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Canonical Announces Ubuntu App Showdown

Sal Zeta Re:Thanks Canonical (56 comments)

Well, I would be glad for once to use some UI tools that are specific to my distro instead of being so generic that they are basically useless, requiring me to handle everything from command line. We're in 2012, and yet I've had to manually edit xorg.conf to use an external projector and change its resolution.

Yeah, I know, the abundance of options and choices and distros should be considered a bless.

But for once I would like something just tailored for basic usage on a desktop environment, instead of messing with config files for hours, just because every window/sound/desktop manager seems to have to support every possible use case, from mobile to server farm configurations; and by the time that every specific corner case has been adressed, we're not sure anymore that the most common usage it's working as intended.

Ubuntu it's a desktop oriented distro, so it's obvious it needs desktop oriented tools. You need a complex RDP/remote communication for your GUI? fine, install a distro that uses X11 instead of wayland. You need some specific dsp tools that require using your soundcard in a way that Pulse Audio doesn't? Use a distro where it's not installed by default.

But please, at least for once, just give me a linux distro where I shouldn't be scared to hell at the idea of using an external display because I've no idea how Xorg / DRI / GDM / GNOME / Kernel drivers could react to its presence (or just between them); where the idea that using a GUI open a file on a multimedia device is not an act against god. A distro where "standby" and "suspend" shouldn't be considered some crazy man words because, you know, integrating a working, desktop oriented system inside the kernel could adversely affect the performance on 32 cores workstations. Heck, a distro where the whole Kernel Driver->ALSA->Pulse->gstreamer->SDLAudio->WhoKnowsWhatElse is not required because i'm not trying to run a dedicated shoutcast server and at the same time trying to record the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on a 96 tracks mixer, but I'm just trying to play a fucking, miserable mp3.

more than 2 years ago
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New Music Boss, Worse Than Old Music Boss

Sal Zeta Re:But this is what 'we' want, right? (567 comments)

'We' want bands to be able to stand on the merit of the quality of their music - be that through being highly popular at the whim of the way the 'popular' wind blows, or through a devout share of followers who will buy merchandise and go to concerts. We want the remaining artists to perform music not for the money but because they want to perform it for their own joy (either out of performing or out of the reactions of the crowd) and any money they get out of that is just a nice little bonus.

Sorry, I don't get what's so special about working as musician that any earnings should be considered "just a little bonus". It's a job as good as any other. People buy your records and the recording label make a profit out of it, like every other goods-based business. Most labels, excluding some more specialized and/or famous, don't really care if my record is just complete whitenoise; If people buy it, then it's good enough for them./p>

If an engineer working at Sony yields the company, let's say, 100.000$ worth of work per months and gets paid 2500$/mo, then why a musician under contract for a Sony Records label, making the same returns/mo for the company by recording an album, gets paid less than 5000$ in total? I'm talking about Top-40 chart (or US equivalent) musicians; not some washout at his first record.

Most artist, especially electronic/hip hop acts, are becoming savvy enough to create their own label before releasing anything, creating their own pressings, handling the contracts with venues for live events, and directly managing the royalties for licensing and OTA & digital rights. They shouldn't be considered "indie" or "independent" anymore, but at least it's not being "assraped-by-lawyers" too.

more than 2 years ago
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Growth of Pseudoscience Harming Australian Universities

Sal Zeta Re:Homie Opethie (566 comments)

Or "Art History"

Try to tell that to a restorer. Or an Industrial Designer. Or even an Engineer specializing on sustainable housing.

more than 2 years ago
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Seismologist Manslaughter Trial Begins Next Week

Sal Zeta Re:Lack of evidence of damage.... (185 comments)

I cleared that in a following post...and by the way, that politician was even on the administration board for the seismology center, even if only in a representative role. But he was a partner for the local building companies, too. Guess who would lose money if such zone would had been judged as "highly unstable"?

more than 3 years ago
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Seismologist Manslaughter Trial Begins Next Week

Sal Zeta Re:Lack of evidence of damage.... (185 comments)

Sorry, maybe I was a bit unclear on my previous post. Such previous incident happened no less than few days before the bigger earthquakes. And the reaction was something very different than a carelessness act. Some of the people in charge of the local seismic centers were wiretapped some day after talking with local homebuilders and politicians, and was pretty clear that they were aware that what happened was a direct consequence of their decision to ignore most of the advices coming from the center.

They are already standing trial on a different case. What's going on here is being sure that the scientists did everything was in their position to make very clear what was eventually going to happen to the general population, or if they just passively accepted to do as they were ordered.

more than 3 years ago
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Seismologist Manslaughter Trial Begins Next Week

Sal Zeta Re:Lack of evidence of damage.... (185 comments)

Nope. the crime is that they deliberately ignored all the information available at the moment, and they even suggested the people to get back at their own homes after some earthquakes had previously happened in such zones, even destroying some buildings. It's extremely probable that most of such research institutions were pressed to mislead the population due to the local government, which supported the speculative construction industry backed by some companies controlled by the local mafia.

