861 posts • joined Thursday 4th November 2010 16:10 GMT
You don't need proprietary drivers for 3D desktops
"The bigger picture, though, is that none of the big three desktops - Unity, GNOME 3 or KDE 4 - are a good fit if you don't have a decent OpenGL accelerator in your machine, plus the appropriate proprietary drivers."
This is a highly inaccurate statement. You do not need proprietary drivers to get decent 3D acceleration on Linux any more, in most cases; certainly not enough acceleration for accelerated desktops to work perfectly well. Fedora does testing with the open source graphics drivers, and in our experience, about 80-95% of all graphics adapters work perfectly well for GNOME Shell with the open source drivers (intel, radeon and nouveau).
Re: It is about the money and applications.
"In all cases it was due to custom disk partitioning and not wanting to use LVM."
Whatever you set the 'Partition type' dropdown on the 'Installation Options' screen to before you go into custom partitioning, will be the default type for newly-created partitions in the custom partitioning screen. So if you want to use plain ext4 partitions, it'll be easier if you set that dropdown to ext4 before you enter custom partitioning. Even if you don't, you can change the type after creating the partition; select the partition, expand the 'Customize...' expander on the right hand side, and you'll see the relevant options.
Re: .. and then there were 2
"SuSE is a Red Hat derivative."
No it isn't. It uses the same package format. That's not the same thing at all.
Re: My take
"Excluding the major irritation that the gnome SSH keyring didnt work. I couldnt get my ssh keys added on startup and the known bug had yet to be resolved."
Known bug? I'm not aware of one and it works fine here. Is this Cinnamon-specific? Or are you using autologin?
Re: "Comfortable with the terminal"
Way to take things out of context. Let's put it back in context, shall we?
"Anyone planning to primarily use Linux to write software or develop web applications will likely be quite happy with Fedora, which does a good job of shipping up-to-date developer tools like Python, Ruby (and Rails) and web servers like Apache. The software installer may not be the best, but the command line Yum installer works just fine so long as you're comfortable with the terminal."
So, what's the context? First off, we're talking about "Anyone planning to primarily use Linux to write software or develop web applications". If you're writing software or developing web applications and you're not comfortable with a terminal...erf. Secondly, note the lead-in: "The software installer may not be the best". This is picking up from an earlier paragraph where Fedora's default graphical package installer (PackageKit) was criticized for not being as good as Ubuntu's and Mint's. So what this paragraph is saying is "if you're a software developer, the benefits of Fedora in terms of having a wide range of up to date development packages available outweigh the minor disadvantage of the graphical package manager not being the best, particularly since you're probably going to wind up using the command line package manager anyway, since you're that kind of person".
But no, fine, by all means, take four words out of context and stick to your two decade old bash if it makes you feel better.
"Wife of party official plied Brit with booze, then poison, as revenge for deal gone wrong"
it seems rather...bold to print accusations of anything this serious and sensitive that happened in China as a fact, unless you have gold-plated video footage or something. A one-day trial seems hardly worth accepting as the kind of legal proof news organizations usually consider necessary before printing something like that as a definite statement, rather than an allegation or possibility...
silly logic nitpick
"The basic entry requirement was also strict. Never mind a sneaking sense you’d quite like to give rowing a go, first you had to be tall: the tallest woman on Sporting Giants was 192.7cm (6’4”) and the tallest man 217.3cm (7’2”)."
That's silly: I can see where you were going, but it's incorrectly demonstrated. If you want to say that 'in order to get into a group of things, a thing needs a certain attribute' you don't cite the member of the group with the _most_ of the attribute - that proves nothing. You cite the member of the group with the _least_ of the attribute. If you told us that the _shortest_ woman on Sporting Giants was, say, 5'10", that would prove (or at least go further towards proving) that you have to be quite tall to get in. Saying that the _tallest_ woman is 6'4" proves exactly nothing, in the context - it leaves entirely open the possibility that the shortest woman was 4'10" or something...
oh, what a choice
"Russia suggested that some of the responsibility for handing out internet addresses should go to the ITU instead of all being under the control of US-based organisation Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)."
