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LibreOffice Gets a Streamlined Makeover With 4.4 Release

donaldm Re:Native UI conventions...? (145 comments)

One of my problems with LibreOffice (and OpenOffice, and some other FOSS apps) is that it doesn't fit with native UI conventions. It doesn't look like a native application, it doesn't feel like a native application, and it doesn't behave like a native application.

What pray tell is a "native" application supposed to look like?

Although it may seem like a very superficial thing, it makes it much harder to sell in a business setting. First, because a lot of business users (including "decision makers") are pretty superficial, and using a non-native UI makes it look cheap and unfinished. Second, because if it doesn't feel or behave like the applications that users are familiar with, then it's going to be jarring and confusing, requiring more training and resulting in more help desk trouble calls.

You would have been better to say "If It does not look and feel like a Microsoft application then we don't want it". I can counter what you said but why bother since so called "decision makers" are pretty superficial.

So when I read that LibreOffice "has got a lot of UX and design love", I was hoping that some of the incongruences were fixed. Looking at the OSX version, it seems that it's gotten worse. It looks distinctly like an application written for Linux that was hastily ported to OSX.

While I cannot comment on the OSX port as far as I am concerned the Linux and the MS Windows versions of LibreOffice look pretty much the same in GUI and functionality.

2 days ago
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DirectX 12 Lies Dormant Within Microsoft's Recent Windows 10 Update

donaldm Re: DirectX is obsolete (134 comments)

They use neither. Directx is on the Xbox so the pc gets a lousy Xbox port. Opengl has not been used in games for a long time now.

Exception is Wow for the mac

The PS3 and PS4 both use OpenGL as does the Wii and the WiiU and yet we continue to see new games. Of course so does IOX and Android and we all know how small those markets are :-)

5 days ago
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Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

donaldm Re: No. (562 comments)

if the hardware is compromised, the software doesn't matter so much.

That is true, however if it became know that Brand X computer was hardware compromised (and it eventually will) then said company is going to loose credibility and sales to Brand Y computer hardware that has not been compromised. Now we have to ask the question has Brand Y been compromised and we don't know yet?

Sounds silly doesn't but when you consider computers are manufactured by different companies around the world and it is in the best interest of each country to make sure computers that are sold there are not compromised because of potential customer and even government backlash. This same scenario can be played out with operating system software since no major software company would want to take the chance of being found out. Of course "click bait", viruses and worms are a different story since a spying agency be it governmental or criminal has plausible deniability.

about two weeks ago
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Engineer Combines Xbox One, PS4 Into Epic 'PlayBox' Laptop

donaldm Re:Engineer? (78 comments)

Here is the first article that I could find that was written on the PlayBox

The "self taught" engineer (note the lower case) who did this is a person by the name of "Ed Zarick".

about two weeks ago
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Engineer Combines Xbox One, PS4 Into Epic 'PlayBox' Laptop

donaldm Re:"Engineer" (78 comments)

This is old news from approx 2 days ago.

As we can see it is possible to combine the XBone and PS4 into one box but why bother since you could never sell a machine like this without Microsoft and Sony lawyers knocking on your door. :-)

about two weeks ago
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Belgian Raid Kills 2, Said To Avert "Major Terrorist Attacks"

donaldm Re:Prepare for more (257 comments)

It took hundreds of years for Christians to let go of blasphemophobia. It may take as long for Muslims to let go of theirs. We should be in this for the long haul, and while we should be willing to kill and die now and then, if anyone suggests those should be the primary activities involved, they are simply expressing a profound ignorance of humans, and history, and warfare (both its costs and its effectiveness, which bellicose emotionalists often get wrong.)

A few years ago I saw an interview with an Imam were he actually said something like the first two sentances.

In most western societies there is separation between Church and State, hence the reason why Christians had to let go of blasphemophobia however quite a few nasty wars happened before the division was ratified. Even today it is still possible for a Christian to be excommunicated from their church for "blasphemy" although imprisonment, torture and/or capital punishment for this, is not acceptable from a State perspective.

