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Comment Re:Or... (Score 1) 258

I'd be worried about more than the NSA - have you seen how much money wealthy people donate to political candidates? All it takes is a rich person with dodgy ethics and a million bucks to spare - and they can buy zero day vulns and hire hackers to compromise the election server. Only a few people would need to be involved.

Muuuuch harder to rig a physical election across multiple voting locations. You need to compromise lots of different ballot boxes if you're going to swing the result subtly, and there are lots of semi-vetted people watching.

Submission + - Video:- Puppy delivery by drone (

garymortimer writes: Ok I have a new favorite drone parody. The campaign launched by A puppy is not a product seeks to highlight the almost exponential growth of puppy mills. An animal welfare issue being helped along ironically by online buying. The very market seeking to use drones.

Comment shame about the music (Score 1) 161

I quite liked being able to buy albums, knowing that part of my purchase was going to support Ubuntu rather than apple. I wonder if sales fell off a cliff when they switched away from using a Rhythmbox plugin as an interface to buy music, and forced everyone to use a website that you have to log in to in order to BROWSE the music for sale. I guess sales were so low they couldn't justify paying even one business-and-tech-savvy person to make it successful.

Comment Re:Sadly for Canonical... (Score 1) 155

I really like it too, but obviously not enough to post "OMG I LOVE UNITY AND PONIES" every time this discussion comes up. Dislike of the status quo/a future direction is more motivating to make people speak up.

But yeah, I've been using it since the netbook remix days, in which it was a godsend for my eee pc (clawing back my 7" screen, 24 pixels at a time). Until the end of last year I was primarily a mac user though; Apple's direction post 10.6 combined with unity's superior experience (tiling, super-A for application launching, super-num to launch/switch to the first 10 apps, the alt-tab/` to switch between applications and windows in an easier-to-follow way than OS X...) saw me switch to ubuntu on my 27" iMac.

The only problem I have with global menus on such a big screen is due to the mouse acceleration curve (or lack thereof), which I believe is going to be fixed on 14.04.

So there's a lot of noise around, and I even got the impression that ubuntu installs were now being outnumbered by mint, which didn't match the first actual data on this topic that i've come across (the steam hardware survey). My philosophy is to let the people who dislike it complain, and I'll start speaking up if they look like they're going to get things changed away from what I like!

Comment Re:Seperation of classes (Score 1) 292

Just remember that the same person that wants to build this, also declared that Greenpeace was a CIA plot to destroy Australia's mining sector...

...just in time to steal the front pages in the days before the Queensland state election, when his preferred party was leading but starting to attract bad press. Sneaky bastard.

Comment Re:Why care about the transition? (Score 1) 179

On my hexacore desktop with SSD, Unity Dash takes a good half second to open.

Yeah, alas it seems to rely pretty heavily on 3D acceleration. If you don't have 3D acceleration then it tries some sort of software rendering that is S-L-O-W (10 seconds sometimes to open the dash!) even on fast computers. And if the dash has been swapped out of RAM then again it's slow to activate. On my computers with supported 3D acceleration it's usually a very pleasant experience. On my new netbook... I grudgingly use 12.04 and the 2D version.

Comment Re:finally, a tablet that will be welcome here (Score 4, Informative) 179

Thankfully the snooping is going to remain optional (although still opt-out rather than opt-in). I've still got it turned off on my desktop, but reading documents like this (specifically the Data and metrics passed to the Smart Scopes service section) are a little reassuring, in that you can see that the developers are thinking about how to take only the data they need and are trying to protect it. I particularly like their (far-off) plans for sending location information: they won't send your exact co-ordinates like Google or Apple does - they'll round them off to maybe a 10km square because that level of location accuracy is probably not needed for the search. There's also a friendlier summary of the spec available.

That said, while this kind of fuck up is still happening, I'm going to keep online search off, despite being tempted by functionality like its iView (Aussie Hulu) support.

I too hope that you don't need an Ubuntu One account to use the tablet...

Comment Keep the code, separate the UIs (Score 5, Interesting) 179

Now I finally see what Shuttleworth's been meaning when he says the same applications run on all form factors - as a developer, you separate the logic from the UI, and write three UIs: one for phone, one for tablet, and one for desktop. Until now I thought "nice in concept, but what's the point?". But if your device itself suddenly switches from a phone or tablet to a desktop, then your app can keep running and switch UIs on the fly.

What I really find neat is how tablet apps can become phone apps when docked on the side, for multitasking. This finally looks like a tablet that's not purely for consuming content.

Comment Re:I'm sorry, but (Score 1) 102

between Droid and iPhone, I'm not sure what new-shiney Ubuntu brings to the smartphone table.

Unlike an iPhone, you don't have to hack into your expensive new smartphone in order to use applications that have been deemed too powerful for the average user, or to access the filesystem.

Unlike Android, you can be confident that if you turn off the online search, your phone will not send lots of data about you to the world-champion data-miners.

I have been waiting a long time for something like this.

