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Comment Re:more than 20 is too many? (Score 1) 559

Then you get into another definition of how to define "working computer". My cable is also a DVR, and has a function that lets my pay my cable bill, so it's obviously got some fairly capable hardware - but it doesn't let me browse the internet or write programs to run on it's hardware, so is it a "working computer"? What about my learning remote with LCD screen and macro functions? That's got some limited programmability, so is it a working computer?

Comment Re:My psychic prediction (Score 1) 465

That doesn't mean that they can't fund a genuinely objective study... But there's a good chance that things are going to be biased.

Keep in mind that Microsoft is a really big corporation. They may have funded 15 different studies, and only this one showed that Microsoft solutions could compete with F/OSS, so this is the only one that they're publicizing. If they really wanted us to believe that the study was objective, they would have announced the study at the time that funding was provided, and then given us the results when they were available. I think this radical idea should be called "transparency".

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 320

Having over 100% per capita usage just means that there are more people with two (or more) mobile phones than there are without mobile phones. Given that in the office I work in (~25 people), at least 5 have both corporate issued phones (Blackberries) and personal phones (mostly iPhones, to my great dismay), I don't find this all that surprising.

Comment Re:Only Nintendo seems to need an upgrade... (Score 1) 422

Because it's the least bad of the three, at least as far as "making total asses of themselves while enforcing policy" goes. I mean, if I have to live with something (which in the case of games, it certainly seems that I do), I'm going to pick the least bad option. PC games are, if anything, worse than consoles. (And don't even get me started on the stupidity of Blizzard's recent actions.)

Sony's the company that threatened to sue people who "circumvented digital locks" by holding down the Shift key to prevent Windows Auto-Run feature from installing a rootkit in their PC, and has taken away support for Linux on the PS3, not to mention their involvement with HDCP and AACS. Microsoft is currently in court because they think its illegal to mod the XBox360 hardware (to be fair, they may be correct about it being illegal - but it's not unjust, which is a separate issue). Nintendo has...uh...occasionally made a fuss about people selling blank cartridges onto which pirated ROMs (or homebrew software equally well) could be loaded and then those games played on their various cartridge-based systems.

Comment Only Nintendo seems to need an upgrade... (Score 1) 422

[Full disclosure: The only modern system I own is the Wii.]

Nintendo seems to be the only one that needs to upgrade the capabilities of their current console. There's lots of games coming out for PS3 or XBox360 that I'd like to play, but these games are not coming out on the Wii because it's simply not powerful enough. I may pick up one of the other ones used after Christmas - not because I can't afford them new, but because I don't want my money going to the prop up companies that approve of DRM laden software and sue people for modding the hardware they sell.

Sony may have some hardware issues that need to be fixed, and Microsoft's XBox360 has some very well-known issues that should be fixed - and the next generation of the XBox series including a BD-ROM drive would be a nice touch. But as someone else mentioned, current-gen consoles can max out the resolution of most (HD)TVs that are out there, so why put a bunch of money into R&D that isn't going to affect the end experience that much?

Comment Re:Here's to hoping (Score 1) 381

So basically, you've seen ONE movie where it wasn't thrown in "just because". UP and Coraline were entirely computer-generated video, and re-rendering with the "camera" in a different position is a matter of tweaking a couple of settings. They could re-make ANY all-CGI film (Ice Age, Wall-E, etc) as 3D if they still had the original files and rendering programs. And probably make money on them.

(Note: Avatar used lots of computer-generated imagery...but not exclusively, and did a lot more with motion capture than is normal.)

Comment Changes seem irrelevant... (Score 4, Interesting) 473

As I use neither Unity nor Ubuntu One, I'm going to be sticking with 10.04, which is the latest long term support version. In fact, I think I'll even install 10.04 instead of 10.10 when I buy a new computer later this year.

I seem to recall previous, preliminary announcements claiming that there would be more items upgraded in 10.10. I wonder if I was imagining that, or if Canonical decide some of the other upgrades were not worth the effort? (Or maybe I was thinking of Xubuntu.)

Comment I have a great way to protect against cyber-attack (Score 2, Insightful) 74

I have a great way to protect the power grid against cyber-attacks: Don't connect it to the internet!

