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* Posts by Matt Piechota

227 posts • joined 2 Aug 2006

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Apple patent LOCKS drivers out of their OWN PHONES

Matt Piechota

Toyota is preparing to contest the patent, it's been making cars with rounded corners for years. Michelin is relieved that it doesn't make any perfectly square tires.

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IBM PCjr STRIPPED BARE: We tear down the machine Big Blue would rather you forgot

Matt Piechota

Re: Floppy drives

"I had an Apple II+ and later a //e (still works) with the 5.25 SSSD drive at 147k. I had a purpose made punch that cut a second square write protect hole in a double side disc so you could flip it and use both sides."

Fancy! We just used a regular round hole punch to make single-sided floppies double-sided. They worked fine for the Atari 1541 (?) floppy drive attached to an Atari 800LE. So much nicer than the cassettes.

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NSA spies recorded an entire COUNTRY'S phone calls for a MONTH: Report

Matt Piechota

Re: Threat Identification - Robertson Headed Screws are the answer

"Note: A Robertson, also known as a square screw drive has a square-shaped socket in the screw head and a square protrusion on the tool. Both the tool and the socket have a taper, which makes inserting the tool easier, and also tends to help keep the screw on the tool tip without the user needing to hold it there."

I'm not sure if it's genuine Robertson, but a few of those screwdriver tip sets I have aboot the house have square-drive sizes, along with a few tips I've not seen before. Never seen a Robertson head on any item I own though, that seems to be taken over by Torx.

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Hidden 'Windigo' UNIX ZOMBIES are EVERYWHERE

Matt Piechota

Re: The devil's in the detail

"$ ssh -G 2>&1 | grep -e illegal -e unknown > /dev/null && echo "System clean" || echo "System infected""

Heh, nice.

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NZ bloke's drunken poker bet ends in 99-letter name

Matt Piechota

Naming

A friend used the standard of adding CEO to the name to determine its suitability. "Bambi Williams, CEO? No, Bambi Williams, dancer." My wife and I are using "The honorable ___ ___ ___, presiding" as our check.

That being said, my wife's legal middle name is "Sunshine", which I think is adorable but she doesn't want to make a family name. She also didn't approve of "Starshine Bottlerocket", either. :)

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NO WONDER Big Blue dropped it: IBM server biz BOMBED in Q4

Matt Piechota

"American isn't proper English. Americans gave up speaking English in 1783."

As I read somewhere around here, "American" (and Austrailian) are closer to "English" of 1783 than the current England-English is. It wasn't until the diction-craze of the late 1800s in England that Brits became pompous twats. :)

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Walking in a WiFi wonderland

Matt Piechota

Re: Virtualisation

"I'm surprised that the internal bandwidth is provisioned for two orders of magnitude more bandwidth than the outgoing links. Perhaps they are schlepping uncompressed 4K video to their local editing booths? That video can get pretty large."

The article mentions that all the internal video does indeed travel over the same network.

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Angela Merkel: Let US spies keep their internet. The EU will build its own

Matt Piechota

This sounds like an idea put forth by someone who doesn't understand how networks work, and I don't expect politicians to, really. HOw about a better idea, then: just pass laws prohibiting German telcos from working with external "spy" operations.

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Brit boffins brew up blight-resistant FRANKENSPUD

Matt Piechota

"Not that disease resistance isn't worthwhile, but how come nobody ever genetically engineers foods to taste better? The closest I can recall hearing anybody working on was a non-eyewatering onion."

This leads into my issues with GM food: I don't trust any of the modifers to make the food taste good, be good for you, or be good for the environment. If they could make a potato that had a ton of calories (because the brain likes calories), tastes like wood, but never rots, they'd be on it. And as long as it's 10% cheaper, all the grocery stores would be ordering by the bushel (and peck).

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We're on the same wavelength! TV stars cosy up to flog spare Hz

Matt Piechota

single-def?

"KLCS and KJLA have agreed to share a single over-the-air stream to broadcast single-definition and HD video, freeing up spectrum space in the process."

So what is this new single-defintion video the author is talking about? I have STANDARD definition and high definition, but this must be new!

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'Netflix bitch': CEO of vid-streaming site taunts HBO chief over results

Matt Piechota

"So how much content do they have in the States? I signed up for a free trial month in the UK recently and think I could watch it all in 2 - 3 months."

