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Comment Re:Why I use optical discs (Score 1) 394

I should have clarified - I don't like how the iTunes store only sells AAC files. I know I can play them in other players (player of choice in Winamp), I just prefer having to deal with MP3, FLAC or in rare cases, OGG. I don't currently have any AAC files, and in keeping a known set of popular and open-source codecs I reduce the likelyhood of dealing with any issues down the track

As for a portal media player, don't really use them anymore. I either listen to music on my media center/main computer or burn then to a CD and play in my car, which lacks a USB port. For these reasons the space gained by other formats is not important.

Comment Why I use optical discs (Score 2) 394

I'm currently on a bit of a "get legit" roll when it comes to my media. All my software is acquired legally via the net so that's OK, it's just stuff like movies and music that I still require an optical drive for. Why?

1. I like my music in FLAC format. There are very few digital music stores which sell in this format. My favourite by far is but they don't have much mainstream/big-artist stuff.

2. Even if I didn't have a preference for FLAC, there aren't any legal digital music stores around which service my needs with at least a high-bitrate MP3. I don't want to use iTunes because I don't want to deal with AAC (I can convert them but I don't want a dependency on iTunes anyway). Amazon still hasn't, for whatever reason, opened an MP3 store here in Australia yet despite promising to open up to the world many years ago.

3. You can forget about any legit digital movie stores selling non-DRMed stuff either.

So what do I do? I buy music CDs and rip them to FLAC. I buy DVDs and use HandBrake to convert them, or just play them directly with VLC. Both of these cases require an optical drive, and until such a time occurs that physical sales of media are completely abolished, I will continue to do this. UNLESS... a suitable online store apears in my area which sells non-DRMed music AND video of what I want, in my preferred format. At this rate that's going to take a very long time (if ever), so I do what I can to stave off piracy.

Comment Not all bad (Score 3, Insightful) 329

If I were a Kiwi (slang for New Zealander in case you didn't know), this law would give me an additional impetus to begin searching for free/open-source/creative commons software and media for all my computing and entertainment needs. Sure, I'd buy stuff occasionally as well, but if I had to buy every single thing I was using which was pirated I'd be broke and seriously in debt. Much better to hunt out legally free software and media.

Having said that, I'm an Aussie (the bigger brother of the Kiwis) and it's a hobby for me to do this anyway even though we don't have such a draconian law. I suppose some others in NZ might find ways to get around it, but I don't see the point of risking it myself.

Comment Huh? (Score 1, Funny) 312

But I've always been told by the fanboys that Linux is inherently secure, right? So that's not possible.

A trojan startup file was added to the system start up scripts

But Linux has no viruses/trojans/malware, right?

BTW - if you can't take this as the light jabbing it's supposed to be without wanting to rip my spine out, turn the computer off and take a break. :)


UCLA Develops Stretchable OLED Display 39

cylonlover writes "While there have been some intriguing developments recently in the field of stretchable electronics and flexible OLED displays, one thing we haven't heard much about is stretchable displays. So is it possible to make a screened device in which every part of it could be stretched. The answer could now be yes, with news that researchers from UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have demonstrated a stretchable polymer light-emitting device."

Comment Oh dear... (Score 4, Interesting) 85

From developer's link:

and will be released for free (so we don't get stabbed by lawyers)

Being released for free doesn't mean much. Even completely free mods for other games, if they impinged on the intellectual property of another company have been taken down through the typical use of cease and desist letters.

Which means that

Original SMB levels and Lost levels will be included

is likely going to bite this guy in the ass, assuming he didn't get permission from Nintendo (which from a lack of mention on the site I doubt he has).

Comment Re:There it is (Score 1) 417

The reason this is news, at least for Slashdot, is that so many people here have spent years building Google up as a benevolent engineering company trying to make the world a better place

In other words, Slashdotters are no more wise than anyone else and just as gullible. The only organizations out there who have it in their charter to make the world a better place would be non-profits. Google are good at marketing that's for sure.

