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Comment: Re:Socialism does the same things. (Score 1, Flamebait) 222

by Toby_Tyke (#30023396) Attached to: Lulu Introduces DRM
If socialism makes a mistake, the whole nation suffers. If a company makes a mistake in the free market, life goes on.

Exactly. That's why when all those investment banks gambled massively, and lost, the whole nation shrugged it's shoulders and life went on. No recession, no need for the government to bail them out. I'd hate to live in some sort of socialist country, where the bad decisions of those companies could adversely affect the nation as a whole.

Comment: Re:I don't blame them. (Score 1) 803

by Toby_Tyke (#28715833) Attached to: Windows 7 Clean Install Only In Europe
There is a big difference however between the definition of 'monopoly' and 'illegal monopoly'

Try to get this through your head :

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN ILLEGAL MONOPOLY!!!

A monopoly is when a company controls so much of a market that there is effectively no competition, such as MS's 90 percent plus share of the OS market. That, in itself, is not illegal. even if MS had 100 percent, it would still not be illegal. No law would be violated.

What is illegal is abusing a monopoly. There are plenty of things which would be perfectly legal for a normal business, but become illegal for a monopoly. In MS's case, they broke the law by trying to leverage their OS monopoly into a monopoly on web browsers. The forced bundling of IE with Windows was an abuse their monopoly position. The important thing to note here is that the browser bundling would have been absolutly fine if MS did NOT have an OS monopoly, and the OS monopoly would have been fine if they did not bundle the browser.

There are many other ways a monopoly can run afoul of the law. Perhaps you might to read on monopolies law before you next decide to share your ignorance with the world.

Not sure why I'm bothering to reply to an AC, but I'm sick of seeing this particular misconception repeated on slashdot.

IANAL, but IHALD.
Google

Google's Chiller-Less Data Center 132

Posted by samzenpus
from the cooler-than-cool dept.
1sockchuck writes "Google has begun operating a data center in Belgium that has no chillers to support its cooling systems, which will improve energy efficiency but make weather forecasting a larger factor in its network management. With power use climbing, many data centers are using free cooling to reduce their reliance on power-hungry chillers. By foregoing chillers entirely, Google will need to reroute workloads if the weather in Belgium gets too warm. The facility also has its own water treatment plant so it doesn't need to use potable water from a local utility."

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 821

by Toby_Tyke (#28471331) Attached to: Microsoft Discloses Windows 7 Pricing
Slightly off topic, but reading about the convenience of full versions as opposed to upgrades reminded me of a funny story.

I had pirated copies of Windows 95, and a pirated copy of the upgrade to 98. Well, I must have installed those things a hundred times. Relatives, friends, building myself new machines. I was the "IT Kid" in the family.

So one day, I'm installing Windows 98 and playing bomberman with my friend Mark while I wait for the installer to run. First, I install Win 95, then I run the 98 upgrade installer. As it's running, Marks asks me why I installed Windows 95 first. I explain that I only have the 98 Upgrade. Oh, he says, didn't I know that you could run the install by booting off the upgrade disc. You only have to insert your 95 disc half way through to verify you have one, you don't have to actually install it first.

I must have wasted whole days of my life installing Windows 95 unnecessarily.
Programming

On the Humble Default 339

Posted by kdawson
from the ne-pas-décider-c'est-décider dept.
Hugh Pickens sends along Kevin Kelly's paean to the default. "One of the greatest unappreciated inventions of modern life is the default. 'Default' is a technical concept first used in computer science in the 1960s to indicate a preset standard. ... Today the notion of a default has spread beyond computer science to the culture at large. It seems such a small thing, but the idea of the default is fundamental... It's hard to remember a time when defaults were not part of life. But defaults only arose as computing spread; they are an attribute of complex technological systems. There were no defaults in the industrial age. ... The hallmark of flexible technological systems is the ease by which they can be rewired, modified, reprogrammed, adapted, and changed to suit new uses and new users. Many (not all) of their assumptions can be altered. The upside to endless flexibility and multiple defaults lies in the genuine choice that an individual now has, if one wants it. ... Choices materialize when summoned. But these abundant choices never appeared in fixed designs. ... In properly designed default system, I always have my full freedoms, yet my choices are presented to me in a way that encourages taking those choices in time — in an incremental and educated manner. Defaults are a tool that tame expanding choice."

