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Comment: Re:Notifications in calendar (Score 1) 182

by steveg (#49345887) Attached to: GNOME 3.16 Released

Does that mean you no longer get a pop-up?

Because if that's the case, putting it in the calendar might be better. Not good, but better than a pop-up. What I'd really like to do is disable notifications entirely, or at least selectively be able to disable various functions' abilities to display notifications. Like printing.

You run a script to print out a hundred or so separate files and the side of your desktop fills up with announcements of files that have been printed. Why?

Comment: Re:How many minutes until this is mandatory? (Score 1) 282

by steveg (#49332355) Attached to: Ford's New Car Tech Prevents You From Accidentally Speeding

My Ford has a speed limit database set up as part of the Nav data for the GPS. However, it is apparently set with a maximum permissible speed limit of 74 mph. That means that it is artificially low for most of the Interstate highways in the west. Most western states have a limit of 75 on the open road -- some have stretches of 80.

Comment: Re:Always nice to collect money for no work (Score 4, Insightful) 148

by steveg (#49221881) Attached to: Microsoft Asks US Court To Ban Kyocera's Android Phones

The nature of the way patents are written is that they *are* hidden from public view -- while in plain sight.

And are they necessary? Economists Michele Boldrin and David Levine make a *very* compelling case that they are not. The purpose of patents and copyright is to provide incentive to cause creators to create ("Promote progress" in the words of the Constitution), but the evidence that they show makes a really strong case that intellectual property actually retards progress.

And Gates made that point himself in an internal Microsoft memo many years ago. "If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today."

Comment: Re: I am Faraday (Score 1) 99

by steveg (#49189813) Attached to: Has the Supreme Court Made Patent Reform Legislation Unnecessary?

You're right, and I left that out. If we deregulate and get the "ebil gummint" out of this, authors and inventors would be on their own, as I said, but the corrollary would be that it might be harder to build on previous inventions.

The implicit deal that inventors have with the public is that they disclose the details of their invention in return for a period of guaranteed monopoly. Without that built-in monopoly, they would do everything they could to obscure how their invention works, to be able to stave off imitators as long as possible.

Which, if you look at many patent applications, is not so far from the case now, *with* patents.

Authors and other "expressive" creators would have no such option. There's nothing to keep secret in expressive works.

Comment: Re:I am Faraday (Score 1) 99

by steveg (#49183021) Attached to: Has the Supreme Court Made Patent Reform Legislation Unnecessary?

The purpose of both copyright and patents are to give creators an incentive to create. After the term of the granted monopoly runs out, other people are allowed to take that creation and build on it. This is called "the public domain."

This process maximizes the total amount of creativity.

If we make "ownership" of creative works perpetual, then we choke off creation, because there's nothing left to build on. That's obviously not in society's interest. So if it's not in society's interest, why give any monopoly rights at all? Just deregulate it in the first place, go back to "nature, red in tooth and claw" just like it was before 1710. Authors would be on their own.

Comment: Re:As long as it is not an official power rangers (Score 1) 255

by steveg (#49173667) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

I'm not a big fan of the notion that derivative works should be subject to copyright restriction. The Wind Done Gone was allowed even over the objections of Margaret Mitchell's estate. However, as it stands right now, characters *are* copyrighted.

The Star Wars Kid was posted involuntarily, and is short enough to be fair use in any case, but in the early days Lucasfilm went after fan films. Later on they allowed them. Disney might have a different take. Don't know about the owners of the Star Trek franchise.

It's all about whether the copyright owner allows others to play in their universe -- as an earlier poster pointed out, J. K. Rowling says yes, Anne Rice says no.

Comment: Re: If you hate Change so much...... (Score 1) 516

by steveg (#49138445) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10

If by "you all" you mean the ivory tower UX morons, you're right.

Flat is ugly, no matter who's doing it. Yes, it really does seem like it's a bandwagon everybody seems to think they have to jump on. Each new version of Windows gets uglier, each new version of Android gets uglier, each new version of IOS gets uglier, and so on. Linux is not immune -- each new version of Gnome or KDE also gets uglier, at least out of the box. With Linux it's at least possible to do some customization.

Apple seems to have traded in "beauty" for "design" and "style" for "fashion." They're not the same.

Comment: Re:Indeed, BSD is already a popular desktop OS (Score 1) 393

by steveg (#49083259) Attached to: PC-BSD: Set For Serious Growth?

Not really. I don't especially care what other people do. But it does mean that a Linux desktop will continue to be more useful to me than MacOS. It was suggested that a Mac made a good replacement for my Linux desktop since it was so Unixy. But the part that matters to me really isn't.

Now, if Wayland comes along and eliminates those benefits on Linux, and if X itself ends up going away... Well, I guess I'm just going to have to start kicking people off my lawn.

Comment: Re:Indeed, BSD is already a popular desktop OS (Score 1) 393

by steveg (#49082703) Attached to: PC-BSD: Set For Serious Growth?

I hadn't been aware of XQuartz. However, looking at what I've found about it, I get the impression it only gives those benefits to X apps. In other words, native apps would still behave in their normal manner. Is that correct?

Since what I'm primarily using is a text editor and a web browser (I grade student homework in the browser and paste in my boilerplate "correct" answers from the text file) I'm not sure that XQuartz would do me any good. The apps I would be using would still not get the focus and cut and paste goodness of X.

Comment: Re:Indeed, BSD is already a popular desktop OS (Score 1, Informative) 393

by steveg (#49071219) Attached to: PC-BSD: Set For Serious Growth?

I tried using OSX to replace my Linux desktop. Some parts were pretty usable, but inability to set a useful focus policy and the really cumbersome way that cut and paste works made it ultimately too hard to get anything done.

I like being able to copy text from a window that is *not* on top and paste it into a window that may or may not be on top -- without them re-arranging their order. With MacOS each copy and paste involved multiple clicks, all of which invlved the Z-order flipping all around. Slowed me down enormously.

"You're a creature of the night, Michael. Wait'll Mom hears about this." -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"