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Open Source

Desktop Linux Is Dead 1348

digitaldc writes with this quote from PCWorld: "It kills me to say this: The dream of Linux as a major desktop OS is now pretty much dead. Despite phenomenal security and stability — and amazing strides in usability, performance, and compatibility — Linux simply isn't catching on with desktop users. And if there ever was a chance for desktop Linux to succeed, that ship has long since sunk. ... Ultimately, Linux is doomed on the desktop because of a critical lack of content. And that lack of content owes its existence to two key factors: the fragmentation of the Linux platform, and the fierce ideology of the open-source community at large."

Comment Re:Many (Score 1) 363

I find the poll trend disturbing, because I'm in the same boat as you.

I depends on what length you consider a "book", but with tech manuals in the 100+ page range, I would count those as well.

I probably read almost book a day, sometimes a book every few. Not all of these are massive Tolstoy scale books, lots are shorts (under 50 pages), some are in the 100-150 page range, and a few are enormous (and take a few days).

Probably better to say "How many pages do you read a day" - since for me on average that's probably 70.

As for *new* books - well, Feedbooks feeds my addiction. I have had a great consuming everything written by specific authors, in order.

Comment Re:Original Source and Actual Paper (Score 3, Informative) 462

Got a pile of AIX servers here like that:

I was kind of wondering about the "modern operating systems" comment... I think he meant "desktop operating systems".
Many of the big OS vendors (IBM, DEC (now HP), CRAY, etc) are well beyond this point. Even OS/2 could scale to 1024 processors if I recall correctly.

The Internet

Bookmark Synchronizer Xmarks Hangs Up Their Hats 225

krulgar writes "On January 10, 2011, Xmarks will be closing their doors. A free service being replaced by free software. It would still be nice to have a single way to keep my bookmarks from my work machine in sync with my home machines and my mobile devices without exerting much effort. Xmarks seemed to be the only ones with that clear vision, maybe the replacement tools can grow into this space, but it's still a little sad to see a useful tool wave goodbye."

Comment Re:Axe job (Score 1) 338

I keep hearing a lot of this sort of comment - the devs of diaspora are inept. The devs are out of their league. Etc etc etc.

You know, I don't see anyone else building anything like it. Linus was out of his depth building Linux, and SMTP, HTML, and NCSA Mosaic were certainly created by people completely out of their depth. Most of those people had degrees, and should have known to build security in from the start, right?

You guys have a better product? Let's see it. Until then, stop acting like children.

Comment Re:And that was to be expected (Score 1) 206

Exactly true. Experience is something you don't get until AFTER you need it.

I have checked out the Alpha, even though I am not a fan of facebook or social networking. It's always worth playing with new OSS stuff, because you never know where the next really good project (or even really good idea) will come from. It takes a lot of "almost good" attempts to make one that is good.

Comment Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (Score 4, Informative) 702

I support Unix professionally (RHEL), and my work laptop is Ubuntu 10.04.

My home machine is Win7. Why? Flight Simulator, LOTRO, SimCity, Civilization, and several other games that either don't play at all or are a freaking pain to make work. CS4. A properly working scanner. Portable Apps (ironic, huh? Most are linux apps!). TrueCrypt (which works in Linux but is a PITA to deal with). HDMI support (including sound).

I like Ubuntu 10.04 a lot, and for me it's ideal for my laptop needs. Just doesn't hack it on my desktop. Funny how times have changed.

Comment Re:None of the above. (Score 1) 342

I do a ton of shooting with my Nikon F100, and it's true - when you take between 3 and 5 shots of the same thing, you only usually keep the one that came out just right :)

Yay bracketing :D

BTW - still hate digital cameras. Own 3, haven't liked one yet.

Comment Re:"Automatic" doesn't mean what you think it mean (Score 2, Informative) 309

No, your second example is actually in very common usage. Nobody I know calls their 1911 types (Kimber, Colt, etc) a "semi-automatic" unless they're being pedantic.

