Friday, April 30, 2010

2 Great American Women

President Obama delivered the eulogy yesterday for Dorothy Height (1912-2010), the great American woman who The New York Times said "was considered both the grande dame of the civil rights era and its unsung heroine."

The NY Times went on to say:

Over the years, historians have made much of the so-called “Big Six” who led the civil rights movement: the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer, John Lewis, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins and Whitney M. Young Jr. Ms. Height, the only woman to work regularly alongside them on projects of national significance, was very much the unheralded seventh, the leader who was cropped out, figuratively and often literally, of images of the era.

Here's a photo from 1963, where Height is seen standing near the podium as Dr. King delivers his "I Have A Dream" speech.

I'm sad to say that until I heard a part of the eulogy delivered by President Obama, today on NPR, I don't think I'd ever heard of Dorothy Height. Hers is definitely a story that needs to be told.

President Obama spoke about a moment a few months ago with Dorothy Height (The NY Times printed the text of the eulogy; here's a link to it):

"And she talked about attending a dinner in the 1940s at the home of Dr. Benjamin Mays, then president of Morehouse College. And seated at the table that evening was a 15-year-old student, "a gifted child," as she described him, filled with a sense of purpose, who was trying to decide whether to enter medicine, or law, or the ministry.

"And many years later, after that gifted child [MLK] had become a gifted preacher..."

While delivering the eulogy, President Obama mentioned Mary McLeod Bethune (the photo at left shows Dorothy Height presenting the Mary McLeod Bethune Human Rights Award to Eleanor Roosevelt in 1960). Bethune is another great American woman who we don't hear much about these days. The biographical essay at has this to say about her:

"Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955), an African American teacher, was one of the great educators of the United States. She was a leader of women, a distinguished adviser to several American presidents, and a powerful champion of racial equality."

The Wikipedia has an extensive article about Bethune:

That and other articles around the internet will tell you a lot about what this incredible woman accomplished during her lifetime.

I first learned about Bethune because of a place that I remember from my childhood, The Bethune Center in Pontiac, Michigan.

Bethune: "The true worth of a race must be measured by the character of its womanhood."

Photos of Mary McLeod Bethune:


Cleveland's LeBron James has won the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award for the 2nd year in a row, the Associated Press reports.

Only nine other players in history have won the award in consecutive seasons:

Bill Russell (won it 3 straight years)
Wilt Chamberlain (won it 3 straight years)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Moses Malone
Larry Bird (won it 3 straight years)
Magic Johnson
Michael Jordan
Tim Duncan
Steve Nash

Add James to that list, and you might not have the ten greatest players to ever play the game, but if you could take those ten guys in their prime and put them on a team facing any other ten players, past or present, in their prime... well, if only you could actually do that!

Still, think of some of the names not on that list: Kobe Bryant; Shaquille O'Neal; Julius Erving; Karl Malone, who won it twice, but not in consecutive years; Allen Iverson; Charles Barkley; Hakeem Olajuwon; Bill Walton; Bob McAdoo; Bob Pettit.

Think those ten guys could give the other ten guys a good game? I do.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

what it SHOULD be all about

Check out Erik Brady's USAToday article about University of Michigan student/athlete DeShawn Sims, 'A good man:' Michigan's Sims battles adversity to graduation.

You don't know how happy I am to use the term "student/athlete" right here.

Sims, a 6'8" forward, played basketball for the Wolverines for four years. He is set to graduate this Saturday.

He's the first in his family to graduate from college, but that's only a part of the story. As Brady says:

DeShawn Sims graduates Saturday from the University of Michigan. His mother, sister, grandmother and aunt will be there to see him get his degree and hear President Obama speak.
His father and brothers will not be there. The men in his family are in prison or dead.

And even that is only part of the story. Check out the article, because I can't do justice to the story in this blog.
What's important to me is that here's a guy who, against all odds, went to college, played basketball, and graduated. A success story. He's got a chance to play in the NBA, but that's not the important thing. That's not what this story is all about.
It's about a boy coming up through hard times and becoming a man.
Becoming a man.
And that's what it should be all about.

more on arizona immigration law

(The cartoon at left was drawn by Mike Keefe, The Denver Post.)

