12.21.20

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Worst Year, But Hope Prevails

Posted in Site News at 5:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Solstice hopes; days will get longer, Free software will be increasingly adopted (and Tux Machines had a record year)

Tux Machines had a record year

Summary: It has been an awful year for almost everyone; we take stock of numerous issues and offer a positive message

THIS year was easy for nobody. Not even those in high demand (business-wide) could see family members and it’ll get kind of crazy when even on holy days people will feel rather lonely and isolated. Today is the shortest day in this hemisphere and I got ill last night. This morning, without warning, even the shower would barely work because the water (utilities) provider had issues with water pressure. In over 20 years I’ve not encountered such a thing and given social isolation directives (cannot visit another household) and the gym deciding to shut down for 20 days for business reasons, suddenly something like hot water could not be taken for granted. Combine that with an illness that has had me sleeping for nearly half a day.

“Due to a tragic death of a man younger than me, we’re forced to migrate to another datacentre in a hurry (by month’s end).”The coming few weeks will not signal a turnaround. A President Biden cannot (even if he really wants to) save his country and a ‘no-deal Brexit’ seems imminent. People are forewarned not to panic-buy. Some people cannot afford to, either (barely making ends meet).

Due to a tragic death of a man younger than me, we’re forced to migrate to another datacentre in a hurry (by month’s end). His part of the datacentre, just like so many businesses this year, will be shut down. It’s not uncommon to walk across places we used to go, only to see them boarded up; they won’t be coming back, irrespective of lock-downs or not.

The current vaccines (promoted by the media, including in Russia) have barely been tested. These were also developed in a great rush, so people would be justified to feel a tad sceptical. I spoke to number of much older people who refuse to take a shot. My father took a flu vaccine months ago (we’re not against getting vaccinated, we take all the well-established vaccines), but he rejects the COVID-19 ones. A proper solution would take years if not over a decade to develop (and also test for long-term effects); there’s a legitimate question about efficacy and another about risk. We don’t need placebo, nor should we blindly participate in clinical trials for corporate gains. Remember that vaccination is rarely effective unless many members of a population take it (collective or herd immunity sometimes refers to actual vaccination rather than rejection of it). There’s also the issue of viruses mutating, limiting the effectiveness of a supposed solution tested on just one particular variant.

“Those of us still forced to go to the office in order to make a living are much worse off than home workers. They put themselves and their family at greater risk. Quitting their job can lead to starvation, which is no better.”Speaking to people all around the world, hope is low. Really low. With number of fatalities (per day) increasing over time (the US is estimated to reach about a million “excess deaths” by spring) it doesn’t feel like 2021 will be any better than 2020.

“I’m forced to work full days in the office because Windows is designed more to restrict people than to share, internet infrastructure is poor and damaged by hurricanes, and my management is dumber than dog shit,” one person told me a few days ago. “They don’t wear masks with each other, eat in a cramped break room, did not get in mask microphones for phones, and are an odd combination of hopelessness and arrogance.”

Those of us still forced to go to the office in order to make a living are much worse off than home workers. They put themselves and their family at greater risk. Quitting their job can lead to starvation, which is no better.

“Here at Techrights we intend to focus on tech, not pandemic. The impact of the latest pandemic on Free software adoption, however, oughtn’t be overlooked.”On the Free software side of things, we seem to have made gains this year, but there are also setbacks and new threats emerging. “I hope that’s something good that might come out of the Solarwind catastrophe,” the above person noted. “Right now, all the “big tech” must be broken up noise has resulted in more lawsuits against Microsoft’s biggest competitor, Google. Recently, I’ve read a few opinions saying that reliance on so few vendors is bad. No talk about free software and real anti-trust protections, but it’s a good start.”

Here at Techrights we intend to focus on tech, not pandemic. The impact of the latest pandemic on Free software adoption, however, oughtn’t be overlooked.

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