Netflix's primary use (for me) is watching American TV and some BBC stuff. Movies are hit-and-miss. There's lots of Star Trek (all the TV and most of the movies), Top Gear (seasons 2-18), Sherlock, etc., Futurama, etc.. There's a decent selection of documentaries and TED talks as well. If you approach it as "let's see if X is on Netflix", you're probably going to be disappointed. If you look at it as "I want to watch something, let's see what's on Netflix", there's probably something to look at.

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Time-rich hacking crew scrawls web graffiti all over poor old .ME

Matt Piechota

1337

They're using the same slang that was floating around 20 years ago, that's pretty rad.

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Cygnus space truck poised for blast-off (again) TODAY

Matt Piechota

They should have used the old standby "we knocked but no one answered, so we'll try again tomorrow.", despite someone being on the station all day.

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Feminist Software Foundation gets grumpy with GitHub … or does it?

Matt Piechota

Re: Man pages

"The "touch" command has been removed from the standard distribution due to its inappropriate use by high-level managers."

Are you going to leave finger(1) in?

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Suffering SPITZER! Boffins discover Milky Way's MISSING ARMS

Matt Piechota

Compromise

We should compromise on 3 arms. Or Legs. What's that smuggness coming from the Isle of Man then?

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Tube be or not tube be: Apple’s CYLINDRICAL Mac Pro is out tomorrow

Matt Piechota

Shame

What a fantastic design. Shame that, at best, 5% of them will be used for anything more serious than desk jewelry.

I hope a few PC folks do a similar design, maybe normal folks will be able to afford them.

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Hey Linux newbie: If you've never had a taste, try perfect Petra ... mmm, smells like Mint 16

Matt Piechota

Re: The big wrinkle is still there

"Petra MATE does not show that problem but has a different problem, again associated with left/right panels and their contents. It looks like they fixed one problem and created another. What I find worrying is that I, a Linux noob and not a code-head, found these glaring problems within a short time of installing and trying to use the OS. Is there any substantial GUI testing done?"

Have you submitted a bug report?

That being said, I've never liked the way GNOME2/MATE handled side panels. It always seemed like it was there but a lot of widgets didn't work right. For GNOME/MATE systems, I use one panel at the top and remove the bottom as to not waste as much of my veritcal screen. I run the Windows 7 bar on the left and that works pretty well, I'm hoping Cinnamon2 handles side panels better.

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HUBBLE turns TIME MACHINE: Sees GLINT in the Milk(yway)man's EYE

Matt Piechota

Re: The galaxies are colliding?!!?

"I'd have thought it more likely that our bed would be burning"

Well, hopefully someone will be burning the Midnight Oil trying to find a way out of it. ;-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejorQVy3m8E

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Look! GNOME 3.10 (with Fedora 20). Did we mention GNOME 3.10?

Matt Piechota

On hold

I'll just wait until some of the bright sparks figure out how to add the minimize button and other sensible stuff back in before I try it.

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Canadian Vultures shave bare for winter

Matt Piechota

The "Lemmy" AKA "Chester A Arthur".

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Watch out, MARTIANS: 1.3 tonne INDIAN ROBOT is on its way

Matt Piechota

Re: Pardon?

"Have you heard of the fascist Republic of USA? 46 MEELION people in poverty. Still spunking BEELIONS on NASA."

I think you'll find the poverty level in the USA is a bit different than that of India.

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Wozniak: Please, whatever you do, DON'T buy me an iPad Air

Matt Piechota

Pot

As for the broadband: if I had Woz's money, my house would be well up in the mountains, where cable and phone fear to tread. It doesn't surprise me much that he would be able to get awesome boardband up there. I'd probably have a solution though, either microwave or run my own fiber.

Wifi disks: airplane travel renders those almost moot for this usage.

SD slots: meh. I'm more of a USB stick and cable to tablet fan. If I'm watching something on the tablet I'm not worried about being *that* mobile so it's not that big a deal. Of course, I tend to read on planes and whatnot rather than watch movies and my ereader can manage a *lot* of books.

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Windows Phone 8 INFLATED by Microsoft ... to satisfy lonely phablets

Matt Piechota

Re: Title is too long

"ethering is already supported natively in win pho8, no extra apps or network restrictions... unlike apple and android......"

It's native on my Android device (stock Verizon (Samsung) Galaxy Nexus, Android 4.2.2), not sure what you're using. I could see some carriers or device builders deleting it on the more customized images (Samsung or Motorola's "imporved" interfaces or other Carriers). Verizon (in this one very narrow regard) hasn't lost the plot: they charge for data and not much else (unlimited text and talk) so including Wifi hotspot just increases the chances I'll need more data.

