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Comment: Re:Give us the betas! (Score 1) 662

by allanc (#36383028) Attached to: Apple WWDC: iOS 5, Lion, iCloud

for $25 I get legal versions of every single—ahem, questionably procured, shall we say— tracks in my gigantic iTunes library? Did the record companies read the fine print on this? I mean, as a voracious music consumer, I'm NOT complaining... we've all known for a long time that things were going to have to change in regard to digital media and copyright. And say what you will about them, I could see Apple being the company to make it happen. But really... how did they get away with this?

Consider how much money the record companies got for your--ahem--questionably procured tracks before this.

Compare that to some percentage of $25/year, possibly in perpetuity.

Comment: Re:Brave but Pointless (Score 1) 319

by allanc (#32642430) Attached to: Windows Phone 7 Lacks Copy-and-Paste

It's like a gambler with enough money to keep doubling down. You don't have to win right away, you just have to win somewhere along the line.

Of course, as anyone who's tries this tactic in real life will tell you, you'll always get to that point where you've had so many losses in a row that you don't have enough money to double down again. It's starting to look like Microsoft has hit that point.

(Metaphorically speaking, I mean. They've still got boatloads of non-metaphorical cash, as I recall)

OS X

Apple Patches Massive Holes In OS X 246

Posted by timothy
from the well-it-wouldn't-be-polite-to-patch-windows dept.
Trailrunner7 writes with this snippet from ThreatPost: "Apple's first Mac OS X security update for 2010 is out, providing cover for at least 12 serious vulnerabilities. The update, rated critical, plugs security holes that could lead to code execution vulnerabilities if a Mac user is tricked into opening audio files or surfing to a rigged Web site." Hit the link for a list of the highlights among these fixes.

Comment: Bah. Star Trek babies. (Score 2, Informative) 592

by allanc (#28000037) Attached to: What Did You Think Of The New Star Trek Movie?

So yeah. They "rebooted" the franchise in such a way that it means none of the TNG, DS9, or Voyager crew will ever be born, much less live the same lives they did. And they tried to make it more about campy fun than about Sci Fi. I can deal with those. Those aren't the things I had a problem with. What I had a problem with was the terrible plot itself.

Okay, it starts out with a contrivance to get all of the traditional Enterprise crew onto the Enterprise. They haven't even graduated yet. They're 3 years into their Academy studies. Implying that the only starfleet officer on or around Earth is Captain Pike. You can't tell me that there aren't four or five officers in the Sol system to help Pike run the flagship of the fleet on a mission to rescue one of the most important planets in the Federation. I could see 'em putting cadets on a beater ship with some faculty advisors to do a milk run to a well-defended colony world at this point in their training, but to entirely crew the Enterprise to rescue Vulcan? No.

So okay. I take a moment to suspend my disbelief. And then Pike promotes Kirk to first officer (under Spock as Acting Captain). Even though Kirk was under investigation for academic dishonesty and snuck onto the ship without permission.

Fine. Okay. Pike's got a hard-on for the Kirks. I guess I can cope with that.

Then Kirk instigates a mutiny against Spock and gets tossed out for the authorities on a nearby outpost to deal with... which just happens to be an outpost crewed by none other than Scotty, who hasn't gotten a supply run in a long time.

(Which, I suppose, backs up the "Starfleet consists of one officer, some teachers, and a shitload of cadets in red shirts" theory)

Then he sneaks back onto the ship and back onto the bridge and taunts Spock, who attacks him.

Then...he's captain?

What?

No. There is no universe in which it works that way. The prisoner doesn't become captain when the rightful captain recuses himself. There is no "Well, technically, the previous Captain promoted him to First Officer, so even though he's currently under arrest, I guess he's Captain now".

So fine. Choke back the bile. I guess they're cadets, so they have no idea what they're doing, so they might just accept that Jimmy's in charge because he's charismatic. I keep watching.

(Aside: What's that? Some sort of phlebotinum that turns whatever it touches into a singularity and for some reason Spock Prime was given a shitload of it instead of the tiny drop he apparently needed and for some reason it only works if you put it all the way in the core of a planet because I guess a black hole on the surface is just a minor annoyance that could be dealt with by putting some cones and a warning sign near it?

Oh, and it also lets you travel through time. But they couldn't use it to travel through time to get to Romulus early enough to save it. Goddamn, I hate poorly done time travel stories. End of aside.)

Anyway, heroism ensues, and they save the world and they get back to Earth and... They make Kirk a captain?

He... he hasn't graduated yet.

He's flown on one mission. Which he survived 90% through dumb luck.

Right to full-on Captain of the flagship, just like that? I mean, acting captain, I can sort of let go. Wartime and all that. Sometimes you need to sling around some field promotions to keep things running. But he gets home, a mutiny and a half under his belt, still not graduated, still technically on academic suspension for academic dishonesty, still technically under arrest and they make him captain of the fleet's brand-new flagship.

No. Fuck you. This isn't just me being a fanboy upset that someone's messing with his franchise. This was just bad writing.

