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Comment Re:Control (Score 2, Insightful) 417

Just to add to this, I think we also have to acknowledge that fascism just works. Frankly, a lot of the technology that Apple adds to OS X is hardly earth shattering, but they can make it work and get it adopted by a large audience with surprisingly few problems because they have total control. I'm no expert, but I have been using Linux for over a decade (Slackware 96 was my first distro and I even used a version of Debian with a Linux 1.x kernel), and I have witnessed many attempts to get new and interesting systems added to Linux. Democracy is slow. Look at all the effort it took to get Pulse working in a reasonable fashion. I'm no Pulse hater, I think it is an amazing piece of software, but the growing pains were agonizing. Even standardizing on X11 drivers infrastructure has been difficult (there were at least 2 versions of Ubuntu that contained major regressions in Intel graphics drivers). All of this leads to fragmentation and compatibility problems.

OS X is impressive because it suffers from this less. The total control wielded by Steve Jobs allows Apple to introduce new(ish) technologies in a timely manner. Yes, things like Grand Central or Time Machine may not be entirely unique, but they work and are available to a large audience.

I don't think that geeks give Steve Jobs a free pass. I think they just acknowledge that his way of doing things has been very successful in the grand scheme of things. OS X is an impressive piece of software that brings to the table many of the things that Linux folk have been talking about for years.

Comment Re:Stability (Score 3, Insightful) 891

Just look at Office 2007. Word looks and behaves nothing like Outlook or OneNote. In Windows, the big players tend to have fairly good interfaces, but as soon as you move away from the over-$100 realm of Windows software, you're in amateur land and the interfaces quickly devolve into a case study in worst practices. I find that I much prefer using ported Gnome software in Windows than many native solutions. Yes, Photoshop is a fantastic program, but I'd take GIMP over ArcSoft abominations any day of the week. At least I don't have to pay for GIMP.

This article should really be titled "Why Users Drop Cheaper Programs for More Expensive Ones". At least the open source solutions generally resist the urge to insert ads into their software and use a bunch of proprietary widgets.

Comment Re:Hulu sucks...period (Score 1) 375

Visiting multiple websites isn't that difficult. That is why we have bookmarks. They allow us to easily and quickly go to a page that we have visited previously. I know for instance that Battlestar Galactica is on Hulu but Lost is on So, when I want to watch Lost I go to and when I want to watch BSG I go to hulu. This isn't a problem. If this becomes too burdensome for consumers then the media companies will simply fail as people will stop visiting them. Right now I get ALL of my television from hulu, with the exceptions of Lost ( and some PBS stuff (digital converter box). I get more than enough TV right now. If a new show comes around that wants my attention, it would do well to distribute itself through one of the channels I already frequent.

I agree that it is a bit stupid for a media company to wall itself off, especially in the near future when more and more people drop cable/satellite for Internet based television. Right now abc probably has no problem getting people to watch Lost on their website. This is not really a burden to consumers though. Besides, Hulu is actually reducing fragmentation. I mean, we could have a situation where you have to go to to see the Office and then over to to watch BSG. Instead, I can watch both of those on Hulu. That seems like a win to me. Also, unlike with iTunes and cable, I don't have to pay to watch TV. The ads on hulu are the exact right length so that I don't mind watching them.

Submission + - NYT Article About One of the Original Phreaks 1

tmalone writes: The New York Times is running an end of year piece about the most interesting people who have died this year. One of their picks is Joybubbles, also known as Josef Engressia, or "Whistler". He was born blind and discovered at the age of 7 that he could whistle 2600 hertz into a phone to make free long distance calls. He was one of the original phone phreaks, got arrested for phone fraud, and was even employed by the phone company. The article deals more with his personal life (he was abused at a home for the blind) than with his technical exploits, but is a very interesting story.
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Top 10 independent games of 2007 (

cliffski writes: "2007 marks the sixth year of the Game Tunnel Independent Game of the Year awards. It's been a long journey to get here and each year it seems Indie games are just a little better known by the gaming public at large, which we view as tremendously good news. The games themselves also seem to get a bit better each year, mixing unique visions with innovation to create experiences that speak to the heart of gamers. Each of the games is a winner in its own right, an undiscovered gem just waiting to be found. So dim the lights and warm up your modem, as Game Tunnel presents: The Top 10 Independent Games of 2007."

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