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Comment Re:Ask her if she will accept any little change (Score 1) 287

Ditto on Mint LTS. I installed Mint on my mom's computer on a temporary basis (after the second or third time she got a virus that required a reinstall) and she found it usable enough that she asked to keep it. For a woman that didn't figure out email until about 10 years ago, that's pretty impressive.

Comment Re:Lubuntu (Score 1) 143

I have found Lubuntu to be somewhat faster, but I can't argue with Xubuntu (or Linux Mint xfce) as very solid operating system for beginners or advanced users. Very good choices. Seems like the best things in the Ubuntu sphere are happening outside the core Ubuntu distro.

Comment Lubuntu (Score 2) 143

Don't forget Lubuntu. The LXDE variant of Ubuntu is, in my opinion, and under-appreciated distro. The stability and community support of Ubuntu, with the speed of the lightweight LXDE and without that distracting Unity stuff. For older PCs or machines with modest specs, this has repeatedly been my distro of choice. 13.10 added Zram for the live CD too, which will help with low spec machines. By the way, Lubuntu is a good choice for former windows users because of the familiar taskbar, window, and menu layout. I never did get used to having the buttons on the left when I used Ubuntu.

Submission + - Virtual Reality: Lessons From The Past For Oculus Rift (

dryriver writes: VR in the 1980s to 1990s — Imagine being Paul McCartney, walking out on stage at the height of Beatlemania — that was the promise of virtual reality: the ability to be whoever and do whatever you wanted. The only limit would be the software designer's imagination. Movies including The Lawnmower Man, Virtuosity and Johnny Mnemonic and novels such as Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash and Michael Crichton's Disclosure entranced the public with the promise of immersive computer-created worlds.But in practice the "reality" offered looked very different to real life, and proved awkward to operate. From eye-piece-like consoles to arcade pods, VR rigs were cumbersome and expensive."Virtual reality got featured in movies, TV shows, games, and books as a kind of holy grail technology about to change the world," Palmer Luckey, the firm's founder tells the BBC. "Unrealistic portrayals led to lots of hyperbolic media coverage, further bolstering the public perception that (VR) was more advanced. "[But] computers are finally powerful enough to render realistic virtual worlds at high frame rates, and the mobile phone industry has massively improved the price, size, and performance of display and sensor technologies. "We may be a long way from making virtual reality perfect, but what exists today is still an experience far beyond what any game can do with a TV." Even so, it will take more tech advances to succeed. Part of the reason the Virtual Boy failed was because it was launched with just three games under its belt.

Submission + - Extra life: The amazing fan-made game revivals (

An anonymous reader writes: Sometimes games don't get the sequels that they deserve — unless their fans have a say. In a new article published today, the author takes a look at some of the best homebrew sequels and open source clones, from the blockbuster Half Life reimagining Black Mesa to OpenTTD, the fan-made version of Transport Tycoon. StepMania might just be the most remarkable of them all: originally built as means to open Dance Dance Revolution files, it's evolved into a rhythm game engine in its own right, powering iPhone games and arcade cabinets alike. The creator, meanwhile, has landed a job as a software engineer at Pinterest. Not bad for an open source clone.

Submission + - Mexican Village Creates Its Own Mobile Phone Service (

Dave_Minsky writes: The small indigenous village of Villa Talea de Castro (pop. 2,500) in the state of Oaxaca is showing the world that it doesn't have to rely on major cellular telecommunications providers for service.

With the help from indigenous groups, civil organizations and universities, village residents put up an antenna on a rooftop, installed radio and computer equipment, and created its own micro provider called Red Celular de Talea (RCT).

Service costs only 15 pesos ($1.2) per month and a few pennies per minute to make calls to the United States. However, there is one catch: calls are limited to a maximum of five minutes to prevent saturation of lines.

Comment Re:Lubuntu (Score 1) 627

I actually switched back to Firefox a year or two back when it more-or-less caught back up with Chromium in terms of speed, but the Chromium choice in Lubuntu 13.04 and didn't alter my decision before either. I use both, and they're easy to install. But it sounds like Tails meets your needs better anyway. I'm not exactly sporting a tin foil helmet, but I do need to check Tails out.

Comment Lubuntu (Score 4, Informative) 627

Not sure if it should be subsumed in the Ubuntu entry, but I'm a very satisfied Lubuntu user. It just works. I never did get into Unity, never liked KDE, and I'm not sure where GNOME is at currently. But LXDE chugs along as a very usable desktop environment that makes older machines run like new. I also like that LXDE and Razor-qt are combining forces, reversing the too-many-projects trend. Lubuntu seems to be a good choice for former Windows users, too, with most menus, buttons, and notifications appearing about where a Windows user is used to seeing them.

Comment plug for lubuntu (Score 1) 177

Nice, I've been waiting for this version to drop so I can install the latest version of lubuntu on an older laptop. I really recommend trying lunbutu nowadays. LXDE has matured well, and it wins the "just works" seal of approval for me. I've had good experiences with migrating Windows users over to it as well, because it has maintained many of the Windows features (bar on the bottom, menu button where Start button is, close windows from the top right, etc.). It's ridiculous how fast a 5-year-old laptop can be with lubuntu instead of Vista.
Electronic Frontier Foundation

DOJ Often Used Cell Tower Impersonating Devices Without Explicit Warrants 146

Via the EFF comes news that, during a case involving the use of a Stingray device, the DOJ revealed that it was standard practice to use the devices without explicitly requesting permission in warrants. "When Rigmaiden filed a motion to suppress the Stingray evidence as a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the government responded that this order was a search warrant that authorized the government to use the Stingray. Together with the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU, we filed an amicus brief in support of Rigmaiden, noting that this 'order' wasn't a search warrant because it was directed towards Verizon, made no mention of an IMSI catcher or Stingray and didn't authorize the government — rather than Verizon — to do anything. Plus to the extent it captured loads of information from other people not suspected of criminal activity it was a 'general warrant,' the precise evil the Fourth Amendment was designed to prevent. ... The emails make clear that U.S. Attorneys in the Northern California were using Stingrays but not informing magistrates of what exactly they were doing. And once the judges got wind of what was actually going on, they were none too pleased:"

Comment Not enough extensions/options (Score 1) 302

I actually like Seamonkey quite a bit, and use it periodically, but I wish it had better extension and customization support. There were only about a half-dozen themes last time I looked, and only a few extensions. Fortunately, they had the important ones (AdBlock, NoScript, Ghostery, etc.) but it would be nice to have access to more. Still, a fine and stable way to browse the web.

Comment Terms (Score 1) 1

The lack of process is one of the many reasons so-called DRM methods are inherently flawed. If Linn really had used a previous Amazon account that had been banned for good reason, it might be appropriate to revoke her account. But with unhelpful customer service and no appeals procedure, she has zero recourse and nothing to show for her long history of purchases.

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