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Comment Still requires an "advanced" user skillset (Score 1, Insightful) 295

If you want GPU acceleration that actually works somewhat as expected in LINUX, you need a relatively recent (but not TOO recent) graphics accelerator card and a popular distro such as Ubuntu / Linux Mint so that you have access to precompiled proprietary drivers (and an automated installer) that have actually been tested with that distribution (and still may break things when you install them even after they have passed testing). Mileage will vary on other distros but you will likely need the most recent release of the OS in order to get acceleration working without tons of effort. You will still need to use a proprietary driver if you intend to do anything more advanced than rendering 2d effects, and the desktop environment may impact performance if gl effects are enabled.

If you manage to avoid breaking Xorg after you have installed the proprietary drivers, you will still find that performance is lagging behind equivalent setups in Windows, and rendering issues may appear in certain games that will not be resolved for at least one or more driver releases, typically not included with that particular distribution's release. This will force you to either upgrade to the alpha/beta/testing version of that distro or else try to compile your own proprietary drivers, either scenario including a significant amount of additional risk to your environment and potentially costing hours of effort to resolve.

God help you if you have a laptop with a hybrid intel/nVidia GPU system that is designed to use the intel GPU for common 2D tasks and the nVidia GPU for gaming or other high performance 3d rendering tasks in an effort to offer the best of both worlds (good battery life and high performance) which is an absolutely nightmare to get working correctly in LINUX.

God help you if you are dealing with EFI or UEFI.

These are some of the reasons why I bought a used Mac and stopped using LINUX as my primary OS.

Comment Not exactly the best and brightest... (Score 1) 274

When I was in college my roommate and friends successfully ran a campaign to get Gumby elected student President, highlighting how useless student government really is.

Aside from his 15 minutes of fame, I don't really see how the reward justified the risks he took, although encore proved a significant lack of common sense.

Comment Revenge rarely fixes the problem... (Score 1) 1448 just creates new ones.

The moment I read Orson Scott Card's article for The Mormon Times, he became dead to me as an author, which is unfortunate. I had enjoyed his fictional works up until that point, but I could not in good conscience continue reading work created by someone with such monstrously skewed views regarding equal marriage rights. Marriage rights is one of the least of the world's issues, and certainly not worthy of his call to overthrow the government. From that point forward I understood that Card was an individual so caught up in the tenets of his belief system that he could not bear the thought of that belief system being changed, even though we are supposed to be living in a country with a separation of Church and State (and let's not go off on to that tangent right now or we'll be there forever).

I have made a personal choice to avoid this man's work because I consider it to be contaminated with his personal views. However, I believe his statement regarding tolerance has some merit, not because he said it, but rather because punishing an adult by doing something to them that they have done to someone else rarely changes that adult in ways that are beneficial. There is a distinct difference between justice and revenge. "We should ruin him because he said hateful things," is in itself a hateful thing to declare.

That said, here is nothing wrong with stating the following: "Look at what Orson Scott Card wrote. I disagree with what he said. What do you think?"

Comment Standards (Score 2) 591

Because aside from RAM and hard drive, there are none. Imagine if you could buy one battery or A/C adapter that was compatible with every laptop manufactured over the past three years? Imagine if you could replace a broken screen with another one for less than $100.00? Imagine if you could upgrade the processor, or swap out the motherboard for one that had a better/faster GPU? To be honest, I'm surprised nobody else has suggested this yet.

Comment in my opinion, the jarring was already there (Score 1) 179

I find Unity jarring. I gave it an honest go on three different Ubuntu releases, then finally couldn't stand it anymore, switching first to Gnome 2 fallback mode, then to Gnome 3 (very briefly), then ultimately dumping Ubuntu entirely and reverting to Gnome 2 on Debian Squeeze. So to me, Mark is saying Ubuntu on the tablet wouldn't be any MORE jarring than it already is on the desktop. I'm fairly certain I'll pick up negative karma for sharing that opinion, but it is honestly my opinion.

Ultimately it doesn't matter to me, I believe Canonical sold out its initial user-base and is now riding the wave of notoriety created by that user-base, many of whom have since moved on to Mint or some other distro. I also am of the opinion that the novelty of this tablet-to-desktop / phone-to-desktop docking will soon wear off when people experience the performance difference when compared to an actual desktop computer or laptop, especially after factoring in the price.

Comment Re:Reality (Score 1) 403

Oh I agree that my analogy is imperfect, and that it does not directly have anything to do with warrantless tracking.

I'm just stating the obvious, in that typically, unless you are using encryption, you may not want to use email for the communication of anything you consider sensitive. Therefore, if you're not transmitting anything sensitive, it's unlikely anyone snooping is going to find anything sensitive, without someone other than you having put it there.

