* Posts by ricegf

63 posts • joined 11 Feb 2011

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Elon Musk and ex-Google man mull flinging 700 internet satellites into orbit

ricegf

Re: isn't there enough shrapnel orbiting this ball?

I found the movie Gravity to be very entertaining, inspiring, and totally lacking in virtually any semblance of reality with regard to space technology, science, or reality. The idea that the explosion of a satellite would send a shrapnel cloud around earth at much higher velocity (yet in the exact same orbit?) as the Hubble, the ISS (when did it move to the Hubble's orbit?), and the Chinese space station (which exists only in Hollywood's fevered imagination) is pure dramatic license.

Basing actual space policy advocacy on a movie is rather frightening, actually.

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One Windows? How does that work... and WTF is a Universal App?

ricegf
Happy

Re: WTF is a Universal App?

Most people call them "web apps". The more modern (lower case "m") environments allow you to "install" and run them exactly like native apps.

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Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps

ricegf
FAIL

Re: Can you say, "Read between the lines...", boys and girls?

"...not being able to print..."

Odd. Mine prints just fine.

"...no serial port..."

Odd. When I connect USB devices into those ports with USB logos over them - mouse, file system device, etc. - they seem to work just fine.

"...not being able to store and run YOUR software..."

Odd. MY software (which I write in Python ftw) seems to run just fine.

Methinks you've never actually used a Chromebook at all. Right?

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Amazon 'adware' laden Ubuntu passes ICO's data smell test

ricegf
Linux

A Contrarian View

A lot of grumbling here aimed at Canonical. Please allow me to offer a humble difference of opinion, as someone who is enthusiastic about libre software and who adopted Linux in 2000 and Ubuntu (non-exclusively) in 2006.

I too left Ubuntu for Mint shortly after Unity was introduced - slow, buggy, limited functionality, *different* from Gnome's logical and beloved tri-menu - but I returned at the next release as improvements began to address my concerns. I test a lot of distros, and use SUSE and Red Hat heavily at work, but Unity is now my favorite interface. I use it exclusively on my dual-monitor home workstation - clean, fast, and productive. I particularly love hiding the menus in the title bars - it works despite my initial misgivings, and is quite clever and efficient!

I'm also not angry at Canonical for attempting to generate income from their consumer-centric product. The other options - pay by SKU aka Microsoft, premium proprietary hardware requirements aka Apple, or overt aggregation of personal data for profit aka Google - strike me as much less desirable. I realize you'd like for Ubuntu to just be free, like air, but to be commercially viable in the long-term, Canonical must have consistent revenue, and anonymous ads are the least objectionable revenue stream for a commercial company that I've yet seen.

We've always had free, geeks-only options like Debian, and I certainly don't want to lose them (nor do I think Canonical threatens them in the slightest). Two thumbs WAY up for free-as-in-liberty software. But I've become convinced that those projects and products will always be niche products, unknown by the mainstream. I would like to see at least a few Gnu Linux-based products aim to achieve enough commercial success that a broader audience could experience its benefits and know they have a choice. Canonical is investing a lot of Mark's money to make that happen, making what I consider reasonable and pragmatic decisions, and I choose to give them the benefit of the doubt.

And yes, if it is of similar quality to desktops based on Unity, I'll buy an Ubuntu phone when they launch this year. Still wish I could be using my Edge by now. :-)

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Dungeons & Dragons relaunches with 'freemium' version 5.0

ricegf

Re: Anyone remember Dragon Warriors?

Ah, yes - Death Test, Silver Dragon, and other modules you could actually play solo. Wonder if anyone ever found the gold... What was it? A golden orc or something. Hidden somewhere in the Midwest USA, as I recall. Metagaming went out of business before the finder was announced, Steve Jackson went on to GURPS , and now I'll never know...

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ricegf

"Good" varies widely - whaddaya like?

My kids, grandkids, and I actually added so many in-house rules that we finally just wrote and published our own manual from scratch on Amazon (called it "Elven Fire"), because it was cheaper to print a whole new book than addenda on a laser printer. Published it under CC, of course, to ensure my GREAT-grandchildren-to-be and friends can make their own variants if they like. Really, this is a great time to be alive!