Oh, what a choice - Russia or ICANN. Where's option c)? Hell, we should probably contract it out to the monkey house at London Zoo...
Re: What about...
It certainly can, yes. I think there have been 'extreme' novels of this sort which weren't published in the U.K. for fear of the OPA.
Re: Now Reality
I'm sure everyone can sympathize with your position. However, there is a well-known saying in the legal profession - 'hard cases make bad law'. Your case could be designed for this saying to be applied to it. Assuming your characterization is accurate, GS certainly did something bad. However, it is not always a good idea to write or stretch legislation to cover single examples of bad conduct which no-one could find a specific law against, without considering the potential ill effects of that legislation in _other_ cases. It's all well and good stretching the Obscene Publications Act to breaking point to punish a creep...until you find it being abused to persecute people in much different circumstances. This case doesn't just punish your creep, TC; the law doesn't work that way. It sets a precedent in future that a law which was intended to apply to mass publications can be used to police private conversations. Surely you can see why people are worried about this?
Offences against children?
"This is a landmark case [and] a good opportunity from a law enforcement point of view. It opens up the possibility of more people being prosecuted for offences against children."
Surely you missed a word out there. It should obviously read "It opens up the possibility of more people being prosecuted for offences against imaginary children."
Re: greed greed greed
"if you've removed the human element then what does the whole thing signify?"
it's...how companies are funded.
You start from the principle that people can join together to found companies in which each person owns a fractional stake - the 'joint stock company' of history, dating back several centuries - then refine it for a few hundred years, and you get a stock market. What is your alternative to a stock market? How are companies to be owned?
Re: Look on the bright side ....
Well, 'rigged' is a bit of a harsh term. Most major stock exchanges are, to some degree, regulated, based on years of experience that indicate that things which are broadly detrimental to the stock exchange and the economy as a whole can result without regulation. All sensible involved players agree on this - the stock exchanges, the traders, the traded companies, and the government regulators. It's not really controversial.
It only becomes a tad embarrassing for the people who _will_ insist on waving Spherical Cow World free market economic theory around as if it applied without modification to the real world.
Re: Gamblers deserve to lose
"Your pension fund is based on investing your contributions into various assets (mostly stocks). "
That's an assumption too far. Many people have control over the investment of their pension fund. I do; I could put the whole thing in gold or government bonds if I wanted to.
Re: How the hell did this "feature" escape testing?
They probably did. Any QA person will tell you our Rule #0, which is that everything will always go wrong. If you test a program in a test environment exhaustively for five years, testing every possible action or interaction it might ever have to undergo, and finally bash all the bugs out of it, then what you'll find out on day #1 of production is the way in which your test environment didn't _quite_ match the deployment environment.
Re: why the state?
"Actually the state doesn't pay for the court system. Aside from the court fees required from the litigants it is paid for by the taxpayers."
Er...'Paid for by the state' and 'paid for by taxpayers' are basically the same thing.
Re: Only two hour?
You could just not read it.
"After five minutes watching I notices that her extremely long pinky finger nail was hitting the caps lock on the way past, when I told her she said (no word of a lie) “Is there anything you can do to fix that?”"
Playing devil's advocate: what's wrong with that, from a certain perspective? You gave her a tool to do something. It doesn't really work perfectly for her. It's got this booby trap on it: a button that does something dumb she never wants to do, which is placed very close to all these other buttons that do things she wants to do a lot. Isn't that a design flaw? Why wouldn't there be something you could do about it? If your car had a pedal directly between the gas and the brake which caused all the wheels to fall off, would you reckon that was your problem, or complain to the person responsible for the car?
There probably was something you could do for her: lever the caps lock keycap off, or re-assign the key somehow.
Re: Too true
"You wouldn't ask your builder friend to build you a wall for free or your sister's accountant husband to do your books for free. It just royally pisses me off to the point that all I say now is “You do know my daily rate is £500, right?""
Um, people do that _all the time_. I keep my sister-in-law's computers more or less working for free, she does my glasses for free. It's the barter system, it's only several fecking millennia old.
If anything I'm amazed how many 'IT people' think their skills are something rare and special that should on no account be gifted or traded to friends or family. I repeat, contrary to the above bizarre assertion, all sorts of people do this all the time.
""Not entirely sure how you plan to "fix" 100m sprints for example, other than potentially introducing pursuit cheetahs, or a custard track"
How about a mandatory Benny-Hill-style Yakety Sax soundtrack?"
How about all of the above? I'd watch that all damn year long.
Firing a starting gun isn't a particularly sensitive or complex operation, though. You don't have to synchronize it with anything else - it controls everything else (the runners and the timing equipment). The starter can pretty much fire it at whim, as long as it's not _too_ long after the 'set' command. And the operation itself is easy as pie - pull a trigger. So there's no particular reason to use your dominant hand to do it.
Re: re: The "important" bit
I can't off-hand recall seeing anything else which really matches the description anywhere. My point isn't necessarily that it's a good patent, just that it's actually a very specific one which isn't likely to affect anyone else very much.
Re: Shameful (and obvious, too)
I don't think you paid sufficient attention to the gibberish. Remember that you have to take each claim _as a whole_ - something has to meet the description of a whole claim for it to be in violation of the patent. The main claim (1) of this patent isn't just about reading, updating and displaying data stored in a database - it's about summarizing the impact of a subset of that data on some specific operation, and rendering that summary in natural language (a 'narrative explanation'). I doubt the applications you worked on did that, because usually when techies are working on a database thingy, they don't need to simplify and summarize the data and display it in a natural language form. That's only useful, really, in the Facebook kind of context.
(Still not convinced it should be patentable, but I think in practice, few if any other products are potentially in violation of this patent; it's just not a thing there are many use cases for.)
Re: Looking ahead
As I read it, a third party product wouldn't actually infringe this, because the main claim includes:
"accessing a profile for a user stored in an electronic database; presenting a first user interface to the user; receiving a plurality of privacy setting selections provided by the user using the first user interface"
i.e. it includes _setting_ the preferences, not just reading them and summarizing them. So a third-party tool which reads your facebook preferences but can't set them couldn't infringe it. I'm not a lawyer, and this isn't legal advice, but AIUI, if your invention doesn't match _any single part_ of a given claim, it can't be held to infringe the patent based on that claim.
If, say, Google+ included this kind of mechanism in its privacy settings that'd potentially be infringing, though.
Re: Prior Art
A venn diagram is not a 'narrative explanation'.
I love a good patent bash as much as the next person, but can we at least do it accurately?
"generating, by a processor, a narrative explanation of which other users can access which categories of information based on the privacy settings selections, wherein generating the narrative explanation comprises, for one or more of the privacy settings selections, selecting a narrative explanation template based on the privacy settings selection, wherein the narrative explanation template comprises text that identifies a group of other users who can access a category of information about the user profile based on the privacy settings selection"
Warning: reading patents can cause your brain to melt and leak out of your ears. Which is admittedly a good reason for not doing it, but it _can_ make you look silly sometimes.
The main claim seems reasonably specific, to me; it hinges heavily on the idea of a 'narrative explanation' of privacy settings. Essentially it's the following:
* You set all five gajillion privacy options facebook offers to something
* It then figures out the combined impact of the settings on some specific operation
* It presents the impact in natural-language, narrative form, e.g. 'Your relatives and friends who live in London can see pictures you upload from your phone', or something along those lines
It's still arguable whether it should be patentable, but it's a pretty specific patent, as it now stands, and not likely to be terribly applicable to anything other than, well, social networks with massively over-complex privacy settings.
Re: No. Four
well, you have to take a layered approach. Obviously it makes general sense never to post anything anywhere on the internet you wouldn't mind having on the front page of the Times tomorrow. But then you may as well _also_ use whatever privacy controls are provided, just in case they happen to work occasionally...
"I suspect Dyson's patents are for the cyclone tech & the ball etc, tech patents, not "OMG, look at that bitch, she's got the same hairstyle as me" patents."
