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Comment Re:Warrant only applies to France (Score 1) 259

So they found something in 4 of 7 B samples. They found NOTHING in 7 of 7 A samples.

Sounds like the test is bullshit. Results appear non-repeatable with identical samples.

Actually, the poorly-written ESPN article says 1 of 7 "A" samples tested positive using a different testing method from the "B" samples:

  • July 20: Stage 17, a mountain stage finishing in Morzine: This was Landis' comeback stage in which he left the peloton behind with a solo breakaway. He made up 8 minutes and scrambled back into second place overall, 30 seconds behind Pereiro.
    USADA: Landis' "A" and "B" samples exceeded the allowable 4-to-1 testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio and showed the presence of synthetic testosterone.

Also, as this article explains, different tests are used for the "A" and "B" samples. The "A" tests are just a "rough" test that measures the ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone (T/E ratio) to see if it's abnormal enough to trigger the more stringent "B" test (which actually measures for synthetic testosterone). A "normal" T/E ratio is 1-to-1, but anything below 4-to-1 is declared "negative," so a steroid user can pass the "A" test as long as they don't overdo it.

During the initial Tour de France testing, only 1 "B" sample was tested at all because only 1 "A" sample tested positive (triggering the "B" test). All of the "B" samples were tested later because the USADA requested it for the trial.

Comment Re:free software drivers? (Score 1) 94

Can someone who knows these products tell me if these laptops will work well with free software, or are they are disaster like the Intel GMA500(right?) based laptops?

Since no one who "knows" these products is giving good answers...

By "free" do you mean free drivers as well as OS? If you're okay with proprietary drivers, then Phoronix's articles on ION/Atom seem to show that they work well (by Linux standards) with Ubuntu and NVIDIA's proprietary drivers. 3D acceleration and video acceleration (VDPAU) both seem to work.

Comment Re:...Windows 7 runs great on VirtualBox on Mac (Score 3, Informative) 216

Newegg: $105 I'm still a little confused though as to what, exactly it is that you don't get with the system builder edition that you would get with the full retail version.

Ars Technica had a nice article explaining the differences when Vista was released: "Buying OEM versions of Windows Vista: the facts"

My summary (in order of importance):

  • An OEM or "system builder" version of Windows is tied to the computer on which it is initially installed. Unlike retail versions, OEM versions cannot be transferred to another computer, even if you remove it from the first computer.
  • OEM versions include either 32-bit Windows or 64-bit (not both), so you must choose before you buy. Retail versions come with both.
  • OEM versions cannot be returned once opened. That makes the 32/64 bit decision important.
  • No pretty box, no user manual, and no free support. Experienced computer users don't need that stuff, anyway. OEM users still get free windows updates, MS's support web site, knowledge base, and paid support options.
  • OEM versions only allow clean installations. No "in place upgrades" are allowed, which no sane techie would do anyway. Windows Easy Transfer is available for those that want to easily transfer files, settings, and accounts.

To me, the only important limitation is the no-transfer limit. However, since the OEM version is roughly half the price of the full retail (not upgrade) version, I don't think it's a big deal. Also, I've read in many forums (including Slashdot) that MS will provide a new activation code for OEM versions if you say you "had to replace the motherboard" on your PC.

Comment Re:I Smell Patent War (Score 1) 308

The patent application was filed on June 30th 2008. Google released Latitude February 4th, 2009. This would seem to indicate Apple was first,

To be more clear, on that date Google released Latitude for 4 mobile platforms (Android, Blackberry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile) in 27 countries and 42 languages. Apple hasn't released a product yet.

but there's a key difference between the products. The Apple patent specifically deals with sharing location information by text message and only by text message, Google Latitude makes use of mobile internet connections.

That sounds very similar to Dodgeball, which was aquired by Google in 2005. From the Wikipedia page:

  • Dodgeball was a location-based social networking software provider for mobile devices. Users text their location to the service, which then notifies them of crushes, friends, friends' friends and interesting venues nearby.[1] Dodgeball was shut down by Google in March 2009 and replaced with Google Latitude.

Comment Re:Big let down... (Score 1) 65

At first I was excited and expected different iPhones set to play sounds of different instruments along with a piece that had some sort of melody or at least interesting harmonics. 5 minutes of variations on a sine wave was underwhelming.

I don't find pop music very exciting, but The Mentalists (a 4-woman quartet) sound like four Wendy Carloses compared to those Michigan students:

The apps they used were DigiDrummer Lite (drums), Retro Synth (bass), MiniSynth (two keyboards on two iPhones), and Ocarina (electric flute-like instrument that required blowing into the iPhone's mic). They sang with their real voices, of course.

Comment Re:Jive with anyone else's experience. (Score 1) 264

According to consumer reports, the opposite has been true for a long time. Dell used to have terrible rates, and as of the last study, was doing poorly for desktops, but near the top for laptops. Apple consistently scores the highest for laptop reliability among all companies.

That's not true. According to the 2009 Consumer Reports Buying Guide (page 221), Apple laptops had the lowest reliability (but not "meaningfully" worse) among the eight companies listed from their Annual Product Reliability Survey.

The data was based on 75,576 survey responses and showed "the percentage of the following brands of computers bought between 2003 and 2007 that have ever been repaired or had a serious problem. Differences of less than 3 points are not meaningful." The brands, in order of fewest repairs to more repairs, were: Lenovo (20%), Compaq (20%), Sony (21%), Toshiba (21%), Dell (22%), HP (22%), Gateway (22%), and Apple (23%).

The buying guide (and other Consumer Reports articles) can be downloaded for free by most public library card holders (EBSCO database).