Comment Re:Don't they do this every couple of years? (Score 3, Informative) 403

Let's say, for example, that GIMP has an extra awesome macro-recording/playback capability that makes Photoshop look like a toy in comparison. (I don't know if this is the case or not so please forgive my ignorance.)

I forgive your ignorance, but I feel compelled to respond here by saying that it's actually the other way around. Photoshop has an awesome recording/playback capability (called Actions). You just hit record, perform the steps you desire, hit stop and there you go.

With the GIMP the nearest equivalent are scripts, but you have to write them yourself using a pseudo-scripting language. There's no simple recording feature, and I wasn't going to sit and waste time learn how to code up a script for an equivalent workflow of what I was used to doing in Photoshop, because the scripting is actually very complicated, particularly if you can't find the commands to do what you want.

People have complained about this (from 2001! -, but nothing has happened because as the last post in said thread says, "we simply don't have
enough developers."

I won't bug them about it, but I won't bother with GIMP anymore because it simply lacks easy of use and important functionality. Open source doesn't always work in practice.

Comment Re:Damn, this feels like Firefox. (Score 2, Insightful) 209

I'll just end this rant by asking: 'How many of you have been bit by one of the aforementioned issues, and what is your take on the modern 'MBA' mentality that seems to be creeping it's way into the open source ecosystem?'

My take? It's been enough for me to completely abandon any further attempts to convert to Linux until they stop fucking with things. I'm sticking with Windows 7 for now because it's proven to me to me a mature, very solid and surprisingly stable platform to run all of my software (both proprietary and open-source, so I get the best of both worlds). I can also count on plenty of older software still working in Windows 7, as well as much of my ingrained habits still working in the new Windows alongside all the new functionality, as opposed to GNOME 3's method of forcing the user to relearn nearly everything about how to use an interface.

Funny you mentioned the Loki installers. They are definitely broken, and I'm not the only one who's had issues with this. Not to mention more modern games like Doom 3 and Quake 4 have issues with Pulseaudio, which results in a noticeable sound lag unless you find out (via Googling) how to use the pasuspender command. Or still popular games like Wolf:ET in which you'll have absolutely NO audio in modern versions of Ubuntu which have removed OSS entierly from their versions of the kernel, unless you either recompile the kernel or find an ALSA wrapper a kind Ubuntu forum member was able to write.

And yet... you don't get these problems with Windows 7. I know I don't enjoy the unnecessary stress/effort of getting things to work the way they should, so that's why I don't bother with Linux anymore. Believe me, I feel happier now too.

Comment Re:Uhm... DUH. (Score 1) 575

Who? Source(s)?

I'm not suggesting you're a liar (in fact I'm sure sure this crap happens to unfortunate people every now and then). But I'd bet money it's still statistically insignificant to the number of users who use social network services harmlessly and fruitfully.

On that note, if the authorities have a problem with someone, the information they used to profile said individual could come from anywhere, not such social networking services. Authorities can be dicks, yes, and staying hidden away from any social interaction on the net is a way to remain reasonably hidden, but we shouldn't bow down to such demands, particularly since we're doing nothing wrong.

Comment Re:Uhm... DUH. (Score 3, Insightful) 575

But wait until you try and do something about the world. Maybe you'll run for political office. Or want to help out at child care center down the street. Wanted that teacher's license? Maybe someone will find out that people that google Cheerios, fucktards, and pantyhose are statistically proven to be terrorists and need to be rounded up and vilified. They'll look around for a while until that one row in one table in one database outs you. Then you're toast.

The fact you had to use hyperbole to make you point, in fact destroys your point. Act sensibly on the net and you'll be fine for the most part. These 'what if' scenarios are so statistically insignificant, particularly if you follow the sensible part I mentioned, that it's basically a barrier to being able to use technically in a useful and fun manner.

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The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow