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Comment Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (Score 1) 505

It is not that FOSS developers hate ABI compatibility. It is that the value of such compatibility for important projects (FOSS ones) is very near zero, thus why should they have extra work to achieve it?

Not at all, the value of ABI compatibility is so great that RedHat is a billion dollar company. (Everyone around here thinks RH sells phone support, but their real product is a stable Linux OS that isn't going blow up in the next three years.) There is a real economic angle here. RedHat employs developers who are busy breaking Fedora every six months. Then they employ other developers who save you from those crazy FOSSies by stabilizing and QAing things. It's a good racket.

Everyone discusses this as if it were just a matter of pure ideology. But ABI compatibility, regression testing, etc is an expensive proposition to provide. FOSS developers in general don't do it mostly because it's hard, boring work. It's much more fun to rewrite things and let the Enterprise customer deal with the aftermath.

When it comes to the Linux desktop, I think if the users were "serious", 90% of them would be on something like CentOS or Ubuntu LTS, not dealing with OS breakage and just getting their work done. But the users aren't serious, they're largely hobbyists who like to screw around with the latest and greatest toys. That's why there's 10 new distros to install every six months.

Comment Re:They absolutely were a dark age (Score 1) 1184

Both were only crippled by lack of software. They were good OS/S that actually had excellent performance on systems of that era - OS/2 was much faster on the same hardware than Windows of the time, and Be/OS did many things faster than anyone.

OS/2 was so poorly designed that IBM was already doing a major rewrite in the mid-1990s. (WorkplaceOS, it failed.)

Sorry, but this still seems like the myopic POV of someone trying to squeeze every last cycle out of his Pentium. The operating systems that survived were the ones which didn't skimp on the fundamentals and were designed for the future: NextStep/OSX, NT, and Linux.

Comment Re:Lazy Crap. (Score 1) 1184

more or less a Wintel monoculture in the 90s, where the only points of distinction between different computers was numbers of MHz, and MBs. The 90s in computing was horrible.

From a pure 'computing' perspective, I'd agree. However, there were huge advances in commodification, manufacturing scale, and user adoption. I'm not sure where we'd be without that monopolistic "dark age" which pushed computers into the hands of billions. I don't think we would have necessarily gotten here had we stuck with the grotesque incompatibility of the 1980s.

Comment Re:They absolutely were a dark age (Score 1) 1184

OS/2 -- aka "Half an operating system".

Both your examples had some interesting ideas with their UIs. But they were both also extremely crippled to get them to run acceptably on the limited hardware of the eras. Now that you can run full-fledged Unix OS on your cellphone, it's hard to shed a tear for stuff that was obsolete almost on arrival.

Comment Re:useless aspect ratio (Score 1) 341

Recall, if you will, all the build-up to the "Grand Alliance" that gave us today's ATSC (HDTV) standard. There was politicing on ...

Not to mention that the consumer electronic people insisted on interlaced resolutions (1080i), that were practically obsolete by the time HDTV actually rolled out to the mass market.

Comment Re:Excellent News! (Score 1) 504

The angst over XP's DRM didn't die down that quickly, especially at places like Slashdot. Remember when Microsoft banned the one particular corporate key every other pirate was using? Or when they snuck some new form of activation through Windows Update? Eventually it was cracked wide-open, but people were moaning about it for years.

Comment Re:Everything (Score 1) 716

I remember the internet as it was before advertising became so widespread. I rather liked it. If everyone starts using ad-blockers, perhaps I can have it back?

No problem, just lobby your University to raise your tuition in order to build a special network where you can discuss Star Trek in peace. ... Oh wait, you're no longer a University student? Well, there's this other service where you can discuss Star Trek for $1 per minute.

Comment Re:Everything (Score 2) 716

That's obviously not his concern. Google offers free analytics (previously an expensive service) because they can use his traffic to advertise to his users, based on his own site's content. If you happen to be against the whole idea of ad-supported sites, it's kinda silly to hand over user behavior data to an advertising company.

Comment Re:anyone who says blocking ads is stealing... (Score 1) 716

> ...doesn't understand how the Internet works.

The other aspect of this is that if you block ads, you drop out of Google/Doubleclick's statistics, and your traffic just fades into the noise level along with the bots. In most cases, nobody will ever know what you're interested in looking at, or that you visited at all.

But realistically, unless you're YouTube or someone, the cost of hosting/bandwidth is insignificant relative to the other costs. Junk traffic is just part of the cost of doing business. The bigger issue is that people will produce less content that you like (and yes techies already have this reputation).

Comment Re:What's the difference.. (Score 1) 330

They should just go back to the "good" old days and just charge a flat price and be done with it. Incidentally, those were the monopoly days, too, so obviously something was going well for Microsoft with that plan.

Sorry, that was never the case. Even their various BASICs had OEM discount pricing.

Comment Re:Is it just me (Score 1) 330

If you look at Apple's revenues, they barely make any money off their store. The only way that will change is if people start using these stores to deliver real applications instead of 99 cents casual games. Just because Valve might be a little vulnerable on the games side does not mean it's going to be a huge revenue stream for MS.

You do have a point about adoption though. MS makes most of their money from OEMs and corporate licenses. However, it was the "PC enthusiast" home builder-type guy who effectively FUDed Vista to death. So it does make sense to try to market directly to those (us) people, because that's where the word-of-mouth comes from. (And in typical MS fashion, it's rather hamhanded.)

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The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky