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Comment: Re: Competition (Score 1) 437

by RR (#48766967) Attached to: Is Kitkat Killing Lollipop Uptake?

The apps either didn't exist or were featureless, including Microsoft's own ones. Needless to say, I was happy to go back to Android

Then you'll be pleased to discover that Lollipop's new Material Design aesthetic also aims to eliminate all visual features. And just so you don't miss out, most of the Google apps in KitKat have also been updated with Material Design.

Comment: Close Slashdot account (Score 1) 214

by RR (#48728811) Attached to: New Year's Resolution for 2015

The problem with the Social Network is the Network Effect. I can't close my Facebook because I communicate with a lot of my IRL friends through it. Here's to hoping that Dark Mail catches on.

Slashdot is disposable. It's just news that I saw days ago on Hacker News, combined with oh-no-it's-Bennett, and idiotic articles from Dice. The comments are sometimes fun, but frankly, I don't know you nor really care about you. Hacker News has comments, too, with a different moderation system.

Comment: Re:Chinglish (Score 3, Insightful) 578

by RR (#48723489) Attached to: What Language Will the World Speak In 2115?

I see plenty of English speakers learning Chinese. A lot of them never learn "proper" English. But I work in San Francisco with the children of Chinese immigrants. Even the elected mayor is a child of Chinese immigrants, now.

Going back to the OP, the current entrenchment is no guarantee. 100 years ago, everybody who wanted to do science learned German. 300 years ago, everybody learned French. 600 years ago, everybody in the West learned Latin. 2000 years ago, everybody in the Mediterranean learned Greek. For most of that time, everybody in China learned Chinese.

Comment: Re:Have Both (Score 1) 567

by RR (#48578053) Attached to: The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

Resolution though is largely irrelevant to most usages - it's the physical size of the screen real estate that matters.

Let's compromise: Both physical size and resolution matter. You're not getting a lot of work done on an old-school 240p Apple II screen, no matter how big it is.

There are many limits against low resolutions. I can totally read a 14-pixel-tall 'a' much faster than a 6-pixel-tall 'a' and more pixels would be even better. You can see a lot more content when your icons, that need to be at least 12 pixels tall to be recognizable, use 1/100 of your screen instead of 1/20. I used computers in the 1980's. I remember what they looked like. Using more than 50 pixels for 'a' is a bit silly, though.

Resolution makes a difference when you're working with stuff that is laid out like pages. Ever tried to read a PDF in less than 1000 horizontal pixels? I did. It's illegible. On the typical 1080p widescreen monitor, you split that 1920 pixels horizontally between 2 windows, and you get only 960 pixels per window. That's not enough resolution to see an entire page reasonably.

I have a 20-inch 1600x1200 monitor that I run in portrait mode with 1 program on screen at a time. 1200 pixels is frequently not enough, unless I'm doing work in classical terminals. 2560x1440 would allow me to show multiple programs at the same time, less need for portrait mode, and 3840x2160 would be great.

Comment: Re:Flash? (Score 1) 267

by RR (#48429511) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Workaday Software For BSD On the Desktop?

For me, the biggest issue is that most videos still require Flash.

Google is the biggest hypocrite here. One part of the company paid a lot of money to promote patent-free video on the Internet, but the YouTube team won't use it for music videos and prefers to use Flash even when HTML5 <video> is available. The Chrome team not only backpedaled on removing patent-encumbered <video>, but also partnered with Microsoft and Netflix to bring DRM into the HTML5 standard.

My practice is to use Google Chrome when I really do need Flash or some other Google monstrosity, but otherwise keep that browser closed.

Comment: Re:systemd (Score 2) 267

by RR (#48429155) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Workaday Software For BSD On the Desktop?

Oh, come on, it's not just that. It's also PulseAudio, also from Poettering, and udev, from RedHat's Kay Sievers, and how glibc emphasizes performance over security, from (formerly) RedHat's Ulrich Drepper, and possibly some of the silliness around RedHat-funded KVM, and the NIH silliness around ZFS vs (Oracle) btrfs, and dtrace vs strace/ftrace/whatever, and the performance of NetFilter and its proposed replacement nftables vs BSD's pf...

systemd might be the straw that breaks the camel's back, but there are many areas where someone might have issues with Linux. Personally, I'm not that invested in it either way, so I'm most swayed by software and hardware compatibility, where Linux wins really, really big. Though, I wonder what sort of reality distortion bubble RedHat is projecting around their developers, that so many of the issues are with RedHat stuff.