Comment Re:malware (Score 1) 205

I just discovered that my uncle's computer is affected by this. He turned on FileVault in 10.6 because it looked cool, then upgraded to 10.7. Lion only tells you that you have a legacy version if you open the Security/Filevault preference pane, which he never did since using 10.7. When we opened it today, it gave us the options of keep using the legacy version or turning it off - I think "keep using legacy version" was the default option (could be wrong). In order to upgrade we had to visit a separate tab, unlock it, hit upgrade and go past a number of scary-looking warnings. So nerds who like to explore probably would not be affected by this, but others certainly are.

Comment Re:Model fits the data [Re:Vindication] (Score 1) 744

Firstly, I'm not going to do more than my fair share. Hence my interest in making others do theirs, or at least pay others to do their share for them. Secondly, my personal energy consumption is already quite low. I'm a student, so I can't afford a car. I live in a pretty temperate climate so I rarely need heating or aircon. I don't fly often. And I turn things off when I'm not using them (if they use more than 10W). I live where parking is bad and public transport is OK, so none of these hurt much.

Comment Re:Model fits the data [Re:Vindication] (Score 1) 744

1) How accurate can we judge the entire planet's average temperature in the year 1800? The graph shows swings from year to year in the 0.2 C range. Can we really judge the average surface temperature of the planet with 0.2 degrees Celsius?

Take a look at the grey band - it's more obvious in the second graph, the 10 year moving average. The grey band is the 95% uncertainty interval for Berkeley's calculation of the average temperature - statistically on each data point there is a 5% chance that the real average temperature lies outside the grey band. You will see that in the year 1800, the grey band is massive: +/- 0.5 degrees. But over time, as there are more measurements around the world, and those measurements have less randomness in them (i.e. get more accurate), the uncertainty shrinks pretty slowly.

2) Also, the chart shows 200 years. This is a blip on the scale of climate science. If you look at the climate history on a much, much larger scale, you'll find that 200 years means nothing. For example, the chart on this page shows that we are much cooler than the average. An sharp increase in average temps would help put us "right".

This is true - no matter how much we heat up the earth, life will survive. But if the climate changes too much from our current conditions, then there will be massive changes. Lots of creatures will become extinct (eventually new ones will evolve, taking advantage of the abundance of food/lack of predators but that happens very slowly) and we will probably have to totally rethink our farming practices. We should move our cities too given that many would no longer be well-situated, but what would probably happen is that we turn up our air-conditioners and burn even more coal. I concede that the effects of climate change are less well understood (at least by me!) than that it is happening.

Or this chart which goes back 4500 years, shows that we just came out of an ice age, so a temperature increase would be expected, and also negates your Berkely graph.

Seriously? I give you the Berkeley graphs, which appear to have used a pretty rigourous method, where you can download their temperature data and source code, and is being peer-reviewed, and you rebut this with a graph that does not have a labelled y-axis and appears to have been drawn with a bezier tool? If you want to convince me that there is no scientific consensus, i.e. that researchers who know what they're doing and are doing it properly, disagree that global warming is happening/is a problem, then please stop using graphs like that. Especially when they disagree with the graph I provided, which gives its sources (IIRC, every temperature measurement they could get their hands on), and includes three other groups' sets of numbers on the same axes - none of which agree with the graph you provided.

Or, finally, this page which shows a whole slew of charts, most of which show that we are in a cold period of climate history, and an increase in average temperature would get the earth back to the "normal" range.

Again, the really-long-range graphs don't have much to do with the current debate, because I'd like life to survive in its current form as much as possible. When large-scale, seemingly-irreversible (on the scale of centuries) changes are made to the only planet we live on, I get nervous about the potential for things to go wrong.

There are too many graphs on that page to go through them individually, but it doesn't give that site any credibility to include graphs like this one, which show very suspicious behaviour - local temperature swings around wildly and then the music stops, when we would expect local temperature always to fluctuate on a year-to-year scale.

Thank you for replying with a little detail. It is good to be able to assess the evidence that others believe to support their beliefs.

Comment Re:Model fits the data [Re:Vindication] (Score 1) 744

Looking at the 10-year moving average (which is almost long enough to smooth out sun cycles, el nino cycles etc) - because the graph shoots up so fast, so far and so dramatically between 1970 and 2005, I would do a happy dance then go skiing if it started dropping as dramatically over a 10-15 year period, but a 15-20 year plateau would make me seriously question what was happening. Anything shorter than that could easily just be another bump on the moving average that is mostly skyrocketing.

Comment Re:Model fits the data [Re:Vindication] (Score 4, Informative) 744

The mainstream climate scientists are not and have not been mispredicting the rate of climate change. If you look at the data from models from 1979 (the National Academy of Science study), or even the models from 1967 (the Manabe greenhouse-effect calculation)-- the actual data fits the model very nearly exactly.

Here's a checkup on a Hansen prediction from 1981. I wouldn't call it near-exact, but still pretty good for a 30-year-old model of a very complicated set of things.

Speaking of graphs, I find this one really scary, and would want to see it flatten out or drop for a good few years before I stop caring about my energy usage.

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