Eugene Robinson really said it all much better than I could ever say it in his column, Arizona's immigration law is an act of vengeance:

"And how are police supposed to decide whom they "reasonably suspect" of being in the country illegally? Since the great majority of undocumented immigrants in Arizona are from Mexico, aggressive enforcement of the law would seem to require demanding identification from anybody who looks kind of Mexican. Or maybe just hassling those who look kind of Mexican and also kind of poor. Or maybe anyone who dares to visit the Mexican consulate.
"Arizona is dealing with a real problem and is right to demand that Washington provide a solution. But the new immigration law isn't a solution at all. It's more like an act of vengeance. The law makes Latino citizens and legal residents vulnerable to arbitrary harassment -- relegating them to second-class status -- and it is an utter disgrace."
"Utter disgrace." No doubt.
I love how so many people keep saying things like "What part of 'illegal' don't they understand?" Yeah, and how many folks who whine about illegal immigrants not "respecting our laws" also drive after drinking, text while driving, cheat on their taxes, go over the posted speed limit, or do illegal drugs?
Oh, but that's different.

nice linux site

Eric, the Nocturnal Slacker, recently posted a blog about - Your Linux Community Resource.

Haven't had a lot of time yet to dig around at, but it looks like a good place, so I signed up. Check it out! --

more books

Recently finished:

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

(both are very good novels!)

Recently started:

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Sunday, April 25, 2010

nice mepis review

Susan Linton wrote what I thought was a very good review of Mepis 8.5. Check it out:

I'm fairly sure that I'll be sticking with Mepis 8, skipping Mepis 8.5, and going right to Mepis 10, whenever it comes out. I see no reason to go with the "transitional" 8.5, and I'm happy to hang on to KDE 3.5 and enjoy it while I can.

Besides, since this is Warren Woodford's first try at KDE 4, I figure Mepis 10 will be that much better!

Friday, April 23, 2010

arizona, once again

The lovely Grand Canyon State, Arizona, is once again in the news for being perhaps the most racist state in the Union (remember when the MLK holiday was rescinded there?).

Arizona's governor signed what's being called the nation's toughest immigration law today.

This means that if you are in Arizona and you are Hispanic -- or not even Hispanic but simply from outside of the U.S. -- and your skin is not white, and you speak English with a heavy accent because it isn't your first language, and you don't dress the way "normal" white Americans dress, then you'd better carry your social security card or something else proving that you're a U.S. citizen, because according to state law the police can now stop you at any time and arrest you if you can't prove that you're here legally.

This law has all kinds of potential for abuse written into it. Just wait until some legal resident has to spend a night in jail, then hires a lawyer. We'll see how this law stands up then.

I hope that happens soon. Let's test this law's constitutionality, and soon.

Why do people come across the border illegally? Because the United States government can't or won't control its borders. Because a Border Patrol agent can make tons more money by looking the other way every now and then instead of simply doing his or her job. Because the United States has such an insatiable demand for drugs (and cheap labor) that it's impossible to keep the Southwest border sealed off. Because people on the other side are suffering and need to find a better life for themselves and their children. Because employers here offer illegal immigrants low-paying jobs. Because illegal immigrants are willing to take jobs that U.S. citizens wouldn't even consider taking.

This law takes aim at people who are doing what they have to do to survive. It does nothing to solve the problem of illegal immigration, or much less, to solve the problems that create illegal immigration.

But, let's look at the bright side: The law will make a lot of money for people who can forge immigration papers! And it'll make a lot of money for lawyers and law firms! Opportunity knocks, people!

Disgusting, Arizona. Here's another time when I'm embarrassed to have ever lived in that otherwise beautiful state.

more CO2 in the water

An AP story from yesterday says:

The chemistry of the oceans is changing faster than it has in hundreds of thousands of years because of the carbon dioxide being absorbed from the atmosphere, the National Research Council reported Thursday.

Nice. The article goes on to say:

Carbon dioxide and other industrial gases have been a concern for several years because of their impact on the air, raising global temperatures in a process called the greenhouse effect.

One factor easing that warmth has been the amount of CO2 taken up by the oceans, but that has also caused scientific concerns because the chemicals make the water more acidic, which can affect sea life.


We may not really know if human activity will lead to long-term global warming. There are lots of factors involved, and it's impossible to predict how things will turn out.

But it's ludicrous to think that human activity doesn't affect global climate. Here's more evidence of that.

For the full story, see:

big numbers, little numbers

Big numbers for Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant in last night's 101-96 win in over the Lakers: 29 points, 19 rebounds. A little number for Oklahoma City: Home playoff win #1, all-time. L.A. leads the 1st round playoff series, 2-1.

Ron Artest, who guarded Durant most of the night, managed 11 points and 3 rebounds.

Big number for Kobe Bryant, who scored 24 points to surpass Jerry West as the Lakers' all-time leader in playoff points scored. Kobe has 4,465. He trails Karl Malone, who is 4th all-time in playoff points scored with 4,761.

Little numbers for Bryant down the stretch of last night's game. 2 for 10 from the field over the last 12 minutes.

Big numbers: The Lakers' Pau Gasol scored 17 points, hauled in 15 rebounds, and dished out 6 assists.

Big numbers: The Thunder's Russell Westbrook, the second-year guard out of UCLA, scored 27 points with 8 rebounds. Teammate James Harden, the rookie out of Arizona State, chipped in 18 points.

The Phoenix Suns got some big numbers, too, following up their 29-point blowout win over the Trailblazers with a 108-89 win at Portland. Phoenix leads the series, 2-1. Jason Richardson busted some big numbers for the Suns: 42 points, 8 rebounds, 13 for 19 from the field, 8 for 12 from 3-point land, 8 for 10 from the line. Jerryd Bayless of Portland had 14 points off the bench.

LeBron James had big numbers for Cleveland, but it was in a losing cause. Chicago broke through for a 108-106 win, wasting James' 39 point, 10 rebound, 8 assist effort. The Cavs own a 2-1 lead in the series.

Some little numbers for the Cavs in the loss: Shaquille O'Neal, in nearly 20 minutes, managed only 6 points and 4 rebounds. The Cavs as a team shot shot only 64.5% from the free throw line, missing 11 (James went only 7 for 13 from the line).

Some big numbers for the Bulls: Derrick Rose, 31 points, 7 assists. Kirk Hinrich, 27 points, 9-12 FGs, 4-4 3PT. Joakim Noah, 10 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists.

Monday, April 19, 2010

a chance to shine

Two former University of Azrizona and St. Mary's H.S. (Phoenix) basketball players are getting an opportunity to step forward on the court in the first-round playoff series between the Phoenix Suns and the Portland Trailblazers.

The Blazers stole a 105-100 victory at Phoenix last night despite missing leading scorer Brandon Roy, who is out for the series, at least, with a torn meniscus in his right knee.

Channing Frye, the Suns' 6'11" center in his 5th season, played two years with the Knicks, followed by two with the Blazers, before coming back to the Valley of the Sun to play for Phoenix.

We've seen in the past that the Suns' Steve Nash seems to have an incredible affect on a player's ability to shoot the "3." Frye is shooting a career-best 43.9% from 3-point land. He and the Suns have turned out to be a great fit.

Frye played at St. Mary's with Justin Bayless, the older brother of Portland's Jerryd Bayless, when the younger Bayless was in the 6th grade. Jerryd Bayless became another in the line of St. Mary's stars, and was also one of the best players in Arizona high school history.

Bayless, the 6'3" guard in his 2nd year, hasn't been seeing a lot of playing time for the Blazers, but he'll see more action due to Roy's injury.

In last night's game, Frye finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds.

Bayless scored 18 points, including 10 in the 4th quarter, but almost went from being the hero to being the goat. He went to the free-throw line following a Steve Nash foul with about 12 seconds to go and the Blazers up by three points. Bayless bricked both free throws. But Nash was unable to convert a three-point shot, and the Blazers' Andre Miller pulled down the rebound, then hit two free throws to secure the victory.

