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Comment Secondary Effects (Score 1) 155

It will be interesting to see how this impacts third party retailers like Best Buy, Costco, etc. I doubt the higher price per customer will make up for the volume of customers who will delay or avoid purchases at full price (particularly at the mid-to-high end). Will retailers continue to offer discounts on phones as a loss leader or take the hit to their revenue? Likewise, I expect demand for second hand phones to increase as well (leading to higher prices there).

It will also be interesting to see how this impacts VZW's customer numbers in the long run. They're somewhat safe in the short term as people are going to still be on their current contracts for a while. As the LTE phones are substantially more portable than the previous generations of CDMA phones and now new customers are no longer in a monthly contract, I would expect a decrease over time. I think they're over estimating their market power, but I guess only time will tell.

Comment Re:systemd is also a major battlefield... (Score 3, Insightful) 146

I completely agree; systemd is in my opinion one of the greatest threats to Linux in particular and open source in general. From a competitive strategy perspective, systemd appears to me as a deliberate envelopment attack(pdf) to give RH substantial control over a huge portion of the Linux stack; in fact it's so strategically targeted that I wouldn't be surprised to find out years later that a Big 3 consulting firm recommended it to Red Hat. I have a lot of respect for what RH has done for Linux (and OSS in general), but if everyone switches to systemd, their level of control over the Linux ecosystem will be too much. Personally, I'm on Gentoo (have been for over a decade) and run OpenRC and eudev, but if Gentoo/Slackware fall, then I'm off to the BSD land.

Comment Re:Watches - Jewelry, Not Functionality (Score 5, Insightful) 141

There are some functional benefits to a wrist watch over a pocket watch such as the ability to tell the time even with your hands full, but really, watches (particularly at the higher end) are more about being a piece of jewelry than funcitonality. Consider the fact that a $10,000 Rolex or Omega automatic is typically substantially less accurate than a $100 Seiko with a quartz yet people still pay the substantial premium. Heck, I've found myself guilty of wearing an automatic watch set to the wrong time because I was in a rush in the morning and wanted to wear the watch for the look.

There's tons of better, more accurate sources to tell time, but people wear watches anyway. When you start viewing watches as just a piece of socially acceptable (typically male) jewelry, they tend to make much more sense.

Comment Re:I run Gentoo (Score 2) 106

Pre-compiled binaries do exist as ebuilds in portage for some very large apps (i.e. libreoffice, firefox, seamonkey, etc.) however they are not very common (only ~100 ebuilds out of ~17K available on my laptop running unstable aka ~amd64) however there's another option called BINHOST that lets you take prebuild packages on one system and distribute just the binaries to other clients.

There are both public and private binhosts, however Gentoo doesn't officially provide any so you're somehwhat using them at your own risk. It's actually pretty easy to set up your own binhost, and if you are doing anything in scale, it's definitely the way to go (especially if you have standardizes hardware).

The big issue with using binhost, and at least part of the reason why it's not popular (and why you want standard hardware), is because you have to sacrafice optimizations to do so. Unless all the client systems have the same CPU, you have to go with the least common denominator when it comes to optimizations (aka CFLAGS). i.e. if one of your clients is a Core 2 Duo and doesn't support sse3 or newer, you can't build any packages with that CFLAG without risking broken packages on the C2D system. Additionally you have to sacrafice customization with binhosts as all your builds will have the same USE flags.

As both optimization and customization are both features that often attract people to Gentoo, the lack of binhosts and minimal formal binary builds makes a lot of sense.

Comment Re:I run Gentoo (Score 1) 106

Yeah, I'm in the same boat; it's approaching the point where I'm debating just unmerging the damn thing as I mostly use FF. It's gotten to the point that I've masked* Chromium and am now only updating it monthly when I manually unmask it. I'm on a fairly recent laptop CPU (i5-3230M) and building Chromium takes so long it reminds me of emerging gnome2 back when I had a Pentium3 800MHz.

