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Comment Too little, too late (Score 1) 242

I live in Africa, where none of those shows are broadcast anyway. I buy shows one series at a time, rip them to a NAS, and watch them on Roku. I haven't seen a commercial in many years, and don't intend to. I also watch what I want when I want it. Downside: I'm a year or two behind, but that doesn't bother me. Upside: I can wait until the ratings in and let the rest of the world decide for me which shows are worth watching and which are crap (exception: the public sometimes gives high marks to stupid shows). Cost to me one a full season of one show: just less than one dollar.

I'll never watch over-the-air or cable television again. Never.

Comment OSX 10.6 (Score 1) 140

I'm running 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) (posting from it, in fact), so this decision affects me.

I realize software companies have to pull the plug sometime, but this decision is a hassle for me. Already Apple has stopped updating Safari. I moved to Firefox which was so buggy and crash-prone I got frustrated. Moved to Chrome, which has worked well. This puts me one step closer to no browser.

My gripe is that my hardware is working perfectly well. I have no REAL reason to buy a new computer except for the fact that software companies force me to. This machine (a Mac mini) is working absolutely perfectly.

I face the same issue with Itunes, which I can't update because the new version requires a version of OSX I'm not running. Furthermore, not only has the latest version of OSX gotten pretty 'meh' reviews, it's pretty clear installing it on older hardware takes a working machine and turns it into a deadweight - the latest OSX works terribly on a Mac Mini purchased in 2010. (The charts show it is possible, but the user reviews all say "this was a mistake").

Not sure what I'll do with this machine - make it into a media box or something, or flash it and install FreeBSD or something. But I'm annoyed - this hardware works just fine; I have no reason to go out and splash down another thousand bucks just because software companies decide to give up on it.

Finally, connect the dots, people: each year software companies give up on old hardware a bit faster. In another decade they won't bother supporting anything other than machines sold that year, and we'll have moved computing hardware into something disposable, which is ecologically ridiculous. Already they've got you throwing out your old iphone every two years so you can have the latest and greatest - imagine how rich you'd make the magnates if you threw out your desktop every two years, too.

This sucks.

Comment Re:The Commit Message (Score 2) 572

FreeBSD has not chosen to incorporate Systemd and is doing just fine, thankyaverymuch. They also have more than enough resources to keep it in the shape they'd like it.

Caveat: the FreeBSD team admits something better than init scripts will soon be necessary. But they're taking the time to figure out what and why and how. In the meantime, install FreeBSD or the desktop version that installs easily: PC-BSD, and enjoy a nice systemd-free experience. Oh no, it doesn't boot in 3 seconds! But it also doesn't make a mess of your system.

Comment I'm conflicted about this (Score 5, Interesting) 104

This is going to affect me and I'm not sure yet what I think about it. I use both Android and ChomeOS. I bought the Chromebook expecting to wipe it and put Linux on it, but found instead that it was a decent little laptop with spectacular battery life and a simple interface. Basically the chrome browser plus a keyboard, and I find myself putting down the Android tablet and reaching for it whenever I have some serious typing to do (like a Slashdot post for example). It's got a terminal extension that allows me to SSH into remote boxes and that plus the browser cover 85% of my use cases (no good Usenet client is its biggest shortcoming for me). Wish it had more apps, but for the things I use a computer/keyboard for, it's basically good enough.

In my pocket the Android phone (Samsung Note 3) is my daily workhorse. Love it, but it's not as simple as ChromeOS, no doubt about it.

I think we all knew this day was coming. ChromeOS needs a better app ecosystem and Android will provide it. And Android will be good on a laptop with a keyboard. But I'm somewhat leery about this. Just wish they'd provided a couple more things with ChromeOS.

Guess we'll find out soon enough. Point is: I expected not to like ChromeOS and found out I liked it quite a bit: terminal client, easy networking, dead simple peripheral configuration, file manager, and a great browser: these days I don't need a hell of a lot more than that in a secondary machine (meaning, I do my graphics, scanning, etc. on the desktop).

Comment Pipedot had this article a year ago (Score 1) 39

Was just reading where astronomers have seen a supernova event twice now due to gravitational lensing which allows the same image to take four different routes to our eyes.

This must be the same thing happening then, because I first read about the Kinshasa traffic robots on a full freaking year ago.

I'd like to scream "Dupe" but rather I'll scream "Missed it by a mile." WTF, Slashdot, this is like archeology these days. This news dates back to March 2014.

