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Comment Blocking ads is hypocritical (Score -1, Troll) 716

It means you want something for nothing. You want to look at websites that cost money to operate, but you do not want to support them.

It's not stealing. It's not a crime. But it is childish and hypocritical.

"But I want to see the content." waa, waa. The grown up, principled thing to do would be to avoid websites that have annoying advertisements.

That's okay though. Everybody wants something for nothing. But the old "unscrupulous advertisers" or "I don't want to be profiled" or "I'm doing them a favor, I've been online since 1997 and I've never clicked on an advertisement, I'm saving them bandwidth" is just unprincipled crap. Just admit you want something for nothing rather than coming up with ridiculous rationalizations.

Comment Re:interesting problem (Score 1) 571

Wikipedia actually works reasonably well for articles like this. Just look at the end result: articles about Obama and Romney. These are detailed articles where nearly every assertion bears a citation. It is difficult to find something like this anywhere else, much less for free on the Internet.

What is no surprise after looking at articles like Obama and Romney is that the number of Wikipedia editors is dropping off. No casual user can expect to edit anything in these articles beyond the most trivial typo. To get anything into these articles requires the dedication and know-how to wage a long battle to get even a sentence in. With it being difficult to get anything into high-profile articles, and with many low-profile articles facing deletion by the notability nuts, casual participation is going to drop. What I'm curious about is what the long-term effect of this will be--maybe higher quality on some articles, maybe more subtle but pervasive cultural bias (the demographics of dedicated Wikipedians are not diverse) and maybe less coverage of things that notability nuts deem not notable.

Comment Re:unity... (Score 2) 285

Just use software that shares your philosophy, where updates don't remake the whole software package. Go with one of the less well-known window managers like Openbox or FVWM or even a minor desktop like XFCE. Build workflows around old mature tools like shells and terminals rather than graphical file managers. There are lots of projects that are not trying to become the next big thing, but none of them are associated with KDE, GNOME, or Ubuntu.

Comment Honesty (Score 2) 510

It's nice when the proponents of a piece of technology can be honest about its shortcomings and acknowledge them, rather than trying to sell their technology. It's the honest response vs. the fanboy response.

Problem: "It's too slow."
Honest response: "Yeah, sometimes it is slow. Here are the design compromises that make this slowness necessary. Furthermore nobody has volunteered the manpower to make it faster. If you need something faster, try x."
Fanboy response: "Yeah well, anytime I try to do something, it's fast enough."

Problem: "There's practically no static typechecking."
Honest response: "You're right, there isn't. There are ways you can deal with that, such as writing tests and thinking carefully about your code. The lack of static typechecking allows us to build a language that is better in this way and in that way. If you want static typechecking, try language x. Certainly there are advantages and disadvantages to the way we did things, but it best suited our objectives and if your objectives are aligned with ours, consider using our system."
Fanboy response: "Yeah well, if you're relying on a compiler to catch all your bugs, you're in trouble."

I know there are a lot of C++ haters here but having read some of what Bjarne Stroustrup has written, he typically offers honest responses, not fanboy responses. I was impressed with an article on the Arch Linux wiki once for the same reasons, as it gave an honest response to "it takes too long to install" (which was something like "yeah, it takes awhile, which has advantages and disadvantages. Try Ubuntu for quick installs.") rather than a fanboy response ("quick installs, who wants that crap anyway, it will just give you a junk system.")

To be fair to GVR this was a short informal article; it may not be fair to expect him to expound in this kind of a format.

Comment No Adblock for me (Score 1) 247

Using Adblock reeks of hypocrisy to me. "I like the content your site provides, and I like it enough to go to your site, but you choose to pay for your site through ads, which I don't like, so I'm going to block them."

I first thought of this when I used Adblock and I visited Distrowatch and a bunch of images were missing. It turned out that the site owner does things to deliberately mess with the folks who use Adblock with huge block lists. I thought about it and realized he is right. I like Distrowatch, it costs me nothing, yet I'm going to block the ads that support it? Not right.

Yeah a lot of sites have annoying ads. I don't visit them. I used to read the Denver Post's website. It has annoying pop unders. I stopped visiting. I have sent emails to other sites saying "I like your content, your ads are too annoying, so I stopped visiting."

I also pay for websites that have good content that is worth paying for.

Comment "accomplishing nothing" (Score 1) 980

Sometimes I like to dink around in Terminal, accomplishing nothing, but at least knowing that I'm engaging the computer on my own terms, with no buffer.

The strange thing is that in OS X you can actually accomplish things in the Terminal. I liked OS X for this reason: the power of old UNIX with prettiness on top when that's a nice thing. I've seen other OS X users who keep Terminal windows open. I guess what he really wants is a non-condescending GUI. Linux is your friend for that sort of thing.

