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Comment Re:Bdale Garbee, head of SPI (Score 1) 56

... baby names. I don't mean shit like Trayvon or Jamal or Jerome. Or even stripper names like Destiny. I mean shit like Vagina or Chlamydia or Orangina.

In Brazil people were free to give any name they wanted to their child. AFAIK After one particularly bad case (i.e. a boy called "Um Dois Tres de Oliveria Quatro", which reads as Portuguese for "1 2 3 de Oliveira 4"), a law was placed that the public official making the child's registry may refuse a name if it believes it will expose the child to embarrassment or ridicule later. (I honestly do not know if the story associating this law with this one name is correct, but this name is real and so is the law restricting embarrassing names).

Sounds to me like a very good compromise between naming freedom and keeping crazy people from causing damage to their children. Much better than official lists of acceptable names that many European countries still have.

Comment Re:No, seriously (Score 1) 235

I maintain my parents computers for some years already. They are in their mid 60s. They are using Ubuntu with Gnome (2) for about 5 years.

There were some road blocking bugs along the years but they were all fixed (as far as we are concerned). All I can say is that now "it mostly works". Like all normal people, they need less bugs, less suprises and better/safer applications.

Now that I see Unity coming from one side and Gnome3 from the other, with all their brand new usability bugs ("oh install a plugin/extension to fix that..."), I did the only sane thing I could: bought them 1 Ipad. I believe that they will try it, learn it and use it more than either the desktop or laptop. If there is need, I'll buy another iPad so that each of my parents has one.

IOS has problems but I believe that there is no alternative today that matches its level of end-to-end support and quality.

Comment CADT (Score 1) 235


Such a beautiful and concise description of one of the greatest problems in the Linux desktop.

Gnome had no direction because it had arrived where it aimed: functional desktop that more or less corresponded to people's expectations and that let you run applications without getting in the way. Perhaps it was not sexy, but the Linux ceased being cool and sexy at some point in the last 10 years. OS X raised the desktop standards by delivering a fully working sane desktop pre-loaded with loads of mature and well executed applications. Linux has "pre-loaded" applications (through apt/yum) but not at the same quality level.

Adapt it for tablets and phones? Who on Earth would prefer a half baked mobile interface without any decent applications (and no expectation of API stability) over Android with its sane stable API and thousands apps? Ans: even less people than those running a Linux Desktop right now.

Comment Re:Messiah Complex (Score 1) 91

> After the fad is over, what's remain of Harry Porter?

Harry Potter books were/are so popular that they are seen as tools to increase literacy. It is not by chance that the first volume was translated into all sorts of minority or even dead languages (latin, old greek etc), people figured it out that it would be a good way to get folks reading those languages again.


I actually used the printed version of HPotter 1 together with its audio book when starting to study French.

Comment Re:Amazon's search quality is so appalling (Score 1) 129

If the balance right now is Google's superior search vs. Amazon's superior convenience/prime shipping, I think that still gives the advantage to Amazon.

Google's trouble is that Amazon is a synonym of online shopping for most (non-digital) items people will ever buy online. Add to that 2 things: prime shipping and the good experience most people have when something goes wrong with an order with Amazon.

Really, how again is Google's reputation standing helping me when I buy from a seller I found using Google?

Comment Re:Why remote wipe? (Score 1) 222

Why didn't he keep backups?

Because he is an Apple fan-boy and turned off any and all technology knowledge of his decision process because of the emotional assurance he got from the Apple brand?

Yeah, because Apple doesn't tell you to keep backups using Time Machine. Oh, no, wait - they do. Apple 1 - BlackCreek 0

Because your reading comprehension sucks?


Comment Re:Why remote wipe? (Score 1) 222

Why didn't he keep backups?

Because he is an Apple fan-boy and turned off any and all technology knowledge of his decision process because of the emotional assurance he got from the Apple brand?

So by your logic, all Windows and Linux users keep backups then? That will really help me next time my parents' computer messes up, now that I know that they definitely keep backups because they don't have a Mac.

By my logic I expect that anyone that makes a living writing about technology at a professional venue such as Wired as senior writer is: 1. well informed about the need and value of backups; 2. capable of making sure the data is actually backed up to a safe place.

Quit being such a dork, I said this one guy is fan-boy and that that made /he/ turn off his very well informed brain about how he was handling his data, not that any and everyone that buys Apple is a fan-boy, or is as well informed as he is, or makes the same mistakes he did. The generalization is yours only.

Does any of your parents is a senior writer at Wired (or something equivalent)?

Comment Re:Apple's Failure, Not Amazon's (Score 1) 222

I've never heard of anyone having more than one card from the same issuer before. Usually, a bank won't offer you a second card if you already have one with them. Why do you have multiple cards from the same bank?

Because some people are married and have one for their own account and another for the joint account with their partner?

Comment Re:First edition (Score 4, Interesting) 207

In other words: "If people can't be bothered to publish their stuff in a format that I can pirate I don't read their books."sound like you aren't much of a loss as a customer. All it takes to ruin a small indie publisher is one guy like you cracking their kindle books and putting their entire line on bittorrent. Where is the motivation to go digital?

No, those are your words stupid AC. Please re-read (with your brain in working mode):

>> Trouble is, there is so much (good) stuff to read that I one of the ways I select what to read is "is it available as an e-book?".
>> If a writer/publisher can't be bothered to sell their content in the way I want to consume it, I'll just shop elsewhere.

One of the ways "I **select** what to read". If you don't sell it digital, I will just buy some other book. Shop elsewhere, as in 'shop from someone else'.
If people can't be bothered to sell digital for the kindle (I don't even bother with Adobe digital editions), I just read something else that is available for the Kindle.

The motivation for a publisher to go digital is to actually be able to sell books to the most avid book readers, who are all migrating or have migrated to e-readers. Publishers not going digital will be out of the market in 5 years or less (assuming you have a platform like the Kindle for the given language, there are only what 5 6 languages with real books for sale at Amazon).

Comment Re:First edition (Score 3, Insightful) 207

> This may not be an issue for the big names in publishing but it will be the end of many small specialist publishers if they go all digital. These small publishers may actually be better off staying analog since printed books are a pretty good anti piracy defense plus those customers that are really interested in this specialist literature will still buy the paper books.

I read many things that go under 'specialist literature'. Trouble is, there is so much (good) stuff to read that I one of the ways I select what to read is "is it available as an e-book?". If a writer/publisher can't be bothered to sell their content in the way I want to consume it, I'll just shop elsewhere.

Really, books don't make a profit by selling only to those who absolutely ****must**** get it (perhaps with honorable exceptions).

Comment Re:a lot of mistakes here (Score 1) 222

Of course that makes your password exactly as safe as if you had the password itself stored in a protected file, which would mean you'd theoretically never need your security question answers since you would never forget your password. Unless of course you lose the file, in which case... I really hope you keep those files in two different places.

Reasons to add random trash to these recovery questions is that:
-- it keeps *you* from actually adding your first pet's name;
-- ** it keeps the website from nagging you to add recovery questions **
-- my bank for instance requests a security recovery question to be added, I told them my mother's maiden name was something like "kj63h546*3@"

I do the same as the grand-parent. My passwords are different for every account and are created using (pwgen or apg, I can't never bother to check if one is better than the other). I really don't remember any of my passwords, I only really remember the browser password that protects these, the SSH passphrase and the GPG passphrase to decrypt the password file.

On a side note, I never add my Facebook password to the browser, as that makes it so cumbersome to login to Facebook that I really only login every 3 months for friendship request maintenance.

Comment Go e-books! (Score 2) 207

I am quite thankful for e-readers as they have allowed me to read more books in a more convenient format by solving problems I was experiencing with paper books, namely: storage (I own too many books and carry too many books while traveling) and font size (I have an eagle nose, not eagle eyes).

For all the problems (DRM, bad typesetting) and the perception of (IMO hyperbolic) problems with e-books (oh, Amazon will know which page I am reading -- as if there was not a direct way to turn that off AND as if you couldn't just always have your Kindle with Wifi/Radio turned off), e-books are winning. Much in the same way that digital music won. There are just too many advantages.

The Kindle (or any other e-reader I've seen) can still use loads of improvements in typesetting quality, but just the fact that I can adjust font size and type are real deal breakers for me. Instant dictionary look-up is a God send for those reading in foreign languages, but it can also be improved, dictionary setting should also work per-book, so that I don't need to switch back and forth between language dictionaries all the time. It would also be nice if a new Kindle also did PDF reflow, but I doubt it, Amazon is likely to continue giving it its half-baked support that is just good enough to avoid users from going elsewhere.

Comment Re:Are open-source desktops losing? (Score 1) 663

People need Word in the same way other people need Emacs or Vim. It is their preferred tool for the job.

Then it's not a matter of "need" at all. If one is willing to give up all of the advantages Linux has over Windows so they can run a particular word processor (which IMO isn't very smart; a word processor is a word processor and there's not much difference between any of them), more power to them.

Well, we could argue that no one actually /needs/ a computer in the first place ;-)

The point I was trying to make is that even for applications with perfect compatibility (text files & Emacs/Vim) a user's preferences can be strong, and switching from one to another a rather time consuming thing. Migrating to another Office application (Word/Excel --> whichever is the OpenOffice clone) is just a lot more expensive because you don't have (whether we like it or not) perfect file conversion.

Honestly, a lot of people need Word, because in real life, you don't have any time during your work day to be figuring out conversion problems between Word and OpenOffice.


For the perspective of an end user that prefers applications X, Y and Z only present in Windows, what kind of advantage does Linux actually offers? It used to offer more stability and security, but honestly I don't see Windows 7 being sensibly behind at these.

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