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UK Student Jailed For Facebook Hack Despite 'Ethical Hacking' Defense

alizard judges wonder why there's no respect for courts? (356 comments)

In general, the answer to that question is as close as the technologically illiterate fuckhead any given judge will see in his or her bathroom mirror.

more than 2 years ago

Copyright Industry Calls For Broad Search Engine Controls

alizard I'm sure they'll keep the Twilight franchise going (421 comments)

so you can go back to sleep.

At the low-budget end of the film market, Kickstarter is already replacing Hollywood angel investors and YCombinatot is bringing in more conventional VC startup money. What I'm proposing here would simply accelerate the process.

As for legacy content, even MICROSOFT can figure out that masters of films or records in archival storage that just sit there make the owner no money. There's a lot of long-tail potential in the vaults of Universal. Why should a movie or record EVER go out of print?

But those concerns are for grownups. You can go back to dreaming of being sparkly. And hope the next VAMPYRE you see isn't carrying a Zune.

more than 2 years ago

Copyright Industry Calls For Broad Search Engine Controls

alizard the tech giants can make this go away forever (421 comments)

by pooling their petty cash and simply buying up the big mass market content providers. And probably manage the Hollywood IP portfolio more efficiently and profitably than Hollywood can.

We can hope that everyone actively involved has figured this out and the real Net war in progress is over how much Hollywood is going to get paid to go away. Perhaps Hollywood should get what it wants to ensure that these people get an early start on partying themselves to death.

more than 2 years ago

Net Companies Consider the "Nuclear Option" To Combat SOPA

alizard the "nuclear option" doesn't go nearly far enough (507 comments)

The Net Coalition can make Hollywood effectively disappear from the Web.

And that is exactly what they should do.

No advertising or product sales or even a visible presence until the stock prices of these companies drops far enough that the members of the Net Coalition can buy the biggest MPAA studios and RIAA labels out of petty cash. Then fire the management of these companies and replace them with people who know something about music in thel digital age. I believe that the tech industry can probably manage the IP portfolios more rationally and profitably than the jackass incumbents in any case.

The *AA wants censorship? I think they should get it. Enough of it to destroy them.

more than 2 years ago

HP Wanted $1.2B For WebOS and Palm

alizard I fully support the efforts of Apple and Google (139 comments)

to get each other's mobile OSs banned from public sale. In the meantime, it would be a bright idea for some patent attorneys to look at the 'abandoned' mobile OSs to see if they conflict with the Apple / Google / M$ IP portfolios.

One of these days, a lawsuit-proof mobile OS might prove extremely valuable. Imagine the next generation of mobile OS products based on WebOS and Maemo rather than banned-from-sale iOS and Android.

And an object lesson as to why tech companies should compete on technology and marketing ability rather than on the ability to suppress competitor's products via legal means would also be a good thing, and better it be that companies I am not involved with provide it.

more than 2 years ago

Is There an Institutional Bias Against Black Tech Entrepreneurs?

alizard it's something of an advantage (645 comments)

to the person who needs to unload an OS if one's mother knew the current President of IBM socially from mutual involvement in high-level charity fundraising.

"Not exactly poor" indeed.

more than 2 years ago

HP Pondering Sale of WebOS

alizard what's good about WebOS? (99 comments)

The people who have actually used it, myself included find the UI very good indeed.

Nobody is suing about it.

For a tablet/smartphone manufacturer, having a superior UI backed with lawsuit-proof code is the way out of the legal clusterfuck involving Apple, Google, and even Micro$oft . . . which appear to have collectively concluded that since they can't compete on superior technology, that their road to future growth is to sue its competing OSs out of existence.

Personally, I hope Apple and Google and Microsoft succeed in blowing each other out of the mobile market.

more than 2 years ago

Are Power Users Too Cool For Ubuntu Unity?

alizard IMO, the best response to "some discomfort" (798 comments)

is user pushback followed by voting with one's feet if the vendor still doesn't get the message. I plck a UI to maximize my efficiency, and I saw nothing in Unity that would help me do that on a desktop. I wouldn't mind trying Unity on a tablet or smartphone. If Shuttleworth wants happy Unity users, he needs to convince OEMs to put it on tablets and smartphones.

So I run Kubuntu on all 4 of my machines, including the netbook. If some way is found to make it impossible to run KDE on Ubuntu, I'll go back to Debian.

But because all the OSes are going to be extended to the mobile, all the vendors are making changes to the DE at the expense of some discomfort of the users.

Desktops are not smartphones,. The main differences are far more screen real estate (true even on a netbook with the screen the size of a tablet ...netbooks don't need virtual keyboards or touchscreen cursor control), a physical pointing device, and a physical keyboard. Optimising a desktop with a smartphone UI is a great reason to change distros or operating systems.

Certainly, a single unified UI is convenient for developers. But if the price of developer convenience is mass migration to the competition, it's not worth paying.

more than 2 years ago

Are Power Users Too Cool For Ubuntu Unity?

alizard perhaps the problem is with (798 comments)

you and Shuttleworth and others who think You Know What Is Best For Us.

