* Posts by DrXym

3576 posts • joined 18 Jul 2007

Fedora 21: Linux fans will LOVE it - after the install woes

DrXym
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Re: No to gnome, no to systemd

No my response shows that I've taken the effort to read the issues are with init and why it might be desirable to replace it with something more robust, faster and more capable to support the requirements of modern desktops or workstations.

It's not the first time this sort of thing has happened either. Wayland is another recent example of people pouring on their irrational hate on something because it's different.

But the great thing about Linux is you can choose not to use a dist if you don't like it because there are bound to be others that do things the way you want. Or you could roll your own. Or you could whine and downvote people who choose to think Linux isn't perfect and are supportive of attempts to improve the experience.

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DrXym
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Re: @DrXym - No to gnome, no to systemd

"Instead of sysadmin tools we get "... configure your accounts in order to store your music and photos in the cloud..." stuff. On a corporate server ? WTF?!"

Fedora isn't a corporate server, it's a test bed. Secondly, nobody would be administering a network or a server with default desktop apps so your point is ludicrous - they would do so from a terminal or perhaps a admin app such as cpanel or webmin. Thirdly, anyone who was deploying a desktop to their users in an enterprise would take the time to customize it to their requirements - default, apps, icons, themes etc. to expose. Fourthly, it's the simplicity of GNOME which would make it so appealing in this regard - the less things there are for a user to break, the less it will break. And fifthly, if someone were desperate for another desktop, they can just install one via yum.

So no, they're not "naive". They know a damned sight more about their business than you appear to know.

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DrXym
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Re: Why install when it's going to be obsolete in a few months?

Fedora Core is a development bed for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. If you want long term support, use that. It means foregoing cutting edge stuff but on the flipside it's more stable & predictable as a result. Or Ubuntu LTS. Or Debian stable. Or a bunch of dists which aren't moving so much.

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DrXym
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Re: No to gnome, no to systemd

"Perhaps an analogy is in order. Suppose you bought a house, and your solicitor did the conveyancing. "

Perhaps a slightly better analogy is in order. Suppose you bought a house built a month ago yet you discovered it was still built to 1970s codes. Yeah it's a house with a roof but it's lacking by modern standards - lacking dead locks, double glazing, insulation, satellite points, smoke alarms, burglar alarm, wiring and safety compliance etc.

That would suck right? It would suck even more if the 1970s defence force leapt out with dubious arguments - Ah they might say, the builder who built this 1970s house knew what he was doing. Not like that OTHER LOT with their fancy double glazing and asbestos free cavity insulation. No, put up with your drafty substandard house and don't ever dare or hope to improve it in any way. No, don't even question why other houses manage to be better than this 1970s house.

A far better analogy. Though perhaps you think Red Hat are a bunch of cowboy builders?

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DrXym
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Re: No to gnome, no to systemd

The QR / htp code, is a disabled-by-default feature called forward secure sealing which is an anti-tampering protection that stops hackers from erasing your system logs or tampering with them without your knowledge. The QR is a convenience for people to quckly validate the server for tampering from a mobile device. The sort of thing an admin might find usefule from time to time. This is supposed to be bad how?

If you don't need it, don't enable it. Sheesh.

And running stuff in user land is a Good Thing. In fact, it's the whole reason for systemd's being. It's the bootstrap for userland.

And no the article you mentioned does not destroy the arguments for systemd. As I said, it's largely arguing against the arguments and says precious little about systemd itself. And ironically considering your link you've engaged in a little ad hominem yourself with your rant against Poettering and Pulseaudio.

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DrXym
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Re: No to gnome, no to systemd

"Here is a non-rant, detailed look at what is wrong with systemd:"

Most of the points are largely nitpicking about perceived logical inconsistencies in a selection of pro-systemd arguments. Not the same thing at all as saying what's wrong with the tool itself.

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DrXym
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Re: No to gnome, no to systemd

systemd seems to attract some pretty shrill complaints but I fail to see the issue with it. The authors put out a copious rebuttal of the common complaints that makes a lot of sense and of course it's far more powerful than standard init scripts, just as reliable, and means users get a desktop faster and servers are ready sooner.

