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Comment: Re:Biggest Problem (Score 1) 514

by rdnetto (#49167195) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10

Yes, dumb users are unable to exercise choices meaningfully, especially if they are unaware they even have a choice. But that doesn't mean that choice doesn't exist, and can't be exercised by even somewhat competent users. Googling "ubuntu change desktop environment" returns easily followed instructions for doing so via the GUI, so the only requirements are knowing how to use google, and what a desktop environment is (if they don't know the latter, they could easily find out by posting on the forum, or asking whichever person told them to try Ubuntu in the first place).

DE-specific releases don't exist because they're the only way of installing a DE, they exist because most people want to have a DE out of the box, but disagree which one to have.

Gnome 2 was released in 2002, and supported at least until the release of Gnome 3 in 2011 (9 years). In contrast, the WinXP was current for 6 years, and the Vista interface for 5 years until Win8. KDE has had a major release every 6 years, comparable to Windows. Xfce has been on version 4 for 12 years. Additionally, KDE4 is still supported, as is Gnome 2 (under the MATE project).
So by the numbers, the popular Linux DEs are at least as stable as Windows in terms of UI.

Now, if you want to argue that Linux is more fragmented in terms of UI because of this, that's a different discussion, but doing an apples to apples comparison shows that it is as stable/disruptive as Windows in the worst case (KDE), and significantly more stable in the other cases (Gnome and Xfce).

Comment: Re:HiDPI (Score 1) 514

by rdnetto (#49162457) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10

I guess operating systems acquiring HiDPI support is one of the reasons going for the flat look. Vector graphics are easy to scale. But maybe some genius will eventually come up with a system that both scales well and looks cool.

KDE4 uses vector graphics for all of its icons, and none of them look 'flat' to me.Most of them have shadows, perspective, or some other kind of depth cue.

Comment: Re:But can we believe them? (Score 1) 99

there is zero chance they could recover the cost from GCHQ

Interesting thought: we normally regard investor-state dispute settlement clauses negatively, but this is an actual case where they would be helpful in compensating Gemalto for the harm caused to them. Requiring the NSA, etc. to pay compensation for the harm caused could do a lot to curtail their actions.

Comment: Re:Battery life (Score 1) 141

by rdnetto (#49155493) Attached to: Pebble Time Smartwatch Receives Overwhelming Support On Kickstarter

Yes, an individual render operation is always going to be more expensive. But it's not necessary to always update the screen - given that watches are usually held in a specific orientation when being read, you could easily reduce power consumption by an order of magnitude if you only rendered the time when it was actually being read. There's also the possibility of drawing power from the wearer's movement, similar to an automatic.

Comment: Re:Non-readers love "real books" (Score 1) 258

by rdnetto (#49155437) Attached to: The Case Against E-readers -- Why Digital Natives Prefer Reading On Paper

A librarian that does not value paper. That is like a cardiovascular surgeon that eats a pound of bacon every day.

Librarians value knowledge, not paper; the paper is just a medium. Also, saturated fat isn't bad for your heart (in fact the evidence is leaning towards it being good for your HDL/LDL ratio), and bacon is actually a common occurrence in low carb breakfasts.

I want my children and grandchildren to have the books I purchased and read. Those digital formats will be gone in just a few years while I have books older than my country.

PDF and ePUB aren't going anywhere. There's a distinction to be made between ebooks and DRM, in much the same way as there is between digital music (MP3, AAC, etc.) and DRM.

Comment: Re:Not Censorship (Score 1) 285

by rdnetto (#49143239) Attached to: Google Knocks Explicit Adult Content On Blogger From Public View

Most people want some forms of censorship, if only for the simple matter of organizing your content.

That's not censorship, that's filtering. The difference is that filtering allows the user to control what they view, while censorship places that control in the hands of the publisher.

I personally would like to see more changes like this because not everyone on the internet can discern between what they click on...

Blogger already had warning pages appear for adult blogs which had to be dismissed before the user could view the content. Those were sufficient to prevent anyone from viewing content they didn't want to, (and nothing short of constant vigilance is going to stop a kid from viewing content they're interested in.)

All this does is force active adult blogs to migrate to other sites, and take a bunch of inactive ones offline (unless the Internet Archive archives them before then).

Comment: Re:Operating at 20W gives zero improvement. (Score 1) 114

by rdnetto (#49125979) Attached to: AMD Unveils Carrizo APU With Excavator Core Architecture

Then surprise surprise AMD chips trade blows with chips costing more than twice as much [] with several tests the AMD outright smoking and in others within a couple percentage points of the i5s.

The issue is that the damage is done; AMD hasn't updated their CPU lineup recently. The FX-8350 was originally released in late 2012 and still seems to be the best option from their FX series. (The FX-8370 is just a nicer binning, and the FX-9xxx appear to be ridiculously overclocked, with almost twice the TDP.) I'm planning to upgrade my PC later this year, but buying a 3 year old CPU just seems insane. In contrast, Haswell processors are barely a year old, and a Haswell i5 delivers comparable performance.

Meanwhile, AMD's APU lines max out at 4 cores, which is a step backwards from my Phenom II hex core, and the APU offers little advantage given that I'd be getting a discrete graphics card anyway. (The main workload for this system is compilation, so believe me when I say that the no. of cores absolutely does matter.)

I'm the sort of person who should be a shoe-in for AMD's high end, but I can't even tell if the FX line is obsolete or not. I think that says a lot about their execution.

Comment: Re:Lawyers rejoice!! (Score 1) 114

by rdnetto (#49125701) Attached to: Lenovo Hit With Lawsuit Over Superfish Adware

They shouldn't just be hit via a class action suit (assuming Lenovo isn't sticking a "binding arbitration" clause to defeat the ability for consumers to seek recourse) but Federal prosecution under one of the many computer security laws that would string up anyone else.

Honest question: is putting a backdoor/vulnerability into a product actually a crime in the US? As I understand it, most of the computer security laws are about actively breaking in ("gaining access"). The closest I can think of are contractual issues with sale ("fitness for purpose") and negligence, but both of those are civil.

Comment: Re:Lawyers rejoice!! (Score 1) 114

by rdnetto (#49125619) Attached to: Lenovo Hit With Lawsuit Over Superfish Adware

I have a feeling this is less about recovering from damages and more about teaching them a formal lesson (well, cashing-in under the guise of teaching them a formal lesson).

That's the entire point of a class action suit. To stop powerful companies from doing a large number of small harms and getting away with it.

Ironically, awarding damages on an individual basis to the claimants would be far more punitive than whatever damages are awarded.

Comment: Re:Single Quote? (Score 1) 264

by rdnetto (#49118455) Attached to: Linux Kernel Switching To Linux v4.0, Coming With Many New Addons

There hasn't, but I wouldn't expect it to matter. I don't believe the name is actually used anywhere (everyone just uses the version number), and its only defined in a makefile that's part of the kernel git repo. I'm not even sure if there's a rule for when it should be changed - I suspect it's merely whenever Linus feels like it.

Oh, so there you are!