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Comment: Trumpet Winsock (Score 2) 704

by hockpatooie (#42711917) Attached to: What Early Software Was Influential Enough To Deserve Acclaim?
Trumpet Winsock for Windows 3.1.

A small, nearly forgotten utility, but the one that opened the door of the internet for many.

In the same category, I might also mention Slirp, which I and many others used to suck full web access through our university shell accounts. Ah, the memories.

Comment: Re:Why use openbox with xfce anyway? (Score 1) 141

by hockpatooie (#40148577) Attached to: Fedora 17 Released
That's a fair question. I use Openbox with XFCE because you can customize keybindings for any kind of window manipulation you like - shoving windows to the left and right border, resizing, vertical maximizing, flipping between workspaces...

It's a nice middle-of-the-road solution for people who are sick and tired of fiddling with windows with the mouse but aren't ready to go whole hog with a tiling WM or setting up a desktop with panels, etc. from scratch.

Comment: Re:Pinky curl while moving hand from mouse (Score 1) 185

by hockpatooie (#38827639) Attached to: Chromium-Based Spinoffs Worth Trying
The opposite-hand-of-the-mouse reason makes sense. But since I'm going to type with two hands anyway to search for something, it still seems faster to hit slash than a Ctrl+F stretch.

Anyway, as someone said, it's all about muscle memory we've developed. When I bang the slash key and nothing happens, that's immediate negative feedback when I'm using Chrome.

Comment: Re:Avoided for this reason (Score 2) 851

by hockpatooie (#38462928) Attached to: Do You Really Need a Smart Phone?
I don't have a smartphone yet, but I know the same thing will happen to me. In fact, that's the universal testimony: "I thought I didn't need it and now I can't live without it."

Have you ever thought about why? It's because this is the closest we've come to having our brains plugged directly into the intertubes 24/7. Information is a powerful drug. Getting used to having a smartphone changes YOU, even if only a little. Maybe it's ultimately for the good, but people should carefully weigh this before jumping on. I say if it helps you interact with the real world better and be more efficient in it, good. If it just makes you an even-more-distracted, angry-birds-playing information junkie, then not good.

Comment: Re:Openbox and xfce4-panel (Score 1) 357

by hockpatooie (#38462694) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Assembling a Linux Desktop Environment From Parts?
I've used xfce since forever, sometimes trying more 'leet' window managers but I could never get proficient enough to do everything I wanted with them. Recently I replaced xfce's built-in window manager with openbox and I couldn't be happier. It's easy to define all the shortcut keys you want for flipping windows around, and I keep the advantage of xfce's panel, session management, etc. It was a big productivity boost for a minimal investment.

Comment: It's nineteen-dickety-two all over again! (Score 1) 401

by hockpatooie (#33710650) Attached to: Apple, Startup Go To Trial Over 'Pod' Trademark
"My story begins in nineteen-dickety-two. We had to say dickety because the Kaiser had stolen our word twenty. I chased that rascal to get it back, but gave up after dickety-six miles."
--Abe Simpson

Just substitute "Steve Jobs" for "the Kaiser" and "pod" for "twenty", and there you go! History repeats itself.

Comment: Re:The odd thing? (Score 1) 374

by hockpatooie (#33535078) Attached to: Sony Breathes New Life Into Library Books
Using DRM to create artificial scarcity for digital media can never be more than a stopgap solution.

As for the question "How will authors get paid" -- have you considered that just maybe the world might be a better place if *fewer* people were able to make a living by writing?

If you produce something that's not a good or service that tangibly contributes to human welfare, it should be harder to earn money from it. This is already the case to some extent.

I'm not saying that writing and arts and other intangibles cannot contribute to human welfare--on the contrary, they can do so in ways that ordinary goods and services cannot. What I AM saying is that 90%+ of books and CDs are steaming piles of manure written to make a buck and contribute absolutely nothing. Maybe artificial scarcity of media has made it too easy to get paid for producing something of zero worth.

If someone has a strong enough passion for writing/creating, they will create no matter what. Some of those will be recognized and compensated in their lifetimes, and others will not. Of course, it's not "fair". But is it less fair than the way the big publishers, who rely absolutely on scarcity, treat content creators now?

I still feel the quality of discourse in society would greatly improve if the only people who were writers were people who were at least willing to be poor for it.

Android Also Comes With a Kill-Switch 300

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-that's-not-very-open dept.
Aviran writes "The search giant is retaining the right to delete applications from Android handsets on a whim. Unlike Apple, the company has made no attempt to hide its intentions, and includes the details in the Android Market terms and conditions, as spotted by Computer World: 'Google may discover a product that violates the developer distribution agreement... in such an instance, Google retains the right to remotely remove those applications from your device at its sole discretion.'"

+ - Study:iPhone touch keyboard "better than expec

Submitted by thefickler
thefickler (1030556) writes "In the weeks leading up to the launch of the iPhone commentators such as John Dvorak and Business Week's Peter Burrows had speculated that the touch keyboard could be the iPhone's downfall.

However a study by Chicago-based User Centric has shown that the touch keyboard actually performs "better than expected" for text messaging tasks

"We conduct studies on different text input systems and we were surprised to find that these iPhone users were more efficient with the touch keyboard when composing text messages than they were when using the phones they owned just a week earlier," said Gavin Lew, Managing Director of User Centric."

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.