"The .45 ACP (11.43x23mm) (Automatic Colt Pistol), also known as the .45 Auto by C.I.P."

A *lot* of people call them a 45 auto. It's because there was also a 45 single action in popular use at the time, often called a Colt 45.

Example: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=45+automatic
A large majority of the hits show that most 1911s are referred to *still* as the 45 automatic (or 45 ACP)

Comment Re:Keep them in reserve (Score 1) 308

I have all of them in reserve, actually - though my 40MB MFM drive is just used to keep doors open (or sometimes as a bookend).

My oldest operational drive is in my "Mac Bottom", an ancient SCSI add-on drive that was designed for the Mac Plus (512k and 1MB versions). I use it pretty regularly, actually.

All the other old ones are sitting in a filing cabinet with post-its on them denoting when they were wiped.

Comment Re:Ubuntu is about Ubuntu, not about Free Software (Score 1) 655

I'm going to have to hop in on this as well and add to the noise.

I've been using Debian since pretty much the very beginning (not quite - but REALLY close, just a bit after Bruce Perens left, but before woody), and it was my favorite Linux distro up until squeeze.

No linux distro has ever done more to turn linux from a serious piece of crap fit only for hobbyists and OS geeks than Debian, and no distro has ever had a larger fall. When Debian chose to pull that stupid stunt over Firefox/IceWeasel and then pile drive into the toilet with Squeeze (which literally fails on every computer I own, unlike Lenny), they proved that Debian's day had finally passed.

Ubuntu works. It works on laptops, it works on desktops, it works on netbooks and tablets.
RedHat has a completely solid place in the enterprise - hell, I'm converting 90 AIX boxes to RHEL 5 as we speak, on a project with timeframes more extreme than I can stand. But it *works*, and it's *solid*.

Is this a victory for OpenSource? Yes, just like the rise of "Open Systems" that pushed mainframes into the shadows and forced a radical re-thinking of the entire concept of IT. People used to pay for computing cycles, you know - before the days of Open Systems.

Android, RHEL, and Ubuntu are the result of the insanely hard work of the open source devs. But the devs have *always* sucked at dealing with users. Users want a phone. They don't give a crap who wrote it. Users want farmville. They don't give a crap why it works.

The age of the OS as a primary interface is coming to a close, just like the age of the teletype and the blinking lights was ended by the monitor. The Web Browser is the future interface (warts and all), and in this world where the OS is nothing but the chrome around a browser, Linux is far ahead. Users don't try to install software any more, they check to make sure their sites work and their WiFi is up.

Sorry for the rant. The point is - yes, Debian and Slackware and the rest are doomed to fade into the shadows to be replaced just like the systems and projects they replaced. I don't see you all weeping for CPM, or MVS, or IRIX despite the amazing things they contributed. The X11 project was dropped like a bad habit in favor of Xorg, and I can't even remember the last time I had to use CDE.

Time goes on. Simplicity reigns supreme, and if you're not leading the way on "just works" you'll get run over by someone who is. Debian still doesn't get that, FreeBSD doesn't get that, Slackware doesn't get that.


Superheroes vs. the Westboro Baptist Church 631

sv_libertarian writes "They've faced down humans time and time again, but Fred Phelps and his minions from the Westboro Baptist Church were not ready for the cosplay action that awaited them at Comic-Con. After all, who can win against a counter-protest that includes robots, magical anime girls, Trekkies, Jedi, and... kittens?"

Nokia and RIM Respond To Apple's Antenna Claims 514

awyeah writes "In response to Apple's press conference, where videos of a few devices were shown losing signal bars with a tight grip, RIM and Nokia have both taken shots at Apple. RIM's co-CEOs say that Apple's claims 'appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public's understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple's difficult situation.' Meanwhile, Nokia, noting that they are pioneers in antenna design and were the first company to bring to market a phone with an internal antenna, prioritizes 'antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.'"

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