Nope, the sample size of planets with verifiable evidence of life on them is currently one.
268 posts • joined 23 Jan 2008
Nope, the odds haven't budged one iota, and I use that non-numerical term deliberately because, with a sample of exactly ONE, plus still no definitive understanding of how life actually began here, we have absolutely no idea what the 'odds' actually are for finding life anywhere else, or how to calculate them. All we can say at the moment is that there is 'life' on Earth. Statistics are a bugger.
Until we have actual evidence all we have is speculation, and anyone who says otherwise is either lying or doesn't understand the present situation.
In the end...
it's all about control, or, in other words, follow the money.
What I would pay for...
is a service aggregation portal, where I can pay, say 5£/month and tick 4 well known services, or £10/month for 10 services, or something along those lines, to cover useful services that I probably don't use continuously, but I find invaluable when needed.
In fact the model could be highly adaptable to suit user needs, but it would work on overall volume of traffic, hence the 'low' per user cost.
Re: however infuriating the status quo may be
@AC - 'If Windows was only the OS...'
There are thousands of applications available for Linux (excluding the ones that run perfectly through WINE), and many of them are far superior to the hobbled proprietory alternatives available on Windows, but so what?
The thing is your argument only really holds water for those situations that match your case, and that includes mindset---if you are determined that something won't work it probably won't.
So, I don't really understand your point. Clearly Linux works for many people, and Windows works for many people. Windows also 'works' for many in the sense that as far as they are concerned it's the only choice they have, because they lack the awareness, the knowledge, the interest, or even the choice to use anything different.
As has already been said Linux is not a panacea---all OSes are crap in their own way---it's a case of understanding why you are using the OS you are using, and understanding whether any of the alternatives would serve your needs better, notwithstanding the crappiness.
Anyone who turns the decision into a religious war deserves all they get.
Re: Where are all the MS apologists?
@AC - 'Personally, I'm massively impressed...'
I suspect you're onto something, but even so perhaps for those who know Linux as well as others know Windows the challenge and trouble is rather less than for anyone who is eyeing Linux as though it is a foreign land.
Certainly Linux is no panacea, anyone contemplating a wholesale switch really needs to know why it will be so much better for them than maintaining the status quo, however infuriating the status quo may be.
Re: Why doesn't Win10 support multiple drives better
@TRT - plausible, but idiosyncratic.
Re: Where are all the MS apologists?
@JustEnough - No, no, no, no - you are completely misunderstanding.
While there are some Linux zealots who misguidedly believe that it's all about knocking Windows off its perch, the truth is far more subversive. Windows deserves its place, its perfectly entitled to exist, and has a lot going for it - although the way MS are behaving you would begin to doubt it.
The last thing we need is for Linux to become the new Windows - meet the new boss, same as the old boss. No, what we need is for a capitalist profit driven corporate multi-national entity to learn what the word 'responsibility' means, and then to apply that learning in an ethical manner towards its customers. If they can do that they may have a long term future.
As for GNU/Linux - all it needs to do is to carry on being GNU/Linux.
Re: Why doesn't Win10 support multiple drives better
Pedant's corner - just for the record, and to avoid any future embarrassment, it's 'moot', not 'mute'.
Only if that's the way you think.
Re: Pacman & cancer
@TimmyB - broadly speaking wrong on all three counts; and are you seriously implying that the 'Windows experience' is so much better? You're havin' a giraffe, aren't you? If you're serious you really do need to get out more.
Re: Missing option in survey
* No, I am using an OS that does not treat its users as if they are irresponsible infants.
Have a look at Jitsi
If Linux isn't 'refined enough' then certainly neither are Windows nor OS-X.
For the record: ALL OSes are steaming piles of digital poo.
Which ever one you pick you have to be willing to get your hands (and/or your conscience) dirty keeping the whole steaming pile up and running. That's the way it is.
By all means prefer one (or more) over others, but don't make it a religious issue, and don't pretend that your preferred pile of poo stinks any less than anyone else's, because it doesn't - it just stinks differently, but stink it surely does, even if you have got so used to it you don't really notice any more.
My daughter built her own Linux based desktop system to go off to uni with, four years ago. Apart from having to get the uni IT dept to allow her a 'non-Windows, non-wizard'(!) login to the WiFi system she had no problems whatsoever using LO for 'Word' based notes/essays/projects. In her case it turned out most of the specialist software used for her Linguistics dissertation was Linux based anyway (with random Windows ports available), so it turned out to be an even bigger win.
We bought her a Chromebook for portable use, and used Crouton to load Linux on that as well. That little device has now been passed on to my son who is now at uni.
Re: Anti-virus =
Just for the record: it went exactly as I intended.
