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Comment: Re:A non-UNIX OS in a UNIX world? (Score 1) 541

by squiggleslash (#47935767) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9

I wish Microsoft wasn't the only one.

Part of the reason geeks love *ix is because right now the alternative is Windows, and *ix matured rather better than the odd combination of technologies (an API and application model with its roots in Windows 1.0 coupled with a nice-ish kernel with inspiration from the unholy combination of VMS and the 1980s microkernel movement) that's called Windows today.

Throughout my life I've used a variety of different platforms, though the ability to choose something different dried up in the mid-nineties as one by one the alternatives either went bankrupt or became obsolete. Some - at the time I was using them, not now - felt more comfortable, flexible, and ultimately more usable, than *ix. AmigaOS 2.04+ (especially augmented with the GCC tools) would be an example (again, NOT NOW, THEN.) Others, like VMS, were ugly, and horrendous to use or program, but they were still valuable in terms of providing wonderful ideas that, alas, we've ignored since - VMS itself had generic job queues, indexed files right in the file system, a shell that didn't blindly execute files with the same name a command you'd typed, security passed upon roles and permissions, networking built into the file system (think if you could type "cat header.html scp://otherhost/home/squiggleslash/main.html footer.html > blah.html" - that's roughly what I'm talking about), all unfortunately crippled by some clumsy design decisions and a reliance on proprietary hardware.

*ix is great, but for those who've experienced more than Unix and Windows, it's... well, it's kind of like we settled. You know that couple who knew each other at high school, and then after a 20 year absence got married at 40? And they seem OK, but you realize both are bored, and both married because they felt like they were running out of options?

That's us and *ix.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 320

by squiggleslash (#47925799) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

Wait, iPhones autoplay music? As in, not only did Apple push the unwanted album to phones, but they then set up the iPhone to play it at full blast whenever you were nearby, forcing you to listen to it?

If that's the case, then that has been left out of the widespread news coverage of the story, which has just concentrated on the "Being uploaded to phones that were set up to automatically download new purchases", which most of us consider a minor inconvenience, if that.

Comment: Re:Lucky them (Score 1) 156

by squiggleslash (#47925323) Attached to: Court Rules the "Google" Trademark Isn't Generic

The results I get seem to be mostly people trying to come up with clever blog titles, not actually cases where someone innocently said "Well, I googled what you asked for, and Bing gave me over a gajillion results."

Indeed, I suspect there are multiple levels here. If someone tells me to "Go google something", I may use Bing in my quest to research whatever it is I've been asked to look up. OTOH, if I say "Well, I googled it, and found...", it'll generally be the case that I'm saying I actually used Google.

Comment: Re:If there was only one viable choice ... (Score 1) 156

by squiggleslash (#47925305) Attached to: Court Rules the "Google" Trademark Isn't Generic

Pro-tip, which I learned recently: Google has actually a hidden (well, obscure, it's there but there's no reason you'd think it does what it does) option that means "Just give me the results using the algorithms you used back when Google was useful." Search Tools -> (All Results) : Verbatim.

No, you can't make it a default. They track that you're probably male, probably interested in tech, and that you'd be a good person to present ads for spiked leather underpants to, but they don't track that you actually want useful search engine results. Sigh.

Comment: Re:Well, if you're going to push... (Score 1) 156

by squiggleslash (#47925247) Attached to: Court Rules the "Google" Trademark Isn't Generic

I'm in my forties, and I don't recall anyone ever using the term "Xerox". I've heard it used as an example of someone using a trademark generically, but not actually seen that occur in practice.

Same, BTW, goes for Kleenex. Everyone I know, since the dawn of time, has said "tissue".

Coke and Tylenol, yeah. But not Xerox or Kleenex.

Comment: Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (Score 2) 288

by squiggleslash (#47896311) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Bullshit. Those groups defend the laws, but they don't exist until the laws are passed. Licensed taxi drivers are a creation of regulation, not the creators of it.

