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Comments

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AMD Not Trying To Get Its Chips Into Low-Cost Tablets

Kjella Re:So AMD wants to doom themselves to...mediocrity (87 comments)

To quote AMD (pdf) in their 2014 Q1 earnings, a couple days ago:

We are on track to generate approximately 50% of our revenue from high-growth markets, including embedded, semi-custom, dense server, professional graphics, and Ultra Low-Power client, where we can create differentiated winning solutions by the end of 2015. (...) We used to be a business centered over one stream of revenue, one opportunity, the PC market. Now we've introduced five new ones with our traditional space; that's six key markets where we can leverage our core IP. (...) Now let's turn to our traditional businesses. In graphics, we see strong demand in the enthusiast portion of the market. Our industry-leading R7 and R9 products drove GPU revenue growth year-over-year and sequentially.

In short, they're transforming away from their "traditional" business and of the PC market graphics revenue is going to be significant. AMDs x86 CPUs/APUs are going to be a small part of their business, there's a reason Intel is aiming all the big guns at ARM because AMD has already in their strategy decided to get out of the head-to-head competition with Intel. If you don't believe that, read the above lines again. They couldn't compete with Intel when they bet everything on one horse, now they're riding five others as well? That's a slow exit strategy, milking the CPU/APU revenue to execute their transformation. The FX line is probably already dead, Kaveri/Beema/Mullins will keep AMD present in the consumer market a while longer but the revenue is funneled into all those other key areas.

yesterday
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Oracle Deflects Blame For Troubled Oregon Health Care Site

Kjella Re:Oracle has skills and knowledge? (161 comments)

"...'Cover Oregon lacked the skills, knowledge or ability to be successful as the systems integrator on an undertaking of this scope and complexity,'

Gee, that's funny. And here I thought I was in the majority in thinking that it is in fact Oracle who lacks the skills, knowledge, or ability to fix that piece-of-shit Frankenstein they want to label a working product.

False dichotomy, it's not one or the other.

5 days ago
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Oracle Deflects Blame For Troubled Oregon Health Care Site

Kjella Re:Enh as much as I dislike Oracle... (161 comments)

Time and material contracts basically means renting consultants by the hour, short of outright criminal behavior there's no promised time frames, deliverables or guarantees of functionality or quality. The upside is the lack of formalism, I've developed many reports on a T&M basis and basically if you want a filter here and a total there and to add one more column and add a traffic light here and a drill down there just say it and I'll keep working on it until you're happy. Heck, I've taken "requirements" from a single yellow post-it note, as long as the client is happy and the invoices get paid it's a win-win for everyone compared to bids and change orders.

The problem begins if you need anything other than yes-men because basically you're going to lead these people and point them to tasks that need doing and make sure it all comes together to a working solution. Consider it a bit like building a house where every contractor assumes that the rest of the work to bring it up to code will be done by somebody else, you tell the plumber to put a pipe here, the electrician a wire there and the carpenter to board up that wall and they do it, but they don't take any responsibility on whether it's done to code or the overall result. My guess is that Oracle have their asses well covered legally, but often they have to play the scapegoat when the client has been incompetent. Usually they don't want to throw eggs in the face of the manager who hired them, unless it becomes an even bigger PR problem not to.

5 days ago
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Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

Kjella Re:Air pressure? (239 comments)

Which is why this is a never-ending competition, one thing is size but what about mass/gravity? Does it have a magnetic field? Does it have a Jupiter to clear the solar system of debris? Does it have a moon to produce tidal forces? Still, we know there's some slack in that life is almost everywhere on this planet from Sahara to the Arctic.

5 days ago
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Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr Released

Kjella Re:*Yawn* I'll Wait for the Mint Edition (177 comments)

The flip side of that is that Canonical has been pretty clear that they're not building this for their existing users but rather to get new users on phones, tablets, phablets, convertibles, touchscreen laptops, TVs and whatnot other household devices. To trot out the old Henry Ford quote, if I asked my users what they'd wanted they'd say a faster horse. Well that's you, you want a better "classic" desktop the way it's been for the last 20 years or so but the users they have is 1% of a declining PC market that's being swarmed by other non-PC devices. That's why they won't listen when you complain that they're trying to put a steering wheel and pedals on your horse cart, they're trying to build a car and going back on that is clearly a step backwards compared to their goals.