If you can understand, a well-known italian writer and journalist and journalist explained the whole affair here

.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Bans Game App That Criticizes Smartphone Production

Sal Zeta Re:Gosh, streisand effect much? (213 comments)

Doubt they really care about "Marketing". It was created by a well known sociology researcher, Paolo Pedercini (at least inside sociology and communication academic circles) , whose academic focus is mainly on the effects of propaganda trough mass-media, and the effects of market induced censorship. The app itself was created with a very propagandistic, almost surreal slant towards criticizing the mobile phone industry. Most of his previous applications were created with the objective to verify the limits of freedom of speech, and to analyze the eventual outcomes from the interested parties. If he's following the same approach, probably he is more interested in objectively observing the reaction from Apple than its actual deployment inside the App Store. Yep, It looks like he's trolling but if you read his CV, you'll see he's quite serious about this kind of research. This is not that different from a medical trial, as inserting a foreign organism to see the reaction from a body.

more than 3 years ago
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JavaScript Gets Visual With Waterbear

Sal Zeta Re:Programming in the future (220 comments)

I presume you have never seen software like vvvv, max/msp, puredata, Quarts under Mac Os X or kismet for the unreal development kit.

It seems an approach limited in its usefulness to application with very little (or none at all ) branching, like audiovisual applications, but within these limits, it's neither simplistic, nor underpowered.

more than 3 years ago
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University Proposes Tuition Based On Major

Sal Zeta Cheap Majors. (532 comments)

Being a bachelor of Literature and Communication ( or whatever academic award you should consider my Italian degree comparable to), I don't know if I should consider such idea offensive, ridiculous, or both.

It would make an already objectively more difficult degree such as Engineering even more distressing, and would dilute the already small relevance given to Liberal Arts degrees by giving them the reputation of being "cheap majors" (guess what, they become as much expensive and difficult as any other major studies if you actually care about what you are studying, instead of using it as an easy way out of getting a degree.)

more than 3 years ago
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FPS Gaming and the 'Just-World Hypothesis'

Sal Zeta Re:All FPS do this (366 comments)

Just Cause 2 is way more subtle than his intentionally horrible dubbing and over the top action suggest. Despite the whole "Let's save the civilians from the dictatorship" themes it becomes pretty clear after a while that the main character is not very different in his motivations from the other terrorists. The scripts jumps from being the archetypal "Marines shooter" generic stuff to some dark humor and quite disturbing situations, never shown but too clearly implied to be some kind of misunderstanding on the part of the player.

It's got quite a satirical narrative, well hidden behind a stereotypical paper-thin, "videogame" story.

more than 3 years ago
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Kinect's AI Breakthrough Explained

Sal Zeta Re:Strange Descriptions... (97 comments)

-"Oh! So, you're the one who writes lyrics for Radiohead, then."

more than 3 years ago
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Revisiting Ebert — Games Can Be Art, But Are They?

Sal Zeta Re:No, it's bullshit (278 comments)

From everything I've ever read the term Art, comes from the latin "ars", which means "technique", though "craftsmanship" could also apply. "Ars" can be translated as "art" but more in the "Art of War" sense, though later it could be translated directly into what we would call art. Your point remains, but what would Slashdot be with out nitpicks and pedantry.

Well,my explanation was to point the direct use of the Term in Tuscan dialect during the Renaissance, of course the phylological analysis is quite more complex than that ;)

[...]

Sorry for the long rambling rant, I went to school for philosophy and studied aesthetics on the side, and am dating a woman who went to school for art (both painting and writing). I never could really get into aesthetics, because it is pretty much pointless (might as well argue about the existence of God), and focused more on meaty things like epistemology and the philosophy of science (which also has roots in "ars", a long time ago an artist and scientist/philosopher were indistinguishable).

No at all,actually it was quite interesting. My knowledge of the argument comes from visual design, thus much of the interpretation of Aesthetics comes from a "Bauhaus" school of thought and the works of Wladislaw Tatarkiewicz where, as you probably already know, your stance on Art was considered historically relevant only after Goethe. But I'm being biased of course. :)

In any case, as you said, most of this should be considered something very remote from contemporary "Art" Production and closer to History of Philosophy. The fact that lately I'm working more on Max/Msp and Actionscript than paper and that this conversation is being done on a place like Slashdot is quite indicative on how little weight the statements of Ebert carry on them.

more than 3 years ago
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Revisiting Ebert — Games Can Be Art, But Are They?

Sal Zeta Re:No, it's bullshit (278 comments)

They already were, during the Renaissance. the italian word Arte (that is, art), was a tuscan contraption of Artigianato, which means craftmanship. In other words, their works were considered not much more important those those made by a carpenter, a well respected but not culturally relevant position.The Sistine Chapel was High Art because it was a representation of God Magnificence, and consequently, a superior work in any case.