* for non-Gentoo users, masking a package basically hides it from future updates. You can mask specific versions or anything going forward.

Comment Re:Gentoo (Score 3, Interesting) 303

I have been using Gentoo for over a decade now across multiple systems (starting with an IBM Thinkpad T21 with a P3 800MHz) and completely disagree. I have ran unstable for that entire time and while there was occasional breakage, it was never so bad that I couldn't fix it myself within a day (and usually learn a ton in the process).

With modern multi core processors, compiling is hardly endless, and maintaining multiple systems using one build server is fairly trivial.

Don't get me wrong, Gentoo does require some dedication and a willingness to learn. However it's a great distribution that's fairly easy to maintain for years, and it provides endless flexibility.

Also it's one of the few distributions willing to put up a fight over systemd which is important to me as a believer in the Unix philosophy.

Comment Re:Butt-hurt (Score 1) 993

I disagree that it's hard; all it really takes is a USE="-systemd" in make.conf and a hard mask of systemd in package.mask

Also you're misinformed about udev, xorg-server, & nfs-utils; I am running the latest in ~amd64 with the following use flags and no issues:

[ebuild R ] sys-fs/udev-216 USE="acl firmware-loader gudev kmod -doc -introspection (-selinux) -static-libs" ABI_X86="(64) -32 (-x32)" 3530 KiB
[ebuild R ] net-fs/nfs-utils-1.3.0-r1 USE="ipv6 libmount nfsidmap nfsv4 tcpd uuid -caps -kerberos -nfsdcld -nfsv41 (-selinux)" 0 KiB
[ebuild R ] x11-base/xorg-server-1.16.1:0/1.16.1 USE="glamor ipv6 nptl suid udev xnest xorg xvfb -dmx -doc -kdrive -minimal (-selinux) -static-libs -systemd -tslib -unwind -wayland" 0 KiB

The only systemd related issue I can think of is that upower (used for suspend/resume from a desktop environment by a non-root use) had been displaced by systemd. This issue was quickly fixed by the Gentoo team by replacing upower with upower-pm-utils (more info here which fixed the issue.

Comment Funny, I Left GNOME 3 Mainly Because of Systemd (Score 5, Interesting) 403

I used GNOME as my primary desktop environment for almost a decade starting with 2.4 on Fedora Core 1. I watched as many features I cared for were either hidden or removed for simplicity's sake, but I kept with it because for the most part I could restore the features with minimal hassle and I liked the overall look & feel. I even put up with early GNOME 3 as I felt 3.4 & 3.6 were progressively improving. However by 3.8 I was getting fed up of having to constantly figure out how to restore features I want, and I had absolutely no interest in running systemd just to run a damn GUI. I had enough, jumped to XFCE4 and have it customized to a very similar setup to GNOME 2 and have been very satisfied.

It takes a lot to alienate someone who has used the same software for a decade, but they've managed to it. I felt like each released "dumbed" the product down more and more and I kept thinking to myself that old saying, "If you make something idiot proof, someone will just make a better idiot". I don't know what kind of consumer they want to attract, but apparently I'm no longer it.

At least with Debian, the default desktop doesn't necessarily mean much as it's quite simple to install an alternative.

Comment Is Sapphire Glass Supposed to be Shatter Resistant (Score 1) 207

I swear by sapphire glass for watches (which have been using it even for midtier models for ages) as it's incredibly scratch resistant, but I didn't think that necessarily translates to shatter resistant. I am curious though in terms of scratch resistance how sapphire crystal compares to gorilla glass (and similar products).

Comment Re:Strongly Felt Here (Score 1) 135

It was felt relatively strongly here in Walnut Creek (also CC county, about 25 miles from the epicenter). I've lived in CA my whole life (over 30 years) and it's definitely one of the longer quakes that I remember. Fortunately no damage here, just a couple scared dogs. My brother in west Berkeley slept through it, but I'm guessing it's because he's on a different fualt line.