None of us like being reminded that we have chosen (or even been compelled) to hitch our wagon to a three legged mule, while the person next to us is all set up with something having the optimum number of legs, the required strength and breeding, and is merrily getting the job done instead of cursing and sweating trying to get any reliable forward motion at all!
one humongous scam, trading on the ignorance, fear, paranoia, the bad behaviour of the computing public, and too often on the criminal shoddiness of the underlying OS. As with all goldrushes, it's the folk selling the shovels and the food (usually made of the most rubbish materials) who make all the money.
Re: If you have nothing to hide . . .
Bloomin' 'eck, that would be enough to have them hung, drawn, and quartered, their head put on a spike over the gates of the city, their family sold into slavery to the googleplex, and their existence erased from the record. And all at taxpayers' expense.
Re: Retinal identification as a consequence?
Re: 'shrooms' - that's usually a convenient explanation for anyone who can't be bothered to find out what 'Revelations', or the family of literature it belongs to - 'apocalyptic', are actually all about.
So, no - the writer almost certainly wasn't 'on the shrooms', but knew exactly what he was on about. Even if we struggle to comprehend it today, in it's day the imagery and allusions would have made perfectly good sense to anyone educated in the 'language'.
For a modern example, although generally far less lurid, we only need to look at some of the writings of people under violently oppressive governments to see how imagery and 'code words' - perfectly innocent to the uninformed reader - are used to communicate effectively. Apocalyptic is another style all together, but the intent is largely the same.
'Our Carriers ar Diesel powered.' - point of information, but as I understand 'our carriers' are in fact electrically powered, primarily via Rolls Royce gas turbines, but with diesel ancillary/backup generators.
In principle this would have made them ideal candidates for the electro-magnetic catapults being fitted to the latest US carriers. Unfortunately filthy lucre and bureaucratic incompetence may have intervened.
That's exactly the point - she shouldn't have to have done ANY of those things! Unless she CHOSE to, and could reasonably be expected to know how to - which as an average normal user she almost certainly won't.
This is an operating system, not some bit of junkware, where you hope for the best and take what you get... oh.sorry, it's Windows. But still.
It's about time.
Nothing more to say really.
who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither. - B. Franklin.
(or words very close to that effect)
Regain a little dignity...
and use Minetest - www.minetest.net.
We will, we will...
We all know where this is going - the parasitic corporates permanently feeding off billions of bank accounts, as they already do only more so. Because, when it comes to greed, money, and power, you can never have enough.
"'Service', oh yes, that's something we throw in to let the proles attached to the accounts feel they are getting something in return. Otherwise they tend to complain. Now, how's my latest mega-yacht coming along - it's bound to be bigger than yours?"
Re: What an absolute
Well, on my Samsung laptop the current iteration of Mint is working flawlessly, and did so from the start, i.e. all required drivers were installed automatically by default, so rather easier than installing Windows, of any iteration.
Follow the money...
Regardless of the technical pros and cons of each GM project we can absolutely rely on the historical truth that where there is a buck to be made there will be people willing to bend/break the rules, regardless of the consequences (assuming they even know what the consequences will be) in order to make a bigger buck.
Factor in 'global corporates' instead of individual people, and that historical truth is grossly magnified in terms of the unintended consequences and tolerable 'collateral damage' to individuals and communities.
GM is just another way of making money. In this case though, as with other major tech, caveat emptor applies not just to the buyer, but to everyone. No doubt there will be the odd 'technical failure', disaster even; but it's on the economic and social sides that any real damage is most likely to occur. Greed and self-interest have always been powerful drivers towards major fuck ups.
Plenty of FUD...
being applied to the GPL. I wonder why that could possibly be?
The GPL certainly doesn't fit with some people's idea of 'freedom', but then, glory be, they are free not to use it. But, then, if they do find it cramping their proprietorial instincts, money making desires, or simply their freedom to do what the hell they like with someone else's work they can always go away and write their own code, or maybe pay someone else to do it for them.
The GPL attempts, quite successfully, to represent a certain philosophical and ethical position. If we don't understand it, or agree with it, that's fine, we are 'free' to go our own way.
A great story of exploration and discovery, and BTL immediately hijacked by the 'anti-God' fundamentalists. It's like the trope about 'Linux evangelists' hijacking every thread about Windows (see Ask Jack in the Guardian), only sadder.
While there definitely are some people whose religious views struggle to cope with a bigger awareness of the material 'world', there are plenty for whom it is no threat to their faith whatsoever, in fact it is a wonderful example of putting our capabilities to good use - exploring and understanding the world around us.
Some folk here need to prick their bubble of ignorance and prejudice and try engaging with 'reality', but then perhaps they are not really any different to the very type of person they deride on the other side of the fence - those who, from a 'religious' perspective, also cling to their prejudices and 'beliefs' regardless of the reality around them.