Fun for us includes using bizarre dice - in addition to 5-, 7-, 14-, and 30-sided, we've also used backgammon doubling dice and nested double-dice and 3D printed dice and special rules on max and doubles rolls to provide exponential probability distributions. (One friend who played with us drily commented, "You guys like math, don't you?" :-D )

But in the end, the rules you adopt matter much less than the right players. We fall out of our chairs sometimes laughing at the predicaments into which we thrust out avatars sometimes, and that's what matters to us!

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Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops

ricegf

Re: Accessing data , and Chromebooks

I back up my documents as ODF, of course. It's a non-proprietary format, unlike Office formats, and fully supported by Docs. I also use InSync Pro to replicate Drive files to my Ubuntu workstation, and rsync to create snapshots for offline backup under my personal control, so I'm not dependent on the Google or MS cloud.

I added a free text editor from Play to my Chromebook. Like Docs, and in fact most of my tools and games, it works just fine offline.

If you want more than Chrome offers, though, load Crouton, an Ubuntu distribution tailored for Chromebooks - even if you have an ARM Chromebook (unlike MS ARM devices, Google always provides a simple keystroke to unlock the bootloader). It runs simultaneous to Chrome (no disk-boot or VM - same kernel) and is light enough for low-end hardware. Unity works well with touch on my C720P, too.

So I guess I miss completely any mechanisms at all by which Googly is seeking anything resembling Microsoft's epic levels of lock-in. Have you ever used a Chromebook?

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Tesla, Nissan, BMW mull all-for-plug, plug-for-all electrocar charger plan

ricegf

Re: Electric car batteries don't "swap"

Yes, it's ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE to swap a car battery on the fly!

http://www.teslamotors.com/batteryswap

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ricegf

Re: Industry not thinking things through - whatever next? @raphael

"Lithium Ion batteries are much happier with regular top ups, and actually don't like being fully discharged"

Precisely. My family took a hybrid on an extended trip, and the computer kept the battery charge between about 50% and 80%. This surprised me at first - I expected a full recharge, all-electric operation until exhausted, the repeat - until I considered the type of battery employed.

Amateurs with a stack of envelopes are no match for professional engineering. They just post more often.

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ricegf
Stop

The Other Side of the Coin

How's membership at Pessimists United?

If half of all vehicles switch to electric, you'll have a surplus of petroleum. Guess what can fuel electric generation capacity? Petroleum - and virtually every other fuel on the planet.

And we somehow managed to wire the *entire nation* the first time. Why is the task of upgrading for additional capacity insurmountable? Are you still running on the same lines and stations that were first installed, or has Britain at any point in the past century upgraded your grid? Did you forget how?

And if there's one thing at which government excels, it's creative taxation. Why must the government switch to universal road tolling - can't think of a single alternate? And if they do, and drivers skip the petrol tax, but pay a road toll, why must the cost rise rather than the government switching the form of the tax yet remain revenue neutral?

I realize change can be unsettling, but try to consider that if people choose to switch from ICE to electric, they will do so because it offers advantages for which they are willing to pay, not just to add stress to your life. As long as the switch to electric is gradual as people make choices rather than government-mandated on a specific date, the infrastructure will adjust in response. Happens all the time.

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Google buddies up with Intel for this year's big Chromebook push

ricegf
Linux

Re: Linux please

Just load Crouton. It runs alongside Chrome OS (no dual-booting, no VMs) and gives you the excellence of Chrome OS for web with the power that is Gnu/Linux for local work. Contentment!

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ricegf

Not likely

Chrome OS is processor agnostic, so any attempt by Intel to push up prices unilaterally would just make ARM Chromebooks such as produced by Samsung that much more attractive.

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Dying for an Ubuntu Linux phone? Here's how much it'll cost you

ricegf

Accuracy like a blind knife thrower

Interesting. What you call the "worst kickstarter campaign ever" actually broke all records for crowdsourcing income. Of course, it was on indiegogo, not kickstarter, so you're batting 0.000 thus far. Guess I'll wait and see how the first phones turn out. We live in interesting times, and I'm glad Canonical is a part of them!

