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Comment: Re:You've gotta be kidding. (Score 1) 91

by urdak (#45266721) Attached to: HP Sues Seven Optical Drive Makers Over Price-Fixing

Agreed: Caddies are good. Easy to handle, and protected by default. I wish, especially, that game consoles would adopt them (because game discs are expensive and essentially impossible to usefully duplicate)

The problem here is, of course, disks you cannot duplicate. Not the lack of caddies.

After my children's DVDs were often scratched and destroyed I started duplicating them and letting the kids watch the duplicates. The DVD industry would have you think that by duplicating a DVD I'm a pirate. They are idiots - the real pirates don't duplicate CDs they already bought - they download from the 'net, and never bother with DVDs...

+ - New operating system sets out to replace Linux on the cloud

Submitted by urdak
urdak (457938) writes "Today in CloudOpen in New Orleans, KVM veterans Avi Kivity and Dor Laor revealed their latest venture, a new open-source (BSD license) operating system named OSv. OSv can run existing Linux programs and runtime environments such as a JVM, but unlike Linux, OSv was designed from the ground up to run efficiently on virtual machines. For example, OSv avoids the traditional (but slow) userspace-kernel isolation, as on the cloud VMs normally run a single application. OSv is also much smaller than Linux, and breaks away from tradition by being written in C++11 (the language choice is explained in in this post)."

Comment: Re:Misty watercolor memories (Score 5, Insightful) 102

by urdak (#43147391) Attached to: Don't Write Them Off: A Palm Retrospective

Palm's handwriting innovation wasn't technological. It was psychological. They managed to convince consumers that it was cool and hip to learn to write in a way that the device could interpret. That made the technical aspect much more manageable.

It wasn't just "cool and hip" to use Palm's new writing style - it was also fast and more reliable - e.g., when writing A just write an upside-down V and don't write the middle line.

I remember a conference I attended in 1999, where for 3 days I sat and wrote notes on my Palm V. Palm's writing technique was very fast, very convenient (the device was very small, and I could write without looking at the screen all the time - which you can't do on today's smartphones) and also - after 3 days of writing, I still had half my battery left!

I wish that Palm would have continued to build devices and operating systems...

Comment: Re:That's funny.... (Score 1) 533

by urdak (#42936737) Attached to: Are Plastic Bag Bans Making People Sick?

It's not that I don't do my own laundry, it's that I have kids, meaning there's so much laundry to do, there's rarely a situation when the machine isn't fully loaded.
Moreover, if the machine *is* half-loaded, my washing machine automatically uses less water. If I put more things in, it uses more water. There's no magic and no free lunches here.

Another good question - if the bags are filled with dangerous bacteria (like TFA claims), is it a good idea to wash my children's cloths with it? :-)

BTW, most of the reusable bags I have are made out of some strange kind of cloth that I'd really hesitate to wash in a machine (the person who started this thread suggested hand-wash, which is what annoyed me). And many reusable bags here also have some sort of cardboard bottom, which definitely cannot be washed (although it can be thrown away, I guess, it isn't essential).

Comment: Re:That's funny.... (Score -1) 533

by urdak (#42936037) Attached to: Are Plastic Bag Bans Making People Sick?

So basically, you're saying that to avoid having a plastic bag blow on your tree once in a blue moon, you'd rather enslave yourself to washing reusable bags?
And you continue to want reusable bags even if it's not clear that washing (using electricity, water and soap) doesn't hurt the environment more?
And you continue to want reusable bags even if you're told that people do reuse even plastic bags (assuming they aren't completely crappy)?
And you continue to want reusable bags even if they cause food poisoning - rarely, but still measurably?

All of this sounds to me like reusable bags is a religion, not anything related to logic or science.
Ok, so you're saying that this is a common religion only outside the USA, but it nevertheless sounds like a religion.

