For Linux/GNOME users: tired of nm-applet? Try wicd

This post is only intended for those who actually run GNOME and Linux, just a warning ūüôā

I just replaced network-manager on my Ubuntu Jaunty desktop with wicd.  See wicd here:

What's so great about wicd?  I used to think nm-applet and NetworkManager were the best thing since sliced bread, but have grown increasingly frustrated with these tools over time.  Here's my short list of things I dislike about NM:

Continue reading For Linux/GNOME users: tired of nm-applet? Try wicd

Atul Gawande (MD/author) on the cost of health care in this excellent New Yorker piece

Will a new, national insurance plan solve the essential problem of the rising cost of health care?  According to Atul Gawande, it won't.  What is needed is nothing short of a complete cultural shift in the community of practicing medical doctors and the organizations/institutions that provide care.  From the article:

Providing health care is like building a house. The task requires experts, expensive equipment and materials, and a huge amount of coördination. Imagine that, instead of paying a contractor to pull a team together and keep them on track, you paid an electrician for every outlet he recommends, a plumber for every faucet, and a carpenter for every cabinet. Would you be surprised if you got a house with a thousand outlets, faucets, and cabinets, at three times the cost you expected, and the whole thing fell apart a couple of years later? Getting the country’s best electrician on the job (he trained at Harvard, somebody tells you) isn’t going to solve this problem. Nor will changing the person who writes him the check.

Check it out. 

Trouble connecting to GTalk with Pidgin?

After my recent upgrade to Pidgin 2.5.5 (on Ubuntu Jaunty), GTalk mysteriously stopped working.  Check out the FAQ entry on the Pidgin developer website for an explanation.  The workaround, not listed there, is to change your "Connect Server" to "talk.google.com".  Pidgin will then prompt you once for a certificate, and after that, it will connect fine.

A developer in #pidgin on irc.freenode.org told me to "fix my router" since my "router was broken". ¬†This even though the problem has now occurred on three separate LANs, two of which I don't own/control. ¬†Routers that are used as DNS servers are very¬†common, and the fact they are broken in this regard is a reality. ¬†Wake up — realities trump ideal every time. ¬†Pidgin should automatically work around this problem, IMO.