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Comment Re:It's been dying since KDE3 (Score 1) 515

I definitely mark the beginning of their decline as their transition away from KDE3. Several excellent, mature apps were either effectively killed (i.e. Konqueror) or neutered (i.e. Amarok). Lots of customizability (arguably KDE's key feature) disappeared, and for a long time, lots of core functionality was broken. This wouldn't have been as much of a problem had certain distros not decided to jump to KDE4 way too early in its life cycle leading to bad experiences for both new and existing users. I don't know if KDE ever recovered their previous momentum from that transition.

Sadly, I think the worst part about it was that the Gnome devs watched the whole thing and clearly learned nothing as seen by their Gnome 3 transition.

Comment Re:Linux - Gentoo based (Score 4, Interesting) 599

Gentoo since around '05 as well. I was coming from a dual boot Fedora Core 4 & Windows XP Pentium 3 800MHz. Something completely borked my Windows install, and I was able to recover my data from Fedora so I decided to go full Linux after that. I learned a lot from that stage 1 install process, fell in love with Gentoo's flexibility, and I haven't seriously considered another distro since that time. Gentoo continues to offer that flexibility, and is one of the few remaining distros that allows (and even defaults to) being systemd free.

I don't recommend Gentoo for everyone, but if you really enjoy Linux or tinkering with PCs, it's definitely worth considering.

Comment Re:consequences? (Score 1) 64

This will almost certainly lead to a law suite by some large shareholder claiming the board of directors failed to perform their fiduciary duties (specifically their "duty of care" which basically says the board has to perform due diligence on all alternatives and choose the one that's best for the company). Since what's "best" is subjective, this is actually fairly typical and borderline inevitable with any large M&A transaction. There's very often some party that feels the board should have taken some alternate deal and by not doing so they've been materially damaged. If this goes to court, the board will demonstrate that their investment banking advisor (Qatalyst Partners if I recall correctly) demonstrated to them that they took the best deal on the table, and the other party will come up with arguments against it. Regardless of the outcome, and barring something crazy, the transaction will with MS will still go through regardless of this lawsuit's outcome.

Comment Re:Consequences in Banking/Finance? (Score 2) 115

I work for a very large bank heavily invested in Java and while we are largely a Java shop for the Web tiers, most of what's done is no longer J2EE but rather Java in a servlet container with frameworks like Spring or Hibernate. In fact, we're largely shifting off of full fledged Java app servers (WebLogic, WebSphere, etc.) to simpler containers (e.g. Tomcat) as the needs are no longer there. Talking to my peers at the other big bank, it sounds like this is an industry trend.

Comment Still Looks Like a Toy (Score 1) 77

As much as I want to like Pebble, I just can't get behind their aesthetics. I feel this is an issue about most smart watches in general, but Pebble with their shape, bands, and plastic casings feel particularly toy-like in my opinion. I would love to see their screen technology in a more formal form. Their metal line is a step in the right direction, but still has a ways to go before I'd wear one to work.

Comment Re:V.L.C. is the One for Me (Score 2) 67

Correct, the latest stable release (VLC 2.2. 2) doesn't compile due to API changes on the FFMPEG side however the latest VLC in their Git repository works with it. I am the Gentoo proxy-maintainer for VLC, and I have looked at the changes to make VLC 2.2.x work with FFMPEG 3.0, and they're not trivial or backwards compatible. My recommendation for folks on Gentoo at least is to use VLC-9999 (the Gentoo name of the latest upstream commit) if you need FFMPEG 3.0. One other thing to note is that FFMPEG >= 2.9 also breaks hardware acceleration in VLC (i.e. vdpau or vaapi), and if you need those, either stay on FFMPEG 2.8.6 or switch to libav.

Comment Re: Atari: Game Over (Score 4, Informative) 157

Correct, Atari failed to place any controls on the platform and the market eventually imploded. In particular, since there was no controlling body limiting the number of the games or ensuring any quality standards, the market got flooded with shovelware (making the platform unattractive to customers). To make matters worse for the few good games, copy protection didn't exist so there were rampant cases of games being cloned by competitors (which led to quality original developers exiting the platform).

Nintendo on the other hand took great strides in controlling everything, and likewise was able to dominate for so long. Nintendo did things such as only allowing licensed games which they enforced with a rudimentary copy protection chip that only they could install (so all games came through them and they could ensure quality). They limited the number of games each company could publish per year to five (creates an incentive for those companies to make it their five best games), and they forced third party developers to sign platform exclusivity agreements for a couple years (severely hurting competitors). They took several other steps as well to do things like control distributors who were mostly companies much larger than them - it's actually quite impressive). In fact, they were so successful that case studies on Nintendo are taught as part of the core strategy class for graduate business schools.

Comment Re: Why? My Cable Card Tuner is great (Score 1) 186

They are regulated [1], but the price isn't FIXED at an exact value. I have been paying Comcast $2/mo for mine since 2008, and my first card is now free since I don't have a Comcast STB (in my area, the first STB is included with service). This is substantially cheaper than both their STB and DVR.

[1] https://www.law.cornell.edu/cf...

Comment Re:but... (Score 5, Informative) 186

Actually, the board of directors for a non-profit is arguably the most critical component, and having a bad director can have major consequences. Board members have fiduciary duties, usually summarized as the "three Ds". A quick summary is as follows:

Duty of care: Board members are expected to actively participate in organizational planning and decision-making and to make sound and informed judgments.
Duty of loyalty: When acting on behalf of the organization, board members must put the interests of the nonprofit before any personal or professional concerns and avoid potential conflicts of interest.
Duty of obedience: Board members must ensure that the organization complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, and that it remains committed to its established mission.
(Source)

In this particular case, the "duty of obedience" is a real concern given the new board memeber's history of violating anti-trust laws through non-poaching policies. For example, while those tech companies involved in the non-compete scandle had enough cash on hand to pay for the settlement, the impact to Wikipedia could have been much more substantial.

Comment Re:Correct me if I am wrong (Score 2) 60

That's my understanding as well, and I generally agree with your sentiment for home use however it is still a pretty significant bug. For most folks that always connect to the same systems that you trust, it's not a big issue. However if you're in a position where you're constantly connecting to new servers (i.e. at a large company), the fact that your private key can be leaked is very scary. Normally the biggest risk of connecting to an unknown server is getting your password stolen (i.e. A bad actor with dtrace access can debug sshd), but they would normally still not get your private key. With this but, a bad actor can easily get both.

Comment Original Nintendo (Score 1) 332

I have a couple first generation US Nintendos (NES) that still work fine. One of them needs to have the game inserted in the game genie to work (I guess the game genie was slightly wider than a standard game so that has widened the interface so games without the game genie are loose). I can't say it has had consistent or daily use for some time although it has been pulled out a couple times a year, and I've never had a problem of it not working (I'm sure the lack of moving parts helps).

I believe my dad has a couple old Atari 400/800s in the garage somewhere that I'd love to try and set up one day. When I was very young (2-3) he would set it up on the TV with two controllers and we'd play games like Star Raiders together. What I didn't know at the time was that the second controller didn't even work, not that it mattered as it was really about spending the time together.

Comment Re:The Commit Message (Score 4, Informative) 572

Systemd has taken an all or nothing approach for its components, and it has enveloped several significant components such as udev/upower/udisks. What this means in practice is you either have to take all of systemd (i.e. replace your init system, syslog, etc.) to use any of the components it has absorbed or you need to fork and maintain what you need yourself.

Here's a personal example: I use Gentoo an MATE as a desktop which in turn uses upower for suspend & hibernate. The latest version of MATE requires the latest upower (now dependent on systemd) to support those functions. So now if I upgrade MATE, I have to either replace my init system (OpenRC) with systemd or not have those upower features on my laptop.

Forcing their users(or distros) hand like that is not playing well with other software and I applaud Busybox for standing up.

Comment Re:hmm... (Score 4, Informative) 176

This is not a breach of contract (and likewise can't be used to get out of your contract without paying the ETF) because it doesn't go into effect until the contract ends for the folks that are still under contract. Now most folks who have unlimited data are not under contract but there still a number of them that use loop holes that allow you to continue with unlimited data and get subsidize phones but make you sign up for a contract. Generally the loopholes involve transferring the upgrade to a second line, doing the upgrade on that line, and transferring the new phone back.

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