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Comment Re:less freedom if you're a monopolist (Score 1) 479

I'm not a big Microsoft basher despite being a Linux user, but --

Just because there are alternatives doesn't mean they aren't a monopoly. They still are around 90% of the OS market.

You need Office? OpenOffice is available and quite good.

Yes, but you still have to deal with people who use Microsoft Office -- and they're more than 90% of the market.

IIS? Apache. IE? Firefox.

Yeah, Apache wins. Firefox? That's fine, but again, because of Microsoft's presence, there are sites that require IE.

Zune? iPod.

The Zune came out after the iPod was already a success, and Microsoft couldn't leverage their weight to squash the iPod.

Microsoft has a very large market share because they are arguably good at what they do.

They have a very large market share because of business practices that got them convicted as a monopoly. They didn't get their market share in a clean way.

It's not Microsoft that limits what we do, it's the choice of all of the companies to build the software that doesn't work on anything else which then leaves us with no choice.

I agree with this. Unfortunately, there's not enough of a non-MS market to convince companies to port, and we're stuck because there won't be a market until companies port...

This isn't like your cable company where you don't have a choice.

In a way, it is. Find a way for a non-techie to get a PC that doesn't come with Windows. This eliminates using websites because a lot of non-tech people won't know about sites that sell OS-less PCs (does Dell? I don't think they do), leaving you only with stores. Find a store that sells non-Windows PCs. Go ahead -- I'll wait. I don't know how common Apple stores are, but there's certainly not one near me.

Microsoft is becoming less and less of a monopoly as time passes

I agree with this, too. And their attitude since the Vista era is part of it. Which is why -- hey, let them charge extra for an XP downgrade and foist their shitty OS on people. If one out of a thousand users switch to Linux...

Comment Realms of Fantasy kind of sucks (Score 2, Informative) 218

I really don't mean to be a troll with this. But I wanted to read RoF in order to see what kind of short stories were being published, and so I subscribed for a year.

Most of the story content during the year I subscribed came across as snooty/snobby artsy fartsy junk fantasy. At least as far as I can recall. I have like, zero standards when it comes to reading science fiction/fantasy so long as I can pronounce the character names without needing a guide, and this stuff turned me off. Seriously, I went through a phase where fantasy stories were like crack, and these guys couldn't publish one story in a year that made me feel like the subscription was worth it.

Maybe some of their problem comes from the fact a bunch of people didn't like the content? Content is everywhere. If you want someone to pay for content, it has to be more entertaining or valuable than they can get for free. I can get snooty art fantasy all I want at deviantart for free.

Comment Re:Ubuntu annoyances? (Score 1) 253

I prefer just to set a password for root -- that's all you have to do in order to have the normal root user that you can su to. Atomic Penguin suggested it upthread.

I prefer that, because then root has a separate password from any user...


Submission + - South Korea plans to guard border with robots

An anonymous reader writes: ture-5-future-military-technologies Samsung has partnered with Korea University to develop a machine-gun equipped sentry robot, which consists of "two cameras: one for day-time and one for infrared night vision, zooming capabilities, a speaker for notifying the intruder, sophisticated pattern recognition to detect the difference between humans/trees, and a 5.5mm machine-gun."
User Journal

Journal SPAM: Armed Terrorist Cell Nabbed INSIDE U. S.!!! 4

Pick one:

(a) OMG!!! Raise the terror code to RED!!! Where'd I put that plastic and duct tape, Tom? You were right Loud Obbs, they ARE inside our borders [pause to breathe into paper bag to calm hyperventilation]

(b) Ho hum. Page 29b. Shall we run this at all, boss? There's an update on Anna Nicole's baby's daddy's diaper rash here someplace....

United States

Submission + - Debugging the US Constitution

P. Orin Zack writes: "Say you're fond of a massively multi-player real-world role-playing game that has run off the rails, and you want to fix it. What do you do? The ground rules of this game are public, and include a method of changing them. The activities within this game are governed not only by these ground rules, but also by in-game laws that are created by the players themselves. Time is limited, because the universe looks like it will soon crash and burn, and you cannot reboot the system.

I'm speaking of the real-life game that runs in an operating system called the US Constitution. The ground rules define a set of checks and balances, for example, but the programmers overlooked some issues, such as a check and balance pair that would enable the Governors of the several states to overrule perverse laws passed by Congress or defeat implementation by the Executive.

So my question for the community is this: if you could revise the rules in the Constitution to fix the problems which threaten to crash the system, what changes would you make?"

Submission + - Sony uses decapitated goat to promote PS3

ulatekh writes: In what has to be a new low, Sony recently threw a party to promote God Of War II, featuring an actual decapitated goat. Guests at the event were even invited to reach inside the goat's still-warm carcass to eat offal from its stomach.

They should have stopped at the topless girls.

Submission + - If You Don't Tell, Then Its Not a Vulnerability?

neilbaby writes: "The Register is reporting that after a college student exposed his ISP as being chock-full-of-vulnerabilities, they disconnected him from the ISP. They claim:

Based on that investigation, we do not believe that there was (prior to your post) any such security breach.
Furthermore, after 7 weeks, the vulnerabilities haven't been repaired, nor has there been any customer notification nor work-arounds provided. As if this wasn't enough, the letter of service termination stated that they reserve the right to take further legal action. The letter concluded with:

This letter is confidential and we do not consent to any publication of the details of our dispute with you or this letter in any forum whatsoever.
I guess BeThere, the ISP, believes that just as a tree falling in the forest when there is nobody there to hear it, makes no sound, so too does a vulnerability not exist if nobody talks about it."

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