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Comment Re:Meaningless stats (Score 4, Insightful) 109

The only thing that matters is how snappy the GUI is, try measuring framerates of the change from 2D Gnome to 3D Unity. Also compare open source drivers vs proprietary at rendering the GUI. Users don't care about how many bits a hard drive is transferring per second as they will never notice.

Users do care about data rates to/from a hard drive. Ever install a huge game? Ever try to play a movie from disk while uploading photos to picasa? What about backing up data by copying between hard drives?

I can all but guarantee there will be complaints about how long it takes to copy 20GB of crap between drives. Or the fact that the video is stuttering as thousands of photos are being accessed for upload. You'll probably hear "This computer is really slow" when it's actually the hard drive as a bottleneck. Better throughput and smarter accessing/layout aren't things a typical consumer will talk about, but they certainly will appreciate.

Comment Re:Open Source (Score 1) 166

Android is about as open as iOS.

Can I download the source for android modify it and flash it to my device with the full support for doing so provided by the manufacturer (although obviously they'll no longer support the operating system I install). On some devices from some manufacturers: yes, you can. With Apple, on any device -- no. The software cannot be downloaded and modified, and no they do not support allowing you load any customizations you might make at all, period, ever.

To say they are the same even "in spirit" is simply... lying.

You're comparing "freedom" with "openness", and there is a difference.

Yes, you are free to install whatever you'd like from wherever you'd like on Android. I wouldn't go so far as to say "re-flashing the phone with a different Android" is supported. In fact, doing so voids any warranties with the manufacturer and as you mentioned I couldn't bring it into a T-Mobile store for a fix. In many cases there's a bunch of hoops to jump through to even get to the point of installing Cyanogenmod. So sure, there's some freedom there.

Openness, however, is really lacking. Google has a stranglehold on the market with their Google Apps (Play, gmail, movies, music, etc...). I've rooted my phone and attempted to remove those google apps I don't use, such as calendar and gmail, and each time my phone checks for an update those apps are reinstalled. I vaguely remember some being uninstalled remotely somehow on another phone, too. I'd also argue that when most people see the "Install from a non-trusted source?" dialog, they'll cancel out of whatever they were trying to do. Have you seen the source for any of the Google Apps? No? then they aren't 'open' are they?

Comment Re:Primary news source (Score 1) 1829

While this is certainly an interesting idea, i fail to see how this is "news for nerds". I'd combine this thought of "breaking on slashdot" with the idea mentioned above about scientific coverage not being thoughtful.

Instead of regurgitating a press release, have someone reach out to those scientists and ask thoughtful questions. I've always liked the "Ask Slashdot" posts, these could be precursors to that. The flow would be something like:

  1. Slashdot user posts (or you guys find it yourself)
  2. Slashdot interviews researcher(s) about topic
  3. Ask Slashdot
  4. More knowledge sharing

Make Slashdot a go-to place to learn about interesting things and share ideas with other smart people. Don't worry about dumbing things down, I'm sure the crowd can put things in Lay-mens terms (or worse).

Comment Re:Editing Comments (Score 1) 1829

On a related note, maybe update the comment editor. It's cumbersome to type html when I need to format something. Maybe some wiki-like editing? or a small-scale WYSIWYG editor? It would be nice to be able to type as though I'm in a word processor, then can highlight and make something bold, block quote, italic, etc...

Comment Re:Fix the summaries (Score 1) 1829

Finally, remember this is news for nerds. Keep the BS articles (I'm looking at you Forbes) to a minimum.

Extending this idea a little bit. It should be clear where the links go (kind of already done in the title line), and the nature of that site. Some things that I have to scan comments for would make life easier:

  • If the site is a paid site, like NYT
  • If the linked site is multi-page click-fest. One paragraph per page and 30 pages? no thanks
  • If the site is riddled with ads and difficult to find the actual content.

This involves a bit more editor interaction... But when one of these shows up in the comments, there's usually dozens/hundreds of complaints and it really drives the noise from the comments up. Alerting up-front may not fix the problem entirely, but at least then the herd can mod down something that's obvious from the start.

Comment Re:486 in 2010 (Score 1) 332

I was gonna mention I have a lot of classic game consoles, the oldest of which is an SNES. I still have a gameboy color that works, as well as a saturn, playstation, n64, and many others. To top it off, my Super Metroid saves are still there, as are my Super Mario World, Mario RPG, Secret of Mana, etc... Sure, it's awesome to have a server that lives a long time in a closet with minimal kicking. I think it's awesome to have hardware that has survived 20+ years of kids beating and throwing controllers (okay, sometimes it was me).


I have a similar story. A few years ago there was a call from the chief financial guy in one of the military branches for ways to cut cost for the 120k desktop computers they supply to all the worker bees. Of course, I suggested LibreOffice as a replacement for MS Office, saving some $90 per desktop. I even provided the rationale that LibreOffice at the time was really a stand-in for MS Office 2k3 (no ribbon nonsense) and said that the training provided to migrate to 2k7 would have been more expensive than to just switch to LibreOffice.

I also mentioned switching to something like RHEL or Ubuntu for the OS. Each would significantly cut back on overall costs for a majority of the workers that only do email, office and web.

The response I got was from an O-4, on behalf of the O-7. "We have deemed these options to be more expensive". The wording in the email was obviously some generic crap, since there are plenty of articles of gov agencies (European or otherwise) that directly contradicted most statements in the email.

Personally, I think there is a stigma about open source for many decision makers. There's this lack of familarity, the lack of a single belly button to blame for something going wrong, and a misconception about how much control they could have over the workstations. Sure, Active Directory has a lot of easy buttons, but it's nothing all that special. As for the workers? If my mom, who can't work a VCR, can use Linux Mint... there's no excuse for anyone else that knows "the E icon is for the internet".

Comment Re:Consider the progression (Score 1) 735

Interesting thoughts in this thread.

There was a mention of gangs, which have been described as a sort of "family". There is an allure to that sort of kinship and power. Now we have groups like ISIS, that are essentially the same thing, only with a (radicalized) religious backing. Now not only is there the draw of family, power, supremacy... there's also a religious interpretation of salvation for fighting for beliefs.

The sort of change being suggested through information flow won't make a dent unless that information is spread to the youth. Just look at the fights we still have regarding evolution in schools. Despite plenty of evidence supporting evolution, we still have leaders that don't believe it. And there are plenty of people that still follow them, otherwise they wouldn't have been in office for so long.

Good luck getting those kids that grew up in war zones to see any solution other than violence.

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