> This is the post-Brexit vote Trumpian world where opinions are "facts" and facts are... facts are...
> irrelevant, unnecessary and obviously not facts.
> and that's a fact!
Would that be an "alt-fact", or a "fact-fact"?
55 posts • joined 15 Aug 2012
The writing was on the wall back in Win ME / Win XP days. I felt like I was not so much a customer, as a sheep for the shearing -- if not a crook or an enemy. I was savvy enough to get around most of the arbitrary obstacles, but didn't agree that the hassle was justifiable or necessary.
And I was a managing a book-store, not an IT guy. And I could see where things were going. So I did some reading, and managed to install Linux (Debian, even -- it's amazing what one can do if one is prepared to read the directions). By 2002 I wasn't using Windows for anything except for the final draft of my resume (where employers insisted on Word) and TurboTax.
There was the odd technical hassle... which was mostly, the extra effort involved in making sure that the hardware wasn't "Windows only" -- and at least it wasn't a case of the customer being actively for profit and/or control. It was a fair trade -- and actually less work, than maintaining a Windows-based working environment environment. Since I'm not a big gamer, I simply didn't "need" Windows (and the gaming situation has vastly improved).
Linux is a lot easier to get into now, too.
I can only assume that actual IT techies who couldn't see the inevitable were just in love (despite protestations to the contrary) with Microsoft, or just too close to the technology to see the big picture. Actually, I'm amazed at how many techies *still* can't see the obvious -- I guess it must be a "not seeing the forest for the trees" kind of thing.
It also depends on how far out your horizon extends, when defining or distinguishing between "pragmatic" and "purist". Some people look a little further ahead and around, than some others do.
It's tempting to claim one is merely being "pragmatic", when really one is just taking an expedient option.
> Abraham Lincoln may have said that the true test of someone's character is power, but I've come to the conclusion that the pleb version of that is to give someone anonymity. If you behave differently when anonymous than when standing in front of someone you need to use therapy, not Twitter.
I plan to "steal" that quote, shamelessly, when the appropriate opportunity to repeat it comes along.
Not even Oracle (though Oracle is clearly pretty bad, as it is)
but rather, the CAFC (Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit) and it's demonstrated willingness to screw with both facts and law, in it's ideological quest for the ever expanded scope and the ever greater glory of "Intellectual Property Rights".
> > I'm surprised it took them so long
> > If I were a power with a history of conflict with a foreign power, I sure as hell wouldn't be using software produced by their companies to run my administration. Not even if they offered to provide a full audit of the code.
> > I'm kind of surprised its taken so long for Russia to move really.
> They've just completed the reverse engineering of Windows 10...
And it will work almost as well, too.
> Microsoft have become oppressive and dictatorial of late : I imagine the Kremlin doesn't like the competition.
Of late ? Of late !? Of late !?!?
Steve Jobs was credited with having a reality distortion field tucked in his pocket, trotted out whenever Apple wanted to present some "new" and amazing technology -- but that was nothing compared to Microsoft's mysterious ability to wipe everyone's minds of the capacity to perceive or remember Microsoft's perpetual skullduggery and heavy-handedness.
> P. S. Anyone know why the nine inch models all disappeared replaced by models with 10.1 inch screens?
The public was clamoring for larger screens, but both Microsoft and Intel were diligently trying to quash the netbook market (Microsoft because netbooks were demonstrating how well Linux worked, on cheap and convenient netbooks that struggled under Windows; Intel because they wanted to sell powerful, expensive, power-guzzling CPUs that were being displaced by the cheaper Atoms).
So Microsoft and Intel enacted a bunch of arbitrary specifications -- arbitrary, from a user's point of view at least :P . Failure to "play ball" and conform to these criteria meant the OEMs would be deprived of prompt, reliable access to CPUs or Windows at reasonable (ie. competitive with one's competitors).
These system specifications, devised and enforced solely for the well-being of the poor, ignorant consumers of course ;) laid out restrictions on the cpu, RAM, memory, and (the item that most ordinary consumers were most concerned about) screen size.
Microsoft and Intel both declared screen-size limited to a maximum of 10.1 inches. This undoubtedly saved countless poor consumers from endless trouble -- and possibly saved lives.
> Microsoft knacked the netbook market with artificial limitations so windows was free to OEMs, it's the same old shit now with crappy celerons, hamstrung RAM (2GB) and a totally useless 32GB slow drive.
> We have fuck all to thank microsoft for other that shitting on a market and forcing OEMs to offer a substandard product.
Plus, Intel imposed it's own, virtually identical and equally arbitrary restrictions, to discourage the use of cheaper, less powerful (but still perfectly adequate for many uses) mobile CPUs. (God forbid, that OEMs try to make and sell what the customers are actually looking for!)
