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Comment: Re: Fail (Score 1) 243

by Dr_Barnowl (#47763421) Attached to: TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

The 99% believe that there is no kind of talent or ability that makes one person's labour literally worth 10,000 times that of another.

Those kind of wages (I refuse to say "earnings") usually require either the direction of vast amounts of other peoples labour (and therefore represent a salami slicing scam where the productivity of that labour is being directed up the corporate pyramid), or intangible and imaginary "wealth" which in effect is just a massive confidence trick.

The 1% are bilking the rest of us. They live high on the hog by using their power to manipulate the system to deliver the fruits of our labours into their pockets. That's what the 99% actually believe.

Scamming some noob because they don't understand computers is morally no different, but a drop in the bucket in comparison.

Comment: Re:Already? (Score 1) 248

by Dr_Barnowl (#47757701) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

XP was 5.1

Windows 2000 was Windows 5 (and very stable, and really, really fast on modern hardware). Inevitably it was DRM that put paid to my attempt to keep using Windows 2000 until it was impractical... some of the games I wanted to play were depending on cryptographic components that didn't ship in Win2k.

So I "upgraded" to Vista.

I didn't have quite the same urge to hold onto that one as long as possible....

Comment: Re:Not worth it (Score 1) 248

by Dr_Barnowl (#47757657) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

MS do OEM and retail disks, distinct from vendor-specific OEM images.

The OEM release is intended to go on one machine ONLY and the license is bound to that system. Upgrading it will typically provoke different levels of incredulity from the activiation server.

The retail release is allowed to be on one machine CONCURRENTLY and you can move it between machines, and upgrade to your hearts content, although you may still get hassled into phoning a robot and beeping a bit at it.

The rules about selling the OEM disk are supposed to mean that it only goes to the manufacture of a new computer, but I've seen vendors bend the rules as far as they can go and sell the OEM disk to anyone that buys a new hard drive.

Comment: Re:Not worth it (Score 2) 248

by Dr_Barnowl (#47757593) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

MS do have a program for this, it's called the Microsoft Signature Experience - it's a selected range of hardware sold without crapware on it.

Alas, it only covers a tiny selection of hardware.

For desktops, I always buy parts and install Windows myself. For laptops, if it comes with a standard Windows medium, I'll bleach it clean and reinstall from scratch.

Laptops which make you burn your own recovery disks with the crapware on them are taking the piss.

Comment: Re:Chilean Software Industry (Score 1) 159

I consider doing this even here in the UK sometimes.

My office shelled out, I estimate, around €30,000 for WinRAR licenses. Looking at the report justifying it's purchase, it's clear that 7-zip beats it out in basically every category of functionality that they assessed it on... but no-one sells 7-zip so you have no-one to point the finger at if it fails.

A small company selling support for F/OSS packages could really clean up (and probably not have to do very much real work), just by tendering prices a little under the "market leader" for F/OSS programs that occupy a commodity niche.

Comment: Re:Microsoft cannot compete in the marketplace... (Score 1) 159

running the stuff people want .... Windows does so, Linux doesn't.

Depends on the people, depends on what they want.

You could invert that sentence and swap "Mac" for "Linux" for many audiences ; particularly creative types that have specialist apps that only run on one platform.

For simple uses... there's no problem. Linux has browsers, email clients, and LibreOffice. For business purposes, anything written in Java or one of the other virtual runtimes should be easy to port to Linux, or run right out of the box.

For complex uses... it depends on the niche. Certainly for software development, Linux wins for basically everything except native and .NET Windows apps. For other uses, I will grant you, the professional-grade applications are not available (even if they run in Wine). But I'm not an artist. I'm a developer.

Gaming is one of the things that keeps Windows on my hard drive, but Valve are trying their darndest to make this irrelevant. I'm watching with interest, but Windows won't be going away just yet....

