Thursday, December 27, 2012

Rehashing Gun Control

There has been a lot of rehashed discussion about gun control in light of the recent school massacre. My libertarian philosophy leans toward less power in the hands of Government, which puts more power in the hands of individuals, but we need a strong military, and we don't need unstable individuals with the power to kill large numbers of innocent people.

However, as recently confirmed by the US Supreme Court (Solum, 2009), one of the original purposes for the second amendment was to insure that citizens could take a stand against an out-of-control Government. It is difficult to imagine how that could work today with modern military capability.

Science Fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke said it is not the power of weaponry that makes military might effective. It is the precision of weaponry that wins wars. (Clarke, 1953)

Clarke illustrated his idea with a story about an alien invasion that depended on mosquito-like devices that gently distracted and influenced humans into submission to their alien overlords. The power of the aliens was in their ability to precisely direct the smallest intervention at the most opportune moments. (Clarke, 1953)

Maybe the answer to the gun control issue is to focus on precision in the development of weaponry used by the Government, and to focus on effective use of weapons (including training) rather than the development of ever-more-powerful weapons. I think we could meet our military objectives more effectively by focusing on greater precision and less destruction. In recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have demonstrated that "shock and awe" can be accomplished with ultrasonic weapons that do minimal permanent damage to the enemy. (Leventhall, 2005)

Make weapons that are more precise and less lethal, and we won't have to argue over the meaning of the second amendment.


Clarke, A. C. (1953). Childhood's End. Del Rey Books. ISBN 0-345-34795-1.

Leventhall, G. (2005-10-01). Big noise in baghdad. Noise Notes, 4(4), 11-14. doi: 10.1260/147547306777009238

Solum, L. B. (2009). District of columbia v. heller and originalism. Northwestern University Law Review,103(2), 924-957. Retrieved from

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Infoworld: Open sources blog: Samba 4 threatens Microsoft's enterprise lock-in

Infoworld: Open sources blog: Samba 4 threatens Microsoft's enterprise lock-in

'via Blog this'

Thanks to significant cooperation by Microsoft, an open-source alternative to Active Directory now exists, providing the ability for Linux Servers to provide Active Directory resources to Microsoft networks.
Notably, this includes the first open source implementation of Microsoft's Active Directory protocols; Samba previously only offered Windows NT domain controller functions. According to their press release, "Samba 4.0 provides everything needed to serve as an Active Directory Compatible Domain Controller for all versions of Microsoft Windows clients currently supported by Microsoft, including the recently released Windows 8." (Phipps, 2012)
Samba 4 can join existing Active Directory domains and also provides all necessary function to host a domain that can be joined by Microsoft Active Directory servers. It is provides all the services needed by Microsoft Exchange, as well as opening up the possibility of fully open source alternatives to Exchange such as the OpenChange project  (Phipps, 2012)


Phipps, S. (2012, December 12).  Samba 4 threatens Microsoft's enterprise lock-in.
          [Web log message]. Infoworld: Open sources blog. Retrieved from