Comment: Re:That's funny.... (Score 4, Informative) 533

by urdak (#42935779) Attached to: Are Plastic Bag Bans Making People Sick?

On what planet do people actually have time to hand-wash a dozen bags each week? Not on mine... So nobody I know ever washes these things. When they *look* dirty (which might be too late) people throw them away.

Even when you use a reusable bag, the sensible thing to do with certain kinds of food - especially uncooked meat - is to put them in a plastic bag. This plastic bag will protect the reusable bag, your car, and your fridge, from being contaminated.

In any case, this whole ban on plastic bags is nothing short of idiocy. Plastic bags *are* reusable, and people (e.g., me) do reuse them all the time, for anything from collecting garbage, carrying wet clothes from the pool, collecting dog excrement or cat litter, etc., etc. If people won't have these bags from the supermarket, they would buy them anyway. Heck, when was the last time you saw anyone throwing away plastic shopping bags, without reusing them first?

Comment: Re:How does that work? (Score 1) 331

by urdak (#42776929) Attached to: Internet-Deprived Kids Turning To 'McLibraries'

The article does mention that folks will generally feel obligated buy something

When I was a child, McDonalds used to have big signs saying "No Loitering". I asked my parents what this meant, and they told me that in high-priced restaurants, cafes, etc., it is customary for someone to sit for hours talking over a meal (we didn't have laptops then...), while in McDonalds you're supposed to eat quickly and leave.
When has this changed? Can't the McDonalds operators call the police on you if you sit there for hours?

Comment: My experience is opposite... Fedora 18 is better! (Score 2) 380

by urdak (#42678367) Attached to: Alan Cox: Fedora 18 "The Worst Red Hat Distro," Switches To Ubuntu

I've been using Red Hat's linux distributions for 14 years, since I first switched my aging Slackware installation to Redhat 5.2. Since then, I've been upgrading or installing every new Redhat/Fedora release that came out.
The last few upgrades, to F15, F16 and F17 were a real pain - on every release the upgrade failed in the middle, or succeeded and left me with half the system not running and I needed to spend a whole day on fixing things (a person with less experience would just give up and switch to a different distribution...).
But the upgrade to F18 (with the new "fedup" tool) was surprisingly smooth. The upgrade just worked, and when the new system came up, everything just worked... A few annoying new bugs (like the new gphoto2 suddenly not working correctly, but that's not Fedora's fault) but nothing serious.
So if anything, F18 was the first time in years that I did *not* consider switch to Ubuntu right after the upgrade.

Comment: Re:Cinnamon (Score 1) 118

by urdak (#42596467) Attached to: Fedora 18 Released

Fedora 18 features an installer that is rewritten and redesigned from the ground up. It replaces the old 13+ year old installer from previous versions of Fedora. You can learn more about it at the new installer informational page on the Fedora wiki.

That's 13+ years of refinement. There was very little that was wrong with it.

Really? As someone who installed/upgraded about 26 versions of Redhat and Fedora over the last 13 years, I can tell you, there was plenty wrong with it. The most obvious gaping hole was that while a package (out of the 2000 packages on the list) was installing, the whole thing froze. Usually this wasn't a big problem, but in rare cases where one of the 2000 packages had a script bug (and this happened SEVERAL times over the last 13 years), the whole installation froze, and there was nothing you could do about it - you wouldn't even know about it because the display blanked, and that's it. At least after a rewrite they used a normal GUI framework, where while running a package's script, the event loop continues to run, and the GUI still works.

Comment: Re:Woohoo (Score 1) 535

by urdak (#42511247) Attached to: C Beats Java As Number One Language According To TIOBE Index

Premature celebration much?

....

Trends show that it's just a random spike in C's index, which is pretty much gone now.

It doesn't look like a "random spike to me" - quite the contrary - the trend graph appears to show that C's popularity has hardly changed in the last decade (going up and down between 15% and 20%), while Java's popularity sunk in the last decade (from 27% to 17%) and C++ also showing a steady decline (from 17% to 10%). Perhaps a "random spike" caused C to surpass Java this year, but the trend is obvious - Java will soon be dethroned.