Comment Re:Good news (Score 1) 30

This is great news. I'd be thrilled to support something that breaks the current duopoly in smartphone OSes. And I don't have high hopes for Mozilla's Firefox OS - I figure, if that team can't make sense of their browser, they don't belong in the OS business, much less the smartphone OS business, as far as I'm concerned.

Go Jolla, you punky bastard, you!

Comment Re:Quick Update (Score 1) 86

Ha ha, I can appreciate the corporate-speak here (to truly appreciate the announcement you have to imagine the speaker pronouncing those words while simultaneously gargling a ballsack). I'm glad to see the reversion back to a more usable interface, and sorry to see management took a year to wake up and smell the coffee. I can only imagine page views were really dwindling there.

All is not lost. It was a year ago I left Slashdot over this Beta mess, and I've been active at three places since then: comp.misc on Usenet,, and Each has its community now and each is useful and interesting in ways that keep me coming back.

Not sure if I'll come back to Slashdot after all of this. Slashdot sometimes gets the stories first, but the stick they've poked in the eye of the community still kind of burns.

Catch me on Usenet, punks.

Comment Media vs Reality (Score 1) 384

This is a good article and a good post, but the "Czar" thing isn't reflected in the article itself, so it's a bit of creativity on the part of the submitter.

The issue here is the mainstream media, which have seized on this and are whipping up people's emotions. No one expected anything else from tv "journalism" these days, but still, it's pathetic to see how it is playing out. I live in West Africa in a country that until recently was exposed to ebola. There was a patient living not more than 5 miles from my house. But life here is surprisingly calm and people are not panicking in any way, shape, or form.

Back in the States it's panic and mayhem, and as seen from abroad it looks like a big joke, which is exactly what news media have become. It's too bad.

On Reddit they had a contest to complete the sentence, "than have gotten ebola in the United States." One of the winners was, "More people have married Kim Kardashian ..."

Keep it perspective, people.

Comment Poop bombs - go! (Score 4, Funny) 92

This technology has infinite uses. Say for example, there are some politicians in my country to whom I'd like to mail a bag of soggy dog poop. That might be a problem using traditional mail systems, but thanks to drone technology, you can just attach the bag of poop to a drone and pilot it over them as they're walking to work. Then, because the drone is probably busy with other demands, it's probably most efficient if, rather than landing, it just releases the attach hooks and drops that bag from its normal hovering altitude.

See, this is progress, thanks to technological advancement!

Comment That guy just wasted his time (Score 0) 314

It was probably, intellectually, an interesting and challenging project. But that guy has just wasted his summer - and his code - building something no one actually wants. Have a look here - where there's reporting about a growing systemd boycott taking place.

People don't like or want systemd and are increasingly organizing to avoid it. Non systemd distros - gentoo, slackware - plus FreeBSD, where I'll be migrating my home computer tonight after work - are starting to look pretty darned good to people again.

It's true there is a need for something more dynamic and responsive than the old init script system, but systemd is not it.

Comment it's not a technical problem (Score 1) 116

It's obvious American kids aren't reading enough, and the impact and consequences of not reading are pretty well known. But this is a cultural problem, not a technical problem, and proposing a hardware solution is not the right way forward and therefore won't work.

If kids wanted to read, they could do so basically for free already by getting a free library card and going from there. New hardware won't fix this.

Comment Lots of stuff (Score 1) 635

Let's see. And by preface, I'll say I'm in my 40s, so I'm not quite yet a dinosaur. Still:

Old fashioned "safety razor" with double edged blades, fountain pen, pocket watch.

I converted all my cassettes and DVDs and stuff, so I'm modern in that aspect. But on the protocol side: I still use FTP, telnet, IRC, and Usenet pretty extensively. I'm happiest at a text console, and not just because most Linux desktops piss me off something fierce.

Other old tech: eye glasses? A sailboat? Camping gear?

Comment Re:Usenet (Score 1) 635

Ha! Come join some other Slashcott refugees at comp.misc then. It's a pretty cool group. I also run a news server (with difficulty; INND is a royal pain in the arse): it runs the dictator.* hierarchy from (on Usenet you can connect to for Usenet access to that hierarchy).

No regrets - I love that tech!

Comment Chill out - I dig it (Score 4, Interesting) 149

I don't know why there's so much hatred about this being a slashvertisement. I actually like articles about new hardware - it's one of the reasons I still visit sites like this.

I dig the new machine, and totally support people looking into alternative and hopefully improved/innovative designs. This thing looks cool.

You guys will figure that out when you calm down a bit.

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig