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Comment Re:The Linux Kernel is *NOT* "free for all". (Score 1) 40

Read and learn:
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.html

The term “intellectual property” is at best a catch-all to lump together disparate laws. Nonlawyers who hear one term applied to these various laws tend to assume they are based on a common principle and function similarly.

Nothing could be further from the case. These laws originated separately, evolved differently, cover different activities, have different rules, and raise different public policy issues.


So no, patent and copyright laws do not "overlap". (As for your first sentence, I'm not even sure what it means; "The need"? Right now I need a coffee, but that is certainly not based on any patent...)

Comment Re:72 TB is not a lot of data written (Score 1) 144

This should be modded up.

It's easy to jump to knee-jerk conclusions about some arbitrary number which "feels small". Once you do the math, as the parent just did, it becomes clear that it is perfectly fine. In fact, writing 60 GB / day is for most home user a HUGE margin, so the drive should be able to last much longer than three years.

Comment Re:Who cares, this is not the important point! (Score 1) 442

After the disaster which is my current Dell 2709W (27", 1920x1200), I'll never buy Dell again.

Out of the box, about four years ago, it always had major overheating problems, which manifests itself as jitter on grey-tones (old style Windows 95 UI looks like a xmas tree). Then, in the last year, a vertical purple line 2-3 pixels wide has started to appear when I turn the screen on. It goes away after about 20 minutes. So yeah, probably bad caps.

Then, there is the f*** buttons. Almost every time I want to switch between input sources, the OSD menu times out before I can get to the right source. Just as often, the confirm button does not register the click, and I have to go all over again. F*** annoying! The old models, which had a dedicated physical button for input source was much better. I notice your U2711 has the same "fancy buttons", so it's a no-go for me.

Finally, it's the card-reader and USB hub; it doesn't work, or only works sometimes. No a big deal of course, but simply useless. However, this seems to be a rather consistent problem with Dell monitors. The same thing keeps happening to many of the 24" models at work.

Overall, I'm happy I got the monitor at the time I did, however, my next will be an Eizo, price be dammed.

Comment Re:Targeted customers (Score 1) 372

Good read; thanks. However, you seem to be more of a half-empty than half-full type?

Only looking at your last paragraph, I'd see gold, if I was running a small-town computer shop, or in my university years again. Charge people $100-200 to fix up their computer by installing a GNU/Linux distribution. Or, if that's not interesting, exchange their old hardware, and re-sell that to somebody else. Maybe supplement the business with some courses.

(Just don't patent the business plan though; stories of people doing exactly that have been frequent over the last couple of years).

Comment Re:hardware vs software (Score 1) 233

shares virtually nothing with the common Linux environment encountered everywhere

Here's my usual plug; quote by Richard Stallman:

“Android is very different from the GNU/Linux operating system because it contains very little of GNU. Indeed, just about the only component in common between Android and GNU/Linux is Linux, the kernel. People who erroneously think “Linux” refers to the entire GNU/Linux combination get tied in knots by these facts, and make paradoxical statements such as “Android contains Linux, but it isn’t Linux”. If we avoid starting from the confusion, the situation is simple: Android contains Linux, but not GNU; thus, Android and GNU/Linux are mostly different.“

Linux has always been, and will always be just the kernel. Although the kernel is at the core of an operating system, it is not the complete OS. It sounds what you are looking for is the rest of the OS, typically the GNU tools. We can all save a lot of text and sweat by using the those three letters when discussing OS specific topics.

What you call it when talking to non-technical people does not matter that much. However, here on Slashdot everybody will understand "Android is not GNU/Linux".

Comment Re:Summary implies that tablets are not a fad (Score 1) 243

I'm all with you, and keep seeing these things being used in places where there are much better tools for the job: Go to any tourist attraction these days, and you'll find people holding up their aluminium slabs to take pictures. Surely, if you can afford a trip around the world, you can also get a half-decent camera. Then there are the people who claim that writing e-mails, articles and even books is without effort on these things. The mind boggles.

As for niche use cases, I can think of a few: Once you get down to $50-100 range, they might make better picture frames than the dedicated devices for that purpose. For face-to-face survey-taking they work very well; think trade-show booth, or door-to-door questionnaires. An architect / building inspector recently mentioned that his tablet helped him is his job, so I'll have to take his word for it.

However, for John Doe, it's nothing but a fashion accessory at the moment. And as long as the iPad costs 5-10x times its competition, it will continue to be a show-off, just like bespoke suites, gold watches, and small-dick cars.

Comment Re:Irony (Score 1) 243

We need free and open source software now more than ever. The laws against installing any think you like on a tablet goes to show how backwards some people have this issue. We need free software to prove that there are a lot of alternative OSes out there, and that doing anything you like with the hardware you'd bought should be the law, as opposed to what is currently the case.

So, let's throw out the "pack of four", and build and use our own alternatives, whatever that might be. You bought the hardware; you own it.

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