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Synthetic Materials Set New World Record For Greatest Amount of Surface Area

Martin Soto Re:A video about MOFs (96 comments)

This is a very illustrative video, worth spending a few minutes on if you are new to this topic like I am.

more than 2 years ago

How Will Steam on GNU/Linux Affect Software Freedom?

Martin Soto Re:And you are why... (580 comments)

It might get in the way of computer geeks like you, but won't get the way of most regular computer users.

more than 2 years ago

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Out; Unity Gets a Second Chance

Martin Soto Re:Launcher covers back button (543 comments)

In 12.04, there is a clever mechanism that prevents the launcher from being exposed accidentally. In order to expose the launcher, you have to move the mouse cursor to the left edge, and then sort of press against the edge a bit more. This prevents a single mouse motion, such as the one you do to reach the browser back button from activating the launcher.

I've been using it for a while now (on beta releases) and it works really well. With older versions, the launcher behavior was quite annoying, Now it's a real pleasure to use.

about 2 years ago

9 Features We May See In Ubuntu 11.10

Martin Soto Re:Ubuntu is a perfect Linux-newbie distro (281 comments)

Well son, my first install was SLS on a 486 (from a bunch of 3.5" floppies) and it ran a pre-1.0 kernel. My first Debian install was also pre-1.0. I kept upgrading a Debian system for longer than 10 years, moving it from computer to computer and from hard disk to hard disk as technology advanced (and money allowed) without ever reinstalling it. I finally ditched it in favor of Ubuntu, and don't regret it at all. I don't want to fiddle with the computer anymore, I want to use it and that's what Ubuntu allows me to do. And, for the record, Unity is not perfect, but isn't an abomination either as many people here want to believe, and I'm currently happily using it on two machines, one netbook and one regular desktop.

Now, please draw your own conclusions from this as well...

more than 3 years ago

Shall We Call It "Curated Computing?"

Martin Soto Re:Does the average user expect flexibility? (331 comments)

Here in /. we're not average computer users, so we have a hard time figuring out what average people expect from computers. There's an easy way to get around that, though: we're average users of many other products. The answer to your question becomes a lot more obvious when we apply it to other things:

Does the "average" user who picks up a washing machine expect it to be capable of more than what it does out of the box? Does the "average" user who picks up a frying pan expect it to be capable of more than what it does out of the box? Does the "average" user who picks up a screwdriver expect it to be capable of more than what it does out of the box?

The answer is a big "no". Now, people here will tell me that computers are way more flexible than washing machines, frying pans and screwdrivers. For a motivated tinkerer with proper mechanical and/or electrical abilities, though, washing machines, frying pans and screwdrivers may appear as full of interesting alternative uses as computers appear to us. So this is not the point, either.

Most people aren't looking for flexibility, and they'll happily will trade it for ease of use and convenience as soon as they can.

more than 4 years ago

Ubuntu Linux 10.04 Review (Lucid Lynx)

Martin Soto Re:No GIMP?! Seriously? (567 comments)

...and because apt-get install gimp isn't too great a hurdle for anyone who does need it.

or opening the "Ubuntu Software Center", typing GIMP in the search box, and pressing the "Install" button, just in case you don't feel so comfortable with command line.

more than 4 years ago

Venezuela's Last Opposition TV Owner Arrested

Martin Soto Re:Uh oh (433 comments)

You're right! If Venezuela were to attack Columbia, Columbia would wipe the floor with Venezuela, that's for sure! On the other hand, if they were to attack Colombia things may turn out to be different.

Still, as a Colombian (that is, from Bogotá, not from Washington) I think this is a very unlikely event. Chávez barks very often about deploying his shiny new war toys against Colombia, but reality is that nobody knows how long he'd be able to keep his war gear running, given the current sad state of Venezuela's finances. But probably the main reason why a war wouldn't make any sense is that Colombia and Venezuela share their history and culture to a large extent. We have really no reason to atack each other, and Chávez's delusions of grandeur aren't going to change this.

more than 3 years ago

Ubuntu's "Lucid Lynx" Enters Beta

Martin Soto Re:Why do people like Ubuntu? (366 comments)

People like you, who obviously seem to have fun at dealing with things such as ALSA, nVidia drivers, Ratpoison, FreeBSD, upstart, fstab, disk mounting, and GRUB won't probably like Ubuntu. People who don't want to deal with such things, will probably like Ubuntu, because it does a decent job of hiding the technical details from them in such a way that they can actually use the system. So, what you seem to perceive as a lack of transparency in the system design, is deliberate and seen by many as a feature instead of as a defect.

