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Comment: Firefox devs are suddenly idiots (Score 4, Insightful) 683

by farbles (#37097316) Attached to: Mozilla To Remove User-Facing Firefox Version Numbers

Oh for the love of God, Firefox admins, what's going on, does the sweet, sweet, wall candy taste good? Your Aunt Mom tell you you are a special little snowflake and never mind what the bad, bad real world has to say?

I love Firefox. I really do, but honestly, it's like they are trying to be as stupid as humanly possible. I'm getting sick of "my way or the highway" program developers breaking things and telling me that they've been fixed. Do you morons notice how your market share is shrinking? Do you notice that you're producing nothing but bad press these days and people are getting pissed off at you? So your answer to this is to get in everyone's face and tell them to suck it up or go away? What are you, Tea Party-ists?

I work in tech. I need version numbers to tell what the hell people have. "You have the latest version" lies all the time like a cheap rug.

Firefox - it's this type of attitude that got me to switch from Ubuntu, where they've developed the same attitude that negative feedback means they're doing the job right. Learn a lesson here or lose more market share.

Time to purge some MBAs from management, you bozos.

Comment: Re:But where does that leave our immune systems? (Score 1) 414

by farbles (#37052160) Attached to: New Drug Could Cure Nearly Any Viral Infection

2. If the side effects of #1 are sufficiently bad for humans, it seems logical that over time, nature will select for people who have weaker overall immune systems. Can that be good?

Well, for better or worse, we're already affecting our evolution. If you're under the age of 35, you've never been vaccinated for smallpox, you've not encountered that virus so whatever immunity you have to the disease is residual from your ancestry, which had no choice but to select for smallpox resistance. All out the window now; you and your kids will have no need for such selection. And genes being the complicated little things they are, this may in turn have other seemingly unrelated consequences.

A percentage of our genetic makeup comes from viruses we've interacted with over time. By bathing, building sewers, refrigerating our food, using condoms, etc. we deliberately minimize our exposure to viruses. We're altering the course of our destiny. Good or bad, that's the road we're on. Actions have consequences and only time can tell if removing a source of genetic change (albeit one with frequently horrific consequences of its own) will pay off or not.

I hope so. I like people who wash themselves and don't poo on the rug and I'd like to think future humankind can get behind that sentiment too.

.

Comment: Making Piracy Preferable (Score 4, Insightful) 224

by farbles (#36927128) Attached to: Ubisoft Considers Always-Connected DRM "A Success"

When Ubisoft makes it so a pirated version of their game provides better functionality and convenience than their own product, it is safe to say that they are NOT GETTING IT.

Gee, Ubisoft, I can give you money and be stuck with crippling and inconvenient DRM, or for free I can download a nice clean cracked copy that will play at once conveniently whenever and wherever I want it to. Decisions, decisions.

I blame MBAs. There is something in their sense of entitlement and smug assurance they know the best no matter what the facts may dictate that leads them to live out The Peter Principle and rise to levels of authority where they have no competence. I'll betcha there's some MBA or group of MBAs telling Ubisoft to stand firm on the DRM.

In the meantime, Valve will take my money without the crazy bullshit DRM and I can play my games even if the Internet is down. If I want to try an Ubisoft game, I'll know where to go.

Canada

+ - Canada grandfathering 3rd and 4th level domains->

Submitted by farbles
farbles (672915) writes "CIRA, Canada's Internet registry will be grandfathering all 3rd level (Provincial) domains (e.g. example.bc.ca) and 4th level (Municipal) domains (e.g. mytown.on.ca) on October 4th, 2010. No new 3rd and 4th level domains can be registered after then and any current ones that expire will be gone for good. The reason is due to CIRA's move to EPP-based registry system. Join me in a toast to the provinces, we'll miss you on the web!"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:And so dies humanity. (Score 2, Insightful) 920

by farbles (#30922816) Attached to: Obama Choosing NOT To Go To the Moon
And you sir are an idjut. Money spent on space gets returned ten fold. Technology spinoffs, research, keeping technically trained people employed, motivated and at home, and the actual dollar amounts we're talking about are piddlingly small. Woohoo, cut NASA completely and you save 0.58% of your federal budget. That'll really change everything in some other way that provides more bang for the buck than ten-fold increase and new knowledge? You make me ashamed to be the same species with your give up and surrender, the Universe is too big for us talk.

