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Comment Re:Amazon? Really? (Score 2) 83

They've been doing it already. They started about two or three weeks ago when, as an Amazon affiliate, I was given an opportunity to create Amazon ads and to place them on my website. So far so good - the CPM is decent (just over a $1) and even though it hasn't been able to beat AdSense, it is still much better than most other networks I've tried in the past. The fill rate hangs around 30% at the moment. It looks promising.

Comment No surprises here (Score 2) 619

I came to the same conclusion long before there was a "scientific" research on the subject (take it from somebody who grew up in Eastern Europe!). Yes, we are cheats - and that's a fact. We have been bombarded with so much lies during the long communist years (the kind that everybody knew were lies) and in the end everybody excepted lies as a fact of life. And once the system changed, our thinking did not. We were still lying to each other and cheating each other. Even today, some 25 years since the fall of communism, I am much happier doing business with western Europeans than with the old communist block. It's said, but that's how things are. It will take a few generations before things change, I think...

Comment Re:Looking in from the outside. (Score 1) 1532

Well, you needed that perspective, because most of you guys have absolutely no idea... OK, maybe 20% of the Americans (my estimate, and it's increasing to tell the truth, albeit slowly) who frequent Slashot get it, but man, once you get outside of that geoprofile... it becomes really really sad. Yes, yes, America is still the greatest country on earth to live and conduct business in, for sure, who can ever doubt it. You either keep on living your American dream or you take a look what the rest of world is like. Your choice.

Comment Re:Where can I buy a Linux netbook? (Score 1) 774

The first netbook, the 7" Eee PC, came with Linux only but it still became a massive hit. In other words, it doesn't look that the presence of an "inferior" and little-known operating system on this machine was a major turn-off.

But we can speculate and argue all we can, but in the end, it's all just that - speculation. Only if every single store sold *all* their nebooks with both Windows and Linux options, without giving preference and exposure to either, could we conclude that one or the other wins. As it is, in the absence of any fair competition, the 96% figure is completely meaningless.

Comment Re:Where can I buy a Linux netbook? (Score 1) 774

For me the real issue is that Windows XP runs better on my netbook than linux.

Lucky you! You have a choice of a gazillion different makes and models, all pre-installed with your favourite operating system. Unfortunately, I am not so lucky. I prefer Linux on my netbook (or more precisely - I prefer not to pay for an OS which I won't use), but I don't have a choice. It's either a netbook with Windows or no netbook.

Comment Re:Different story in Germany (Score 1) 774

I don't think it's particularly easy to get illegal software in any computer store in Taiwan, but even if I am wrong and it is, I doubt that it's the reason for the *sudden* unavailability of Linux netbooks. Remember that in the beginning, the Eee PC came with Linux only and even the second generation of Eee PCs and the first Aspire Ones came with a choice between the two OSs (even in Taiwan). But something happened about 6 - 8 months ago when all of a sudden Linux netbooks simply disappeared from the shelves. At about the same time, the "it's better with Windows" and "we recommend Windows for everyday computing" slogans started appearing around the stores and on manufacturer's promotional materials. Coincidence? You be the judge...

Comment Where can I buy a Linux netbook? (Score 5, Insightful) 774

Last week I walked into no fewer than 20 different computer stores here in Taiwan (the home of ASUS, Acer, MSI, etc), big and small, in order to buy a Linux netbook. But despite the fact that some of them displayed as many as 20 different brands and models, I found exactly 0 (zero!) netbooks shipping with Linux. Zero, nada, nothing! It just doesn't exist any more.

So yes, I believe Microsoft and its 96% figure. While people had choice between Linux and Windows, the figure was very different, but since the consumers are no longer offered a Linux option, even 96% seems low. The situation with netbooks is now exactly the same as with laptops - it's 2009 and it's still impossible to buy one without Windows pre-installed!

I always have to laugh when I read news about EU suing Microsoft for bundling a browser or a media player with Windows, but fails to see the real issue - Microsoft's complete stronghold over hardware manufacturers. ASUS, Acer, MSI, Dell, HP - they all "recommend Windows for everyday computing" on their web sites. Out of their free will, no doubt...

The Media

Submission + - News agencies boycott Rugby World Cup (distrowatch.com)

ladislavb writes: "Rugby World Cup, the world's third largest sporting event, kicks off today in France. On the eve of the 6-week long tournament, five major news agencies, including Reuters, Agence France-Presse and Associated Press, have announced a 24-hour boycott of the event. The reason? They protest against the drastic restrictions, imposed by the International Rugby Board (IRB), on the number of photographs news agencies are allowed to transmit. Set to just 40 per each completed match, this is in sharp contrast with other big sporting events, such as Olympic Games, where news agencies are allowed to transmit one photograph per second. AFP chairman Pierre Louette explained the reason for embarking on the boycott: "This matter underlines the desire by some organisers to have almost complete control, even if this is to the detriment of real freedom to inform. The drastic restriction on the number of photos that our clients can use on the Internet — even if the IRB has changed the figure a little from 10 to 40 — is still unacceptable.""

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