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Comment Re:Finally! (Score 1) 224

Slackware 7 was my first distro (Well I did have a Red Hat 6.1 a while before but never really used it). I set it up as an internet gateway. It's a great way to learn Linux since it requires you to do much of the setup.
Having said that, I would never recommend it for real world use without proper package management (there are some for Slackware, but there not core components of the system). Trying to keep it maintained is a chore. Gentoo is the same, it has portage for package management but it still tends to break and need manual intervention (this was particularly bad when x86_64 was fairly new) and of course it's a rolling release so you will be running things that are not far off bleeding edge packages fairly often. But this and the face that its a from source distro, makes Gentoo great for development. Arch seemed ok, but you still need to read a news feed to know what manual changes you have to apply when the system updates to a different component.

Comment Re:Cherrypicking sources (Score 1) 277

Chromes Adblock is basically at the same level as Firefox's now (Well the UI could use a little work). With the developer version of the official Adblock Plus extension there is full blocking (as opposed to just removing content from the site and they both support the same scribing list of blocked content. I can't really comment on NoScript since I never used it but there is probably something out for that too,

Comment Re:who cares if it uses mon or not (Score 1) 361

It's not at all like that. The difference is that Firefox is browsing random websites, it's possible that any of the hundred of video decoders in your OS might have a security exploit. Theres no way to sandbox 3rd party decoders. If there is an exploit in an old out of date proprietary codec that no one updates anymore then it's screwed. Even if the codec is still maintained you are relying on the whims of that company. Shotwell is an offline photo viewer, your only going to be viewing photos you specifically want to look at.

Even if you just whitelist a few codecs (ie H264, Theora, Webm), there is still no way to update/secure those specific codecs. When was the last time you heard of a H.264 codec update for Windows.

It's also being done for idealogical reasons. The internet needs to remain open, accepting H.264 codecs (with Firefox being the only real holdout against it becoming the defacto internet standard by having %35 market share) basically means that every single internet capable device now has to pay a licence fee to over a hundred companies holding thousands of licenses. There are also potential problems in the future, what happens when those companies decide they wan't more money. They agreed to giving free licensing until 2016 or so, that 5 years short of the patent expire date. How much would we have been up for in those if it was a basic requirement of internet browsing. Those companies would have been wanting to make up for the missed money in that time. Firefox holding out gave Google time to get and open VP8. I also wouldn't be surprised if they where prepared to defend it by taking it all the way to the supreme court if possible and try and get software patents themselfs overturned (remember Google isn't actually a software company, its an advertising company).

Comment Re:Hopefully Never (Score 1) 261

Firstly, this internet isn't going to be connected to the systems that drive your car. The worst that happens is you loose your music or someone screws with your GPS navigation.

Secondly, cars are already heavily computerized. There was the Toyota breaking problem which was fairly bad, but I haven't heard of any other issues. Cars are already very complex systems, they have 'bugs' of their own the breaking issue was a computer one but it could have just been normal mechanical failure, there is no data to say that a computer system running things is somehow worse. The idea is mainly caused by people dealing with BSODs on Windows and such. The stuff you use on your desktop is not the same stuff as is in cars. Cars will have very fixed functions for the software they use not general use like we see on normal computer. Computers see widespread use in planes, space shuttles without issues, occasionally there are problems but its no more of an issue than regular problems. Adding a computer if its done right it can help reduce the problems or their impact (such as a system that uses sensors to warn if something is running how or vibrating weirdly or one that makes an emergency call when a collision is detected and feeds live video to the emergency workers so they can asses the situation in advance).

I agree that this system seems to be a giant hand out, they are talking about money through the entire piece, nothing about how the end users can benefit. Will I be able to download music from my home system? Or will I be forced to purchase through the Toyota Music Store. What about apps, will we see a Apple type store or a Android free market?

Comment Re:Remarkable (Score 1) 109

There is a point at which bandwidth becomes pointless. If you have a low latency system that has enough bandwidth to display HD videos for example, you no longer need to download movies, you can just watch them. The same can be applied to your entire computer desktop. Of course resolutions will be increasing and so on but so will the technologies.

That system might not be here yet, but it will be eventually. I doubt it will be in orbit due to the latency (even low latency is too much), but radio travels as fast as fiber and lasers are wireless too and won't interfere. Actually an advanced system of lasers might work much better than fiber, you don't have to lay the cables and you can just keep adding beams and receptors, just need a simple deployable system, like wifi except with multiple lasers that automatically locate receptors in range (maybe with some 2ndary radio system for the general direction) and aim a beam towards them.

In addition to that, there are many low bandwidth/low latency applications. Imagine giving all the villages/people in Africa cheap solar $5 OLPC style computers with built in internet access without needing a hub, server or whatever. They might not be able to do anything more than basic web browsing but that would be a huge revolution. They dropped a computer into an Indian village, came back a few months later and all the children now spoke English.

Comment Re:HTML5 will be a screw job. (Score 1) 436

The problem is that MPEG-LA claim that is impossible to implement a codec without infringing on any patents. So according VP8 will have some stuff in it that MPEG-LA have patents on. It might be that On2 have actually licensed some patents from them for use in their codecs. Of course there is a good chance this claim is a load of FUD from MPEG-LA, there are after all patents like Dirac that have been designed based on old, 20+ old techniques.

Comment Re:Next step: Apple bans HTML Canvas (Score 1) 166

HTML5 already runs at Flash level speeds for me on Chrome. Firefox isn't too shabby either. It's often faster and has less resource usage (my netbook barely plays Flash videos but has no problems with HTML5 ones).

As for the annoying usage of Flash vs the annoying usage of HTML5, HTML5 might be a bit harder to block since it integrates directly into the page. You can currently block all Flash with Flash block, of course there might be a HTML5 canvas block, but canvas might end up being used to just about everything.

But with that said, it should be eaiser to block things like ads (currently adblock can't block those annoying 30 second ad clips that play before those 45 second videos), however a grease monkey script should be fairly easy to throw together to skip them and normal adblock rules can be used to block domain specific ads. There is also the potential for a grease monkey/adblock hybrid model.

Comment Re:or Frank Herbert's take on DIY, at-home biology (Score 1) 113

Grey goo would be much worse. A plague can be contained, vaccinated against, small holdout pockets, some people might have a resistance etc...

Grey goo on the other hand could destroy the planet in 48 hours depending on the speed of the replicators, there wouldn't really be any defense against it since you would have to make enough counter defense goo to stop the grey goo (thats even assuming someone could design and deploy some kind of anti-goo in the time it would take for the grey goo to so its thing, we might not even know there is any grey goo until it's too late.). If you had something effective it would have to be able to take down the grey goo faster than it is growing and it would have an exponential head start. Grey goo has the potential to be air born too killing off all the people before it gets to the main core of the planet.

I think the only real defense against grey goo would be if individual people had their own nanofabs that where capable of creating their own self contained habitats that where resistant to the grey goo (or even used it). You would basically loose the planet though. Of course out of the survivors, there will be some who might make their own grey goo variants that the habitats don't protect from and launch them out.

Comment Re:Do they have a crystal ball? (Score 1) 346

Really depends on what they mean by replacement.

I would argue that SSD's have already replaced magnetic drives for situations where speed is the most important factor, although there arn't really too many situations like that (and many of those can use ramdisk).

For desktops, laptops, netbooks and workstations a few GB are enough and the increase speed is much more useful. I have a 60gb OCZ Vertex SSD on my desktop. Spae wise its fine and I'm dual booting. I do have a 2ndry drive but its only used for games.

Most people won't likely need 14TB in 2020. I have 4TB currently and am using around 3TB, but I'm not most people. Obviously data centres will need bulk storage too. And 14TB would probably last me until 2020.

Another issue is that it's going to get harder and harder to cram bits magnetically (the superparamagnetic effect), I believe they are already running into some problems although there are alternative solutions such as a flat square bed that moves rather than the magnetic disk with arm for example. Flash on the other hand can just stack the chips and will likly follow Moore's law which won't be likely to run into problems until after 2020.

We could see a large migration to cloud storage for home users (obviously the backend will still be magnetic). People will stream videos rather than save them for example.

The price halving time for NAND Flash is 1.4 years, Kryder's Law says something similar: http://www.mattscomputertrends.com/Kryder's.html

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