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Comment: Re:Crash! (Score 1) 146

by rob333 (#29893113) Attached to: New DoD Memo On Open Source Software
Eh, Windows , OS X and other non-crazy secure systems (Linux without MAC through SELinux being enabled/configured or AppArmor) stay pretty far away from the computers that help run one of the largest militaries in the world. With some of the systems being replaced only after decades of use, things would get ugly. Imagine if the main systems were still running Windows 98 or System 8. Not a pretty picture.

Comment: Re:This is very odd... (Score 1) 146

by rob333 (#29893089) Attached to: New DoD Memo On Open Source Software
Not really; they've realized that a LONG time ago. SELinux is basically an NSA creation, and was the first implementation of mandatory access controls for Linux. As the DOD implements and requires a MAC system for obvious reasons on their essential systems, this brought using Linux into the realm of possibility way back in 2000.

Comment: Re:But ... (Score 1) 146

by rob333 (#29893055) Attached to: New DoD Memo On Open Source Software
It can get more complicated; the AG can and often does issue a memorandum clarifying how it--and hence the DOJ-- feel the FOIA should be interpreted by the executive branch. Ashcroft (Bush's 1st AG) recently severely restricted the ease of getting a FOIA request granted, although Holder (BHO's AG) reversed that policy.

Comment: Re:It's the best version of Windows I've used so f (Score 1) 770

by rob333 (#29862191) Attached to: A Tale of Two Windows 7s
I have to heartily agree. While 7's internals aren't radically different from Vista's, they don't have to be. Vista is a fantastic OS; 7's reception cements the fact that a horribly mangled launch and a successful demonization of Vista by Apple drove perception of Vista into the gutter. This makes 7 a rather ironic system; the people who believe that their computers are running horribly simply because they have Vista will possibly purchase 7, and be happy with the negligibly 'improved' performance that is more or less only psychological, while the technically inclined will be hard pressed to part with the cash for seven when all it immediately brings is a new UI (torrents/ MSDN(AA) notwithstanding). However, the redesigned UI makes me loathe to use any other OS, period. I've even given up on Linux for the time being (KDE 4 was a little more usable than Vista in some ways, but can't compete with 7), and just run xming and putty to ssh -X into a university-provided cluster for Unix work.

Comment: Re:Good and bad... (Score 1) 770

by rob333 (#29862171) Attached to: A Tale of Two Windows 7s
Ubuntu Netbook Remix is usable, but in no way has a better UI than Windows or OS X. The lack of a unified system search is enough to make me loathe using Linux for everyday use; I used to have OpenSuSE on the Mac I used to have, but when 10.4 and spotlight came around, I reclaimed the space. Also, I think you were encountering a problem by trying to have more than four partitions on an MBR disk; having something in a partition won't affect something being installed in another partition.

Comment: Re:Vodka (Score 1) 770

by rob333 (#29862113) Attached to: A Tale of Two Windows 7s
In all honesty, Vista was the first version of Windows that didn't feel as if it was, deep down inside, attempting to subvert every attempt I made to get my computer to work properly. I got a PC for the first time after Vista had launched, so I didn't experience any of whatever post-launch horrors poor drivers wrought, but it just doesn't have the glaring usability issues XP had. Having used OS X from 10.1 up to 10.5 ( I got Vista on a cheapo dell vostro to see if there was really any point in forking over the extra cash for a Macbook), Vista feels slightly more usable than Apple's OS. XP's interface, with a gigantic, multi-layered abomination termed the "start" menu, which ironically contains right above "start" the off button, is an abomination. Much like Finder in 10.1 and up to 10.3, it just isn't logical. I still believe that having an applications folder, as OS X does, makes far more sense than the Start menu, but with Windows Search/ Spotlight, I never launch apps from anything aside from the search bar. Vista also has nice networking, and WMP is a great media player, although IE 7 was as horrific as one could expect. Seven isn't much better, but it doesn't have to be. Apple's been getting money from us Mac users on an almost annual basis for upgrades to OS X, many of which (prior to 10.4, which is the oldest version of OS X one can really do anything on) were more like stopgap measures to fix the massive overhead that Aqua and other Apple additions to Darwin created (Hardware accelerated window management was also a huge improvement). Seven is a bigger release than the past two versions of OS X (10.5, 10.6) as it introduces a new UI paradigm that is just fantastic, and includes many fixes and little improvements. Windows search now has an autocompletion feature when searching through metadata (eg: type in date: and a calendar pops up), you can drag and drop things from the system icons thing, IE 8 is actually a good web browser (although is still no Opera), the libraries feature, media streaming over the Internet with WMP, managing the volume of each application, better automated driver fetching, built-in startup recovery, the ease with which protocols can be assigned to different programs, the improved language bar... Using anything else after 7 just feels illogical, although it does suffer from a poor placement of the taskbar; with wide-screen being the norm, it should be on the left or right hand side of the screen, as should the Dock. Also, XP is over 8 years old! It should have died a long time ago. As to the nature of Vista, XP is broken. It is a relic of the past, before having a broadband connection was the norm. Install a RTM copy of XP on a system with an Internet connection that doesn't have a hardware firewall, and count the seconds until it's compromised. I'm sure that it was patched up through the years, but as I understand it, XP still starts everything as root. The whole non-elevated user processes idea is absolutely necessary; Unix and its derivatives have had similar security measures for years. That XP was somehow made usable through its stopgap patching is almost impressive, were it not so painfully hard to use.

