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Interview With KDE On Windows Release Manager Patrick Spendrin

Bralkein Re:Read WHAT in the article? (116 comments)

FTFA:

Due to a programming job I had back then, I needed to switch back to Windows, but I still dreamed of having my favourite KDE applications. After hearing of the porting efforts in the pre-4.0 times, I joined the team back then.

So he likes the KDE applications, and wants to have them when he uses Windows. Simple as that!

more than 3 years ago
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US Says 4.3 Billion People Live With Bad IP Laws

Bralkein Re:Where is the evidence? (229 comments)

I have yet to see anyone present objective evidence that the existence of copyright, either in its current term/form the US/WIPO/ACTA is pushing, (or at all) helps the economy in the countries in question compared to other systems or models.

Well that's because it's not about helping the countries in question, it's about helping the US. The US produces a lot of IP, so from a US perspective good IP laws are those which result in a lot of money being paid to US companies. It's fair enough if you ask me, since the US government is just looking out for its own interests, which I guess is pretty much what it's supposed to do. On the other hand, the governments of other countries might be doing their job best if they tell the US to go to hell.

more than 4 years ago
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What Has Your Phone Survived?

Bralkein Re:Go nokia! (422 comments)

I used to have a Nokia 5100. The thing was so tough that I used to throw it as hard as I could against brick walls, the pavement or whatever to show people how it wouldn't break. Of course I only have weedy nerd strength but I still thought it was very impressive. After many years of faithful service it died unceremoniously in its sleep, which seemed ironic considering what it had survived. I now have an N900, which is very nice and all that but somehow I don't fancy its chances against a concrete floor...

more than 4 years ago
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The Next Nokia Maemo Phone Will Feature DRM

Bralkein It will have an open mode (4 comments)

No need to freak out. Nokia says that there will be an open mode, which will be open and freely modifiable like Maemo 5 is now, and a closed mode which has all the DRM stuff for the app store and media store. Switching between the two will require a device reboot, but if you want a totally open device the option will still be there (or that's what they're saying now). More information can be found on Nokia's wiki here

Of course if they backtrack on this at all and just totally close the thing down, then that would totally suck. But that's not what they say they're planning.

more than 4 years ago
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Nuclear Reactors As Art

Bralkein Trawsfynydd power station (118 comments)

This reminds me of a recent feature in The Guardian, which calls for the preservation of a nuclear power plant in Snowdonia, Wales since it was designed by the British modernist architect Sir Basil Spence. Linky.

more than 4 years ago
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In total, I've downloaded X Linux ISOs, where X= ...

Bralkein Re:More than 20... (483 comments)

I guess that's true now for the core OS install (it wasn't in the past) but on Windows I find I spend a lot of time messing about installing the different pieces of 3rd party software I need. Even when I know the names of all of the software I need, it still involves bouncing around a bunch of websites, sitting through all different installers, often being asked to reboot each time.

In Linux, I find the path to getting a full system much quicker, since it's just a case of going into the package manager, clicking the things I want then playing solitaire while the things download and install automagically. Oh, and it pretty much only needs a restart for kernel updates.

more than 4 years ago
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What's Coming In KDE 4.4

Bralkein Re:Last piece (423 comments)

In the article it is mentioned that nepomuk will be moving in 4.4 to a new backend, which offers improved performance. Perhaps this will include a reduced memory footprint. Anyway, if you don't like it, it is very easy to turn off: System Settings -> Advanced tab -> Desktop Search -> The first checkbox.

more than 4 years ago
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What's Coming In KDE 4.4

Bralkein Re:Labelling. (423 comments)

Well actually I don't think they should have marked it as release, I think it's hard to argue any other way seeing how things turned out. However, upstream software providers can screw things up. Distros should act to shield their users from these screw-ups, by judiciously selecting the package versions that will give the best experience for their users. In the case of the KDE 4.0 release, I think the distros completely failed to do this. So I think they deserve some share of the blame.

more than 4 years ago
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What's Coming In KDE 4.4

Bralkein Re:Labelling. (423 comments)

IMO a lot of the blame for the KDE 4.0 pain lies with the distros. So KDE 4.0 wasn't ready for prime time, too bad. So why the hell were certain distros inflicting it upon their users if it wasn't ready? Couldn't they have tested it, noticed that it wasn't ready, and waited before deploying it? I really don't know what they were thinking. My distro of choice (Arch Linux) waited til KDE4 was done before rolling it out, and Arch mainly aims to be on the bleeding edge most of the time. In fact I installed 4.0 anyway, because I wanted to try it out, but I really appreciated Arch's common sense in handling the matter. Not so for too many of the other distros though.

