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Comment Firefox is sputtering out (Score 0, Troll) 646

I downloaded mosaic when the web was new and being a Linux user, Netscape was the only game in town and I suffered through the horrible Motif widgets because the browser and email client were the best of a poor set.

Firefox was wonderful when it came out and delivered a great shock to the system. IE 6 was bullocks and once people got used to downloading a browser, it opened the door wider for Opera and eventually Chrome. I don't know at what point they lost their way, but my Firefox nee IceWeasel got slower and slower and slower. The bickering over the trademark and the increasing performance problems lost me. Once I had to kill the browser every time I went to shut it down, I put Chrome in my sources.list and never looked back. Too bad, really.

Comment Re:No Intel GMA500 / Poulsbo Support? (Score 1) 115

That's great! I've been poking through their package mods and it looks like some real he-man coding was needed to get all this working with a more modern kernel and Xorg than it was originally intended. I need to send these guys a beer!

Unfortunately, my big needs aren't as simple as distro that works with the future-ported Poulsbo drivers. People and companies developing Linux products on netbooks and MIDs need those drivers in the mainline Linux kernel and Xorg source to gain wider general use, code reviews and more widespread testing. OEMs want to get a warm fuzzy that the drivers will still work and will still be maintained a year or two from now. As much as I love what I see in Jolicloud, I doubt many people will be willing to bet their company on them continuing to provide this Poulsbo support if Intel isn't willing to update their official drivers.

Thanks for the lead!

Comment Re:Multithreading is the problem, not the answer (Score 0, Troll) 631

Agreed. There are certain classes of problems for which threads provide an elegant solution, but it is not the answer for every problem. The same with Object Oriented techniques; they really help in some cases. Unfortunately, there is a tendency in our industry to treat whatever this years popular tool or developmental concept as some kind of panacea and everything that has gone before as some kind of remedial solution for technological dinosaurs.

The truth is less cut and dried. UNIX philosophy still applies (small, discrete applications; clean interfaces; in separate process spaces), despite the inherited, object oriented model being in vogue. Threads are good for the kinds of parallel problems they solve, but you can't beat an straight-forward event loop for asynchronous performance and lack of obscure timing issues. Sometimes you just need an old fashioned FIFO for IPC, rather than some kind of sophisticated OS managed queuing system.

I'm old, but I've seen a lot. Most problems I've found in software development design / architecture is someone with a degree using the latest college-taught solutions to solve real-world problems and inadvertently making them almost impossible to solve.


Ubisoft's Constant Net Connection DRM Confirmed 631

A few weeks ago we discussed news of Ubisoft's DRM plans for future games, which reportedly went so far as to require a constant net connection, terminating your game if you get disconnected for any reason. Well, it's here; upon playing review copies of the PC version of Assassin's Creed 2 and Settlers VII, PCGamer found the DRM just as annoying as you might expect. Quoting: "If you get disconnected while playing, you're booted out of the game. All your progress since the last checkpoint or savegame is lost, and your only options are to quit to Windows or wait until you're reconnected. The game first starts the Ubisoft Game Launcher, which checks for updates. If you try to launch the game when you're not online, you hit an error message right away. So I tried a different test: start the game while online, play a little, then unplug my net cable. This is the same as what happens if your net connection drops momentarily, your router is rebooted, or the game loses its connection to Ubisoft's 'Master servers.' The game stopped, and I was dumped back to a menu screen — all my progress since it last autosaved was lost."

Submission + - Hope For Fixing Longstanding Linux I/O Wait Bug (

DaGoodBoy writes: "There has been a long standing performance bug in Linux since 2.6.18 that has been responsible for lagging interactivity and poor system performance across all architectures. It has been notoriously difficult to qualify and isolate, but in the last few days someone has finally gotten a repeatable test case! Turns out the problem may not even be disk related, since the test case triggers the bug only by transferring data either between two processes or threads. The test results are very revealing. The developer ran regressions all the way back to version 2.6.15 that demonstrate this bug has more than doubled the time to run the test in 2.6.28. Many, many people working at improving the desktop performance of Linux will be very happy to see this bug die. I know that I, personally, will find a way to send the guy that found this test case his beverage of choice in thanks. Please spread the word and bring some attention to this issue so we can get it fixed!"

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