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Comment Some corrections (Score 1) 383

This is a bit on the nitpicking side, but as someone with very fond memories of Amiga, I can't resist a couple of corrections/comments:

VGA hardware let you have 16 colors at 640x480 and Amiga only had 4

Do you mean the Productivity mode (i.e. 640x480 without use of interlace) that was first present on ECS chipset (which was a minor disappointment as an update over OCS, and in hindsight a bit of an early omen about Commodore's inability to keep the competitive edge)? I'm wondering about this, because even the original chipset did allow use of 16 colors at that resolution (but with interlacing). For still images there was also the so-called Dynamic HiRes that was not a 'real' screen mode, but instead a software trick to use the Copper to switch the 16-color palette for each individual horizontal line with little CPU overhead.

Concerning non-bitmapped scalable fonts, AmigaOS 2.04 (introduced with A3000) did introduce the so-called outline fonts. I don't really remember whether they could also be rotated via OS itself, though.

Comment Google Squared confirms that Linux is dead (Score 1) 165

I looked at the list of suggested additional columns and chose "Died". Now I know that Linux died as "A modem hung up the phone". Various BSDs seem to still be going strong, though.

On a more serious note, the concept is quite neat (and as noted, not entirely unlike the comparisons provided by WolframAlpha). However, the quality of the results has to improve a lot before I'll use this for anything else than amusing myself.

Comment Re:Sorry- but (Score 1) 455

If you are still using windows 2000- BUY A NEW COMPUTER!

Actually, the W2k machine I have and use semi-frequently is a newer acquisition than my current primary Linux box, so in a sense it might be called the most recent machine I have, even though the hardware and OS are older :) While I wouldn't be satisfied using it as my only computer, it's really quite good enough for surprisingly many tasks.

Regarding Mozilla guys and gals possibly dropping the support for it, it's too bad, but OTOH I suppose the end of W2k security updates is either getting pretty close or has already happened at that point, making it increasingly risky to have the machine connected to Internet anyway, so I can live with that if it happens.

Comment W2k actually still gets security fixes (Score 1) 455

Actually, W2k is getting security fixes until 13.7.2010, as the extended support phase covers them:


As I have one W2k box (mostly for playing some older games every now and then, but also for some random surfing and other lightweight use; the hardware isn't very new and shiny either; 650 MHz Slot-A Athlon etc), I can confirm still seeing a fairly steady trickle of fixes every now and then.

Regarding worms and viruses, I have yet to see any on that machine, even though the OS installation is now quite a few years old and in semi-active use.

Comment Re:Awesome-This will change the face of online mus (Score 1) 96

I'd guess that a significant part of people in western Europe have heard about it, at least it seems to be sufficiently mainstream to get mentioned every now and then in (non-IT) newspapers. Elsewhere the answer is probably "not many", due to the geographical restrictions the service current has.

Personally, I think it's a quite nice music streaming service with a rather impressive set of available albums, even though running the client under Wine seems to occasionally crash my window manager (while it does restore the desktop pretty much immediately to the pre-crash state, it's still somewhat disconcerting).

Comment Re:Definitely low light performance (Score 1) 596

The mirror might go away at some point, but I doubt the viewfinder will be completely replaced by the back-of-the-camera LCD; holding the camera against head gives it some additional stabilization compared of using just arms and hands. I liked the flexible LCD on my old Canon Powershot G3, but my Canon 20D and 40D DSLRs are certainly noticeably easier to hold steady.

However, it's quite possible that the viewfinder itself eventually becomes a miniature LCD (or whatever technology is used), allowing more flexible superimposition of additional information over the image feed from sensor and some other benefits. Currently the technology isn't quite there yet, but things might be different once something like 5-10 years have passed. (I'm aware that there are already some cameras with electronic viewfinders, but most people seem to still find them generally inferior to the traditional optical viewfinders, at least on the discussions I've followed)


Submission + - Debian Lenny to be released on the Valentine's Day

Tanay Goel writes: The news is that the much awaited Debian 5.0, a.k.a. Lenny is scheduled (once again!) to be released on the weekend of 14th Feb, the Valentine's Day. The recent Debian mailing list thread says:

"The weekend of February 14th is going to be our tentative target for release. We've checked with all the involved teams (which are many!), and the date works for all of them.
The intention is only to lift that date if something really critical pops up that is not possible to handle as an errata, or if we end up technically unable to release that weekend (eg., a needed machine crashes). Every other fix that doesn't make it in time will be r1 material."