I don't think you need to be worrying about KDE 5.0 for a little while, but even if it does turn up sometime soon-ish, there's no reason why it needs to be as painful as 4.0. For example, the change from KDE 2 to KDE 3 was pretty smooth. Even if this hypothetical 5.0 release was a major change from the KDE 4 series, I would imagine that the KDE devs might learn from past mistakes (gasp!) and do things differently this time around.

more than 4 years ago
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UN Officials Remove Poster Mentioning Chinese Firewall

Bralkein Re:Another theory (409 comments)

Yes, quite, I wouldn't be surprised. Or maybe it could have been due to political content, but maybe they have a good reason. Perhaps the whole reason they have these organisations is that delicate matters of international politics can be raised in a very neutral and controlled way. I have to point out that I'm not a diplomat or whatever and I've never organised one of these things (putting me in the same boat as pretty much every other Slashdotter commenting on this story), but imagine how pissed off you would be if you had spent all that effort getting important people together into a room from all over the world to talk about things with important global consequences, and the whole thing was scuppered because a bunch of idiots put up posters that led some of the delegates to believe that the hosting organisation was biased against them from the start or politically compromised in some other way.

Now I support free speech, I think it's a good and important thing. However, if everyone is packed into a room, all shouting their viewpoints at the same time so nobody can really hear or be heard above the din, then what bloody good is that? In that situation, I think that free speech would be best served by someone getting everyone to shut the hell up, then organising a way to let everyone say what they want to say without being shouted over by other people. I think the UN is like a much more complicated version of that situation there; you need to have strict protocols controlling how opinions are expressed and viewpoints are put across, or else the whole thing will descend into chaos.

Also, TFA has a quote:

"If we cannot discuss topics about Internet censorship and surveillance policy at a forum about Internet governance then what is the point of something like the IGF,"

Well, you can do a quick Google search and download a PDF of the conference programme. Apart from the hilarious mistake in naming one of the delegates as "Ms. Bruce Schneier", the programme also details a talk on Security, Openness and Privacy, which includes the following topics:
* The respect for privacy as a business advantage;
* Cultural and technical perspectives on the regulation of illegal Web contents;
* Regulatory models for privacy;
* Ensuring the open architecture of the Internet;
* Enabling frameworks for freedom;
* Ethical dimensions of the Internet.

So perhaps they will be discussing those topics after all - but discussing them perhaps according to some stricter protocol for the reasons I mentioned above. Again, I'd like to point out that I don't actually know anything about all this UN conference business, I'm really just trying to point out that maybe there's something more complicated going on than some of the other comments on here are suggesting.

more than 4 years ago
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GNOME 3 Delayed Until September 2010

Bralkein Re:GNOME Shell == Clusterfuck (419 comments)

Just boot XP and clone Windows Explorer, mkay...? A badly done clone of Explorer would trump anything Gnome/KDE has produced to date wrt file management. And remember kids, detail/list view is, if not pretty, absolutely fucking critical; alphabets replaced pictographs for a reason.

Whaaaa? God forbid! Dolphin is a great file manager, as I type this I am actually in the process of installing KDE for Windows just so I can use Dolphin instead of Windows Explorer. Explorer doesn't even have a split-pane mode that I can find, and it seems to go out of its way to hide useful things from me. God knows there are many good ideas Gnome/KDE could borrow from Windows/OS X (and vice-versa) but Windows Explorer definitely isn't one of them. Jeeez. PS I don't have Dolphin to hand (installing it right now as I said before) but I'm almost 100% certain it has a list/detail view type thing.

more than 4 years ago
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openSUSE 11.2 Released

Bralkein Re:The beating heart... (207 comments)

Here on Slashdot today, not only did two people make a joke about an obscure techincal configuration option of the Linux kernel, we both made the same joke, and we made it one minute apart. This place is terrifying.

more than 4 years ago
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Regulator Blocks BBC DRM Plans

Bralkein Re:Need Better Input Than This (177 comments)

I think you're making a reasonable point, but I have to disagree. I'm not sure why I should have to come up with the answers for the content providers, since there are presumably a number of people who are employed by those companies to devise a suitably profitable business model which actually attracts some paying customers. Now I do agree that in saying this I'm probably being a bit intellectually lazy, but I say it's no more lazy than those content providers who are just trying to hang on to the same old way of doing business by offering a single, undesirable course for the future (DRM everywhere) which few informed customers seem to actually want.

However, I'm going to offer a solution anyway, because I think it's an interesting discussion. I'd say that it would be better to offer streaming, on-demand content. If the network capacity isn't up to it today, it should be in a few years' time. I watch Channel 4's on-demand service, which even includes ad breaks. I could probably find a way to rip the streams and fast-forward through the adverts, or I could download the shows on BitTorrent. But all that's too much hassle, the streaming web service is convenient, so I just use that instead and watch the ads, along with many other people I know. Instead of each network having its own site, they could re-sell content to central distributors, where you could go to one site and view content from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and everyone else. Make it free, supported with ads (for BBC content people can get it ad-free by going to the BBC site direct, there would have to be a link next to every BBC show) or have a subscription service with fewer ads or none at all. For uninterrupted films, maybe have a surcharge of a couple of quid (not a flippin' fiver to watch bloody Die Hard one time only, thankyouverymuch) which just gets added to your monthly bill.