Yes, he's trying to be Steve Jobs just like Google is, just like Microsoft is and when giants like that throw their weight around it's easy to get flung into irrelevance which is why the new business isn't exactly rolling in and the old business is cranky. Particularly now when Android has rolled in almost everywhere he wanted Ubuntu to be. He could just tuck his tail between his legs, admit defeat and say we'll be building a desktop of the geeks, by the geeks, for the geeks and that's that. Or at least aim the sights back to Microsoft, the old archenemy even though Ubuntu never managed to get very far there. But my impression is that he's too ambitious and stubborn to do that, besides "We're making this new Unity thing that no one wants and we'll force it on our users before its ready" sounds like GNOME 3, KDE 4 and a bunch of other projects so he fits right in.

5 days ago
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Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

Kjella Re:I wonder how much damage... (285 comments)

The problem is Outlook and Exchange. The users see the mail client, calendering, and the like, as essential. The word processor and spreadsheet are secondary to that. Once some exec starts talking to sales about getting just Outlook, they are sold on the wonders of getting the whole MSOffice suite.

If you look at Microsoft's pricing, it's fairly obvious why. If you're first getting Outlook for 135 euro then another 135 euro to get everything else is an easy sell-up, particularly since I'm guessing the sales reps will give you a volume rebate on the Office suite but never on Outlook alone. For at least a decade I've heard product after product being called "Outlook killer" but they all seem to fizzle and my impression mostly because they focus on being POP/IMAP clients. Calendaring is probably more essential to an organization, and I don't mean the simple one-off meeting.

When are people available and what meeting rooms are available. Setting up recurring meetings (like say a weekly staff meeting) that lets you easily modify single instances (because this week is easter), calendar sharing, forwarding events with proper notification to the meeting owner, overviews of who will/will not attend or haven't answered, including the agenda or attachments, corporate directories, personal directories, all that practical stuff like that if I start writing a mail to someone in-house it warns me right away they're going to send an away message instead of waiting for me to send it, get the auto-reply, realize what I just send won't work, then another email to say forget that, let's do something else when you're back on Monday.

Geeks hate meetings and scheduling, every one of them myself included. Good calendar software which makes it easy to drown people in meetings is just begging to be swamped with them so it's not exactly an itch we'd like to scratch. We're very busy trying to invent and push non-meeting solutions like email or IM and claim we're solving it better. I'm not going to fire up debate, but the fact of the matter is that getting all of the people involved in the same room at the same time to discuss/decide matters is still a very popular idea. And if you want to get rid of Office, you need to get rid of Outlook and if you want to get rid of Outlook you must handle this well. I'm sure there's lots of people who'd like to drop Exchange and the CALs, using non-MS products despite still sending around MS documents so it should be easier than taking down all of MS Office at once.

5 days ago
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SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

Kjella Re:We do not need solid state to replace platter d (256 comments)

We already have almost every version of this, hybrid drives for laptops, software techniques that mimic this but they're all fairly stupid and unpredictable, training it to cache the right things take time and suddenly what used to have SSD performance might have been evicted. If you're the kind of user who needs >100GB you probably know what it is taking space. Put your big media (video, photos, music) on D:, everything else like applications and documents stay on C:. The only really tough call is games which often have a huge install size but also app code that benefits from being on an SSD, Steam lets you define multiple library folders so you can have one on C:, one on D: but no easy way to swap them in and out, for now the only supported way is uninstall and reinstall on the other. There are workarounds for that though.

5 days ago
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GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless

Kjella Re:Helping the poor (320 comments)

Here in Norway I have the impression that it's only two main groups. One is Romani that arrive through the EU agreement, basically the kind who come with no rights, no education, no work history, no nothing and the only thing they're here for is to beg, steal and live off various programs that provide shelter and food for the homeless while leaving a trail of littering and vandalism in their wake. And yes, I don't mind stigmatizing the whole group because 68 of 69 beggars in a random sweep of beggars had a criminal record. And despite a million attempts to integrate them, they have no intention of ever becoming productive members of society and raise their children just like them to embrace their nomadic and parasitic lifestyle. Many of the children aren't enrolled in primary/secondary education at all and the few who are absent more than 1/3rd of the time. They also have more than a few cultural issues with suckers who work all day for an honest wage, why anyone would give them money is incomprehensible to me.

The other big, big group is drug/alcohol addicts, but there are hospices and such that will give them shelter and food if they don't show up high as a kite. The truly homeless are the ones who can't keep their drug use outside the shelter, but even those get winter sleeping bags so they don't freeze to death on the streets. They're not trying to hustle you for money in order to eat or drink or put clothes on their backs or a roof over their heads, it's to feed their habit. It's almost a protection racket, we're addicts and we will find the money to get our kick so you can either throw a few bucks in our cup or we'll get desperate and you really don't want us to get desperate. If you give them anything nice they'll probably sell it for the money anyway, you can give them money but it's not going to lead to anything positive. The rest are mostly taken care of, if you just have mental or money problems you won't be the streets and you won't have to beg for a living.

about a week ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

Kjella Re:Holy shit (464 comments)

Really? I think most people would accept "net worth" as the proper metric.

Well, he said "potentially liquid" not "liquid", like if you decided to become a Buddhist monk and give away everything you own selling your house, car and so on could you liquidate your 401(k)? From what it looks like you must pay a 10% early withdrawal fee and income tax, so it's a lot less worth to have $1 in a 401(k) than in a regular bank account. On the other hand should you include things like sales commission on the house? I don't know, but in an informal sense I'd say that you're only a millionaire if you could literally gather a million dollars in cash if you wanted to.

about a week ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Kjella Re:Militia, then vs now (1608 comments)

When you see how far they've stretched the "interstate commerce" clause, I think your proposal would only lead to a greater mess. Besides, people want laws that create simple rules like when can I carry this gun? Who, when, what, how, where are easy and categorical, why is often vaguely defined in someone's mind. For example if you say the "mission" is for self-defense then anyone caught with a gun can always claim that, even when it seems extremely unlikely.

I'd just start throwing lots of question at that definition until you got it narrowed down.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Who are "the people"? Is it the same "people" who have the right to a fair trial? Because I'm pretty sure that includes everyone, not just citizens or residents but that illegal immigrant crossing over from Mexico too. Does he have a right to "keep and bear arms"? Does anyone not connected to any milita? Even back then the militia was all "able bodied men", is a woman or a cripple protected? What about minors? The mentally ill? Felons? They all have the right to a fair trial, no ifs or buts about that. Can you condition this right on a license or registration or test? Can you deny anyone to buy a gun or place restrictions on those selling guns like mandatory waiting periods or is that denying them the right to have a gun like right now? Can you regulate how it's stored without violating the right to keep it, like keeping it dismantled, unloaded, ammo separate from gun, in a gun locker etc. because really you could demand it be encased in three feet of cement. What does it mean to bear arms, does it mean openly or concealed, can you have it in the glove box or under your seat? Can you carry it on private property, public property, in public buildings, on other people's private property that's open to the general public? What exactly does "arms" means, is it the right to have cannons and nukes or small arms? Poisoned darts, is that arms? What about knives or tazers or and any other non-gun "arms"?

Those are just off the top of my head, it wouldn't be that hard to make a law that actually answers all of these questions and it would lay most the issues at rest without ever going into the tricky question of why you might want to have a gun.

about a week ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Kjella Re:Are you kidding (810 comments)

While this is true, there are generally two large parties that garner 60-80% of the seats, and these tend to be centrist parties with the same sort of minor differences that we see in the USA between Republican and Democrat.

That's where you're wrong, because even if you're a 30% party close to the center you can't just keep your attention on the swing voters as if they're the only ones that matter. In US politics the only other group that matters are the fence sitters and you'd need to be pretty damn pissed at the Democrats to let Bush run the show or pretty damn pissed at the Republicans to let Obama run the show. But here if you don't actually cater to your side your 35% party can be a 25% party next election and one of the usurper parties that promise to be "real" Democrats or "real" Republicans start taking over. Or if there's a wave of say environmentalism then a red-green or blue-green party might get an upswing even if there's not enough support for a pure green party. You have to defend yourself on all fronts.

One drawback to the parliamentary system that I've seen is that fringe parties can have a disproportionate influence since neither centrist party has enough votes to form a majority on its own and needs to bribe them to join a coalition. At least, this is what I saw in Israel, and bribe is precisely the correct word. At one point it got so sickening that the two major parties formed a coalition instead.

Yes, there's a bad side to it that one 5% party with special interests might end up with the swing votes and gain a disproportional amount of power. In a coalition each party also tends to blame the compromises they make when they don't fulfill their election promises. But you as a voter have more choices and the politics of a coalition mostly reflects the relative strength of the parties involved, a 30% party doesn't let a 10% party decide half the politics. Basically your vote might be a "blue" vote in US politics but it matters if it's light blue, dark blue, blue-green and there are always several parties fighting for your vote not just taking it as given.

I also don't think that the occasional grand coalition is a bad thing, it is the way to curb fringe parties from asking too much. It proves that there is a true choice in coalition partners, that the small parties can't just make ultimatums because the big party needs them. I'm sure that is an extremely foreign idea to US politics, but if you have say the fringe 20% on each side off in their own parties then finding a common ground in the 30% moderate left and 30% moderate right is not so incredible. Again if the people find they become too much Republicrats they can vote for the fringe parties, if the actually like moderates in government without loony bins on each side they might keep supporting it. Or the big parties can go back to the small parties next election and say "Can you be reasonable this time?"

about a week ago
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Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

Kjella Re:Quite logical reaction (796 comments)

Reminds me of a story how I read on how one girl "solved" her bullying problem, they'd raised the issue several times with the school to no effect. Dad finally has enough, teaches her to fight. She grabs the head of the lead bully and slams it on her knee, broken nose, blood everywhere. School threatens to expel her, her dad threatens to sue the shit out of them for everything she's been through. Like the good cowards they are, the school backs down and manages to convinces the bully's parents not to press charges either. She's now forever known as that crazy kid, but nobody's messing with her anymore. It's sad but school is mostly a lawless territory where violence is often the last and only means to defend yourself.

about a week ago
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How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

Kjella Re:Not enough eyes (582 comments)

So, the "with many eyes all bugs are shallow" notion fails. There were not enough eyes on the OpenSSL library, which is why nobody discovered the bug.

I think that's a lie, the truth is everybody thought there were so many eyes on the code they all glazed over and nobody really looked. After all, if this was my company and the line was "Well everybody who works here has access to the source repository so I'm sure that someone would find it..." there'd be plenty alarm bells going off in my head. For sure, bumping into buggy code is often the way you find out about bugs but for security critical code it's review, more review, audits, all that really boring red tape that counts to stop it getting through in the first place. If the rumors are true, the NSA caught on pretty quick which is because they have lots of smart people getting paid well to look for exactly these kinds of issues. This is not magic. But it's the kind of boring shit you usually have to pay people to get done.

