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Comment Re:Why MS failed. (Score 1) 422

Don't expect a particular version of FF to get entrenched and pose an obstruction in the way of newer versions that will follow. The notorious lock-in around IE6 is a microsoft-only disease.

Because FF is so emphatically standard-conforming, whatever works in version X is bound to work in version X+1. Yes, extensions need to be kept up-to-date with every new release, but no site (well, except quakelive.com :) relies on a particular extension installed.

Wrt plugins, Mozilla plugin API is fairly stable and well-rounded. The same Flash plugin works with FF 1.5 all through 3.5.

Note how (relatively) abrupt was the decline of FF2.0 neatly matched by the increase in version 3.0 share, and, later, 3.0 promptly giving way to 3.5. That's just people upgrading, and most of the time, automatically either through built-in Firefox updater or via general distro upgrade.

Comment Re:Silly (Score 1) 600

I second every statement in this post.

Call me when OP's piece of software gets approved in any major distribution.

Before I moved from Debian to Gentoo, the only few apps I actually had installed other than by apt-det install, was the flash plugin, Skype, Quake3 and nvidia drivers. In Gentoo, by virtue of it being what they call `meta-distribution' all executable code comes from portage, which means it has passed maintainers' QA. And, what really matters here is, I trust them.

Comment not impressed (Score 1) 176

When leaders of a project decide to get incorporated as a firm and draw profit from their product, they become necessarily aware that they run the risk of being bought, all their body and soul. This happens because in their mindset, they consider a growth, a successful career, and all things commercial -- not related or stemming from the merits and fitness for life of the project itself. It's all logical from entrepreneurial point of view, isn't it, but there fun becomes a chore.

By a deliberate extension, I try to imagine Ekiga or Twinkle -- projects just as good in their capacity of VoIP clients -- getting `bought' and eliminated as projects, on some commercial grounds, and I can't imagine this happening.

Out of three (perhaps more) FOSS SIP clients disappeared, what a sensational news.

Comment It matters what your notion of life is (Score 1) 186

Given the astronomical timescale organic matter had been lingering on the young Earth before producing some more `life-competent' than just iridescent blotches of slime along the ebb-line, and given the rough times of the Hadean, it is fairly plausible such precursors to true life had existed on Mars as well (even more likely, in some nooks on the Moon), and continue to exist in this state without evolving. Whether these may find the time and suitable conditions before the Sun burns out, actually to achieve the stage of self-reproduction, develop adequate genetic machinery, proliferate into a variety of life forms and all, is quite uninteresting -- to NASA at least.

On a separate note, I am wondering nobody has so far in this thread, brought up the pretty obvious connection to Doom3. Looks rather appropriate on /.

Comment Re:IBM's hardware vendor mind is taking over (Score 1) 863

> Honestly, it's rigodamndiculous how difficult it is to find, download, and install software on Linux.
> At least compared to the Windows/Mac platform.
Searching a package repository is emphatically *not* difficult. Just enter a name, or some keywords if you don't know how it spells.

Easiness of installation by no means implies easiness of *un*installation--quite the opposite, and dll hell ensues. Even more importantly, because any decent project does evolve, there must be some sane and practical way for continual updates and bugfixes to make it to your desktop. Know what is ignorance in this matter? No, not bliss, but a botnet.

And the channels of distribution is what Linux distros are primarily about, with due QA and an ensurance that what you download is indeed what you think it is, but not a trojan-laced freeware. And that's exactly what's dead missing in Windows (albeit Apple AppStore is definitely a move in the right direction).

> For obvious reasons you can't go into a store and purchase Linux based programs.
You don't generally want to. Use your package manager instead. If the piece of software you want is missing, switch to Debian. If it's not in Debian, then probably that piece of software is so freaking exotic that it barely can be something you really, essentially need. Check for a package with the same features/functionality but with a different name, -- be prepared that that different name might seem somewhat non-marketworthy, like 'gimp'. Still need that program? Then you are stuck with Windows. You have my sympathy.

> 2 freakin hours to install some software on CentOS?
I beg your pardon, this is bollocks. Unless someone can prove to me that 'apt-get install stuff' can be made easier. (Yes, I know CentOS is rpm based and hence uses a package manager other than apt-get.)

> That's not going to pass the Granny Test.
Who cares? Since when grannies pass along as competent in this? Why do you spell it with Capitals? Is it a common name like google? Sure, grannies do use computers, but please, spare them the task of *managing* computers.

> people lack the expertise to compile their own programs, use a GUI package manager
These are two vastly different things. In fact, it is exactly the reason why distribution existed in the first place, to save the end user the trouble of needing to compile.

> It has to be made for the unwashed masses.
Washing (hands) helps, really.

Comment Re:OS Change (Score 1) 414

I find it odd that having endured all the hardships of a desktop Linux of late 1990 (badly hinted fonts, hardware support, anyone?), now that things have by and large smoothed out, you call your effort... err... wasted. Takes a real man to admit being a sufferer for a decade.

Following up on your 'When I am using my computer' tune: Every day when I come to work, I bring the PC up from suspend, fetch whatever updates have been posted overnight, approve them, hit Enter, go get a cup of tea, come back and start working. At the end of the day, I suspend it. Next morning, the cycle continues. Where exactly is that 'it's too much work'?