+ - Halifax NS Internet Town Hall Meeting October 26th->

Submitted by farbles
farbles (672915) writes "The only meeting of its kind in Atlantic Canada, the only East Coast representing in Canadian discussions of hot topic issues copyright and DRM, Net Neutrality, the Digital Divide between Internet access haves and have-nots and Privacy online. Chebucto Community Net and the Dalhousie Student Union have brought Laura Murray, author of "Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide" and local experts on these hot topics together for a panel discussion and audience participation. CBC Radio will be taping the show. Six hundred seats only. McInnes Room, Dalhousie SUB. Doors open 6:30 P.M. Free admission, general public welcome."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Internet Town Hall meeting Oct. 26 Halifax (Score 5, Informative) 155

by farbles (#29631419) Attached to: Canadian Minister Lies On Net Surveillance Claims

Concerns over this and other issues such as copyright laws, digital rights management issues, the Digital Divide, and privacy have prompted the Chebucto Community Net and the Dalhousie Student Union to hold a public Internet Town Hall meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Monday, October 26th at 7 pm in the McInnes Room of the Dalhousie Student Union Building. I saw the notice on their website here: http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Current/CourtesyCCN.shtml

Their main speaker is Laura Murray, co-author of Canadian Copyright: A Citizenâ(TM)s Guide, and they've got speakers on the other issues too. They're calling it "Who's Shaping Your Digital Future?" and it's noteworthy for being the only meeting of its kind in the Atlantic Provinces. I don't know why they're not promoting this better, maybe they don't have the money or something, but I know I'll be going to it.

I wonder if anyone from the government or the mainstream media will be showing up.

Comment: Re:Not hurting leet hackers, but fools and poor fo (Score 1) 291

by farbles (#29607371) Attached to: Microsoft Blocks Pirates From Security Essentials Software

I did suggest it. Seniors in my experience rely a lot on other seniors for support and while I agree with you that Linux is a good solution, in this case, it doesn't have the market penetration in this demographic it would need to in order for all her friends to be running it. Also, and I speak from experience here, setting up dialup internet access on Linux is a freaking nightmare since it is all but impossible to set up the vast majority of modems. Linux works great if you have highspeed but if you can afford highspeed, you can also afford Windows and new hardware.

It also needs to be said that support for Linux bites hard. When it's been set up properly and works great it's wonderful. When it isn't working properly it can be very user-hostile and difficult to trouble-shoot, especially for the novice computer user who already has a hard time grasping the difference between left and right mouse clicking, let alone figuring out using terminal and finding and typing in long strings of arcane commands.

I had this very conversation yesterday with a senior who insisted that left mouse is the one that always double clicks was too complicated. They said it was easy for people like me who knew computers but for someone like them it was impossible to grasp. I should send them to RTFM and decypher man pages? R-i-i-g-g-h-h-t But hey, maybe you know a sharper class of seniors than I do.

I'm not trying to start a Linux-Windows flame war, but Linux is not a one size fits all solution, at least not yet.

Comment: Not hurting leet hackers, but fools and poor folks (Score 4, Insightful) 291

by farbles (#29600701) Attached to: Microsoft Blocks Pirates From Security Essentials Software

I don't see that many pirated Windows installs but the ones I do see are all from poor people who were given a bootleg XP or Windows 2000 disk with no product code and no questions asked. I mean, fair is fair and Microsoft is selling a product as a business not giving away their OS as a charity but in my experience the people they're hurting are the ones least able to help themselves.

The poor people I'm talking about here are usually seniors with little computer knowledge using out of date hardware and single parent families with few resources. They're not buying new computers and $150 for a Microsoft OS is too steep for their budget.