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Samsung touching up ROUNDED, CURVY plastic enhanced MODEL

Matt Piechota

Re: Glad to see this useless product is finally out

"I'm sure there is probably a market for this, not a big one but Samsung likes to fill every niche so they probably don't need to sell a million of them to meet the goals they have for it."

Shame on them for offering different models to suit different people. The nerve of Samsung!

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Matt Piechota

Curves

The screen on my Galaxy Nexus (US Verizon) is slightly curved, so I'm not sure where first is coming from. This is only maybe 1-2mm over the length of the phone though.

I think it's us hammy dudes here that don't see the use of this. If you're a tiny little thing (wee little lass, for you UKers*), it'll fit in the front pocket of a pair of jeans a lot better.

* Yes, I know that's really Scotland, settle down.

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Space boffins boycott Kepler 'scope talks after US bans Chinese guests

Matt Piechota

Re: Open Kepler conference?

" the excuse for kicking the Chinese delegates is "national security", but the information to be presented at the conference is ALREADY PUBLIC."

Not for nothing, but have you been to a conference before? Most of the useful information is exchanged over drinks each night. It'd be kinda naive to think that a country wouldn't at least consider sending "spies" to liquor up some scientists that are working on other projects than what they're presenting.

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Official crackdown on Apple fanboi 'shanty town' ahead of London iPhone launch

Matt Piechota

"When they look back on their lives, will this be their crowning achievement?"

Probably not, it'll just be a great memory. "Remember when we queued for the iPhone? Ah to be young. I'd give anything to do it ."

A lot of you guys are grumpy about other people pasttimes.

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Ubuntu 13.10: Meet the Linux distro with a bizarre Britney Spears fixation

Matt Piechota
Flame

Re: MEH

"Does anybody outside of a few hardcore techies care? It's a minority DE/Distro of a minority OS. The rest of us in the real world will carry on using our Windows or OS X machines and ignore Ubuntu and Desktop Linux"

What an exciting new idea! I can't believe no one ever thought to post it before.

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Bill Gates: Yes, Ctrl-Alt-Del salute was a MISTAKE

Matt Piechota

Meow.

I'm guessing Bill Gates has never owned a cat.

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British Gas robo home remote gets itself into hot water

Matt Piechota

Re: Why fiddle with a thermostat?

"If the thermostat is working properly it will maintain a constant temperature in the house. I get really annoyed with people who believe they can increase the speed with which something heats up by turning the thermostat up."

The idea (for me), is that I don't want the house to be a same temperature all the time. I want it cool to sleep and comfortable when I'm there. And to save a bit of money, let it get warm/cold (depending on season) when I'm not around. My current thermostat does this, but I have to push a bunch of not very intuitive buttons to program it. It would be nice to program it from a better interface. The remote control would be nice, but I'm not of an age where I fail to make it home very often now. And when I was that age, I certainly wasn't thinking about heating bills. ;-)

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Stylus counsel: The rise and fall of the Apple Newton MessagePad

Matt Piechota

Re: Bah!

"As a cell phone user in metropolitan New York, I can say from first hand knowledge that this ain't so. About half the people who could afford to use them had cell phones in '95, all analog, and the coverage map was still pathetic outside of cities no matter who you signed with. There were digital phone offerings by '96, but they were so expensive that only corporate show-offs were using them and the coverage map was even worse than the analog one was."

Just to reinforce, yeah that sounds right. In Western New York (Buffalo), I had an analog phone in 1997 (and it drew stares, especially on my college campus). Other than a handful of people no one had them. It was a motorola with a 10-digit 7-segment LED display. The next year I had a Sprint PCS phone (1998, for sure) which was a wonder. Phone book dialing, text on a 30x4 character LCD screen, and you could send it email and it would show up as text! I'd imagine you could text message with it in some fashion, but no one else had one so that was rather useless.

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Give us a break: Next Android version to be called 'KitKat'

Matt Piechota

Confectionary Perfection

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OKOrkLxOBoY

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Samsung sets Sept 4 for Galaxy Gear smartwatch showoff

Matt Piechota

Maybe

Maybe. I do sometimes wear a watch, and it would be nice to be able to check phone dings and bloops thru it. But it *has* to be something that I only need to think about charging once or twice a week. I rather like the Pebble, if it had a higher DPI eInk screen so the watch faces looked better.

Although who am I kidding, I'm not going to buy one unless they're really cheap.

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Pulsars: the GPS beacons of the cosmos

Matt Piechota

Re: Another Eureka moment - Independence Day.

"Ah ha, now we know why Jeff Goldblum was able to get a virus from a Mac into the invading alien's computers."

