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Firefox Signs Five-Year Deal With Yahoo, Drops Google as Default Search Engine

enter to exit Google Should Offer More Money (354 comments)

Why would Google want to crush Firefox? What motive does it have?

Firefox is an open-source browser that poses zero threat to any of Google's businesses. It can't be used in the same way IE was to limit competition. There will always be some people who aren't using Chrome. If they can't have everyone using Chrome, the next best thing is putting Google on as many browsers as possible. Chrome is all about making it easier for people to use their services, the browser itself is not that important.

A good chunk of Firefox user are people who've had it installed for them before Chrome existed and have just stuck with it. These are the kinds of people who would use the Firefox default search without noticing a change. Firefox still has ~20% market share, it might make a difference.

yesterday
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Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, and Ads

enter to exit The Ads Can Be Disabled (300 comments)

The Advertisements may be disabled in the preferences. They're trying to diversify their revenue which currently is mostly Google. Over the last few releases they've been highlighting the various privacy features and ideology Firefox has in a bid to differentiate themselves against Chrome, so it' a little Ironic to see this Ad compromise.

The Ads only occupy unused thumbnail tiles i believe..so it's not obtrusive. As long as us techies can turn it off, I'm happy. Everyone else will hardly notice, and it'll pay the Mozilla devs.

about two weeks ago
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Australian Post Office Opens Mail Forwarding Warehouse In the USA

enter to exit It's Not Always About Tax (142 comments)

The US market is big enough that a lot of US businesses simply don't bother offering to ship anywhere else. The potential of having to deal with foreign customers/regulations is often not worth it, regardless of how simple the procedures are.

about two weeks ago
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Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

enter to exit To speak Chinese is not to know China (217 comments)

The former PM of Australian Kevin Rudd could also speak Mandarin. During one diplomatic spat, the Chinese embassy reminded him that:

"To speak Chinese is not to know China. Many examples can be found of people who speak Mandarin to a high level but who do not understand how China works. They may have learned their Chinese shut up in their study reading the Analects."

I think the Chinese regard this as an irreverent amusement more than anything meaningful

about a month ago
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Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

enter to exit Re:I Trust Debain (555 comments)

I have no interest in trading barbs with you. I don't care enough.

You're wrong to suggest i don't have technical skill. I've done a fair bit of C programming against the Linux API. It might not be the bash scripting that you get excited about, but it's something.

Perhaps you've inadvertently stumbled on an interesting point though, could it perhaps be that what worries you most is the erosion of your exclusive club of arcane knowledge? I'd suggest to you that arcana is not a necessary component of technology.

I'd like to note also, that you haven't addressed my underlying point that technical committees of multiple distros have adopted systemd.

about a month ago
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Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

enter to exit I Trust Debain (555 comments)

I trust the Debian committee - as a collective - to make the best choice. The committee has a large group of people with diverse interests and the majority voted to adopt systemd. Debian isn't exactly known to be a flippant Distro.

I suspect the technical people behind Debian/Fedora/Arch/OpenSuSE and other Distributions (some of which make money on their products and services) are a lot smarter and thoughtful than a bunch of people with a website that has a purple background and orange links.

I've used systemd under Arch, and i could open up a systemd unit file and understand what every word in the file meant. I can't say the same thing about most SysV startup script.

about 1 month ago
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Amazon Web Services To Build Two New Aussie Data Centers

enter to exit A Local Store For Local People. (27 comments)

I drive past the location they're going to build the data centers every day. It's mainly decrepit farms and grasslands. It's a common place for grass fires

How many people do these things usually employ?

about a month ago
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Firefox 33 Arrives With OpenH264 Support

enter to exit Two Browsers, Two Goals. (114 comments)

Chrome is a good competitor to Firefox, it might be winning on various fronts at the moment but it's still a browser owned and controlled by a corporation with only profits in mind. Google made chrome to make it easier for them to track you and push their services on you.

Every time I've used Chrome, it's constantly nagged me to sign in to Google services, asks to change what mailto: does and in recent versions (on Windows) they've included a notification icon that ties in with Google Now. I feel Chrome gets a free pass on a lot of this stuff because it's considered fast. A lot of that perception is in UI responsiveness as the millisecond rendering differences are practically indistinguishable. Firefox should really consider moving away from XUL.

Firefox is a run by Mozilla (an NFP) who can only justify it's existence by making a good browser. Firefox needs to improve on a few fronts, but it's still a browser for the people. The only incentive they have is survival (which mean people using Firefox). The Mozilla Foundation has clearly become overly bureaucratic and focused on the survival of it's own bureaucracy to the detriment of their software. It needs a good shakedown. There are too many people looking for things to do - go to mozilla.org and check out the half-dead list of projects and 1000+ employees.

about a month ago
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Raspberry Pi Sales Approach 4 Million

enter to exit Project Goals (146 comments)

I'd like to see an RTC and a power switch/button on the next RPi.

