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Comment Re:Give us the betas! (Score 1) 662

for $25 I get legal versions of every single—ahem, questionably procured, shall we say— tracks in my gigantic iTunes library? Did the record companies read the fine print on this? I mean, as a voracious music consumer, I'm NOT complaining... we've all known for a long time that things were going to have to change in regard to digital media and copyright. And say what you will about them, I could see Apple being the company to make it happen. But really... how did they get away with this?

Consider how much money the record companies got for your--ahem--questionably procured tracks before this.

Compare that to some percentage of $25/year, possibly in perpetuity.

Comment Re:Brave but Pointless (Score 1) 319

It's like a gambler with enough money to keep doubling down. You don't have to win right away, you just have to win somewhere along the line.

Of course, as anyone who's tries this tactic in real life will tell you, you'll always get to that point where you've had so many losses in a row that you don't have enough money to double down again. It's starting to look like Microsoft has hit that point.

(Metaphorically speaking, I mean. They've still got boatloads of non-metaphorical cash, as I recall)


Apple Patches Massive Holes In OS X 246

Trailrunner7 writes with this snippet from ThreatPost: "Apple's first Mac OS X security update for 2010 is out, providing cover for at least 12 serious vulnerabilities. The update, rated critical, plugs security holes that could lead to code execution vulnerabilities if a Mac user is tricked into opening audio files or surfing to a rigged Web site." Hit the link for a list of the highlights among these fixes.

Comment Bah. Star Trek babies. (Score 2, Informative) 592

So yeah. They "rebooted" the franchise in such a way that it means none of the TNG, DS9, or Voyager crew will ever be born, much less live the same lives they did. And they tried to make it more about campy fun than about Sci Fi. I can deal with those. Those aren't the things I had a problem with. What I had a problem with was the terrible plot itself.

Okay, it starts out with a contrivance to get all of the traditional Enterprise crew onto the Enterprise. They haven't even graduated yet. They're 3 years into their Academy studies. Implying that the only starfleet officer on or around Earth is Captain Pike. You can't tell me that there aren't four or five officers in the Sol system to help Pike run the flagship of the fleet on a mission to rescue one of the most important planets in the Federation. I could see 'em putting cadets on a beater ship with some faculty advisors to do a milk run to a well-defended colony world at this point in their training, but to entirely crew the Enterprise to rescue Vulcan? No.

So okay. I take a moment to suspend my disbelief. And then Pike promotes Kirk to first officer (under Spock as Acting Captain). Even though Kirk was under investigation for academic dishonesty and snuck onto the ship without permission.

Fine. Okay. Pike's got a hard-on for the Kirks. I guess I can cope with that.

Then Kirk instigates a mutiny against Spock and gets tossed out for the authorities on a nearby outpost to deal with... which just happens to be an outpost crewed by none other than Scotty, who hasn't gotten a supply run in a long time.

(Which, I suppose, backs up the "Starfleet consists of one officer, some teachers, and a shitload of cadets in red shirts" theory)

Then he sneaks back onto the ship and back onto the bridge and taunts Spock, who attacks him.

Then...he's captain?


No. There is no universe in which it works that way. The prisoner doesn't become captain when the rightful captain recuses himself. There is no "Well, technically, the previous Captain promoted him to First Officer, so even though he's currently under arrest, I guess he's Captain now".

So fine. Choke back the bile. I guess they're cadets, so they have no idea what they're doing, so they might just accept that Jimmy's in charge because he's charismatic. I keep watching.

(Aside: What's that? Some sort of phlebotinum that turns whatever it touches into a singularity and for some reason Spock Prime was given a shitload of it instead of the tiny drop he apparently needed and for some reason it only works if you put it all the way in the core of a planet because I guess a black hole on the surface is just a minor annoyance that could be dealt with by putting some cones and a warning sign near it?

Oh, and it also lets you travel through time. But they couldn't use it to travel through time to get to Romulus early enough to save it. Goddamn, I hate poorly done time travel stories. End of aside.)

Anyway, heroism ensues, and they save the world and they get back to Earth and... They make Kirk a captain?

He... he hasn't graduated yet.

He's flown on one mission. Which he survived 90% through dumb luck.

Right to full-on Captain of the flagship, just like that? I mean, acting captain, I can sort of let go. Wartime and all that. Sometimes you need to sling around some field promotions to keep things running. But he gets home, a mutiny and a half under his belt, still not graduated, still technically on academic suspension for academic dishonesty, still technically under arrest and they make him captain of the fleet's brand-new flagship.