But that's it. All my real work is done on Linux. Windows has been relegated to the status of a toy for me. I find it frustrating and clumsy to work with - even more so once the IT department has shackled the vast suite of corporate malware they deem necessary to the chain around it's neck. The software I produce is a mixture of server processes and client tools that run on both Windows and Linux. I even *gasp* pay for software to run on Linux.

I agree there is a vast technical debt built up apps written on platform-specific toolkits, but they become obsolete eventually and there's no excuse for porting them to another platform-locked toolkit any more.

Comment: Re:Microsoft cannot compete in the marketplace... (Score 1) 159

It's really that most people have more experience of Windows.

I'd argue it's not actually any easier. Both have their quirks and complexities. I have a lot of experience with both ; I find Linux far easier than Windows.

My Mother had limited experience with both ; she finds Linux just as difficult as Windows, but I find it easier to support her on Linux. All things being equal she uses the same apps (Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice), I'd rather she was on a platform I can support easily and is somewhat robust against security risks.

Microsoft know this ; which is why they are so aggressive about making sure that people's early experience of computers is with Windows - cheap deals for students and schools, etc.

Comment: Re:Publicly Funded Governments (Score 1) 159

This is true, but all things being equal, much of the data is held to ransom behind proprietary format at present.

"Open" implies that the format is accessible without prejudice ; beyond eliminating the need for a computer altogether (which is impractical), that means it should be accessible on the three big desktop platforms, probably the web as well.

Totally agree that for simple data like character delimited text tables it's not a problem, and Open Data should tend toward the simplest format practical to convey the information. But for complex things like office documents, there should be a F/OSS choice for the format chosen, because it's just not practical to ask people to code up their own viewer / editor for a given format.

And if there are F/OSS tools for your selected format, it would seem to be the logical choice to use them in public office, given that they are all about saving money, unless there are compelling reasons to use the proprietary software. And for open formats... there are usually compelling reasons NOT to use the proprietary software, because much of it almost seems designed to break open formats. (viz : all versions of Excel I've used have a tendency to completely ruin ODS workbooks containing formulas).

Comment: Re:Thoughtcrime (Score 4, Insightful) 391

by Dr_Barnowl (#47727293) Attached to: UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

Making it should be illegal. Viewing it arguably does no additional harm (if you presume that anyone who would view it it willingly is already irreversibly fucked up, and people who aren't fucked up are appropriately digusted).

Viewing it is illegal in my jurisdiction. Which paradoxically makes it impossible to report if you stumble upon it in a place where you didn't expect (or want) to find it, because if you do so you're now confessing to a crime. This arguably means that kiddy porn remains available for longer than it otherwise would.

It should certainly be illegal to make it. And illegal to knowingly distribute it. And illegal to pay for it (directly - paying for a service that happens to unintentionally host kiddy porn shouldn't count, paying for a service devoted to kiddy porn should). But making it illegal to view or possess means that if you accidentally stumble upon it, you both viewed it, and because your computer cached it, possessed it, which means that people are far less likely to report it for fear of incriminating themselves.

Comment: Re:Ready in 30 years (Score 1) 305

by Dr_Barnowl (#47723457) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

Deuterium and tritium are *rare*, and their main sources are oil wells.

You're mixing them up with helium, which is extracted from a fraction of natural gas.

Deuterium is very common, it just requires effort to extract.

Tritium is the rare one. Less than 300kg of it has ever been made. It's radioactive, so it disappears. There's probably less than 100kg of it in the world now.

Comment: Re:suitable for home use? (Score 3, Interesting) 178

by Dr_Barnowl (#47676399) Attached to: Hemp Fibers Make Better Supercapacitors Than Graphene

Asbestos is just silicate rock. Structure makes a difference..

Graphene is just a sheet of carbon, but it's structure gives it novel properties - it wouldn't be a super-material if it didn't, just because it's all cool and awesome doesn't mean it's also inert and harmless.

fortune: not found

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