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At last! Something else for smartwatches to do as BMW promises park-by-wristjob demo

DrXym
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Well this is great

I just love cars which are packed with proprietary technology du jour - iPod docks, streaming music services, "apps". There's nothing more comforting than knowing all that functionality will be broken and bitrotten a few years down the line.

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A first look at Google’s Android Studio 1.0: Climbing out of the Eclipse kitchen sink

DrXym
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Eclipse has its faults but I don't have any major problem using it with in itself. It's biggest strength by far is its automatic build system. Change a file, hit run and normally you're running in seconds. It's enormously flexible and fast which makes iterative programming a breeze. It's very good at marking code in error too, particularly when you're calling another class and code completion is good too.

The likes of IntelliJ favour pushing the build off onto an external tool which breaks this iterative development and it breaks its ability to check for compile errors until the script finds them. It comes nowhere close to the turnaround of Eclipse.

It's biggest issue is that its concept of a "project" is so centred around its own files that if you have an external build system, be it Ant, Maven, Gradle or something else that you will have integration issues to deal with. Or if you will have some kind of protracted packaging / deployment to deal with. Nothing is insurmountable (e.g. there are plugins for kicking off builds in Maven / Gradle but usually it feels a little clumsy).

I still thinks Eclipse kicks ass as an IDE but it needs to treat 3rd party build systems with more grace.

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DrXym
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Pros and cons

Pros:

- Android Studio is purpose built for Android and so everything is integrated that much more tightly than Eclipse + ADT. e.g. you can package and sign your APK all from your build script. In the ADT you have to invoke a dialog to do this and it's a pain.

- Build is farmed out to gradle which means the same script builds in the IDE, the command line and tools like Jenkins. Also gradle is enormously powerful (but there is a downside to this)

- Excellent code analysis and tools

Cons:

- Gradle is REALLY slow even when running as a daemon. Change a file in Java and it might take 20 - 30 seconds for Gradle to ponderously walk through its ADG and tell you its got compile errors.

- Gradle is enormously powerful. It's like maven had a threesome with a groovy and ruby/rake. On big projects this power is useful, for simple Android apps it might become a huge headache to wrangle.

- Android Studio hogs CPU which is a major issue on laptops. Particularly the console panel

- Android Studio is great for Android, not so great if your project contains other targets

- Eclipse is far better at iterative development

To be honest I think Google would have been better off to keep Eclipse but move the build process to gradle - i.e. day to development is done the fast way through Eclipse but you still have the option to run Gradle for a full end to end build. Gradle has plugins for building Eclipse projects so it's entirely feasible they could have done this.

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EU law bods: New eCall crash system WON'T TRACK YOU. Really

DrXym
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Re: Lies, Lies and Politicians

You're right. Your edge case renders the entire concept useless. Or rather it doesn't.

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Misty-eyed Ray Ozzie celebrates 25th birthday of Lotus Notes by tweeting about it ...

DrXym
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Re: @AC

"If you're using Notes purely as an email system, you're using the wrong product. But you can (with skilled developers) build impressive corporate workflow systems, that would be much harder to achieve on any other platform."

If you use Notes for anything you're using the wrong product. 20 years ago it may have been true to claim it could build impressive corporate workflows but there are various document / content management systems which can do pretty much the same thing but through web browsers and with substantially less grief.

And it's a fact that Notes *is* used for email and the email client is AWFUL. Even the Eclipse based front end is awful.

I strongly suspect that companies stick with Notes because of vendor lock-in and a escalation of commitment syndrome - they've bought a site licence at enormous cost (probably signed off by the CEO) and instead of acknowledging the mistake they throw good money after bad in the form of lost productivity for using it.

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DrXym
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I wish it would die already

I have to suffer under Lotus Notes at work and it really is the most unintuitive, frustrating, bloated, unusable, arcane, buggy software I've ever had the displeasure to use.

IBM have given recent versions a veneer of modernity by skinning the mail client and a few other things but you don't go far before it gives up any pretense.

If IBM killed it I would dance on its grave.