Comment: A piece of non-news... (Score 2) 132

by urdak (#42371361) Attached to: Israeli Bill Would Allow Secret Blacklists For Websites

The summary, as well as the article, contains the sentence "Israel is to attempt, again, to pass a bill ...".
Another way to phrase it is: "The bill did *not* pass last time, and may end up not passing again.".
Sounds less sinister, doesn't it? And non-news....

In other words., unlike some other countries (most notably the U.S.) where laws for taking down Websites have passed and have been used, laws outlawing various behaviors that have nothing to do with copying as "copyright circumvention", laws allowing people to be banished from the Internet have passed etc., - none of this crap exists in Israel. So if anything, the Internet freedom situation is *better* in Israel than in most countries.

Comment: Your mails *are* spam (Score 5, Insightful) 321

by urdak (#38596940) Attached to: Why Freemium Doesn't Work

While he makes some interesting points, I think he misunderstands the spam issue, and why his users, especially free users, rightly marked his mail as "spam":

If I look at spam I get, some of it is "random" spam. E.g., someone I never heard of trying to sell me viagra, or asking me to help smuggle $10,000,000 he stole while being the president of his country. But a growing percentage of the spam are people who confused a one-time business relationship with my desire to read all about them and their products for the next 20 years. E.g., I'm constantly getting mails from a particular hotel I once stayed at, mails from some company I once bought from, etc. People *hate* that, and it doesn't really help that they once used your services - they still hate the spam.

But why did free users complain more? That's easy: Every paying user remembered you and your service, and most of them "forgave" the one time "thank you mail" (but be warned, they won't so easily forgive repeated annoyances). From the free users, a lot of them probably don't even remember what service you provided them. Heck, it is possible that half of them never even fully used (e.g., didn't even complete a card) or didn't enjoy your service, and you don't know that. These people have no recollection who you are, and thought that even a "thank you" letter was an outright spam.

What should you do about the spam thing next time? Don't make the "I want to get mails" checkbox hidden in some long form and default to on. You have two options - either make it default to "off" (so only people who REALLY want to get your mails will get them, but be warned that few people will actually want that), or, if you want it to default to "on" make a very very clear screen which basically says "I'm giving you this service for free, in exchange for the right to mail you in the future. If you do not agree, or would consider such mails to be spam, please do not use this service.".

Comment: Re:Strange names (Score 2) 276

by urdak (#38308156) Attached to: Researchers Expanding Diff, Grep Unix Tools

Like 'cat' for concatenate, or vi for what exactly?

"vi" is short of "visual".
First there was "ed", the, you guessed it, "editor". But "ed" was a real pain to use, because you wouldn't see what you were actually editing (if you ever used ed, you'd know what I mean). So the "visual" editor "vi" was invented.

Comment: Re:Why does anybody want more competition? (Score 1) 85

by urdak (#35960622) Attached to: DirecTV Plans Netflix Competitor

No, the GP was actually right - in this kind of competition, prices go *up*, not down.
Why?
Because the situation today is that the law requires companies like Netflix to beg and bargain for content from the different movie studios and distribution companies. As Netflix and DirecTV and others compete, each will try to get "better" movies, "exclusive" movies, and so on, allowing the movie producers to *increase* the prices they charge these companies. Consumer will get higher prices and fewer choices - because some of the content you wish to see was made "exclusive" to the streaming company you don't use...

The only solution I see is to make laws or regulations allowing any company to broadcast *any* movie or show, for a predetermined (by the rights holder) price. Even better (but perhaps this is too idealistic) would be that the price for any movie will be the same. A similar situation exists in the radio business - radio stations can play any piece of music they want providing they pay royalties - and individual radio stations do not have to deal and bargain with rights holders to play each different song.

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