Comment: Re:Boo, PowerVR (Score 2) 56

by RR (#48424243) Attached to: Jolla Crowdfunds Its First Tablet

> I refuse to support PowerVR outside of iOS, so I'm going to sit this one out.

Somebody on maemo.org quoted a Jolla employee from IRC as saying, it will be an Intel GPU.

Even better, The Register found somebody from Intel to claim that it's an Atom 3700 series device, meaning Bay Trail. Now I'm much more interested in this device, but I'm still inclined to wait until firm confirmation.

Comment: Re:What? 64-bit? (Score 4, Informative) 56

by RR (#48421093) Attached to: Jolla Crowdfunds Its First Tablet

And ONLY 2 GB of RAM? What's the fucking point of including a 64-bit processor?

A couple points that come to mind:

  1. Better performance per clock, due to instruction set simplification and larger working set of registers.
  2. Slightly better security, because of more address space to do ASLR.
  3. Finally enough address space to mmap everything. If your memory usage is dominated by static assets like graphics, this would allow you to use the operating system's virtual memory paging to handle which assets are in RAM at any time.

Comment: Boo, PowerVR (Score 2) 56

by RR (#48421043) Attached to: Jolla Crowdfunds Its First Tablet

They don't explicitly say, but it looks very much like they're using a Moorefield system, like the Nokia N1. The PowerVR graphics in the Moorefield benchmark well on Android, but it's no good.

The PowerVR drivers are closed-source, the company is hostile to open source, and even on Android the performance is inconsistent. See page 2 of Ars Technica's review of the Nexus Player. And in Jolla, the device driver is not native to the operating system, but goes through libhybris.

I refuse to support PowerVR outside of iOS, so I'm going to sit this one out.

Comment: Against it! (Score 1) 613

by RR (#48290401) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

Honestly, every year, twice a year, the DST haters come out of the woodwork, because apparently adjusting your clocks twice a year is soooooo difficult. ... And if you're one of those people who uses their smartphone as their alarm clock and pocket watch, you never have to worry about the adjustment; smartphones and computers make the adjustment automagically, *and* they even alert you that this happens.

You're an idiot (from Greek: "idios," meaning someone thinking only of yourself). Just because you find it so relaxing to change your clocks on cue like an animal in a circus, doesn't mean I want to do that.

There's nothing magic about the clocks in smartphones and computers. Those things take a lot of human labor to build and maintain, and frequently the humans make mistakes. Which you can't fix because with all that "magic," they leave out the manual controls. Or have you forgotten how iPhones sometimes make people late to meetings, or how Zunes used to die completely, or how every new program that deals with local time acts weird during the time switches, or how your unpatched system would show you the wrong time for about a month ever since this latest time switch?

I hate experiencing anxiety every time I get a new gadget that has a magical networked clock, wondering whether the clock will change correctly, or whether I'll unnecessarily wake early in the autumn or come to work late in the spring. That's on top of the general misery of changing my biological clock, and knowing that all this hassle is scientifically proven to be wrong and counterproductive but still it continues.

I don't mind having more sunlight in the afternoon. I hate changing the clock.

Comment: Against it! (Score 1) 613

by RR (#48289995) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

I don't care whether it's DST all year or standard time all year, but I hate switching back and forth. It's responsible for so much loss of life and productivity. I feel that DST switching is a twice yearly reminder that our "betters" in Congress are in charge and easily capable of messing with our lives. Until it's eliminated, I'll continue voting against my local Representative and Senators.

Comment: Let it die with you (Score 3, Informative) 155

by RR (#48202221) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Aging and Orphan Open Source Projects?

Yours wouldn't be the first software that has become abandonware. Users may appreciate the stability of an unchanging release. If it's distributed under a Libre license, then it can be forked and redistributed, but chances are that kids would rather make their own mistakes than work on your program.

Comment: Re:Wait... (Score 1) 178

by RR (#48156771) Attached to: Apple Releases CUPS 2.0

I notice Apple protocols such as AirPlay and AirPrint, the whole Designed for iPhone licensing system, and how Apple is going out of their way to avoid any GPLv3 software such as Samba 3.

Oops, I meant Samba 4. Starting in MacOS X 10.7 Lion, Apple has used the closed-source SMBX instead of Samba to provide SMB service, and Apple's SMB client is licensed under APSL 2.0, which is not compatible with GPL. Apple's SMB software has also been slower and buggier than Samba.

I think Apple's aversion to GPLv3 is wrongheaded, as is Google's avoidance of GPL in Android other than the kernel. I'm not saying that it's evil, just a mistake.

I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them. -- Isaac Asimov