Power

Man Invents Alternative To Cooking Gas 553

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the human-invention-will-find-a-way dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Gazan resident Abed Ar-Rahman has revealed what he is claiming as an alternative to cooking gas that he developed since Israel has prevented deliveries of cooking gas to Gaza. He invented a device using chemical substances available in Gaza, which burn when mixed and brought into contact with oxygen. The first component is a metal filter that controls the interaction between 40% of the oxygen in the surrounding air, the inflammable substance and some other substances."
Security

Quicken 2007 For Mac Lacks EV Cert Support 108

Posted by kdawson
from the untrusting-of-the-trustworthy dept.
adamengst writes "If your bank uses the Extended Validation certificates that require a higher level of identity checking on the certificate authority's part (as at least one Seattle bank does), you may not be able to download transactions using the Mac version of Quicken. Quicken doesn't gracefully ignore extra information in EV certificates as older Web browsers do, but instead throws an error and refuses to download transactions. Intuit says they're working on a fix — but users may have to wait 'a couple of months,' and even then the fix may not be applied to versions before Quicken 2007."

Comment: Re:Rebuttal (Score 1) 379

by allanc (#26075147) Attached to: Should Apple Open Source the iPhone?

Linux is actually pretty easy, its just that people are so used to windows so people expect windows-lie behaviour and it doesn't work like windows so therefore they think its hard

No it's not. A lot of it is getting there, but there are still to this day things where Linux just falls down on usability. And I say this as someone who's been using Linux (and, until this year, *Slackware* Linux) as his primary OS since the mid-90s, so it's not just that I'm dumb and can't figure things out.

Quick example: The other day, I needed do format a USB drive because there was something messed up with its filesystem and it thought it has less memory than it actually does. I'm running Ubuntu now, so I assumed that there was a nice easy Gnome way to do it.

Yeah, there's not.

I right clicked on the drive, and I thoroughly searched the Nautilus menus and there wasn't a "Format" option. Eventually I gave up and googled it...and learned that the only way to do it is apparently to drop to a shell and run fdisk and mkfs.vfat by hand.

Even if you dispute my central premise that Aunt Tilly can't handle shell commands, you've got to at least grant me that forcing Aunt Tilly to handle shell commands where a one-character typo (e.g., /dev/sda instead of /dev/sdi) could completely wipe out her hard drive is not particularly user friendly.

It's a little thing, but Linux is riddled with these little examples where the user is tooling along happily with Gnome wrapping them in a nice warm blanket of user friendliness and then they suddenly get kicked in the balls by the underlying Linux way of doing things when they have to set up slightly weird hardware or configure a program that doesn't have a nice graphical editor for its config file.

It's small stuff, yeah, but good user interface design is all about sweating the small stuff. Apple gets that. Microsoft doesn't, really, but they're close enough for most people. The open source community, for the most part, doesn't. Certainly some do, but for every coder out there who does there are ten going "So? What's so hard about fdisk and mkfs? People should learn to use the shell anyway, it's way more powerful." And they're the more prolific coders.

I suppose then we should make only one type of car per manufacturer so the consumer doesn't get confused, or one computer per manufacturer

For years, GM, Ford, and Chrysler have been making multiple lines with basically the same car in them. E.g., the old GMC Safari van was the exact same vehicle as the Chevrolet Astro, just with different chrome slapped on the front. If you've been listening to the news lately, you may have heard that one of the plans the Big Three have to rescue themselves is to knock that shit off and simplify their car lines.

An example from my own personal experience: I was looking to replace my car and decided I wanted a hybrid. I went down to the Honda dealership to test drive the civic hybrid and the dealer started trying to sell me the non-hybrid civic since it was cheaper and he thought I'd be more likely to buy that day for a lower price. But if you took away my base "I want a hybrid", then my choice went from 'Civic vs Prius' to 'All of the small four-door cars currently on the market'.

Long story short, I bought a Prius.

Also, for a while, Apple had the Macintosh Performa, the Macintosh Centris, the Macintosh Quadra, the Macintosh Powerbook, the Macintosh LC, the Apple Workgroup Servers, the Color Classic, and probably a few others I'm forgetting, all being sold at the same time, all with a variety of different model numbers and configurations, some of which were the same machine internally but with different nameplates on the front for different markets. One of the big changes Steve Jobs made when he came back was to simplify that down to: iMac/Powermac, iBook/Powerbook (and then later iMac/Mac Pro, MacBook/MacBook Pro). Simplifying the line increased the overall Mac sales. People could just choose between the consumer and pro model, laptop or desktop. They didn't have to choose between high-end, lower-high-end, midrange, upper-low-end, low-end, in desktop, laptop, or tower configurations, or maybe the Classic line if they wanted a monitor built in, etc.

There was a great show on RadioLab about this subject the other day where it's explained a lot more eloquently than I can, so I'm going to link you to there and stop rambling.
http://blogs.wnyc.org/radiolab/2008/11/18/choice/

Communications

The State of UK Broadband — Not So Fast 279

Posted by kdawson
from the but-you-have-actual-competition dept.
Barence writes "The deplorable speed of British broadband connections has been revealed in the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics, which show that 42.3% of broadband connections are slower than 2Mb/sec. More worryingly, the ONS statistics are based on the connection's headline speed, not actual throughput, which means that many more British broadband connections are effectively below the 2Mb/sec barrier. Better still, a separate report issued yesterday by Ofcom revealed that the majority of broadband users had no idea about the speed of their connection anyway."

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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