The laws get created because enough people get ripped off, killed, and otherwise hurt by a completely unregulated marketplace that politicians feel the need to take action. The environment and circumstances in which the regulations were passed are so long ago that knee-jerk libertarians can claim, with a straight face, that they really believe that someone with a medallion lobbied for a law calling for the creation of the medallion system, knowing nobody will actually be able to recall the real reasons.

In the majority of cases, the laws make sense and are obvious to anyone looking in that they have little to do with protecting monopolies.

- To reduce the risks of accidents, most taxi regulations generally impose requirements on the skills and abilities of drivers, though frequently these aren't more than those required to get a driving license to begin with.
- To prevent a taxi driver's mistake causing untold harm to a client who ends up an accident victim, taxi drivers are generally required to carry more insurance than normal.
- To ensure the taxi provides a predictable level of service, and hence avoid clients being ripped off, taxi drivers generally are required to implement a standardized fare schedule, and usually have to pass certain tests about knowledge of local routes.

In rare cases, there may also be a quota system to prevent an overload of taxis. At a surface level, this might seem like an attempt to enforce a monopoly, but in fact it's usually the result of city commissioners trying to regulate traffic in general. The poster child for the this kind of regulation is New York City. You can pretend, if you want, that the problem with NYC is that there are too few taxis as a result of the medallion system, but, well, I've been there. Those photos you see of a typical Manhattan street clogged in all lanes by nothing but yellow cabs? Those aren't staged.

So no, licensed taxi drivers did not create the licensing system. Insured taxi drivers did not demand to be insured. Trained taxi drivers did not demand training requirements. And the Linux kernel never created Linus Torvalds.

Comment: Re:The End Result . . . (Score 1) 290

by squiggleslash (#47888331) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

That would work if one of their internal lawyers had mentioned it in passing and that's how Google had found out about the problem. However, in this case it's government regulators who brought the subject, which means Google now knows its being watched and knows there's the risk of regulators demanding to see internal documents and auditing their systems.

So no, Google can't, now, go for the runaround option. They have to implement something that means someone at least views the comments that are received by that email address.

Comment: Re:Rather cumbersome (Score 1) 77

by squiggleslash (#47879005) Attached to: Amazon Instant Video Now Available On Android

Thanks for posting this. The app mentioned in the summary is a completely different one and I was left thinking someone had confused the Google TV app - which has been out for a long time - with the rumors Amazon was about to release a general Amazon instant video app.

Of course, now I've installed the real one, I can't actually get it to play anything (error of "Unknown error" every time I try to play anything) but at least I found the right app.

Given the name, "Prime Video", I'm wondering if the app is only available to those with a Prime subscription - ie you can't use it if you just want to rent/buy movies and have no Prime account.

Comment: Re:How quickly will they run back to Oracle? (Score 1) 198

SQL is ugly, but unfortunately everyone who has attempted to reinvent it hasn't understood it, and has produced something with only a tiny percentage of its critical functionality.

It's the best we've got. NoSQL? A terrible movement made up not of SQL's critics, but of those who have no understanding of the relevent technologies.

Comment: Re:How quickly will they run back to Oracle? (Score 2) 198

No, he's right. The "Not only" thing is a recent thing. Wikipedia said nothing about it in 2009 (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=NoSQL&oldid=335085794), and the NoSQL site itself admits that people "now use" the "Not only" term claiming that the "original" NoSQL was "misleading". Besides which, it'd be NOSQL, not NoSQL, if it had "always" meant that.

I remember NoSQL first coming onto the scene, with its advocates being strong opponents of SQL itself. Regretfully the movement was at its peak when efforts to put a database in the web standards were ongoing, resulting in WebSQL being rejected and IndexedDB being put in its place. Why? Read the W3C discussions at the time. The hostility was to SQL. The reasons revolved around SQL. It was SQL specifically that was rejected.

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