Last year, a used system was purchased from the local Salvation Army store in Warrensburg, Missouri. For several months it sat inside of our world headquarters.
It was either a system that could be salvaged for parts or something that could be put to good use.
Early Tuesday morning, it was plugged into a TV via VGA and powered on. It turned out that spending approximately $5 USD was going to yield a pleasant surprise. Preliminary specs are as follows:
AMD Phenom quad core CPU
7 GB of RAM
AMD Readon HD 5340 with 1 GB of RAM
500 GB Hard Drive
The system itself currently has Windows Vista Home Premium. It seems it was set up for World of Warcraft. Whether it can handle a Linux distribution at this point with the precarious situation regarding AMD graphics will remain to be seen.
Though it’s not the most that has ever been had, this desktop has the most memory out of all the desktop systems in a long time.
Further research will be needed to see if it can hold more memory. Depending on what it can handle, it may very well replace the main desktop.
In the past few months, it’s become obvious how important the mission of the site has become. The unfortunate, inevitable truth is that major news and media networks are trying to figure out how they could have gotten the election year so wrong while not actually coming upon the correct answer.
In reality, they blame so called “fake news” outlets for their own failings.
In the coming days, the about page will be updated so that anybody who wants to e-mail any of us will not only have an available e-mail address but an encryption key as well. I will also remove my personal site and set up a new one to free up resources for this site.
My Libertarian Conscience will simply be set up in a new home, and the podcast will be converted to a YouTube show instead.
In light of media incompetence, civil liberties concerns, and the revelations from Edward Snowden, I knew that it was time to make things a bit more secure. What he did was not without controversy, and there were unintended consequences.
With that said, the cat is already out of the bag and everybody should be thinking about their privacy.
Even if one has nothing to fear from their own government, there are still identity thieves and others with less than honorable intentions. Protecting your identity and privacy is generally a good idea.
It’s like wearing a helmet when getting on a bike or safety goggles when you’re doing a job that requires eye protection.
That’s also why I don’t begrudge those who use ad blocking. I don’t blame any readers who have no desire to be tracked and traced.
I’ve only begun to keep things updated here. Stay tuned for more articles and more podcasts.
The first tablet that I’ve ever owned was a Viewsonic gtablet. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Google certified, so the official app store was not accessible. I eventually gave it up and wouldn’t own another one for about four years.
I now am the proud owner of an RCA 10 Pro Edition Tablet, and it has the following specs:
1.5 GHz Quad Core Cortex A9 processor
Android 4.4 KitKat
1 GB DDR3 RAM
16 GB of internal storage
32 GB microSD card (upgrade)
0.3 Megapixel front-facing camera and 2.0 Megapixel rear camera
Keyboard folio case
Battery life of up to six hours
10″ diagonal screen (1024×600 resoltuion)
The usual features of a multi-touch capacitive screen (with auto-rotate)
802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
Mini HDMI port
The best part is that I have access to the Google Play store. Although some apps are incompatible with this tablet, I am looking forward to putting it to good use. With that said, I would also like to take the time to explain what’s been going on with the website.
I’ve been meaning to convert the existing PDF magazines to a web-based format. In the middle of that, life happened. Some things come to an end so that others can begin.
A door on one chapter of my life has closed and thus another opens. The world headquarters for this media venue has been moved back to Warrensburg, Missouri. This means that Shaggy and I will have an easier time getting together for podcast episodes and other potential projects.
This also means that converting the remainder of the PDF’s to a web-based format will take a bit more time. More than copying and pasting is involved. I have to place images in the correct order and add bonus content to entice readers to subscribe to the magazine.
Yes, you read correctly.
Though the online version will remain free for all, there will be a few extras for those who subscribe:
Exclusive content, such as video episodes embedded via HTML 5
No insertion of Google Ads
Other bonuses and incentives as they become available (think exclusive copies of independent films, music albums, and more)
Having specific printing equipment for glossy looking magazines would be very cost prohibitive, while having each issue as an individual PDF would only work well as long as the file size remains relatively small.