Comment Re:They tested Anti-virus software for malware (Score 1) 344

They tested Anti-virus software for malware

How about testing some malware removal programs? Malwarebytes, Adaware, Spybot?

How should we define "malware?" chose (for now) not to include "adware, spyware, dialers, tools and rogue programs" (which they define as "Potentially Unwanted Applications"). They do include viruses, trojans, backdoors, rootkits, exploits, DDoS, flooders, sniffers, and nukers (from their "methodology" pdf file).

Also, their "Removal-Test" page makes it clear that they are testing "Anti-Virus" products. I guess they are using the term "malware" because we expect "anti-virus" products to detect/remove more than just viruses (e.g. trojans, rootkits, etc.)

Comment Re:Am I the only one who cares? (Score 1) 267

From what I've seen it's probably one of the best distros for KDE, better than Fedora and Kubuntu.

I agree that Mandriva is a great distro for users that prefer KDE, but some users are more comfortable with a "big name" distro like openSUSE (which should be mentioned with Fedora and Kubuntu).

KDE will now be the "default" desktop in openSUSE 11.2 (due in 7 days). That link also describes "KDE integration" for GNOME-based apps like Firefox and

Anyhoo, I think it's worth trying both in "live distro" form.

Comment Re:Ouch! (Score 1, Offtopic) 557

And yet again, nothing headless in the mid-range

the idea of paying to replace your monitor every time Apple make your old product obsolete sounds a little absurd to me - I'm not interested in the iMacs.

I also dislike Apple's lack of choice in the mid-range (all-in-ones only), but the new 27-inch iMac lessens one major drawback a bit by adding a Mini DisplayPort input port. So that nice 27-inch display, which can have a longer useful life than the rest of the computer, can be re-used by another computer that can output a DisplayPort signal (DisplayPort outputs will probably be commonplace by then).

Note that converting from HDMI/DVI output to DisplayPort input requires a complicated adapter (unlike DisplayPort outputs).

Comment Re:While they're at it... (Score 1) 448

That reminds me...

For those who updated the Windows version of Adobe Reader (version 9.2 arrived last week), note that the update enables (or re-enables) AdobeARM.exe and Reader_sl.exe (Speed Launcher) as Windows startup programs without asking or giving you the option of not installing/enabling.

I can confirm that they can be disabled in Windows 2000 and XP using CCleaner. For those who don't have or want that great utility, I'm sure they can also be disabled in msconfig (Run...) and Windows Defender.

And yes, I know about Foxit Reader and other alternatives.

Comment Re:It's part of the Microsoft business model, IMO. (Score 1) 448

I fail to see how it would be beneficial to do an upgrade rather than a flat out re-format followed by re-install. The problem is the only reasonably priced versions of Windows 7 are upgrade versions that require me to have Vista on that machine. Thanks but I think I'll stick with XP on my home desktop for the time being.

You qualify for Windows 7's reduced upgrade pricing if you have Windows XP, too. From the Microsoft Store's pre-order page:

  • "You qualify for Windows 7 upgrade versions if you're running genuine Windows Vista or Windows XP on your PC."

Windows Vista is only required if you want to do the undesirable "in place" upgrade over your old OS installation. To install the upgrade version of Windows 7 on a Windows XP PC, you are required to do a "clean" installation (back up, erase old OS, install new OS, re-install apps). However, Windows XP users do qualify for "upgrade pricing."

I agree that it's always better (but more time-consuming) to do a clean install anyway, even if an "in place" upgrade is possible. Windows Easy Transfer (it's on the Windows 7 DVD) makes it somewhat easy by backing up user accounts and settings in addition to files.

Comment Re:On what desktop system do you use ECC? (Score 2, Interesting) 119

"Intel segments the market intentionally!"

Don't forget virtualization. With AMD, you don't have to pay a premium if you plan to run virtual machines.

You no longer have to pay a premium with Intel either. I've noticed that Intel recently began adding their "Virtualization Technology" to all new CPU models, even their entry-level Celeron and Pentium Dual-Core lines. Example: this $53 Celeron E3200 at Newegg.

I think Intel did this in response to Microsoft's announcement of Windows 7's "Windows XP Mode" and its requirement of on-CPU virtualization technology. AMD also recently started adding their "AMD-V" to their previously-excluded Sempron line of CPUs. Newegg has one for just $40.

For a long time (since the Pentium D days), Intel had a confusing market segmentation strategy where some models had it and some didn't, even within the same CPU family (Pentium D, Core 2 Duo). In contrast, after AMD-V was introduced, AMD added it to all of their newly released Athlon 64 and x2 CPUs (but not Sempron). And after the Core 2 Duo was introduced and kicked major butt, AMD dramatically dropped their prices, resulting in cheap AMD virtualization platforms.

Anyhoo, AMD isn't the only option anymore for cheap virtualization.

Comment Re:Oh. (Score 3, Informative) 353

What surprises me is that MS hasn't done much in the area(unless you are willing to go all the way to Windows Home Server). Architecturally, Volume Shadow Copy is abundantly powerful and has been available since before Time Machine even hit the scene; but you certainly wouldn't know about it from looking at any of the advertising, documentation, or spec sheets for non-server Microsoft OSes.

When accessed from the shell in client versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7, Shadow Copy is often called "Previous Versions." Back when Vista was released, I remember seeing it mentioned in reviews and on Microsoft's product info pages.

Maybe it wasn't a "front page" feature because it was only available in Vista Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise (and not Home Premium). Thankfully, MS has corrected this mistake by including this feature (and all other backup features) in Windows 7 Home Premium as well.

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