It may not be that old but, it's definitely of nostalgic value for a lot of people. 12 cores isn't mindblowing these days but, in 2001, cramming 12 processors (not 12 cores) into a single rack mountable computer was a very impressive feat. I worked at Sun in the late 90s and I'd love to own some brand new gear from that era because, in those days, Sun was doing really impressive things with hardware in an exciting time. It's like wanting to own a muscle car. It's probably not that fast, it handles like garbage, it uses too much gas, etc. But, damn, it's cool.
It's pretty simple what you can do about it: Don't buy subsidized phones. Not only do you end up paying more for a subsidized phone, you lose your rights to do whatever you want with it.
I really don't understand why people are so up in arms about this. I'm a card carrying member of the EFF and ACLU and, apart from the fact that this is a criminal offense instead of a civil issue, I'm not really that concerned because the "loophole" is so simple: Buy your fucking phone instead of renting it.
One of the problems I frequently notice with Python is that since whitespace has syntactic meaning, it seems like many Python programmers ONLY use whitespace for syntactic purposes. The language itself isn't too bad but, I can't count the number of times I've opened up a
Even if it weren't highly objectionable to allow a web page to query the status of my ad blocker, browser based blocking is only one form of ad blocking. You can also use a hosts file, a proxy (like squid), or even your router (like untangle). In fact, on a public/company network, you may not even be aware of the fact that you are blocking ads because it may be done at a level that you aren't in control of.
You can also go the other way if you are willing to use Xen. You can run native (well, Dom0) linux and then run a Windows VM with a VGA-passthrough video card to it. It's non-trivial to setup but, I've played at least a dozen Windows big release games at max graphics on my linux workstation using this method.
Hint: You will also need to get a PCI USB controller and a KVM to do this. (And, oddly, ATI cards are what you want for the passthrough card).
I don't think most people want to control their own devices. For home users a computer is an appliance that they will use for a handful of tasks. As long as the hardware does those things, they don't really care how open it is. To use a car analogy, the software in your car likely makes the air to fuel ratios inaccessible to tinker with. Most people don't care as long as the car runs right. For the people that do care, there are after market engine management systems and even cars that have those things directly accessible.
I'm also not convinced that all computing will end up locked down. Even with a fairly dystopian view of the future, there are two things I think will prevent it: 1) Server grade hardware. It's one thing to lock down a consumer grade device but business will not stand for a locked down server and I can't imagine vendors thinking they would. 2) Hobby markets. Things like the Raspberry Pi and similar devices are going to keep getting better, cheaper and more common. The vendors of those types of hardware have no incentive to lock down the hardware. I understand that at the moment not all the drivers for these devices might be open source but, this is still a fairly new market and I think going forward, a lot of interesting things are going to happen with these types of devices.
That's completely incorrect. Modern CPU power savings uses a strategy called "race to idle". The deeper idle states (C-states) are so power efficient that the best power savings comes from doing everything as fast as possible and then returning to the deepest idle state. Waiting for information to come back from a spinning disk likely prevents the CPU from getting into the deepest idle states. If you are going to read a gigabyte of data, it's more power efficient to do it as fast as possible.
Even if you are running a 32-bit OS on a machine with 4GB of RAM, you'll need to use a PAE kernel to take advantage of all the RAM. Some of the 4GB address space (usually around 400-500MB) will be reserved for things like PCI-Express so, 10% or more of your RAM is likely to be unaddressable for applications by a non-PAE kernel. This isn't an issue when you get down to 3GB or less though.
Home theaters are generally setup in small enough rooms that even a 5.1 system is very immersive. Having upgraded from 5.1 to 7.1 to 9.2 in the last year, the immersiveness has improved but, it's incremental enough that I can't imagine and wouldn't even encourage most people bothering with it. Having extra speakers on the z and y axises (height and wide channels) will make some movie scenes more impressive but, in general, it's ambient noises that come out of those channels and, if you already have a properly setup and calibrated 5.1 system with even moderately priced speakers, most of the time you won't notice much of a difference.
As for having speakers on the ceiling, that's completely pointless for a home theater. Having height channels (PLIIz/DSX/DTS:Neo) a few feet above your front speakers is sufficient to give your ear the impression that things are happening directly above you. Just like side surrounds can play phase tricks on your ears to make you think something is happening directly behind you, height channels can make things sound like they are directly above you. And this technology is already available on mid-priced 7.1 receivers.
I've used 12.5"-13.3" laptops for my development machines for years and you are exactly right. The key is setting up your environment to make the most of your screen realestate. By default most OS installs and applications are designed to be familiar/pretty with little thought to maximizing viewing space on a small screen. There are plenty of things you can do to maximize your working area: Effective and heavy use of virtual desktops, get rid of unused menu/tool bars, remove window decorations for maximized windows (devilspie), moving tab bars to the side instead of on top, put the task bar in a vertical orientation, learn your keyboard shortcuts, etc.
720 vertical pixels seems very limiting but, if you take some time to setup your environment, you can actually use all 720 of them to as a work area.
Don't try dropping a new kernel source tar-ball onto RH Enterprise Server, Fedora, or even Ubunto -- it will break your system, and your $$$$ support agreement.
The support agreement part is possible but the actual building and installation of a new kernel on Debian/Ubuntu couldn't be easier. With a single command you can build proper
The Xen + IOMMU setup is what I use and it works great once you get it setup. Hardware selection is the key to making it less painful to setup. Specifically, if you try to use an nVidia card as the passthrough card, you are in for a world of pain but, an ATI 6800 series is essentially an out of the box experience once you configure the bootloader to block the device from dom0. You'll also need to be careful which distro you use. The Debian flavor of distros do an awesome job of setting up grub to do the Xen magic so, something like Xubuntu 12.04 (haven't tried this setup on 11.10) should be ideal once it's released but, if you use something like Debian 6, you'll end up needing to get Xen 4.1 and a newer kernel (3.1+) to support the PCI passthrough backend. Both of those things are pretty simple to do if you know you need to do them beforehand.
Once you get the basics setup, you'll probably want to pass a few other PCI devices through. If you buy a cheap PCI USB controller, you can pass that through to the VM and then use a KVM to switch between Linux and Windows. If you have a crazy enough motherboard (or secondary cards), you can also passthrough things like one of your onboard NICs and my motherboard even has an LSI SAS controller that passes through just fine (you can't use it for boot devices but, RAID0 WD Raptors run at native speeds in the VM).
It sounds like a big hassle to setup and, if you are going at it completely blind, it definitely is but, once you get it setup, it's rock solid, native performance and no real upkeep at all. I've played things like Dragon Age II and Skyrim at max settings at 1920x1080 and had literally no problems.
I guess I don't know much about the EU parliament but isn't, "the people who elected me are against this" a sufficent reason to vote against it? What's the point in having elected officials if they can't represent the people that elected them?
Why would a "Militant Linux Zealot" buy a laptop with AMD graphics? Support for AMD graphics has always been poor and even the most basic research when buying a machine would turn up this fact. I agree that you are "in a real minority" but, not because you use linux for everything (hell, my parents do that) but because you use linux for everything and purchased the worst possible graphics platform for doing that.