Monthly Archives: May 2004

quick update of links and similar

[ from the dept. ]

Anyway, the last days were a bit unexciting as mostly glued in front of my computer. Trying to work with GIMP instead of Photoshop, but in a way it is quite difficult to untrain habits… With GIMP I really like that it is so easy to do screenshots, and to change the colours into black and white, but what i find more difficult is cropping and working with different layers, which I haven’t figured out yet. But, in my opinion, GIMP is also very much better in compressing for web. The filesize seems to be smaller.
I also did the pictures and audio editing of Stallmans talk, as well as transcribing the interview. Just cutting out breaks and coughs. It can be downloaded via bit torrent, e.g. from a server. I liked his anti McDonalds jokes as well as anti coca cola jokes. Anyway, the some reactions following on the edlug list – the Edinburgh Linux Users Group, seemed to be quite disappointing, especially as one person described the organisers of the talk as “Stallman’s lickers”.
And then the discussion goes onto why windows is so much easier. Unfortunately the political discussions on this email list are really really bad. At the moment Microsoft seems to have started an anti – GNU/Linux campaign, they are expected to roll into Edinburgh start of June for a talk which is basically focussed around slagging of the GNU/linux system and community. I really feel like going there and kicking off a fuss, and causing trouble by standing up against them and giving them shit (rhetorically of course). I have no clue about technology, but am sure I find some hard hitting words – even in the bloody soft english language!!! for them to never forget this moment in their lives as one of their lowest points ever. I really want them to sweat because of all the windoze crashes causing me a lot of lost time and work I was suffering under for at least the last 10 years! Ctr + Alt + Del !!! Microsoft employees, go into hiding, cause here I come with a different three fingers salute! (need another hand though). However, still unsure if I don’t have something else to do that day as embarrasing myself in front of some thousand people or so and if there might be a better reason to avoid that bitching from the Microsoft employees. And. also, the invitation is particularly for “technical decision makers”. So, anybody talking about anything slightly ethical and moral will probably be discredited from the start. Also they put it in the Hilton Hotel, as to have of course an oppressive and respectfull atmosphere in there, especially for all the people who don’t make so much money as they do. Am very tempted to go there in my tracksuit trousers I use for painting and very punky and unwashed for several weeks- global day of action camping style.
The program says, “Microsoft would like to invite you to an open and honest technology seminar about the pros and cons of Microsoft’s technology platform in relation to Linux and Open Source.” .
Hah! I wonder how it can be open and honest if there are only Microsoft payed employees around! Say something wrong and you’ll be loosing your job! Anyway have been looking at their invitation form and am very tempted … at least to fill it with slight exaggeration of my current position.

Stallman talk and interview

[ from the dept. ]

Richard Stallman has been in Edinburgh yesterday, for a talk at the Informatics Colloquium. I had the honour to interview him. Reading the review on Ireland Indymedia about Richard Stallmans talk in Dublin, I have the impression that it seemed to work out quite well in Edinburgh in general.
Pictures are up now on Indymedia Scotland. Alongside with an article, which has by now 73 comments (more to be expected)… Not bad for a website which has just started about a month ago.

The interview unfortunately is only 15 minutes long, as RMS was late for the interview. So couldn’t ask all the questions. Anyway he first was quite grumpy, but he brightened up later. My god I was very nervous, my hands were shaking! It did not help much that he was putting another guy down because “he doesn’t want to talk about anything unimportant”. Or similar. I should have asked about his definition of insignificance.
It seems that politeness is also regarded as waste of time in many cases by him. Anyway, I can’t remember the exact words. I am sure RMS can, because he seems to be very focussed and concentrated and exact, and able to keep this focus up for a very long time, also in his selection of words, and he seems to expect it from other people, too. As a foreign language speaker I was particularly frightened of not phrasing the questions precisely and formulating them well enough and getting told off if I didn’t. Anyway, luckily enough I had some questions prepared and some more forwarded from different people, so, i had some paper to keep hold onto.
Once Stallman got talking though, it was much better, and his mood seemed to brighten up when talking.
Well, I am glad I did this interview, because I learnt a lot. And that was the main aim for me. He even seemed to have been a little bit inspired by the questions, because some of the answers were repeated in the talk afterwards.
Unfortunately I did not get around to ask the more political questions about WTO and domination of corporations, as time ran out.
Richard Stallman is not an anti-capitalist, as he states, and so I would have been interested in his perception on reformism and how to achieve his aims of limiting/decreasing the power of multinational corporations.
Also I couldn’t ask the more personal questions, but he seemed to want to avoid these anyway.


