Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Music industry: how being sensible makes you money

So this morning I came across this Ubuntu video.

Someone asked in the comments if the Twisted Sister track is available in the Ubuntu Music store.

Sure enough it was. With the music store nicely integrated with rhythmbox on Ubuntu it was trivial to purchase.

So, this video has achieved at least one sale.

No doubt there'll be a take-down notice shortly ;)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Electoral reform

With the UK election likely to produce a hung parliament there is likely to be much discussion of electoral reform there. Indeed, the Liberals are likely to demand this in order to form a coalition.

To my mind, this is long overdue. I'm not sure of the exact figures, but for the last few elections a 30% share of a 60% turnout has given a huge majority in parliament. Now, whilst you can argue that those that don't vote don't deserve their views to be represented, it can't be right that 80% of the population end up with their views not represented by the party in power.

Proportional representation would be a good start. A single, transferable vote system would certainly improve things. One key benefit of this is that it largely eliminates the need for tactical voting, each voter can express their preferences, in order of preference, rather than have to guess which parties actually have a chance of winning and voting tactically.

PR though is just a beginning. The opponents of PR point out that it will lead to hung parliaments. Well, yes it will if there is no clear majority for any one party in the population. Now the problem here is that a minority party can then have more influence than maybe they should in a coalition.

A second problem is that even with PR, suppose there are just two parties sharing most of the votes, one has 52% share, the other 48% share. The 52% party will get a majority in parliament, the significant minority won't have their views represented.

The problem is that once in parliament, simple majority rules.

How can you address this?

Well one way is as follows. Once the election is complete, any group with 5% of the MPs can select a representative to go to a meeting. At this meeting the 20 representatives come up with an agenda for parliament and pick a prime minister.

Each MP is allocated a number of votes for the session. The MP can place as many votes as they want on each issue, so if there is one issue they really care about they can put all the votes on that issue.

In this way, minority issues can get an airing and can get pushed through once on the agenda.

The key to this working is of course the meeting of the representatives. At this meeting there will be a need for debate, consensus, compromise etc. I'm not sure current politicians are capable of this, but if they were I believe it would result in much better goverment.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

350% increase in Ottawa Ubuntu in just 6 months

Last night was the Lucid Lynx release party for Ottawa.
The attendence was up a massive 350% on the Karmic party, just 6 months ago.
At this rate we'll need to book the new Ottawa congress centre for the 11.04 release.
Here are some photos from the party.
A good time had by all celebrating a great release.