They're not leet hackers laughing at Microsoft, they're simple folk. One little old lady who had her computer in was completely horrified when I told her that her Windows was pirated, she literally had no idea. Our policy is we don't help you once we discover your Windows is pirated for the simple reason that we have no way of knowing what has been done to the OS or what has been corrupted or is missing. In that case she came in a couple of months later with a legal Windows disk she'd saved up and bought and I installed it for her gratis. I know the price tag hurt her though but she would have no truck with illegal Windows.

Anyway, my point is that these folks are for the most part clueless and are ripe targets for botnetting since they lack the knowledge to acquire and keep an AV updated on their own. Free Avast and Free AVG are available to them but without handholding they'd never figure out how to jump through the hoops to download, install and set these up. The beauty of Microsoft Security Essentials is that they've made it pretty much self-running and idiot-proof. Like I said in my post yesterday, I'd push it out to everyone not already running an AV if I were Microsoft. It increases the general health of the Windows eco-system, makes Windows more secure and run better as a result, which in turn makes the Windows experience better for everyone and increases the likelihood of Windows purchases down the road through good word of mouth.

The leet hackers have the tools to look after themselves. If it were just them running pirated Windows, I'd agree with Microsoft and say stuff 'em. It's not though and things look a lot different on the bottom of the food chain; it's those most unable to protect themselves who get hurt the most.

Comment: I like it and will recommend it to anyone. (Score 5, Informative) 465

by farbles (#29588919) Attached to: Microsoft Security Essentials Released; Rivals Mock It

It's a sweet little anti-virus program. A well designed and simple user interface, updates unobtrusively, doesn't bog down the computer and it is very effective at detecting all threats I've thrown its way. It also is easy to tell when it is unhappy thanks to a well designed and simple system tray icon. Credit where credit is due, Microsoft has put together a good program. I've tested this on dozens of machines and have not a single bad thing to say about it, which is not something I would have thought I'd ever say about a Microsoft product.

If I do have a quibble, it's that it requires a validated Windows. If I were Microsoft I'd throw this on automatic Windows Update and push it out to everyone not already running an anti-virus.

Symantec can blow me. I've seen more hosed computers where the owners thought they had current updated Symantec AV just to have me discover that their definitions had last been updated in 2007 or something with no indication from their Symantec AV they were vulnerable.

/not an MS fanboi but when they get one right, they deserve praise, and they got this one right folks.

The Internet

+ - The Liberal Party of Canada announces support of N

Submitted by bryxal
bryxal (933863) writes "The Liberal Party of Canada, currently leading in most polls (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/06/01/federal-poll357.html) has announced yesterday that it supports Net Neutrality. http://www.liberal.ca/en/newsroom/media-releases/15947_liberals-speak-out-in-support-of-net-neutrality saying: "Internet management should be neutral and not be permitted for anti-competitive behaviour nor should it target certain websites, users, providers or legitimate software applications. We must protect the openness and freedom of the internet, and maintain competition to spur innovation, improve service levels and reduce costs to users.""

Archiving Digital Data an Unsolved Problem 405

Posted by kdawson
from the digital-ice-age dept.
mattnyc99 writes, "It's a huge challenge: how to store digital files so future generations can access them, from engineering plans to family photos. The documents of our time are being recorded as bits and bytes with no guarantee of readability down the line. And as technologies change, we may find our files frozen in forgotten formats. Popular Mechanics asks: Will an entire era of human history be lost?" From the article: "[US national archivist] Thibodeau hopes to develop a system that preserves any type of document — created on any application and any computing platform, and delivered on any digital media — for as long as the United States remains a republic. Complicating matters further, the archive needs to be searchable. When Thibodeau told the head of a government research lab about his mission, the man replied, 'Your problem is so big, it's probably stupid to try and solve it.'"

I cannot conceive that anybody will require multiplications at the rate of 40,000 or even 4,000 per hour ... -- F. H. Wales (1936)

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