For both players, this playoff series is a chance to shine, and it's even nicer that they'll both be on the court, doing it in Phoenix, just a few miles away from from where they both played high school ball.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Got the tune "We Almost Lost Detroit" playing through my mind as I write this.

And, "The Bottle."

see that black boy over there, runnin' scared
his old man's in a bottle

And, "Lady Day and John Coltrane."

you could call on lady day
you could call on john coltrane
they'll wash your troubles, your troubles away

Locked up for a large part of the past decade, looking and sounding like the years and the drugs and the smoking have taken their toll, Gil Scott-Heron is back.

Check out his website:

Then, let me leave you with the words to one of my favorite cuts of his, "Is That Jazz?"

Basie was never really commonplace
He was always measures ahead.
Ellington was more than number one
For the music and things that he said.
Bird was the word back when tenors were heard
From Kansas right up to the Prez (Lester Young)
And Billie was really the Queen of a scene
That keeps echoing on in my head.

What it has will surely last but is that Jazz?

Miles had a style that amazes and raises
The spirits from deep in your soul.
'Trane struck a vein of laughter and pain
Adventures the mind could explore.
Stevie and Bob talk of freedom and 'Jah'
In their own individual ways.
Playing and singing as long as its bringing
A message is all that it says.

What is has will surely last but is that Jazz?

We overanaylze we let others define
A thousand precious feelings from our past.
When we express love and tenderness
Is that Jazz? Is that Jazz? Is that Jazz? Is that Jazz?
Dizzy's been busy while Grover gets us over
With notes that go straight to the heart.
Brother Ron gets it on with a bassline so strong
That the sounds seem to glow in the dark.
I take pride in what's mine - is that really a crime -
When you know I ain't got nothing else?
Only millions of sounds picks me up when I'm down;
Let me salvage a piece of myself.

What it has will surely last but is that Jazz?

youngest scoring champ

62 years ago, a player named Max Zaslofsky played for the Chicago Stags in the Basketball Association of America (BAA), a rival league founded to compete with the already established National Basketball League in 1946. The two leagues merged at the end of the 1948-49, and became the National Basketball Association (NBA).

During the 1947-48 season, at the age of 22, Zaslofsky led the BAA in scoring; for all these years, he's been called the youngest scoring champ in the history of the NBA.

It took 62 years for someone to wrest that title away from Zaslofsky.

That someone is Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The 21 year-old Durant averaged 30.2 points per game to lead the NBA in scoring this year.

Looks like Durant has a great future ahead of him. He certainly has a chance to go down as one of the greatest scorers of all time. It's very early to be saying all this, but I won't be surprised if he ends up scoring more career points than Michael Jordan.

I'll be surprised if he scores more career points that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I'll also be surprised if I'm still around to see the day when he does!

Durant's line this season:

30.2 ppg, 2.8 apg, 7.6 rpg, 1.4 steals per game, 1.0 blocks per game, 47.6% FG, 36.5% 3PT, 90.0% FT, 82 games played, 39.5 minutes per game.

The Thunder went 50-32 and made the playoffs. They'll face the L.A. Lakers in the 1st round.

The top 5 in scoring this season:

Durant - 30.2
LeBron James - 29.7
Carmelo Anthony - 28.2
Kobe Bryant - 27.0
Dwyane Wade - 26.6

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Linux: Still Not Happening?

Over at ComputerWorld, Michael Gartenberg wrote an opinion piece entitled, "Opinion: Linux on the desktop: Still not happening," where he claims that Linux is "still a non-starter on the desktop."

Gartenberg's main point is that Linux is not yet a "viable" alternative "to the current mainstream operating systems."

For him, maybe. For many other people, myself included, Linux has been working fine on the desktop for years. I've had no need to go back to using Windows. So, how do you define what is "viable" and what isn't?

Linux is a viable OS if it works for you, and if you are willing to make it work for you. The guy known at Scot's Newsletter Forums as V.T. Eric Layton wrote about Gartenberg's article at his Nocturnal Slacker blog, saying "I really get tired of the Linux/Windows comparisons from writers and bloggers all over the Net [...] LINUX IS NOT WINDOWS!"