Except for corporate sponsored positions - which also typically have their own agendas - the work that gets done is the work people feel like doing. If what you need is 50% development, 50% review but 90% of what the people involved are interested in is the development of their own pet features well you don't have any authority to boss people around. You can ask the reviewers to be a bottleneck which will quickly turn sour, you can ask them to rubber stamp it faster or you can add people who really shouldn't be reviewers but you can't hire more qualified reviewers. Waiting a few years for someone to stumble into it just isn't a good process, no matter how much people pretend this proves how OSS "works".

about a week ago
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OpenBSD Team Cleaning Up OpenSSL

Kjella Re:What about a re-implementation... (300 comments)

For example, consider an server which acquires a passphrase from the client for authentication purposes. If your implementation language is C, you can receive that passphrase into a char array on the stack, use it, and zero it out immediately. Poof, gone in microseconds. But let's say you used some language which dynamically allocates memory for all strings and garbage-collects them when they go out of scope. (...)

That would be true if high level languages only offered the default implementation but usually they have a special implementation like SecureString in .NET, it'll let you do the exact same thing. For bonus points it'll also encrypt the data in memory in case you have to keep it around a little while, sure it's a bit of security through obscurity but it won't be trivial to find with a memory dump. The issue is more that people who aren't aware of the issues won't ever think to look for or use these classes, but they're available.

about a week ago
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Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

Kjella Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (304 comments)

At the start of the war holding slaves was not unconstitutional, each state made their own laws and there was slavery on the Union side as well. The United States simply did not want 30% of their population and 70% of their exports seceding away, it would totally cripple their economy. The Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 - long after the war started - was just directed at the slaves in states in rebellion, those under Union control still remained in slavery. In short, it was a wartime measure to cripple an armed rebellion and recruit soldiers to their own side. I'm sure the Lincoln movie is not the most accurate historic source but there was huge doubt if the proclamation had any force once the war was over or if they'd all be returned to slavery.

There was huge resistance to passing the 13th amendment even with the southern states broken away, it was rejected as late as 1864 and only passed with the smallest possible 2/3rds margin (119-56) through the House in 1865 before the South rejoined. And that was only after years of negros serving in the Union army and dying for the north, at the start of the war... no. The abolitionists might have been on the rise but in 1860 support for slavery was alive and well all over the United States. They might have climbed to the moral high ground during the war, but initially it was a simple case of the government fighting down a rebellion like any other.

about a week ago
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First Phase of TrueCrypt Audit Turns Up No Backdoors

Kjella Re:also (171 comments)

If you're on NSA's radar you've got bigger problems than TrueCrypt's trustworthiness or lack thereof.

In case you've been sleeping under a rock for the last year, the target of the NSA is everyone. Not that they put you on the same level as the Chinese military of course, but nobody's under their radar and if they can grab your data or metadata easily they will because you could be a terrorist or at least the friend of a friend of a friend of a terrorist. It's not that the average joe would stand a chance if they threw everything in their arsenal at us, but those "zero day exploits, side channel attacks, social engineering, and TEMPEST techniques" don't come free and using them highly increases the chances of exposing them. The question is more like "Does NSA grab all the TrueCrypt containers used as backup on Dropbox/GDrive/whatever and rifle through everyone's data?" than "If the NSA really wants the contents of my laptop, would this really stop them?"

about a week ago
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Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

Kjella Re:Getting started (157 comments)

If we had anti-gravity cars like those in "The Jetsons" then I think it'd be fine, we'd need some kind of virtual lane system with upwards/downwards corridors as a heads up display and an emergency parachute (space capsule style?) to save your ass but it'd work and you could stay to sane consumer speeds with high speed high altitude "interstates". Anything that depends on wings for lift though has to stay at very high speeds and can't practically stop for anything, even if you have a VTOL system hovering for even an extremely brief time will burn through your fuel in no time. If you think it's bad now, wait until slamming the brakes is not an option.

about a week ago
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Mathematicians Use Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun To Calculate Pi

Kjella Re:Ask an old person? (307 comments)

Rhetorical question: I wonder how Euclid managed?