If access to content is easy and reasonably priced, then I don't think piracy should be too much of a worry. It will always happen to some extent, but as long as they can turn a decent profit, then that's just one of those facts of life. No need for all of this protected path DRM BS then. However, I still think that DRM is crappy enough that consumers are right to reject it out of hand, without equivocation or writing the content providers' business model for them. We're the ones paying, after all.

more than 4 years ago
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A Tale of Two Windows 7s

Bralkein Re:Vodka (770 comments)

You could also have tabbed through the buttons (just like on Windows) til you reached apply. It takes a bit of guesswork, but it's certainly a lot easier than reinstalling. More advanced users would be able to shift-tab, knowing the apply button is near the end (I correctly guessed this at two shift-tabs on my first attempt). Also I suspect many users would have guessed that Apply has a keyboard shortcut, and that the shortcut would be Alt-A. That is standard underliney shortcut behaviour like on Windows, what do they call them, accelerators or something? Anyway, no offence mate, but you really ought to have figured a solution out without having to reinstall the whole flipping OS.

I do agree with you to a point though, Windows does handle this situation a bit better. However, you can't just take a single pet peeve and use it to claim that one OS is better than the other. Do you think WIndows is entirely without similar usability screw-ups? Or Mac OS? As a long-time Linux user, Windows frequently leaves me fuming, simply because it insists on doing so many things in a way that seems brain-dead from a Linux user's perspective.

Maybe Linux isn't as beginner-friendly as Windows. Maybe not though. Comments such as yours do nothing to prove it either way.

more than 4 years ago
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US Relaxes Control Over ICANN

Bralkein Re:other countries too (230 comments)

there's already so many people using it, and it'd be a ton of work to setup another system.

Well that sounds like a good reason just by itself, and you don't really give any reason for the US to maintain control other than some strange possessive instinct. The internet is a global system now, so it makes sense that ICANN should be accountable to global interests. Even though I'm British, I don't actually have a problem with the way ICANN has been run by the US, but the last thing I want is for everyone to start coming up with their own crazy system because of the kind of pointless, divisive behaviour which the US is thankfully avoiding with this new decision.

In fact, you mention the telephone system, but I bet it's a pain to have to parse all of the different crazy international phone number formats! Maybe a global system would be better for that too, if we could start from scratch :)

more than 4 years ago
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FreeBSD 8.0 vs. Ubuntu 9.10 Benchmarks

Bralkein Re:For those that want to skim TFA for the bad res (268 comments)

Perhaps "called into question" wasn't the best choice of phrase. I certainly don't mean that if absolutely anyone, anywhere cries BS about a benchmark then the benchmark is instantly void, rather I mean that once a benchmarker starts to look like they don't know what they're doing then since I don't have enough time to pick through every inch of their technique and raw data, it's easier just to file the whole thing under "useless" in my brain and move on with my life.

The problem is that there are so many poorly-conducted benchmarks around that really end up saying nothing that it can make one jaded and perhaps quicker to reject a benchmark than would be proper. Good benchmarks are certainly worth their weight in gold (erm, or maybe more. I don't know how much a benchmark weighs!).

more than 4 years ago
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FreeBSD 8.0 vs. Ubuntu 9.10 Benchmarks

Bralkein Re:For those that want to skim TFA for the bad res (268 comments)

Yeah there are loads of configuration options that are relevant on servers. Going with the defaults might be sensible when comparing desktop OSs (since Mr Noobey doesn't know how to select a more suitable IO scheduler) but we've already established that they're looking at server OSs here. I think Phoronix show here that they really haven't thought this comparison through. Once the competence of a benchmarker is called into question all of a sudden I feel a massive urge to completely ignore everything they say.

It's good though that Phoronix have found a way to unite us Linux and BSD users in a joint criticism of their crappy benchmarks :)

more than 4 years ago
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FreeBSD 8.0 vs. Ubuntu 9.10 Benchmarks

Bralkein Re:For those that want to skim TFA for the bad res (268 comments)

FTFA:

With Ubuntu 9.10 we were using the x86_64 server CD of the Alpha 6 build. With FreeBSD not shipping with a desktop environment by default, we used the Ubuntu server CD so that both could be tested just from the terminal in a similar environment.

So they are comparing FreeBSD to the Ubuntu server version, but not really for the right reasons.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Attacks Linux With Retail-Training Talking Points

Bralkein Re:Sign me up... (681 comments)

I don't really agree with what you're saying, but you make a fair point so that's fine. However:

So please FLOSSies, quit with the "it a M$ conspiracy!" crap

Even if what you said is correct, if MS are being a bunch of underhanded arseholes then I think Linux/Free software people have the right to blast them for it. If Microsoft have concocted a scheme to feed lies to people trying to make an informed purchasing decision (and some of the things they say are patent lies) then it doesn't matter if Linux has no stable ABI or even if Linux kills your pet dog, MS are in the wrong and people can reasonably call them out on it if they want to.

more than 4 years ago

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