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Submission + - Valve blog announces dates for Steam Linux external beta (

An anonymous reader writes: In the third post to the new Valve Linux Blog, the linux team have announced that starting next week they will begin their internal beta, with an external beta of 1000 users to begin mid "some time in october".
There will be an external beta sign up page made available "soon".

Comment Re:In theory Apple is MS's biggest competitor, but (Score 5, Insightful) 304

Microsoft don't need to compete with Apple.
Microsoft are primarily interested in the corporate market - business and government.
Everything else just flows on with that due to the need to be compatible.

Apple has spoken recently of their inroads into business as a "collateral win", an unintended bonus.
They are putting zero effort into replicating or replacing the core feature set that any large business relies on (exchange, active directory, etc).

The reason that Microsoft is scared of Google is that they are actively attempting to make the underlying system immaterial as the Google services become the compatibility glue.
Who cares if the underlying system is running Windows, OSX, Linux or something else when the end user gets exactly the same experience?

That's what Microsoft is scared of, not a high end device manufacturer that interoperates with them.

Comment Re:Renamed shit is still shit. (Score 1) 68

You may be expressing that you believe that all games that have previously been refused classification would still be, but one of my professional acquaintances performs some of classifications. They have no hidden agenda whatsoever. They simply classify the content as they would any other content - to the best of their ability, of course. If they believe the media in a game exceeds the MA15+ classification, at present they're forced to simply refuse classification. With an R18 rating, they could slap R18 on it an be done with. As long as it's content which would get an R18 rating in any other medium, it will here. Sometimes they let games get through with the incorrect rating (they're only human, and don't play the entire games - publishers actually have to identify themselves which scenes they believe are the most violent, etc, and present those) and those get revisited and reclassified. The classifiers are not out to ban anything - they just use the classification tools available to them.

This doesn't mean X-rated content would be allowed, however. (In most of Aus, there's no X-rating, either). So no hardcore porn games would be allowed in. Excessive violence falls under R18, with the exception of snuff - except in games it's computer graphics and not considered snuff. Oh, also no beastiality or child porn, as they're illegal.

That is exactly my fear, that the new legislation will simply move the existing MA15+ content to R18.
There's been zero transparency from the government on their intentions and to my cynical mind Mr Rau's pronouncement on the subject looks designed to deliberately fail - and then afterwards he can spread his hands and say "It's not my fault none of the other AG's wanted R18".
The liberal government did basically the same thing to stop us getting out from underneath the monarchy about a decade ago. Rather than make it a straight debate about republic vs monarchy, they clouded the issue with arguments about the specific type of government that would replace the current system.

As much as I respect the honesty and integrity of your unnamed friend at the ARB, I don't trust the politicians as far as I can throw them.

Comment Re:Renamed shit is still shit. (Score 4, Informative) 68

I don't know if a voluntary system would give us anything different here, the problem is that the lack of a rating within the codified guidelines result in a title being illegal to buy locally or import.

According to the code by which these classifications are made:
The Code
Under the Code, classification decisions are to give effect, as far as possible, to the following principles:
(a) adults should be able to read, hear and see what they want;
(b) minors should be protected from material likely to harm or disturb them;
(c) everyone should be protected from exposure to unsolicited material that they find offensive;
(d) the need to take account of community concerns about:
(i) depictions that condone or incite violence, particularly sexual violence; and
(ii) the portrayal of persons in a demeaning manner.

Look at A there and tell me how not allowing me (a 30 year old) to legally acquire something like Mortal Kombat or Left for Dead 2 is abiding by their own guidelines.

Comment Renamed shit is still shit. (Score 3, Informative) 68

Just taking the existing MA15+ bracket and renaming it to R18 will not do anything meaningful.
We have a system in this country (Australia) that claims to be about classification, but is actually about censorship!

I (and many others) want a uniform system across all media, and unless something is illegal to make, it shouldn't be illegal to buy!

Comment Re:Just use the hardware you have (Score 2) 898

Actually it's about the worst answer.

My advice for the OP, let the wife choose. Pick about 5 different models that you know are good (Dell Latitude, Lenovo Thinkpad, Asus and Toshiba, wife will probably like the look of the Asus) put some pictures into a document and let her pick which one she wants. That way the onus is on her to like it, having her make the decision reduces the likelihood that she'll turn around and blame you for any issues (as she is currently doing with the Mac).

As much as I hate to admit it, 10 years of marriage backs this up.
No matter how much you will save, no matter how hard you try, not matter how good the outcome: Buy her the new shiny and make it HER choice.

Comment Re:agnostic rule (Score 1) 354

The whole point of the Australian government is Representative Democracy.

By my rough calculations, 75% of our politicians should be self righteous, arrogant busy-bodies who think they know better than me regardless of anything so trivial as reality.

As an atheist, I can appreciate the sentiment, but as a realist I see the fact that all our leading politicians are currently zealots as simply an aberration that even those nominally religious abhor.

Comment Re:Conversation view is a mixed blessing (Score 1) 272

I would argue that encouraging participants to read the entire conversation and then respond once to all the previous discussion is a good thing.
Why deal with 4 separate single line responses?
If they are on diverging topics, surely they shouldn't be under the same thread any more?
The failure of participants to correctly quote is no more a fault of gmails than top posting is a fault of outlook.

Comment Re:Conversation view != threads (Score 1) 272

The only other MUA (besides gmail) I have discovered that does it correctly is sup
It's command line (which isn't a complete deal breaker for me, failure to render html or show inline images aside) but it stores all it's meta data (read, deleted etc) in it's own internal databases which are not reflected on your IMAP server (which IS a deal breaker for me).

I've been tempted to start hacking on the source, and if it was written in a language I knew I'd have already done it.

Comment Conversation view != threads (Score 5, Informative) 272

Every single time I see this discussion, someone pipes up to say "but thunderbird DOES do threads!".
That it does. And that has absolutely no bearing on the discussion at hand.
Conversation view as provided by gmail gives you a single page for each entire conversation AND it inserts your replies online as appropriate.
There's several other features that make conversation view work so well, but you'll have to actually try gmail to understand what we are talking about.

Comment Re:Car analogy incoming! (Score 1) 422

One that's smart enough to realise that if you do away with the ticketing system (ticket creation, distribution, ticket machines on busses, policing people not using tickets) the entire bus system can be run for the same money the local government subsidizes the system ANYWAY.
And because the entire system is free, more people use it, reducing congestion on busy city street.
Who loses out on this deal?
People who pay tax and don't use the bus. But at least when they are driving, their roads are easier to navigate.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 397

Internet Explorer may not have been in the kernel, but key components of it were shared with the file manager and the windowing/desktop manager.
That's why it loaded so quickly.
That's why it ran so quickly.
That's why if you crashed it badly enough you ended up looking at your wallpaper with no icons, no start bar and (if you didn't know how to bring up the task manager) no clue as to how to make the computer "work" again without rebooting.

Comment Re:Math (Score 1) 867

Well the article talks about electrical consumption and total energy, so I would assume that part of that total energy need is currently being met in a way that is not electrical.
Cars for example mostly run on petro-chemicals right now, but if they were suddenly all electric, it would substantially add to our electrical consumption without really altering our total energy usage.

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