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MS To Indie Devs: You Have a To Have a Publisher

bfree Re:Duh, they are a publisher (463 comments)

Here 47 days before this announcement they were removing it on Sony Fools Day.

Please be assured that SCE is committed to continue the support for previously sold models that have the "Install Other OS" feature and that this feature will not be disabled in future firmware releases.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me

about a year ago

First Looks At Windows 8.1, Complete With 'Start' Button

bfree Slow Boot from EULA screen (800 comments)

Have they added an option to let you get into your board firmware without having to first agree to their EULA? Thanks to their Win8 compliance specs if you don't want to agree to it your only choice in practice is to remove the boot drive to get into the firmware menu (voiding the warranty on your new laptop).

about a year ago

On the Heels of Wheezy, Aptosid Releases 2013-01

bfree Re:Neat, a new updated Aptosid! (79 comments)

The summary includes one of the major differences, the kernel. Wheezy (and sid as of now) has 3.2, this aptosid release has 3.9. The aptosid kernel stays very close to vanilla mainline with the latest stable/important/security patches and suitably tuned for most desktop users.

Another major difference is the installer (and it's live system) which brings a coherent set of packages to start with and some initial configuration which helps make it more suitable for use as a sid system such as disabling the installation of recommended packages by default. The initial aptosid system is a clean sid system, such as you can get from debootstrapping, without the pain of bootstrapping or the baggage accumulated by starting from a stable system and upgrading it to sid.

As a result of not being tied to the Debian kernel and debian-installer it can also often adopt features ahead of Debian itself without breaking compatibility with sid. Examples have included ath5k support for a fully Free wifi experience, insserv support for parrallel starting of initscripts and support for installing on EFI systems. Of course it doesn't support everything d-i does nor all the architectures of the Debian kernel.

The aptosid manual is great and covers an awful lot of material from setting things up to maintaining your system, guiding you to keep a supportable system in the unstable environment. It's available in 14 languages at the moment.

The artwork of course is also aptosid's own, changing with each release. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and of course you can pick other art from the Debian packages or your own images for wallpapers ... though I never bother.

Finally there is a community which wants to support those running sid and a "fix.main" section of the aptosid repo which often includes some "hot-fixes" for issues which have cropped up in sid, helping to protect it's users, sometimes briefly just waiting for the next debian mirror push and sometimes for issues which end up staying in sid for a long time.

about a year ago

On the Heels of Wheezy, Aptosid Releases 2013-01

bfree Re:Neat, a new updated Aptosid! (79 comments)

It has a script to update (Deliberately made to be as unreadable as possible.)

This is not true of aptosid. The update procedure is simply to stop X, run "apt-get dist-upgrade" and make sure what it wants to do seems sane before accepting it.

They don't use aptitude though or support it.

This is absolutely true and for similar reasons to why Debian has recommended using apt-get to perform the dist-upgrades between their stable releases. With sid you want to dist-upgrade and the predictable and consistent nature of apt-get is far better suited for this then aptitude which can often be too smart for it's own good.

about a year ago

$250 Chromebook With Ubuntu Linux Is Very Fast

bfree Re:250$ buys you a lot of netbook... (117 comments)

Acer C7 Chromebook £199 from (for a sterling comparison as you said £229). This has a Sandy Bridge Celeron so it's a cut back Core processor but it would be the one I'd be most interested in seeing benchmarked like-for-like with this $250 Arm Chromebook.

about 2 years ago

Pols Blur Line Between Data Mining, Cyberstalking

bfree Re:Promoting Synergistic Synergy (115 comments)

If you scrap (sic) facebook

Presuming you meant scrape (cause we know they aren't scrapping it) the more interesting question to me is: what is to stop facebook and/or google (maybe others) from picking a side and providing an interface to their chosen candidates campaign? If one side had a direct link to mine whatever they wanted what influence would that have on the result of the election?

about 2 years ago

Linux Foundation Offers Solution for UEFI Secure Boot

bfree (308 comments)

I'm not sure where your second quote comes from? Yes, shim (or the LF thing) needs to be signed by Microsoft, but the idea here of both these options is that one person/group gets the first-stage bootloader signed (i.e. shim) and then others can use it as a blob which can then be told by a physically present user to trust other items which are not signed by Microsoft. The "here" link in my first post provides a good chunk of extra info.

about 2 years ago

Linux Foundation Offers Solution for UEFI Secure Boot

bfree (308 comments)

Linux Foundation approach to Secure Boot
James Bottomley just published a description of the Linux Foundation's Secure Boot plan, which is pretty much as I outlined in the second point here - it's a bootloader that will boot untrusted images as long as a physically present end-user hits a key on every boot, and if a user switches their machine to setup mode it'll enrol the hash of the bootloader in order to avoid prompting again. In other words, it's less useful than shim. Just use shim instead.

