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Comment: Re:Systemd and Gnome3 == no thanks (Score 1) 260

by Rob Y. (#49611649) Attached to: Ubuntu 15.04 Received Well By Linux Community

To the extent that Ubuntu provides a stable enough base for distros like Mint to base off of - giving users the confidence that Ubuntu-targeted apps will work on Mint as well, Ubuntu's done its job admirably. If only by making it possible for other distros to install on UEFI based machines (with or without secure boot - plenty of distros are still only just getting there).

Mir is problematic, and if it introduces enough incompatibility to Ubuntu packages, that could force other distros to re-fork off of something else (or continue on based on a pre-Mir base). Hopefully, Wayland will become viable long enough before Mir does that the two efforts can ultimately merge - not necessarily the code bases, but support for whatever functionality Canonical thought it needed that Wayland didn't provide. Or at least, the GNOME and KDE bits that will define most Wayland or Mir apps can get support from both camps to make everything 'just work' - perhaps even better than X11 does today...

Comment: Re:Chrome - the web browser that's added as bloatw (Score 0) 230

by Rob Y. (#49607599) Attached to: Chrome Passes 25% Market Share, IE and Firefox Slip

Pretty silly. You installed the free antivirus program you wanted and then uninstalled it because you were mad that they included Chrome - which possibly was their way to pay the bills, since you weren't paying for their primary product. Why the fuck didn't you just uninstall Chrome and be done with it? Or simply leave it there and not use it. Sheesh. If you want everything for free, why don't you just admit the Linux is better aligned with your mindset - except, apparently, for the fact that you seem to be a Microsoft fanboi who's mad that the 'evil' Google wants to take away your precious IE.

Comment: Re: I like this guy but... (Score 1) 437

by Rob Y. (#49599909) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

The most recent one that totally ignores the "well regulated militia" part of the amendment and decrees that gun ownership is an absolute right. It's not as though that clause is some kind of a verbal tic. It's half of the text. And it obviously intends to provide context - in this case a United States that had no standing army. But the selective 'originalists' on the Court's right wing like to play dumb when it suits them.

Kind of like insisting that "money is speech" is the highest value - when the opposing values of "one person, one vote" democracy (not to mention the prevention of outright corruption) certainly deserve at least equal consideration.

Comment: Re: I like this guy but... (Score 0) 437

by Rob Y. (#49585543) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

You see... That's exactly how they do it. 'Threatened' gun rights are a red herring - used to sew up a large chunk of the electorate and get them to vote for corporate interests over their own. And 'gun rights' are, to a large extent, the corporate interest of gun and ammo manufacturers, by the way. The proportion of the electorate that needs gun rights to extend to the building of personal arsenals is minuscule (well, maybe not that minuscule), but the outrage machine manages to get the whole gun loving cohort on board.

So, assuming you favor net neutrality, and are reading this thread because you want it preserved, you might want to think about your own thought process in attempting to paint Democrats as manipulating fear of gun crime as somehow equivalent to pandering to 'gun rights' purists. The Democrats' agenda is far less corporatist than the Republicans'. The fact that it's hard to get the money out of politics - and the presence of that money makes the two parties act more similarly than they otherwise would - doesn't make them the same. It just proves that the system (money and all) is corrupt. Who do you think is more likely to fix that...?

Comment: Re:uh... (Score 2) 170

by Rob Y. (#49576827) Attached to: Verizon Tells Customer He Needs 75Mbps For Smoother Netflix Video

Eventually, ISP's are going to come up with 'pay per gigabyte' pricing that will solve this in a better, fairer way. Net neutrality is vital - certainly for protecting access to all content. But unlimited access to unlimited amounts of data is not really net neutrality. I'm fine with watching Netflix at 720P if I can save money on my broadband bill. Someone else may want 4K streams and be willing to pay for it. The internet will survive this.

Comment: Copyrights vs. Patents - a compromise... (Score 2) 109

Indeed. But maybe we should choose our battles better. Copyright extension - essentially to infinity - seems silly, but the harm from it pales next to the damage being done by the patent system. Bad patents prevent you from innovating on your own ideas - that, yes, have some basis in what came before (what doesn't?). Copyrights just prevent you from 'free as in beer' access to something that we all agree isn't ours. Sure, there have been stupid cases - like Oracle's insistence to exclusive access to Java API's based on copyright. But for the most part, life and technological and cultural progress would go on fine with Mickey Mouse the exclusive property of the Disney corporation for the next millennium.

I - along with most typical slashdotters - am in knee jerk opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership. Why? Because of the threat that US patent standards will be extended worldwide. And the primary reason corporate lobbyists have inserted themselves into the process is more likely copyright protection. Music and movie studios - and yes, Microsoft and their ilk - want to stop content piracy in China, and other places where copyrights are not respected. I can understand that. Much as I like getting music for free, I get that it's a form of stealing. From what I gather, the TPP has now become so laden with corporate giveaways, that it may not be fixable. But a good trade agreement is certainly possible. It would certainly be better to level the environmental playing field by improving standards in China than by imposing least common denominator standards in the West. Same for worker protections. And I'm willing to believe that the TPP even attempts to do such things. But extending US patent standards to the rest of the world is least common denominator in reverse. Bad enough IMO to scuttle the deal.

Comment: Re:Least common denominator (Score 1) 161

by Rob Y. (#49563421) Attached to: Has the Native Vs. HTML5 Mobile Debate Changed?

QT addresses write once, build for everywhere. But a big part of the issue here is write once, deploy everywhere - which is a whole other animal. App stores make deployment - and upgrades - pretty easy, but once your app has any kind of complex database behind it, you need the kind of synchronized update everywhere that's a logistical nightmare. Like it or not, web apps rule for deployment - and deployment rules.

