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Comment Re:If you don't like metro... (Score 1) 800

The ones I found aren't OSS and cost $3-$5. Are we really crossing over to the OS X realm of finding paid tweaks to provide much needed system functionality?

Do these tweaks really restore the FULL start menu? Including the part of it that searches inside your documents and launches the appropriate software to read the documents when clicked on or hit return?

Oh wait, do I really want to trust some third party to search inside my documents? In Win7, it was Microsoft that searched inside the documents and despite all their faults I semi-trusted Microsoft to respect my privacy... but now whoever runs some random tweak is searching inside my files?

Comment Re:BUYING SLASHDOT ACCOUNTS (Score 4, Informative) 1105

You fail to understand many things.

Most importantly, you fail to understand the idea of "increased variance." The predictions of global warming period is not that it will get hotter all the time; or that it will get cooler all the time; but that there will be an increased frequency of oscillations between cooling and warming at rates not previously observed. It is this oscillation, this switching back and forth between heating and cooling too rapidly, that is the evidence for the global warming hypothesis (same goes for tornado strength). This is called "scatter."

Second, you fail to understand that "testable predictions" means reproducing past events. Global climate models cannot reproduce the temperature record for the past without including man-made heating during the industrial revolution. These same models, when run into the future, predict increased scatter and increasing mean temperature, with a scatter level that's high and a mean increase that's slow.

These two points continually have been mis-explained to the public, and the advocates for policy change to reverse climate change have failed miserably at getting these points through to the public---hence your post.

Comment Wise comments on FTL and space travel (Score 3, Insightful) 141

I think his comments on FTL and all the hype about interstellar space exploration are totally spot-on. All the Alcubierre drive news that had NASA's name attached to it was traceable to one guy there who doesn't even really understand general relativity. What you have to understand about NASA is that they tend to write blank checks as far as exaggerations in press releases go; so while the work actually being done (building an interferometer) is valid, the hype attached to it about this and that could be extremely overblown (interferometer will be used to test FTL travel). The end result is "NASA working on warp drive" headlines where the real headline should be something much more humble and limited.

Comment Re:Maybe our universe is a 'matter bubble' (Score 1) 255

Not sure you can rule out the possibility that the gravitational mass is negative. Sure, the inertial mass may still be positive (e.g. merely defined as the absolute value of the gravitational mass), but if the gravitational mass is negative, then you can build an antimatter Alcubierre drive with it---so you can propel something *else* (regular matter that has positive gravitational mass) at high speed.

Or am I mistaken? Can you make an argument based on GR that it should be positive?

Comment Re:Resale? (Score 1) 138

Physical storage devices (books, CDs, DVDs) were inconvenient necessities required for publishers to make sale.

Wide availability of broadband means such storage devices are no longer required. They will be done away with, and everything wil be kept on the server. And licensed.

In another decade, this idea of "owning" software and books and music will seem quaint and antiquated, much like the idea of gold-backed currency.

Comment Re:Somebody needs to remind him (Score 4, Insightful) 302

It's more than a rhetorical tactic. It's an intellectual fail that was inherited from the GNOME project. The fail goes like this: "We must have a good default UI. Instead of giving advanced users the ability to tweak that interface via an 'Advanced' button, let us just take away their ability to tweak. Because noobs are so noobish they will click on Advanced, screw things up, and then complain to us."

False and Wrong, idiots. And a big fail. There is plenty of software (especially a lot of Apple software, which I hear is quite popular), with preference dialogs that have "Advanced..." buttons, and guess what, noone on the forums is complaining of stuff that was misconfigured. (They are complaining of actual Apple fails, but that is another story).

That one epic fail---that one decision that you can't have both a simple UI, and a button somewhere in the preferences that caters to your advanced users, is the root of all the backlash against GNOME and Ubuntu. Your hubris is costing you dearly.

Put an effing advanced button on all your preferences. And no, gconf-editor or dconf-editor or any of that garbage doesn't cut it. It needs to be COMPREHENSIBLE to be useful.

Comment Man of La Mancha (Score 1) 354

There's something quixotic about all the recent changes in Ubuntu, isn't there? In the real world they are a Linux distro preferred by 2% of users for its good driver support and its ease of use. But in Shuttleworth's mind, they are a smartphone/tablet/TV operating system that is about to go mainstream and take over the world. Maybe if his desktop market share was a tad higher than 2% it would be realistic, but it just seems to me that they are overreaching and mostly daydreaming of grandeur where they should be focused on serving their core clientèle better.

Comment Re:Overhyped (Score 3, Interesting) 124

The numbers cited are for gzip. The improvement over 7-zip is much less than 3%; it's more like 1%, at the cost of a factor of four slowdown with respect to 7-zip. Note that this is for 7-zip when restricted to deflate-compatible formats only.

Here's the paper:
https://code.google.com/p/zopfli/downloads/list

Comment "Power users" don't jailbreak (Score 4, Insightful) 272

I used to jailbreak during iOS 4-5 days. Spent a lot of time installing this or that tweak, feeling like such a cool "power user." Oh my, animated wallpaper and SSV Normandy replacing the words "AT&T" on the upper left corner of my screen. This or that tweak that let me access this or that feature with one less gesture than before.

What a freaking waste of time. And at what cost? Random applications written by anonymous people on the net running as root on your iPhone, with full access to your private data if they wanted it? You are putting yourself at extremely high risk by circumventing the iPhone's security and running all this closed source software as root.

Jailbreaking is a security nightmare, and you're not worthy of the term "power user" if you allow someone called chpwn or BigBoss to run closed source shit as root on your personal communication device. By the way, that jerk BigBoss wouldn't let me run his software if I blocked ads on my hosts file. WTF dude, let us live a little?

If you really want flexibility, at least go to Android, where they publish their source.

It finally took cold turkey---bought an iPhone 5 when it came out, with no jailbreak for months---to learn that I really like my iPhone the way God intended it: nice and stable and closed---and even if not 100% secure, still better than giving some random dude called p0sixninja full access to my device. I get more stuff done now---you know, real work that I need to get done for my real career and not messing with a half-assed implementation of Expose that causes my phone to reboot half the time (yeah---the instability and the random reboots are yet another downside of jailbreaking).

Comment Re:The slow erosion of our rights (Score 2) 221

That was all an illusion. We never had any real rights in the face of the juggernaut that is copyright.

In the eyes of publishers, books, CDs, and floppy disks were inconvenient and flawed means of distributing content, because they could not control the content after it left their hands. Furthermore, they were physically limited and subject to damage, which caused such abominations as lending and backups to become necessary.

The internet handed them exactly what they wanted: no need for flawed, uncontrollable methods of distributing their copyright-protected progeny. They can, and will, eventually put everything behind a server, and make it impossible or extremely inconvenient to use and consume without a regular monthly payment and subscription. That is our future, unless something is done about copyright itself.

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