350: We Should All Know About It

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Actions for the climate change should not end with Blog Action Day last October 15. It should be the start of the call for the change.

October is almost over. That also means, December is coming. And so is the convention at Copenhagen. This is when the world’s leaders will meet for a new climate treaty following the Kyoto Protocol that is near expiry.

350.org made October 24 the International Day of Climate Action. People all over the world have already organized actions for this day. This is already becoming a huge global event. This is all for the support of the most important number in the world: 350.

We need to make 350 a number known across the planet. This will exert some pressure on this world leaders to make a decision that will work best for our planet and for us. This pressure is needed as the fossil fuel industry is the big force that might hinder this drive towards 350.

So why 350? What is the significance of 350?

Scientists say that it is the safe limit of part per million of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. And guess what? We are already way past that.

We are almost at 400 ppm and this is not good. This is not able to kill our planet immediately but if we do not get back to the safe zone, and fast!, the planet will be more at risk of dying. We have gone to the danger zone as we have poured too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere – from our home systems, cars, industries, and a lot more. Signs of big trouble are already very evident – huge ice caps melting, glaciers cracking, strong typhoons. We don’t want that.

How do we get back to 350?

We need an international agreement to reduce carbon emissions fast. The United Nations is working on a treaty, which is supposed to be completed in December of 2009 at a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. But the current plans for the treaty are much too weak to get us back to safety. This treaty needs to put a high enough price on carbon that we stop using so much. It also needs to make sure that poor countries are ensured a fair chance to develop.

We are hoping that this December, world leaders will make the right decision for us to be able to preserve the only home we know.

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Jolicloud: Netbook OS for the Always-On Generation

“You have been Joliclouded!”

That is what your mail will tell you when you receive your invitation code to test Jolicloud.

Jolicloud is a new operating system optimized for netbooks tagged as “a cool new OS for netbooks.” It is still on alpha, called “robby release”, so download is avaible after getting the code.

But don’t let the “alpha” make you not want it. For an alpha build, Jolicloud knows how to deliver.

The idea of Jolicloud revolves around building a laptop that woud run an Internet operating system that utilizes web alternatives of existing costly software.

Jolicloud has a long list of supported hardware and the list grows as more and more netbooks are tested by the community.

What makes Jolicloud different from most open source OS is that besides its being optimized for netbooks, it is made for the “always online” generation – the ones who don’t seem to shut down as they can always be found online. Jolicloud gives you a gorgeous interface and a set of social features for a more fun experience.

When you boot your Jolicloud netbook, you might say that it is the Netbook remix but it just looks like one. In fact, it is way different.

The “Get Started” icon is the most interesting part of the whole system. This takes you to your Jolicloud homebase. The homebase is divided into four sections: the Dashboard, Applications, Settings, and Lab.

The dashboard is your Jolicloud social networking platform. This is where you can find updates from Jolicloud, both for the apps and the system, and from people you follow. Updating only takes one click on the update button.

Now the Applications tab is the most valuable tab in your homebase. This is the part that makes Jolicloud easy to use. The applications directory gives you a list of all the apps you might need for your netbook – and more. It gives you the “one-click install” feature that Jolicloud is proud to give you.

You just have to click on the “Install” button, authenticate, and the system will start downloading and installing the app for you. If you get tired of the app, the “Remove” button will be there for you. The app directory is also constanly being updating so you are to expect more things.

The Settings tab is also indispensable. It shows you your profile and and other information about your system. If you have another netbook and you want to install Jolicloud on it, too, the system will be there for you to sync both netbooks. Your different subscriptions can also be found here.

The Lab tab is mostly grayed-out.

That is just some of the awesome things that Jolicloud can give you. Right now, it is the OS that can give you all you need and a lot more.

First published at Technorati

Blog Action Day: Ondoy, Pepeng, Climate Change and the Philippines

The Philippines, more specifically in the north, has recently been devastated by two typhoons that came after each other. Typhoon Ondoy, called Ketsana internationally, gave the north heavy rains and flashfloods. Typhoon Pepeng worsened the damage caused by Ondoy. While Ondoy left the country after a while, Pepeng stayed longer almost not moving. Typhoon Quedan came along but it was good that it didn’t stay and left the Philippines quick.

Both Ondoy and Pepeng left huge marks in their unwanted visit to the Philppines.

Ondoy was there to start the devastation. Crops, houses, communities, and worst, lives were destroyed. Almost everyone who was affected by the storm was like, “We’re back to zero.” And, as if that wasn’t enough, typhoon Pepeng came along. It didn’t just pass by, it lingered and stayed for a while – as if it doesn’t want to leave the Philippines. This is when the residents of Northern Philippines was able to say, “This is worse than going back to zero. It’s like, back to negative.”

Well, they can’t be blamed if they can say so. They have no more houses to go back to. Prices of commodities soared while the people can’t afford to buy anything. Farmers lost their crops and their produce.