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Kaspersky exposes SONY-CRIPPLING malware DETAILS

DrXym
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Typical hacker modus

Shoot a barn door, paint a ring around the hole, claim you hit the bullseye. So it goes with the post hoc justifications that follow some hack.

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Meet Jack and Jill: Google’s new Android compilers

DrXym
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Re: Optimisation?

Lollipop defaults to use ART which does ahead of time compilation on apps. So it already happens. If there are performance issues it is likely nothing to do with the apps and more likely to do with the services they hit, or the kernel in some way (scheduler, IO etc.)

ART should and (does in my experience) result in faster application performance. Instead compiling the dalvik byte code when the app launches, it's already compiled so the app launches faster and is already running natively. Aside from being faster it saves battery because compilation is a 1-shot process instead of every time the app is launched from cold.

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Another lick of Lollipop: Google updates latest Android to 5.0.1

DrXym
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Not seen issues with Nexus 4

The update has worked thus far. Biggest benefit of switching is battery seems to have improved and performance in some apps, probably due to ART.

Visually I don't think much of the change - it's largely the same functionality as 4 reskinned a bit. It looks nice and feels slick I guess but 4.x looked nice too. I think the playstation style symbols at the bottom are a huge mistake and contribute nothing positive to the design.

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Sinclair is back with the Spectrum Vega ... just as rubbish as the ZX

DrXym
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That's a really useful controller

You are in a comfortable tunnel like hole. To the east there is the round green door.

You see:

the wooden chest.

Gandalf. Gandalf is carrying a curious map.

Thorin.

Gandalf gives the curious map to you.

Thorin says "Hurry Up".

> RFSSSFFR+

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FBI warns of disk NUKE malware after Sony Pictures megahack

DrXym
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Doubt it's the norks who did it then

If they hacked the site they'd hardly be likely to leak the movie they're so annoyed at in the first place.

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No wristjob, please, we're Apple fans: Just 10% would buy the Apple Watch

DrXym
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The irony is CASIO is about the only company which has produced a viable smart watch. Their bluetooth G-shock uses a bog standard LCD for its display and a low power bluetooth profile so it can do some limited things with your phone like tell you if your phone is ringing, or there is a reminder or if you get a text.

Consequently you can tell the time just by looking at the display because it doesn't turn on or off to conserve power. And you don't need to haul around a charger or remember to charge because the battery lasts up to 2 years.

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UK national mobile roaming: A stupid idea that'll never work

DrXym
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A more radical solution

Stop granting these companies permission to erect their own masts in certain areas and make them share their cell tower sites which are chosen based on coverage rather than financial gain.

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Never fear, Glassholes – Intel to the rescue! 'New CPU' for tech-specs

DrXym
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Can't see it being used in the medical profession

Doctors / nurses etc are subject to extremely strict data protection rules. Wearing a headset which beams information to and from Google is a non starter. It would require drastic modification of what information it captures, what information it accesses, where it receives/sends data to and who can access it before it stood any chance of viable.

On top of that, it would have such a pathetic battery life and be so intrusive for patients that it's likely it would spend most of its life in a drawer.

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Google Chrome on Windows 'completely unusable', gripe users

DrXym
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A silly story

Google quite obviously allows developers working on Windows products to use Windows. It may well be chrome has issues at present but it has absolutely nothing to do with devs not having the tools or OS to work on it.

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Bitcoin laid bare: Boffins beat anonymity

DrXym
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Bitcoin has *never* been anonymous

Each bitcoin transaction ever is recorded in a signed chain and the entire transaction history of every bitcoin is distributed across P2P. It's not hard to envisage the P2P network being seeded with clients which are logging IPs and making inferences based on the transactional movements of coins over time.

Unsurprisingly there are various obfuscating services in bitcoin which basically launder money to hide where it came from. e.g. some services will for a fee issue new bitcoins in exchange for the tainted old bitcoins. Some services use "tumblers" which continuously scramble and mix bitcoins around to obfuscate their origins.

Despite all this I expect the only thing stopping most transactions being traced is the determination and time / money cost the attacker to find the start and end point. The more illegal the use of the money the more likely that law enforcement is going to expend the effort to find out where it came from.

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What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight

DrXym
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Re: Didn't I read on here....