[ from the dept. ]

It seems more and more likely that the G8 really comes to Scotland in 2005 – up to now it’s all media information, but just yesterday the Edinburgh Evening News on its Saturday frontpage had the article: “Pushed to the limit”- about police holidays being cancelled for 1.-14.Juli 2005 next year, when the G8 comes to Scotland. [report].

Apart from that Richard Stallman, the founder of GNU , Emacs and particularly the GNU General Public License will be in Edinburgh, and has kind of agreed to do an interview with me. Well not really particularly with me, but with “somebody from Indymedia Scotland who is knowledgable about free software”. Since then I am reading his biography and essays like mad, so the questions will hopefully not sound too stupid and hopefully I am knowledgable till tuesday. He is here to do a talk at Edinburgh University, specifically
the Informatics Colloquium.

A visit to the Scottish Parliament

Today I got my brain fried in the Scottish Parliament. Scheduled was a debate on “Major Events in Scotland”. As a critical natured politica I considered of course the possibility and rumours of the G8 coming to Scotland (report in the Scotsman) as a worthy subject for this parliamentary discussion.
Unfortunately the reality was disappointing: The discussion was more focussed around the Glasgow Garden Festival, the Highland and Island Music contest, the World Bowling Championship and the Robert Burns poetry featival as well as the Young people’s rugby championship and the British Open Golfing Championship to be held in Fife, than around anything vaguely important. The only interesting note was an intervention of a Green Party person when the “Military Tattoo” was discussed, and why the “Red Army of China\” got invited. Anyway at least Mark Ballard said some notes about the possibility of the G8 coming to Scotland, alongside with insisting that it is people’s legitimate right to protest and that demonstrators from everywhere should be welcomed and supported, as well as the infrastructure for them should be provided. He also tried to promote and support the Beltane festival, with the Beltane Fire Society having a really hard time this and last year to organise it, whilst Colin Fox promoted the people’s festival, but in total the discussion was totally crap. Any autonomous meeting is usually better than this. Also apparantly the decision about the location of the G8 lies solely at Westminster which is – or should be a bit worrying to the Scottish Parliament as they have no influence on the decision if it might be held in Scotland or not.

On the way back my bicycle tyre exploded with a superloud bang. Am curious to disect it and see what is wrong this time. I had just finished repairing it last weekend.

Intelligence? New report out!

[ from the dept. ]

The German government has published its new intelligence report. The secret service has to publish its activities every year to be accountable to the public. Unfortunately it rarely is; most of the time its exagerating left wing activities to get more funds and resources and minimalising right wing and neo nazis violence so to not give any foundation for embarrasment, such as when several years ago american travel guides warned any black people not to travel to East Germany because of the threat of violent and rascist neonazis.

Anyway, they mention Indymedia Germany alongside with the antirassist noborder camp in Cologne in this “monitoring report of anti-constitutional activites”. It seems that by mentioning these 2 examples in the report,it is tried to justify repression attempts against both initiatives, particularly the repression of the noborder camp last summer which is still legally challenged by protesters in court.

Other news:
In Columbia there is a wide-spread and mass distribution of poisenous and mutagenous chemicals prepared over national parks and indigenous land.[spanish]
Also interesting enough LaPais reports that 2 participants in the terrorist attack on the trains in Madrid were actually police agents. Apparantly they bought big piles of drugs from the terrorists, who used the money to fund their attacks. The report has been written by Ralf Streck, who usually writes very well researched and detailled news reports, translated from Spanish sources, and is usually regarded as trustworthy by most activists.

Anyway tonight there will be the “illegal art symposium” on. Unfortunately it collides with the Indymedia Scotland meeting. Anyway this event sounds like good fun. I wonder if the “sub-sub-sub-sub(…) contra bass blaster” mentioned- is this soundsystem which is put in front of police lines to make them collectively vomit? Wonder if and how it works though? Better not eat tonight before going to this event!