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Comment Re:Ubuntu understands users (Score 1, Insightful) 377

some people like to play. others like to tinker. for many tinkering is play. but for many more it is not. I could build my own PC based DVR. we pay for a Dish-NotATivo. my wife wouldn't tolerate the glitches, the growing pains, the tweaking.

'It just works' is highly valuable to many people. Worth paying for. Especially worth giving up for capabilities they won't use anyway, as they spend their free time not tinkering.

It's not wrong to want a walled garden if it gives you what you want. Those wanting a walled garden shouldn't feel guilty about shifting the market away from open gardens. maybe open gardens get more expensive as the market realizes that most people are happy with walled gardens now that they can be easily created. so it goes.

Comment Re:Sony (Score 1) 150

hmm... if I find an old copy of a CD with the rootkit on it, and it installs today after the law takes hold... what does the letter of the law say for that case? (sure, the intent might be to punish 'creation', but I wouldn't be surprised to see this slip through some poorly worded section...)

Comment Re:Because of Privatization (Score 1) 813

the argument is it's too expensive to make the higher composite risk (liklihood and severity) areas more storm proof, such as burying lines. Not paying dividends in this case would have meant investing in infrastructure maintenance and improvement. Maybe some people could have kept the lights on because that. now, the whole thing is meaningless without equivalent costs to compare. (i.e., complaining about a million in contracted banker bonuses relative to a billion in the bailout, etc.)

What would the non-dividend improvements have actually bought us if spent responsibly on infrastructure? Oh, and part of the 'you don't have any competitors for the infrastructure' agreement is that they will maintain the infrastructure, and invest in upkeep and improvement. hence the neglect charge.

Comment Re:Crappy NE grid (Score 1) 813

remember that whole Stimulus thing that the current Dem and previous GOP whitehouse both supported? That was supposed to fund short term infrastructure projects to improve long term health of the country's backbone infrastructures? I recall we got a few repaired roads. I remember a lot of people talking about funding 'the smart grid'. I don't recall anyone saying "hey, lets bury the lines so we don't lose millions every time a storm comes along. we predict there will be more storms..."

hindsight is 20/20, but still...

Comment Re:Why? You have to ask why? (Score 1) 813

baltimore-DC area was hit by a hurricane about 10 months ago, and had a near identical outage&response to what we're seeing this week. people with power out for 3-7 days, communication sporadic, centralized/managed sources of ice/water/etc generally minimal if existing at all. AND, this time it's been averaging 95-100F, whereas last year it was actually pleasant having the windows open and no AC going.

The local authority 'investigated' the local utility's response. don't recall the outcome. but now, less than a year later, and we have almost the same level of damage, and same response time... maybe the latter makes sense. (we'd have done better than last time with at the same warning as last time). but why is the level of outage the same? Maybe that's what needs to be investigated. shouldn't a good hurricane have taken out most of the weak spots last year? did the hurricane create new weak spots that this storm caused to fail? Having grown up in an area with predominantly buried power lines, are there any preventative ways other than burying lines that can help? What about identifying certain projects to bury lines that frequently fail? A 'greatest net benefit' analysis?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What will the 8th Circuit do in Jammie Thomas case? (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The RIAA doesn't really like free mp3 files floating around but here's one you can access legally — the audio file of the June 12, 2012 oral argument of the RIAA's appeal in Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas-Rasset. At issue in this case are (a) the RIAA's "making available" theory and (b) the constitutionality of large statutory damages awards for download of an mp3 song file. The lower court rejected the making available theory, and reduced the jury's verdict to what the judge considered the maximum possible award of $2250 per file. I'm predicting the Court will affirm. After listening to the oral argument, what do you think?"

Submission + - Huddle secures 89% of UK government G-Cloud spend since launch (

DerekduPreez writes: "London-based software company Huddle secured 89 percent of the £453,778.38 that was spent in the first two months of the government’s G-Cloud framework going live.

Despite there being 257 suppliers on the CloudStore, start-up Huddle has secured six out of the 11 recorded sales, which equates to £402,125 of the £453,778.38 spent thus far. Purchasers of the SharePoint alternative include the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

“The fact that Huddle has secured 89 per cent of total G-Cloud sales so far is a clear indication that public sector organizations are now more than ready to make the move from costly on-premise legacy systems to innovative cloud-based technologies,” said Simon O’Kane, VP of enterprise at Huddle."


Submission + - Australia-World's Happiest Nation, Says Report (

An anonymous reader writes: A leading organization has disclosed what many of us have known since too long-Australia is the happiest developed nation across the globe. Largely due to a timely resources thunder Down Under, the nation was the sole chief developed country to get the better of global meltdown. Canberra was placed pretty high in most of the 11 Better Life Index issues, with jobs, accommodation, health & life satisfaction, education, society, besides environment being some of them.
The Internet

Submission + - Aussie online retailer impose IE7 tax (

Techy77 writes: Online retailer Kogan will impose a new tax on its customers that visit its website using Microsoft’s outdated Internet Explorer 7 web browser, which means they will spend 6.8 percent more than customers on browsers like Firefox, Opera, Safari and Chrome.

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Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.