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Comment: Only "rented" books--headline/summary misleading (Score 4, Informative) 172 172

As is usual, the headline and summary are sensationalized at the expense of truth: Amazon isn't doing this for all Kindle books. They're doing it only for self-published Kindle books (i.e., not ones from actual publishing houses, which comprise the majority of books most people actually read), and even then it's not for books that are actually purchased: it's for books read as part of the Kindle Owners' Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited programs, which basically allow you to rent/check out participating books for "free" if you are in one of those programs (the former requires an Kindle reader or tablet from Amazon plus a Prime subscription, and the latter requires a monthly fee). Books people actually buy are unaffected, as are the vast majority of books in general even if they're rented. This is still an interesting model, but it's not as extreme as I thought from the Slashdot posting. I guess it would kind of be like Pandora negotiating a significantly lower royalty on songs that are skipped within the first few seconds.

Comment: Re:There is a bypass. (Score 1) 57 57

Just go to http://google.com/ncr to bypass it.

How, exactly, does a "no country redirect" (i.e., "ncr") help in this situation? That's just intended for you to be taken to the "regular" (US English) Google.com homepage in case it's incorrectly detecting your location or you otherwise don't want to be redirected to a country-specific site. I'm pretty sure there's nothing else special about it.

Comment: Re:"clinging to dialup" (Score 1) 153 153

It's not just grandmas. I work for a high-end web dev company in Seattle, and almost a third of my coworkers still have @aol.com addresses. I do too because dial-up is the only option where I live. Plus, it's nice to have had the same email address for nearly twenty years.

You (and they) know you can keep your aol.com e-mail address if you cancel your paid dial-up service, right? I understand you apparently have other reasons to keep it, but...

Comment: Re:who cares? Me. (Score 2) 154 154

Responsible software should have a released branch that has only bug fixes, and then other versions for new features. Otherwise, how the fark can one use your software for certified products? How can someone do a risk analysis on something as a platform, when it might change daily? Feature changes should not be casually thrown in. Yes, mozilla stupidly did this - but most software does not, and should not. [...].

Maybe "did," but they don't anymore and haven't since 2012, which is shortly after they switched to the stupid Chrome-esque release model. They have an "ESR" (extended support release) branch intended for the enterprise but usable by anyone who only wants important fixes without big changes for a relatively long period of time--though in the world of Web browsers right now, I guess that only means a year.

Comment: Re:"old sata drives"? (Score 1) 162 162

I'm not sure why this is news. Sticking any device on the PCIe bus is going to allow for a lot more speed than using the SATA bus...

Did you read the summary? It's reporting that new PCIe SSDs are not faster than "old" SATA SSDs as measured by real-world app- and game-loading times (not benchmarks, in which of course PCIe outperforms, as they do mention). By "not faster," I mean "equal," which is what the headline means (somewhat odd usage of the phrase "as fast as" when you already expect the first thing to be faster, so maybe that's where the confusion comes from).

Comment: Re:No they did not. They have failed HARD. (Score 3, Informative) 296 296

Mozilla was the original code-split from Navigator, and it's purpose was to preserve Navigator as a browser for the half of the web that was optimized for it (remember the old "best viewed with..." buttons? Good days). Firefox née Phoenix was a fork from Mozilla to strip out Netscape-sponsored features of the Mozilla engine (giving us the Gecko engine). It succeeded in this goal, as well, for a time.

Your history is a bit off. Gecko was Mozilla's focus since Mozilla itself was created to continue Netscape's work on the next version of their browser after failing on their goal of improving the (horrible) Netscape 4.x layout engine, which was their original goal for version 5 (although I think they might have been experimenting with both possibilities at the same time before giving up the former). Firefox (originally Phoenix then Firebird) was created with the goal of taking that same layout engine, Gecko, but wrapping only a simple browser around it rather than the entire Mozilla/Netscape Communicator-style suite. Netscape never had many Netscape/AOL features in the Mozilla suite itself; those (e.g., AIM integration, branding, and a different default theme--Modern instead of Classic, etc.) were mostly confined to the Netscape-branded releases that AOL/Netscape released using the Mozilla suite as a base (starting with Netscape 6--skipping the scrapped version 5 attempt, though version 6 was horribly delayed and based on a somewhat unstable pre-1.0 release of the Mozilla suite). In any case, Gecko has not only been there since before Firefox, but it's one of few things that Firefox and the Mozilla Suite (which effectively lives on as Seamonkey) share, albeit a very large and important thing since it's used for so much (not just HTML rendering but also creating the UI itself via XUL and a theme).

Thunderbird was created with a pretty similar goal: take the same layout engine but include only the e-mail features from the suite.

Comment: Re:It's the post office (Score 3, Insightful) 182 182

And, for the record, if you can't figure out the USPS website you're an idiot. All these idiosyncrasies have been around for as long as I can remember on their site, and yet we ship out stuff all the time with the system.

So how, exactly, do you use their website to print first-class postage, then? (I don't; I use PayPal and don't even bother with their site anymore. That's not an excuse for them, however.)

Comment: Re:numbering (Score 1) 164 164

who cares really?

The numbering should go 1.. 2.. 3.. etc.. thousands.. tens of thousands.. hundreds of thousands.. millions.. too many to give a fuck about.

OK, display it to the user like that--but they still need to keep track somehow of the actual number. How do you propose that they do that? We are left with the same problem.

Comment: Re:Jack of all trades (Score 1) 129 129

Masters of only one (Let Kindle Slide). Online Shopping. I simply do not understand all of these devices that Amazon is trying to pimp. Phones? Tablets? I love shopping at Amazon but their brain dead hardware makes zero sense.

I actually like the Fire TV--it supports everything I need (I like Apple, but I'm not invested in iTunes movie purchases and rentals, and Amazon Prime is quite nice for both movies and TV), and it can side-load Android apps, which isn't always useful but is at least a little fun. The Fire TV Stick, recently released and much cheaper, might also be nice, but I haven't used it. I actually returned my Roku for this. As you possibly hint, the Kindle is also a nice device, though I mean the e-ink variety rather than the tablets (which may also be nice, but I have never used them but suspect I would much prefer my own tablet with the Kindle app, which I currently use if I want an LCD).

As for the Echo, if it can be used as a high-quality speaker, I can see it being useful for that, though it would be nice to have a physical connection rather than Bluetooth. Its intended main function sounds neat, but I'm not sure it will be that useful (and I'm not sure how I feel about having an always-on mic, even if it presumably doesn't transmit anything to Amazon unless it thinks you've beckoned it).

Comment: Re:Always except when it isn't (Score 4, Informative) 109 109

Headline: "the Time Is Always Set To 9:41 In Apple Ads"

Summary: "the clock has traditionally been always set to 9:42 in Apple advertisements." ... "The time was even slightly tweaked in 2010" ... "it displayed a different time"

That's some quality editing there, Slashdot.

While it might be a little confusing, it's actually correct. The time HAD traditionally been set to 9:42, then they tweaked it to 9:41 with the introduction of the iPad. (The goal was to match actual local time at the moment when the product is actually revealed, which happens slightly more than 40 minutes after it starts.)

The rule on staying alive as a forecaster is to give 'em a number or give 'em a date, but never give 'em both at once. -- Jane Bryant Quinn