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Comment Re:How to get Ubuntu 9? (Score 1) 744

For the most part, they keep working well. The major problem is that the upgrade changes the layout of files on the disk, and, since the highly optimized boot procedure depends on that, your boot will likely become slower. You can at least mitigate this problem by rebuilding the boot readahead list as explained here.

Comment Multi-touch for developers but not for end users (Score 3, Interesting) 121

The good news are that they seem to finally have added the long-awaited support for multi-touch. As listed in their relese notes:

MotionEvent can now report simultaneous-touch information for devices that support it. Up to three pointers can be tracked simultaneously.

The bad news are that, apart from some improvements to the on-screen keyboard, the GUI doesn't seem to be making use of it at all. So, those of us hoping to impress our acquaintances by zooming web pages in and out iPhone-style will probably have to wait until 2.1...

Comment ASUS never took Linux seriously... (Score 1) 644

and I guess this applies to the large majority of netbook manufactures as well. I don't own a netbook, but there are stories all around the Internet about Linux netbooks being shipped with broken distributions that don't even support the netbook's integrated hardware properly. I'm perfectly aware of the fact that Linux doesn't support all hardware in the market, but manufactures have control over the hardware they put in a computer, so this should never happen (as long as they care about it, that is).

Sadly, this netbook Linux story seems to have been just an attempt from computer manufacturers to force Microsoft into compliance. And, as today's story shows, they are being quite successful in their pursue. We can now expect most manufactures to ditch Linux in favor of Windows 7, since MS seems to be bending under their pressure by giving them special Windows 7 pricing.

Comment Re:READ THIS! There is no protest! (Score 2, Insightful) 235

I also live in Germany, and can share your view 100%: nobody is concerned here. I wonder however, if the reason is just because they don't understand the implications. For the regular person, this looks just like "they are doing something to fight child porn, and since child porn is bad and they're fighting it, it must be OK". The only way to change this situation is to get people to understand what's really going on, and that's a big challenge because the issues are not only complex but often highly technical.

Probably, the real problem is that achieving this requires really good communication skills, and this is something we geeks don't excell at. Looking around /., I see that many regular contributors here have an absolutely condenscending attitude towards "average Joes". But when dealing with issues such as this, which are essentially political, it is mostly average Joes who cast the votes, so you'd rather take them seriously and find a way to communicate with them.

Until we understand this and act accordingly, we'll continue to see the decisions we care about being made in the wrong direction by clueless or even ill-intentioned politians.

Comment Re:Theft? (Score 1) 268

"Theft of Bandwidth" is nonsensical if you provide that bandwidth with no restrictions (as most public wikis do).

Well, the point is precisely that wikis are there for specific purposes. As long as you write about the topics that are relevant for a particular wiki, it is OK to use its bandwidth, but any reasonable person can expect that the owners won't be as happy if the wiki is used for purposes not intended by them. In this sense, the bandwith is actually restricted. Not technically restricted, but ethically restricted, if you will.

Comment Blame it on the hardware manufacturers (Score 1) 774

There are many comments here reporting that Linux netbooks are becoming impossible to buy. It seems to be the same here in Germany: I haven't seen a single Linux netbook in a brick and mortar store until now.

My impression now is that hardware manufacturers were never serious about Linux netbooks. They were just bluffing so that Microsoft would lower its prices, that's all. Now that microsoft bent its knees, they are happily going back to Windows, which is known territory for them. This explains the lack of advertising for the Linux models, as well as the low quality of the Linux distros preinstalled on many netbooks. Of course, as long as you're just bluffing, any investments into Linux integration are just a waste of resources, so you keep them to a minimum.

On the flip side, TFA shows that Microsoft is realizing that they now own the market, so they'll probably soon start to impose their onereous conditions again. It's indeed interesting times we're living...

Comment Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 1127

Criticism has a value, though. User interface design is a good example of an area where users rarely have good suggestions, or at least, not immediatly after suffering the problem. The designer must find out what the problem is (sometimes by inferring it from the suggested solution) and then try to come up with a good solution that doesn't break the original design altogether. In this sense, users that are good at pointing out where the problems are are potentially better than those who make quick suggestions. The first group is likely to work together with the designers in finding a satisfactory solution, whereas the second group may be much more inclined to defend their own solutions, however inappropriate.

Comment Re:Incorrect this is not (Score 1) 234

It is not a project by Google's engineers, it's an independent project hosted by Google.

The project is indeed sponsored by Google. See the last question in their FAQ.

Also, 5x speedup is insignificant. Psyco already provides speedups much larger than that, depending on the type of code (algorithmic code could be improved 60x or more).

You're saying it yourself: depending on the type of code. Psycho may achieve impressive speedups for certain algorithms, but the gains are not has high in general. These guys are aiming at speeding all Python code up by a factor of about five, which would be far from insignificant if they suceeded.

By the way, Pypy is much more ambitious than this one.

Pypy is an interesting project. Unfortunately, though, they are progressing very slowly.

And finally, their goals and timeframe seem a little bit unrealistic. I'd love to be proved wrong though...

You may be right here. Only time will tell.

Comment Re:Anybody really surprised? (Score 1) 518

Then, calling for ban of $random will always be easier than calling for actually doing something to fix the actual cause ... which, in this (and probably most/all cases) is taking care of a psychologically sick kid decently, and/or kicking the parents for not taking the time to care for their child(ren) ... sure, it's easier to let the TV and computer take care of them instead of spending time yourself ...

Although I generally agree with your point of view, I notice you seem to think that the kid was just "psychologically sick" and the whole tragedy happened because his strange illness somehow moved him to wake up one day, take the bus to his old school, and kill 12 people there with a pistol.

I would rather say he was horribly bullied during the years he spent in that school, and this is what actually motivated him to do what he did. This is another problem that seems to be common in schools here in Germany, and that will also be utterly ignored by both media and politicians whenever such a discussion comes up.

Sad state of things, indeed.

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