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Comment Are Linux users religious about Linux? (Score 1) 224

Have been using Linux as my main desktop OS for around 8 years now, and someone mentioned that my admiration of Linux was somewhat religious. It made me wonder if I'm being blind, and that maybe Win10 and MacOSX are, in fact, better. Of course, we can't spend our lives constantly reviewing everything out there to make sure we're still using the best, but after a bit of thinking (and some recent tinkering with Win10) I can conclude that my admiration of Linux is fairly objective.

Most people who are religious were born into it, and in fact, I used Windows before I'd ever used Linux. I've also tried several different OSs - Windows (3.1 onwards), RiscOS, Workbench 3.1, EPOC, symbian, MacOS9, X, Haiku OS etc. - and I can say that Linux has the best combination of features, reliability and autonomy that I've come across.

I suppose you could say I'm a religious convert, and maybe there'd be more truth to that. But then you'd need to show me an OS more reliable, as fast, autonomous, with a rock-solid package-management system.

Submission + - Is Vodafone's new broadband service a man-in-the-middle attack? (vodafone.co.uk)

Duncan J Murray writes: Vodafone's recent entry into the competitive broadband ADSL and fibre market in the UK has been met with accusations that they are partaking in a man in a middle attack by providing certificates from contentcontrol.vodafone.co.uk. bored writes "Vodafone are performing a man-in-the-middle attack... Rather than subverting a wifi router, they have a proxy server which is intercepting your encrypted data requests, making the connection to the encrypted endpoint itself and getting you to send your requests to the Vodafone proxy server...."

Vodafone broadband also seems to be falling foul noscript's Application Boundary Enforcer designed to prevent DNS rebinding attacks, requiring system ABE rules to be disabled to access https addresses.

So far vodafone have responded by suggesting a security exception is created for each occurrence, and another reply from vodafone respond "I've double checked this with our Broadband team and this is how our routers are set up, we're unable to change any settings at our end."

Though we should not attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity, is this unwittingly compromising the security of vodafone broadband users?

Comment Re:Lenovo lately (Score 1) 99

My disclosures before I get started - I'm a Thinkpad fanboy, sorry.

But look, what GP is saying is not that out of the world. I've dropped Thinkpads onto hard surfaces several times - they usually just bounce. One time a hinge broke, admittedly (but that was after 9 years of use...). Is this all that surprising given that most Thinkpads are tested to do this?

Everyone knows the aluminium shell of the macbook is fairly soft, and dropping in onto a hard surface leaves a floor-shaped mould on the laptop.

Comment Re: Lenovo lately (Score 1) 99

Yep, my T450s is terrific. My history doesn't go back as far as yours, but my T450s has a better fit and finish than my T40 I bought new back in the day, the keyboard is just as nice (ok, except I do miss the 7th row), and I guess only time will tell if it proves as durable as that machine. It's certainly less creaky.

Comment Re:My (academic) perspective (Score 1) 286

The more I use highly specific solutions tied to a particular bit of software, the more wary I am of them. Sometimes pen and paper, or if electronic, plain text in hierachical folders is the most future-proof way out there (I think also for maintaining bibiliographies). You can tidy up plain text by writing it out in markdown and converting to pdf for printing. Do you linux? I know office is unfortunately engrained in academia - I'm trying to avoid it using latex/pdf instead, but we'll see how long that lasts.

Comment The artists are confused (Score 5, Insightful) 209

So Katy Perry who earned between 30-50 million every year between 2009 and 2014 (sorry not verified, but I suspect ball-park is not far off) thinks she's losing out because of the modern internet.

There are so many things wrong with this. Firstly, it's the record companies that are suffering. But they are suffering because artists don't really need them nowadays. They used to have a monopoly on the recording studios and publicity, but with modern electronics and software that allows you to find music you might like on spotify, soundcloud, youtube, what role do they play now? If they can get the artists on their side to help them with their profits, bonus to them, but sorry artists - you're being fooled.

Secondly, I frankly don't think Katy Perry deserves the multimillions of dosh, when I spend more time listening to and appreciate more the artists who put up their music for free on soundcloud. Don't get me wrong, I like the odd track from Katy Perry, but there's some great stuff being made by people who I don't think are doing it to be multimillionaires.

I think we're at a golden age of music precisely because of sites like soundcloud and youtube. It's important that money flows from listeners to the artists, but less should go to Kate Perry and more to the great and many artists I actually listen to.

