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Comment Re:mp3 does this already (Score 1) 250

I wanted to add that I buy a lot of my music via amazon mp3. Buying a single is a simple link to a .mp3 file. Buying an album gets you a .amz file, a more or less proprietary text file that is understood by the amazon downloader program to get the entire album. It is usable on Linux via a few options, but it would be so nice if one could just buy an album on Amazon and be offered a zip of goodies.

Comment Re:mp3 does this already (Score 1) 250

I like the format that Nine Inch Nails offered.

Register for free on the site, get emailed a url where you can download the latest album for free.

Three choices, lame mp3, flac, or 24 bit pcm. You get a single zip file, with a subdirectory with all the music. Named clearly in numerical order, tagged appropriately. id3 for mp3, flac tags for flac. Includes another subdirectory with an assortment of imagery, as well as some background images in common resolutions. I believe a brief information file was included too. A standardized cover.jpg which plays in many media players is included.

Past releases included AAC and maybe apple lossless, which allowed for embedding images into the files. NIN chose to embed images into these files.

Seriously, a single file album format sounds good. But it doesn't have to be over engineered. A good option can emerge without a major record company effort.

If the record companies are going to create a format that includes binaries, drm, or proprietary data formats, choose to charge more than the standard online $9.99, and disallow individual track purchases, then damn them to hell. But if they keep single tracks as an option, but just try to make the $9.99 album buy a little more attractive by offering something like what I described NIN doing above, then I'm for it. Offering a .bz2 w/ matroska, flac, png images, lyrics, information and more would certainly be a value add for me. But that sounds unlikely.

Comment Re:The album used to be great.... (Score 1) 250

Music is still going strong. The great cohesive albums still exist.

You just have to find them in different places than we used to. We cannot look to radio or to TV. Every year, a new crop of excellent musicians comes out, with excellent albums. Internet radio, music review web sites, and this modern field of annual music festivals is an excellent place to find it all.

If you look to the old places to find new music, you will fail. But I'm tired of hearing that there is no more good music. The technology to create music has advanced and matured beyond what anyone expected, and costs have plummeted to obviate the need for recording studios. There is a higher quality back catalog out there to inspire new musicians. More people have the opportunity to dive in to making music than ever before, and a lot of it is excellent. I firmly believe that the best musicians to ever exist are alive today.

Comment Piracy on the DS is ten times easier. (Score 2, Interesting) 272

Piracy is the perfect excuse. Poor sales? Blame piracy, no one gets fired and they keep doing what they've been doing. The PSP is a neat system, which had a botched launch and poor support since. I had it and enjoyed it for a while, but it couldn't hold up to my DS. Why?

Piracy on the DS is much more fun. A flashcart with memory card can be had for under ten bucks. They do everything out the box, getting data on them is a cinch. If it truly is piracy that has killed the PSP, then the DS should have been gone and buried. It is not fun nor easy to play homebrew or emulators on most PSPs, especially the more recent. Yet the DSi has a $10 fix.

Perhaps one day Sony will stop making excuses and make systems and games that I want to buy.

Comment No, really, why is the Linux desktop relevant? (Score 1) 615

I've been using Linux on my desktops and laptops for close to a decade, and I'm happy - why should I want more than that? I see this desire to have every desktop in the world use Linux, is that necessarily a good thing? So long as Linux and free software continues to improve, and no one is restricted from using it, I think that should be good enough. What is wrong with there being other users that choose other operating systems? I believe many users can benefit from a switch to Linux, but I don't see how that switch helps the whole. Desktop Linux is pretty good today and only improving. I can try picture a world where every desktop is Linux, and I don't see our lives being very different. Is global tux domination a worthwhile goal?

In regards to the article, I didn't interpret it to be that Red Hat actually believes the desktop is doomed or that there is no benefit to Linux on the desktop - just the point being made was that there was no economic case to be made for it and that there are adoption barriers. I think that is a perfectly accurate statement.

Comment Re:Flash-oriented file systems. (Score 1) 96

I can certainly understand the desire to let the OS "not handle" stuff, because there are plenty of OS's that do a bad job... "handling" stuff, to be sure.

But that's its job. It multiplexes your CPU to handle hundreds of threads at the same time, making each one think it has the entire CPU to itself. That's a pretty big job, and we trust the OS to handle it. Sure, there is a need for a good interface, a good point for what has to be abstracted and handled by the disk, what has to be handled by the OS - but SSDs seem different enough that exposing the black box a little more to the operating system could have advantages.

Here is what Theodore Tso, big-time kernel developer thinks about the issue. He links to a good discussion and counterpoint from Linus.

Comment Re:Main mistake they made? (Score 5, Informative) 587

I worked at Circuit City from 2000 to 2003, and this was not the case for us.

I cannot speak for CC nationwide, as I was in a store in the northeast, but we had a "price match plus" policy. If you found a lower price from a brick and mortar store, and you or we could verify it, we matched the price and beat it by 10% of the difference. Perhaps this was not the case before or after I was there, or in different regions.

To the best of my knowledge, prices were also identical to the competition. Every weekend a small group of us would comb through every newspaper they brought in, and would familiarize ourselves with what the competition was advertising in their flyers. We were usually the ones to announce to customers that a certain item was on a price match sale, and managers were supportive in helping us get them that lower price. We would call or go online to verify a better price if needed. Only very rarely did a customer find a lower price elsewhere and bring it to our attention.

Now, I also think this was the "best" time for customers with CC. They had come out of a DivX salesman era, which stained the companies opinions in many peoples minds. The company started to revise its checkout system, and brighten up stores, as well as introduced a completely new layout for the new stores. But it was still playing catchup to the other guys. The same poor management was running the show. Any progress here was lost with the changes to the payment structure which lost a lot of good will with loyal employees, which were later outright laid off. Then they were just slow with keeping up with the competition with Firedog, and never had the kind of HDTV showcasing that Best Buy was able to foster.

The rise of Best Buy and Walmart did the company in, with superior selection, store layout, and even colors. Seriously, Blue and White or Blue and Yellow, just flat out beat Red and Black. Our stores were dark, dated, they felt old, the store was like the weird used car salesman of electronics. While the "we don't have checkout counters" idea was an interesting experiment, it was a failed one that the company never truly fixed. A poorly run company can survive in the absence of great competition, and I think CC was floundering for the past decade. Semi-competent (at least more competent than Circuit City) competition and a recession is all it took.

Comment BeOS? (Score 5, Informative) 523

Back in the day, BeOS booted in 6 seconds to a fully usable desktop (6 seconds after the POST). I don't think that is what you are looking for though, and I don't know how far the Free clone, Haiku, has come.

More realistically, there is this interesting Linux distribution, Webconverger:

I've used it for a few web-only systems. Boots up fast enough. Use it as a starting point to tweak. Basically, firefox becomes your operating system and UI. Neat idea.

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