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Comment: Re:It's kinda cute (Score 1) 102

by the gnat (#49779343) Attached to: Creationists Manipulating Search Results

nobody outside the US even remotely takes that "controversy" serious

Hell, most scientists inside the US don't take the "controversy" seriously, or even notice it most of the time. The only reason most of us care is because those fuckwits keep trying to legislate their mythology into the public schools, otherwise they'd be worth no more thought than, say, flat-earthers or faith healers. And in large parts of the country, e.g. liberal urban areas like the one I live in, it's not even an issue in schools either. (God knows our public schools have enough other problems...)

Comment: Re:F/OSS reality (Score 1) 82

by Grishnakh (#49779339) Attached to: Mandriva Goes Out of Business

(The driver support on Linux is a bit crappier though, since very few vendors spend time or money on linux drivers for their consumer-class stuff, especially l

The driver support is usually *better* on Linux because you aren't reliant on some stupid hardware vendor who doesn't feel like updating their driver for a new OS release. This happens on Windows all the time. Driver quality is usually better too; manufacturers are notorious for making shoddy and bloated driver packages with all kinds of extra crapware included.

The main problem where Linux drivers have problems is with video drivers, but most people seem to do just fine with Nvidia's proprietary drivers these days (no, they're not Free/open-source, but they do work and modern distros seem to manage them well enough by most accounts), and if your video needs aren't as high, Intel's drivers work great and are FOSS. A lot of people still seem to complain about AMD stuff though, so I'd avoid that.

Comment: Re:F/OSS reality (Score 1) 82

by Grishnakh (#49779325) Attached to: Mandriva Goes Out of Business

Desktop pretends to be (or maybe they actually believe that's what they are creating) a product for end users but is a product for admins and developers who are familiar and comfortable with the UNIX-like environment to use on their personal computers.

This is total BS. Lots of people who aren't computer experts use Linux desktops every day. My wife is one of them. I never have to do anything much with that computer, besides regular backups of course. Back when she was running Windows, I had no end of problems with it. I'm sure plenty of people here can attest to similar stories, of switching their spouses or parents to Linux and no longer needing to spend any time being their unpaid tech support.

What desktop Linux is, is a very good product for people who don't need to run any Windows (or OSX) applications. For home users who just surf the web, use Facebook, and do basic PC tasks like some basic word processing or whatever, Linux works extremely well. For people who just *have* to run Photoshop or whatever, obviously that's a problem, but not everyone is like that.

The Linux desktop community is a mess of hundreds of different distributions, various different protocols for doing things (how many freaking sound subsystems do you need?! ALSA, PulseAudio, FFADO, Jack, OSS, etc...) and all kinds of different UI paradigms, frameworks and toolkits.

You're completely overblowing things. Most modern Linux distros have settled on ALSA and PulseAudio (ALSA is the kernel-level drivers; PulseAudio is a userspace layer on top of that) and it works fine. No one uses OSS on Linux any more, and Jack is only used by a small number of people doing high-performance audio stuff. Different UIs aren't a big problem; people get along just fine choosing a desktop environment like KDE or Cinnamon and sticking with that. Different toolkits don't matter if you aren't developing software; you can run software written in one just fine in a DE written in another.

The problem with that is that the vast majority of computer uses do not want to choose every different option for every different part of the operating system

And they don't need to. Just download a copy of Ubuntu or Mint and be done with it. That's what everyone else does. This choice is generally made by the person who's computer-savvy, and the user doesn't question it. My wife uses KDE because I chose that for her since I prefer it and it works similarly to Windows, and she's never had a problem with it. She doesn't know or ask about Unity, Gnome3, Cinnamon, MATE, Xcfe, etc. People have zillions of choices when they buy a car too, but regular, everyday people don't have a problem there. They pick something they like and stop worrying about it. It may be a car their friend had, or they may have just stopped at a dealership and checked out a few things based on a salesman's advice. No one checks out every single model of car before making a decision.

yes i know you set it up for your grandma and she likes it -- represents falls outside the vast majority).

No, actually it doesn't (BTW, your sentence doesn't parse here). Most home users don't do anything terribly complicated with their computers, and these days they really don't do anything besides use it for web-surfing. This is why tablets have become so popular: people are sick of Windows problems, and tablets work just fine for using Facebook. Linux works fine here too, and better than tablets (since you get a real monitor, a real keyboard, real storage space, etc.). For the things most home users do, Linux does them extremely well. It can even play a lot of games now too, though that still works better on Windows because many games still don't support Linux (including anything that isn't on Steam) of course. No, it doesn't do TurboTax, but who cares: everyone's moving to web-based stuff for that. No, it doesn't run Pro/E, but how many home users do that. I've never heard of someone's grandma running engineering software. No, it doesn't run [random Windows software], but neither does Mac OSX, but I never hear of anyone saying Macbooks aren't viable alternatives.

Comment: Re:Why is this dribble on the front page? (Score 1) 102

by the gnat (#49779319) Attached to: Creationists Manipulating Search Results

identified Christians as potential extremists

Identified specific Christians as potential extremists. And they do exist - why is this in any way a surprise? Every faith-based ideology (Marxism obviously falls into this category) eventually attracts violent nutjobs. Even Buddhism has violent extremists, some of whom are currently hard at work ethnically cleansing a Muslim minority in Myanmar. There are also left-wing environmentalist extremists, along with Maoists and anarchists, all of whom the DHS and FBI also track.

Among other things, I find it curious that DHS was searching so hard for "non-Islamist" extremists - almost like Islamist extremists had DHS tacit approval.

The fact that most worldwide religious extremists are currently Muslim does not mean we should give a free pass to domestic extremists just because they happen to follow your preferred religion. (And what makes you so certain that the DHS wasn't investigating domestic Islamists too?) Since Christians are an overwhelming majority in the US, it is certainly logical to look for extremists in that population, especially since they may have an easier time blending in, and there are existing organized extremist groups, some of which have a long history of violence. (I should note that Timothy McVeigh was an "honorably discharged military veteran".)

Comment: Re:Just stick to the mantra (Score 1) 102

by Grishnakh (#49778757) Attached to: No, Your SSD Won't Quickly Lose Data While Powered Down

No, that's what you get for anyone on your network running windows.

Not a problem on my home network. Besides, that's only if you actually set your system up so that Windows has access to the NAS box.

My friend lived in a low budget rental with 4 random roommates (former roommate was the thief,

That sounds like a good lesson in choosing your roommates more carefully, or better yet not having any (and certainly not 4).

For $100 + a few minutes every weekend doing incremental backups, I'll go the external harddisk over a NAS anyday. Though realistically I went for both a NAS and an external offsite backup.

Personally I prefer the external HD and incremental backups strategy too, but the downside with this compared to the NAS strategy is that you don't get automatic, regular backups: you have to be diligent in actually doing the backups, and you're only going to do them so often (once per week in your case), whereas with a NAS you can schedule them to be far more frequent, daily or even hourly.

I believe the other poster even suggested having two NAS boxes: one in active use doing hourly backups, and the other in off-site storage. Swap them out every month or week so your off-site is never that far behind, and then if something happens to your on-site systems you still have a fairly recent backup set. This is somewhat pricey, but seems like a robust strategy to me.

Comment: Re:F/OSS reality (Score 1) 82

by Grishnakh (#49778573) Attached to: Mandriva Goes Out of Business

Comparing the hits of any Linux distro to iOS/OSX or Windows is an apples-and-oranges comparison, and makes little sense. Everyone knows that desktop Linux has a tiny marketshare. It might make some sense to compare to OSX perhaps, but certainly not Windows, and definitely not a mobile OS like iOS.

What you should be comparing is how popular it is in relation to Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Fedora, Arch, OpenSUSE, and Slackware.

Comment: Re:Not "all software" (Score 1) 72

by Grishnakh (#49778345) Attached to: Hyundai Now Offers an Android Car, Even For Current Owners

3) Any user who chooses to blow a hardware "fuse" can install any software he wants to without permission from the auto-maker, BUT prior to driving the vehicle on the public road he must register his car as an "experimental vehicle"

This is idiotic. I'm quite sure that no cars actually tie the airbags (or engine ECU, or ABS, etc.) into the infotainment computer.

Comment: Re:Would YOU want a camera on you all day? (Score 1) 184

by Grishnakh (#49778299) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

never mind having responsibility for a few hundred tons of freight/passengers barrelling down the lines upwards of 60 mph.

Not disagreeing, but the Amtrak train that wrecked goes up to 125mph on the DC-NYC route. I've been on it myself and clocked it with a GPS speedometer app. And that's the regular train; Amtrak's Acela Express goes faster than that (I think up to 150, I'm not sure). And trains don't surround you with airbags and lock you in your seat with seat belts the way cars do, and cars only go up to 75-80mph on normal highways.

Comment: Re:The death of privacy (Score 2) 184

by Grishnakh (#49778245) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

The USPS *is* a government entity. It's wholly owned by the US Government, therefore it's a government entity. It's largely run like a private company, but not entirely; Congress actually has a lot of say in its operations. The USPS isn't allowed to change the days they deliver mail, for instance, without Congressional approval. (They tried to eliminate delivery for one day a week not long ago and Congress refused.)

Comment: Re:And what about the infrastructure issues? (Score 1) 184

by Grishnakh (#49778221) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

I'd like to know why no one ever talks about the other, fairly cheap and easy method of preventing train-driver error: hiring a second driver.

Every single passenger-carrying airplane in the US has two pilots, a pilot and a co-pilot. If the pilot screws up badly, or becomes incapacitated (people do have seizures and blackouts sometimes, you never know), or just needs to go to the bathroom badly because of some shitty Mexican food he ate earlier, then the co-pilot is there to take over.

Why do trains not have co-engineers? These aren't taxis with a handful of passengers, or even buses with up to ~50 passengers, these are trains with hundreds of passengers, just like large airliners.

We can talk about PTC (I think that's the acronym, positive train control) systems, and how effective they are, but a simple fix to this problem is to simply put a second engineer in the cabin.

A triangle which has an angle of 135 degrees is called an obscene triangle.