Currently it's "free" on a stupidly expensive phone contract - $87 a month(!) for 12 months or $80 a month for 24 months for a pathetic 2GB data plan. Two things to conclude from this are 1) Americans are *really* getting screwed by their phone providers and 2) having to dropping a grand to get the free thing isn't free.

Without contract it's $199 which IMO is somewhat more palatable but in a market filled with cheaper, similar spec phones hardly a bargain.

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DrXym
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Not hard to understand why it flopped

It was overpriced, underpowered, underfeatured and running some funny OS called Fire OS. Some people might know Fire OS is a fork of Android but even they wouldn't see it as a good thing.

About the only unique about the phone was also those cameras on the front - five(!) in total, four of which were for some headtracking 3D effect that few apps bothered with. A lot of complexity and cost for a gimmick.

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Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked

DrXym
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Fabulous news

I see absolutely no downsides with using hacked apps from some dodgy Chinese app store. I'm sure the cracked apps need all those permissions for a good reason.

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Toyota to launch hydrogen (ie, NATURAL GAS) powered fuel cell hybrid

DrXym
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Re: Got to start somewhere

If petrol stations can safely store propane, lpg, petrol and diesel then I don't see the huge additional risk of storing hydrogen. Some buses around London already use hydrogen power so it can be applied in practice.

But it does seem somewhat more useful if the source of fuel is naturally a liquid or solid at normal temperatures to simplify the refuelling process and the need to have pressurized containers in vehicles.

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DrXym
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Got to start somewhere

I doubt even Toyota see this vehicle as selling in huge numbers but it might whet the public's appetite and reveal the practicalities of fuel cells. Personally I'd envisage the future as being a hybrid with either a fuel cell or a micro turbine that provides power to batteries or directly to a drive train.

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Blackpool hotel 'fines' couple £100 for crap TripAdvisor review

DrXym
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Re: Blackpool

I doubt it's so much "poor old dears" as "drunken fighty scumbags". Even so, Blackpool town council should be enforcing standards in hotels to protect / improve its reputation as a destination. If a hotel can't or won't improve, close it down.

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DrXym
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The 1* review wasn't out of place

I looked through the bad reviews last night and they ran back months. This place has been a filthy kip for a long time. Why they'd want to charge for one bad review I don't know but it'll just cement this place's reputation as a hovel.

It's not the first Blackpool hotel to be slagged off and I doubt it'll be the last. A few months back another place was finally shut down after years of complaints - health and safety discovered the roof was held in place with a scaffolding pole after a botched loft conversion.

Blackpool is a tourist trap and consequently enjoys a fresh footfall of undiscerning visitors who ensure even the most squalid hotels are filled. The local council should force hotels to meet some minimum standard of cleaniness, safety and service or close down.

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NOKIA - Not FINNished yet! BEHOLD the somewhat DULL MYSTERY DEVICE!

DrXym
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"Yes really. Nokia could have gone with Google but in doing so they would have scrapped billions of dollars worth of services and time spent on those services."

They wouldn't have had to scrap anything. I just said what they *could* have done. They would have had enormous latitude to customize the software experience and bundled their own apps and services.

"Instead, they went with Microsoft and got $2billion cash per year and somebody to buy off their sinking handset division."

And that's the only reason. An enormous hat full of money, or rather whatever passes for money coming from Microsoft - licences, software support, broken dreams etc.

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DrXym
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"That's the main reason why they never went Android in the first place."

That would be a pretty preposterous reason. Lots of devices ship with two stores. Some even ship with their own proprietary store.

"Nokia have an enormous investment in services. What used to be Ovi is now Here (or just Nokia) and supplies a whole lot of really good maps and other shit which Google would relegate to "thing in App Drawer that you never use because of all the Google services". That would have been basically pissing away everything they spent on making those services (which are still Nokia, not Microsoft) excellent."

I don't see it stopping them from shipping their own suite of apps any more than Samsung ships its own suite of apps. I'm certain that customers would see the value add of having an offline satnav as a compelling reason to use a Nokia device.

"Google Play was always the problem. Not Elop, not burning platforms, just Google."

