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Comment Re:Think Different! (Score 1) 696

Actually, I only meant to grant you your first point. It's not likely to be advertised anytime soon. I'm counting on a cost advantage to win the day. Maybe businesses will adopt linux faster than consumers.

I also agree that the selection is currently limited, but Dell's highest spec'ed laptops come with Redhat on request - no special webpage to find, it's simply listed in the OSes that it can come with. So it's true that there's a limited selection and they're not in retail stores, but you can get fast machines. Also, the selection is improving at a rate faster than linux adoption. I think it's a question of achieving critical mass.

Your second point is the one I was mostly speaking to. Manufacturers only need one linux platform with one of their chips to make that driver available to anyone using that same chip. Once you've supported Linux the first time, you then have an existing code branch and programmers with linux expertise to support the next generation. Even the manufacturers who didn't win the platform had to write the drivers to bid on it. The latest pre-installed linux computers are a bigger deal than you realize. Linux users should soon see a higher rate of supported hardware than ever before. (and it wasn't bad before)

I don't need the Year of the Linux Desktop to be happy. I want more drivers and more applications that support linux. Currently I need more linux users for that to happen. So, I'll settle for the Year of More Linux Users. I think that's a safe bet.

Comment Re:Where do free items fit in? (Score 1) 194

Will someone tell those ass-wipes in Hollyweird that they are losing valuable customers with this practice of putting in useless ads and trying to force people to watch them.

If their accountants tell them they are making more money with advertisements than they are losing in sales, why would you expect them to stop doing it? That is why you get commercials on cable channels. They eventually figure out how much annoyance people will put up with, and that's how much you get.

You need to reclaim the time they are stealing from you. Backing up the DVD will extend the life of the original and skip the menu entirely when you watch. Tivo or its equivalent will commercial skip and time-shift the small fraction of TV worth watching.

Comment Re:They still don't get it (Score 1) 504

I still think most of it wouldn't have been purchased even at a discount. Also, they should subtract those who actually bought after downloading it first, but they won't. Based strictly on the volume of software and media downloaded, obviously most teenagers could only buy a tiny fraction of what they have, even if they wanted to.

I don't have any problem with the companies trying to estimate their losses - they have lost - but it seems clear that they have an economic incentive to overstate it.

Comment Re:Think Different! (Score 1) 696

OK, pre-install isn't just for grandma. It's also for dad who doesn't know how to get movies and wireless working on his own. Let a vendor pick the hardware and resolve any significant issue with the installation and set up essentail applications too. After-sale installs of the OS are never going to be 100% functional on all hardware. Due to legal reasons, some software will not be included on free distros. The vendor can set this all up, if it's worth their time.

I see two things working in favor of pre-installed Linux. Businesses that need to save money can find ways to do it with Linux - the TCO lie is about to get exposed. The lower cost of laptops and netbooks will make cheaper Linux equivalents a selling opportunity.

Will it be enough? Who can say, but as long as Linux adoption increases as a percentage every year, I am happy with that. It just gets easier and easier for this to happen.

Comment Re:How convenient (Score 1) 93

I consult Wikipedia a lot, but I'd never up-mod it. What I want to see are the actual rankings, based on popularity and relevancy, in order to make my choice. I don't need Google to remind me what my own preference is. That's not helpful. Moreover, I know when to apply exceptions to my usual preferences, a computer does not.

It would be nice to be able to blacklist domains from my search results, however. That's a feature I could use.

Comment Re:Think Different! (Score 1) 696

Grandma gets her OS pre-installed. Buy her a Dell with Ubuntu. Guaranteed to work out-of-the-box.

Typical dabblers will still need to go through the time-consuming trial and error to (1) install and play with multiple distros until they know what they want

Hobbyists need to do that kind of experimentation. Dabblers can just pick a major distro and use and learn that one. They'll have their machine up and running in less time than they would consume installing Windows, identifying the hardware, and tracking down the drivers - not to mention spending time on hold and having alphanumeric exercises with the Microsoft representative to get your bought and paid for OS activated. (the last two times for me. What use are these damn holograms? Their call center can't see the cd and product id sticker.)

Too bad about your desktop though.

Displays

Samsung's New Carbon Nanotube Color E-Paper 87

Iddo Genuth writes to tell us that Samsung and Unidym have shown the world's first carbon nanotube-based color e-paper. Interestingly, the new film is electrically conductive while remaining almost completely translucent and only 50 nanometers thick. "The company also mentions that the EPD [electrophoretic displays] has important advantages over conventional flat panel displays. EPDs have very low power consumption and bright light readability, which means that even under bright lights or sunlight, the user would be able to view the display clearly. Furthermore, since the device uses the thin CNT films, applications can include e-paper and displays with thin, flexible substrates. Power consumption is lowered due to the EPD's ability to reflect light and therefore able to preserve text or images on the display without frequently refreshing."
Operating Systems

What Normal Users Can Expect From Ubuntu 8.10 511

notthatwillsmith writes "With Ubuntu 8.10 due to be released in just a few days, Maximum PC pored through all the enhancements, updates, and new features that are bundled into the release of Intrepid Ibex and separated out the new features that are most exciting for Linux desktop users. Things to be excited about? With new versions of GNOME and X.Org, there's quite a bit, ranging from the context-sensitive Deskbar search to an audio and video compatible SIP client to the new Network Manager (manage wired, Wi-Fi, VPN, and cellular broadband connections in one place)."
Displays

Best Way To Put a Monitor On a Robot? 48

I'm part of my schools IGVC team, and we're upgrading our bot's computer to an onboard mini-itx. Most of the access to the box is gonna be through ssh, but I want a terminal I can just mount on the bot for convenience. Bidding on a psOne LCD already, but what are some good options if that doesn't pan out? I want to keep it as cheap as possible and small (in the 5-7 inch range). I haven't found any good guides to modding a digital photo frame or portable DVD player, but I'm probably just not looking in the right places.

The Almighty Buck

GoDaddy VP Caught Bidding Against Customers 222

An anonymous reader writes "A GoDaddy Vice President has been caught bidding against customers in their own domain name auctions. The employee Adam Dicker isn't just any GoDaddy employee; he's head of the GoDaddy subsidiary that controls the auctions. Dicker won some of the domains he bid for, and pushed up the bid price on auctions he didn't win. The conflict of interest is unethical, but could this practice also be illegal? Said a representative for a competitor, 'Even if controlled, that practice has bad news written all over it.' This comes hot on the heels of news that despite earlier promises to ICANN to end their 60-Day ban on transfers, GoDaddy quietly circumvented it by forcing customers to agree to the ban anyway. ICANN doesn't appear to be investigating or asking follow-up questions about this. What can be done to force ICANN to police the registrars for which it is responsible?"
Communications

Netgear Launches Open Source-Friendly Wireless Router 182

An anonymous reader submits news of Netgear's release of the "open source Wireless-G Router (model WGR614L), enabling Linux developers and enthusiasts to create firmware for specialized applications, and supported by a dedicated open source community. The router supports the most popular open source firmware; Tomato and DD-WRT are available on WGR614L, making it easier for users to develop a wide variety of applications. The router is targeted at people who want custom firmware on their router without worrying about issues, and enjoy the benefits of having an open source wireless router."

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