The Feast of Vali

Today is the day heathens celebrate as the Feast of Vali. Vali is the god who avenged the death of Baldr, allowing the best loved son of Odin to await rebirth far from the chaos of the Ragnarok. He is considered the god of honor, kinship, vengence and rebirth.

Eleven years ago today, on a windswept hill outside of Rome, Indiana, I and three fellow heathens: Kris Uhler (now Haxton), Keith Sauers and Lea Carpenter (now Sauers) set the foundations of a harrow for the kindred we named Ravenswood.

Much has changed over the course of the years: Ravenswood has grown beyond our wildest expectations to include nearly 20 oathed members. May the Blessings of the Shining Gods and Goddesses of Our Folk continue to shine upon our endevors!

So here's a toast to my kinsfolk: the "semi-offical" toast of the Kindred of Ravenswood, with which every sumbel is closed:

To Vali! To Vengence! To Honor! To Kin!

Hail Ravenswood!

00:00 /Asatru | 0 comments | permanent link

Microsoft Windows Source Code Published Illicitly

It was bound to happen eventually: and it's been all over the 'net for the past couple of days, with varying degrees of scaremongering and FUD accompanying.

Most people immediately leap to the conclusion that this is a major leg up for crackers and virus writers. After all, if a programmer has the source, he can see exactly how he can break it, right?

This, of course, misses the point of open source, which is security. This is precisely why the software that runs the Internet backbone is all open source. When the source is open, the good guys as well as the bad guys can see the code and fix it - rather than waiting for a limited number of trusted employees at some big software conglomerate to figure it out. And there are alot more good guys out there than bad guys.

Don't believe it? Count the number of worms and virii effecting Linux, *BSD or any open source operating system. Now count the number for Windows, a closed system if ever there was one.

Curiously enough, one company that is seemingly starting to "get it" regarding open source and security is Micosoft, although you'd never know it from their marketing materials.

Despite concerns that such source sharing could lead to more leaks, the program is vital to grow the business, Wilfried Grommen, general manager for Microsoft's business strategy for Europe, Middle East and Africa, told Reuters on Friday.

"I don't think that this kind of shared source usage can be scaled back," he said. "It's become an essential part of our business practices. Governments want it for trust and transparency. Businesses want it for security."

(link) [CNN]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

India Woos Medical Tourists

Methinks we shall soon see how much clout the AMA still has in Washington ...

BBC reports that India has a generation of world class doctors capable of doing joint replacement, heart, neuro and cancer surgery at their state-of-the-art facilities. Don't be surprised when your physician prescribes you a trip to Bombay.

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

DVDCCA Claims Patent on CSS

Has our legal system become Burger King? These folks seem to think so. Have it your way!

After dropping their suit against Andrew Bunner, DVDCCA has filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against 321 Studios. This is an interesting claim, because since patents are published, something can not be both patented and a trade secret.

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Copywrongs | 0 comments | permanent link