If there is anything good that came out of this, it is that we saw everyone trying to help each other. Networks, companies, and the such was able to forget about defeating each other and came together to send relief to the unfortunate ones. Professionals were able to forget their professionals fees and went out of their comfort zones to vist the people who have been destroyed by the typhoons.

But how does these typhoons connect to the climate change now evident hear on earth?

This year’s Blog Action Day focuses on the talk on “Climate Change.” A lot of people are now taking action pushing for world leaders to do the right thing this December at Copenhagen where they will convene for a new cliamte protocol that will continue what the Kyoto Protocol has started.

Climate change can affect us in ways we wouldn’t like. One of these is extreme weather conditions. Yes, it is supposed to be the wet season in the Philippines butOndoy and Pepeng was just too much. Rains and flooding went way past the usual level they reach. In some areas, floods were deeper than a person. Most people had to stay in, at least, the second floor of their houses, if they have one. If they don’t, they had to swim, yes swim, to the nearest one.

Since rain records began in 1766, the amount of winter rainfall in England and Wales has risen. Over the last 45 years it has also become heavier; in 2000, UK flooding was the worst for 270 years in some areas. Flood damage now costs Britain about £1 billion a year.

Globally, climate change means that extreme weather events – like floods, droughts and tropical storms – will become more frequent and dangerous.

Leptospirosis is almost an epidemic in the north. This is due to the floods that hasn’t been drained. It is evident that climate change is also bound to spread diseases. Malaria and dengue will be two of those that is bound to worsen with this.

Climate change is also bound to increase living costs. Water supply will decrease. Plants might not be able to survive the heat and the drought will definitely be difficult to combat when the supply of potable water is also short. In turn, the supply of food, vegetables, fruits, and even the meat, will not be able to meet its demand. When the supply is way lower than the demand, prices are bound to increase.

These are just some of the devastating effects of climate change. More effects of climate change will be evident sooner or later. Global warming is also bound to destroy all the fun we are currently enjoying here on earth.

We can just hope that everything will go right at Copenhagen this December 2009.

Replace Built-in MS XP Apps

The computing world should not run only on Microsoft. Besides, a lot of free, open-source, and high-quality software are available on the web that can replace the apps pre-installed with your MS XP OS.

I know a huge majority of PC users use the Microsoft OS in their systems and use commercial software*. I, for one, replaced my Xandros OS with MS XP cuz I can’t modify Xandros to my flavor that time. At least, I didn’t know how to. As for the apps, I’ll stick to the free ones. There are a lot of ’em out there. You just have to know where to look.

This is gonna be some sort of glimpse to my rig cuz I’ma be listing stuff I use in it.

This idea just got into my mind after a few things. I was actually really inspired by a few articles I found from the web. There was this article on the most essential software for your MS PC and another on the top open-source software; both came from the same site but I forgot the address. Mostly, I was inspired by Mozilla’s plug-in for Firefox 3.5. It says:

You’re not using VHS… Why use Internet Explorer?

Or something like it… So, in the spirit of SpreadFirefox and open-source, I’ma give this one…

This is so gonna have a lot of tags…

Let’s start! (Note: The links after each section are download pages or links.)

Web Browser

If you have an MS OS, by default, there will be an installation of Internet Explorer. IE sounds to me like so yesterday already; even though I know they’ve been updating. In comes Firefox. It isn’t really the first web browser beside IE that I got to know. I was first introduced to Opera. That was 2003, I think. Opera can be a good one. I learned about the tabs feature and immediately stopped using IE. Then, the internet cafe I frequent that time, actually, until now, found Firefox. I wouldn’t know why the owner went looking for alternative web browsers but it was good that I got introduced to a better one.

I can also love Google Chrome. I’ve got the chance to use it and I loved it. Yes, it loads pages faster than Firefox can but I’ve read that Firefox is still more secure so I’ll stick with the Fox. Besides, I can’t have another web browser as I have to save up as much space in my system as I can as I am using an EeePC 701.

| Mozilla Firefox | Google Chrome |

Mail Client

I don’t remember when was the first time I found out about Mozilla Thunderbird but I remember having an installer that I never used. There was no point in having a mail client when you do not have your own system. It’s rather pointless and unsecured. MS have Outlook Express and I never really cared to try it. When I got my rig, I didn’t really immediately get the Bird but lately I added one to my rig.

For most users, web-based mail is good enough but there is always gonna be some of us who will want more functionality. Thunderbird gives you that. Multi-account is one of those features that’s cool; you wouldn’t have the need to check ’em mail accounts one at a time.

| Mozilla Thunderbird |

Media Player

iTunes! Yes, iTunes ain’t open source but it is available for free – totally free. I didn’t bother searching for some other media players as iTunes works for me. I don’t find Windows Media Player good for me especially that I am stuck with whatever version this one is. I didn’t even bother clicking on it even just for once. Yes, they’ve updated and upgraded the player but I still ain’t lovin’ it. iTunes still looks better and works better for me. Plus, when it’s Apple, they think about style – I love that part. The super-awesome visualization that they installed in iTunes 8 is a bonus.