Further UEFI bootloader work
A couple of people have asked whether we're planning on implementing the Linux Foundation approach of simply asking the user whether they want to boot an unsigned file. We've considered it, but at the moment are leaning towards "no" - it's simply too easy to use to trick naive users into running untrusted code. Users are trained to click through pretty much any security prompt that they see, and if an attacker replaces a legitimate bootloader with one that asks them to press "y" to make their computer work, they'll press "y". If that bootloader then launches a trojaned Windows bootloader that launches a trojaned Windows kernel, that's kind of a problem. This could be somewhat mitigated by limiting this feature to removable media, and we're seriously considering that, but there are still some risks associated. We might just end up writing the code but disabling it at build time, and then anyone who wants to distribute with that policy can do so at their own risk.

about 2 years ago

Will the Desktop PC Live Forever?

bfree Re:Hybrid (625 comments)

So a tablet with a hdmi port and usb is a PC? Even when it's not connected to the monitor and keyboard/mouse?

The main problem with the present crop of tablets for doing this is the software it is running, which is probably driven by the obsession with capacitive multi-touch. There's also the problem of Apple requiring you to cludge around with third party adapters to get usb or hdmi (and I've no idea if they handle a mouse) and Google's Nexus is even more useless in terms of ports. There are still plenty of tablets though with usb-host and hdmi.

If just any mobile gpu manufacturer would provide decent Free drivers so people could get hacking we really could see the year of Linux on the ?Desktop? (or at least a year of it before one or more of Apple/MS/Google adopt the best concepts and claim they invented it). I suppose it's possible MS might already be aiming for this sort of usage with their forthcoming Windows tablets but until they are actually released (in volume) who knows.

about 2 years ago

Used Software Can Be Sold, Says EU Court of Justice

bfree Re:Not really surprising really.... (385 comments)

an esteemed member of the European Union's Parliament

Nigel Farage


From taking office as a UKIP MEP in 1999, Farage has often voiced opposition to the "euro project".

May as well quote the Pope "abortion is bad m'kay".

more than 2 years ago

Torvalds Slams NVIDIA's Linux Support

bfree Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (663 comments)

You say you want a "small" card which isn't expensive, just outputs to dvi/hdmi/vga/whatever and you don't care about features? Have you ever tried one of the cheapest AMD cards? They fit your requirements using Free drivers that work as expected (e.g. xrandr to toy with displays) and AMD have been releasing the documentation you are requesting for a few generations of chips. Yes, the authors of the radeon and radeonhd "drivers" decided to quit writing their own firmware for the cards and instead depend upon the AMD firmware for a wide range of features, but that was a pragmatic decision as can be seen by how much the radeonhd guys managed without using the binary firmware (including adding features such as hdmi audio before those using the non-free firmware).

more than 2 years ago

ICANN Reveals New TLD Application List

bfree Re:So, remind me again, (116 comments)

.bet .you .one .is .able .to .talk .in .top .domain, .ie .fun .gift .to .us .now .new .games .to .play .by .email .fishing .fans .eh?

.im .able .to .do .it. .fun .new .world, .net .is .now .bananarepublic.

.so .if .an .art .fan .gifts .me .digital .video .camera .and .sexy .pro .star .rental .to .suck .off .and .stroke .my .wang, .im .hosting .one .diy .bj .porn .movie .free .at .cheap .pub .site. .ooo

.ps .you .fail .and .gold .star .to .me .and .im .no .virgin .lol

more than 2 years ago

Universal Android Laptop Dock: Microsoft Nightmare, Or Toy?

bfree why laptop style? (262 comments)

Is this saner than docking by connecting a video cable (i.e. hdmi) for an external monitor and usb cable to storage, input devices and even networking? The only potential problem I see then is charging via the same usb port which I admit might be tricky at best with current phones. Plenty of tablets have multiple usb ports and/or dedicated charging ports though but I'd imagine a tablet (I'd fancy 7" @ 720p or higher myself) would be far more usable on it's own for the sort of apps you would run docked. A real (desktop) browser or office suite on a phone is impractical for all but the most trivial uses on 4.x" resistive screen let alone the capacitive screens which appear to have taken over.

more than 2 years ago

Taxes Lead Angry Birds Maker Rovio To Consider Move To Ireland

bfree It's not about the 12.5% (626 comments)

As others have mentioned, the 12.5% isn't even the best rate around. Moving to Ireland is more generally about the Double Irish whereby you form two companies in Ireland, one based in a true tax haven like the Caymans. Ireland then lets the company in the tax haven not pay Irish taxes, so it sells "IP" to the other company at whatever price they want (no transfer pricing rules), so while one company banks all the revenue, it pays just about everything over to the shell "IP" company where it is basically all untaxed profit. In practice this means the company chooses it's real tax rate in Ireland by deciding how much of it's revenues it doesn't ship out to the tax haven.

more than 2 years ago

Research To "Reveal the Unseen World of Cookies"

bfree Re:Pot kettle spy. (108 comments)

You seem to have access to a website you could already publish it on no?

Failing that for whatever reason you could put it in a wiki on branchable? No I'm not affiliated to them in any way but they were the first "good" answer which jumped to my mind.

More obscure but perhaps extra appropriate for the topic at hand, you could publish it on a "hidden service" on tor?

more than 2 years ago

Research To "Reveal the Unseen World of Cookies"

bfree Re:Pot kettle spy. (108 comments)

However, I was thinking of putting up open documents like this: so you could see where I'd got to and put me right if I was going off track (as it were). Good idea? Bad idea?

Putting this stuff on google is like asking the NSA to host wikileaks ... bad idea.

more than 2 years ago

Research To "Reveal the Unseen World of Cookies"

bfree Re:Pot kettle spy. (108 comments)

You missed some more!


I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to de-dupe the above list (e.g. quantserve Vs quantcast and ytimg Vs youtube) and decide for themselves which ones are innocuous.

I didn't even bother to let any of them run any javascript to discover what else they might try to sneak in. I'm also willing to bet I missed something.

You have to love the "obfuscation" and attempts to get past blocking, from the simple noscript web-bugs to

document.write('<scr' + 'ipt type="text/javascript"

more than 2 years ago

The Numbers Behind the Copyright Math

bfree Re:Losses, but due to piracy? (311 comments)

You may have reduced their revenue, but have you reduced their profit? The costs associated with digital distribution should be trivial compared to pressing, shipping, warehousing, picking and delivery. End result being that even with a huge drop in revenue the industry could still be making more profit then ever. When deciding if they need to cut more jobs they won't be basing it on revenue but on their bottom line.

Or in other words, lies, damn lies and statistics, no need to argue with them over the statistic they pick to best suit their arguments.

more than 2 years ago

Details of Initial "Disc to Digital" Program Emerge

bfree Copyright Laundering (201 comments)

You and your friends bring all your media to one house. Each person brings the stack to walmart (perhaps filtering out things uninteresting to them) to get them added to their account and then drop the lot off at the next persons house. To make it legal (possibly, T&C apply, IANAL etc etc) you all agree that you are giving the first person the disks (or sell them to them for 1c) and they give/sell them to the next person until finally all have their accounts setup and you gather again to get presents from the last person who now has more discs then they want cluttering up their home. End result you can buy a license to the parts of the collection you want for $2-$5 per disc.

more than 2 years ago

Eye of Tiger Composer Sues Gingrich To Stop Campaign From Using Song

bfree Re:Wow, Survivor member turns DOWN exposure chance (452 comments)

It's not wasting your vote, it's just using your vote to influence future elections rather then the one you are voting on right then. Each extra vote for an "unlikely" candidate makes it that much more likely that the next election will see more backing for other candidates, or simply modify the behaviour of the candidates who see the extra votes to be won.

I say this from a country where I enjoy never having to contemplate this as we have multi-seat transferable votes. I usually have to spend a while ranking anywhere from 10-20 candidates for 5 seats. I invariably end up starting with the pleasure of trying to pick which piece of scum deserves the bottom ranking the most this time round. I enjoy watching the count results just to see how many piles my vote has moved through before it reaches one of the candidates left in at the final round where it is ultimately "counted".

more than 2 years ago



bfree bfree writes  |  more than 7 years ago

bfree (113420) writes "Now the latest US election is over thoughts move to 2008 and the next US Presidential election. Here on slashdot, many people seem to frequently comment on their frustrations at their voting choices under the Republican(R)/Democrat(D) duopoly. The US voting system of course makes no allowances for transfering a vote which makes it exceedingly hard to convince voters to risk discarding their vote on a candidate without a proven chance of winning (unless they are perceived as the only possible victor against a disliked favourite).

The limited media coverage I have seen of this election (I am not an American) has focused on the R Vs D battles for the two houses so I have some questions for slashdot:

Was there any significant progress made in this election (on local or national levels) by candidates from other parties? Do these results provide any evidence that come 2008 non R/D candidates would have the proof they need of their viability to get elected (or at least be better perceived to have a chance)? Are there any figures on local/national non-R/D voting changes at this election and the levels of voter swing required come 2008 to see seats move out of R/D hands?

Or did nothing change and are the non-R/D candidates still facing into the same battle against the voting system?"


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