No. Fuck you. This isn't just me being a fanboy upset that someone's messing with his franchise. This was just bad writing.


Man Invents Alternative To Cooking Gas 553

An anonymous reader writes "Gazan resident Abed Ar-Rahman has revealed what he is claiming as an alternative to cooking gas that he developed since Israel has prevented deliveries of cooking gas to Gaza. He invented a device using chemical substances available in Gaza, which burn when mixed and brought into contact with oxygen. The first component is a metal filter that controls the interaction between 40% of the oxygen in the surrounding air, the inflammable substance and some other substances."

Quicken 2007 For Mac Lacks EV Cert Support 108

adamengst writes "If your bank uses the Extended Validation certificates that require a higher level of identity checking on the certificate authority's part (as at least one Seattle bank does), you may not be able to download transactions using the Mac version of Quicken. Quicken doesn't gracefully ignore extra information in EV certificates as older Web browsers do, but instead throws an error and refuses to download transactions. Intuit says they're working on a fix — but users may have to wait 'a couple of months,' and even then the fix may not be applied to versions before Quicken 2007."

Comment Re:Ha! (Score 1) 351

There's just so much wrong with that response I don't hardly know where to begin...

1. Thumb drives are often not partitioned. There's no particularly good reason to do so. Just put a fat32 right on the bare drive and it works fine. Most people don't know what a partition is. In Windows, you only really need to deal with partitions when setting up a new hard drive, which most users never ever actually do because the drive comes pre-loaded from the store.

2. "Download this confusingly-named external piece of software" is not really a good counterargument to "Ubuntu has some spots that will still trip up a non-techie user".

(I know that G=Gnome (or Q=Qt), PART=Partition, ED=Editor makes perfect sense to us nerds, but it does not to normal people)

3. "Choose between either the Gnome one or the KDE one or some other partition manager" does not make the user happy. They just want to format a damn drive, they don't want to explore the ideological rift between KDE/Qt and Gnome/GTK. And to head off a potential response that they should use the one that corresponds to their desktop environment: They should not have to know what their desktop environment is.

4. Even disregarding all of that, this is just one thing. There are other little things like that. Even if each little problem has a solution, it's still a separate solution for every little problem that shouldn't bloody well be there in the first place. About 50% of the time, my laptop decides that networking is flat-out disabled when I bring it out of sleep. About 25% of the time, gnome-power-manager dies and it won't go to sleep when I hit the power button. Every once in a while pulseaudio dies and nothing will play sounds. Changing my Windows Networking workgroup requires a trip to the config file in a text editor. There's no obvious way to change the number of desktops without a trip into gconf-editor.

These are all just little things off the top of my head. There are probably more I've forgotten, and there are certainly more I haven't personally encountered but others have.


Vista To XP Upgrade Triples In Price, Now $150 907

ozmanjusri writes "Dell has tripled the charge to upgrade Vista PCs to XP. Under current licensing 'downgrade' agreements, system builders can install XP Pro instead of Vista Business or Vista Ultimate; however, Dell has opted for a surcharge of $150 over the price of Vista for the older but more popular XP Professional operating system. Rob Enderle says the downgrade fees could potentially be disastrous for Microsoft: 'The fix for this should be to focus like lasers on demand generation for Vista but instead Microsoft is focusing aggressively on financial penalties," says Enderle. 'Forcing customers to go someplace they don't want to go by raising prices is a Christmas present for Apple and those that are positioning Linux on the desktop.'"

Comment Re:Ha! (Score 1) 351

I dunno. Maybe you can. I'm too much of a pussy to try it.

And, well, the kernel they install has worked fine for me. That's the upside to it--I haven't *needed* to recompile my kernel. It's nice not to have to go through and decide each individual damn "Do you want to install driver for X?" question in make xconfig...

Comment Re:What's still missing (Score 1) 351

I look back at Slackware with a lot of fond memories, but managing even a medium sized installation of Slack machines was just too time consuming to continue.

s/a medium sized installation of Slack machines/a single Slack machine/g

That's why I switched over to Ubuntu. Firefox kept crashing and wouldn't run Flash Player 9, presumably because some library somewhere wasn't updated enough. Every time I wanted to upgrade something, I'd spend days in Dependency Hell trying to track down all of the other software that I needed to upgrade too to make it work.

Eventually I just said fuck it.

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