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Comment Re:How about running real Linux apps too (Score 1) 53

I wouldn't say they're simple steps, and Crouton suffers from trying to run both operating systems at once, which can only be done by heavily patching the "guest" operating system, which in turn means only supported revisions of specific distributions are supported - and the only in some configurations. Want to run Cinnamon? Don't even try.

(There's also very little reason to suppose this provides any real benefits to users either. Why would you want ChromeOS if you're already running Ubuntu? ChromeOS is bare bones GNU/Linux with Chrome as the UI, and Chrome runs fine under Ubuntu.)

Crouton exists mostly because it's awkward to install a "real" Ubuntu instance on a Chromebook, and so the authors figured that maybe getting bits to Ubuntu to work under the already running ChromeOS kernel might be "good enough". It's an illustration of the problems with Chromebooks, not indicative that Google has some kind of solution to "Linux on the desktop".

I'm not saying Chromebooks are bad, or even that you shouldn't buy one to run Ubuntu/etc (but use chrx, and be aware that the experience of installation is suboptimal, requiring BIOS patches and barely documented control key combinations at boot) - they can run more open distributions of GNU/Linux, and if you like the hardware, then go for it. But this "Crouton proves its awesome" stuff is overblown. Crouton is a smart, interesting, hack to workaround a problem, but it's probably not going to deliver what the average "I want to run Fedora/Ubuntu/Mint/Debian/CentOS" Slashdot GNU/Linux user wants.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 53

I'm generally finding little difference in price between Chromebooks and low end Windows laptops - compare HP's "Stream" series, for example.

It's also a lot simpler to install Ubuntu et al on a cheap laptop built for Windows than on a Chromebook. I've done the latter, and it's an, uh, interesting experience. Having to patch the BIOS was my favorite part I think. Also awesome was the fact it forgets there's a partition with a non-ChromeOS operating system on it if the battery runs out, so you have to boot into ChromeOS and set a flag to remind it its there.

Comment Re:Is home Internet a necessity? (Score 1) 63

Mozilla's actual inclusion report is confusing. First it says "58% of people in the world can't afford an Internet connection." Then it contrasts the same number "57.8% of the world’s population cannot afford broadband Internet service" with "39.5% of the world’s population cannot afford Internet on their phone or mobile device". My best guess, based on the wording of the Affordability Report that Mozilla's inclusion report cites, is that "broadband" means "either wired service at home or cellular service", not service in a library, restaurant, or Internet café.

Comment Re:A problem without a good solution. (Score 2) 249

Unless you're Red Hat and can sell support contracts, or unless you're Google and you can use it to prop up your ad platform and app store, where's the money in developing free software? Case in point: What's the "free and open source" counterpart to, say, Animal Crossing or Smash Bros.?

Comment Re:64bit (Score 1) 147

Why does it take so long for basics like web servers and databases to get there?

Because the PHP language on 32-bit architectures doesn't support 64-bit integers. All you get are 32-bit actual integers and the 52-bit type you get by (ab)using a double-precision floating point value as an integer.

Comment Re:Is home Internet a necessity? (Score 1) 63

I use 50 GB per month on a 2 GB data plan

I don't see your 2 GB/mo plan. I see a 3 GB/mo plan for $40 per month (source).

because data caps are a total joke

The loophole described in the article you cite uses an HTTP proxy in a subpath of /speedtest. First, you need to pay for a VPS and bandwidth to run this proxy. Second, once T-Mobile plugs this loophole, I don't see how to use 50 GB per month because after the monthly data usage allowance expires, throughput decreases to 0.128 Mbps, and 0.128 Mbps used continuously for a month is only 41.4 GB. That's not even enough to download a purchased game whose disc version fills both layers of a BD-ROM.

I find it hard to believe people really don't have an internet connection on their mobile device.

T-Mobile pay-as-you-go users don't have an Internet connection except by A. buying a data pass for $10 that expires after 1 GB or 1 week, whichever comes first, or B. using a WLAN connected to the Internet through a separate carrier, such as home Internet or a library or restaurant hotspot.

Comment Re:more open (Score 3, Interesting) 198

Yeah, last few devices I've bought had something very close to AOSP with only a minimum of extra apps installed, apps that aren't causing me any problems. Android itself doesn't vary a lot between versions any more, the chances are the version you have varies little - from a user's point of view - from the latest greatest. This is a far cry from the early days of Android where:

1. Every phone had a heavily customized version of Android, in part because stock Android wasn't very pretty, but those customizations were usually horrible and bug ridden. As an example, my T-Mobile Slide 3G's dialer would crash if you changed from portrait to landscape.

2. Android itself was barely feature complete. Third party tools were needed to provide a decent launcher, decent keyboard, and so on, as well as tethering and other features carriers were nervous about.

It just isn't as important any more.

Comment Re:Is home Internet a necessity? (Score 1) 63

From the summary:

39.5% cannot afford an internet connection on their mobile device

You wrote:

at least try to argue that everybody has internet access on a mobile device.

For one thing, 39.5% do not. In my personal case, adding a data plan would increase my T-Mobile bill from $3 per month to $50 per month. Both home Internet and cellular Internet are luxuries, of which I can afford one as of January 2017, and my usage pattern (60 GB per month) currently favors home Internet over cellular Internet.

Comment Re:Mozilla should stop wasting money (Score 2) 63

Get the goddamn multiprocess support working.

Firefox 50 supports multiprocess for users with no extensions or select extensions, and Firefox 51 (currently in beta and in use on my PC) will add support for multiprocess with more extensions. To see if you're already using multiprocess, go to about:support and search the page for "Multiprocess". If it shows up as disabled, go to about:config and set browser.tabs.remote.autostart to true. If it shows up as blocked by add-ons, install Firefox Beta. If you were asking why it's not already enabled for more users, I'm guessing that Mozilla is making changes slowly and carefully in order not to break things and thereby leave people without a working web browser.

Fix the excessive memory usage. Reduce the CPU usage.

To fix these, go to about:config and set privacy.trackingprotection.enabled to true. It's turned off by default because it breaks some websites. These are mostly ad-supported sites that don't know how to fall back to advertisements that do not track the viewer from one site to another, such as WIRED, the INQUIRER, and The Atlantic.

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