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Comment Re:Amazing. (Score 1) 279

I get the point readily enough. Auto web search got disabled on upgrade. Dash sending searches in under-handed spyware fashion is indeed despicable, whether it can be disabled or no, without asking or telling.

      Except that, for the nonce, I flat out don't care. The only things I've searched via Dash have been some of the configuration utilities that either came with the install or ones I've added that I either didn't make a short-cut for, didn't show up in the menu (classicmenu-indicator was the first extra thing that I installed), or I can't easily find on my own. If Canonical wants to sell that minimal un-useful data to someone doesn't make me no never mind.
      The rest of Unity? I don't care. Launch bar/Unity bar, whatever it's called, sits along the left edge of a wide-screen monitor with smaller-than-default icons and is a convenient place to park a few often-used apps. Desktop shortcuts and classicmenu-indicator serve the rest of those needs, and the OS itself basically just works for the little that I use this system for - surfing, email, a bit of writing, a few games, and some media consumption.
      I'm just too old and too bothered by other crap to give a rat's patoot about something that doesn't affect me. But damn straight I'm watching them to see what they might pull next. I'm lazy enough not to want to switch distros but will if I think I need to.

      The only thing that really bothers me, daily, is the lack of built-in ability to alter the size of the mouse cursor system-wide, something easily done on Windows. None of the work-arounds have.... worked around that. This simplification of interface/configurability for we poor noob users has gone way too far. May the fleas of a thousand camels invest the nether regions of any devs involved in that, unto the tenth generation.

Comment Re:Missing option: In Real-Time (Score 2) 171

Good idea; several others in later comments as well.
      I got used to bookmarks, have several thousand (yeah, ok, I read a lot, am not all that mobile, can't afford to get out much, and memory sucks) and have maybe 75 sites in Opera's speeddial. I used to organize them episodically as need arose or enthusiasm allowed.
      Before I ditched Windows I used for years an excellent bookmark manager, Linkstash. It had tags, color coding, comments, and made it easy to sync favorites amongst several browsers, and export in various formats - very handy app. Also, it could check for deadlinks.
      If I'd remember to use my Win virtual machine for browsing, I'd use it again. But mostly I work from the one desktop, don't even use different workspaces; and using a separate OS instance for browsing would require getting meself organized....

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 218

Well, ok. I downed an iso for Ubuntu 7.10 (32-bit), burned it, and installed as a vm under VirtualBox, host being Ubuntu 11.10 64-bit. Fine. Upgraded to 8.04, worked fine. Then it hit me, half the repos I'd normally use - restricted extras, backports, third-party, partners - weren't there for versions that far back.
      Whoops. Next upgrade offered by GUI updater was 10.04. Don't know what happened, was off re-packing my wounds (aftermath of blood clot, _not_ fun, it's been three months now....), got back and machine wouldn't wake up. Killed it by closing the window, re-started to a kernel panic: couldn't find fs.
      So, ok, that didn't work.
      But I have taken several of my Linux machines through the process - as the updates and upgrades were offered - without much hassle. That's a qualified "much", of course. Sure as tootin' all OS's suck, just differently. I've had the same ease, mostly, with my Windows systems, including the gotchas.
      Often as not, I've found that when doing an upgrade, it's better to save the docs, software keys, what have you, and do a clean install, then re-install apps. And I do hate the extra time this takes.
      I've had about as many driver problems in Windows as in Linux - both have gotten better since, say, '01. (I had _one_ driver problem in Linux since '09, but I haven't had that many systems to play with, not like you, having a store and all, and yeah, I helped out at a store here in town for three years, mostly OS, software, file recovery (testdisk is your friend), dis-infection, re-installs, etc. I know some of the hassles.)
      Sum up, my own limited experience says I prefer the ease of use and fewer hassles of doing updates via GUI on Ubuntu to doing updates on Windows (including apps and drivers.)

      I figure it's use what works for you - and in your case, for your customers. For me it'd be a toss-up which I'd rather do: handhold people through Linux probs (wouldn't be me, I'm too stupid) or keep fixing those brought by Windows users who refuse to do updates and just "have to click" on every damn thing they see on screen and browser.