I always figured it was emacs running on Mac. M-x alien-virus-mode.

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'BLING BLING, BLING BLING' 'Hello, yes, my iPhone is made of GOLD'

Matt Piechota

polish

Keep up, you can polish a turd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiJ9fy1qSFI\

Gold iPhone? Eh, if you like that kind of thing. Most people will cover it up with a cover anyway.

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Legal bible Groklaw pulls plug in wake of Lavabit shutdown, NSA firestorm

Matt Piechota

Re: I' not buying the Groklaw arguments - see the evidence..

"Okay so maybe I'm being dumb but what the hell are you on about?"

Essentially, if you didn't know about PRISM-like or other schemes (ECHELON, etc.) before Snowden, you weren't paying attention. And if you didn't think Google (who's hosting Groklaw's email based on the MX records) would happily comply with any legal email snooping order, you weren't paying attention.

Essentially, if Groklaw was *that* worried about privacy they'd have been using a smaller, more security-conscious email provider, or self-hosting mail, requiring PGP keys, or at least having a submission-by-web option.

Now I don't know any inside info, but it wouldn't surprise me if PJ was bored with it, and this gives a good way to get out while making a statement. There are plenty of ways to continue on if she wanted to.

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Japan's largest mobe operator to snub Samsung this winter

Matt Piechota

Re: This can't be true??

"All we hear is that Samsung is God, Samsung can do no wrong, Samsung is so cool. Yet apparently in Japan, they aren't so formidable."

Yeah, I mean the Japanese usually *love* Korean stuff. :-)

I remember reading a great article many moons ago about people that got really invested in the 3DFX vs. Nvidia graphics wars (I did say it was many moons), the point was users that showed brand loyalty to 3DFX only did a disservice to themselves by being loyal to one company. In this case, in 9 months when I can upgrade my phone, I'll simply pick out the best phone that fits my needs. The label on the front may hold a little sway, but not enough that Samsung will keep me as a customer if they drop the ball.

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Samsung Mega 6.3: Enter the PHONDLESLAB

Matt Piechota

"Anyone using the word phablet in my earshot will be getting a punch on the hooter."

That covers the ladies, what happens when men say it?

(What exactly does "hooter" mean in the UK?)

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No distro diva drama here: Penguinista favourite Debian turns 20

Matt Piechota

Advanced

Seems I made the opposite progression is the author would imply. I started out customizing kernels and hand selecting packages. Of course, in 1995 and Slackware (from floppies!) you kinda had to. Gentoo and several others along the way, I got to Ubuntu and ran that for quite awhile (2008-2012 or so). I got to the point that I didn't want to bother with all that any more. Why, when it just works? I moved to Mint after getting fed up with Unity, but I could see going with plain GNOME3 after using it for awhile on a few project systems. Work is almost entirely RHEL/CentOS.

I'd say an Advanced User is the one that knows how to spend time wisely. :)

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NSA-proof email encryption? Cobblers, sniff German hackers

Matt Piechota

Re: Another possibly secure-ish system?

"I haven't seen any discussion of peer-to-peer e-mail. I know less about the vulnerabilities and risks involved, but it would seem on the face of it to be a solution to many of the issues using services owned by someone else. What are the drawbacks to such an approach? Would they outweigh the advantages of doing away with an untrusted e-mail provider?"

Email already is peer-to-peer (at least for Linux/UNIX systems) in theory. If your local machine can speak SMTP and is smart enough to look up the destination's MX record, it can talk directly to the destination (there's no "routing" above the IP level). If you and I both run email servers on our local networks, the only way the spooks will see if is if they're logging all 25/tcp traffic thru the internet (they may well be doing this, I haven't followed this in-depth). The solution to this is to use IPSEC or SSL between the mail systems, which works for a few systems but isn't really a solution for general email-anyone usage because you have to negotiate and trust keys. The other wrinkle is due to spam (or so they say), consumer ISPs started blocking outgoing 25/tcp long ago so you have to send mail thru their SMTP gateway.

Realistically, it's fairly easy to set up a system where you can communicate with a few people rather securely (think https (with the right options) web forum, SSH to a single Linux system, SSL/IPSEC mail as mentioned above, etc.)), but a secure system to communicate with anyone is really difficult.

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Android approaches 80% smartphone share as Apple's iPhone grows old

Matt Piechota

Re: Why do they produce this bull??

"You can have 80% of a market , but if that only makes you 10p , while the other guy with 20% is earning £400 on every handset sold, then market share may not mean profit!"