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Muslim clerics issue fatwa banning the devout from Mars One 'suicide' mission

ricegf

Apollo started from scratch

While I agree Mars One has only a small chance of actual success, it's not reasonable to compare their challenges to Apollo. Apollo had a totally different set of challenges.

Apollo (and it predecessors) started with only minimal rocket and no manned space-flight technology, and basically had to invent *everything* - how to get to space, how to orbit, how to dock and undock, how to land on another world and lift off to orbit again, how to avoid fatal doses of solar radiation - *everything*.

Mars One, on the other hand, is getting most of their travel technology off the shelf. The Orion spacecraft, built by Lockheed Martin under a NASA contract, will be capable of delivering humans to Mars. America has landed numerous rovers on Mars using several different techniques, and kept them operational for years at a time. We've built several space stations, including the international Freedom, on which people have survived in space for almost a year at a time. We have a broad range of standard space tech and techniques on which to build.

Mars One's challenges are unique and interesting, but small enough to give a fair chance of non-trivial success. They will need to invent robotic construction techniques to build the colony and manage agriculture until the colonists arrive, and design and build the lander that will travel with Orion and get the colonists to the surface. No idea if they can pull that off for $6 billion, but if they can tap the benefits of free culture as open source software has done, it's quite possible.

How long the colonists can survive is the big question, and the point of the fatwa. If a key piece of tech breaks before the colony is able to begin building its own indigenous housing and agriculture tech, they have no plan B. Develop local tech or die.

But a lot of people are willing to risk their lives to make the attempt, and I applaud that spirit.

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LG to bring Palm's webOS BACK FROM THE DEAD in TVs next week – report

ricegf

Pros, Cons, and Precedents

Perhaps. However, my daughter uses her Samsung smart TV we gave her for Christmas to watch Netflix, Hulu and YouTube quite a bit without an auxiliary box (she doesn't have cable or satellite), and using a small TV as an electronic picture frame when not in use for video would cause my wife to swoon.

Putting all her electronics in one box did give me pause, though. The old VCR/TV and DVD/TV combos were not repairable when the VCR or DVD inevitably broke. Keeping the smarts separate from the monitor makes more logical sense, but the slightly lower cost of the combo devices will probably make them a profitable niche for TV manufacturers. I suspect we'll see the same economics in play with smart Tvs as we did for earlier combo devices.

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ricegf
Facepalm

There's a precedent

Worked out really well for Windows 8! Oh, wait...

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Linux backdoor squirts code into SSH to keep its badness buried

ricegf

Re: A million eyes look at the source

"Trouble for Linux is that it's codebase moves too fast for an audit to be completed"

No, what happens is that a Linux adopter (distro maintainer or hardware manufacturer or whoever) picks a stable baseline to "freeze", then does whatever audits and analysis and testing is needed. This is why new products usually ship with a version of the kernel that is several months old. Nobody *has* to use the latest code - pick a baseline. It's not going anywhere! :-)

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Twitter will leap into instant-messaging world with new app: report

ricegf

Re: BSD's "talk" still works, and has been useful since 1983[1].

"Talk" is actually more fun than any IM, since you can see your correspondent's letters as they are entered, typos and all. We have it installed on about a thousand Linux computers at work just for that. :-)

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'Microsoft Word is a tyrant of the imagination'

ricegf
Go

Re: novels and editing

> Maybe I ought to write something myself and see what the process really is.

I did - and I wrote it in LibreOffice, no less! I had zero problems with formatting issues. I simply laid out the manuscript exactly as I liked, artwork and all, and produced a PDF for CreateSpace to drop print. Publishing was the easy part, actually, it's writing a manuscript that takes the time.

You can see the results at http://www.amazon.com/Elven-Fire-Living-Vida-Medieval/dp/146620074X/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1382351938&sr=8-10&keywords=elven+fire (NOT advertising, it's a manual for a role-playing game we developed with and for our children and grandchildren, sort of a Lawful Good-only variant that you would expect from a grandpa ;-).

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

ricegf

Re: 'if you're stuck using proprietary drivers'

It depends on your graphics hardware, of course - some open source drivers work exceptionally well. And with the SteamOS announcement, this should become the norm rather than the exception.