From my six-year experience, after a more-than-usually-tolerable learning curve, consistent Linux users get a healthy, and ever increasing, return on the investment. Unless they flit from one distro to another every month, and always entertain the idea that Linux is somehow 'experimental' and always keep a serviceable XP to fall back to.

Comment Re:No more Outsuck Express (Score 1) 283

I beg to disagree.

Journalist stunts like this obviously feed the insightful notions of how dumb people generally are, and get remembered the most.

But please, computers aren't yet cars in terms of the minimal technical knowledge required. As much as I wished to argue that this should be so for whatever idea's sake, I clearly see that this is the case rather often than not.

Whoever nowadays owns a computer, is at least of sufficient means to afford one, and is necessarily sufficiently smart not to waste the money. Even those fairy-tale people who only use their PC for email are told to sit on their hands before they click, and the reasons why. If they go out into the internets at large, they very darn quickly learn to exercise discretion (after a visit to their nearest guy who earns his small wage fixing computers). Most importantly, online banking is really the way to go, with due amount of caution they learn to observe, even more quickly. Credit cards, amazon, anyone? Let alone the fact that any `grandma' has a `grandson,' who is very likely to care about mom's PC if she doesn't.

So perhaps those "50% of people [who] don't even know what Windows is", are either a gross overestimate, or they know nonetheless to check their bank's URL begins with https: regardless of what their OS is.

And, I have a lingering distrust towards people who never fail to no note that so much of our fellow citizens need improving, but that's an altogether different matter.

Comment it's Neelie Kroes taking it personally (Score 1) 438

My take on the whole story is just that: Neelie the Bringer of Gold for the EU sees the fine, as well as the browser ballot requirement, as yet another means to tell MS that they are not really liked here in Europe. And if they keep wearing out their welcome, fine (reminiscent of what I see in Brighton buses: "Don't have a valid ticket? Fine").

There is, also, a rather nuanced, largely unspoken of directly, intuition that goes with NK's message to be taken across the pond. By way of example, recall poor Floyd Landis and the litigation he had undertaken, in 2006 and onward. What he had striven so hard to achieve was, "to prove his innocence", and do it the American way, i.e., in court. In all appearance, he has conceived it and carried it out right, and as Armstrong would say afterwards, in honest belief he was not guilty--except that, as some other riders opined, litigation just isn't a proper way to prove anything in cycling.

Likewise, by imposing this fine or that requirement EU doesn't want MS to change, be it to assure a better competition or obey EU rules or whatnot. Seeing Linux take ground wherever local people find themselves able and willing to take local (up to municipal, in Munich) IT operations in their charge, and seeing perhaps less and less reason to assume the end-user role as the American way of life paints it, Europeans are only logical gradually to rid themselves of MS.

And if MS doesn't get that nuanced message, let them pay.

Comment Re:Marketing MIA (Score 1) 625

Agh. I'd rather forfeit my modding points in this lucrative thread.

I think the major reason people dont use linux is
Linux is as complicated as it gets, or as root has deemed it to be. If a casual user (those fictional grandmas, or the "most people" referred to above) doesn't want to care to the fullest extent, let them have their PC managed by someone who's competent and willing to -- or let them stay with Windows, or buy them a Mac. And care they so obviously should, because no Canonical nor any legislature nor any court ruling can make a kilobyte be 1000 not 1024 bytes to suit the complacency of the 'casual'. If the current state of PC playground (as compared to Macs) is so rough, there will be malfunctioning hardware, upgrade issues, compatibility issues, data loss issues at a scale no Canonical can insure against. Have a competent man manage a Linux install, and *only then*, in every individual case, your grandma will be happy.

It has been said, although in a low and wary words, that with the advent of Ubuntu the Linux user base at large has grown, and is growing, dumber and less competent. Many have moved to tinker with Ubuntu as a cool addon for Windows, and have brought with them all the sloppy and arrogant ways and manners of Windows users who didn't pay for it. They have flooded the fora with babble of all sorts that's become a pain to search through when it comes to consulting the (google-assisted) community knowledge.

I dont think linux really needs any marketing.
I do by all means concur.

(oh my, look at the flame the next post has started with "Ubuntu has really removed the need for a terminal."...)

Comment let them all die their natural death (Score 1) 301

Remembering a most preposterous occurrence of a game key stealing trojan on a flash-drive that got lifted to ISS, and the more recent one of a hospital's IT succumbing to some other malware.

How smart-alecky one would look if he takes on this problem thusly: Let all the windows ecosystem die its natural death and take all the botnet scum with it. Or does it take an ueberinsightful, astutely daring sci-fi fellow to see it as one efficient remedy to the dullest problem of modern age?

Operating Systems

Submission + - Getting a Windows refund the new way?

SgtChaireBourne writes: Getting a Windows Refund on the unused, pre-installed operating systems used to involve a slow but well-documented and predictable checklist of actions and contacts with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Lately, white box systems are still rate, and new systems that don't come with either Linux or OS X pre-installed seem to be missing the EULA. In previous versions of Windows, upon first boot, there was a dialog box which asked if you agree or disagree with the EULA. The new ones seem to be missing this fairly crucial step.

Many people I am responsible for will be getting new notebooks within the next six months and the extra 150 EUR save from not bundling Windows could be put towards peripherals or better hardware. What is the new best practice for getting a Windows refund?

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