Comment Re:I can say, after having upgraded to mountain li (Score 1) 213

Somewhere mid-'01 I started using Deepnet Explorer as my main broswer; it used IE's rendering engine and a few of its libraries. It had tabs, multi-thread downloads, and some other neat stuff I've forgotten; it was fast and generally rendered most pages well.

I also used IE (for Windows update, at least), Opera, and Netscape.


Submission + - Electricity Gives Bubbles Super Strength (

sciencehabit writes: Left to its own devices, a bubble will weaken and pop as the fluid sandwiched between two thin layers of soap succumbs to gravity and drains toward the floor. But when researchers trapped a bubble between two platinum electrodes and cranked up the voltage, the fluid reversed direction and actually flowed up, against the force of gravity. The newly strong and stable bubbles could live for hours, and even visibly change colors as their walls grew fatter. Because soap film is naturally only nanometers thick, this whimsical experiment could help scientists create more efficient labs-on-chips, the mazes of nanotunnels that can diagnose disease based on the movements of a miniscule drop of blood.

Submission + - Microsoft Research re-invents the Web Bot Project (

colinneagle writes: You may have heard of the Web Bot Project. It was an application that crawled news articles, blogs, forums, and other forms of Internet conversations, looking for specific keywords. Its creators, Clif High and George Ure, initially did it to look for stock market trends. After claims that Web Bot allegedly predicted the 2004 Indonesian earthquake and Hurricane Katrina months before they happened, High went all Art Bell/George Noory, creating a website where he post a whole lot of nonsensical babble pretending to be predictions.

No, I don't think much of the Web Bot project.

But the idea of looking through existing conversation for patterns and emerging trends isn't invalid. Researchers at Microsoft and an Israeli research firm have created software that attempts to predict outbreaks based on two decades of New York Times articles and other online data.

This kind of data mining has a decent track record. For example, reports of droughts in Angola in 2006 triggered a warning about possible cholera outbreaks in the country because outbreaks following a drought had happened before. A second warning was issued in early 2007 from news reports of large storms in Africa because they had happened before.

In similar tests involving forecasts of disease, violence, and a significant numbers of deaths, the system’s warnings were correct between 70 to 90 percent of the time, Kira Radinsky, a researcher at the Technion-Israel Institute, told MIT Technology Research.


Submission + - This Year, More Japanese Tsunami Debris Will Wash Up on U.S. Shores Than Ever ( 1

pigrabbitbear writes: "When the tragedy-bearing tsunami slammed into Japan in 2011 the fallout was felt all around the world, both figuratively and literally. The crisis that unfolded at Fukushima led to a globe-spanning conversation about the merits and pitfalls of nuclear power, and to nations like Germany and Japan taking their reactors offline. But a less momentous and oft-overlooked result of the earthquake is that for two years now, it has lined the oceans and the west coast of North America with an impressive amount of debris.

The detritus—everything from Styrofoam trash to whole refrigerators—has washed ashore everywhere from Hawaii to California to British Columbia to Alaska. Especially Alaska. Chris Pallister, the president of an environmental NGO in Alaska recently told NPR it’s gotten so bad on some of Alaska’s shores that it’s like “standing in landfill out here.”"


Submission + - Did viruses evolve from an extinct domain of life? (

Shipud writes: A study was recently published by a group from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign . The authors analyzed the structures of proteins found in the genomes of organisms from the three domains of life. Those domains are eukarya which includes all plant, animals, fungi and some microbes; bacteria, and archaea which is a group of single-celled microorganisms distinct from eukarya and bacteria. The researchers also included a group of viruses known as NCLDVs (Nucelocyptoplasmic Large DNA viruses), Their conclusion is these viruses may have evolved from a, now extinct, fourth domain of life. Viruses are not considered to be alive, or even to have a place on the universal tree of life, by most researchers. So their claim has far-reaching consequences in our understanding of the origins of life.

