When support requests go bad…

I’m fairly active on the ubuntu support tracker (http://answers.launchpad.net) it generally involves someone saying ‘how can i blah blah blah’ and someone with more experience answers (hopefully fixing their problem, sometimes forwarding to bug reports/blueprints when appropriate). Fairly regularly you get the person who is just complaining, there’s not much you can say to them apart from “we aren’t the complaints desk, we provide answers to questions”, alas sometimes they refuse all help offered and continue on complaining like you personally insulted them. today was one of those days… the following is a true account (link)

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Big games devloper (valve) porting huge game series (half-life 2 orange box) to linux possibly

title says it all folks, from #ubuntu-offtopic

17:06:25 -!- ValveSoft [i=kal@] has joined #ubuntu-offtopic
17:06:35 < ValveSoft> we're recruiting programmers at valve software to port the orange box to linux, if anybody is interested please let me know
17:10:50 < ValveSoft> if you are interested in a linux games programming carrier with valve softwares please post your resume here: jobs@valvesoftware.com
17:06:50 < ValveSoft> http://www.valvesoftware.com/job-SenSoftEngineer.html
17:10:51 < ValveSoft> thanks.
17:10:54 -!- ValveSoft [i=kal@] has quit []

on its own obviously not much but looking at the job description “Port Windows-based games to the Linux platform.” its starting to look legit, i doubt a troll would just advertise a valve email and leave as well. here’s hoping!

stop wasting cpu cycles!

I am sure that most of you are aware of various ways in which you can use your space CPU cycles to help science and all that, but I recently discovered that I am the founder for the rosetta@home Ubuntu Linux team (it transpired that I founded the team a few years ago and sort of, forgot.. about it). so if you have always thought about dedicating your spare system resources but never got around to it, here’s your perfect chance.

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Not ubuntu related, but just wow

http://msdn.microsoft.com/events/hero/sfbio/ is the only link that matters today (apologies to anyone that’s already seen it)

More woes for the bbcs microsoft tie-in.

seems the BBC is in more troubles over its iplayer system, there is of course the issue of the supposed £20 million being spent on it so far but of more interest to the free-software/non-microsoft crowd is the controversies over the inoperability of the iplayer on non-microsoft systems

of note is a letter from MP Dr. John Pugh. to the director general of the BBC Mark Thompson:

“The more fundamental issue is its failure to apply open standards and be sufficiently interoperable to work fully (streaming and download) on more than one platform. The BBC is funded by licence players not all of whom have or chose to use a computer running Windows XP or Vista. By guaranteeing full functionality to the products of one software vendor it is as a public body handing a commercial advantage to that company — effectively illegal state aid!”

which is a good point (how valid it is has yet to be worked out) but is the kind of thing that could lead to sanctions by the EU. also of note is that the BBC is saying that people prefer the flash technology to the downloadable ms only version by a factor of 8:1, which is always good news (even if it is only the lesser of two evils).

the transcript of the latest hearing of the BBC with the Parliament is interesting reading too (if you can ctrl-f to find keywords that are interesting ;))

FLOSS recommended in schools, vista discouraged


“Upgrading existing ICT systems to Microsoft Vista or Office 2007 is not recommended,” said the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency, also known as Becta, in a report issued this week
“Microsoft should provide native support for the ODF file format increasingly used in competitor products and those that are free to use,” Becta said in its report.

Looks like now is a great time to contact the local schools/education facilities in your area telling them about the wonderful world of ubuntu/floss

The beeb openly admits to stupidity/microsoft corruption

nice article about the bbc trust saying their *must* be platform neautrality in the bbc’s iplayer http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7047381.stm

the paragraph of most interest to me at least is

The BBC says the DRM offered by Microsoft – which is not available for Linux and has not been licensed from Microsoft by Apple for Macs – is the only solution at present”

which basically states that the bbc when looking at drm methods (which i hate but of course microsoft is not the only one) they chose the one that is not available on any platform but microsoft platforms. essentially the bbc is made up of monkeys throwing money at random people or microsoft has led them round by the nose. rather than the microsoft solution being the only solution it is infact one of the few solutions that will never work as it will be a cold day in hell when microsoft licences their drm platform to anyone else (unless of course the EU made them and then they took a year off to make sure its nice and complicated, so complicated its not useable.. oh wait havn’t we been here before?)