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Comment: There was a brief, shining moment... (Score 1) 259

by Phil Urich (#47160213) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Do 4G World Phones Exist?

Alas, electronics have not yet advanced to the point where it is reasonable to have one phone with support for all combinations of bands and technologies.

Right before LTE started rolling out, and before Nokia was forced to adopt chipsets approved for Windows Phone rather than using their own, the high-end Nokia devices developed had pentaband 3G and quadband 2G, which covered nearly everything (sure, some rural places in very few countries were CDMA, but this was already rare). It seemed then like other manufacturers might catch up. Unfortunately, with LTE we've re-fragmented, and manufacturers have used it as an excuse to go back to selling different models for different markets/carriers.

Comment: Re:One question (Score 4, Informative) 94

by Phil Urich (#47004725) Attached to: KDE Ships First Beta of Next Generation Plasma Workspace

See In fairness, most (in fact, the overwhelming majority) of elements within KDE are resolution independent (hell, KDE has been using SVG icons since well before the KDE4 days), and basically every element can be changed and tweaked as desired, it's just that it takes a shit ton of annoying manual tweaking.

You're right though, it Isn't There Yet (tm). But it is in fact a focus of much of the development; this is generally on the minds of KDE devs, and is being worked towards for Plasma Next, as well as for specific applications; for example, the Yakuake developer is changing the theming engine specifically with resolution-independence and high-DPI screens in mind. So upcoming versions of KDE will be, at very least, closer to supporting high DPI and resolution independence, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if a version or two into Frameworks 5 we get a nice centralized control for scaling the UI.

Comment: Notifications have improved greatly recently (Score 1) 94

by Phil Urich (#47004633) Attached to: KDE Ships First Beta of Next Generation Plasma Workspace
I'm using Kubuntu and have seen the notifications look+feel improve greatly lately, and have never seen the issues you describe. So, not to jump on the "you're using the wrong distro" bandwagon (which is probably used as an excuse more than it deserves to be, and often deflects from real issues), but . . . yeah, I'm going to say you should try another distro and see if there's a difference for you.

Comment: Re:It doesn't look that different (Score 2) 94

by Phil Urich (#47004587) Attached to: KDE Ships First Beta of Next Generation Plasma Workspace

But will I ever get Kasbar back?

A lot of the features of Kasbar are built in to the default or alternative taskbars; considering how easy QML is to work with, you might even want to look at hacking away at it yourself.

Personally I'm 100% satisfied with the options currently available, and all the quintessentially awesome KDE stuff I missed during the initial port---Filelight, Yakuake, etc---all made it back in by around 4.4. I honestly never used Kasbar much myself, so I only have dim recollections of it alongside basic descriptions on old websites, but again, people have done some crazy things with Plasma and it's getting easier as things shift towards QML (you can already code mode things in QML in Plasma-Current, AFAIK, but the Plasma-Next development has made this all easier and they've run into the edge cases and lack of features that they've then had to implement to shift towards pure QML themselves, so there should be fewer 'gotchas').

Comment: Umm, accepting only similar folks != no prejudice (Score 3, Insightful) 283

More over it takes time to assimilate. At first you feel like an outsider, but having lived in Japan for a while I'd say I'm not pretty well integrated. It's hard to explain but now I think and act that way I find foreigners stick out like a sore thumb as well. They often talk too loudly, or just position themselves awkwardly or ask un-subtle questions. Once you settle in though somehow Japanese people can just tell (and now so can I), and treat you without prejudice.

But . . . isn't that the entire problem, that they're prejudiced against anyone who doesn't talk and act exactly "correctly"? I think pretty much by definition people aren't prejudiced against people who are like themselves. Once you adopt every social convention and mannerism they no longer act so xenophobic towards you? That's not something to boast about, and you aren't really convincing anyone that the Japanese are tolerant of differences if it takes skillful, concerted effort in concealing and obliterating those differences before they're tolerant of you.

Personally I find the idea of everyone having to adopt specific thoughts and actions lest they be judged to be horrifying (and the same reason I often feel quite uncomfortable in small towns in North America). And one of the things I will definitely judge a culture for is its intolerance of differences (see, again, small town North America).

Comment: Re:This is why I became a leftist (Score 1, Insightful) 132

It is the purpose of government to preserve the status quo. To keep the rich rich and the poor poor

Actually, many of this corporations didn't exist ten years ago and none of this guys weren't shit-load-millionairs. So there, the govermente sucks at preserving the status quo.

What about the major shareholders and board members of "this corporations [sic]"? Were they "shit-load-millionairs [sic]"? Yeah, most of them probably were. And you do remember that for example Facebook was started by rich boys who went to Harvard, right? It's not exactly a rags-to-riches story, just a riches-to-more-riches. And lets not even start on the average wages for tech-sector employees . . . but then again, since the third spelling mistake you made was "govermente" for government I'm starting to suspect I've just been sucked in by a troll.

