Author Archives: Russell

Software Freedom Day – huh?

No, this is not a day when you free yourself of all your software addictions. Rather, Software Freedom Day is an annual grass roots effort to educate the public on the virtues of free and open source software. The 2008 event takes place on September 20 and will be celebrated in 65 countries across the globe. So exactly what is this open source movement and why are people celebrating it? Moreover, why should you care?

Open source software is available for free, to everyone and unlike for example, Windows or Mac operating systems, it is non-proprietary – meaning it is available for others to share, build upon, change, and redistribute either in its modified or unmodified form.The source code is transparent and allows rights to users which would otherwise be prohibited by copyright. Since the source code is transparent, bugs or security flaws can quickly be discovered and patched. In a proprietary system, the software is closed and typically you are reliant on the company’s “word” that security glitches will be or have been fixed.

Just as Sunshine Laws are invaluable tools to keep the public informed of elected official’s meetings in the public interest, open source provides such user benefits in software as increased control, enhanced security, free or reduced cost and higher quality due to constant peer review of the code.Some excellent examples of open source software include Mozilla Firefox internet browser, Ubuntu operating system,, a software suite similar to Microsoft Office, GIMP image editing software and the list goes on and on from there.

So if you’re new to open source, Software Freedom Day celebrates a philosophical movement which values collaboration, community and transparency. It benefits the public good and ensures basic human freedoms are strengthened by technology, not hampered.

The Great Kalahari Desert – Kgalagadi

I just got back from my South African trip. While in South Africa, my brother’s family and I took a long trek way into the Kalahari Desert , to the great new Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. This park has become one of the largest in the world, spreading into Nambia, South Africa and Botswana.

The Kalahari is pulsating, totally wild and yes, there is no internet or cell phone reception. Needless to say, I did go through major Net withdrawal symptoms for a few days.

The wildlife is amazing, the night skies are so sharp and the stars seem so close that it feels like you can touch the Milky Way. You’ll find two shots below, but if you click on the link to the next page, I’ll show you even more photos.

My brother and family, Corrinne, Talya and Nadav at the camp site


Continue reading

Boxer Ronny Vargas, 20 years old. R.I.P (Update)

My very good friend I have know for 13 years has passed away. I helped train Ronny known as “Venezuela” as a kid at the Webster Police Athletic League in the Bronx. He showed some promise then but was lazy. As he matured and became more disciplined and started training hard everyday, he became a top prospect and won the NYC Golden Gloves three times.


There was hope for Ronny, he had a great chance to get out of the bad area in the Bronx where he lived but loved the people around him and probably would have stayed. He turned Pro and reached a record of 8-0 with 6 KOs.

Ronny was shot to death after an argument early Saturday in the Bronx. More New York Post, NYT and New York Daily News.


Update:  Bronx resident Jose Coimbre has been nabbed for the murder of Golden Gloves-winning boxer.  Read more: NY Daily News

iLabel-it CD 1.0 for Apple Dashboard Released

A few months ago, the company I work for released a Google Gadget for iGoogle for creating a simple CD label. But is this cool, released a Widget for the Apple Mac on Friday and is now a Dashboard Widgets featured download.

A special thanks to Brad Anderson of for developing the widget.