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Comment: And to think things were better just ten years ago (Score 2) 218

by Rexdude (#46675011) Attached to: Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future

Remember RSS feeds? Back in the day when Feedburner wasn't owned by Facebook, you could install a desktop client or the sorely missed Google Reader to stay in touch with the sites and blogs that you felt were important. You had total control over what you wanted to read or subscribe to. If you ran a website, you put up an orange RSS icon, or let Firefox auto detect the feed and let the user decide what they wanted. RSS was (is) an open standard for publishing updates to a web site.
I would've said that Twitter & Facebook have killed it completely, but let's face it, RSS never really went mainstream. Google did not do enough to popularize Reader - just a core bunch of users wailed when they decided to shut down the service. Even Facebook had an RSS feed of the wall back in 2008 before they changed it to the 'news' feed format. Probably not the first time an open technology standard was thwarted by a large company, and won't be the last.

+ - Ask Slashdot:Will encrypted email/chat ever catch on outside the enterprise?

Submitted by Rexdude
Rexdude (747457) writes "PGP has been around for decades — there are digital signature/encryption plugins available for email and messenger clients, but I'm yet to see anyone using them normally outside of big companies. For example, Lotus Notes transparently supports certificates and encryption — you can set it up to encrypt mail by default and it's totally transparent to everyone within the organization. Yet I've never seen this happen for private use. There are PGP and OpenPGP plugins for everything from Thunderbird to Jabber clients, and now even on Android there's ChatSecure. But apart from a couple of fellow geeks, nobody's interested."

Comment: Re:Windows memory limitations (Score 1) 313

by Rexdude (#41970633) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best 32-Bit Windows System In 2012?

First and foremost, all consumer 32-bit windows versions are licensed to top out at 4GB.

They're not 'licensed' to top out, it's a physical limitation of 32 bit architecture and makes no difference whether you use 32 bit Windows or 32 bit Linux. A 32 bit CPU can address 2^32 memory addresses, which translates to 4 GB. In practice, a 32 bit Windows installation with 4 GB RAM will report 2.91 or 2.92 GB as usable. So if you plan on using 4 GB RAM or more, you'll have to have a 64 bit operating system.

Comment: There's already a whole expanded universe to use.. (Score 1) 321

Frankly, enough already about Vader and Solo. Talented authors like Timothy Zahn have taken the series in new directions, with new characters (Mara Jade, Luke's future wife and their son Ben Skywalker), but will we get to see these characters play out?

  The Thrawn Trilogy, set a decade after ROTJ ought to have been made. But no, the movies get to go in an entirely different direction, so how do you reconcile the expanded universe fiction that's been written so far - the entire New Jedi Order series for example?
Oh well, it's only a bunch of old time Star Wars fans that are gonna grumble.

Comment: So what happens now.. (Score 1, Flamebait) 179

by Rexdude (#41950381) Attached to: Apple and HTC Settle Patent Dispute

..HTC phones come with an added Apple Tax? The article doesn't mention what the patents in question were. I have a One X, and I'll say this - If I had to choose a manufacturer skin I'd go with Sense anyday over Samsung's Touchwiz. Can't imagine what HTC might have copied off Apple if it's UI related. They have a fully customizable home screen, themes, skins, extra widgets...none of which you'll find on any iPhone.

Comment: Google killed the standalone IM market.. (Score 1) 213

by Rexdude (#41907921) Attached to: Microsoft Retiring Messenger, Replacing It With Skype

...back when they introduced chat within Gmail. Suddenly people who could not install chat clients at work due to IT policies were perfectly able to chat with other Gmail users. I used to be a big user of Yahoo messenger, ever since web based chat started hardly anyone I know uses it anymore. As for MSN/Live, the less said the better - old accounts seem to have been taken over for spam. It took several years for Yahoo to play catch up and offer chat within their webmail, but it's too late.
(This of course excludes IRC users and those who have their own Jabber setups).
I now use the open source Windows client Miranda IM - fully featured, has a 64bit version, supports all popular networks including Jabber and extensible via plugins.

Comment: Re:Perhaps what we need is.... (Score 1) 119

by Rexdude (#41859687) Attached to: Has the Mars Rover Sniffed Methane?

The Valles Marineres too, and doubtless other sites yet to be discovered. Yet another Martian plain, however, does not warrant UNESCO galactic heritage status, and even if it did I would still dispute your assertion that a little remote-controlled buggy driving over it is somehow ruining it forever.

Interesting you mentioned this, as it is depicted as a constant point of conflict in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy - where one group of settlers is violently opposed to the ongoing terraforming of Mars and argue that humans have no right to change its pristine state.

Speaking of the Drake equation, I think we have to content ourselves with exploring whatever prospect of life there is in our solar system only. If not Mars then Europa holds the next big hope of finding life in its ice locked sea. All the breathless announcements of yet another Earth like exoplanet are of no use unless someone invents warp drive or FTL propulsion so that one can get there(forget about radio communications at that range) in a time period that's not measured in centuries.
For some perspective, the farthest man made object Voyager 1 is just around 17 light hours away after 35 years of travel. In stellar terms it's barely gotten up from the couch, much less left home!

It is not every question that deserves an answer. -- Publilius Syrus

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