Comment: Not stock, not Cyanogenmod, go Replicant (Score 2) 198

by Phil Urich (#46595075) Attached to: Russian Officials Dump iPads For Samsung Tablets Over Spy Fears

If they were really concerned about spying, shouldn't they go with a Nexus that runs Replicant

I mean, for the average person I'm not saying they need to be so paranoid; there's likely backdoors or potential exploits, but it's also unlikely to ever matter, and some of the functionality that's sacrificed is likely not worth it for the average bloke. But for guarding state secrets? You want something that involves zero binary blobs, and Replicant is the closest you get for Android.

Comment: What about normal desktop Linux? Hope standards... (Score 2) 74

by Phil Urich (#46568851) Attached to: Google Now Arrives In Chrome For Windows and Mac
So it's out for Windows, OSX, and ChromeOS . . . but what about normal desktop Linux? I'm hoping it's because they're spending a bit more time making the normal-Linux implementation follow the Desktop Notifications Specification that KDE, GNOME (and its diaspora) and others implement.

Comment: I've been using Wayland and systemd for nearly a m (Score 1) 202

by Phil Urich (#46567247) Attached to: KDE and Canonical Developers Disagree Over Display Server

SailfishOS, running on the current Jolla device, is quite smooth and nice, in a way that my N9 (despite the slickness of the design of the UI) never was. Both were underpowered hardware for their times, but Wayland allows the kinds of GPU-accelerated and compositing-oriented display that allow for what people are increasingly used to from other OSes.

Now, in terms of systemd I'm more on your side, there's certainly a baseline of arrogance that the primary devs have shown. On the other hand, they seem sometimes to be justified, and while there was some shouting and mudflinging in the recent Debian decision, there were also some extremely thoughtful and thorough considerations that I read from Debian developers which convinced me that, despite some of its shortcomings, systemd is a needed improvement and is well thought out. Err, I can't seem to find any of them right now, but from a system administration perspective I do see this blog as a fairly succinct list of reasons why systemd is good for sysadmins. As one myself, who until now has worked merely on SysV or Upstart systems, many of those reasons do seem pretty compelling to me. So far I've only toyed with systemd in the phone that now resides in my pocket, however, so I certainly can't speak from direct experience yet. But I'm very interested to try it out.

Comment: I'm laughing, but also crying (Score 1) 149

by Phil Urich (#46528907) Attached to: Unreal Engine 4 Launching With Full Source Code
Things have gotten much better in gaming as of late, but also a hell of a lot worse. A few titles have come out lately that actually have full editors and SDKs, but it's still a far cry (hurr hurr) from where it was at one point. I loved the Unreal Engine, but there came a point (with Deus Ex 2 and the post-Raven Shield Rainbox Six games) where UE titles stopped shipping with editors, and I found myself getting very little mileage out of them. And then of course Epic went from having fairly great Linux support to having none. I went from being a rabid fan of nearly anything built with that engine to a person who didn't even bother buying the first-party titles.

Comment: RWP's press freedom ranking is bogus (Score 1) 169

by Phil Urich (#46291091) Attached to: High Court Rules Detention of David Miranda Was Lawful

Listen to this On The Media story or this article for details, but basically Reporters Without Borders changes its methodology every year, and the rankings are largely based on the perceptions of reporters within the respective countries, which is far from an objective measure. So as WP article states,

Most of the coverage is based on the premise that 2013 saw a sudden, alarming and perhaps unprecedented decline in media press freedom because the ranking dropped from the previous year. This is just bad data journalism for big two reasons. First, it confuses relative rankings with absolute scores – more on this later. Second, it ignores the fact that Reporters Without Borders has been raising and dropping the U.S. ranking for years.

I actually largely agree with your more abstract points, but it's worth pointing out that the entire press freedom ranking you cite is at best fairly misleading, and arguably entirely worthless. As the author of the article points out when interviewed on On The Media, Reporters Without Borders does some excellent work compiling statistics and incidents of press freedoms being impinged upon around the world. But their ranking system is best ignored.

Comment: Does your carrier charge you for txt? Lolz (Score 4, Insightful) 199

by Phil Urich (#46291007) Attached to: Facebook To Buy WhatsApp

You've never heard of it? Are you still using your carrier's txt plan? Lolz

Why wouldn't I? I can text anyone anywhere in the world for free, and I don't have to worry about whether we're using the same service and if they actually still check that service or blah blah blah. And services like WhatsApp are tied to phone numbers anyways, so WhatsApp users are just a subset of people with numbers I could text to.

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly. - Henry Spencer, University of Toronto Unix hack