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Comment Re: Linux - Gentoo based (Score 1) 459

When did the package manager become more important than the operating environment?

Documentation and support information tends to be organized around how each distribution works or fails. (Or just provided for Ubuntu.) Knowing the distribution of software involved is thus important for sending the correct lmgtfy.com links.

From good Linux questions the reader can figure out or be told:

  1. Which kernel won't load your graphics drivers (Linux, Android, ntoskernel, Darwin, BSD.)
  2. Userland so you know which switches don't work (BSD, GNU, busybox, something else.)
  3. Package Manager (yum, zypper, apt, dnf, up2date, app store, etc) so you know which software won't install.
  4. Filesystem hierarchy violations so you can't find where anything got installed.

The package manager provides a really good hint to everything in that stack. apg-get implies a Debian derivative, most likely Ubuntu. Use dnf? Probably a Fedora desktop user. Got a question that shows zypper commands? openSUSE or really recent SLES. Yum instructions? RHEL or older SLES. URPMI? Mageia Linux. up2date? Really really old RedHat. Brew? You want the Mac OS channel, this is ##linux. Someone handed you a tarball and 50 pages of ./configure, make, make install? Hello, the 20th century called and wants their unpackaged software back.

Knowing which package manager is involved can also be important for supporting users. Those users who a only familiar with very basic support for their specific distribution need to be given instructions exactly for that distribution. Telling someone to do 'sudo apt-get' a bunch of stuff on Fedora will just confuse them. You'll waste time explaining the explanation. Then you'll waste time explaining that after you get a wall of hate about how everything sucks, your instructions suck, your distribution sucks and why can't we have nice things?

More advanced users can translate between Slack, Arch recipes, .rpm local flavors , .deb or Gentoo instructions. They may package stuff for themselves or others. (Whether or not you have to eat a whole bucket of mushrooms to figure out how to make said package is another matter.)

These more advanced users also know that a particular package in some Google-able documentation may have a very different name for each distributions. Those who have been around longer know that some software is not even be available on the distribution with the issue to solve.

So, yes, knowing the package manager lets people know which Linux tribe you hail from and thus which kind of hate mail to send. I mean support to charge you for. After all, all operating systems suck.

Comment Re:Can I see? (Score 1) 124

I'd like to see what they say about me. I bash both parties all the time. My comments on every subject are usually sarcastic. Do they have a working sarcasm detector? Or is it all about the things you follow? George Takei is a gay rights activist. So would a conservative who likes ice cream (ben and jerrys) and George Takei be labeled liberal?

Or is someone who is far-left who attacks Hillary going to be labeled conservative for being anti-Democrat?

They could also look at your friends and their affiliations, your likes, the articles you read, how other people respond to the things you post, etc, etc.

They might have you completely wrong, but without knowing their specific approach or how much data they're using it's hard to say which people they will get wrong (or right).

I've seen those types of labels applied. They never work. I got rejected from a minimum wage job in college because the chain store had a standard questionaire. If you answered that you don't use drugs, but think they should be legal, you were considered a lying drug user. The makers of the test couldn't conceive of someone who thinks drugs should be legal and regulated, and wouldn't use them if they were. Though, this was 20+ years ago, so the modern legalization swing wasn't popular yet.

I'm not sure proof by incompetently written questionnaire holds.

I can only think that the labels are wrong much of the time, and the effectiveness of them is over-stated to increase Facebook's ad income.

The labels don't have to be perfect to help FB. Even if you've correctly categorized only 50% of people into one of three broad categories that's still very valuable information for advertisers.

Comment Use the Play Store to force updates (Score 1) 164

Google has a very lengthy set of terms that OEMs must agree to in order to get access to the Google Play store, the Google Play Services middleware layer and various Google apps.

Google could add clauses to these terms such that if OEMs want to be allowed to use the Play store and the other Google software, they must support the device with security updates for a minimum amount of time after the release of the device.

Any OEM that doesn't play ball and follow the rules would risk loosing the right to produce any more devices that contain the Google software.

Comment Re:or, maybe Google screwed up "ownership" (Score 1) 164

If Google had designed (? or something?) Android so that updating the base OS was something that could be pushed direct from Google instead of from each manufacturer's bollixed version of the system, there'd be no problem for any of us.

That may seem obvious now, but it's far from clear that Android would have succeeded the way it has if OEMs hadn't been allowed to differentiate their versions. That was (and is) something that's important to them, and they may well have decided that they wanted to do their own thing instead if Google hadn't given them the degree of control they wanted. Or maybe they'd have adopted Windows, since while it wouldn't allow them to customize it would have had the advantage of being from the then-biggest OS maker around.

It seems very likely that the ability of OEMs to customize was a core component of what made the Android ecosystem successful.

Also, keep in mind that the only way Google could really have kept OEMs from modifying Android however they like would have been to keep it closed. Personally, I'm glad that Google made the choices it did, not because I'm a Google employee working on Android (though I am), but because I've been an open source and free software advocate since before Google even existed. Android is far from perfect, and devices aren't as open as I would like, but I think the mobile software world is much better than it would have been without a F/LOSS mobile OS.

Comment Re:Outrageously short service life for updates (Score 1) 164

I still think that two years of updates is outrageous forced obsolescence that is prematurely adding electronic garbage to landfills.

FWIW, it's actually two years of upgrades and three years of security updates on Nexus devices.

I'm seriously considering going back to an iPhone on my next phone upgrade, despite all the concerns I have about them too. They at least support their hardware for around 5 years.

At least they have done so in the past. Note that they've never made any commitment to that, so they could stop.

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