Comment Procmail (Score 4, Funny) 167

Google for "procmail remove attachments":
http://osdir.com/ml/mail.procmail/2002-11/msg00091.html

That will get you started. You can do most anything with Procmail after you figure out the rather odd configuration file format.
Make sure you have it backed up first because it's also quite easy to destroy data with Procmail.
After you spend a lot of time futzing with Procmail scripts and sed and formail and the like, you'll wonder why you didn't go on Amazon or Newegg and buy a $10 flash drive that will hold all your mail several times over.

Comment More photos? (Score 5, Insightful) 112

Some more photos would have been good...you go all the way to New Jersey and you only took three pictures? That Pick to Light system sounded interesting, but a photo would have made it all clearer.

I thought that this story had already been done, and sure enough, it has. Of course I'm sure Newegg is happy to give a warehouse tour to any blogger who wants one. I'm not even sure the story I linked is the one I've seen before. Wait, maybe that was this one! Anyway, both of those had more photos.

Comment Jobs hagiography is beyond ridiculous (Score 1) 324

"most successful business leader of all time"? More successful than Rockefeller, who controlled a key commodity (oil) and who was worth over $600 billion in today's money? More successful than Gates whose company, no matter how unfashionable, still has an absolute hammerlock on computer desktop operating systems?

Jobs is a great business leader, but give me a break. He gets this fame because he knew how to give presentations in black turtlenecks. All these "Jobs came down from Mount Olympus to bless us with his awesome talent and leadership" stories are just ridiculous.

Comment Re:According to wunderground... (Score 1) 395

As someone who has lived in Washington for several years now after having grown up in Denver, I have to agree that, at least in DC, nearly any kind of natural event is blown grossly out of proportion.

Certainly earthquakes and hurricanes are not common in the DC area. But a few inches of snow is not an unusual occurrence. Some parts of the city handle it just fine--the Metro catches lots of hell but generally it handles a routine Washington snowfall with little difficulty. But seeing the panic that ensues after a minor snowfall is just ridiculous.

Part of that might be because transportation networks in DC are overloaded even when the weather is perfect. Even a minor rainstorm slows all the traffic to a crawl.

The hurricane will be at the level of a big rainstorm when it hits DC. It's something to watch out for, yes. Is it reason to clean out the supermarket shelves, or line up for gasoline (both of which were happening yesterday)? Not really.

If someone from NOLA is laughing at us in DC, it's because we deserve it. Things really do get blown out of proportion.

Comment The problem is not apps (Score 1) 312

This article makes the typical geek mistake of assuming that Android tablets are failing due to some technical reason such as "not enough apps". This assumes customers are making perfectly rational choices and are looking at things such as "app selection" when they "buy a tablet."

Right now there is not even a "tablet" market. There is an "iPad market." That is it. I was in the DFW airport with a friend. A bunch of non-Apple gizmos were on display in a locked case. One was a tablet. "What's that?" she asked. "It's a tablet." "What's that?" she asked. "It's like an iPad." "Oh."

People see tons of iPad commercials. They see iPads everywhere--in Starbucks, on the airplane, in the doctor's waiting room. The guy at work brings his in and talks about how great it is. All of them have that Apple logo on the back. No other tablet has this kind of dominance.

So people buy an iPad. They don't even know other models exist, and typically if you tell them there are alternatives, they don't care. The iPad is becoming synonymous with tablet, the same way iPod is the MP3 player and the Walkman was it back in its day.

Amazon may be able to overcome this with its marketing muscle. If they do, though, it won't be because they got some sort of "critical mass" behind Android to give it "more apps" and it certainly won't be due to geek crap like some sort of high-resolution screen or more gigahertz. A very low price would be a start.

Comment Re:OGG = MP3 (Score 1) 111

If I recall correctly, OGG and MP3 use very different (lossy) compression techniques. As a result, converting from one to the other will drop audio quality substantially.

What's the point of providing a feature that will, in all likelihood, make your music sound bad?

You will not be able to tell the difference on your cell phone earbuds, which seems to be the target use of Google Music.

You probably would not be able to tell the difference on a $5,000 home audio system either, but whatever.

Comment Re:rerip your CD collection (Score 1) 758

since disk is now cheap as hell.

Not on portable players or even on laptops it's not.

To make it portable you then need to keep the original FLAC and reencode it to an MP3. I have yet to see a GUI tool that does this reliably (Amarok was unstable.) I transcoded my FLACs in a huge batch. Now I don't buy CDs at all and I have no qualms about buying lossy MP3s, though I know some audiophile is going to say they are inferior. I don't care.

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