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Comment Re:Honeymoon is over (Score 1) 774

Mod parent up.

Two of my friends bought bottom of the line netbooks. One encountered an OS that was so unstable that it crashed every other time she ran her favorite program. The other found he could not install any additional apps without the system becoming unstable.

The solution for both? Put an Ubuntu flavor on it and run one script to make everything compatible. I helped the technologically-disinclined girl put NBR on hers, and the guy put Xubuntu on his. Neither one has complained about them since.


Well, actually, I helped the girl put WinXP on her's first. She came back a month later with it so malware-infested that it was unusable, and I had her try Ubuntu. That was 6 months ago, and she is really happy with it and hasn't had to come back for help since.

Comment Re:So, it's a tablet that docks to a keyboard (Score 1) 209

I'm more interested in the $300 price tag, though still doesn't do much good without a set of specs to go with it. However, I do like the idea of it being magnetic mountable to a refrigerator.

Here are those specs:

9.4" x 7" x 1.4" for 2 lbs (with keyboard)
ARM Texas Instruments OMAP3 chip
1024x600 8.9'' screen
Storage: 8GB micro SD card
Wifi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth
3-dimensional accelerometer
Speakers, micro and headphone
6 USB 2.0 (3 internal, 2 external, 1 mini)
10h to 15 hours of battery life

It is probably the same chip in the BeagleBoard and OpenPandora, so ARM Cortex-A8 at 600MHz that can go up to 900MHz with PowerVR SGX OpenGL 2.0 ES compliant 3D hardware.

Comment Re:Beagle Board in a box? (Score 1) 209

Do these other systems you're talking about have touch screens? Do you have a link?

Here are those links.
http://beagleboard.org/
http://openpandora.org/

The OpenPandora project has a 4.3" touchscreen (at 800x480) and is really exciting to follow. I'll probably purchase their second batch. Many of the indie game developers for the system are testing on the BeagleBoard while waiting for the Pandora to actually ship as the two platforms are so similar hardware-wise. Full specs available through the links.

Comment Re:I didn't know Feinstein was a Republican.... (Score 1) 873

Comcast and other cable/internet providers generally have a monopoly on critical services that I can't avoid.

I think you may need to turn down the rhetoric a little bit. Cable TV/High-Speed Internet is not really a "critical service". We would all survive just fine without them.

And what about those who work from the house via the internet? You need an income for food and shelter, no?

The Courts

Submission + - Veoh Networks Beats UMG Recordings in DMCA Case (blogspot.com) 1

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "In a California case invoking the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, UMG Recordings' Motion for summary judgment has been denied. In a 16-page single spaced decision (PDF), District Judge A. Howard Matz rejected UMG's arguments that Veoh was not entitled to DMCA 'safe harbor' protection based on the nature of the software functions being employed. This follows by several months Veoh's earlier victory against an 'adult' filmmaker, also on DMCA grounds."

Comment Re:Touchscreens (Score 1) 109

I'm excited about this. I have an old CF-28 touchscreen that I use for a "netbook" (internet terminal, notes, homework) that has a touchscreen, and I touch the screen all the time. When I borrow other peoples' laptops, I find I have to stop myself from touching the screen. When I upgrade to a new netbook, I will definitely be wanting a touchscreen.

Comment Re:Computer Architecture (Score 1) 517

I second Computer Organization and Design (the second link) It was a wonderful resource and really helped me understand computer architecture better. My only complaint was that Appendix B was on the disc instead of printed, and that section could have been more in-depth. I had to do a lot of critical thinking to connect some of the dots there.

Comment Re:How Music Used to Be (Score 2, Informative) 273

I simply don't like the music produced right now, and I don't think I'm alone. In the 60's through the 90's, the defining part of each piece of music was typically the melody. We listened to things that had beautiful sounds and chords. We had thought provoking lyrics that read like poetry, or lyrics that one could simply associate with.

Oh, that music is still being produced, just (mostly) not by the big recording companies.

Windows

Microsoft Helps Police Crack Your Computer 558

IGnatius T Foobar writes "Microsoft has developed a small plug-in device that investigators can use to quickly extract forensic data from computers that "may have been used in crimes." It basically bypasses all of the Windows security (decrypting passwords, etc.) in order to eliminate all that pesky privacy when the police have physical access to your computer. Just one more reason not to run Windows on your computer."
Music

Who Runs RIAA's Settlement Information Center? 172

eatonwood writes "Who is behind the RIAA's collections efforts? This comment at CallFerret says it is a company called PSC and lists a bunch of websites and contact information for them, but the connection to RIAA is still not completely clear (aside from the presence of a couple of clearly RIAA sites on the same server as PSC's). Anyone know anything more about who is doing RIAA's dirty work?"
Businesses

Submission + - Is RIM's Smartphone Dominance Coming to an End?

Hugh Pickens writes: "Smartphones like Research In Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry were once the exclusive domain of e-mail-obsessed professionals, but now consumers also want easy access to the Web, digital music and video and since the iPhone went on sale last summer the smartphone market has begun to shift rapidly. "The vultures are circling," says Roger L. Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates. "There is this sense that the RIM. franchise is under assault." Although RIM added 6.5 million subscribers last year, twice the previous year's amount, there are signs that the company faces steeper challenges ahead. IN 2007 BlackBerry had a 40 percent share of the United States smartphone market, down from 45 percent at the end of 2006, thanks largely to the 17.4 percent share the iPhone grabbed in its first six months. In March, Steve Jobs announced that Apple would take the rare step of licensing Microsoft's corporate e-mail technology, to allow iPhones to connect directly to business computers — a dagger aimed at the heart of RIM's strength in the corporate market. In the end RIM's greatest challenge in a consumer-driven smartphone industry may simply be creating devices that people admire and covet as much as the iPhone. In a survey of 3,600 professionals by ChangeWave, 54 percent of BlackBerry users said they were very satisfied with their devices. The comparable figure for the iPhone was 79 percent."

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