Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Weekly Chatter For August 18, 2014

In Pursuit of Ubuntu

Nagging in the back of your mind, or lingering just on the tip of your tongue, is that word you've been searching for. It is there, just out of reach, for no reason, and for any reason. When you turn on the television, open a newspaper or news web site, or walk around your community, it flashes in your mind just for an instant. But then it's gone...again. You almost had it! What is the word? What is that feeling? It's OK. You will just think about something else for a few minutes, and it will come to you. Let's see, the dog has been fed, and the trash bins have been rolled out to the curb. There is still nothing on the DVR because it's still summer. There is still nothing on Netflix because it's Netflix. No miracle mail has appeared in the mailbox since you checked it earlier. The stapler is well stocked for the next required adjoining of paper. This pile of stuff on the countertop really did look better when it was piled over there. UBUNTU! That's the word you've been searching for! So now you have it. But, why? Sure, everyone has considered ditching Windows at some point in their life. Imagine a world without blue screens and user account control, or living a life with little to no prospect of a missing .dll file dialog. True bliss, true bliss. As pleasant as that may sound, switching to a Linux-based operating system doesn't sufficiently fill-in-the-blank, doesn't reconcile the word and the feeling. The yearning is a philosophical one, not an open source one. It's that sense we all feel is missing when we try to digest what is happening in Ferguson, Missouri. It's the void in our thought process when we try to understand why tens of thousands of people are starving to death on a remote mountaintop, or why there is a fight over a faraway dam. It's our inability to comprehend how deadly virus outbreaks can lead to violence and corruption. It's about trying to grasp why a former professional athlete feels the need to call for civil disobedience in the world's sixth most populous country.

Ubuntu is a Zulu word for human kindness, or more so, "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity," [About the Name, Official Ubuntu Documentation.]. During the democratization of South Africa in the 1990's, the term Ubuntu started to become more popular with readers of the Western press through leaders such as Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. In Tutu's 1999 book, No Future Without Forgiveness, he described it as, "A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed." United States President Obama, speaking at Nelson Mandela's memorial, said, "There is a word in South Africa -- Ubuntu -- a word that captures Mandela's greatest gift: his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that are invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us." And in 2004, Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai said, "In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. That time is now."

Ten years after Wangari Maathai's call for a consciousness shift, the time is still now. Perhaps now more than ever. We are all connected, and deep down inside, we all know it. Each of us must have Ubuntu when we no longer seem to comprehend the world in which we live, or that it has spiraled too far out of control. When there is violence in the street, and rushes to judgment, we must find a way to realize our interconnectedness. In our little corner of the world, we choose to highlight and encourage Ubuntu in our chat network as a starting point. To be a person with Ubuntu is to provide an example to others, to show that we are part of a greater whole, and through that whole, a greater good can pervade. ParaChat is a nexus of millions of humans from around the world. It is a global chat community of continuously connected people that provides just one of many opportunities for users with Ubuntu to be a shining example to others who are present there. Are you a person with Ubuntu? Take time in our chat network today to share it, and to encourage and remind others that we are indeed one. And since we are one, we can each make an impact through simple acts. Our mutual survival may depend on it.

Keeping It Free & Easy

ParaChat offers ad-supported free chat services in addition to its full-featured chat services that we license in exchange for a nominal license fee. We are able to provide a free chat service by displaying advertisements in our free chat rooms. ParaChat was essentially created as an adverting platform in 1996, and many rooms that are part of our global chat network have been online since our beginning! To ensure compliance with our advertiser program policies, ParaChat deploys mechanisms and personnel to review and filter content on our web pages, and within user-generated content areas of our web sites. ParaChat must be a family-safe environment. As part of ensuring compliance with our advertisers' program policies, and ensuring a family-safe environment, we request and encourage visitors to our sites to report any violations of our Advertising Policies and Guidelines. If any visitor to our web sites or services encounters content that violates our Advertising Policies and Guidelines, please report the violation to us immediately.

Please note that with our paid ParaChat service levels that are not ad-supported, you are in full control of content filtering of chat messages, user names and room names. If you do not want us to filter the chat message content, user names and room names in an ad-supported service like ParaChat Basic or ParaChat BasicPlus, and if you want to embed ParaChat in your own web site, then please consider choosing ParaChat Standard, ParaChat Professional or ParaChat Enterprise as your chat solution instead.

Feature In Focus: End-User Ignore By IP Address

This week's Feature In Focus highlights an end-user feature rather than an administrative one. Ignore By IP Address is a new feature added to ParaChat in our last release. Although there are administrative features included with ParaChat software to prevent users from logging in under multiple user names from the same IP address, the default configuration permits multiple connections from the same IP. If an administrator does not modify the default configuration, then users may unwittingly be stumped about whether they are chatting with the same person or not. To ignore a user in ParaChat is to prevent their chat messages from displaying in your view of the main chat window. The option to ignore a user's messages has long existed in ParaChat, but the option to ignore by IP is an additional improvement to this function.

Should the occasion arise that a user wishes to ignore the chat messages of other users for whatever reason, the Ignore By IP feature blocks messages from every user who is logged in from the same IP address. This is also an effective tool if an ignored user decides to log out, and back in again, under a new user name. Their chat messages will still be blocked from displaying in the chat window. Caution must also be exercised, however, because users who connect from behind the same corporate firewall may have the same public IP address. In this circumstance, ignoring a user by IP may result in ignoring all users logged in from the same company. For more information about how to use this feature, please see the End-User Ignore By IP Address article in our Knowledgebase.

Thanks for chatting, and we'll see you again next week!

The ParaChat Team

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