I couldn't agree with him more. Here's a link to Eric's take on Gartenberg's article. I loved especially this paragraph, which I think is an important point that any prospective Linux user should be aware of:

"The fact of the matter is that if someone wants to start using Linux, they’re going to have to LEARN… yes, that’s right! They’re going to have to read, research, search, study, use, use, and use some more till they’ve become comfortable with their new operating system. That’s just the way it is. You ain’t going to learn Linux by osmosis, folks."

So true.

As I commented to Eric, I also took issue with this statement by Gartenberg:

"What you're left with is the "Linux is free" argument, but "Linux is free" greatly exaggerates the case. The truth is that Linux doesn't significantly lower operational costs; it can't, because the cost of acquisition of a PC's operating system is usually less than 10% of the overall costs in the life of that computer."

That's crap. I know it's crap. I know it because I've personally taken several used computers, most of which were discarded PCs that I'd acquired for free, and brought them back to life for next to nothing. That's $0 bucks American. Try that with Windows and let me know how much it costs you.

If Linux is still "not happening" for you, then that's your problem. Use what works for you. But don't try to say that Linux isn't a viable alternative to Windows or Mac OS-X because there are too many people out there who know that's a lie.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

taking the luster off a great finish

As reported at, five University of Kentucky basketball players with remaining eligibility will declare for the NBA draft. Folks are saying that all five -- freshmen John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton and junior Patrick Patterson -- are likely first-round picks and will probably stay in the draft.

Kentucky made it to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament before being bounced by West Virginia, 73-66.

Draft prospects must declare their intentions to enter the draft by April 25, and can retain their eligibility if they do not hire an agent and remove their name from the draft by May 8.

Junior Evan Turner of Ohio State has also declared for the draft.

This season featured a great run in the NCAA tournament by Butler, which made it to the championship before falling in one of the best championship games in memory to Duke, 61-59. The tournament was one of the most enjoyable for me. It was filled with upsets; only two #1 seeds (Duke and Kentucky) made it to the Elite Eight, and Duke was the only #1 seed to make it to the Final Four. To me, that's what the tournament should be all about.

But the possibility (some say probability) that the tournament will expand to 96 teams put a damper on things. The annual exodus of college basketball's top players to the NBA draft, especially this mass exodus from Kentucky, doesn't help.

Something's wrong with this picture.

I wish the guys well, but it's becoming less and less enjoyable seeing so many young guys jump to the NBA so early. It doesn't seem to be making the NBA any better. It's definitely not making college basketball any better.

test your firewall

There are a few different web sites that you can go to for checking your firewall. Perhaps the best known is ShieldsUP!, by the Gibson Research Corporation. recently did a piece about ShieldsUP!.

Another site to check out: PC Flank.

I've run across a good amount of criticism of ShieldsUP! and its creator, Steve Gibson. Some of the criticism revolves around something I've experienced here: If your firewall allows replies to pinging, ShieldsUP! will give you a "failed" stealth rating.

The situation here:

The router here has the NAT feature. It also has, under "Advanced Settings," custom firewall settings that by default are set to "off - NAT only."

With these default setting, my ShieldsUP! tests (on All Service Ports) results:

Results from scan of ports: 0-1055

    0 Ports Open

    0 Ports Closed
 1056 Ports Stealth

 1056 Ports Tested

ALL PORTS tested were found to be: STEALTH.

TruStealth: FAILED - ALL tested ports were STEALTH,
                   - NO unsolicited packets were received,

                   - A PING REPLY (ICMP Echo) WAS RECEIVED.
So, I go back to the Advanced Settings and choose to customize the firewall settings instead of using "Off - NAT only." My customization consists of this: Under ICMP, I remove the check marks from the boxes for "in" and "out" (a note there says, "If a check appears in a box, that service is open or allowed").

Then I run the same SheildsUP! test:

Results from scan of ports: 0-1055

  0 Ports Open
  0 Ports Closed
1056 Ports Stealth
1056 Ports Tested

ALL PORTS tested were found to be: STEALTH.

