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Comment: Re:can we have ONE non-dumbed down GUI please? (Score 1) 133

by CRCulver (#47953191) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

XFCE hasn't been ultralight in a few years now. It is no longer recommended for netbooks and other underpowered systems. I think it might be a decent replacement for GNOME for many disgruntled users.

Personally, I'd recommend at least considering replacing most of your Linux desktop needs with Emacs and the command line. As the years have gone by, I've done less and less of my work outside of Emacs, a terminal and a browser. Even supposedly UI-heavy things like simple image manipulation are done faster from the command line with an imagemagick one-liner than waiting for Gimp to launch, reaching for the mouse, and clicking through dialogues. Sure, that way of working isn't for everyone, but the sort of people who read Slashdot might want to give it a try.

Comment: Re:That's all I needed to hear (Score 1) 96

by ultranova (#47952817) Attached to: Microsoft Kills Off Its Trustworthy Computing Group

The cloud is not trustworthy, it was shown to not be many times over and no sane enterprise will allow the cloud to take over local desktops/servers.

Unless it's cheaper. Then as long as nothing happens, managers get bonuses for the savings their decisions have earned the company, and if something does, it's an unforeseeable event that was the fault of some evil haxor.

Comment: Re:ICANN sell to the highest bidder (Score 1) 64

by ultranova (#47952745) Attached to: Amazon Purchases<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.buy TLD For $4.6 Million

TLDs have certain requirements associated with them, unless Amazon magically also has some super special secret deal that Google hasn't told the world about after losing ... then Amazon won't be able to monopolize or otherwise use the TLD to an unfair advantage.

And yet that's exactly what Amazon will do. Even if they run their registry business as a separate department, the conflict of interests is always there. It's exactly like an ISP who also provides content has an incentive to make connections to Netflix suck.

Perhaps it would be best to simply forbid companies from expanding to arbitrary new segments?

Comment: Re:confused (Score 2) 336

by CRCulver (#47945401) Attached to: U2 and Apple Collaborate On 'Non-Piratable, Interactive Format For Music'

The only way I can see something like that working is a robust audio watermark containing the purchasers iTunes information.

Apple also sells music in its lossless format, and there it's hard to get "robust" without annoying the listener. If the watermark is in the metadata, one can simply convert the file to WAV to strip the watermark out and re-encode. If it is in the audio itself, it can lead to complaints: when Universal began offering lossless tracks, it encoded a watermark in the audio that manifested as an annoying buzzing noise, and eventually after much complaint it thankfully stopped doing that.

Comment: Re:Expert. (Score 2, Informative) 336

by CRCulver (#47945341) Attached to: U2 and Apple Collaborate On 'Non-Piratable, Interactive Format For Music'

Um, no, he's much, much less an expert than Dre is. As a respected producer at least Dre has some validity as a good ear, and he can evaluate the results of different parametric curves on tone signature

Dr Dre the "producer" is essentially just an older peer that new acts can ask for advice and a respected name to put advertising. Usually in cases like this where an over-the-hill artist "produces" a younger one, it is in fact the much less celebrated engineer who is doing all the fine-tuning of the sound. The "producer" can only say "I like that" or "I don't like that" to what the engineer presents.

Comment: Re:No surprise (Score 3, Interesting) 215

by readin (#47942837) Attached to: Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other
"Hell, if I could headbutt another human into oblivion for a mate, I would too. Here's the funny thing folks, humans are animals too! We have all the same urges and evolutionary pressures,"

As any male should know who went to high school. What do you think all that bullying was about? Guys were showing their dominance to win females. Those same urges were why it was so hard for the guys being picked on to just shrug it off or ignore it - how can a male shrug off being humiliated in front of potential mates?

Comment: Re:No surprise (Score 5, Interesting) 215

by readin (#47942825) Attached to: Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other
You're right. In a one-on-one fight there is some sense in not killing your rival if he's willing to back down so that you don't have to expend extra energy trying to finish him off.

But when the battle becomes group against group the advantage of mercy is less clear. An enemy left alive has more choices. Rather than accepting that he can't defeat you he may come back with larger numbers. He may jump up and hit you from behind as soon as you turn to battle one of his companions.

In an environment of tribal warfare, it doesn't make sense to kill your local intra-tribal rival because he's likely to be your ally in the next inter-tribal battle.

Comment: Re:Not a problem... (Score 1) 313

by readin (#47942769) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

That assumes that all those environments are pointless wastes of space, unfortunately that premise isn't true- those areas of land serve important purpose for example the sands of the Sahara blow across the Atlantic and fertilise the likes of the Amazon rainforest.

A lot of people say "Why don't we geo-engineer the Sahara to make it tropical forest again!" but it becomes almost a zero-sum game, as you grow forests in Africa you decrease the fertilisation of the Amazon and so growth is stunted there in turn.

You're saying Saharan sand is good fertilizer? I wouldn't have though it was true, but if it is I have to wonder if it opens up an opportunity. We take sand from the Sahara to fertilize lands elsewhere - taking it all from one place to begin with. Once we've dug enough sand out to make an area below sea level, we can flood it with water from the Mediterranean Sea.

* More fertile land throughout the world
* A new sea where fish can grow.
* A way to slow or even reverse the rise of the oceans by putting the excess water in the new sea.

Am I crazy? Why?

Comment: Re:Not a problem... (Score 1) 313

by readin (#47942733) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

We can debate if cities have higher crime or not. People in cities tend to live longer lives - at least in developed countries. So I am not sure what to make of your dirtier and dangerous point.

Go to a city and sniff. You can smell how dirty they are. I was in NY (Manhattan) a while back and the smell of trash was quite common even in areas that seemed to be quite nice and expensive.

Comment: Re:Not a problem... (Score 1) 313

by readin (#47942705) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

Vast areas of Earth remain unpopulated. In no particular order:

  • American Midwest
  • Most of Canada
  • Australia's Outback
  • Siberia
  • Sahara and other hot deserts
  • Antarctica — a whopping continent

Sure, some of the above would require some work to make comfortable, but it can be done even with today's technology — by 2100 even an individual (or a family) would convert surroundings to their tastes. And it would certainly be easier, than moving an appreciable quantity of people off-Earth...

I spent quite a bit of time in the American midwest. It is hardly unpopulated. And if it were any more populated than it already is, where would we get our food from?

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson