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Comments

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OpenGL Becoming a Requirement For the Linux Desktop

brennanw Re:KDE? (229 comments)

KDE doesn't require a compositor, and you can toggle compositing on and off pretty easily if you want.

about a year and a half ago
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KDE Plasma Active 3 Improves Performance, Brings New Apps

brennanw Probably not. (70 comments)

Quanta hasn't been updated in five years.

about a year and a half ago
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KDE Plasma Active 3 Improves Performance, Brings New Apps

brennanw Fair enough. (70 comments)

I like KDE myself but I can see why some people think it's too top heavy.

I'd actually like to play with this but I'm not sure I have a compatible one... that I'm willing to experiment on to that extent, anyway.

about a year and a half ago
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KDE Plasma Active 3 Improves Performance, Brings New Apps

brennanw xfce for a tablet? (70 comments)

Do they even have xfce for a tablet? Plasma active is KDE's "touch screen" interface, which they say is for "everything" but is clearly targeted at tablets, since all their graphics show it being used on one.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Value of Website Design Tools vs. Hand Coding?

brennanw Directory Find and Replace in itself is good... (342 comments)

... but what I really loved about Dreamweaver find and replace tool was the way you could conditionally setup when to replace text and when not to... and to use wild cards to only replace certain pieces of code, all in a very user-friendly interface.

I mean, you can do all this with most S&R tools if you're very familiar with regular expressions, but I'm not, and I find them very hard to parse. Dreamweaver let me see the search visually and in comparatively plain English, which made it very easy to troubleshoot. It was fantastic.

One gig I spent most of my time using Dreamweaver to scrub HTML code in documents that were imported from MS Word into Frontpage. As soon as I figured out everything I needed to remove in one document (admittedly that took a few hours) I used Dreamweaver to create a huge search and replace action that I then pointed at a directory and let run for an hour. Problem solved. They'd given me a week to get it done. :)

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Value of Website Design Tools vs. Hand Coding?

brennanw Website Design Tools helped teach me to hand code. (342 comments)

Basically I would create something using Dreamweaver, then look at the html, then change the html to see how it changed the page.

I think at the end of the day it depends on what you're doing, though. For very simple sites, a website design tool can produce clean code, depending on how you've configured it, and it'll be faster to use a GUI for a simple site than anything else. But the more complicated your design gets, the more junk it's going to throw in to get it to look the way you want. And these days so many websites are database driven that website design tools are a lot less useful than they used to be. Most of the time I don't create websites, I modify templates... and that means moving around php fields and changing divs and then mucking about with cascading stylesheets. I've lost track of the GUI apps these days, so I don't know if they've adapted to this new world, but when I started using WordPress and Drupal, Dreamweaver got a lot less useful.

At one point in time, when I'd largely abandoned design tools altogether, I still kept Dreamweaver around because it had the hands-down best search and replace tool I'd ever encountered, and I could use it to search and make changes in entire directories of css, html and php files.

about a year and a half ago
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Don't Super-Size My Smartphone!

brennanw "Big" is relative. (660 comments)

I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note because I wanted the screen size. Then I bought an extended battery because wow, does that gorgeous screen soak up power!

Compared to most smartphones, it's HUGE. But you know what? Compared to most of the "dumb" cellphones being sold in the early to mid 90s it's smaller, lighter, and does considerably more. Some people won't want it, and if it were the only kind of phone available that would suck, but there are plenty of size choices and what others consider over-the-top is perfect for me. ... actually, I wouldn't mind if it was a little larger...

about a year ago
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When Continental Drift Was Considered Pseudoscience

brennanw If that's the case Gallileo shouldn't get credit (214 comments)

for advancing heliocentrism.

Because when he did, he insisted that all orbits around the sun were perfectly circular. He rejected the idea of elliptical orbits -- an idea that had already been proposed. As a result, the mathematics involved in his model to calculate the "movement" of the stars was significantly less accurate than the then-current and accepted model using epicycles.

But he was right, generally, even if he got the specifics wrong.

about 2 years ago
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Torvalds Calls OpenSUSE Security 'Too Intrusive'

brennanw My hypothesis... (311 comments)

Linus Torvalds is the Harlan Ellison of Linux.

more than 2 years ago
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The webOS Features Other OSes Should Steal

brennanw Not entirely true. (142 comments)

There was a waiting list for the original phones when they first came out and they sold out quickly. And WebOS was fantastic. But...

  - the phones themselves had battery problems (if you slid the phone closed too quickly the phone would job the battery out and the phone would cut off)
  - as cool as the phone was, it was too damn small. Slab phones were becoming the preferred interface for smartphones.
  - as cool as the OS was, the user base wanted it built on, with extra features added, and Palm decided for whatever reason that it was going to focus on incremental things instead of sweeping new feature sets.
  - battery life was not good. Seriously. It was freaking horrible. Worse than your standard android phone.

All these things worked against it, plus Sprint decided it was more in love with HTC, so Palm didn't get the kind of backing it was hoping for. But Palm did fumble a few times before HP took it over, so you're right that HP can't shoulder all the blame.

more than 2 years ago
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History Repeats Itself: KDP Select Is Amazon.com's 'Payback For Playback'

brennanw Nope. (70 comments)

The original community was broken into pieces and moving over to other sites (like the ill-fated AMP3.com) before the RIAA lawsuit came to be.

more than 2 years ago
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History Repeats Itself: KDP Select Is Amazon.com's 'Payback For Playback'

brennanw The successful artists weren't the problem... (70 comments)

... not for the most part, anyway. The gamers never reached the upper tiers of revenue as far as I remember. But they were pulling out all the stops to try to get there and it wrecked the place.

more than 2 years ago
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History Repeats Itself: KDP Select Is Amazon.com's 'Payback For Playback'

brennanw A fair point. (70 comments)

I had overlooked the Prime thing, and yes, that will probably cut down on gaming. However, you could still game by trying to stuff the ballot box on your end by putting tens, fifties, hundreds of titles into the pool... the wiki-rippers come to mind.

more than 2 years ago
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History Repeats Itself: KDP Select Is Amazon.com's 'Payback For Playback'

brennanw Re:Dead Tree Exclusivity (70 comments)

Exclusive to one publisher, maybe. Exclusive to one distributor? That's pretty new. You can buy the same book at Barnes and Noble and Amazon... you don't publish a "B&N Edition" and an "Amazon Edition..." With eBooks, the distributors are trying to push people in that direction, though.

more than 2 years ago
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History Repeats Itself: KDP Select Is Amazon.com's 'Payback For Playback'

brennanw Re:Why destroyed? (70 comments)

The main thing to understand about PfP was that it was a fixed pool of money that never changed. It was one million dollars a month, which is nothing to sneeze at, but in the beginning (before they required you be a premium member) there were a LOT of artists on MP3.com who were eligible, and that one million dollar pool started looking pretty shallow. So in order to increase their returns, some artists began to game the system:

  - get their fans to download PfP songs over and over again to maximize their count
  - coordinate with other artists to pool their fans, increasing downloads for both
  - a few tried to start PR campaigns against some of the more popular PfP artists in an attempt to reduce their downloads

Essentially by putting all these artists in a fixed pool, it turned a community of allies into a community of competitors, and it got pretty nasty. There wasn't much left of the original community once that started.

more than 2 years ago
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Site Aims To Be the "Google" of the Underweb

brennanw Here's what I'm getting from this article... (78 comments)

... indentity theives have to create private accounts in cyber crime stores. o_O

When they're buying their batch of stolen credit card numbers, probably with another stolen credit card number, does the store then steal the stolen credit card number and start using it themselves? Which they might then add to the next batch of stolen credit card numbers... which the identity thief might then buy back the next time he buys a new batch of stolen credit card numbers...

... it's the cycle of crime!

more than 2 years ago
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Are Programmers Ruining the Design of eBooks?

brennanw You do, Internet. You deserve better. (470 comments)

Yes.

Yes you do.

You do deserve better ebooks. Because the current quality of ebooks is destroying the Internet, and, dare I say it, destroying the fabric of America itself. And as every red-blooded American knows, the Internet and the United States of America ARE EXACTLY THE SAME THING.

Every night I weep, weep bitter tears, at the terrible, terrible, quality of ebooks infesting our world. Me, I blame socialists. Or fascists. Or communists. Or atheists. Or Christians. It's the socio-fascist-communo-godless-theocratic industrial complex destroying the world one lousy ebook at a time.

... which is why you should immediately run out and buy a copy of Pay Me, Bug!, available on Amazon.com (Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook), Smashwords (epub, Kobe, PDF, LRF, PalmDoc), and iTunes. It is the only chance we all have to ensure a better tomorrow.

more than 2 years ago
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Doctor Who To Become Hollywood Feature Film

brennanw My predictions... (357 comments)

... since he was so faithful to the concept of John Constaine, Keanu Reeves will be cast as the Doctor.

One of his companions will be a street-smart, wisecracking black man.

One of his companions will be a 20-something slacker genius computer hacker (hollywood-style)

The third companion will be Mary Jane Smith, played by either Christina Ricci or Angelina Jolie

The hacker will manage to hack into the heart of the TARDIS by guessing its password, which will be "TARDIS"

The TARDIS will be updated so that it's chameleon circuit is stuck on the form of a porta-potty. hilarity will, of course, ensue.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's a Good Tablet/App Combination For Note-Taking?

brennanw Re:ASUS eee Pad Transformer with Dock (425 comments)

The slider looks neat, but from what I understand the battery life isn't nearly as good. What's your experience with the battery life? Maybe I just read some sloppy reviews...

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's a Good Tablet/App Combination For Note-Taking?

brennanw ASUS eee Pad Transformer with Dock (425 comments)

The tablet alone is a good tablet, but with the keyboard it becomes what a netbook always wanted to be but could never quite manage to pull off.

15 hours of battery life -- good for an entire school day and then some. Physcially connected keyboard (useful if the campus has bluetooth restrictions). keyboard also has full-sized USB connector (2) so you can back it up to thumb drive for use elsewhere... As for specific android apps, that's sort of a mixed bag. None of the "office compatible" apps have spellcheck, which is annoying, but if you're looking for something just to put notes in the Polaris Office that comes preloaded with the ASUS is more than sufficient.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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History repeats itself: KDP Select is Amazon.com's "Payback for Playback"

brennanw brennanw writes  |  more than 2 years ago

brennanw writes "Anyone who was active on mp3.com during the late 90s/early 2000's will find Amazon.com's KDP Select awfully familiar: authors who make their works exclusive to Amazon compete for a pool of money. Any time someone "borrows" one of their books, they get a cut of a monthly sum (700K in January, 600K for February) based on how many of their books were checked out vs. how many other author's books were checked out. This is almost identical to the "Payback for Playback" service MP3.com provided musicians a little over a decade ago. Payback for Playback effectively destroyed the original MP3.com artist community, and I don't think KDP Select is going to be much different for the self-publishing community that is growing on Amazon."
Link to Original Source
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Certifiably Insane

brennanw brennanw writes  |  more than 3 years ago

brennanw (5761) writes "What happens when a guy who barely knows how to keep his website running finds out about Firesheep? After a mild panic attack, he tries to purchase a certificate and enable SSL. It sounds like the setup to a Youtube sit-com, and now that I'm writing this summary I wish I'd made the actual article funnier."
Link to Original Source
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brennanw brennanw writes  |  more than 7 years ago

brennanw writes "This is the time of year when computer journalists lean back in their chairs and pontificate endlessly on the top ten products of the year... and then go on to make keen, insightful predictions on the year to come (for example, Infoworld's mind-boggling prediction that Computers are going to get faster). Not to be outdone by amateurs, Eviscerati.org makes it's own predictions for the coming year, with such hard-hitting and insightful gems as 'Computers will continue to require electricity,' 'Richard Stallman will piss somebody off,' and 'Slashdot will refuse to acknowledge my greatness.'"

Journals

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Help Desk webcomic turns 15

brennanw brennanw writes  |  about 3 years ago

It's not particularly notable to the /. crowd at large, but some of you might find it relevant. Help Desk, a webcomic I started on March 31, 1996, turns 15 today. Announcement and introspective ramblings here: https://www.ubersoft.net/news/2011/misc-help-desk-turns-fifteen-today

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