Monthly Archives: May 2009

“I will not chase the Hindenburg”

File this one under “Sentences that will never, ever be written again”, I guess.

…Anne Chotzinoff Grossman, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, who encountered the Hindenburg in the fall of 1936. The shy first-grader was waiting for the bell that would end recess, when the shadow of the airship passed across the schoolyard. With her older brother Blair and his friends leading the way, she set off in pursuit. “We ran across fields and brooks and over stone walls, trying to keep the airship in sight.” Finally admitting defeat, “we made our way back to school, very late and very dirty, to face angry teachers.” She was ordered to the blackboard to write one hundred times, “I will not chase the Hindenburg”—a pretty tall order for a six-year-old.

From Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine’s Lighter Than Air: An Illustrated History of balloons & airships



Sundogs Over The Airport

A sun dog or sundog (scientific name parhelion, plural parhelia, for “beside the sun”) is a common bright circular spot on a solar halo. It is an atmospheric optical phenomenon primarily associated with the reflection or refraction of sunlight by small ice crystals making up cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. Often, two sun dogs can be seen (one on each side of the sun) simultaneously. — from Wikipedia’s “Sun Dog” article.

Spotted this evening on a bike ride around the airport. The sun is off the left side of the photo, and there was a second sundog to the left of the sun. Parhelia aren’t that rare, but they’re uncommon enough to be a cool sighting. This is why I carry my camera with me all the time — and why I have a camera small enough to carry all the time.

Ubuntu One, Irony, and Open Sourcing

Disclaimer, because they seem to be popular when posting UbuntuOne commentary to Planet Ubuntu right now: These are my opinions. I don’t work for Canonical, I don’t program, I’m just an Ubuntu user, Ubuntu Member, and opinionated SOB. End stupid attempt at disclaimer.

When you go to log in to the new, shiny & controversial Ubuntu One, you find it uses Launchpad’s authentication service to login. The closed beta currently means that everyone using it already has an LP account, of course, but they’re obviously planning for the future over on UbuntuOne – there’s a little blurb called “What is Launchpad and a Launchpad Account?”

It says, in part: “Launchpad is the central point where we gather all sorts of interactions around Ubuntu, Canonical and free software generally.”

Free software generally? Really? In which universe? Big chunks of Launchpad are still non-Free, and of course about half the mess with Ubuntu One is the fact that it’s only half-free – the client is Free, the whole server side is totally proprietary.

Another, even larger and more awesome irony: The proprietary nature of Ubuntu One’s server-side code has, so far, mostly produced controversy and a nifty but not ground-breaking web app. The open-source client side has already produced parts of a nifty new UI for encrypted directories that will (hopefully) be in the next release of Nautilus.

All the closed-source server code for Ubuntu One has produced in the past week is controversy. The power of open source shows once again…

If Canonical can swallow it’s pride, this is a really easy problem to solve: 1. Change the name. 2. Produce the source for the server side. 3. There is no point 3. Good night and good luck.