
Attacking the GPL as a license is just a smokescreen for the fact that Linux, that little operating system *is* fulfilling the needs of big sectors of users without giving Microsoft a chance to compete.
Finally, I have been using Galeon has my web browser and it turns out that MSN and Hotmail no longer allow me to create new accounts using a plain Web Browser.
What is most striking is the fact that Microsoft does not envision a world where there are multiple software providers. They envision a word where they are the only source of software for horizontal applications.
I have come to realize recently that if software patents continue, those countries that do not acknowledge them (for their bogosity) could become software development paradises.
Places where the software industry could still have a chance to compete without being hampered by artificial limitations.
Posted on 07 Apr 2002
Today was the meeting of the GNOME Foundation's Advisory Board. It was great to see everyone again at the conference. During lunch, I picked Keith's brain about the history of X (again, in my quest to dig more in the history of software than software itself).
The faith of OpenLook compared to Motif and how a consortium pushed for bad technologies to be adopted by technologies that were worst than what Sun and ATT had developed. Really interesting.
Jim and Keith were running beautifully configured X servers with anti-aliasing, apparently I had never correctly configured my system, because Keith later during the week fixed my X configuration and I have the best anti-aliased desktop (after installing GdkXft).
Evolution is so beautiful. It is a joy to read email with the anti-aliased, sub-pixel rendered fonts.
I met for the first time Don from HP. Also the Mandrake guys demostrated their `Tasks' feature that they incorporated from Debian: a very nice idea to simplify the use of Linux.
I would love if Ximian would ship GnomeMeeting. I have been asking Nat for this for a few months, but so far I had no luck. At least it seems like we will be shipping the enhanced Mozilla that does anti-aliasing, because it is so beautiful.
Posted on 03 Apr 2002
I arrived to Sevilla at night. Vigu, Rocio and Juantom�s were at the airport to pick me up. Telsa had also arrived there.
Nat was in bed when we got to our hotel, and was as funny as always.
Posted on 02 Apr 2002