However, it ain’t gon be able to play every media there is. Even with AVI’s, you’ll need to download additional software. That’s when VideoLAN’s VLC media player comes in. As far as I’ve used it, I haven’t encountered a media file it can’t play. Just like the tag, “VLC: Plays it all!”

| Apple iTunes | VideoLAN VLC |

Office Suite

Before I post a blog, I encode it first in my rig. I used to have MS Office 2003 but then MS Office 2007 files ain’t totally compatible with MS Office 2003 unless you don’t miss the “Save As”. I can’t allow myself to upgrade to 2007 given the display of my rig. MS Office 2007 has a huge toolbar at the top and that won’t work for me.

It’s good that I got to remember the existence of OpenOffice.org. At first I thought I’d have to adjust to the interface of OOo first but apparently, it ain’t that hard. For a former user of MS Office, OOo is not really hard. OOo 3 can recognize MS Office 2007 files so I ain’t gon have a problem with compatibility. I am using OOo for this article.

| OpenOffice.org |

Instant Messenger

I ain’t too certain what exactly MSN as I never really cared about it but I am thinkin’ it’s for instant messaging. Yahoo! Messenger works but it’ll only work for your Y! account and for one account at a time. I know a lot of us have more than one account and it’ll really be handy if we can add all those buddies and talk to buddies from different account at the same time. Multi-account comes in again.

I was introduced to Pidgin when I was in my Xandros. It might not have the Y! Chat rooms but the fact that you can use different accounts from different services at the same time Is awesome.

| Yahoo! Messenger | Pidgin |

Drawing

MS Paint is practically useless for me. No layers, the text box is messed up, limited colors – very limited. Basically, you’ll immediately want to look for an image editor. Adobe Photoshop might come to your mind but I don’t plan to use it.

GIMP is the answer. GIMP may not have as much features as Photoshop but it works well enough for me. Oh, yeah, I get the part that says, MS Paint, the built-in one, is just too far away from GIMP. For those who want something really close to Photoshop, there’s GIMPshop. I never really got to use that one but, as far as I’ve read, GIMPshop is practically an open-source version of Adobe Photoshop.

| GIMP | GIMPshop |

System Tools

Anti-Virus

Well, Windows doesn’t really have a built-in anti-virus but this is like a must-have for all computers. I can only think of one thing for this one: ClamWin. Yes, scanning is slow but it is efficient. It’s like, it searches every nook and cranny of the file it is scanning. As long as I’ve been using it, it’s work well.

| ClamWin |

Defragmentation

For the surface users, as I love to call them, this one ain’t important. As for me who kinda loves to have my fun with my system, it’s pretty important. Besides, I mostly do multi-tasking and defragmentation gives for speed.

Windows has a built-in defragmenter but it ain’t able to do its job well enough. My friend gave me Piriform’s Defraggler when I wasn’t able to use the built-in one due to a virus attack. It’s able to defragment files better and demands a lesser amount of free space to be able to do its job well. However, it used to just ask for 5% but the one I got asks for 10%. Anyway, that ain’t too big. The built-in one asks for 15%.

| Defraggler |

Disk Clean-up

The built-in cleaner will want itself to be used when you’re running out of disk space. More specifically, when you have less than 200Mb of disk space available. For someone like me who uses a lot of stuff and only has a 4G of memory available, this can happen a lot. However, the built-in one doesn’t really know how to look for temporary files and the such. Or so I think.

When I scan using CCleaner, it displays more files available for deletion. The registry cleaner is a bonus.

| CCleaner |

Bonus:

Dock System

Microsoft doesn’t seem to have thought of this but it is actually a good one. Most especially when you are someone like me who wants her desktop clean and wants more customization. Punklab’s Rocketdock does it well. With the community it’s got, I can’t think of a reason not to like this particular dock.

| Rocketdock |
If anyone can tell me how to completely remove IE, Outlook Express, and Windows Media Player from my system, please do so. I will totally appreciate it.
*When I say “commercial”, I mean those software which have no hint of being free. Not even free to download and use.

This was written with no intention of of making it sound like a professional article.

Banners, banners…

Use OpenOffice.org Spread Firefox Affiliate Button Spread Firefox Affiliate Button

I so need a new theme…

For the Victims of Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy)

Music for Relief at Social Vibe has set its new goal to the Philippines – relief for the victims of typhoon Ketsana. I actually didn’t wanna leave the Whaleman Foundation until the goal is reached but I would also want to help the victims of Ondoy. It is an immediate need and another typhoon is headed their way. It is really a good time for everyone to come together and help each other.

Please click on my badge to help. Every click is certainly gonna count.

It’s just too bad that these sponsor badges don’t work here at WordPress. I just wish WordPress can do something about this as SocialVibe gives us two sponsors but we can’t post their badges…

Update: New sponsor badges from SocialVibe…