I've long advocated for a 'smart terminal' approach, where the 'app' is just a GUI with a set of capabilities, and all the smarts are up on the server. Something like Facebook works more or less this way. The Facebook app is just a terminal that's good at viewing scrolling lists of posts. It has some simple data input capabilities, which are used to implement commenting and searching, but the contents of your facebook feed and the mechanics of commenting and searching are done by a server application. The upside to this approach is huge. Even with the most sophisticated GUI tookits, GUI programming is tricky and hard to test. Modern GUIs let you do a lot, and have to be prepared to take all kinds of input in any order. A smart terminal lets you define exactly what interactions you're willing to support and debug them once. The applications themselves run on the server and are transactional - responding to a single input from the user, and needing only the ability to handle that case, making them extremely modular and straightforward to build and debug.

My question is whether HTML5 is an appropriate platform on which to build such a smart terminal. I built one in Win32. It's about 1MB, provides a pretty nice GUI that relies heavily on a nice spreadsheet-like grid widget I wrote. Currently, I can deploy it on Windows, Mac and Linux - because it's 'simple' enough to work well using the WINE Win32 runtime. But no such luck for mobiles. I've been pondering either direct ports to Android and iOS or a rewrite in QT to get a single codebase that works everywhere. But in the back of my mind is the thought that what I should really do is port it to HTML5 and eliminate the deployment issue entirely. But I'm not sure that a Javascript version would work as well - and truth be told, Javascript is such a different beast than Win32 or QT that I don't really know where to begin. I suspect it's possible - and if it uses websockets to interact with the backend just like the Win32 version, the apps would be none the wiser. But it'd be nice if you folks could render an opinion about whether it's advisable...

Comment: Re:Google Streams (Score 1) 359

by Rob Y. (#49560337) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed

Actually, maybe this is a silver lining to Google giving up on making G+ into a Facebook clone. The only reason they tied YouTube so closely to G+ was to try to jumpstart its popularity. Now that reason is gone. Sure, let people share the thing on G+, but don't force it. And for God's sake, don't show all your friends all your youTube comments just because... If I want my friends to see my comments on a cat video, I'll post a link to the cat video. It's not that I'm ashamed of my (non-existent) cat video habit exactly, I just don't feel the need to broadcast it. Everybody's all about making communication easier - when did that translate into making communication manditory?

Comment: Re:Do they charge patent royalties for Windows Pho (Score 1) 103

by Rob Y. (#49556217) Attached to: Microsoft Increases Android Patent Licensing Reach

Google is certainly using their current status to encourage people to user their other programs as much as possible. Yes, that's their business model. But they don't force people to use them. Google services need to be damn good and damn useful to get people to use them. No amount of encouragement has been able to get people to use Google+, despite the fact that by all accounts it's a really nice system. Facebook has the 'network effect' tying users to their platform. Microsoft has a similar network affect forcing huge numbers of people to use MSOffice - despite the availability of free 'good enough' alternatives.

Google is still winning on the merits. You can't just cry antitrust because they're big. Now there may indeed be some gray areas where they're abusing their leading search position. But there's not much of a network effect in search. Switching search engines is the easiest thing in the world for an end user to do. Making money off of a search engine is harder. But antitrust doesn't require that your competitors succeed - only that you don't abuse your position to prevent them from succeeding.

It seems like the biggest complainants are other shopping sites that aggregate freely available shopping info and find you the best deal. Who said that that's a business model that has to be protected? They're doing exactly what Google does - and complaining because Google doesn't steer traffic to them. If their sites are good enough, then advertise them an make yelp a verb like google. Yeah, there was a brief period when google didn't have its own shopping results, and others stepped in and built businesses around that vacuum. Does that mean that vacuum needs to be preserved just because they're in that business now?

Comment: Re:The movie studios are full of idiots (Score 1) 304

by Rob Y. (#49550707) Attached to: Microsoft, Chip Makers Working On Hardware DRM For Windows 10 PCs

I think you may have an overly optimistic view of the PC world if you think any significant share of shoppers for your typical HP box at Best Buy or Amazon would even think to ask whether it lets you disable secure boot. And I'd guess that lots of corporate buyers would like making it impossible to install a second OS on the box.

The missing part of the equation is any reason for HP or Dell to do this. It certainly doesn't cost them any more or less to allow disabling secure boot. So maybe we Linux fans just need to make sure they remember that. But HP and Dell being computer companies, hopefully they have enough Linux fans under their own roofs to get the point.

Still, if the movie companies have their way in restricting content to secure boot only systems, HP might just go along, and Microsoft would go along in a minute - as long as they can blame the anti-competitive aspect on somebody else...

Comment: Re:Solar rarely enough for the whole house (Score 2) 299

by Rob Y. (#49550671) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

Your plan would cost more than what the utilities are already doing. Doing it your way would mean they would have to charge more at night and during the day.

Not really. If the utilities used batteries to store energy generated cheaply at night and charged peak time rates for that energy during the day, the batteries might pay for themselves and provide more peak capacity when it's needed - without having to build new fossil fuel burning plants.

Comment: Re:Do they charge patent royalties for Windows Pho (Score 3, Insightful) 103

by Rob Y. (#49550637) Attached to: Microsoft Increases Android Patent Licensing Reach

...and yet the EU goes after Google for supposedly anti-competitive behavior for Android, which they provide for free. Along with Google apps and services. Or without them. Yes, there's some grey area where an OEM has to be all Google or all AOSP. And maybe that should be disallowed. But surely, charging OEM's to use your competitor's software and not charging them to use yours is a bigger violation, no?

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340