Thursday, February 02, 2006

Internet Explorer 7

Microsoft has released a very stable "pre-beta" version of

More space for pages. Integrated anti-phishing protection. Tabs known from Mozilla/Firefox (CTRL/T opens a new tab quickly). Zoom between 10 and 1000 percent, including the pictures. And many other features. The known bugs are usually unimportant, except for imperfect co-existence with McAfee's antivirus programs. If you don't use any unusual add-ins or McAfee, you may want to try IE7. Positive review of a well-known Firefox user is here. So far it crashed once to me (just like P.P. Cook), and filling the forms like this web form to write articles behaves in a slightly unusual way.

If your Windows Media Player 10 refuses to connect to the Internet after you downloaded and installed IE7, while giving you this message:

  • Windows Media Player cannot play the file. If the file is located on the Internet, connect to the Internet. If the file is located a removable storage card, insert the storage card.

then click the blue tab "Guide" in the media player and then click "Connect the player to the internet". Done. If it does not work, you can also try to Start/Run the command "inetwiz", and click a few obvious choices. One of these two approaches should fix the media player.


Nyxem.E will start to erase Microsoft Office files tomorrow if you're infected. If you don't have an up-to-date antivirus software, download it and check your PC! This virus will be a non-event, thanks to blog articles like this one.

Microsoft has also offered to release the source code of Windows, or it has even done so, and the critics - including the EU bureaucrats - who always argued that the source code availability was important suddenly say that it is not important. The Reference Frame rates the moral standards of these critics as poor.

Microsoft has announced a new reasonable policy with respect to censorship: only if a written confirmation that some content violates local laws is sent to Microsoft, the company will be ready to help censorship. Also, Bill Gates argued that in 2006, censorship attempts no longer work.

Meanwhile, a rift appeared in the freeware community. Richard Stallman, the author of the GNU movement and Emacs editor, has invented a new licensing rules known as GPL version 3. The apparent purpose of GPL v3 is to kill capitalism - everyone who uses GPL v3 software together with XY must give all of her passwords for XY and all of her money to Stallman's communist movement - or something along these lines. This would make it effectively impossible to use free software in combination with most commercial gadgets we use today. Linus Torvalds, the author of Linux, announced that he won't transform a single line of his code (Linux kernel) to these new rules. Stallman is leading GPL off a cliff.

The green whackos and radical commies like Stallman are spreading like a flu. Today, Robert Newman argued in the Guardian that you must choose capitalism or a habitable planet because "you can't have both". Thank you but I will choose capitalism. Some people are simply mad. Another example are thousands of Muslims who plan to exterminate Denmark because of these 12 innocent pictures (see also here). Do we really want to sacrifice the freedom to draw pictures of Arab citizens such as Muhammed in the European newspapers?

Many editors etc. have been fired because of this pseudocontroversy. Hamid Karzai and Bill Clinton have joined the militants' judgement of the cartoons. Do we want to give the militant muslims the right to increasingly control our lives? As you know very well, your humble correspondent would prefer weapons over such drastic reductions of our freedoms. Friends, this is the 3rd millenium and interdicts and religious threats have absolutely no room in this world. Once again, similar terrorists and religious fanatics were controlling the world in the 6th and 7th centuries while this is the 21st century. Our friends in the Middle East will either have to learn how to live with other people's basic freedoms, or they will have to be treated differently.


  1. I can respect your views on IE7 and Microsoft, but what is with the FUD on the GPL? The GPL is not freeware.
    And it does not require you to give out passwords or personal information. Has google has to release their proprietary algorithms because they use linux? It only requires that you respect the work of the original authors and contribute any changes (that you yourself distribute) to the receiver.

    As I see it, the GPL values progress over profits.

  2. I do not see how you can argue against Robert Newman, he made a very logical conclusion:

    1.The planet is finite in size and resources, and hence can not sustain any infinitely and exponentially expanding growth.

    2.Capitalism predicates on infinite growth of market and expansion of fortune, unlimited supply of resources to support such growth.