In most Islamic countries there basically is no separation between Church and State, hence blasphemy and anything counter to what is interpreted in the Quran is predominately dealt with imprisonment or some sort of violence against the perpetrator. Will it take another 500 years before Islam has this separation? If the answer is "yes" then that is an excuse because for better or worse we are all living in the same time frame on this planet.

about two weeks ago
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How To Hijack Your Own Windows System With Bundled Downloads

donaldm Re:Libreoffice (324 comments)

I can witness on open source not being immune. I recommended Libreoffice to a novice PC user recently. I don't know from where he downloaded the installer, but when he finished he had some redundant anti-virus programs, and another program that reset the home page of his web browser and wouldn't let him change it back.

Was this for MS Windows or for a Linux distribution? I have installed Libreoffice from "www.libreoffice.org/" for MS Windows (8.1) and have never had any issues. As for an installer for Linux I just use the "yum install" command ("apt-get install" for Debian based distributions) or if I feel like it from the GUI Software Manager since Libreoffice is in the repository.

about three weeks ago
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How To Hijack Your Own Windows System With Bundled Downloads

donaldm Re:Application installers suck. (324 comments)

You are aware that the average user will not be able to perform the Linux part. So you must use the GUI. Enter the root password (The what now?) and then click on OK and so on.Installing something like Google Earth gives me errors when I try to do it.(Yes, I know how to solve it) No such issue on Windows.

Back in the early 1980's I use to teach clerical staff how to use Unix workstations. Not one person I taught had any issue with using the command line or the GUI for that matter. Fast forward to 2015 and people seem to have developed a mind block to using the command line, I wonder why? Have people really got dumber with regard to using computers?

Ok I will give you a Fedora 21 with a KDE GUI example.

1. Select your application launcher (for people with MS Windows that is equivalent to start and FYI Unix/Linux had it first)
2. Select "Applications".
3. Select "Administration" then "Software Management".

or

2. Select "Computer"
3. Select "System Settings" then "Software Management"

In the "Software Management" GUI search for the software you want or just browse the repository. When you find what you want just install it and all dependences are found and installed for you. Of course you do need system admin privilege to do this.

The main difference is that for most of the software finding it is easier on Linux. Still there are applications that are not in the repo and at that moment Windows is easier.

I do agree with what you said here but isn't this article about trusting the site were you want to get the application from. It's not that difficult getting an rpm or deb package if one exists however you really need to know how to install it and in the majority of cases you can use "yum" if using Fedora/Redhat distributions and "apt-get" is using Debian type distributions. Of course the best and safest way is to use the command line for the install in this case however IMHO if people feel that their brains will explode I strongly suggest MS Windows and slowly back away. :)

about three weeks ago
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Sloppy File Permissions Make Red Star OS Vulnerable

donaldm Re:not great, but probably not very important eith (105 comments)

So who should own the text file? Vi? cat? grep? emacs? gcc?

Those are applications which have nothing to do with ownership although the user must have permission to use them. It is the user who should own the file, text or otherwise.

The Unix permissions of "user", "group" and "other" are still valid even today. If you want a more fine grained permission solution then look no further than Access Control Lists which have been in use by Unix since the late 1980's and Linux since the early 1990's.

The big problem with ACL's is not the concept it is when users expect the System Administrator to manage ACL's for them. Even on the latest OS's be it Linux, MS Windows, VMS or Unix the same base Unix permissions are still in use with ACL's only used when there is a need.

about three weeks ago
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Sloppy File Permissions Make Red Star OS Vulnerable

donaldm Re:Good ol' 777 (105 comments)

Unix doesn't help much. I mean if apache can't read /home/me/www/path/to/index.html the OS isn't going to tell you its because of the permissions on /home. Meanwhile you have given up and gone chmod -R 777 /

No! No! No! you are doing it wrong you should have been using the command "rm -rf /" . The Linux/Unix professionals will thank you for this. :)

about three weeks ago
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Happy Public Domain Day: Works That Copyright Extension Stole From Us In 2015

donaldm Re:and no one gives a damn. (328 comments)

One thing we've noticed is the other side: it's often cheaper to just buy the movie, watch it at home (home-popped popcorn) and throw away the disc afterwards than it is to watch it in the theatre.

Home movies have gotten so much cheaper than theatres that this is feasible for most movies. We still see the odd one in the theatre, but that has gotten quite rare over the years.