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ricegf
Facepalm

Re: Glad I walked away.

Slide the big ON button to OFF, and it doesn't search Reddit. It's actually faster than walking away - or posting diatribes to random comment sections...

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Bill Gates again world's richest, tops in US for 20th straight year

ricegf

Re: It is impossible to have a billion dollars without that fact in some way helping others.

@JDX: "if we assume that $1bn existed already"

It didn't. Wealth is neither static nor inevitable, it is created by human planning, coordination, and productivity.

Take Jeff Bezos, to pick one of the top 400 at random - he built a practical system for selling and delivering products pretty much anywhere in the USA in 2 days flat, employing thousands in regional distribution centres and growing a field of new small business entrepreneurs in the process. That was pretty darned beneficial.

Or, if I read your comment correctly, we could do something MORE beneficial - the government could take it to bail out Bank of America from their financial mis-management. Again.

No, overall, I'll take Bezos' wealth creation efforts over more bailouts and other exasperatingly foolish government spending any day of the week, and not begrudge him the profits.

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Dev delays push ship date of Metro-ized Firefox to January 2014

ricegf

Re: Why It Matters

@Caspy7 "Windows 8 has become an inevitability"

I think you misspelled "inveterate liability". ;-)

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Intel reveals new Haswell-based Chrome OS kit from old, new partners

ricegf

Re: Does anyone know

It's fairly trivial to install Linux on a (non-bootloader locked) Windows machine, because Linux is open source and includes drivers for most hardware out of the box. Also, because dozens of millions of people have done so, you can generally find quality free help on-line for any problems you encounter.

The opposite is not true, however. Getting Windows to work acceptably on hardware optimized for something other than Windows compatibility may well be impossible. Most people buy Windows pre-installed, and commercial support is often behind a pay wall. And Microsoft paid support for end users is limited to "supported devices", which a Chromebook is not.

So. I would recommend that you first search for a "How To" on installing Windows on these new Chromebooks. If you don't find one that looks clear and well-read (e.g., numerous comments indicating they have been vetted by the community), don't even try. Pay more for pre-installed.

You might also get involved in an open source project to help hackers create the voice activated software you need, so that it can be supported on all operating systems. You're the subject matter expert on what's needed. It's a long-term view, but it's the best outcome for everyone IMHO.

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Firefox OS: Go away fanbois, fandroids - you wouldn't understand

ricegf
Linux

Re: Is google financing that?

Stabbed in the back? Oh, you mean FirefoxOS will cut into the non-existent revenue stream that licensing Android was bringing? Or that FirefoxOS won't bring more advertising revenue to Google, just like the Firefox browser did?

Google wants open systems so they aren't excluded from advertising revenue. FirefoxOS is open. Google is happy.

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ricegf
Linux

Re: where

"you are going to have to go where there is no internet yet"

Yet.

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ricegf
Flame

Re: A large, mostly empty homescreen,

Be honest - it doesn't matter what UI Mozilla chose, if they gain market share, the lawyers will pounce with a vengance. Just because PalmOS used a grid of icons doesn't mean Apple didn't "invent" them with the iPhone, right? But as Microsoft has repeatedly proven with their Android extortion^H^H^H licensing racket, you don't need technical excellence to make money in mobile - you need a bigger legal team.

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ricegf
Linux

"what if your Mac could just run an iPad app for your site rather than browse a web site in Safari?"

Even if Macs could run iOS, writing an iPad app in place of a web page would leave 80% of users who run Android, Windows and the 5% niche of others out of reach. Wouldn't that be a suicidal business strategy?

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ricegf
Linux

Re: Its an interesting strategy

It's possible, though not certain, that webOS was simply ahead of its time with underpowered hardware to support the vision of web-centric mobile. Newton was a revolutionary device that changed the world... *after* it failed miserably in the market. webOS may share the same fate.

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ricegf
Linux

Re: At least the android market...

The other new options - Samsung's Tizen, Canonical's Ubuntu, Jolla's Sailfish - also run web apps, and if they are wise they will ensure that FirefoxOS shares a common web API for device access with them all as well as with Android. (Unlike FirefoxOS and Tizen, Ubuntu and Sailfish also support Qt and the Android engine Dalvik, supporting two types of native apps as well.)

The mobile market has become interesting again...

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ricegf
Linux

Re: Yeah, but

But didn't you say the same thing about iOS? And Symbian before that? And Windows CE before that? And Palm before that? And...

Of course, just because it has happened before doesn't mean it will happen now, with this particular product. But I think perhaps you underestimate the inevitability of change. And as Walmart and McDonalds have demonstrated, targeting "low, low prices" with a well-known brand can sometimes be a rather successful marketing strategy.

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Lenovo planning US smartphone push as PC sales stall

ricegf
Linux

Other options

They should definitely focus on Android - it's 75% of the market. You'd have to be elopian not to focus on Android.

But they should also offer an alternative - not iOS (Apple would rather die) or WinP8 (Nokia has locked up that burning buoy already) or Tizen (Samsung's new BFF). FirefoxOS is one option - very low cost and already shipping. Jolla is another, with The Other Half blowing some hardware innovation in from the sea.

But given they already have a strong PC presence, a strategy that builds on a 20 million+ PC fan base with well-received synergistic tablet and phone user interfaces and good global reach would be Canonical's Ubuntu. Bundle the Dalvik engine (like Tizen and Jolla) for an instant (non-Play) app catalog, incentivize some native Qt developers, and push for Ubuntu to become the illusive Third Platform with Lenovo playing the role of Leading Supplier.

It's risky, but entering a commodity market always is, and at least this strategy plays to Lenovo's strengths.

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Gnome cofounder: Desktop Linux is a CHERNOBYL of FAIL

ricegf
Linux

Re: Linux Desktop ? Yes

@James "This is also something that affects Linux adoption, the ridiculous names programs are given, names that tell you nothing about what they actually do."

Because "Excel" is the obvious name for a spreadsheet (as opposed to "Calc" on Linux), and "Access" is the obvious name for a database (as opposed to "Base" and "MySQL" on Linux)? You might consider whether programs receive the names they receive because calling a spreadsheet "Spreadsheet" ensures the name can't be trademarked.

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Ubuntu 13.04 beta touts search privacy - before it hooks in eBay, IMDb etc

ricegf
Linux

Re: "Hate"...?

The advantage of Unity compared to (say) Cinammon is that the phone, tablet and TV interfaces are very synergistic with the desktop interface while still being efficient and (imho) quite elegant. KDE Plasma Active (for instance) has a delightful activity-centric tablet interface, but it always strikes me as a unique interface rather than a complement to KDE Desktop.

Of course, you can always simply install the environment you want on Ubuntu, and be happy. Or install the distro you prefer, and be happy. Hence, those who constantly complain that Canonical has "gone off the rails" become a bit tiresome. It's easy to see why someone would call that "hate", no?

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ricegf
Linux

Re: Switched to Kubuntu

Nothing wrong with KDE - it's quite a nice environment!

One of the nice things about Linux is that unlike Mac, its keyboard shortcuts usually default to those used in Windows. If you find those less than intuitive, Ubuntu's Keyboard utility (press Super and type "keyboard") allows you to map them to whatever you like, and to create your own - I'm confident KDE has a similar keyboard shortcut utility, and I apologize for not knowing its name right now.

Whatever environment you use, just pin your most common apps to the launcher bar (in Unity) or menu (in KDE), and you won't need to remember their names. If you have an unusually large number of apps, though, I can see why you would prefer KDE's multi-level menu to Unity's flat launcher. Glad it works well for you, and glad you're not stuck with (oh, I don't know) huge tiles instead. ;-)

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ricegf

Re: Question

@asdf, I used Mint in the first couple of Ubuntu's Unity iterations, and it's very nice. But eventually I drifted back - largely because I want a TRUE operating system on my tablet and phone, and Canonical seems to be in the best position to make it happen (KDE's Plasma Active is nicely done, but I think less likely to be available pre-installed in Texas where I live).

But that's me. What I love about the free software movement is the choice, such as the environments you list. I'm happy that you have choices you like, and I'm happy for me as well.

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ricegf
Linux

Re: Of the things I'd like to see in the next...

Press the Super key (probably has a Windows logo on it, for some odd reason :-), and begin typing "system monitor". After 3 characters, the System Monitor application is first in the Applications section of the dash on my system. Click it, select its Processes tab, and there you go.

To kill a process, right-click it and select "Kill Process". Or you can "Stop Process" and then later "Continue Process", or "Change Priority" higher or lower. You can also examine the crap out of it, including examining its memory map, open files, historical process data, security settings, etc.

If you have a window that's hung, try Super > xkill (not sure if I installed this from the Software Center first or not). Run it, and your cursor becomes an "X". Just click any window, and Ubuntu will terminate the process that creaetd that window with extreme prejudice. Couldn't be easier!

Hope these suggestions help. I've found Ubuntu and its Linux cousins to run circles around anything Windows provides out of the box for managing processes.

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Hands-on with Ubuntu's rudimentary phone and tablet OS

ricegf
Linux

A diamond in the rough

Ok, VERY rough. Lots to do in 8 months, but I'm looking forward to the first release!

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Dell's Ubuntu dev laptop gets much-needed display boost

ricegf
Linux

Re: To paraphrase a famous word of wisdom

Seems only fair after the dozens of computers I've bought, wiped Windows, and installed *legitimate* copies of Linux!

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The LINUX TABLET IS THE FUTURE - and it always will be

ricegf
Linux

Re: "if the pc market disappears."

I hear there's this little startup called "Apple" that has had a bit of success with mobile computing as well...

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ricegf
Linux

Which disro?

Which distro (Linux-based product, for those of you knew to Linux ;-) would you recommend I try first with it? Haven't tried Enlightenment in many years.

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ricegf
Linux

Re: I still don't get…

Apple is a tightly-controlled highly focused walled garden that seeks to maximize a positive user experience and (as a happy side consequence) Apple profits. Linux is a highly variegated garden meadow that seeks to maximize end user freedom and choice and lower the barrier for creating radical new products.

So while they both use Unix-like technology, the underlying philosophy of the two is polar opposite - hence the 'war' (to use your term).

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ricegf

Re: After watching this yootoob vid about someone trying to use win8

Gave my grandson a Win 8 laptop for Christmas yesterday, coincidentally, because that is the only version of Windows we can find. Took him 3 tries to solve the captcha (!) to set it up. Finally got in, and played "catch the charm" trying to get Flash to work on his favorite Facebook game (Adobe's insructions for fixing Win8 involved using a wrench charm that would only appear when the cursor was on the other side of the screen). I was astounded at the utter inane frustration of it all - did nobody at Microsoft TEST this crap?

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ricegf
Linux

Lindows made lots of money, actually

Actually, Microsoft paid Michael $20 million to avoid a ruling on whether "Windows" is a valid trademark. I don't think Microsoft won THAT battle - but they did avoid losing the war, which was of course their objective.

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ricegf
Linux

Re: Fragmentation

You're thinking of Tizen, which is the descendent of Intel's Moblin and runs "web apps" only. It principally targets embedded, particularly automotive where MeeGo had gained some traction.

Sailfish is the descendent of Nokia's Maemo, built by the Nokia refugees that fled in 2011 when MeeGo (the ill-fated merger of Moblin and Maemo) was killed by Nokia's CEO (and former Microsoft VP) in favor of Win Phone 7. Sailfish runs native Qt apps as well as web apps and some legacy desktop apps for us old timers.

So it wasn't so much that MeeGo forked as a recognition that the attempted merger of Moblin/Tizen and Maemo/Sailfish had failed.

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ricegf
Linux

Re: Android

> If "Linux" using the term loosely here had less fragmentation maybe it could actually compete better in the desktop space with the likes of MSFT and Apple no?

No.

Linux is a technology, not a product (I think you allude to that by your "loosely" comment). Technologies don't hold market share, products do. The ONLY for-profit corporation making a serious play for the desktop to my knowledge is Canonical, with about 20 million active installations of Ubuntu (based on unique IP accesses to their update servers) as of 2011, along with a range of related products such as the Ubuntu Software Center, UbuntuOne media store, cloud services, and enterprise offerings.

In contrast, Linux was FAR more "fragmented" in mobile a couple of years back, with Bada (a Samsung product), WebOS (championed by Palm and then HP), Maemo/Meego (Nokia's former future), and Android (an odd little OS from Google). Yet Android has quickly captured a majority of the mobile market, even without the ability to run Bada, WebOS or Meego apps (eek! fragmentation!!!).

Compare that to Steam, Firefox, LibreOffice, Chrome, Netflix - they all run on most Linux-based desktop products, though some are only "officially" supported on Ubuntu and only Ubuntu is seriously working commercial deals with vendors and developers as far as I can tell.

I have no idea whether Canonical will continue to gain desktop market share, but if they don't, clearly fragmentation won't be the cause.

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ricegf
Linux

Re: Android

Apparently not - Android holds almost 50% of the tablet market and growing. As far as I can tell, Android is the best Linux UI for touch, just as bash is probably the best command line interface. The desktop is a tougher call - Ubuntu's Unity seems to have the biggest user base at 20 million machines (and I use it on a couple of my machines), but we have so many additional choices in KDE, Gnome, Cinnamon, Mate, and several others that I'm not sure you can claim a consensus "best" yet. Time will tell. Maybe.

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Microsoft Surface: Designed to win, priced to fail

ricegf
Linux

Re: Business

I would, except that Microsoft encrypts the bootloader. If I can't load Linux or another open OS, why would I buy a failed product? The HP tablets didn't sell like hotcakes because of webOS, but because hackers could load other operating systems such as Android or Ubuntu, and heavily tailor the machine to their preferences. THAT's the real value in the scenario you suggest - but also one that Microsoft is trying their best to prevent!

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Shuttleworth: Why Windows 8 made us ditch GPL Linux loader

ricegf
Linux

Re: @boltar:

I've been around since well before the first home computers were built in the 1970s. I actually built an 8080-based PC (of course I built a processor from SSI, too, but the 8080 was a bit faster ;-). I worked with two fussbudget original IBM PCs in 1982, one of which wouldn't boot until you dropped the keyboard from 3 feet off the table, then you had to find and snap back on the keys that went flying - this was NOT an "IBM quality machine" to say the least! I lusted after the Amiga, played with an Atari ST, enjoyed MacOS 1.0 and the much improved 2.0, and finally grudgingly adopted DOS and then Windows, and finally (oh the bliss!) discovered Linux.

Having lived through the entire personal computer revolution, I can say with the fullest confidence that you are talking utter and complete nonsense.

While the first paper describing the concept of a digital signature was presented in 1976, it was purely theoretical. The first commercially available digital signature system was introduced to the market in 1989, many years after Apple, Atari, Commodore, IBM, and a thousand midget start-ups created the home computer boom, the home computer bust, and the establishment of the de facto IBM Personal Computer standard.

Each and every one of these computers would boot anything you put on its front switches, paper tape, cassette tape, stringy floppy, 8" floppy, 5 1/4" floppy, 3.5" floppy, ZIP drive, optical media, or USB flash drive. (See, I don't need to do the research - I have my own memory of every one of them! Would you like to see my copy of CP/M on 8" floppy? Still got it. Binary code for a 256 byte football game I wrote? Still got it. But I digress...)

Since the ability to require digital signatures followed the IBM PC by about 7 years, I think we can be confident it hasn't "always" been the case that personal computers were limited to the vendor's "approved OS", nor is anyone demanding a "change" to keep systems open.

By the way, I wrote an operating system of my own for my beloved Atari 800, after reading "De Re Atari" which documented every bit of the interface. It was pretty primitive, but dude, it was NOT digitally signed! :-D

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US Navy buys Linux to guide drone fleet

ricegf
Linux

The "OSS zealot" almost certainly meant no licensing fees. Developing a product always requires funding. Depending on the product, generic OSS or a tailored proprietary solution may be most cost-effective. That's also why many corporations pay for Red Hat Enterprise or SUSE Linux Enterprise when Fedora and OpenSUSE require no license fees - they judge the value-adds as worth the cost.

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