Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Quake Live in Linux

The popular 3rd person shooter game Quake Live has come to Linux.  It can be played for free by browsing to http://quakelive.com/ using Firefox.  I played it last night and had a blast.
I really like the idea of the game going through the browser.  I hope that HTML5 and on making building browser-based games without plugins a reality, but until then this is a great solution.
I have tried it on my Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty 64-bit machine, and aside from some very small sound glitches, the game plays great.  Tonight I'm going to give it a go on my laptop.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mark Shuttleworth commissions Epoch by Cory Doctorow.

If you don't know who Cory Doctorow is then you need to

  1. Start reading xkcd.
  2. Start reading http://craphound.com/

Anyhow, Cory starts off rambling about work and then gets in to start reading Epoch.  Mark asked that it be about the shutting down of the first AI, and something about a Unix roll over.  Check it out at the link above.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rationed care, long wait lines and bureaucrats

The bureaucrats at my HMO have decided that my daughter doesn't actually need the medication that our doctor has prescribed her.  They have only agreed to help pay for half of the medicine.  We cannot afford the other half.
Furthermore, we have had to wait for over a month for her to be able to have the necessary follow-up appointments with a specialists who should be able to better identify my daughter's problem and pinpoint what we need to do to get her fixed up.  We didn't even get to specify a date preference for the appointment.  The called us and told us what day and time it would be it, and that was the end of the story.
Rationed care! Long waits for treatment! Bureaucrats standing in between my children's health and our doctor! This privatized health care system can be really frustrating!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Want to protect against H1N1, put down the sanitizer

With the H1N1 making its rounds everyone is talking about how they've setup hand sanitizer everywhere. Not just everyone, but educated people at grade schools and universities. There's a problem here: hand sanitizers don't kill viruses.
That's not the end of the story. It's not that hand sanitizers don't offer some protection against viruses.
In essence, it makes your hands very inhospitable to viruses. You put it on your hands and viruses simply don’t want to cling to it. So it does reduce the amount of a virus that can cling to your hand but it does not kill it. - Dr. Gupta
So if it does offer some protection, then how much? The American Society for Microbiology did a study a few years back on the efficacy of removing viruses with three different methods; water, liquid antibacterial soap, and hand sanitizer. The following sums up the results

WaterAntibacterial SoapSanitizer
So if you want to effectively protect yourself against H1N1 simply rubbing your hands together under water is what you want. Only rely on sanitizer when neither soap nor water are available.
Unfortunately when I hear about fighting off H1N1 in the news, at work, or from my children's schools it seems that hand sanitizers are talked about a lot and frequent hand washing is not emphasized as much.