posted by Thom Holwerda on Sun 12th Apr 2009 10:55 UTC
IconThe weeks just keep flying by, don't they? It's time for another Week in Review, and this time, we actually have a few interesting things to review. Microsoft is going on the full assault against Apple and Linux on netbooks, Canonical retaliates, the IBM-Sun deal is still the talk of the week, and we did a podcast. This week's My Take isn't a happy one, but it is an important one.


Week in Review

Technically, the OSNews podcast, hosted by Kroc and I, took place last week, but since it was after our previous Week in Review, it fits here anyway. The podcast was actually a bit of a success, with many positive responses both in the comments as well as via email. As such, we have worked hard to improve sound quality, and we'll be delivering another one later today.

Microsoft really is on the full assault against Apple in particular, but Linux also gets a mention. Microsoft released another Laptop Hunters advertisement, but also published a horribly flawed "report" on what the company called the "hidden Apple Tax". The tech world blasted the report to smithereens, as it was riddled with flaws and odd assumptions. While the Laptop Hunters ads could be quite effective, the Apple Tax report was just plain nonsense.

Linux wasn't spared. Microsoft made various claims about Linux related to netbooks, most of which weren't exactly very vlose to the truth. Canonical retaliated quite effectively against the claims, but it's obvious that Microsoft sees both Apple and Linux as serious threats on the desktop, while previously more or less ignoring them. The Linux Foundation also joined in on the fun.

The saga around Sun and IBM continued this week. Sun turned down an offer by IBM early during the week, only to reconsider the whole thing on Wednesday. A deal still hasn't been made, and it is unknown whether IBM is still interested after being turned down.

We also saw a few interesting releases this week. There was BumpTop 1.0, the first release of this new way of managing your desktop. Even though I am skeptical about BumpTop, it's still a great thing to see someone trying out something new for a change. The PC-BSD team released version 7.1 of their FreeBSD-based dekstop-oriented operating system, with various improvements across the board.

We ended the week with Jordan asking when you first used Linux. Next week: when did you first use BeOS?


My Take: Remembering the Rwandan Genocide

There are these moments in your life that you'll never forget. Most of those are happy moments, moments you'll want to share with your grandchildren. The human brain works in such a way that it makes happy memories happier, while romanticising bad ones. Some memories, however, simply can't be romanticised.

I was about ten at the time. Somewhere deep down in Africa, in a small country called Rwanda, something so terrible was happening that it defies human language. There really is no way to capture in words the horror that the Rwandan people have seen during the 100 days of the Rwandan Genocide. In those 100 days, 1174000 people were slaughtered, which means about 10000 people every day, 400 every hour, 7 every minute. You really can't wrap your brain around those figures.

Even as a young boy here in the comfort of one of the richest countries in the world, the imagery from Rwanda made a lasting impression; can you imagine what it must have been like for the people actually witnessing - or partaking in - the horrors? I distinctly recall a river literally red with blood, filled with stiff dead bodies and limbs. It makes me quiver, still.

Last week, Dutch TV showed a short documentary on two Rwandan men who were the closest of friends before the Genocide started. Everybody in the village knew they were inseparable. They did everything together - work, play, you name it. Nobody really cared that one of them was a Hutu, and the other one a Tutsi.

Then the Genocide erupted, 15 years ago this month. Suddenly, the two men were divided. The Hutu government ordered all men to join the military, and the horror started. Like so many others, the Hutu man of the two friends was forced into joining the militias that performed the killing. The Tutsi man saw most of his family slaughtered before his own eyes, before fleeing into the jungle.

Both men survived the genocide. The Tutsi man returned to his home village, the Hutu man ended up in prison for his crimes, like so many others who had taken part in the killing. After about 9 or 10 years, the Hutu man was released from prison, and also went back to his home village - where the Tutsi man had already been building a new life for a while.

Until one day, the two ran into each other. Long talks followed. Day in day out. Difficult talks. The Hutu man begged for forgiveness. The Tutsi man, who saw his family slaughtered before his eyes by Hutu militia men, gave it to him. The two are now best friends again. The Tutsi man explained that during those days, forces were at work that transcended the free will of individuals. The Hutu man said he knows he is a killer. We have to move on, the Tutsi man said.

Stories like this give me hope that some day, we in the west might be able to show the kind of greatness that the Tutsi man showed. We in the west have this misguided sense of moral superiority over the rest of the world, just because we go to a voting booth every four years, but the fact of the matter is that we can learn so much from other cultures.

A weird topic for OSNews, I know, but I realised many of you would not have had any idea that this month marks the quindecennial anniversary of one of the worst crimes in human history if I hadn't mentioned it. The deceased and victims deserve a moment of your thoughts.

Maybe even two.

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