It isn't simply a matter of people being superficially drawn to a "nice shiny Gnome". It's actually that they want to use their computer without having to understand the gory technical details of the software installed in it.

more than 4 years ago

Open Source Is Not a Democracy

Martin Soto Re:Mass confusion (641 comments)

If a dictator is a miserable failure, thats OK too, since its all open source it just works.

This doesn't sound like my actual experience with Debian (yes, back in the days, I used to be a Debian maintainer). Doing anything that requires several packages to be modified in a consistent fashion was always very hard, because a single maintainer who didn't like the idea or who simply wasn't responsive enough was able to stop the whole effort on its tracks. As a government model, Debian looks a lot more like a feudal system, with a myriad of lords who are absolute rulers in their tiny feuds, and who only owe some symbolic allegiance to a distant, and often not very powerful king. Making any significant changes in such a country is of course very difficult, and even traveling there could become a real problem.

I once wanted to help Debian become a serious desktop distribution, but for the reasons I mentioned above, this proved to be an exercise in frustration. I ended up becoming inactive as a maintainer and finally moved to Ubuntu as soon as it became available. I haven't looked back ever since.

more than 4 years ago

Ubuntu Moves To Yahoo For Default Firefox Search

Martin Soto Re:Doesn't matter (370 comments)

Of course you aren't ever allowed to say any thing wrong about Ubuntu or Canonical after all the times they have virtually claimed to have invented Linux from scratch.

[Citation needed]

more than 4 years ago

Feds Bust Cable Modem Hacker

Martin Soto Re:This is not a crime (658 comments)

Great post! If you'd replace "its" by "it's", it'd be perfect...

more than 5 years ago

Ubuntu 9.10 Officially Released

Martin Soto Re:How to get Ubuntu 9? (744 comments)

For the most part, they keep working well. The major problem is that the upgrade changes the layout of files on the disk, and, since the highly optimized boot procedure depends on that, your boot will likely become slower. You can at least mitigate this problem by rebuilding the boot readahead list as explained here.

more than 5 years ago

Android 2.0 SDK Released, Google Maps Navigation Announced

Martin Soto Multi-touch for developers but not for end users (121 comments)

The good news are that they seem to finally have added the long-awaited support for multi-touch. As listed in their relese notes:

MotionEvent can now report simultaneous-touch information for devices that support it. Up to three pointers can be tracked simultaneously.

The bad news are that, apart from some improvements to the on-screen keyboard, the GUI doesn't seem to be making use of it at all. So, those of us hoping to impress our acquaintances by zooming web pages in and out iPhone-style will probably have to wait until 2.1...

more than 5 years ago

Asus Slaps Linux In the Face

Martin Soto ASUS never took Linux seriously... (644 comments)

and I guess this applies to the large majority of netbook manufactures as well. I don't own a netbook, but there are stories all around the Internet about Linux netbooks being shipped with broken distributions that don't even support the netbook's integrated hardware properly. I'm perfectly aware of the fact that Linux doesn't support all hardware in the market, but manufactures have control over the hardware they put in a computer, so this should never happen (as long as they care about it, that is).

Sadly, this netbook Linux story seems to have been just an attempt from computer manufacturers to force Microsoft into compliance. And, as today's story shows, they are being quite successful in their pursue. We can now expect most manufactures to ditch Linux in favor of Windows 7, since MS seems to be bending under their pressure by giving them special Windows 7 pricing.

more than 5 years ago

Germany Institutes Censorship Infrastructure

Martin Soto Re:READ THIS! There is no protest! (235 comments)

I also live in Germany, and can share your view 100%: nobody is concerned here. I wonder however, if the reason is just because they don't understand the implications. For the regular person, this looks just like "they are doing something to fight child porn, and since child porn is bad and they're fighting it, it must be OK". The only way to change this situation is to get people to understand what's really going on, and that's a big challenge because the issues are not only complex but often highly technical.

Probably, the real problem is that achieving this requires really good communication skills, and this is something we geeks don't excell at. Looking around /., I see that many regular contributors here have an absolutely condenscending attitude towards "average Joes". But when dealing with issues such as this, which are essentially political, it is mostly average Joes who cast the votes, so you'd rather take them seriously and find a way to communicate with them.

Until we understand this and act accordingly, we'll continue to see the decisions we care about being made in the wrong direction by clueless or even ill-intentioned politians.

more than 5 years ago


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