If there's no route to the power grid's control computers via the internet, then there's no way that a cyber-attack could affect it. And no, this doesn't mean that power companies can't connect to the internet to accept bill payment or requests to connect/disconnect service - just that they shouldn't allow anything critical to be CONTROLLED over the internet - and it also doesn't mean that they can't have a private TCP/IP network that for sharing information among their various systems, which obviously is something that they will want to optimize the power grid and power production to get maximum return on their high capital investments.

Comment Re:MPAA control (Score 1) 466

Slashdot story in 2152: MPAA asks again for control of brain-implanted memory remapping devices

The MPAA is arguing that if they could directly control consumer's neural recall pathways, the could make more money by reselling you movies you've already seen.

Where's the +2 Both Prescient and Scary mod when you need it?

Comment Re:I think that (Score 1, Informative) 684

All of those "cool little tools" for Windows users cost far more money than they were worth. ($99 to sync my contacts to the computer? Then another $99 for a different sync program if my replacement phone wasn't the same one as my previous phone? Really? Okay, I'll pay a neighborhood kid $10/hour to do it for me and it'll be done for $20.) Your problem wasn't that there was no Apple phone. It was that you were on a non-GSM provider. You could have gone to AT&T or T-Mobile even before the iPhone was out, and stored your contacts on your SIM card, and taken them with you from phone to phone - and not had to call your provider to switch phones, either.

Yes, I'm aware that there are other things people think are advantages to the iPhone. I just wanted to point out that you could have made your experiences with cell phones 500% better just by doing some goddam research instead of waiting for Apple to hand you a ready-made solution.

Comment Re:What's wrong with that? (Score 1) 199

The UMID mBook m1 has a lot of what you're looking for. It's clamshell, not tablet; there's no DVD/CD burner, but there's USB ports to connect one; and it's smaller than you asked for. Last I looked they were running a bit over $600, which is still kind of steep for something I'm likely to accidentally step on or leave somewhere.

Comment Re:It's not dead yet, it's getting better ... (Score 1) 38

Thank you, sir, for the polite and considerate response despite my (intentionally) somewhat inflammatory tone. I would also describe myself as libertarian (note the small L - I don't currently, never have, and suspect I never will belong the Libertarian party in the US), but not as an anarchist.

It seems we have similar political positions, but have a difference of opinion on what the most important issues in the past election were. In my opinion, the single most important issue in the previous election was that hundreds of American lives and billions of taxpayer dollars were, and continue to be, wasted on war that was started based in information that was known to be flawed and that does nothing to improve the security or defense of our nation. McCain's statements that we might be in Iraq for "a hundred years" is one of the things that made me vote against him.

But anyway...

I hadn't know that tidbit about McCain's treatment of his wife.

I don't hate the United States at all. There is much to love about what has been accomplished here. Unfortunately little of it has been done in my lifetime (I'm a Tweener - between the Baby Boom and Generation X).

I'm from the next set of Tweeners - born too late to really be a part of Gen X and too early for Gen Y - and I feel pretty much the same. I don't think a country led by Hillary, Obama, McCain, or Palin is one that will achieve accomplish great things. Hopefully, we have more inspiring options in 2012.

Comment Re:It's not dead yet, it's getting better ... (Score 1) 38

My own vote was stolen by California Democrats when my voter registration was mishandled[1], so I didn't even have the opportunity to vote for Governor Sarah Palin (and pray for McCain to not last an entire term).

Were you planning on voting for the McCain/Palin ticket because you hate America, or because of an "it has to get worse before it gets better" type of viewpoint where you think that making things worse will allow the revolution to come sooner rather than later?

Voting between the lesser of two evils has certainly gotten more evil.

Agreed. The problem with voting for the lesser of two evils is that both sides are still evil. This is not a good situation to be in. Unfortunately, political positions that I would not describe as "evil" are generally untenable.

On the gripping hand

A Niven/Pournelle reference! I take back the "hate America" comment!...Wait, no I don't; I still want to know why you were willing to risk having a book-banning dunderhead as President. But I'm less pissed about it than I was before.

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