You and others who think like you do should feel free to run your ideas up the flagpole, but if they do not fit our perceived needs, don't be surprised if the salute you get is a raised middle finger if you are annoying enough about pushing it.

more than 2 years ago

Are Power Users Too Cool For Ubuntu Unity?

alizard I'm sure that's what they're aiming for (798 comments)

and smartphones and tablets are sufficiently different environments that the best they can do is to annoy desktop and smartphone and tablet users sufficienty to switch to more specialized OSs more suitable for the devices they are used on.

You're posting from a Mac, right?

more than 2 years ago

Are Power Users Too Cool For Ubuntu Unity?

alizard in the real world (798 comments)

geeks who intend to get the bills paid spend more time with word processors and spreadsheets and e-mail than doing the fun things one can do inside a terminal window. If you want to create ECAD designs by banging out Gerber files character by character in vi in a terminal in pursuit of geek cred, go for it. It won't work, but we'll get lots of entertainment if you put your efforts on YouTube.

For routine desktop productivity of the sort required to be able to afford the geek lifestyle, desktops matter.

more than 2 years ago

Weak Typing — the Lost Art of the Keyboard

alizard there's an inherent speed problem (362 comments)

75 word per minute world record for thumb typing

An experienced typist on a conventional keyboard might be good for 75-90., the world record is 200+. Few of us will ever remotely approach these speeds, this indicates what's physically possible for humans operating human hands. 10 fingers is faster than 8 fingers and two thumbs.

Which is why serious document production is going to be done on conventional keyboards, not virtual or thumb for the foreseeable future. If I have to type a 66 page document (that was a few months ago) I'm using all my fingers on a physical full-size or close to it keyboard.

about 3 years ago

Pakistan Bans Encryption

alizard genius! (351 comments)

They just banned e-commerce, telecommuting, offshoring operations providing services (e.g. customer service at your bank), and foreign corporate operations.

about 3 years ago

Have American Businesses Been Stranded By the MBAs?

alizard the UI has been drastically improved (487 comments)

I found GIMP useless except for special effects a couple of years ago. Now, I use it routinely. There are lots of people who need more than MTPaint but don't need the capability of several hundred bucks worth of graphics software. Who need capabilities like manipulating photos, making simple web page graphics, posters. GIMP is just fine for that kind of situation. Sure, it's got a learning curve. But so does anything above the MSPaint level.

more than 3 years ago

Congressman Wants YouTube Video Covered Up

alizard what part of (884 comments)

"That ship done sailed" does the GOP not get? Once it goes to YouTube, suppressing it is kind of pointless regardless of the law. Then, there's the Streisand Effect where an attempt to suppress a story puts spreads it massively. Perhaps someone could explain this to them using short words and simple sentences. Also, someone should explain :"going viral". Is the YouTube copy the only one they've got?

Also, lots of foreign jurisdictions where US law doesn't apply.

more than 3 years ago

Texas Bill Outlaws Discrimination Against Creationists In Academia

alizard mod parent flamebait (1251 comments)

You're too stupid to be worth my time to "debate" with. You would be better off doing some more Bible-thumping using your head as the object to be thumped in any case. The peer review process is specifically intended to prevent wasting time of the scientific community on whatever it is you think "real science" is.

more than 3 years ago

Texas Bill Outlaws Discrimination Against Creationists In Academia

alizard it's only a matter of time if this passes (1251 comments)

before the accreditation of TX colleges and universities gets removed. This is essentially a way for the creationist whackos to impose their religious beliefs on the content of science programs. TX students in biological science programs probably should look for ways to transfer to out of state schools. How long will it be before similar legislation gets passed to protect the "rights" of flat-earthers? Or the rights of racial or anti-gay bigots? I don't know, but it looks like buying a college education in TX is going to become a complete waste of money Real Soon Now.

Note that there is nothing in the law prohibiting employer discrimination against people who believe in creationism in the place of science. Nor is there going to be, because employers in biological science related areas required to hire religious crazies with "science" degrees will simply move their R&D operations to Blue states.

more than 3 years ago

Debian Is the Most Important Linux

alizard Ubuntu is essentially Debian Unstable (Sid) (354 comments)

with bug fixes by Ubuntu devs (which get backported to Debian), some cooler packaging, and a better driver selection. I thought everyone in the Linux scene who's been around for any significant length of time knew this.. For more details, read Ubuntu is based on Debian unstable.

I would say that Debian has a certain importance to the Ubuntu community, given that if Debian disappeared, the Ubuntu community would have to whip up all these cool new packages from scratch rather than fixing what's broken from unstable and adding non-free drivers and cool packaging. If Debian disappeared from the face of the earth today, Natty might come out on time... but with luck, its successor might come out in 2 or 3 years. Or maybe Canonical goes bankrupt and it never comes out at all.

I switched from Debian Lenny because of the better driver (as in non-free) selection in Ubuntu, I had to get my new motherboard running immediately.

I think Ubuntu (I use Kubuntu Meerkat) is a better desktop distro, it was intended for ease of use, which is important for most people who make a living with computers in an office environment and pretty much succeeds. If I were going to run a server, I'd put Debian Stable or Testing on it.

more than 3 years ago

Firefox 4 Web Demos: Web O' Wonder

alizard Web-o-Wonder provided me with a unique experience (145 comments)

I checked it with Chrome 10-beta on Kubuntu 10.10. It crashed Chrome AND X, leaving me with a few seconds of black screen followed by a login prompt.

When I reloaded Chrome, it came up without the tabs I'd been looking at.


more than 3 years ago


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