Opinions and Ramblings

by Paul Hsieh

Microsoft Watch

They're the biggest company in the world. They have far more influence on the computer industry than any other company. So just what do I think of these guys?

What I think of Apple

Apple is a resiliant company, that has defied the pundits constants predictions of going belly up. But there are good reasons why you should avoid purchasing an Apple Macintosh.

Babylon 5

Babylon 5 is a television show about a space station 265 years in the future, but it is not Deep Space 9. This show combines intrigue, suspense, action, with a serious long term plot with serious characters. Its the only TV show I care to watch on a regular basis.

My views on Guns

Why are we making such a bugaboo about guns? It all seems pretty simple to me.


I used to be a pretty avid movie goer. While I don't always see eye to eye with Siskel or Ebert, I think my list of favorites is a pretty excellent library to chose from, especially if you're thinking about renting something for your VCR or DVD player.

Beginner Programmers

Are you starting out as a new programmer? Are you trying to decide what language you should start with, and what you should learn first? Here I give advice and my thoughts on how one should go about learning how to code.

Nukes; now India and Pakistan have them too

We've become desensitized to violence. Are we also now desensitized to nukes? I hope not. These are just a few thoughts I have on the matter.


Just who are hackers? Are they really as bad as the media makes them out to be? With the explosion of technology, do I need to worry about security and if so, are the hackers here to hurt me or to help me?


I am an avid USENET reader and poster. To see what I have been up to, look me up on google's persistent USENET archive!

Excellent articles written by others

May the best man lose

An analytical look at what is wrong with the American voting system today. (An opposing view that supports the electoral college voting system.)

Take a deeper look at some more advanced voting systems on the Accurate Democracy site

Advanced voting system demonstration

Open Source Software for conducting elections.

Bruce Schneier's opinion of online/electronic voting

Human Factors in Voting Technology What happened in the 2000 election from a human point of view?

A Better Ballot Box?

Black Box Voting and Diebold's attempt to shut them down

Verified Voting Will Your Vote Count in the Next Election?

Australia's Open Source Electronic Voting System

Electronic Voting Debacle (Security Focus)

cryptographically secure voting receipt mechanism

NIST symposium on electronic voting

Courtney Love does the math

Musician and co-star of The People vs Larry Flint and Man on the Moon, Courtney Love has looked at the current state of the music industry, in light of the things like the Napster case. She has a very interesting insider's point of view. (It is easy to see where this is going -- anyone got some venture capital?)

Update: Janis Ian has decided to weigh in on the issue as well.

Ordinary Skill in the Art

With the incredible pace of modern technology, patents have become an important tool to ensure the investment of entrepreneurs. However, haven't we gone a little too far?

Wrongful accusation

A blatantly wrongful accusation leading to questionable injunction being carried out by the courts in the face of an otherwise obvious counter claim.

Fairness in reporting

Who reports on the reporters? Keeping track of our degenerating news standards.

Is the internet the great equalizer?

You'd think so, but not when it comes to businesses and patent law.

How do you identify media bias?

Moderated discussion on Kuro5hin about media bias. Numerous fascinating links.

I can't stop thinking about the middle man!

Comic book artist Scott McCloud echos his concerns about the middle man.

Losing free speech one battle at a time.

This is not a story I really am happy about at all, however I am linking to it as a matter of (vital!) information. As DMCA motivated actions have shown in the past year or so, the coporate driven anti-Free Speech movement is gaining significant momentum.

CPS2Shock crack CPS2 encryption scheme

In a move clearly in defiance of the DMCA, the Capcom encryption scheme has been broken. This is eerily similar to the CSS analysis done in late 2000.

The Execution Tapes

I will openly tell you that I think execution is a barbaric practice. All civilized countries have outlawed it. Full stop. One thing we must do is face this atrocity that the USA commits against its own citizens.

Patents need to be precise

The case of Festo vs Shoketsu is interesting in that it may mean the limiting of scope of patents. Unfortunately, what this would mean in practice is that the company with the most patents will win (which is exactly what IBM and HP want.) However, having patents come out from nowhere with rather tenuous relation to other mechanisms is really cheasy.

Claims of media violence leading to real life violence are likely bogus

I generally don't agree with the premise that media violence breeds real violence in people. However, the trend in escalation of citizen violence (WACO, Oklahoma city bombing, Columbine shooting masacre, followed by a number of other high school shootings) is likely an escalation caused by news media. Their modern tendency to make news more entertaining, have covered these stories with extraordinary zeal and glorification. The people that perpetrate these crimes in some way might feel compelled to the "tell the world" their story through action in the expectation that it will appear in the news. (Somehow I don't think Duke Nukem's voice is telling them to do this.)

Other interesting unsorted links:


Brought to you by:
A Zillion Monkeys

Valid HTML 4.0!