Comment Re:Bullet-Proof Glass (Score 1) 234

Must be location dependent. My closest Comcast location (now Concord, CA) has no glass at all -- completely open air although it does have cameras. I try to avoid it as much as possible as it's near some relatively low-income areas and is often filled with people who pay their bills in person (in cash/cashiers' check I would assume) so the lines are always 30 mins to an hour. I've also been to their Livermore, CA & Walnut Creek, CA (now closed) office and also didn't see any barriers. I will say that for the most part, banks in these areas don't use glass barriers either, but are much more secure. I'm sure things are different in lower income areas like Richmond, Oakland, Compton, etc.

Comment Re:Skip Lasik: Go PRK (Score 1) 550

Even ignoring the potential flap issue, some folks require PRK regardless. I had my eyes done on 2008, but during the initial screening, it was determined that the most dense part of my eye was not the center so standard Lasik wouldn't be a good choice for me. I ended up going the PRK route (with wave front optimization) and have had very good results. The healing time was 3 days, and it was a little painful, but I got 20/15 vision from it with no major side effects and no risk of flap accidents.

Your eyes are definitely not something you want to cheap out on.

Comment Re:Will it run on my WRT54G? (Score 2) 71

I've been very satisfied with my Netgear WNDR3700 (gigabit, dual band, USB, etc.) to the point where I'll almost certainly get a Netgear when I replace next year (to move to AC). I have been running various svn checkouts of OpenWRT over the last 3+ years and haven't had many problems (and those I did encounter would have been avoided if I stuck to the formal releases).

Comment Interesting Platform Envelopment Attack (Score 2) 52

I will give it to Comcast & EA, this is definitely an interesting way to attack traditional consoles. It's very fitting that MS is one of the targets, as this was one of their favorite weapons (i.e. Bundling IE with Windows to attack Netscape, WMV to attack Real, etc.).

I'll be curious how they execute this platform envelopment attack as I think its success will largely rely on their operational efficiency (something neither Comcast nor EA are known for). Comcast certainly has a major advantage over other remote gaming providers in terms of latency, but even being the closest hop to their customers, I don't know if it's quick enough for certain games. I don't think they'd cache the game locally on the customer's X1 client as it those devices won't have anywhere near the processing power of a modern console. I also have serious doubts about using tablets as controllers as described however I presume their target is casual gamers (i.e. those who never owned a console before they bought the original Wii). It will be interesting to see how those users respond.

I am also curious to see how MS & Sony will respond. MS currently offers a Comcast app on the Xbox 360 (and I presume the Xbox One); will both sides continue with that service? Does anyone know how the financials work with that (i.e. does one side pay the other)?

Comment Re:Butchers (Score 1) 137

It varies largely by region and by what parts you're looking for. If all you're talking about is getting a particular cut of steak, that shouldn't be a problem for most places although I don't call that butchering. If you want something a bit more exotic like pig liver, caul fat, etc. your options quickly become limited. Some places will let you special order less common parts (i.e. sweetbreads, kidney) if you meet minimum increments, and some cuts (tripe, tongue, oxtail, etc.) you can more easily find at an ethnic market however you really need to know where to look. However to get other parts (i.e. a full hog's head, pork liver, etc.) you need to find a real butcher and those are becoming increasingly less common. This is partially dicated by health code requirements that need certain parts (i.e. fresh liver) to meet certain guidelines that can't be done unless you cut the whole animal there.

In the SF Bay Are where I live we still have some good local butchers (The Fatted Calf, The Local Butcher Shop, Golden Gate Meat Co., etc.) however you pretty much have to know where to look and be willing to drive. For example, in the East Bay I only know of one store that does full butchering (Lunardi's in Walnut Creek) and even local butcher shops like Lawrences Meat in Alamo or Main St. Meat & Fish Market in Pleasanton don't get the whole animal.

I have limited experience in Brooklyn, New York, and I found it a but easier to find local butchers over there. However that may well be changing.

Marriage is the sole cause of divorce.