You actually have something there. HDTV's are relatively cheap compared to the original vacuum tube variety that was used for standard definition. Even if you want to buy a 4K HDTV over the now standard 2K (1080p) 15:9 aspect ratio HDTV's you may pay about 10% more. In fact it is possible to set-up a reasonable home theatre (includes HDTV, DVD/BD player, amplifier and speakers) system for under $2000. Of course you could spend ridicules amounts of money on a home theatre system as well.

If you are into watching movies it is actually cheaper to either rent or if you think you may want to watch the movie again then purchase the Blu-ray. Even if that movie is the latest release and costs say $30 it would still be cheaper to purchase and watch with friends and family than go to a movie theatre.

about a month ago
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UK Arrest Over Xbox Live and Playstation Network Outages

donaldm Re:Shouldn't this be a civil case? (86 comments)

Not an expert but I believe he has committed a computer crime (hacking). I'm sure it could also potentially be a civil case but that is a separate issue. I think a good example is the O.J. Simpson trial and then the Civil trial http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P...

Sigh! when will people learn that Hacking is not a crime. If you are breaking into a computer system or network then you are a "Cracker" and this type of activity is considered a crime.

Yes it is possible to use Hacking skills to produce software that can be used to break into computer systems, however that in itself is not a crime but using that software to break into computing systems is called Cracking and that is a criminal offence. In fact if the law is stupid enough to criminalise Hacking then you would be locking up millions of people and the entire software industry would collapse.

It really isn't hard to distinguish between a Hacker and a Cracker (think "safe-cracker") however it seems most IT reporters continue to get it wrong which in turn confuses non technical people who in turn get it wrong. As for technical people (professional or sub-professional) who confuse the two please hand in your technical credentials :-)

about a month ago
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Sony Sends DMCA Notices Against Users Spreading Leaked Emails

donaldm Re:Are emails copyrighted ? (138 comments)

Everything you create is copyrighted automatically; unless you create it as part of your job, in which case it's owned by whoever paid you.

No that is not true. If I create some software I can license it or effectively give it away, although I should have to explicitly state my intentions with regard to the mail and/or software otherwise that mail or software can be considered copyright however I would leave this up to the Lawyers.

If someone stole my mail or anything from my computer then they are effectively "Breaking and Entering" or to use the correct wording "Cracking" which is a crime. Now if that same mail and or software is given without permission from the company or originating user to a person who published it then that person or persons are effectively "Aiding and Abetting" which is also a crime. Again I would leave this up to the Lawyers to sort this out since software and data theft is not quite the same as hardware theft and the debate rages on this still.

Right or wrong I think the best way is to ask the question. If you had your mail and/or software stolen from your PC and that "Cracker" (learn the difference between a Hacker and a Cracker) gave that data to another party who published it on the web, then would you consider legal action against the party who published? It is basically a given that you would be pissed at the "Cracker" and would file legal action if that person could be identified.

about a month ago
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Sony PlayStation Network Back Up Now, Supposedly

donaldm Re:Sony blaming everything on hackers.... (75 comments)

DDoS have been pretty much solved by now... haven't Sony learned the difference between too many legit users and a hack?

Hmm I suggest the following starting point for an introduction to DDoS and even possible solutions. You should also know that the Microsoft network access was also impacted as well so it was not just Sony.

about a month ago
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Sony PlayStation Network Back Up Now, Supposedly

donaldm Re:Lesson goes unlearned (75 comments)

Playstation owners should demand their money back, NOW! And the rest of you dummies have to stop enabling this practice of requiring a network connection to play a damn game! How stupid can you be? This is the same idiocy that made paying to receive a phone call a marketable thing. You crave electronic trinkets with blinky lights! You people are sick!

Wow the troll is strong with this one. I wonder if he (could be a she but I doubt it) has a PS3 or PS4? I do agree with "This is the same idiocy that made paying to receive a phone call a marketable thing" although thankfully I live in a country were this is not allowed.

about a month ago
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Sony PlayStation Network Back Up Now, Supposedly

donaldm Re:Lesson goes unlearned (75 comments)

I've been busily playing my games for the past few days... You don't need a network connection to play any of them.

I never had any problems playing single player games as well and there is usually allot more of them than on-line or on-line only games. Of course playing games like Demon's Souls or Dark Souls with an unpredictable network is actually quite good for the beginner since it means you have a smaller chance of getting invaded although you probably won't get much help either. Still those games I have mentioned are fully playable unlike on-line only games.

