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Comment Re: Why do people keep using Windows? (Score 1) 98

For one thing, even without administrative access to a computer, ransomware with full access to an employee's user account can do a lot of damage. For another, administrative access might be the result of a cost-benefit analysis that concluded that avoiding the cost of paying employees to sit and produce no value for the company while waiting for the IT department to complete a review of each application or device driver that each employee requires to do his or her job outweighs the risk of being the next ransomware victim.

Comment Re:Is home Internet a necessity? (Score 1) 68

No body is going to drive to their local library to pay bills for too long.

These purist capitalists would call owning an automobile also a luxury.

Maybe for a few years in college or pre-family style of living, but once life gets super real- you'll need this 'luxury'.

These purist capitalists would recommend that people remain in the "pre-family style of living" by abstaining from sex. There's a reason the "taxed enough already" crowd and the religiously motivated social conservative crowd have found an alliance in legislatures.

Comment E-sports needs free software (Score 1) 275

Games are different because their only utility is as entertainment, and few businesses can derive any benefit from that.

A professional or collegiate e-sports league is a business. Just as a league needs free video editing software to avoid having to pay to license proprietary video editing software, a league needs a free game to avoid having to pay the game's publisher for a license for each machine on which the game is played and for a license to perform the game publicly when streaming the matches.

Comment Re:Skype replacement not needed because ... (Score 1) 93

So, for people who don't want a smartphone, they should get a computer, internet, have both running 24/7 and make the right choice of IM or software phone platform.

Land line users have to get a phone, POTS service, and have both plugged in (and thus implicitly turned on) 24/7. One then sees the value of long distance and international tolls: they represent the cost of avoiding having to "make the right choice".

Everyone is on MSN right? Oh wait, this one died, it belonged to a multi-hundred-billion dollar company but they just closed it down.

MSN Messenger still operates under the name Skype.

Comment Re:Ummm, No (Score 1) 275

The open-source world obviously won't get you any of "the games you see advertised in stores." They have plenty of others though.

Does free software have any of the games that e-sports leagues have chosen to play? I would think that all other things being equal, e-sports would flock to free software, as use of a game composed of free software and free assets avoids having to negotiate public performance rights for streaming matches. But there must be something else stopping notable e-sports leagues from choosing free software.

Comment Re:two things I use Google's assistant for (Score 1) 69

You're not using "Google Voice VoIP" because that doesn't exist. You're using Google Talk/Hangouts/whatever it's called today. The relationship between the two is that GV can route calls to Google Talk, and Google Talk will use your GV number when making outgoing calls.

So, as this is a story about Google Voice, not Google Talk (or Hangouts etc) you can safely assume your setup is not affected by this at all. That doesn't mean it'll continue to work, just that this doesn't impact it.

Comment Re:How about running real Linux apps too (Score 1) 68

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) 68

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) 68

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.

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