A web-based format that’s published on CD-ROM would be the best of both worlds as individuals can easily make copies to give away to all their friends. Yes, I want you to make copies and give them away so that others know we exist!
Once all the existing issues are converted over, I will begin working on the newest issue. It won’t be perfect as it will be a work in progress. In fact, it will always be as such.
Still, I am looking forward to this endeavor. With that said, I shall now conclude this post and begin to celebrate my 32nd birthday. Have a wonderful afternoon, everybody.
Ken Starks, known as HeliOS online, is the head of The Reglue Project, an organization that serves all of Central Texas. Their mission is to bridge the digital divide by providing computers to the kids of families who can’t afford one.
Internet access is also paid three months in advance in order to allow the parents or legal guardians to budget for it.
According to their annual funding campaign on IndieGoGo, “What good is being granted a vehicle if we can’t afford the fuel to do computer installations? Or to buy the parts needed to fix that computer? The majority of grant foundations are simply not offering assistance to help with those things any more.“
There was only over two weeks left, and they’re far from their goal of $9,000 USD. Fortunately, it appears that IndieGoGo has extended the campaign and as of writing this, there are 31 days left. So far, $3,380 has been pledged.
Below is a keynote from Starks for this year’s Ohio Linux Fest. Due to surgery that he will have over the holidays, the keynote may be his last public speaking event.
In order to prevent any more bouts with cancer, he is having his larynx removed and will no longer be able to speak vocally.
I went to school at the Leeton R-X school district in Missouri. The computer lab was quite humble.
There were mostly DOS machines with some Windows 3x machines connected together via Novel Netware. It wasn’t until about 1996 that Internet access became available.
Before I graduated high school in 2002, we had one major upgrade. Windows 98 with Office 2000. It’s amazing how a school could fall behind on technology.
At least the Internet connection was fast. I remember to this day having to deal with dial-up. It was mostly through my dad’s AOL connection, and heaven help me if I had any Windows Updates.
This was before I delved into this thing known as Linux, or rather GNU/Linux. One of the reasons I wanted to have regular access to hi speed Internet was due to the prevalence of soft modems.
Linux-based drivers were difficult to come by back then.
Access via Ethernet was an appropriate way around that problem. I do have fond memories of dial up, though I’ll admit that I’d be frustrated today, though not nearly as much as with a mobile hotspot that’s going at Edge Network speeds.
Truth be told, I came into the computer culture late in the game. I never got to experience the dial-in BBS’es that others had the pleasure of using to talk to each other and trade files with.
It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I actually utilized IRC. I can only imagine the amount of lag from all the conversations at once.
These days, I feel fortunate. There’s a straight up monthly fee for access (while a price guarantee is in effect). Long distance fees for access are a thing of the past.
Yet I still remember the excitement while exploring vast communities and dreaming of things that I wouldn’t have otherwise attempted to accomplish.
January is almost over, and it’s already been an interesting ride this year. 2014 is turning out to be an interesting year.
New ideas are emerging as well as a changing geopolitical landscape. While this isn’t the change many were supposed to “believe in,” things are definitely not going to be stagnant.
Bridge Linux: Every now and then, a new Unix-like OS enters town. This distro uses Arch as its base and comes in a variety of desktop environments. There is a 32 and 64-bit edition. Dalton Miller, the founder of the project was recently interviewed by DistroWatch.
Bitcoin and TigerDirect: The online electronics retailer is now accepting Bitcoin as payment. As mention of the digital currency goes more mainstream, it will be interesting to see what happens next.
David Gerwitz recommends Chromebooks: Gerwitz of ZDNet has recently started recommending Chromebooks for everyday users. The big reasoning according to him is that, “For people who don’t need all that Windows has to offer, for those who live in their browsers, Gmail, Facebook, and such, for those who write simple documents and need simple spreadsheets or presentations, for those who just need to get something done quickly and easily, the Chromebook is an ideal choice.”