Submission + - Copyright claim thwarts North Korea ( 1

ianare writes: A propaganda video from the North Korean authorities has been removed from YouTube following a copyright claim by games maker Activision. It shows a space craft flying around the world and eventually over a city resembling New York. The buildings are then seen crumbling amid fires and missile attacks. However, the dramatic images were soon recognised as having been lifted from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. By Tuesday, the video had been blocked, with a message notifying users of Activision's complaint shown in its place.

Submission + - First city in the United States to pass an anti-drone resolution (

An anonymous reader writes: Charlottesville, Virginia is the first city in the United States to pass an anti-drone resolution. The writing of the resolution coincides with a leaked memo outlining the legal case for drone strikes on US citizens and a Federal Aviation Administration plan to allow the deployment of some 30,000 domestic drones.

Submission + - Raspberry Pi used for prototype hardware laptop docking station backdoor (

An anonymous reader writes: At Black Hat Europe in March a security researcher from NCC Group will show how a Raspberry Pi can be used as a hardware backdoor when built into a modified laptop docking station. While details on their blog are a little light at the moment it shows how versatile the platform is and the diverse applications outside of learning..
It's funny.  Laugh.

Ask Slashdot: What Was Your Favorite Web Comic of 2012? 321

skade88 writes "It's time to do another year-end best-of roundup! Today's topic is web comics. What was your favorite web comic of 2012? Feel free to use the following categories, or make up your own. 1) Best overall web comic series of 2012. (Any web comic that produced content in 2012). 2) Funniest web comic of 2012. (This one represents the single funniest comic of any web comic series. Provide links!) 3) Best art in a web comic of 2012. (Web comic from 2012 with the most amazing art ever). 4) Web comic that was most relevant to you in 2012. (This one is even more subjective than the others)."

After 12 years of Development, E17 Is Out 259

The Enlightenment front page bears this small announcement: "E17 release HAS HAPPENED!" The release announcement is remarkably spartan — it's mostly a tribute to the dozens of contributors who have worked on the software itself and on translating it into many languages besides system-default English. On the other hand, if you've been waiting since December 2000 for E17 (also known as Enlightenment 0.17), you probably have some idea that Enlightenment is a window manager (or possibly a desktop environment: the developers try to defuse any dispute on that front, but suffice it to say that you can think of it either way), and that the coders are more interested in putting out the software that they consider sufficiently done than in incrementing release numbers. That means they've made some side trips along the way, Knuth-like, to do things like create an entire set of underlying portable libraries. The release candidate changelog of a few days ago gives an idea of the very latest changes, but this overview shows and tells what to expect in E17. If you're among those disappointed in the way some desktop environments have tended toward simplicity at the expense of flexibility, you can be sure that Enlightenment runs the other way: "We don't go quietly into the night and remove options when no one is looking. None of those new big version releases with fanfare and "Hey look! Now with half the options you used to have!". We sneak in when you least expect it and plant a whole forest of new option seeds, watching them spring to life. We nail new options to walls on a regular basis. We bake options-cakes and hand them out at parties. Options are good. Options are awesome. We have lots of them. Spend some quality time getting to know your new garden of options in E17. It may just finally give you the control you have been pining for."

Comment Re:Before anyone panics... (Score 1) 128

Oh, OK. After I start Steam, I usually left-click on taskbar icon and select game from my default Library tab. While I sometimes leave it running for days, I notice there's a tendency for the connection to drop, so I have to re-start it anyway. Costs me a couple of extra clicks, but the arthritis is not bad yet. [grin]


Submission + - A Conversation with Robert Watson (

CowboyRobot writes: "ACM's Queue magazine has a video interview with Robert Watson, founder of the TrustedBSD Project and a security researcher and open source developer at the University of Cambridge. George Neville-Neil, (who pens Queue's Kode Vicious column) discusses a wide range of topics with Dr. Watson, including the bridge between industry and academia and the importance of open source in software research, as well as CPU security and why applications, rather than operating systems, are increasingly the focus of security research."

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