That said, I think I've just discovered the ultimate merit in your stance. With these broad powers, it would be trivially easy for someone abusing their powers to frame an individual by fabricating an email message and using it as "supporting evidence".

Comment No games are worth the potential malware attacks (Score 1) 951

I used to be a pretty avid PC gamer but as a father of six I tend to fill a support role in our household, which doesn't leave a lot of time for gaming. However, I live vicariously though my six, nine and eleven year old daughters who like PC games (especially Minecraft - I set up a LAN server for them), but they also spend a significant amount of time watching YouTube, playing Flash games on websites, and watching Netflix. We have a PS3 slim that gets a significant amount of use by my three year old daughter (Little Big Planet 2, predominantly), and a Nintendo Wii that's been mostly neglected (haha Nintendo). We also have a PS2 slim, and four vintage arcade cabinets (of the four, Soul Calibur III gets the most use).

The desktop computers are also primarily needed for school, and because three of our children need them for schoolwork each day, if one of them is down it causes a problem. When the desktop running Windows 7 (for game support) was compromised by a drive-by trojan, presumably from one of the flash game sights that are rather heavy on the advertising, I spent four days trying to repair it before throwing in the towel (bear in mind I've worked over a decade in the PC repair industry, and my malware removal/repair skills are not insignificant - this was an unrepairable mess).

Each computer in our house (except my wife's Windows 7 laptop) is now running Debian stable. I wouldn't wish this solution on someone else due to the amount of time getting everything set up, but for us it works. I've also found that once I have a LINUX system established, it tends to remain stable (with the exception of when my three year old somehow enabled all of the Accessibility options on one of them simultaneously - that was fun to undo). Each desktop has Minecraft installed. The girls would like Windows games, but the amount of effort involved in getting one running via Wine (or Crossover, or even PlayOnLinux) typically far exceeds the amount of free time I currently have available. Whenever they complain I point out the PS3, the PS2, the Wii, the arcade machines, and that pretty much ends that dialogue. Yes, first world problems.

Comment Old hardware is affordable and enviro-friendly (Score 1) 229

I have found compositing to be problematic in day to day use on LINUX and up until Ubuntu moved to the Unity platform I kept it disabled (right after the initial luster of Compiz Fusion wore off). This is one of several issues that drove me away from Ubuntu and I now prefer Debian Squeeze. Usability is my primary selector in a LINUX distro, whether I'm browsing the web, developing, editing an image, running a 3d Windows game in Wine, or rendering a video. If my 7 year old laptop becomes sluggish and unresponsive because the memory shared with the GPU is being used to create a shiny new tablet-friendly interface, then that OS no longer qualifies as usable on that platform. The idea that I should have to buy a new laptop with a better 3D accelerator so that I can continue to use the latest newest shiniest LINUX distro is ridiculous.

In my opinion, all modern OS developers seem to have forgotten that the primary purpose of the OS is to provide (easy ?) access to the software the end user needs to run and a stable platform for it to run upon. A desktop environment should not require a 3d capable GPU to be rendered efficiently. The idea that it should is roughly akin to claiming it would be more efficient to drive a five minute commute with a high performance sports car.

This is not progress, it's the illusion of progress.

Comment Trend this... (Score 1) 6

  1. Slackware in 1996
  2. Redhat in 2003
  3. Ubuntu in 2005
  4. #! (CrunchBang) in 2012
  5. and currently Debian in 2012

I dropped Ubuntu earlier this year over a number of things, most recently Canonical's announcement regarding UEFI. Mark's "Erm, we have root" comment only made that decision permanent.

Comment Re:This makes perfect sense (Score 1) 293

Another possible theory (and I use the term theory because there are presently no unbiased studies that have looked thoroughly into both short term and long term effects of multiple vaccines being administered simultaneously to a human) is that the average child's immune system, which is known to be in its development stage until approximately eight years of age, has been partially compromised by receiving 21 vaccines (or more if they have received their yearly flu shot) by the age of six. Therefore the resulting under developed immune system that has never had to create its own antibodies naturally is potentially more susceptible once the temporary protection afforded by the vaccine in question has worn off. This in combination with a diet consisting primarily of foods containing refined flour, refined sugars, monosodium glutamate, and high fructose corn syrup alongside lack of exercise and exposure to contaminants in the food supply, water supply and air can all contribute to the susceptibility of an individual to a disease or illness.

The assumption that there is one smoking gun that either explains or can prevent these health issues is a common phenomenon on this site, and one that I believe is deeply flawed.

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