Actually, Dyson has 157 registered community designs (the correct term for the EU implementation of 'design patents'). See http://esearch.oami.europa.eu/copla/applicant/data/1/11/111897, close the 'trade marks' drop-down, open the 'Designs' one. Try selling a vacuum cleaner that looks exactly like a Dyson and I suspect you'd get a lawsuit dropped on you from a great height.
But to be fair, the Dyson designs appear to be fairly detailed drawings of their precise on-the-market parts. They don't seem to have tried to patent The Cylinder or anything as absurd as the more ambitious claims Apple has made wrt its community designs (one interesting bit of trivia is that one of the main design patents they've asserted against Samsung did not in fact relate to the iPad at all, but to an unrelated tablet prototype they built in 2004).
Re: most Linux distros include libdvdcss
It's not in an official repository for any of the above. Major distros definitely don't include it because of the legal issues; the same legal issues would make it just as bad to have it in an official repository which was disabled by default.
It's usually available through an arm's-length third party repository - these exist basically specifically for the purpose of distributing packages with legal problems. They aren't run by or controlled by the distribution project itself, and are usually based - in so far as they can be said to be based anywhere physical - somewhere with laxer IP provisions. They rarely have US mirrors as US hosts don't want the liability.
The basic thrust of the story seems to be that this is something new and crazy and possibly specifically Japanese. It certainly isn't. You could get into a lot of trouble distributing dvdcss on a cover disc in the U.S. or Europe also, under the DMCA and EUCD implementation laws. Such laws clearly ban the redistribution of 'copyright protection circumvention' tools. This is hardly news, either - the consistent attempt to enlarge bans on 'circumvention' is one of the biggest beefs people have with DMCA, EUCD and SOPA.
"Alas, and this may be a consequence of its European roots, costs have not (yet) been cut to reflect the lower revenues."
Translation into plain English: 'not being American, Nokia has not yet fired everyone below middle management level as part of its 'growth strategy'.'
"Blackout has another problem common to our contemporary home-grown drama: the plot is implausible on so many levels. The baddie in the show is an evil corporation that bumps off its enemies."
Is there meant to be a link between those two sentences? Cos I'm not seeing one...
Re: British TV drama is NOT crap
On that note, The Wire and Sopranos both finished years ago, and I don't think Breaking Bad has much longer to run. So Andrew's examples don't fare much better.
"If you want to compare all British TV drama output against all US TV Drama output, you'll find there's an absolute wagonload of complete shite that the Yank stations churn out year in, year out, because they have tons of channels that need to be filled with Exclusive To Us content."
Not...really, actually. The U.S. doesn't have many more major channels/networks that produce original drama than the U.K. does - the major networks, a couple of second-stringers, and a couple of special interest channels like the 'sci-fi' channels. That's really it. The U.K. has much the same with the terrestrial channels, Sky's marquee channels, and a few similar special-interest channels.
The other seventy jillion channels in your typical U.S. cable package, just like on Sky, are sports, lifestyle and repeats. No original drama on HGTV...
Re: Hawking for Sky are we?
"American TV networks don't understand the concept of quitting while you're ahead."
I'm sure they do. They also recognize that applying gambling concepts to making money off advertising (er, television) doesn't make much sense.
They're businesses. Their job is to broadcast shows which have a high ratio of viewers to cost. Ideally, young, spend-y viewers. That's how they make money.
It's always cheaper to keep making an existing show than to start making a new one. You can bet your bottom dollar that at every major network HQ they have a big line graph which illustrates the precise amount of viewers an existing show in a given timeslot has to fall below before it makes sense, economically speaking, to cancel it and take the gamble of running a new, unproven show in the same timeslot - and that number is quite low. As long as CSI: Dakota is still being watched by X million people, the network is making money and is happy. They don't give a toss if it lost all artistic value six years ago.
Basically - if you want a show to get off network TV in the States, _make people quit watching it_. That's all the network cares about.
Yeah, the Chinese are missing out on the glory of a modern democratic society where you can cast your vote for David Cameron, Nick Clegg or Gordon Brown and wind up with option d). I bet they're lining up in the damn street for that one.
