My bad. The X200 is a much older laptop. The X220 is what I have and it's practically identical to the X230, which is the latest shipping version that has the chicklet keyboard that I can't stand.
I have an X200 and specwise it's hardly any different from the current X220. Same processor (i5), same speed, same memory options. I bought it only last year specifically because it had a real keyboard. So, no the X200 is still a great laptop. And $700 is a good price, about par with used X200s.
When I got the X200, I wiped it and put Linux on it. Now months later, I was fiddling with the BIOS and discovered that the Lojack stuff is activated, and cannot be deactivated (fortunately it does nothing on Linux, so far as I've been able to read). In order to deactivate it I need to contact the company who makes the malware and provide them with proof of purchase, and they'll give ma code to deactivate it, provided of course it's not been reported stolen (always a risk when buying used laptops, even on reputable sites). The catch is that I have to be running Windows to deactivate it. Sigh. So my ears perked up when the article mentions they've replaced the firmware. Wonder if that can be done to existing laptops without too much trouble.
No idea what you're talking about. LibreOffice, OpenOffice, and StarOffice before it are all written in C++. Java is used as a glue between certain components, such as database part. It's also used in some import filters. But it's certainly not required for LO or OO, and hasn't been a requirement ever as far as I know. Guess you haven't ever used LO or OOo.
LibreOffice is the least of my concerns, UI-wise (I refuse to use the "experience" term; it's an interface, not an experience). I'm much more concerned about apps I use every day that suck UI-wise, like Firefox. Or Chrome. I'm stuck at Firefox 24 (and Palemoon) as that's the last version that the GTK native theme works with. Most of the UI is somewhat GTK-ish, but the tabs have always been out of place. GTK native theme fixes that and gives me an app that looks and feels right at home on my Mate desktop. GTK3, well, that's another story.
That's okay though. Most of these idiots that buy and fly these things can't fly in manual mode anyway. They aren't really pilots. Kind of like script kiddies vs hackers. So it's a silly solution, but it might have the desired effect for a short while.
The whole regulation issue is such a sticky one. Obviously we don't want idiots flying these things in crowded city areas, over people, or near airports. Before technology advanced and made park fliers and quadcopters possible and easy, the hobby was rather self-regulating. And the hobby still is for the most part. But the trouble is now we have a lot of people who aren't really part of the hobby (they just want to play with a toy) buying and using these devices. They aren't being safe or smart. And regulation is likely not to reach them anyway as they wouldn't know or care about the regs. Just the people and companies who are interested and vested in model aircraft operation will even understand the regs, and they are the people who are already trying to be safe and smart. The regs will just burden them unduly.
Though it may not be using mp4, but rather webm, if you install the wonderful YouTube central add-on in Firefox, you can have it force HTML5 player. Seems to work but playback doesn't seem as smooth as with flash, ironically.
Android 4.4 isn't really an update for me. Broken SD support is a deal breaker.
Wonder if cyanogenmod will backport the fix? Or is it time to switch from Dolphin to Firefox?
Sounds like you're not aware of what Qt actually is. Qt is one of the oldest, most capable, most portable GUI libraries ever made. It's a little too C++-ish for my tastes, but it's certainly not hipster or craptastic or buggy. It's been around for over 20 years but still feels modern (Qt 5 QtQuick is a game changer), and forms the basis for more than a few large-scale commercial applications. In my mind, particularly if you use C++, it's the only game in town. The only downside is it's hampered by being written in C++. It's really hard to get good up-to-date bindings for other languages that aren't as popular, such as FreePascal, as you have to thunk between the object systems.
As for your Pascal arguments, I use Python for the same reasons. Use what works for you.
The story about the water fountain sign reminds me of the sign at the Foucault pendulum at the uni where I studied. They had problems with people touching the pendulum, stopping it, etc. So they put up a sign that said, "Danger, do not touch! 10,000 ohms." Haven't had problems with people messing with it in many years!
Being a farmer myself, I find that quote pretty funny. Guess he never bothered to actually visit a farm and fine out. I can't comment on the "safe to eat" part but I can certainly attest that yields are much higher, and pesticide application is much reduced with GMO varieties of corn, canola, and soybeans. However with the increase in yield comes increased disease pressure, so overall, with or without GMO, pesticide use is still on the rise and that concerns me, not so much for food safety, but for sustainability and environmental reasons. It's kind of like hospital antibiotic resistance issues.
The blogger also would be interested to know that the majority of food crops we eat (cereals) are not genetically engineered at all; they are bred as we've bred them for thousands of years. The real next stage for cereals is to develop cereals and bacteria cultures that can fix nitrogen. That is going to be a game changer.
As far as "organic" pesticides go, Chemical companies do work on naturally-derived pesticides all the time, but few of them make it to market because they fail toxicity tests (don't want them to kill birds, animals, etc). It's in their interest to develop good organic pesticides because there's huge public demand for it, and a lot of money to be made. But it's a very hard thing to do.
Sorry but that's all just pure baseless speculation on your part and fear mongering. The NSA can snoop SSL traffice regardless of ssl library simply by doing a man in the middle attack. And you'd never know it either, since they would be using a recognized root certificate. So I don't see what this issue has to do with openssl. And If they can brute force sniff SSL, I don't see how other ssl libraries are much safer.
Several of the OpenSSL developers have commented here on slashdot and expressed chagrin combined with determination to fix the problems which years ago were not considered problems--they were bad but accepted solutions for the portability problem. But times have changed, and openssl is changing too. As others have said it's still the most portable, and it is a good choice, and I do trust it. I think their response to heartbleed was admirable. They acknowledged and fixed the problem promptly.
Not sure if this is true, but someone claimed recently that highlight to copy, middle-click to paste was a bug in X originally, but it was found useful so kept. Also, as it currently stands it is a highly useful, but very insecure mode of operation. In effect anything you highlight is immediately visible to other apps running. In today's world this starts to become a security concern, especially if you run something that's not fully vetted and trusted (that's what non-root is for, after all!). Not sure quite how this dilemma will be solved.
Always kind of liked Time Trax. Had an interesting premise, though the execution was a bit flawed. The show didn't last long.
Guess it's not quite Sci Fi, but I always enjoyed the Highlander TV series as well. Not Sci Fi but appealed to nerds all the same. Though the show went way downhill when Richie became an immortal.
The middle mouse button is certainly useful, but I find the scroll wheel being a button is sufficient for me. I don't like Apple's multitouch mouse at all. Real buttons for me, thanks.
But I guess paradigms are changing. In Linux, as we move forward to Wayland, policies regarding the middle click are pushed into the toolkits. I hope they see fit to allow the enabling of select and middle-click paste. I can understand that not all users want it (some actually like the middle-click to start a page scroll), but for those that do, it's so fast and handy.
No, whitespace significance is probably not going to develop any bad habits. I can tell you've not done much with python. The whitespace syntax is excellent at helping one always use structure in his programs. Watching beginners use braces in java without any indenting at all illustrated to me that it's quite the opposite to what you suggest.
I program is several languages and python has never been a liability. The only thing it has done is make me hate how ugly braces make code. That and maybe forgetting semicolons in C.