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Comment: Re:Game is part server-side, not 'always on DRM' (Score 1) 511

by Analog Penguin (#43110069) Attached to: In Wake of Poor Reviews, Amazon Yanks <em>SimCity</em> Download
Do you suppose there's any technological reason why some of their servers MUST be doing the work for you? Perhaps there's some code they couldn't possibly get to work on a local client, despite plenty of games over the past forty years working just fine locally? Or is it more likely that they intentionally designed the game to be split between client and server so that you had to be connected in order to play it? Because that latter scenario sounds a lot like DRM to me. They don't have to be using military-grade encryption for it to count as DRM.

Comment: Clevo P170EM/150EM (Score 2) 260

by Analog Penguin (#42225665) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Laptop With Decent Linux Graphics Support?
I recently bought a Clevo P170EM with a hybrid Intel HD 4000/Radeon 7970M setup. The Intel card was supported perfectly in Linux out of the box. Getting support for the 7970M took a few months, but the most recent Catalyst release supports it under Ubuntu 12.04, and setup was relatively painless. The only minor hassle of this setup is the need to restart the X server to switch the active card. I understand 12.10 is a little dicier due to the new version of X, and I don't know about any other distros, but I've been running this setup for a few months now without any problems and can highly recommend it. If the P170EM is too big, the P150EM is essentially the same hardware with a smaller screen. Every other hardware component except the fingerprint reader works perfectly in Ubuntu as well.

System76 also sells machines with Ubuntu pre-installed, and they recently introduced a model with discrete graphics, so you could also look into either their computers or the Clevo computers upon which their models are based (I believe the Bonobo, their discrete-graphicsed model, is based on the P370EM).

Comment: Re:AT&T. Never had 'em, never will (Score 5, Insightful) 220

The controversy is that this is the latest in a long line of examples of AT&T bitching about people overburdening their poor network with their evil data-hogging ways instead of spending a goddamn dime to upgrade it from its current twine-and-tin-can infrastructure into something that can handle the needs of a 21st-century world superpower.

Comment: Re:Apple is the new Microsoft (Score 1) 377

You might find it worthwhile to try to sell that MacBook. Everything else you said is spot on, but older Apple hardware tends to hold its value for way longer than would seem reasonable. Poke around eBay and see what similar models are going for; it might surprise you.

Comment: Some people do need an actual computer (Score 4, Insightful) 636

by Analog Penguin (#40581757) Attached to: Preparing For Life After the PC

Whenever I see people saying this, I wonder how many people actually use their computer to do real work.

I work as a recording engineer. You can buy non-PC devices to do the actual recording if you want, but even in that case mixing and post-processing really does require a computer with vast amounts of local CPU power and storage, in addition to some highly specialised equipment (such as external audio interfaces that connect via Firewire or even PCI cards). You can't record ten simultaneous tracks of uncompressed 24-bit, 48 khz audio to the cloud. I'm sure the same is true of many other fields like video and graphics production, software development, and scientific number crunching.

Sure, grandma probably doesn't need a full-blown PC to look at emailed pictures of her family, and maybe the "post-PC" era will benefit her. But I do worry what will happen to the PC world if major manufacturers keep taking their focus away from people who really do require serious equipment. (Hello, Apple, selling 2010 Mac Pros for 2014 prices, with an operating system that's leading the charge towards turning your desktop computer into an iPad!)

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.