Overlooked Pop Culture
CNN US Edition Covers Bieber instead of Ukraine: During the unrest in the Ukraine, a Reddit user caught the front page of CNN’s website (U.S. Edition), where Justin Bieber was front and center. There seems to be a trend of people getting tired of celebrity “scandals.”
From the Fuck the Police Files: The Smoking Gun recently reported on a Pizza Hut Manger who spit on the food of a deputy who had busted her for riding in a car with someone who might have been drinking. In Tennessee, it’s an automatic DUI. She lost her job, and the cop probably lost some of his faith in fast food chains.
It isn’t too far into 2014, and we’re already experiencing some interesting turn of events. Thomas Holbrook II is now writing for Muktware once again. His focus will be on Chromebooks, Chrome OS, and other topics, such as civil liberties online.
Speaking of civil liberties, that is one topic that will see coverage in this week’s links. We have the usual developments in free and open source software, but also from a few other fronts as well.
Don’t Blindly Trust Open Source, verify it: Mozilla Calls for Protection from NSA Spying (Muktware.com): Swapnil Bhartiya, founder and editor of Muktware, writes about the NSA and how the availability of a project’s source code isn’t immune from tampering, especially if developers don’t pay enough attention.
ZaReason’s Zeto a Part of their Latest Offerings (ZaReason): Though the company has been criticized for their tablet, the California-based company keeps quietly releasing new products, such as the Zeto. It’s powered by the newest generation of Intel processors as well as powerful NVIDIA graphics.
Ars Technica on Verizon vs FCC (Ars Technica): The courts have invalidated most of the Net Neutrality rules put out by the FCC. ISP’s can’t be treated like phone companies. Only time will tell whether ISP’s will start to throttle traffic in order to prevent competition throughout various Internet-based industries.
Superbabies? (Mail Online): A Chinese firm is apparently trying to see if one can map the genes of those who are especially skilled in Math. Imagine picking out the smartest embryos and combining other good genes with them. Interesting indeed.
Daniel Bryan Has a Concussion? (24Wrestling.com): Though not seen on WWE’s website, it seems that Daniel Bryan suffered a concussion during the cage match from the last Monday Night Raw. Again, no official statement has been made on WWE.com.
The new year has started off right with more dedication to this site, including having some links ready for everybody to check out each week.
Have a link you want to see here? Feel free to drop us a line in the comments, on any of our social networking places (linked to the left), via phone (660-474-0345), or by e-mail (email@example.com).
Fedora Project: Sponsored by Red Hat, version 20 of this Operating System is the first stop on this year’s Distro Journey.
Is Microsoft Grasping at Straws? (FOSS Force): Ken “helios” Starks asks the question of whether Microsoft is on their last legs regarding competition against Free and Open Source Software. From mentioning the aQuantive buyout to Rockstar, Starks paints a picture of a company that has grown desperate.
Razer’s Project Christine (MaximumPC): Those who are seasoned veterans when it comes to upgrading PC’s may have had their fair share of nicks and cuts on their hands and fingers. Razer is apparently wanting to change all of that by creating a modular gaming system that lends itself to easier upgrades.
Overlooked Pop Culture
The British Punk Band that Fooled Reagan, Thatcher, and the CIA (The Daily Beast): Crass, a British Punk Band conducted a prank in which a fake phone call between then President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher caused quite a stir. American intelligence blamed the soviets, while the British blamed Argentine spies. The lead singer is disturbed to this day that governments were so easily fooled.
Decapitated Sex Toys Prompted Police Probe (The Smoking Gun): A Florida woman’s ex-girlfriend had apparently cut off the heads of a few dildos, prompting her to contact the police. Due to lack of evidence, the case was eventually closed. Of course it wouldn’t be Wednesday Weekly Links without something really weird like this.