A Collection of Links

As a change of pace I’m going to cover a broader range of topics today in less depth than usual.

Is Paris Burning?
<%image(20051104-paris.jpg|203|152|parisfire)%> Apparently France has the same problem that was highlighted so regretfully in New Orleans: sowing injustice and poverty will reap a crop of anger, resentment, and violence (BBC Link). The largely poor and unemployed communities of immigrants have been rioting, and the violence has only increased since the government took a hard line and two youths were killed in a disputed incident.

I truly wonder what would happen if the French authorities apologized for any role they had in the killing of the two boys and then pledged to work on improving conditions? Even if they don’t intend to do much, it sure would be better than calling these people thugs and promising to crack down on them. I sincerely hope that America can look at what’s happening over there and take steps to correct injustice in our own land.

I Had No Clue
I honestly had no clue that the situation in Pakistan was so dire (BBC Link). These people are really suffering from untreated wounds, a total lack of shelter, and the need for additional food. It seems that the victims of the earthquakes need more than our money, but it’s hard to know how to help. The BBC Link has a list of organizations who are on the front lines right now.

Open Source
On a lighter note, the Mozilla Firefox internet browser has been steadily gaining popularity with about 10% of the market share worldwide and about 14% of it in the US (BBC Link). Even if the beastly Internet Explorer racked with inefficiency and security holes is still the people’s choice, I think that Firefox is well on its way onto the desktops of many. With its tighter security, browsing by tab feature, host of search engines built into the browser, and free dowload, I can’t see why anyone would want to use IE. Check out Firefox here.

There are a bunch of other free programs available that will hopefully shame big software companies for charging $300-$500 for their software. They are very similar to their more expensive evil twins, can be saved in compatible file formats, and you can’t beat the price.

Instead of Norton Antivirus, try Avast.

Instead of Microsoft Office, try Open Office.

Instead of Adobe Photoshop, try Gimp.