TruStealth: PASSED - ALL tested ports were STEALTH,

                 - NO unsolicited packets were received,
                 - NO Ping reply (ICMP Echo) was received.

From what I've read around the internet, Mr. Gibson is being too paranoid about ICMP echoes. I'm really not sure; I'm far from being an expert on internet security, firewalls, etc. But I decided not to worry about. I switched my router's firewall settings back to the default, allowing ICMP echoes. I think I'm still safe since all of my ports are closed and tested "stealth."

Before I started looking into this, one fact had escaped me: If you're running behind a NAT router, you've probably got more protection than any software firewall can give you. That was news to me. I use the Guarddog GUI, a front-end that makes it easy for you to deal with Linux's iptables. From what I'm understanding now, there's no need to even concern myself with Guarddog since I'm behind a NAT router.

But, I'll keep Guarddog, anyway. I figure that the extra layer of protection can't hurt anything!

BeginLinux and a short Mepis 8.5 review

Found a Linux website that I hadn't seen before:

It's obviously a website to help folks who are new to Linux. There's quite a lot of info at this site. Looks like a very good website.

I stumbled upon this site because of a review there about Mepis 8.5.

OK, generally I don't care much for distro reviews where the reviewer fires up a distro and spends only a short amount of time checking it out. If you want to really help me, spend about a year with it and then tell me about your experiences.

But this review is even more shallow than most. It provides only a tiny view of what the Mepis 8.5.01 is like, and focuses mainly on "visual appearance." (And, as any Linux user worth her/his salt knows, a distro's default appearance is one of the first things you're gonna want to change. It's half the fun of doing a new Linux installation!)

Still, it isn't a bad review, and I'm always glad to see folks talking about Mepis!

Monday, April 5, 2010


We all know how it goes.

In this country, "athletic" = "black." If a white player succeeds in sports, it's because of intelligence, hard work, "gutsy play," and toughness. The white player "plays smart." If a black player succeeds in sports, it's because of athleticism, because of "God-given" athletic ability -- "natural talent."

Take a look at the sports pages in the newspaper. Check out sports magazines, or online articles. Listen to analysis on the radio or on television. You will almost never see or hear the word "athletic" used to describe any athlete who is not black.

Tonight, Duke plays Butler for the national championship. Duke was called "alarmingly unathletic" by ESPN analyst Doug Gottlieb. It's no coincidence, as Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn points out, that the Blue Devils "happen to be the only top-25 team in the country with three white starters."

There's a lot to this. It says a lot about our country. It's rooted in our history of slavery. Black kids are more often expected to excel in athletics; the expectations are not nearly as high for them to excel in academics, of course.

Sports, the sports media, parents, coaches... everyone involved helps to perpetuate the stereotype. But I can't think of any one thing that keeps that stereotype alive more than the use of the adjective "athletic" to describe black athletes, when it's rarely used to describe white athletes.

Friday, April 2, 2010

brilliant ncaa tourney idea?

They can't come up with a way to give us a playoff system for college football, but it looks like the NCAA has no problem finding a way to water down March Madness.

All indications are that the field will be expanded from 65 teams to 96 teams.

The last tournament expansion gave us 65 teams instead of 64, with a "play-in" game that almost nobody is interested in.

Now we get 31 mediocre teams into the tournament. Teams that have no business being there. Teams that have no chance of making it to the Final Four.

It definitely wasn't broke, but the NCAA's gonna fix it, anyway.

Instead of giving us what we really want -- playoffs for college football -- these Einsteins are gonna give us this "fix" that most fans don't want.

The nation's greatest sporting event is about to lose some of its luster.

ubuntu window control buttons

Can't believe the controversy this has sparked! Ubuntu decided that in the upcoming Ubuntu 10.4 Lucid Lynx, the window control buttons will be on the upper left instead of the upper right.

Windows users, and most Linux users, are used to seeing them on the upper right. Mac users are used to seeing them on the upper left.

The crying and whining about it has been unbelievable.