I know what rhetorical means but really, there's so many obvious ways. Take a piece of string, tie down one end and draw a circle in the sand with the other. Now use the same piece of string to measure out the circle. You'll get an approximation of pi more than good enough for any practical purpose, the only thing "special" about it is that numbers that aren't fractions like pi, e and the square root of 2 was fucking with their understanding of math. Even the ancient druids of Stonehenge could map out a circle, long before Euclid.

about a week ago
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Seattle Bookstores Embrace Amazon.com

Kjella Re:Bookstores - are you trying to change hard enou (83 comments)

Well, he's using the only sales argument he has from the customer's point of view. From the store's point of view though they won't sell it at the same price you get online because they need to pay for location, staff, deal with shoplifters and books that go stale and unsold that need to be taken off the shelves again. It's better for them not to take your business rather than open up Pandora's box and have people coming in expecting to be price matched, taking up sales rep time and getting angry if they're refused. And if word got around you could get it cheaper just by pointing to a webpage on a smartphone, other people buying it at normal markup could feel cheated and generate a lot of negative publicity about you. As sales pitches go it's a honest one, but it's not the real reason why they won't price match.

about a week ago
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Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

Kjella Re:Can the writings be read? (431 comments)

Sadly(?) English doesn't keep the original pronunciation, though UK-English is closer than US-English. I mentioned the reason in another post, it's that damned Great Vowel Shift what makes English stand out among European languages.

Well that's maybe relevant for those coming from another European language or reading old English texts, but to users only interested in contemporary English that's more of a historical curiosity. Their challenge is that the rules aren't consistent, which is often traceable to its historic roots. For example let's take the word steak, it's a loanword from Old Norse steik which is why the "ea" in steak is different from that in peak, leak, beak, weak or freak. Of course every language has a few foreign words that don't follow the normal rules but English has it dialed up to 11.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Microsoft bans Firefox on Windows ARM

Kjella Kjella writes  |  about 2 years ago

Kjella (173770) writes "In another case of "if you can't beat them, exclude them" Microsoft has decided to not allow third party browsers on Windows ARM. The reasons cited by Microsoft's Deputy General Counsel David Heiner are: "
  • ARM processors, which power virtually all iOS, Android, and Windows Phone smartphones and tablets today, are different from the x86 chips that power PCs. The chips have new requirements for security and power management, and Microsoft is the only one who can meet those needs.
  • Windows RT — the version of Windows 8 geared for ARM devices — "isn't Windows anymore."
"

Link to Original Source
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Chrome beats IE for first time ever

Kjella Kjella writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Kjella (173770) writes "Sunday 18th of March should go down in browser history. For the first in many years IE is no longer then #1 web browser, with Chrome narrowly beating IE with 32.71% to 32.50% while Firefox on third with 24.81%. As the figures are substantially higher for Chrome and lower for IE on weekends it's only for a day but it's another big milestone. While IE still is in a clear lead in North America and Oceania, it is tied with Firefox in Europe while Chrome now leads in Asia and South America and Firefox leads in Africa."
Link to Original Source
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French "three strikes" back thanks to Sark

Kjella Kjella writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Kjella (173770) writes "A little over a week ago, slashdot reported that the EU would forbid disconnecting users from the Internet. But even after having passed with an 88% approval in the European Parliament and passing through the European Commission, it was all undone as the European Council, led by French President Sarkozy removed the amendment before passing the Telecom package. This means that there's now nothing stopping France's controversial "three strikes" law from going into effect. What hope is there for a "parliament" where there is near unison agreement, yet can be completely disregarded so easily?"
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Oil fall nets lame duck with free crossover wine

Kjella Kjella writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Kjella (173770) writes "The good people over at CodeWeavers set up a challenge for King George to really make the most of his last days in office. The Lame Duck Presidential Challenges are to reduce the price of gas, reduce the price of food, create more jobs, rejuvenate the housing market and bring Osama bin Laden to justice. Noone realized just how he was going to do that as most of the goals were rather ambitious, but along with the doom and gloom of recession fears one of the criteria has been met. The price of gas is now back to $2.79 per gallon in the Twin Cities so break out your SUVs and party like it's 2006. For those of you instead looking to save every buck, today Crossover is giving away all their products for free, or at least gratis for the FSF fans out there. Already they're down to a light web page due to Digg, surely we can do better than that."

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