Comment: Re:Microsoft is doing what it's best at - Marketin (Score 1) 560

by Toby_Tyke (#28333957) Attached to: Does Bing Have Google Running Scared?
When Win98 was the most popular desktop OS, Linux users everywhere realized the general public thought that computer crashes and frequent reboots were a normal, inherent part of operating a computer. They were not, and Linux proved that, but there is/was widespread ignorance about these things and the general public continued to buy Windows

When windows 98 was the most popular Desktop OS, it was also the best desktop OS that would run on commodity hardware. Remember, The era of Win 98 was 1998 to 2000, at which point the state of the art Linux Distro was Red Hat 6, which had little or no support for a staggering amount of hardware. Want to use a win modem, or a webcam, or a USB printer? Best stick with win 98 then. Sure, Red Hat never crashed, but what use was that if my 56k modem didn't work?

Obviously things are better now, but don't go looking back with rose tinted glasses. The first Linux distro I ever used was Slackware 3.something, back in the mid-nineties, so I was perfectly aware that there were better alternatives out there, but I didn't switch to a Linux desktop completely till Red Hat 9, because there was always some show stopper of a problem with my hardware.

Comment: Re:Low (Score 1) 674

by Toby_Tyke (#28024105) Attached to: MS Word 2010 Takes On TeX
Slightly off topic here, but there is a lot more to learning curve than complexity.

For instance, typing "mkdir some_folder" is arguably less complex than doing "file -> new folder -> type folder name -> click OK". But in terms of learning how to create a new folder, the graphical method is easier, because you could probably figure it out for yourself, whereas to learn a CLI, you are pretty much forced to read a manual.

I have never used publisher, but I will bet that I could install a copy and create a pamphlet, albeit a very poor one, in less than thirty minutes without reading a single word of documentation. I have never used latex either, does anyone think I could do the same thing, or would I need to read a manual?

Of course, making it easy to produce crap might not be good thing.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Finding a Personal Coding Trifecta 188

Posted by timothy
from the benadryl-cocoa-and-a-down-comforter dept.
jammag writes "For Seinfeld's George Constanza, his dream of the ideal moment was having sex while watching TV and eating a pastrami sandwich. He called this Nirvana state 'The Trifecta.' Developer Eric Spiegel adapts this concept of Nirvana to the act of writing your best possible code. He examines all (or most) of the possible things that might contribute to the 'The Trifecta' for developers — food, beverages, time of day. Spiegel also describes his personal Trifecta."

Comment: Re:Guesstimates? (Score 4, Insightful) 409

by Toby_Tyke (#27830887) Attached to: The Problem With Estimating Linux Desktop Market Share
1) Commercial developers don't understand the license--GPL and others.

2) Microsoft created a series of "lock in" technologies.


Whilst I'm sure both of those play a part, they are by no means the main reason. After all, if MS lock-in was such a huge obstacle to porting games across platforms, the 360 would have more system exclusives. There is a far more simple reason why there are so few commercial Linux games. Market share.

Not market share in the conventional sense though. Let me explain.

Generic Blockbuster Games inc are planning to release their new game, Mediocre First Person Shooter VII: The Shootening, this summer,and are considering investing in porting it to Linux. Is this worthwhile? Only if the investment will bring in more revenue, by selling more copies. Now on the face of it, sure it would, because Linux has, according to TFA, 2.5 percent of the desktop market. If GBG port MFPS VII, they can all buy it, right? Wrong.

For a start, only hardcore gamers with expensive rigs can play the latest games, so only a sub-set of the 2.5 percent are potential customers. Now, ask yourself a question. How many hardcore gamers with expensive gaming rigs do you know who only play games with native Linux versions?

You yourself are playing a game with no Linux version. How would NCsoft have stood to make any more money from you by providing a windows version of Guild Wars?

30 million Linux users are irrelevant. The potential market for Linux video games is vanishingly small, if you discount the people who would buy the windows version in the absence of a linux port.

The key elements in human thinking are not numbers but labels of fuzzy sets. -- L. Zadeh

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