Comment: Re:Apple just has to use more robust techniques (Score 1) 656

by rob333 (#29636455) Attached to: Palm Ignores USB-IF Warning, Restores iTunes Sync
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/resultsForCategory.aspx?displaylang=en&categoryid=7 is what you're looking for; it's a little inelegant, but searching by date and using your browser's find feature to find Windows XP makes it quite managable. Hope that helps, may you never have to personally use Windows XP ever again (:

Comment: Re:Apple just has to use more robust techniques (Score 1) 656

by rob333 (#29633321) Attached to: Palm Ignores USB-IF Warning, Restores iTunes Sync
I've never touched the piece of absolute shit that is Windows XP, so I'm guessing it doesn't have the sensible update mechanisms that Vista/7, OS X, and every version of Linux that has any degree of polish has, hence the update website(WTF was MS thinking?). That is only useful to Windows pre-Vista users though, so a dependence on Windows is quite reasonable. Live Workspace initially bitched about incompatibility, but having Opera mask its identity as FF fixed that and allowed the thing to load. I have no clue what "full functionality" is, but loading it in IE brought up the same UI, and says nothing about an Activex control. I do actually have one example that slipped my mind before; to drag and drop files or folders from one's pc to Live Mesh requires an Activex control, although uploads and downloads can be done without drag and drop just fine in Opera, and I do not know of any other way to allow drag and drop file transfers to and from a web app. I'm guessing at some level the Live Workspace has a similar drag and drop thing needing an Activex control for use.

Comment: Re:Apple just has to use more robust techniques (Score 1) 656

by rob333 (#29630727) Attached to: Palm Ignores USB-IF Warning, Restores iTunes Sync

If you would like to claim otherwise... show me how I can view a web site that requires ActiveX in Linux, without cheating by using something like MSIE in VMware or Wine. (Way beyond the technical capabilities of the average person)

Or take the easy way, and just introduce proprietary extensions to the protocol, that won't be revealed to third parties.

What horrible website requires ActiveX controls? Even MS just uses that for flash/silverlight, perhaps some in house app was developed around it, but that's not MS's fault. Also, Apple already changed their proprietary media sharing protocol so that all other apps and earlier versions of iTunes cannot access an iTunes 7+ share, and only five people a day can connect to a share.

Comment: Re:This again... (Score 1) 656

by rob333 (#29630671) Attached to: Palm Ignores USB-IF Warning, Restores iTunes Sync
Microsoft allows developers to augment WMP in any way they see fit, see the xiph.org ogg codecs, or a ffwdshow, or doisp(which allows WMP to sync with iPods better than iTunes does, as it allows one to sync files from ipod-> computer). iTunes is the most crippled, proprietary media software on the planet. You cannot sync from a device to the computer. You cannot share your library with more than five people in a day (a new "feature" in 7+ that is quite annoying). You are required to give Apple a credit card if you want to use their recommendation engine or download cover art. Developers may not make iTunes extensions or plugins, no .ogg of .flac playback, or syncing to most 3rd party devices within iTunes.

Comment: Re:This again... (Score 1) 656

by rob333 (#29630605) Attached to: Palm Ignores USB-IF Warning, Restores iTunes Sync
MS is actually very open with the DirectShow interface; it's quite well documented and gives rise to plugins for WMP so that one can sync non-mass storage or MTP devices (read: Apple's proprietary devices) with a 3rd party plug-in (search wmp ipod), and even get .ogg and .flac and every file format under the sun to work in it via DirectShow filters (directly from xiph.org (: )There is no xml library file as far as I know, but when you can amend the sync capabilities of the program itself, why bother? If somebody's managing their media with the program, chances are they will use it to sync their devices. Also, there isn't the bullshit, no reverse syncing in WMP that iTunes has always had, nor is the library sharing crippled as it is in iTunes 7+. iTunes is the media software most beholden to the music industry, with lots of stupid, arbitrary restrictions and extremely proprietary, unfriendly protocols, probably because Apple is willing to accede to demands from labels for the ITMS ):.

Comment: Re:Apple's activity is criminal here, Palm's is le (Score 1) 656

by rob333 (#29630505) Attached to: Palm Ignores USB-IF Warning, Restores iTunes Sync
To the GPL question, obviously yes. That's how many projects take off; do you think the Linux kernel would be anywhere near where it is today if IBM wasn't developing it to support their proprietary extensions for the Blue Gene systems? If someone wants to use an OSS library in their program, that's great. It builds up the install base for that library, and increases the chance that that developer will improve the OSS library, and the developer doesn't have to implement that functionality themselves. See IBM and the Blue Gene system software for a prominent example of this; IBM builds proprietary solutions around Linux, and ends up contributing about 7% of ALL changes to the Linux kernel. Everybody wins! Admittedly, Palm is definitely breaking contract law here; in that sense they are in the wrong. However, I'd guess that an antitrust lawsuit against Apple would come out in Palm's favor; Apple is acting like a meaner Microsoft from 1999, explicitly breaking support for a competitor's device ):.

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself. -- A.H. Weiler

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