Re: wrong approach
Er, have to cite a very vague memory there, I'm afraid. Could've been somewhere that was technically a village not a town, I don't really remember. I just remember being on vacation once and visiting a town/village/place where you had to park on the edge of town and walk around.
Re: Obesity dumb bomb
"Wealthier nations also live longer and healthier lives, no contradiction there?"
Well no, not really. For a start, you work out life expectancies by looking at when people die. Seems obvious, yes? But think of the corollary. Effectively, all life expectancy data is, oh, several decades 'out of date'. When you talk about the life expectancy of Britons you're really talking about the life expectancy of Britons _who are dying today_. Which, since it's around 80, means 'people who were born in the 1930s and grew up in the 1940s'. There are notional life expectancy statistics which purport to tell you what your chances of living to Age X are, but these are what we can call 'notional' or less politely, 'guesses'.
So if it's really true that lack of activity a) is a factor in life-threatening diseases and b) is massively more prevalent than it was in the past, you won't find this reflected in current life expectancy statistics, and you can't counter the proposal by using life expectancy statistics.
Second, you can't just say 'oh, life expectancy is rising so any kind of suggestion that any trend might be unhealthy is wrong!', because it fails to account for all sorts of _other_ factors. Your life expectancy is based on a huge range of stuff. It's perfectly possible that, say, there could be three or four trends that are broadly negative, but eight or nine that are broadly positive, and so the overall trend of life expectancy continues to rise. That doesn't mean the negative trends aren't negative, and it doesn't mean that you can't give yourself an _even better chance_ at a long healthy life by avoiding the negative trends as well as taking advantage of the positive ones (vastly improved healthcare, lower smoking rates etc).
You seem to spend the rest of your post flailing at a straw man; the article didn't say anything at all about costs to the NHS. I don't know about you, but I try to avoid doing unhealthy things (and do healthy things) for entirely selfish reasons. I don't give a stuff how much it costs the NHS...
Re: wrong approach
Have you been to Cambridge? You'd probably take the OP's point if you have. Because basically the entire town is listed the streets can't be widened and haven't been since they were laid down for horses and carts back in 1372 or whatever. The whole old part of the city is basically gridlocked from about 9 to 5 every day. I regularly used to be able to walk around town quicker than anyone could drive. It's an absolute poster boy for a place where it really _would_ make a lot of sense from all angles to heavily discourage driving. It'd be nice to make it like one of those towns in France where no private cars at all are allowed in the city limits.
Re: Hashing is not encryption
Nice troll, sir. *golf clap*
"How about the people that thought fuel cells were a primary source of energy, and many still do"
I don't think anybody would complain about the general idea that lots of people are gullible idiots when it comes to energy. Or Science in general. We were more ticked off at the gratuitous suggestion, unencumbered with evidence of any kind, that such stupidity was specific to 'the green energy lot'.
"There are some actual new functions as well as UI flummery"
Someone else been reading Rex Stout lately?
"I know the vein is sarcastic but sometimes the M$ option is cheaper. Schools pay roughly £30 per year per full time member of staff for windows 7, office 2010 and core CALS (inc exchange). For a typicaly 150 staff school of 1000 pupils and 500PCs thats a bargain. So just over 5k gets you a handful of 2008R2 servers, exchange, TMG, external connector and an SQL server. For another 1k you get SCCM and AV and all the trimmings if you so wished. All of this can be administered by a smaller number of staff and I dont need a linux guru (or their wages) to worry about."
Of course, you know why Microsoft sells to schools at substantially below cost - to try and lock in the user base at an early age. Give me a child from the age of 5, etc...
"Proof that the green energy lot really are as stupid as they look."
Yes, an unattributed assertion certainly is proof!
Back in the real world, would Mr. Chirgwin care to provide some evidential support for this reflex greeny-bashing? (Especially since one reasonable criticism you _can_ level at the mainstream environmental lobby is its unfortunate tendency towards knee-jerk opposition to anything with 'nuclear' in the name?)
"If by the public sector you mean our poor overworked squaddies and police officers from all over the country"
That's exactly what he does mean. They are certainly public sector workers. Neocons inexplicably fail to point this up whenever they're bashing the public sector, though.
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