Being that I don't produce phones myself, I couldn't care less who is and isn't making a profit on the hardware.

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Matt Piechota

Re: Instead

"Instead of looking at it as Android v Apple v Blackberry v Windows it should be broken down into Manufacturer v Manufacturer v Manufacturer v Manufacturer."

I see it the opposite way. Manufacturers may come and go, but the platform is the important part. That's where the developers and (unfortunately) advertisers are going to look.

If I had to guess, I'd say you're an Apple fan and would rather see Apple's much-higher market share vs. manufacturers. Don't worry, next quarter the 5S will be out and IOS will tick up for awhile.

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Manning's max sentence cut, may only spend up to 90 years in the cooler

Matt Piechota

Re: 136 years to 90 years...

"It makes me deeply uneasy at how the U.S. judicial system works. I.e. stacking up charge after charge so that even if the dedendant has a good lawyer who can whittle those down, the defendant is still likely to spend a deeply unreasonable amount of time behind bars with little hope of getting out. The sentencing is so off kitler that it beggars belief and it still surprises me that no one has managed to change it. Also the pressure to plea bargain is so intense that I'm sure innocent people do time as well as the guilty."

While I get what you're saying, if it didn't work that way what would be the reasoning for committing one crime vs. many? "If I murder one person, I might as well murder 10."

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Xerox copier flaw changes numbers in scanned docs

Matt Piechota

Why do you need to compress *copy* data? Scan, OCR, etc. makes sense, but copies? They're just getting spit back out.

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Limbaugh: If you hate Apple then you're a lefty blog-o-twat hipster

Matt Piechota

Re: Bah!

"*Is* Rush Limberger "the most popular talk show host in America"?"

He may well be, but I'd just chalk it up to:

- Not many people in the US listen to talk radio

- He has the market cornered on morons, whereas the sane people spread their listening over lots of other options.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most-listened-to_radio_programs

It's worth noting that 14 million people represents but 5% of the US. Sure that's a lot, but I'm sure there's 5% of the UK population that you're all rather embarrassed if too.

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Secret ROYAL BABY birth VIDEO leaked! (And other malware scams)

Matt Piechota

US

It was being covered on the news networks in the US fairly heavily, but summer is pretty slow for news and Snowden isn't doing much right now.

FWIW: I saw almost nothing of it on Facebook, other than one or two friends posting, "so, the baby is born, can we move on now?" I chalk that up as having fine taste in friends.

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Ubuntu boss: I want to make a Linux hybrid mobe SO GIVE ME $32m

Matt Piechota

Re: This whole crowdfunding thing?..

"(Now don't get belligerent like, it's just a question). In the days of yor, you would give money to a company with an expected return on investment based on your initial funding. So how does this whole fund crowdfunding work? Is it basically 17th century patronage by people with excessive dosh, (which generally didn't apply to established companies), or is there a deeper philosophy to it?"

Think of it as a slightly different direct version of capitalism. Instead of the consumer looking at the options that are available and choosing the best for them, they're influencing what options are available. It's just a different way of buying something, perhaps with a bit more choice for the consumer.

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Tablets? Check. Mobes? Check. What's next, Apple? Fondlable CARS

Matt Piechota

Re: Great, so instead of.......

"I have tried new cars when renting and to me it is the worst feeling possible that the steering wheel is connected the the rest of the steering rack by a piece of code, going over a lump in the road that pulls the wheel to the left in other cars I have owned and doesn't in the newer ones makes me distrust them even more. The latest Astra was the worst for this, I got better feedback on Pole Position for the Atari 2600."

Judging modern cars by driving rentals is like judging the internet solely by looking at Yahoo!. Rentals are (generally) the basest, balndest transportation appliances that can be found.

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Tweet like escaping Hell depends on it, Twitter Catholics told

Matt Piechota

"'True' religion is practiced everyday by millions of people, just not in an institutionalized way. Institutionalized religion implies that God has an ego and is one hell of a pendant. Seems a bit off for an all powerful super being to be interested in any of those things."

I've always wondered why God would want people grovelling around and singing dreary songs at him all the time.

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How the clammy claws of Novell NetWare were torn from today's networks

Matt Piechota

Re: Incredible..

"That "ABEND" needs to be explained on El Reg..."

Considering the Software Devs I go to lunch with were 6 years old when Netware 4 was released, I don't think it's that incredible. I'd imagine there are a few IT folks here that have never seen Netware, no?

Favorite memory of Netware: Coming into the server room and only seeing:

C:\>

on the server console.

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