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Comment Will I have the choice of not using it? (Score 1) 1110

I tried in the shop and it was as bad as I expected. As a power user creating stuff I like multiple programs open and clearly this not the OS for that. I guess they are targeting the 90% of users who simply consume and only single task. That's fine, I have the choice of sticking with what I like, Linux Mint Cinnamon edition, but do I really?

As I looked around the shop at all those Windows 8 laptop I wonder how many of them have locked down boot loaders that won't let me install Linux? And how many retail store are going to let boot a USB key and have a look at the HDD with a partitioning tool to see if it will be possible? I left the store depressed about the loss of choice. Maybe the old joke "We have both types of music, country and western" should now be "We have both types of OSes, Windows 8 and Mac OS 10.8".

Comment Re:Just like all those Windows tablets before iPad (Score 1) 403

I had the Toshiba Portege 3500 convertible that ran the tablet version of XP. The hardware was hugely expensive but nicely done. The software was good at first but XP was not real time enough to handle the handwriting capture once a few programs were installed. Something would want some attention for a few hundred mill-seconds, such as a mail notifier checking for new email, and your handwriting became a straight line for that time. A pity as it was great product that was let down by an OS that wasn't designed for the task.

As for the Suface tablet, I wouldn't count on it doing any better than the Zune or a Windows phone.

Comment This is news? (Score 0) 344

Not sure why this new worthy of Slashdot? It's just general news.

Firstly, the list is stolen so could the Greek government legally use it?

Secondly, tax evasion is illegal but tax avoidance is not. Since when does having an off-shore account prove anything more than you money outside saved the country?

Thirdly, while the penalty is harsh given the unimportant nature of the information publish the principle and crime is valid. If it was a leaked list of patient medial records for off shore treatments would it acceptable?

Comment Re:Has the author ever been to China? (Score 1) 230

I would agree. I can't see how the fares could be much cheaper and is simply the best public transport I have used anywhere in any country. Jiaxing to Shanghai is 30 mins and cost 39RMB (USD ~$6) and is a very pleasant trip. By car is about 90mins and will cost over 50RMB for toll roads and more for petrol. A 125cc motorcycle would cost about 40RMB and take about 3 hours ignoring toll roads. The Jiaxing airport is a military one is flying is out. There is the option of a normal train which I assume is slower and cheaper but I don't know the details. A bus trip is about 2 hours and about 20RMB. If someone else is paying I would take a car but for my own money it would be the high speed train. I think locals agree as it very popular with them too.

There are many things to annoy you in China, but their high speed trains are something they can rightly be proud of. Well run, practical, comfortable, pleasant and affordable, what other public transport system can make that claim?

Comment How about the BYD F0? (Score 1) 658

I like these little cars, so cheap and fun. I'm in China for a few years so I just brought a BYD F0. Better looking than the Nano and for an entry level car it even has keyless entry. Airbags would have added another USD 1K but complete with factory mags, body kit, tinted windows, registration and insurance it was only USD $7500 on the road. I'm not sure where is stands on crash testing but it is proabably safer than my prefered mode of transport, a motorcycle.

Comment Re:Breaking laws (Score 1) 218

If you think this is about porn then you don't understand the difference between blacklist and whitelist filtering. Only a whitelist system will effectively block porn, but also would render the Internet unusable to the point bussinesses would be affected and export lost along with jobs. China uses blacklisting, filtering by domain name, IP address and strings in URLs. So as a result finding porn is never going to be a problem. If you are addicted to social networks then the blocking of Facebook and Google+ is going to be fustrating.

Personally I find the blocking of Google a pain. Some days I will find searching will just simply not work for few hours. Sometimes they block Google Maps and it can cost local businesses money when I can't locate find them. I live in a city of 4M people. Google Maps has every street and much commerial information, very handy until it's blocked. Bling thinks my city has 2 roads, a sick joke. The Chinese online maps don't susport English.

So to get arount in China bypassing the Great Firewall of China is a must. If you are a Linux user and have SSH access to a server in a free country then that's the best option, there is how to links in other posts. SSH is sometimes blocked but it's very rare and short term. If you live here then keep a SSH connection up 24/7 because it's new connections that get blocked for a few hours at a time, where as the connections that are up will normally stay up.

Comment Oh, damm, I mis-read it (Score 0) 41

I have recently been thinking of buying a Romba to cleap the floors clean in my new apartment. It later here so in my tired reading of the headline I though that they had coupled an ultra-powerful laser with a Ronba. I had immediate visons on dust beling vaporised from several meters away. I was quite disappointed when I read the headline correctly. Sharks be dammed I think I have a new project.

Comment Re:Piracy (Score 1) 232

Unless you make secure boot a legal requirement it will not be widely adopted outside the USA. A good example is region locked DVD players. They are difficult to find outside the USA because customers will not buy them.

I can't see how you can make secure boot a legal requirement either. How do you define what it covers? Any computer with a display? My washing machine has graphical display, would it require secure boot in future? I recently used an AVR ATtiny13 to set the brightness of an LED strip because the customer dosn't know how bright it should be yet, but production need to start already to meet shipping dates. The LED strip is lighting a block of plastic that displays information, so would the ATtiny13 need secure boot added to it?

Comment Actually there may be no damage (Score 1) 320

To be safe you should do what other are suggesting. I moved my parents to Linux and have never had a problem since.

The interesting thing is I have played with a couple of these scammers in VMs and in both cases it was clear they know very little about computers and really just want to get you to buy a 'support' package. To show how dumb some of them are when I told one I couldn't actually seen any problems he proceeded to try and format my C drive at a command prompt but he could not get the syntax right. After 5 minutes of trying he gave up and used the GUI to delete the C drive. So while dumb they can be vindictive, so be careful. He hung up before I could show him how a VM can be restored in seconds.

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