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Comment Re:Xfce and Xubuntu (Score 2) 176

First you should ask yourself why there is a whole separate distribution just to support a different desktop.

Because Xubuntu users want to have only the Xfce desktop, without having to install the Unity desktop first, which, if you're never going to use it, means you're just wasting hard disk space.

We have had a recent lesson in this fallacy in the case of Mint. Mint is also a copy of Ubuntu and it exists primarily as a platform for the Cinnamon desktop. But because they were slow to handle security problems, Mint was hacked and code compromised. I don't trust Mint to this day. So I suggest starting with a secure and solid Ubuntu base and just perfect your desktop on that distro.

What an odd point of view. Linux Mint got hacked through Wordpress running on its web site. They weren't "slow to handle security problems"; they dealt with it as soon as they found out about it, which was almost immediately. And If you had checked the MD5 checksum of the hacked ISO, you would have seen that there was a problem with it.

As its leader, Clement Lefebvre, wrote in response to a comment on his blog, "...we’ll probably also contract a security firm to look into the bottom of this for us, we’re software developers not intrusion experts."

Take your idea to its logical extreme, and we would just have one Linux distro with a number of different desktop environments. Nobody wants that, except you, maybe.

Comment They bolted a desktop UI onto a tablet UI (Score 1) 496

It seems pretty obvious (to me, anyway; I'm a home user rather than an IT worker) that in Windows 8, Microsoft wanted to try to appeal to both tablet users with Metro, and to desktop users with the traditional desktop, all in one release. So they bolted a tablet interface to a desktop interface. It's sort of an odd combination, especially if you're new to Metro. Since the OS boots into Metro, it also seems pretty obvious that Microsoft's design choices wouldn't please business users or home users with large, non-touchscreen monitors who aren't interested in their computers looking like a tablet.

As part of its marketing campaign for IE 11, Microsoft's made Windows 8.1 Pro Preview virtual machine images available, so it's easy to try it out for yourself. The Start button takes you back to the Metro start screen, unless you right-click on it, in which case it brings up a context menu allowing you access to some of the more technical aspects of the OS (i.e. control panel; power shell; etc.).

I haven't played with it enough yet to find the setting that allows you to boot straight into the desktop rather than Metro, but even so, it's just one click to go to the desktop. But what they really to make desktop users happy is a Start menu button application launcher, and if you want that, AFAIK, you still have to install a 3rd-party utility.

Comment Re:Have you stoppped beating your wife? (Score 1) 370

Exactly. My first reaction was, "Why is Megan Garber so ugly?" This article's title seemed to be designed to push people's buttons.

Honestly, has it ever occurred to you that Wikipedia was ugly? Did you ever go to Wikipedia because of the way it looked? And did you ever think someone would get paid for a magazine article about her opinion of how ugly Wikipedia is?

Comment Giving computers for the sake of giving computers (Score 1) 274

I'm no expert in the history of OLPC, but everything I read about them seemed to indicate that they were all about giving these devices to needy children. I never saw anything written about how, exactly, these devices were supposed to make these childrens' lives better, once they got them. It just seemed to be assumed that, once kids had these computers, their school experience would somehow change for the better.

It would seem to me that a lot more time and money was spent getting these devices in the hands of needy kids than was spent on plans to use them to actually achieve positive change.

Comment I'm not buying the Uncanny Valley argument (Score 1) 501

Hey, I'm corny and socially awkward, too! Where the hell is my venture capital firm?

Seriously, I think Mitt's unpopular because he's one heck of a flip-flopper who says quite a lot of mendacious things, not because of the way he looks or acts.

At least that's true for liberals. I suspect that, with conservative voters, he's probably unpopular because he's just not conservative enough.

Comment The new UI looks like an attempt to emulate Unity (Score 1) 156

On cursory inspection, Mandriva's new UI uses a GTK+ style, an icon theme based on Elementary, a full-screen launcher similar to Unity's Dash, and a modified version of Dolphin with no menu bar (and no way to enable it). I haven't kept up with why Rosa Labs (page in Russian) has taken over Mandriva UI development, but they have made their mark.

Is the full-screen icon picker, as in gnome-shell, Unity, and now "Simple Welcome" in Mandriva the wave of the future, or just a passing fad? (Personally, I prefer menus.)

Comment Re:Read related links (Score 2) 94

Having read the Ars Technica story, I'm disturbed and maybe even a little frightened by the DOJ's actions against Mr. Adekeye. They're determined to take away his freedom and his money while acting as the muscle for Cisco's legal department.

This, along with other recent ridiculous cases, like the trumped-up charges against Aaron Swartz, have left me wondering, what can a US citizen do to change this situation?

Comment Re:Irony (Score 2, Interesting) 172

What interests me is the bias of the TechCrunch article, which is along the lines of "powerful attorneys general bully a beleaguered business because it makes them look good." WTF? Why is it assumed that Topix is unfairly under attack from the government, and the attorneys general are only doing what they're doing in order to bolster their careers?

The articles didn't give me a lot to go on, and I've never heard of Topix before, so I have to generalize. Lots of forums are moderated in one way or another, but this is the first time I've heard of one that turned "express moderation" into a profit center. But the point is, I don't start out assuming businesses are the "good guys" and the attorneys general are the "bad guys". My assumption would be that if 33 attorneys general are trying to get a company to change its behavior, they're doing it because they must have gotten quite a few complaints, not because they're attention whores. Businesses generally aren't looking out for my interests; they're looking to make money. I'll take the attorneys general over businesses any day, even if that causes butthurt for CEOs like Chris Tolles.


Octopuses Have No Personalities and Enjoy HDTV 482

Whiteox writes about an Australian researcher named Renata Pronk, who has discovered that octopuses prefer HDTV. She recruited 32 gloomy octopuses from the waters of Chowder Bay. Previously, researchers have reported little success when showing video to octopuses. Miss Pronk's insight was that the octopus eye is so refined that it might see standard PAL video, at 25 fps, as a series of stills. She tried HDTV (50 fps) and her subjects reacted to the videos of a crab, another octopus, or a swinging bottle on the end of a string. A further discovery is that octopuses show no trait of individual personalities, even though they exhibit a high level of intelligence. It would certainly be possible to quibble about the definition of "personality" employed, and whether Miss Pronk had successfully measured it.

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