Here's Mark Shuttleworth's announcement about the final decision:

Thank you to everybody who has participated in this discussion.
The final decision on window controls for 10.04 LTS is as follows:
- the window controls will remain on the left, however
- the order will change to be (from left) close, minimize, maximise
The decision is based on the view that putting the close button in the corner will be most familiar to many users, even if the particular choice of corner is not.
For the avoidance of doubt, this is not a comment dependent on the date :-)
Our intent is to encourage innovation, discussion, and design with the right of the window title bar. We have some ideas, and others are already springing up in the community. We welcome participation on the Ayatana list, where those can play out. This will be a fruitful topic for the design track at UDS in Brussels in May.
This bug is now marked wontfix. Please focus ongoing participation on the opportunities for innovation that this opens up. The decision as to the window controls location and order itself is now final, and as they say in the old newspapers, no further correspondence will be entered into.

It really makes no difference to me where those buttons are located, but it's easy enough to change things.

You can open up gconf-editor, navigate to apps > metacity > general section, and edit the value of button_layout. Instead of "maximize,minimize,close:" make it ":maximize,minimize,close". Just move the colon to the front.

There, was that so hard?

Someone created a script for an easy GUI that moves the buttons from left to right:

And following are a couple of commands that are supposed to do it. Warning: Haven't tried these here!

gconftool -s /apps/metacity/general/button_layout -t string "menu:maximize,minimize,close"

(Found at:

gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/button_layout --type string menu:minimize,maximize,close
(Found at:

Some of the Linux Mint folks went to work on tweaking mintDesktop to allow button layout switching. Check out this Mint forums thread.

Personally, I'm glad that Ubuntu made this change. It's so anti-Windows! It stirs things up and gets people talking and thinking. And in the end, it actually makes more sense to have the buttons on the left side.

Plus, it means I'll have a lot more whiners to tease at the Linux forums!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

worth the money?

It's my opinion that top picks in the NBA draft are almost always wasted picks, and that a team is almost always better off trading down for lower picks or for free agents.

Here are the top ten picks in each NBA draft from 2000 to 2009. In italics are the ones that, in my opinion, have turned out to be worth the money that a top ten draft pick gets. Many of the others have turned out to be very good players, but I don't feel that they've had the kind of impact on the game that merits top ten money. The jury is still out on players picked in recent drafts, especially 2008 and 2009.

See where you agree or disagree.

Top Ten Draft Picks in the NBA, 2000 thru 2009


1. Kenyon Martin, Cincinnati by New Jersey
2. Stromile Swift, LSU by Vancouver
3. Darius Miles, East St. Louis HS (Mo.) by L.A. Clippers
4. Marcus Fizer, Iowa State bt Chicago
5. Mike Miller, Florida by Orlando
6. DerMarr Johnson, Cincinnati by Atlanta
7. Chris Mihm, Texas by Chicago (to Cleveland)
8. Jamal Crawford, Michigan by Cleveland (to Chicago)
9. Joel Przybilla, Minnesota by Houston (to Milwaukee)
10. Keyon Dooling, Missouri by Orlando (to L.A. Clippers)


1. Kwame Brown, Glynn Academy (Ga.) by Washington
2. Tyson Chandler, Dominguez HS (Calif.) by L.A. Clippers (to Chicago)
3. Pau Gasol, Spain by Atlanta (to Memphis)
4. Eddy Curry, Thornwood HS (Ill.) by Chicago
5. Jason Richardson, Michigan State by Golden State
6. Shane Battier, Duke by Memphis
7. Eddie Griffin, Seton Hall by New Jersey (to Houston)
8. DeSagana Diop, Oak Hill Academy (Va.) by Cleveland
9. Rodney White, UNC-Charlotte by Detroit
10. Joe Johnson, Arkansas by Boston


1. Yao Ming, China by Houston
2. Jay Williams, Duke by Chicago
3. Mike Dunleavy, Duke by Golden State
4. Drew Gooden, Kansas by Memphis
5. Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Italy by Denver
6. Dajuan Wagner, Memphis by Cleveland
7. Nene Hilario, Brazil by New York (to Denver)
8. Chris Wilcox, Maryland by L.A. Clippers
9. Amare Stoudemire, Cypress Creek HS (Fla.) by Phoenix
10. Caron Butler, Connecticut by Miami