I've my fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't get delayed anymore...

Comment Re:So how about people like me? (Score 1) 289

Just for the curiosity; do you mean that they never came out into the mouth cavity, or that there's even nothing showing up on X-ray photos? In my case all my wisdom teeth do exist, but three of them are tightly stuck within the jaw bones. The fourth has gone a bit further, but is probably never going to get through the back of my mouth either.

Comment Re:Hm. Great (Score 1) 289

Although I'm 30-something and have only 5 fillings in my teeth (all of which I originally got in my teens; no new cavities since that), sometimes one can just have bad luck. Here's my personal experience:

Some years ago, I had an old, somewhat loose filling replaced in one of my molars. All seemed to be well, until one day my jaw started to swell. It turned out that there had been a small chipping in that tooth (I hadn't even noticed anything). However, it was sufficiently large to allow bacteria to pass between the filling and the tooth. As the original cavity was rather deep, the nerve had eventually got exposed to the bacteria, died silently (I hadn't really had any toothache) and eventually an abscess formed in my jaw. Luckily, an endodontist was able to perform a successful root canal on it, and as the root was already dead, the biggest pain on the whole operation came from having to keep my mouth wide open for an hour or so, which isn't exactly something my muscles are used to.

Then again, bad luck doesn't of course explain having half-a-dozen root canals/missing teeth; I suppose that's caused by either bad habits or poor genes (or a combination of both).


Submission + - The Days of Insecure Firefox Are Here (osweekly.com)

akakakak writes: "Matt Hartley of OSWeekly.com comments on the upcoming securities flaws of Firefox. He writes, "We have seen exploits come and go with Firefox for years, but this is the first time that I am aware of that Firefox really appears to have their backsides to the wall because of such a serious problem. And despite the knowledge that they'll get a handle on this just a quickly as possible, one cannot help but feel the browser's innocence has been taken away forever. Am I wrong here? Has Firefox always been this vulnerable and it is only now that we are seeing this come to fruition? Email me above. I would be interested in your thoughts on this matter."

Submission + - New Milestone Demoscene Releases. (pouet.net) 4

An anonymous reader writes: With over 3000 visitors one of the biggest computer festivals, the Assembly 2007, just closed doors. The event saw the release of some of the best demoscene productions of this year. Among them the first good demos for the XBOX 360, but also for platforms as obscure as the Atari VCS2600 from 1976. The main demo competition was won by Lifeforce, one of the most acclaimed demoscene demos ever. Other releases can be found here.

Submission + - Anti-Virus Software Recommendations

Knossos writes: "My free AVG anti-virus system is going to run out (as free will no longer be supported). So as the subject says, I'm on the hunt for the most superior anti-virus package available. If you're going to reply to this question, then please don't just say "Norton", or "AVG". Why is your suggestion the best? Suggestions don't have to be free, but of course that is a good factor. Thanks!"

Vista Zero-Day Exploit For Sale 233

Snakepit Bit writes "Underground hackers are hawking a zero-day exploit for Windows Vista at $50,000 a pop, according to computer security researchers at Trend Micro. The Windows Vista exploit, which has not been independently verified, was just one of many zero-days available for sale at an auction-style marketplace infiltrated by the anti-virus vendor. Prices for exploits for unpatched code execution flaws are in the $20,000 to $30,000 range. Bots and Trojan downloaders that typically hijack Windows machines for use in botnets were being sold for about $5,000." From the article: "According to [Trend Micro CTO Raimund] Genes, the typical price of a destructive exploit has increased dramatically, driving an underground market that could exceed the value of the legitimate security software business. 'I think the malware industry is making more money than the anti-malware industry,' Genes said."

"Consider a spherical bear, in simple harmonic motion..." -- Professor in the UCB physics department