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Comment Re:Easy Fix (Score 1) 51

Did you catch the article yesterday on /. "Microsoft intensifies data collection on Windows 7 and 8" they are hard coding sites, bypassing the HOSTS file.

The application firewall still works, though. You can shut off much of that traffic; it just takes a ridiculous amount of time and effort.

Comment Re:I have the right to watch it. (Score 1) 75

My PC is hobbled to near-uselessness with crapware installed by Lenovo

We've recently purchased some Lenovo machines, and yes, they came with a metric assload of shitty software that nobody could possibly use or want, and that soaked up RAM and CPU like a drunk in a vineyard. But you do know you're allowed to uninstall all that shovel-ware, right? And if you don't know what to remove or how to uninstall them yourself, a useful tool is the PC Decrapifier, which is so simple anyone can run it.

The Decrapifier is not perfect, though, as the authors seem to be dodging some legal lines by not being particularly aggressive in what they recommend you remove. And it won't get everything. My sister asked me to help her as her machine had slowed to the point of unusability. At some point her machine had become infested by some particularly nasty McAfee "free" malware that required a ludicrous amount of effort to destroy. It took me far too long to discover I had to surf to their site to download a custom uninstall tool. I think I spent almost two hours downloading updates and scrubbing the malware from three machines simultaneously. But once all the crapware was gone, and they had current patches, they actually became some decent machines. (Then I had to go home and take a shower, because that McAfee software made me feel filthy.)

I consider that wasted time as an expense that jacked up the cost of owning the machines by a couple hundred dollars. It would not be worth the investment on a cheap Lenovo, which I would never recommend unless you have the nothing but time to waste, but as I was getting a big SSD, fast CPU, hi res screen, and lots of RAM, I overlooked it. But I'm not forgetting it.

Lenovo, if you're reading this, know that I'm the senior buyer for all computer and electronic equipment purchased by my two extended families, and that $20 in kickbacks you got for installing the shitware on my machine will never recoup the costs of even one of the never-buy-Lenovo recommendations I've been handing out. Multiply that by the thousands of nerds who feel like I do, and that's millions of units you're not selling because of your own stupidity.

Comment Re:Actually, the common saying... (Score 1) 334

That's quite the non sequitur - the increase in driver complexity was most likely due to the nature of the device becoming more complex, not just the plug and play. Unless you can demonstrate that the problems you encountered were due to the PnP portions of the driver, you don't really have a case. You might as well blame it on aliens. My personal experiences are very different to yours - fiddling around with jumpers was far from ideal, and as soon as PnP hit the scene and was properly supported by enough drivers, it was a great improvement on what came before.

If you couldn't configure your internal modem, the problem lies either with you, your computer, or the modem - blaming a technology which was used to great effect by countless millions of people doesn't seem the particularly rational approach.

Comment Re:give $100 million each to best friends & fa (Score 1) 777

This is the best answer right here, and it would cure his loneliness, too. Not only do the people who have stuck by you during the hard times deserve the reward, but they're the ones who have proven who you can trust.

I think even the best of friendships might end up weird if sucking up to you might mean another drop of many millions of dollars. And many people will feel quite obliged by something like that, even if it's a gift. And some feel unnaturally compelled to match spending habits even though they clearly can't afford it, though I suppose not with a billionaire. Sure, some people are welfare queens and will take what they can get but many also don't want your charity. It's always easier to peer with your peers, which is why rich people tend to lump together.

Comment Re:I'm not mad about the subsidies (Score 1) 198

I'm mad because in ten years they still won't have delivered, will have spent the bulk of the money on executive bonuses and won't get punished. Keep the subsidies, make em pay it back with interest if they're so much as a smidge off

Better yet, why not pay on delivery? Sure, you'll have to compensate them a little bit extra to cover interest for the roll-out period but "no cure, no pay" tends to get things done.

Comment Re:Their work is being wasted. (Score 3, Interesting) 138

We're getting to the point where the Linux kernel itself is superb, but everything built on top of it is becoming utter shit. This is unfortunate, because the kernel alone is not very useful. The kernel's actual usefulness comes from it laying a solid foundation for the great things that could potentially be built upon it.

There was a billion Android devices shipped last year. It has 98% market share on the TOP500 supercomputer list. About 92% of Amazon's EC2 cloud servers run some form of Linux. Maybe we'll still be waiting for YotLD ten years from now, but I don't think anything could reverse that momentum. The entire FreeBSD ports tree had in Q1 2015 a bit less than 7000 commits from 163 developers, there's a ton of work missing to reach feature parity with the Linux kernel and nobody complained about it in the first place, I think there already was a "BSD-like" init system called OpenRC and it'd probably be less work to finish that than to write all the bits that are missing from Linux. Either way the problem is how many packages you must maintain that don't support your init system upstream.

Personally I wish Google would take a play from the Microsoft playbook and introduce the Android desktop, then again at this point it might be seen as admitting Microsoft has a point about one device from smartphones to tablets to laptops to desktops. Then again their Chromebooks are very successful, unfortunately really since they got you very hooked up to the mothership.

Comment Accept the limitations of reality (Score 1) 144

Forget about backpacking with all the equipment you will need. It cannot be done yet. The technology is not that advanced.

Invest in a smaller 4WD or AWD vehicle with high ground clearance (critical!) and a 12 volt system. And a good power inverter-- although more and more now you can find electronics that will run directly off 12 V DC. You want a car that is small enough that you've got a good range without draining the bank account to keep the gas tank full-- plus something small can get you past tight spots where behemoth monster trucks cannot go.

While this approach will limit the places you can go, car camping can still get you as far from the madding crowd as you can get, and stay within reasonable Internet connectivity. You can day hike from base camp for delving deeper into the wilderness. You can carry more with you, such as coolers, stoves with more burners, decent dutch ovens. And you can be more mobile-- such as planning much longer trips with occasional stops at towns with grocery stores, showers, and the like.

Believe me, I have thought this through. However I ended up retiring before I figured out all the business angles. I wish you the best of luck.

Comment Re:They shouldn't have shown the images (Score 1) 43

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds." Of course considering placing Jupiter in some kind of stellar classification is inconsistent and absurd. That was part of the point. But it is no more inconsistent and absurd than the current IAU definition of "planet". Which was the other side of the point.

The IAU has a number of hobgoblins it should really muzzle before their antics further erode the IAU's standing among international bodies of science.

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify this.

Comment Re:How many people to thank? (Score 4, Insightful) 138

How many people to thank?

According to this:

Each Linux release includes more than 10,000 patches from more than 1,400 developers and more than 200 corporations.

Of course a whole lot of them work on some driver that won't have any effect on you unless you own that piece of hardware, same with architecture-specific code and various other subsystems. The number of code changes that touches everyone is significantly less.

When the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.