The real problem is that the appeal court (CAFC) is notoriously dominated by ideologically committed "Intellectual Property" maximalists. The original judge, Alsup, having actually troubled to learn some programming, went to considerable extra effort to explain, step-by-step, (on a level that lawyers and judges could be expected to understand) the technical underpinnings of how Java, programming, and programming API, actually works, and also, step-by-step, how the technical underpinnings of Java programming intersects with the technical details of Copyright law -- and how therefore the matter in dispute was not protected by copyright law for the purposes in question.
So the CAFC Judges came up with a novel legal interpretation that, despite Alsup's careful analysis and exposition, the copyrightable "expressive" elements could still be distinguished from and thus could still somehow be separated from the obligatory "functional" elements of the Java API they're merged with or embedded in -- and that therefore the functional, strictly unalterable elements were still protected from unauthorised/unlicensed use.
This is rather like arguing that the "Seeing Eye companion" can be distinguished and thus somehow separated from the trained and certified "Seeing Eye dog" that it's merged with or embedded in -- and that therefore, accessibility provisions of law notwithstanding, fancy restaurants and public transit can still refuse them entry on the grounds that they're still, nonetheless, "domestic animals" and thus still barred from public facilities.
It's a travesty.
"Binary blob or not, nVidia drivers work."
Except, of course, when they don't.
But the firmware/drivers are closed, so no one can do anything about it. Except Nvidia... IF they happen to feel like it .
(Ask Linus Torvalds about how amazingly co-operative they can be about stuff like that -- perhaps half his "crusty" reputation comes solely from trying to deal with Nvidia... and he's hardly a "nobody").
The advertisements are only the tip of the iceberg -- and truly, the least problematic.
A much bigger concern is the trackers, beacons, "analytics", cookies, Flash .SOLs, etc.. If an Adblocker stops "unacceptable" ads, but still allows the beacons, trackers, analytics, cookies, etc to continue spying on and harvesting data from web users, it's then a merely cosmetic measure, and not a genuine solution.
I've been using Ghostery to allow ads by default -- ads do "pay the freight" after all -- but by default block anything else (ie. likely spyware components, usually in the form of single-pixel, transparent GIFs, a.k.a. "web-bugs"). Oddly enough, as a side effect this also vastly reduces the number of ads that I end up seeing.
(aside: I also use a Flash blocker to control Flash auto-play ads, and dump .SOL "flash cookies" whenever I close my browser, just like regular cookies.)
I consider the fact that, simply blocking the trackers, beacons and "analytics" reduces my exposure to the ads themselves so very effectively, is, in itself, rather revealing and instructive.
If you can replace the Win 8 OS with something more suited for the specs, sure, you're right.
But unfortunately, that's a pretty big 'if'. The odds are that Microsoft will insist that the hardware with the "free" Windows is locked down like TiVo ended up -- no unauthorized (un-signed) OS allowed.
That's the theory.
-- but here's what we see in practice:
MPAA Gets Its Wish: Court Basically Says It Can File Bogus DMCA Takedowns Without Concern For Fair Use
Why It's Almost Impossible To Get Punished For A Bogus DMCA Takedown
Warner Bros. Admits To Issuing Bogus Takedowns; Gloats To Court How There's Nothing Anyone Can Do About That
Talk about a rigged game...
> the act of securing money, favours, etc by intimidation or violence; blackmail
Perhaps someone should forward this article to the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary?
As of yet, not one of my current dictionaries, let alone the OED, even mentions 'frisk' as a synonym.
But then I am a somewhat older fellow, and not terribly well up on the latest idiom...
> Standard workplace bad fit/bullying case. I don't see how the 'spurned advances' part constitutes sexual harassment as some people make out.
Actually, that part, if true, would be an absolutely text-book example of the worst sort of sexual harassment.
Arguably, everything *else* (aside perhaps from part about the boss's wife) in her complaint sounds mostly like her being judgemental, ideological, and difficult to get along with.
But if some guy in a position of power or authority over her/her work/her job/her career propositioned her, then abused their position to punish her in retaliation for not being receptive to his advances -- that *by definition* would *most definitely* be sexual harassment, of the most pronounced, unmistakable and most despicable kind.
Some people appear to not even know what "sexual harassment" is, any more -- maybe there's been too much focus on swimsuit calendars and other relatively minor (but potentially problematic) stuff, that makes women feel "uncomfortable" but really, everybody, lets not forget the basic principles...
Every country where there's a serious "civic" or "government" Linux/FOSS migration project, MS somehow manages to find some city, town or municipal council or equivalent to "prove" that Linux doesn't work out in real life.
I forget which towns it was in Germany and in Austria, but it was Solothurn in Switzerland, and Newcomb in England. The pattern seems to be to find and support political figureheads to "warn" the general public about irresponsible idealists attempting to use an impractical hobbyist tinkerer OS in lieu of a "real" commercial OS (supported by a famous mega-corp created and run by famous celebrity "innovator" computer/business giants) abetted by a complicit, strongly pro-MS/anti-Linux IT department (or at least department heads).
Actually, Linux is doing well pretty much every where, from cell-phones to PVRs, to data centres, to super computers -- just not on the consumer desktop.
In short, Linux has done very well in every arena, except one particular market -- the one in which a particular major corporation blatantly abused its effective monopoly to bar Linux from significant participation in that market.
"Fragmentation" seems to have broadened into such a catch-all term, that it's become nearly useless.
Back when they talked about "fragmentation" in the Unix world, it was a problem, because inter-operability between and porting applications between different, *proprietary* Unix OSes was a real hindrance. And was born... POSIX.
Then they started talking about how terrible "Linux fragmentation" was, and how crippling it would be to the success of Linux outside of hobbyist's garages / the parents' basement. Of course, in a FOSS (ie. Free/Open-Source Software) environment, this "silo effect" just didn't have much relevance -- there was no proprietary, arbitrary, artificial obstacle to interoperability or portability. The Linux "silos" turned out to be just adjacent rooms along the same corridors.
Now would-be detractors are spouting the same sort of nonsense about "Android fragmentation".
But the correct word, or at least a much better one, would be "diversity" (or maybe "adaptability, or simply "variation"). And funnily enough, this diversity turns out to actually be an advantage -- coping with a diverse OS environment and varied hardware exposes bad code, and strongly favours solid. robust coding and development practices.
Oh My Lord!
Now the denialist line has reached the apex of farcical implausibility -- apparently AGW/Climate Change is a cynically fabricated, pseudo-scientific conspiracy conducted BY the petro-industry for its own benefit.
Just how deep can the denialist rabbit-hole go?
> How many of those 'scientists' would be out of a job next year if climate change didn't exist?
Actually -- none of them.
If someone could come up with strong evidence to cast Anthropogenic Climate Change into doubt -- well, such a ground-breaking finding, if the least bit robust, would make their career and win them some rather prestigious awards, as well. That's the kind of work that leads to promotions, offers of one's own laboratory, guest spots on TV programs, etc.
2) docx was just as much (probably more) about throwing a sabot in the works of the alternative office suites (and especially the free/open-source ones) as it was about planned obsolescence -- not that these motives are incompatible.
Which brings us to recall the wrecking-crew they threw into the ISO standards process, and the MS-OOXML "standard" they pushed through the ISO.
Of course, for the "typical user" the real crime, with immediate practical consequence, (list item @8) was MS's "maliciously compatible" implementation of ODF in MS Office, which (fancy that!) is the only ODF implementation that can't/won't play well with anybody (let alone everybody) else's implementation. Despite the fact that the ODF standard is a "standard" in practice, rather than just a rubber-stamped dog' breakfast, and despite most of the others' application software being open-source and readily examined for resolving any issues or confusion.
3) I thought that Windows 8 (and possibly Windows 7) were actually lighter on system hardware requirements than Vista. (if I'm mistaken, please feel free to enlighten me).
"I want you to listen very carefully here. This is important: if Microsoft is a marketing company then they are the worst marketing company on Earth.. I say that as someone who owns a marketing company! They possess no clues. None of them. None of the goddamned clues."
It's interesting to hear this from someone who is actually in marketing.
Neal Stephenson argued the same thing in his classic essay: "In the Beginning Was the Command Line..."
(though somewhat dated (when he wrote it, BeOS was still a contender) this exposition is still well worth reading).
That's the deal -- in exchange for disclosure, you get a period of commercial exclusive control.
(IIRC, there was a recent U.S. case in which a patent was invalidated, precisely because upon closer examination, it didn't actually disclose crucial details.)
So it seems distinctly countrary to reason, that one can enforce patents AND simultaneously require an NDA or other secrecy over which patents are being licensed.
Actually, !6:10 is very nice. But no one wants to offer that anymore, either.
I bought my (slightly used) T-model Thinkpad (for more than I had budgeted) because:
I knew it was entirely Linux compatible
it had excellent battery life
It had a great keyboard
AND a wonderful, 16:10 (1440x900), matte/anti-reflective screen !
I had been looking for 13" laptop quite a while, but everything (affordable) I found was deficient in battery life, and/or had 16:9 glossy screen, (I was looking for 5:4 or 16:10 -- but would have, grudgingly, settled for 16:9 if it had passable anti-glare and good battery life). It didn't hurt that it had a much better CPU than I had expected, and plenty of RAM -- but it was the screen (with anti-glare that was actually effective) that actually clinched the sale. The fact this was a somewhat larger, heavier 14" model seemed an acceptable trade-off, even at $100 more than my carefully considered "limit".
I was concerned that I would feel "buyer's remorse" once the lure of the "new" technology wore off, but every time I open the lid in a "difficult" lighting environment, I feel a distinct satisfaction, and know that the temporary sacrifice of my Starbucks budget was well worth it.
They still do.
Though admittedly it can be hard to find Dell's Linux offerings, even when you know about them -- and when you do manage to track them down, most of them are (deliberately?) unattractive (poorer hardware and/or higher prices, and fewer options) compared to the similar Windows models, . (When I looked, the model I liked didn't come with the option for the larger battery, but did have the option for Norton 360). It's hard to avoid ascribing this to monopoly-abuse pressures from Microsoft
Most Linux users end up opting to buy the Windows version of a known Linux-compatible model, and install Linux themselves -- there's much better choice of hardware, and it's usually actually cheaper, (The downside is that this gets counted as a Windows sale -- and feeds the persistent mythology that almost no-one uses Linux.
-- but on the other hand, there's also this in the high end developer niche
which has received substantial positive attention in Linux/developer circles.
> > I've done this any number of time on any number of distros
> and there's the clue. We aren't talking about the self-selected collection of uber-geeks who frequent El Reg. We're talking about normal people who don't know, care or feel it's polite to ask them if they're running Debian, SuSE, Centos or any of the million other none-quite-the same distros. As for whether it's i386 or 64 bit? the blank look you get could swallow entire civilisations.
You mean people like me, who've never worked in IT (in favour of a career buying and selling used books) but somehow managed to install and get comfortable with Debian well over a decade ago?
Or the mill-worker I met in the local Starbuck's last spring, who told me that the Ubuntu variant running on his netbook was nice enough -- but was going to reinstall Slackware again, because he liked it better?
Or the grad students working on their History/Poli-Sci/English Lit theses, and were very happy with Ubuntu/Mandriva/Turbo Linux?
Or the financial consultant who told me how his group practice/partnership had switched half their desktops and all their servers to Linux -- on their own, because they didn't have an in-house "IT guy" (and as a result they wasted less time and frustration doing IT stuff instead of paying work)?
It's a matter of attitude, not a matter of how "uber-geek" one might be.
Point 1: wasn't the OSS an "intellectual property" licensing issue? Can't blame Linux for that.
Point 2: I'm a non-techie. My first distro was Debian (on the old garage-sale beater I was using to "learn Linux" on, my practical choices were Debian or Slackware, otherwise I would have started with something heavier -- probably Mandrake, maybe RedHat or Suse). But I never, ever got told to RTFM. Not even when I admitted up front I hadn't -- for whatever reason (time pressure, just tired) -- gotten around to trying that yet.
Funny -- it's been useful to me for over a decade (that's how long Linux has been my primary -- usually only -- OS) I'm not even a techie.
It's been useful as a desktop for various large enterprises (including Fortune 500 companies), major cities, small municipalities, national police forces, the US military (especially units that have been burned one time too many by malware or unreliable software), programmers and developers. (Memo to self: check when Ernie Ball kicked Windows to the curb). And in recent personal experience, also by small businesses, law firms, financial consultancies. teenagers, sawmill workers, and other non-techie types like myself.
Actually, now that I think of it, I seem to recall that not too long ago Google finally reached the point of declaring Windows unsuitable for regular desktop use, and migrated its Windows desktops to Linux.
I'm a non techie (used books dealer) who has been happily using Linux for over a decade.
I have never been told RTFM. Not even on those occasions when I've admitted to not having read and not having time to read the F'n manual right now -- please help.
Of course, I've never jumped into a kernel-devs chat to bitch about my problems getting the xscreensaver configured -precisely- the way I want it, threatened to dump this Linux POS for Windows again if I didn't get treated with the servile respect due to a "paying customer" or the instant response merited by the vast sums I had spent on this Linux CD I'd downloaded from the net, or freaked out when asked to open a terminal window and copy-paste a diagnostic command so that there would be some starting-point in assisting me.
And friends/roommates have never had any trouble borrowing my computer to check their email, consult a web-page, or the like (a couple of them have wondered why I wasn't running this Linux I kept telling them about).
"Linux is too hard for regular folk" hasn't been a reasonable line since about 2002.
In other words, you had a non Postscript-Compatible (1st mistake) win-printer (2nd mistake). The manufacturer (Canon) neither provided a standards-conforming interface (generally PostScript or HP's printer language interface protocol), nor cared to supply drivers for non-MS systems, nor cared to make the relevant specifications available to the well-established crew of Linux devs formed to deal with this sort of situation, that would happily do it for Canon (even, I believe, under NDA).
Your blaming Linux -- but the problem is Canon.
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