Sunday, December 30, 2012

Open Source and Freeware

Free Software is software that you may use, redistribute, modify, and redistribute your modified versions.  Captive software is licensed to make it illegal to do at least one of these things.  I always will recommend free software over captive software.

Freeware is software you do not have to pay to use, but is otherwise in some way captive.  I will generally recommend freeware over paid captive software, though you should be careful.  Quite a bit of freeware (extra browser toolbars, especially) will spy on you, and freeware may have a number of other malicious functions as well.

So:  here are some resources.

Datamation has a mega-list of nearly 1100 free software projects, ranging from complete operating systems to very simple text editors, which I have added to the "other links" part of the sidebar. is my go-to portal for Windows freeware.  All of it is certified nagware, spyware, and malware free, though I have found some pretty worthless stuff there. provides user ratings of various alternatives to well-known software packages, and links where you can obtain them.  They are perfectly willing to link to free software, freeware, and paid captive software.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

On Newtown, CT, and Policy

I ran across Larry Correia's statements on mass shootings and what makes people safe in Mark Shea's commentariat.

Larry Correia may truly be one of the most qualified of people to discuss the issue of how gun ownership and use affect criminal behavior, including mass shootings like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. I have seen nothing I think you would do better to read if you wish to be informed on the relevant issues, especially not anything I've written.


Salute to Fr. George David Byers, of Holy Souls Hermitage. I wept, and choked up with emotion. Watch it through to the end.

Additionally: Read John C. Wright's excellent time-travel story. It too delighted and moved me so, so deeply.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Tragedy in Connecticut

EDIT: I suppose you can consider my post the tl/dr of this post by the eloquent and esteemed David Warren, whose writings I recommend without qualification.

end edit With Pope Benedict, I am deeply saddened by the senseless and tragic massacre in New Town, Connecticut. I pray for those lost and all their families: May God have mercy on them all, and give his grace to all.

This article in the Atlantic concedes that the debate over banning gun ownership is largely over, and that those who argue for have lost. The author, Jeffrey Goldberg, even concedes that defensive gun uses happen, that law-abiding gun owners save lives with their guns, and even contradicts a lawyer for the Ohio police chief's association who says that his anecdotal evidence proves gun violence has increased since Ohio passed a shall-issue CCW permit law by claiming that statistics show otherwise.

Israel used to have a serious problem with school massacres. The PLO or Hamas would find some willing martyr, hand him a $50 black market AK-47 and some ammo, and send him to shoot up a school. Prime Minister Golda Mier said she was not going to make policy on the backs of children. Her response was to field armed volunteers to protect elementary schools, often retired relatives of the school children. The death tolls from these incidents went from over a score to low single digits, and Arab terrorists started using suicide bombers instead of gunmen.

I am not at all surprised to find Pelosi, President Obama, et al, making sure that they don't let tragedies go to waste by trying to make gun-banning hay while the sun shines. But I sincerely hope that they fail.