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You really do not pay extra for the Windows license. Twenty to thirty bucks amounts to 1-2% of the final purchase price. It is very cheap. From the manufacturer's perspective, this gives them reduced distribution, support, and inventory costs witch would otherwise be added to the product price. Not surprising if the Windows computer is actually cheaper.
The real reason for getting this laptop is because it's a nice laptop with components that are well supported in Linux. And it is highly likely that Google will continue to support, or require the component designers continue to support, Linux into the foreseeable future.
Usability of the scroll wheel as a center button varies greatly from mouse to mouse. With some mice it is impossible to use without scrolling and with others it is ok. My current mouse, the M525, is poor - but tolerable once you get used to it. My previous mouse, some generic Dell mouse, was much better.
One should go to a computer shop and try them out. Do not assume they are all horrible just because some are.
Had a Chinese friend that said the exact same thing. On that note, another friend explained to me why civil unrest in China is not going to happen any time soon.
The people love their government. Every year the quality of life for the average Chinese increases significantly. As long as this continues there will be no unrest. Say something bad about the Chinese government and the older generation will actually get mad.
The newest generation is different. They have not been without and have much higher expectations of their government. When this generation constitutes the majority and the older generation has died out you will have the potential for civil unrest.
In time China will become more like the Western world. And there is nothing wrong with taking some time. Force Democracy on a populous that is not ready for it and the results are not pretty.
Canada extradites Canadians to the US on a regular basis. Typically, these people have committed a crime in the US and are being sent back to receive their punishment - also in the US. Only stipulation is that they can not receive the death penalty because Canadians do not consider it humane. The same thing applies to Americans who commit crimes in Canada.
The American and Canadian governments have an agreement in place to prevent criminals from jumping the boarder with hopes of avoiding punishment. This has not been used for cases of infringement. If they tried, it probably would not work.
If you are not doing any data processing then simply increasing the RAM and using an SSD has a huge impact. I have a 2.9 GHz i7-920 and I can not see the difference between it and a more modern system. It was an excellent buy - 5 years and it is still great. The addition of an SSD was key to keeping it fast.
Sounds like you know what you're doing with respect to storage but using a modern SSD and maxing out the RAM will likely help. Video cards have also improved significantly in the past 5 years and might warrant an upgrade. Doubt you would notice much of a speed difference between it and a new computer.
These latest CPUs do not appear to improve CPU performance at all. They talk about GPU improvements, reduced energy consumption, and improved video encoding. If they did not bother mentioning CPU performance then you can be assured that it is minimal if any.
What they do talk about is price - $426 for 1000 units of the i7-5557U. With prices like that there will be a market for AMD CPUs. But it is a shame that AMD is not faster. With Intel the only game in town CPU prices will skyrocket. Even now, Intel appears to be competing more with themselves then AMD. Hard to warrant a computer upgrade these days.
Yes, a high minimum wage is required to prevent such a system from being abused. Either that or the employer should pay a set amount to the government in addition to whatever is paid to the employee. If a foreign programmer can remain hired for several years, despite an artificially high cost being applied to the employer, then give them a path to citizenship - the US well benefit from them.
US programmers are at a disadvantage due to the hight cost of education. Foreign educated programmers can afford to work for less due to state sponsored education. This fact breaks the market for labor which makes no allowances for these conditions. It is not fair and laws should exist to protect domestic workers.
But Google makes money from targeted advertising - and they need to see your data for that. Google will always have the ability to view data stored on their servers because that is their basic business model. One has to pay for what you described. Apple claims to provide such a service. You pay for this indirectly by purchasing an Apple device.
So unless you shell out some cash there is no way to get free stable encrypted storage. The idea is nice, but economically unfeasible.
Remember that Intel has a massive war chest from $1000+ server CPU sales and $300+ desktop CPU sales,
This is true, but if Intel does not design better CPUs in a timely manner then those sales are going to drop dramatically. This is precisely the problem they are now facing. People are not buying new computers because those new computers are no faster then their old computers. But they are buying new mobiles.
Intel is competing against themselves. Unless they expand into a new market, as they are attempting to do with the mobile market, then the limited PC market will result in their demise. They can no longer rely on improved manufacturing to grow their market because we are reaching the limit of what is practical to manufacturer. Intel needs to produce a product people will want in the future or they will die. Everything Intel is currently doing demonstrates that they understand this and are acting accordingly.