I find that extremely unlikely. If they *had* gone with Android then they could have skinned it any way they liked, e.g. giving it a look and feel consistent with their Symbian devices. They could have also shipped their own value add apps and store application. And they could have even produced a Symbian or QT framework over their OS to foster development on their platform. So they could have had a device which carried over all those Symbian devs and users instead of just telling them to get lost.

Instead they went to Microsoft where it was Microsoft's way or the high way. Yeah they shipped a handful of apps in the end but it was a weak effort as to what they could have done.

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The Toyota Aygo is PARKtastic ... but it is very much a City slicker

DrXym
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Better around cities than elsewhere

I rented a car at Stanstead and what did I get? A Peugot 107. The driving experience was perfectly fine and it was great for around town. But boot space was puny- enough for a backpack and a couple of bags of shopping. It didn't come with space for a spare tyre either - just a can of gunk to spray into the the flat.

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Sony SPILLS GUTS on OTT service, so far for PlayStations only

DrXym
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A $25 stick could implement this

If Sony have any sense they'll produce a plugin stick which can provide this service, or implement an app which allows it to be streamed via chromecast.

It doesn't need any storage, it doesn't need much by way of a UI - it just has to be able to authenticate a user and connect to content on demand. The content could be a livestream, VOD or a "recording" which is basically just a timeshifted stream marked by a start / end timestamp.

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Moshi Monsters' daddy Mind Candy: Falling sales, £2.2m loss...

DrXym
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Re: "...nothing for the early users who grew up..."

"Mine watches minecraft videos all the time too ... I dont get it either"

My eldest does too. There is some guy on YouTube who has done hundreds of these videos and whose voice takes on a particularly twatty annoying quality after listening to it for a while.

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DrXym
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Re: new commercial model

Moshi Monsters isn't a scam. It's a fair and transparent transaction - you pay a fixed fee and you get to play for a fixed duration, e.g. €5 for a month. Playing meant doing what you wanted - decorating your house, planting seeds, caring for your monster, going on quests, making friends. You could even play without a sub but some of the features were locked off.

The one serious objection I could raise about Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin is if you pay for a month then they set it to automatically renew which is intensely annoying.

But these days is that kids have moved on from computers to tablets and from subscription services to freemium "games". And most of these are lame farmville style efforts where you have to build a zoo, or a dinosaur park, or a monster jungle, or a village of some kind. And these ARE scams. They are not games, they're skinner boxes designed to hook people to the action/reward cycle and then screw people for cash in order to overcome time barriers.

I have said point blank to the kids that I will not pay a penny on these sorts of games.

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LARGE, ROUND and FEELS SO GOOD in your hand: Yes! It's a Nexus 6

DrXym
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Re: Very meh ....

I got a OnePlus as well just recently. £279 for a 64Gb 5.5" phone is just insane. It's a very nice phone - well designed with Cyanogen based version of Android on it, responsive, a bright high dpi screen and cheap. Cyanogenmod offers the sort of customization people actually want in a phone - privacy features and a light dusting of improvements throughout the UI without ruining it. My phone suffered some random reboots but an update fixed that.

Biggest gripe is the back of the phone which I thought was kind of granite effect but turns out to be more like velvet. It's not going to slide on a table but I bet it picks up stains from coffee, butter etc. over time.

Their website and the whole 1-hour sale was a total shambles though. It was so flakey I wasn't even sure if I'd managed to order a phone for a day or two until after the sale ended.

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Sky: We're no longer calling ourselves British. Yep. And Broadcasting can do one, too

DrXym
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Re: In memoriam

It might not a BSB dish because some wireless ethernet / broadband antennae look like that.

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DrXym
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Re: So does this mean

"£240 is peanuts; if you include the cost of the internet connection and XBox Live, you barely have change for 2 XBox One games. For a whole year."

It's peanuts if you find yourself immersed in Sky's content and are prepared to overlook the copious amount of advertising which goes with your paid subscription.

Personally I'm happy with freesat although I augment it with a netflix sub.

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Old hat: Fedora 21 beta late than never... and could be best ever

DrXym
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Re: So has KDE been waylandified?