Comment Re:Good luck ... (Score 2) 75

Hang on...

The data for the 100'000 genomes project is held securely as confidential data and is not available to companies. Not that I'm sure what they'd be patenting anyway.

Luckily this child lives in the UK, so there is no need to worry about being denied medical care for her condition.

Just understanding the mutation is a long step from being able to do something about, so yes, maybe sometime in the future there will be a patented and very expensive treatment available (or not available as the case may be). However, if someone else wants to develop that treatment and provide it cheaply no one is stopping them. This is not how I'd like the world of pharma to work, but unless a democracy are consciously happy to pay a lot of taxes into a high-risk world of pharmaceutical development, it isn't going to change soon.

Comment My setup (Score 1) 125

I find virtual desktops helpful when working on a large single project which requires many files, webpages and applications to contribute to the final result.

For example, if I'm creating a scientific document in Latex, this is what I do:

4 desktops
1: (far left) - my working directory is open, with webpages and pdf files used for referencing
-I can drag files from my working directory to other workspaces and drop them into the relevant application from here.
2: usually an application like a spreadsheet or R (statistics) which will be involved in creating content in the document
3: graphics software (I use gimp, but I find graphics software is a bit of a hog with your workspace, so it gets one all for itself) for finishing off or creating figures
4: (far right) Latex source, terminal and output PDF for my document.

I then use alt-1,2,3,4 to flick between them and alt-` to call up my application launcher and obviously alt-tab to switch windows. That way the alt key is used for window management, the keys are in a similar place, and, visually and mentally, 1,2,3,4 represent my extended desktop.

Switching virtual desktops like this also helps with any neck strain - my neck is always facing forward and I'm not spending any time with my head at an angle.

Your use case sounds quite particular - I don't tend to have multiple projects open at the same time. If I did, I'd probably create several users and switch when I wanted to change projects. Another way might be to create a 4x4 array of workspaces with each row for a given project (if I did that I'd need to do something clever with keyboard input so I could still use alt-1,2,3,4). Using VMs sounds a bit resource-inefficient.

I personally find virtual desktops a good way of organising and compartmentalising parts of my workflow, and it solves the problems inherent when you have too many windows open on a single desktop (i.e. finding a specific window, or representing your applications on a taskbar or overview). However, it does have a cost in that it requires an extra thought process to be made when switching applications - which is whether your app is on your current workspace or another. Gnome seems to have a neat way of dealing with this, but I find their task-switcher overview, and vertically-limited workspaces to be too much of a hindrance.

Comment Re:Well That About Wraps It Up For God (Score 1) 755

Nice thought experiment, but why is it that God?

Before we knew what was outside of our milkyway, was the universe God?

I suppose you mean by using the term 'figment of some higher being's imagination', you imply that we exist in the already-nebulous concept of consciousness of a brain in a physical universe that doesn't bare any relation to our physical universe.

But I'm still not sure why we need to call this God.

Comment It will be... (Score 1) 303

ubuntu-mate.

There's a reason ubuntu 10.04 and 10.10 were seen as high points of the ubuntu story. I've been using unity, gnome 3 and crunchbang since then, and was worried that returning to a gnome 2 style interface would be like trying to recreate a particularly great drunken night out when you were a student - best left as a good memory. My worries were unfounded. Ubuntu-mate is fast, effective, efficient and looks great. I don't find I miss the extra gimmicks unity and gnome 3 have, and I appreciate the well-developed window and workspace management, file manager, even the simple places menu and add launcher functionailty with kupfer.

Comment Re:Apple? (Score 1) 421

MS has done nothing to prevent a PC from being sold without an OS

They may have even said that they will raise the price if they don't make all their machines come with Windows

You can get away with this when you're not a monopoly.

Comment Re:Thankful for the FOSS drivers on older hardware (Score 1) 134

For me (a relative non-techie for this site) I find the more open-source I have on my computer, the easier it is to update the system without things breaking. I can just go to synaptic and check all updates and let it run. A lot of proprietary drivers don't play nicely with the package management, or require a manual install. Aside from that I also find them a bit glitchy, although there's no denying that if you need fps then there is no alternative.

So in summary, I find if you're not needing them for gaming/3D, then the open source drivers give a more consistent experience and mesh nicely with the rest of the system.

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