Use of a 'user agent switcher' (other names are available) is an inelegant, but workable, solution to the BBC problem. The BBC serves HTML5 video to devices purporting to be using Android and other 'mobile' OSes.
Re: To all the critics
Planty, please tell us where you would draw the line on state intrusion into private life?
BTW, we all die, happily this also includes the corrupt capitalist brigands who presume to own us.
@werdsmith, re h4rm0ny - I get the impression you are being obtuse. No doubt h4rm0ny can speak for herself, but ISTM she is talking about the everyday realities of 'human relationships', not the everyday realities of manoeuvring and manipulation in the dog-eat-dog world of clawing your way up the greasy pole of notional 'status'.
Too many of us are far too easily offended, it's part of our unhealthy approach to life. Far too many of us are willing to cause offence, it's part of our unhealthy approach to life. Some of us manage to combine both weaknesses.
Thankfully many of us generally (even almost always) keep ourselves in check, are considerate and caring towards others, and willing to give others the benefit of the doubt, or just let stupidity and crassness go, on the basis that it's actually their problem, not mine.
There are a few who imagine that being crass and stupid and downright objectionable is their prerogative. They need taking down, for their own sakes as well as for the sake of those who have to deal with their abject failure to learn that they are not the centre of everything.
Re: Remix OS is not FLOSS
@Dave 126 - For the meantime I'm standing by my comments. In the Wikipedia reference you possibly didn't read as far as: 'Unlike Android-x86 the source code of Remix OS is not available to the public.' Reading elsewhere reveals that, yes, there is substantial re-use of open source and GPL code - fairly obvious given the originating source - but there appears to be considerable use of proprietary code to make Remix what it is. At least the extent to which the OS is 'open' and/or 'closed' still seems opaque. Until there is clarity on this I still say 'it's a trap', not because Remix OS is 'evil', but because on the face of it there are hidden corners where no outsider may go, and that does not sit well with the notion of genuine 'general purpose computing'.
Obviously as a consumer OS, for people who only care that things 'just work' it may prove ideal.
Remix OS is not FLOSS
It's just another trap - anything could be going on behind the scenes and no one will know.
Yes, the gullible, ignorant, and desperate may lap it up, they either have no idea what their freedom is worth, don't give a shit, or are not in a position to stand on their principles.
Anyone else though is either going to use it from the end of a very long pole, while holding their nose - a thankless task - or just leave it alone.
There are better tools out there.
Re: Starting to see sense
No, I'm not sneering. I'm genuinely bemused at the complaint, just as I would be if someone complained that the horse driven buggy they had just attempted (and failed) to drive didn't have a steering wheel or cruise control.
Sometimes we actually have to be willing to make an effort to learn something new, and not expect all the work to be done for us by someone else. It's a harsh fact of life, and too many of us seem to be very reluctant to accept it.
Re: Starting to see sense
J J Carter - do you not realise you are using a command line application, written on the basis that the user probably has some idea of what they are doing, and if they don't then some ability to find out. Dear, oh dear, what on earth are you doing using this if the GUI is your comfort zone? I'm not sneering, it's a step change, but you really shouldn't be complaining - bad workman blaming his tools, and all that.
Re: Notes though not email
It may not be a direct replacement, but I find the list.it plugin for Firefox extremely useful. It sets up editable and savable notes in a side-pane.
To the victors, the spoils.
Including the leisure to write the 'history' to suit themselves.
Overall, when it comes to treatment of the 'indigenous people' there is little glory in the European settlement of Australia, and plenty of selfish greed and thuggery. In fact there's no shortage of behaviour by European settlers towards those people who were already in residence that is simply disgusting.
Not that the current generations should be taking responsibility for the behaviour of their ancestors, they've got enough on their plates trying to manage their own relationships with each other (indigenous and otherwise), and with the land they share and call 'home'.
And for the record, I write as one from the other side of the Tasman where, despite some good efforts from the beginning, there's also plenty to regret.
Systemd clearly has a point, but ISTM, putting aside the rabid frothings of the flamers, the fundamental gripe of many complainers is a worthy one: that the systemd devs operate on a 'our way or fuck off' principle.
They have taken what was clearly a rats nest that anyone who needed to could ferret their way around and set up to suit themselves, and replaced it with something 'everybody can use', but which few actually understand or have any meaningful way of understanding --- we're talking about the great unwashed of Linux users here, folk who can knock up a script, maybe even do a bit of coding, like to be able to poke around and get to grips with the finer points if they need to, but mostly probably don't.
Now they pretty much can't, even of they want to. That heavy responsibility has been lifted from their poor aching shoulders, and hidden away.
Yes, systemd works, in the way that a self-appointed group who are clearly serving the interests of corporate users, want it to work---a ubiquitous service layer which is largely opaque and outside the control of the majority of users. Does it 'work' in a way that really serves the long term interests of 'free' computing. At the moment an affirmative answer is highly questionable.