"I'm really rather hoping we get a tit for tat war between Mir and Wayland in some respect, sort how it took OS X's aqua-desktop-thingy before Microsoft started adding visual polish (or at least attempts at it) to Windows."

Canonical poisoned their own well by imposing an extremely onerous licence arrangement onto Mir (GPL3 or CPL). Significant contributors like Intel walked away from it. Wayland uses an MIT licence so it's basically a drop-in replacement for X and poses no issue.

So I doubt Mir will succeed in the long term unless Canonical breaks through in the tablet space. At present they're more or less having to develop, contribute and maintain patches by themselves as opposed to Wayland which has far broader support.

I doubt an end user would know nor care if it was Mir or Wayland under the covers. The most likely impact on the user experience are that windows and the desktop as a whole feels more responsive and makes better use of their GPU.

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DrXym
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Re: So has KDE been waylandified?

KDE has a backend for wayland although it's probably got rough edges like GNOME.

Desktop Linux will definitely benefit when wayland breaks through and becomes the default. X can be something that runs on top of it and over time might even be moved out of the core packages when nothing else in there depends on it.

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Trickle-down economics WORKS: SpaceShipTwo is a PRIME EXAMPLE

DrXym
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Re: A far better example

"Imagine a SpaceShipTwo with no passengers, but a set of doors that could open like the American's space shuttle. As the SpaceShipTwo vehicle nears it's apogee, it deploys the satellite which has it's own booster to take it up to low earth orbit."

So a plane that carries a rocket plane that carries a rocket with at least 3 humans inside. You only have to multiply the failure modes of each vehicle together to see how disastrous this is.

And all to launch teeny tiny satellites into a very low earth orbit.

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DrXym
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Re: A far better example

"The same Tom Bower who was all over the media crowing about SpaceShipTwo's rocket "exploding", before the true nature of the accident had emerged?"

It would be the same Tom Bower who has been critical of this project for a long time and not the only one. And regardless of the cause there is no denying this project has turned into a boondoggle.

It is not hard to find critical articles about the bad choices and broken promises surrounding this project. People just don't want to listen because hey it's cuddly Richard Branson.

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DrXym
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Re: A far better example

"I would say that argument works even if you think Richard Branson is a bit of an idiot."

I wouldn't say he is an idiot but that doesn't mean he is infallible or impervious to criticism. This particular project has been a money pit and has already killed 4 people thanks to some questionable choices which might have made sense when chasing the X prize but not when trying to commercialize space travel.

"Quoting Tom Bower's work in any serious context really undermines any argument."

Again, only if you believe Branson is impervious to criticism.

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DrXym
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Re: A far better example

"That's your opinion, Branson thinks he knows better than you. And considering that he actually has paid people to look into this, he's probably more right than you (unless you're a secret rocket inventor)."

That argument only works if you think Branson is infallible or should be immune from skepticism. Read Tom Bower's book about Branson for a different perspective of him and the project.

Secondly yourself and others appear to be taking affront at a simple (and obvious) observation that there are better examples of trickle down economics than this. This project, even it succeeds has very little practical use - it's a suborbital joy ride, not a viable vehicle for launching satellites, or people into space. The ticket price might drop but it's never going to result in a huge number of jobs or manufacturing or anything else. There is very little trickle down at all in fact.

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DrXym
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Re: A far better example

"Not directly, but it's a step on the journey. "

There are far more viable options for space tourism / colonisation / utility loading than a craft which bungs people into a high altitude trajectory.

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DrXym
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A far better example

Would be Tesla motorcars with sports cars and luxury saloons paving the way to more mainstream vehicles.

Branson's effort was very unlikely to lead to either space tourism or something with a more practical or mass market use.

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Google Glassholes haven't achieved 'social acceptance' - report

DrXym
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Re: The real reason...

"(and getting punched)."

Maybe the device can detect a punch gesture and call an ambulance.

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DrXym
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Google Glass is still a thing?

I thought the almost universal criticism of them plus many months of silence from Google meant they had quietly shelved the idea.

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That 'TECH-FREE' Nophone? It was already out years ago

DrXym
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Re: Why would anyone want one or invest in such a thing?

Because it's hip and ironic. Or something.

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