1. LeBron James, St. Vincent-St. Mary HS (Ohio) by Cleveland
2. Darko Milicic, Serbia & Montenegro by Detroit
3. Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse by Denver
4. Chris Bosh, Georgia Tech by Toronto
5. Dwyane Wade, Marquette by Miami
6. Chris Kaman, Central Michigan by L.A. Clippers
7. Kirk Hinrich, Kansas by Chicago
8. T.J. Ford, Texas by Milwaukee
9. Mike Sweetney, Georgetown by New York
10. Jarvis Hayes, Georgia by Washington


1. Dwight Howard, SW Atlanta Christian Aca. by Orlando
2. Emeka Okafor, Connecticut by Charlotte
3. Ben Gordon, Connecticut by Chicago
4. Shaun Livingston, Peoria HS (Illinois) by L.A. Clippers
5. Devin Harris, Wisconsin by Washington (to Dallas)
6. Josh Childress, Stanford by Atlanta
7. Luol Deng, Duke by Phoenix (to Chicago)
8. Rafael Araujo, BYU by Toronto
9. Andre Iguodala, Arizona by Philadelphia
10. Luke Jackson, Oregon by Cleveland


1 Andrew Bogut, Utah by Milwaukee
2 Marvin Williams, North Carolina by Atlanta
3 Deron Williams, Illinois by Utah
4 Chris Paul, Wake Forest by New Orleans
5 Raymond Felton, North Carolina by Charlotte
6 Martell Webster, Seattle Prep HS by Portland
7 Charlie Villanueva, Connecticut by Toronto
8 Channing Frye, Arizona by New York
9 Ike Diogu, Arizona State by Golden State
10 Andrew Bynum, St. Joseph (NJ) HS by L.A. Lakers


1 Andrea Bargnani, Italy by Toronto
2 LaMarcus Aldridge, Texas by Chicago
3 Adam Morrison, Gonzaga by Charlotte
4 Tyrus Thomas, Louisiana State by Portland
5 Shelden Williams, Duke by Atlanta
6 Brandon Roy, Washington by Minnesota
7 Randy Foye, Villanova by Boston
8 Rudy Gay, Connecticut by Houston
9 Patrick O'Bryant, Bradley by Golden State
10 Saer Sene, Senegal by Seattle


1 Greg Oden, Ohio State by Portland
2 Kevin Durant, Texas by Seattle
3 Al Horford, Florida by Atlanta
4 Mike Conley Jr, Ohio State by Memphis
5 Jeff Green, Georgetown by Boston (traded to Seattle)
6 Yi Jianlian, China by Milwaukee
7 Corey Brewer, Florida by Minnesota
8 Brandan Wright, North Carolina by Charlotte (traded to Golden State)
9 Joakim Noah, Florida by Chicago
10 Spencer Hawes, Washington by Sacramento


1 Derrick Rose, Memphis by Chicago
2 Michael Beasley, Kansas State by Miami
3 O.J. Mayo, USC by Minnesota (traded to Memphis)
4 Russell Westbrook, UCLA by Seattle
5 Kevin Love, UCLA by Memphis (traded to Minnesota)
6 Danilo Gallinari, Italy by New York
7 Eric Gordon, Indiana by L.A. Clippers
8 Joe Alexander, West Virginia by Milwaukee
9 D.J. Augustin, Texas by Charlotte
10 Brook Lopez, Stanford by New Jersey


1 Blake Griffin, Oklahoma by L.A. Clippers
2 Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut by Memphis
3 James Harden, Arizona State by Oklahoma City
4 Tyreke Evans, Mempihs by Sacramento
5 Ricky Rubio, DKV Joventut (Spain) by Minnesota (from Washington)
6 Jonny Flynn, Syracuse by Minnesota
7 Stephen Curry, Davidson by Golden State
8 Jordan Hill, Arizona by New York
9 DeMar DeRozan, USC by Toronto
10 Brandon Jennings, Lottomatica Roma (Italy) by Milwaukee