The equivalents of Ebert during that historical period were already dismissing many of those works basing on the same reasons: it wasn't Art because it wasn't comparable to the Fine Art of Latin Poetry. Michelangelo was even more valued as an accomplished writer, but I doubt that many remember him today for his sonnets.

Point is, nothing is usually considered "Art" until it permeates completely the society where it is created. I bet that in less than 50 years nobody is going to argue if videogames are art or not, it will be considered obvious.

By the half of 19th century, the word "Art" was already completely devalued by his original meaning and considered almost irrelevant by the Impressionism, and by the time Modernism and Post-Modernism came to exist, it was nothing more than a label. Any serious course on Art or Design would point this very clearly.

Trying to use such terminology now would be laughable.

more than 3 years ago
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GNOME To Lose Minimize, Maximize Buttons

Sal Zeta Re:Is that really well tested in the real world? (797 comments)

Hold on. Of course this system is by no means perfect, I thought it was quite clear when I associated it to "humanistic" branches of knowledge.

And of course your reasoning is correct, but it would be the equivalent of saying "we should not be bothered by the Second Law of Thermodynamics while building our engine, we can always implement a Maxwell's Demon trough nanorobotics after all". It's not physically impossible, but it's an irrealistically hard objective to achieve.

I've been lucky enough to see in action the result of neurolinguistic experiments applied to design and communication, and despite the amazing results, they're still in a very initial phase; I think that the "old school approach" it's still good enough and cost effective to be used in a project like GNOME 3, and it would require no less than 50 years before a change in attitude.

And by the way, pragmatically speaking I doubt that the common user would be glad to have a CAT in order to reconfigure their interface to better suit their current mental patterns.

more than 3 years ago
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GNOME To Lose Minimize, Maximize Buttons

Sal Zeta Re:Is that really well tested in the real world? (797 comments)

I wonder what kind of studies they've done before writing such cases then. UI Design is something you develop from test cases, real world experience and is a research branch much more closer to psychology, anthropology, Comparative Linguistics than Computer Science. It's extremely subjective, as there isn't something like the perfect "UI", like there isn't any perfect human language or the perfect blueprint for an house. The idea that an UI be done using some kind of theoretical , mathematical-like approach just because it's done "on a computer", would be not much different from trying to develop a C++ GUI framework using a manual of anthropology just because it's "Graphical" . Hope it's not the kind of reasoning behind such decisions with GNOME 3.

more than 3 years ago
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Italian Police Seize Blog Over 'Kill Berlusconi' Satire

Sal Zeta Re:Alternative? (214 comments)

Basically, yes.

Both from conservative to socialists point of view is near impossible to find someone who isn't A) a crook / mafioso / neo-aryan fanatic or B) completely irrelevant.

right now there are just two possible viable alternative on both sides of the political spectrum (Gianfranco Fini and Nichi Vendola) ,but nobody is actually supporting them because they are extremely realist on what is needed in Italy to fix things and no one (politician, high class citizen, entrepreneur) really wants to start paying taxes / follow the law / act in a sensate way, actually.

Meanwhile with Berlusconi is in control they are pretty much safe because their behaviour falls perfectly in line with Berlusconi's one.

more than 3 years ago
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Italian Police Seize Blog Over 'Kill Berlusconi' Satire

Sal Zeta Re:Kinda what I was thinking (214 comments)

Just because it has no lolcats in it doesn't means it's not satire...it is actually shows a very similar tone and style of another pretty much famous italian female satirist, even if this text is quite mediocre and comes out as a very ugly copy of her.

Actually it's pretty much clear for a native speaker that she is speaking in very surreal , "Falling Down" kind of way.

The more probable reason is that right now much of the real political opposition to Berlusconi in italy comes from Intellectuals, journalists and comedians (especially female comedians ) considering that much of the left wing party gave up or just became subordinated to right wing parties trying to get some breadcrumbs from what they're grabbing before leaving the economic wasteland that Italy is going to become in the next few years. If you live in the southern part of italy right now, You wouldn't notice any difference with Colombia or Bolivia.

more than 3 years ago
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USB Autorun Attacks Against Linux

Sal Zeta Re:Stop copying Windows please! (274 comments)

The concept is useful enough, if you realize what the user needs. They don't care about autorun per se, they care just about displaying the content from their media in less time as possible. That's their problem.

The feature, "Autorun" in such case, is a solution. And if you try to re-implement a solution without understanding the original problem, you're doomed to make the same errors of the first implementation. By looking at the GNOME interface, despite its really good production values, it's apparently a common error.

more than 3 years ago
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USB Autorun Attacks Against Linux

Sal Zeta Re:OSes should be immune from this out of the box (274 comments)

This is not a "out-of-the-box" experience. It's looks like more to a Tax-Form experience. You would spend more than 10 minutes trying to understand what to do.

And the attention span of the common user is around 7 minutes. Yahoo Answer would be filled in less than half an hour with questions on how to disable it.

more than 3 years ago

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