    3.Therefore the capitalism way is not a sustainable way for this planet.

    How could you argue against that conclusion, unless you can show me either 1 or 2 was wrong? Criticizing capitalism in this fashion does NOT mean endorsement of communism in any way: communism is much worse and even less sustainable since it propose that each individual shall have unlimited resource to provide his/her need/greed.

    We are facing an un-precedent crisis of natural resource shortage. The natural gas and oil being the more obvious and visible ones. Who in his sane mind could deny the fact of the rocketing price of gas and oil, and the very fact that the earth has a finite size and resource? The invisible resource shortage are even more problematic, like copper!

    I put my money where my mouth is. I have been driving a Prius and I have been getting above 60 mpg. I have been transforming my large backyard of my house so I can grow some of my vegetables, and installing solar water heater etc. I have put my money in copper stocks like PCU, and happily watch it grow a little bit every day. Be prepared, folks. This is an un-precedent crisis unfolding and any one not well prepared could be crushed.


  3. Thanks a lot for the head-up on IE7. I am enjoying it very much, I feel like I have a new toy. It is nice!

    But already it hung once (within ten minutes of first use, in fact right here trying to post this very comment!). So be ware! It is a beta version.

    Thanks though, it is rather good so far,

  4. Hi Lubos,

    Whatever you might think of Mr Stallman, there is no doubt that he is a great man! I always find it difficult to follow the logic of the truely great ones like Susskind!

    Infact, talking about the landscape in string theory, Is the Landscape a complicated way of saying that String Theory will never solve the physical constants problem? And that all Stringer are essentially working on Phenomenology?

    Now about capitalism, contrary to Quantoken, the heart of capitalism is competition! I understand that in textbooks abstracts are made like infinite resources but we live in the real world!

    An amateur mathematician

  5. Stallman is a great American. A lover of liberty and has no problem with private property. He saw that information and the tools to access it and communicate with others need to be substantially in the public domain least our freedoms be diminished. I'd say Google's China policy is an example of how Capitalism and liberty can be at odds and why Stallman is due our respect. He is deep and improves on reflection. Give him another read.

  6. Lubos:

    I do not want to take a stand on the GPL V3 licensing model. But I do find that you have a poor understanding of the copyright concept, and the concept of free software.

    If you created something, you automatically own the copyright to the piece. That means you have a total dominance on the terms and conditions how others can use your piece of work. You get to choose your model of licensing and dictate other terms of usage. Nobody will force you at gun point to use a piece of his/her creation. It's up to you whether to use it or not use it. But if you decide to use a work of others, you better use it in strict accordance to the terms spelled out by the author. Nobody will force you to comply, but if you don't you could go to jail for breaking a law called copyright protection. You don't get to use some one else's work and at the same time dictate the term how you want to use it.

    Free software, on another hand, are NOT something that "belong to every one". There are software that are indeed belong to every one. It's not called free software, it's called "public domain software", what it means is the author publicly denounces his/her copyright right. So the work no longer has an owner and any one can do anything with it whatsoever, without restriction, except that no one can claim ownership or copyright to the work. As such, the original author do not carry any responsibility or warantee associated with the work.

    Unless a piece of free software is explicitly released as public domain, it is still copyrighted material, and it still enjoys the full protection of the copyright laws as much as commercial software does. In that sense, free software are no different from commercial ones, except for you do not have to pay to obtain the priviledge to use it.

    So really, the "free" in free software does NOT mean "free to do whatever I want", it only means "free usage" (in accordance to terms) without having to pay. The only thing you obtain for free is just the restricted usage. But the same thing is true in commercial software. Just because you paid for a commercial software doesn't mean you can use it in any way you want. You can't make copies and sell it to your friends, for example.

  7. Quantoken is exactly right on my wrong use of the term public domain. If you are interested in what Stallman has to say on free software, go to the source.

    That is Stallman's mark in the world. All his other stuff

    doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

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