Thankfully systemd's most cancerous qualities are likely to be mitigated over time by the real world needs of users, and if it becomes too oppressive it'll get forked or replaced.
He's right it is a 'moral' question...
'...stated he was “puzzled by the caricatures in the current debate, where almost every attempt to tackle the misuse of encryption by criminals and terrorists is seen as a ‘backdoor’.”'
When people have been lied to by state agents, and when those agents have seen fit to act regardless of 'just cause' or actual 'evidence', is it any wonder that said 'people' are just a tad cynical about any subsequent 'promises' and 'explanations', even when they are made in good faith. That's what happens when you lose trust---people don't trust you. Quelle suprize!
The 'moral' question is: What can our state agents do to convince us that they will act with integrity and good faith towards 'the people' whose lives and livelihoods they are charged to protect?
In reality there is probably nothing they can do; they've blown it. They blew it years (hundreds of years) ago. The only thing that has changed is the extent of their reach and the time-frame of their reach---longer reach, and much faster. Apart from that it really is business as usual, and hoping that there are always enough 'good' people in the system to mitigate the worst tendencies of those who are motivated by greed, power, and fear.
The best we can probably hope for is some kind of Mexican stand-off, between the state agents, the criminals, and the rest of us. The graveyard scene in 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly', comes to mind, but without a resolution.
Truth speaks to power
Neither 'science' nor the 'law' have any say over the conduct of 'reality'. One is an attempt at a systematic study of 'reality', the other is an arbitrary attempt to control the conduct of human society, but in either case it remains true that:
"Ye cannae change the laws of physics"
And however galling it may be to those who dream otherwise, the truth about reality remains the truth whether any given human being knows that truth or not, or, being aware of it, refuses to accept it.
The 'governemnt' can pass whatever laws it likes, but if 'unbreakable encryption' is possible, with the limits of available knowledge, then people will use it if the have the means and the motivation to do so, and no amount of squealing or magical thinking will change that.
Re: Dear Microsoft,
fajensen, as long as you don't mind having the piss taken out of you for coming across as a bit of a bigoted arrogant wanker, you aren't far wrong in this instance. Microsoft deserves no quarter to be given, no benefit of the doubt, because of the evidence of their own history. Instead they have to prove their good faith and changed(?) behviour, while putting up with the fact that they have given no one any reason to trust them.
MS - basically an international corporate version of your local heroin dealer. There are no depths to which they will not sink to get their 'customers' [read 'victims'] hooked and coming back for more, forever.
On the widely attested assertion...
that 90% of everything* is crap; we must assume that Wikipedia upholds that glorious assumption until compelling evidence can be produced reliably demonstrating something different.
* 'everything' being generally understood to be 'everything produced by human beings'.
Firefox Hello - in my experience it seems to work absolutely fine in basic one to one mode;
TOX - also seems to work fine, but a bit more of a hassle to set up (at least it was when I tried it a year ago).
Re: Quite a lot of whiners commenting here.
Actually I've got it wrong: 'self satisfied' should be 'self-pitying'.
Quite a lot of whiners commenting here.
Seems to me there's a whole generation of 'users' coming in who barely know how to wipe their own arses, who cry when they lose and gloat when they win, but who overall really don't have much of a clue.
For heavens sake, if you want your hand held and everything to 'just work' without you having to lift a well manicured finger, and let the 'others' do all the work for you then piss off and go and sit in someone's walled garden. Where you will be royally shafted and pay for the privilege, and still be none the wiser.
Otherwise, accept that computing is a jungle, which you enter at your own risk, and if, per chance, you get skinned alive then at least have the grace to laugh at yourself, commiserate with others, and learn from the experience. Maybe even share the learning. Now there's a novel idea for some!
Meanwhile the gloaters and the whiners will no doubt continue enjoy sitting in the bottom of their little pit of self satisfied wank, while others get on with the job of taking responsibility and actually making things work---especially when they have broken.
Some things never change.
Perhaps it would be helpful for everyone to run a two track service where punters know up front they are either buying a phone with an OS that will be updated, but never upgraded - cheaper. Or, one that will be upgraded in a timely fashion (say, within two months) whenever a newer iteration of the OS is released - more expensive.
It's worth remembering that 'size' has no correlation to 'significance' unless size is the matter in question.
As always, follow the money (and the power).
Not to say there aren't good people of high ethical and moral integrity working in this area, and information that could potentially be enormously useful for managing national healthcare resources, BUT it is information that is also potentially very useful to people whose main interest is their own enrichment and an 'I'm alright Jack' attitude to the consequences of their actions on the wellbeing of others.
Dilemma - what to do? Big ethics, or big money? Mmmmm.