For people who only like on-line only games (PC or console) you always have to put up with what can be an unpredictable internet and the possibly of server outage.

about a month ago
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Sony PlayStation Network Back Up Now, Supposedly

donaldm Re:Lesson goes unlearned (75 comments)

Why is it ridiculous?

Someone has to pay. Why does it make sense for the caller to pay instead of the callee, considering that the callee is the one who decided to be on a cellphone rather than a local number?

And of course having the callee pay also means that the caller doesn't have to know if a number is a cellphone or not, and so you don't need a dedicated pool of cellphone numbers and can instead just use numbers from the usual pool.

You are right someone has to pay but why should a person who gets unsolicited SMS's or phone calls have to pay?

I can understand and accept a "call collect" option but paying for receiving unsolicited SMS and phone calls is IMHO open to abuse by those sending said messages/calls to you.

about a month ago
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Sony PlayStation Network Back Up Now, Supposedly

donaldm Re:Lesson goes unlearned (75 comments)

Paying to receive is RIDICULOUS.

What? It doesn't matter if you're making or receiving the call, the same amount of traffic is flying through the air, and the network has to do just as much work. The negotiation part of the call is brief, it's the actual call that takes up bandwidth and it takes up the same amount no matter who makes the call. I know I said that already, but it bears repeating because you not only said what you said but you also got modded up for it.

You are quite correct with regard to send and receive traffic however that is not the issue here if someone sends me an SMS unsolicited or otherwise why should I have pay for it?

There's lots of things which are ridiculous about cellphones in the USA but paying whether you make or take a call actually makes sense. We could argue about whether the prices are justified, but there's no technical justification for not paying for incoming calls.

Please explain to me how paying to receive a call makes sense unless you are given a "call collect" option?

about a month ago
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Donald Knuth Worried About the "Dumbing Down" of Computer Science History

donaldm Re:Non-mobile version of the article (149 comments)

Was easier for me to read.

The article would be a less onerous read if the web designer had a basic understanding of typesetting. I will give him a hint.

  1. Use a serif font. Sans serif fonts are ok for captions not sentences.
  2. Make your writing black on white since it's easier to read. Not grey on white
  3. Have white space margins to the left and right of your web page. Again easier to read.
  4. The PDF and Digital copies are ok but a little thought could make them much more readable. As an example do one column or if you really need columns then two. Having three columns smacks of trying to be "arty" or "newspaperish" and not in a good way.

To me it appears that the writer has gone out of his way to make the article difficult to read. However I do find the article an interesting read.

about a month ago
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Xbox Live and PlayStation Networks Downed By Apparent Attack

donaldm Re:Bunch of knobs (160 comments)

That'll be the best for debugging the big UNIX problem coming up in 2038.

Ah you mean the 2^31 problem. Well in-case you have not noticed we do have 64 bit systems now so maybe in about 300 million years from now we may have another problem although I would assume by then we will have at the very least 128 bit machines and by the time we have a 2^127 problem our sun will be a while dwarf.

about a month ago

Submissions

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donaldm donaldm writes  |  more than 8 years ago

donaldm (919619) writes "A few months ago I once said jokingly to some of my colleagues that it won't be long before someone sues Nintendo for patent violation on their Wiimote. Well unfortunately I was right as the following Arstechnica article shows http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061208-8385 .html

My next crystal ball prediction will be a patent case on accelerometers which are used by Nintendo and Sony in their contollers. I really hope I am wrong but with the sad state of patents (rumble anyone) I won't be surprised."
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donaldm donaldm writes  |  more than 8 years ago

donaldm (919619) writes "SecurityFocus columnist Mark D. Rasch, J.D looks at the license agreement for Windows Vista and how its product activation component, which can disable operation of the computer, may be like walking on thin ice. Read the following http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/423?ref=rs s for the details (two pages).

To quote Mark " Does the Microsoft EULA adequately tell you what will happen if you don't activate the product or if you can't establish that it is genuine? Well, not exactly. It does tell you that some parts of the product won't work — but it also ambiguously says that the product itself won't work. Moreover, it allows Microsoft, through fine print in a generally unread and non negotiable agreement, to create an opportunity for economic extortion. "

Now could be a good time to look at alternative OS's."

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