I'm not sure the project goals of giving kids "hands-on, low-level interaction with computing devices" have been met. Linux is just too powerful/complex an OS to offer that to kids. You can use python modules to program the GPIO pins, but as soon as you do that you're getting into electronics and might as well use one of the Arduinos (which have a lot less abstraction).

It's a nice form factor at a nice price, and i have a few (doing various things) but they're not kid friendly any more than a PC is.

about a month ago
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Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

enter to exit No Incentive To Change (283 comments)

There needs to be a financial weight that relates to the employment prospects of a university's graduates.

If a faculty produces too many graduates that are unemployed years after graduating, the university should suffer a financial loss. Perhaps less student funding for a particular course or less government grants.This will incentivise them to make modifications to a program or cut intake.

Of course, this is a complicated area, but currently it makes no difference to a University if they produce masses of unemployed/unemployable people.

about a month and a half ago
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Test-Driving a $35 Firefox OS Smartphone

enter to exit Condescending (132 comments)

In a couple of years, you're going to be able to buy hardware with x4 the specs of what this phone has for less than $50.00 and it'll be able to run an older version of android decently. If you look at China it's starting to happen now although not yet in bulk supply.

"It's good enough for poor people" is very condensing. Just because they have no money, it doesn't mean they'll be happy to use an unusable phone. They're better off with a feature phone until hardware prices drop.

about a month and a half ago
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Possible Reason Behind Version Hop to Windows 10: Compatibility

enter to exit Product Name != Version Number (349 comments)

Considering windows 95 and 98 would return an version number of 9, there is no reason that Windows 9 couldn't have returned a totally different number, say 10.

I bet it they went with 10 only as a symbolic leap from 8/8.1.

about a month and a half ago
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GNOME 3.14 Released

enter to exit Useless Elements and Padding. (250 comments)

There's still an inordinate amount of padding on everything. It maks my screen feel like 800x600.

On top of that, gnome have an activity bar and each application a window decoration bar and then a menu bar. When running a maximized program, the bars are placed directly under each other and good chunk of the upper screen is wasted.

The activity bar still does nothing and the window decoration bar typically has a single close button. It's a gigantic waste of space.

about 2 months ago
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Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

enter to exit Aliexpress (191 comments)

I've used aliexpress.com (the consumer site for alibaba). It's incredibly scammy.

The prices are not that different to those offered by ebay sellers (usually the same). Ebay accepts Paypal, Aliexpress doesn't. Although they have an ill reputed escrow service.

Aliexpress selers have a lot of things you can't buy on ebay. It's great for buying knockoffs. I used it to be Gameboy and NES clone.

It's very popular with women, who use it to buy cosmetics at very low prices (probably fake brands).

about 2 months ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

enter to exit Ugh Metro. (545 comments)

Metro Apps aren't particularly good or useful. They haven't seen mass usage by the Market or Developers, why keep it around on the desktop? It's a design clearly meant for touch interfaces. The design insist on hiding things in a submenu of a hidden side-menu - all that's visibly left is padding.

There might have been a reason for it a couple of years ago, when the world thought all laptops were going to have a touch screen but that's clearly not going to happen. The use cases are thin - and they're just plain uncomfortable to use. What the world really needed was better trackpads.

MS should remove Metro from the desktop and license WP8.1 for tablets.

about 2 months ago
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Quickflix Wants Netflix To Drop Australian VPN Users

enter to exit Netflix might try..but not to help quickflix. (172 comments)

When Netflix eventually deems fit to grace us with it's presence, it's offerings are going to be nowhere near the same as the US version. It's doubtful if it'll be the same price as well. They might crack down on VPN users to force them to move to the Australian version.

Netflix could play cat-and-mouse and block known VPN IPs until customers simply give up (and probably torrent the shows they want).

Most Aussies use the same couple of VPN services, they could easily fatigue the vast majority of illegitimate Aussie Netflix subscribers.

It takes minimal effort for netflix to do this, but they have no reason to until they launch in Australia.

about 2 months ago
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Why Munich Will Stick With Linux

enter to exit Face Saving (185 comments)

There will never be an explicit plan to go back to MS. There are too many egos involved - heads may roll if this is perceived as anything other than a huge success. Remember this is a government bureaucracy with all the inherent office politics. It could get embarrassing.

I'm sure they have made provisions for people who absolutely need to use MS products. If they ever want to go back to windows, they will expand the use-case requirements for a windows PC until over time, it becomes a checkbox on a form for new employees.

about 2 months ago
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Twitpic Shutting Down Over Trademark Dispute

enter to exit Inevitable (81 comments)

There was a time when twitter didn't do anything other that links and text. When third-party twitter clients existed they used twitpic to display images.

Twitter doesn't allow third-party clients anymore (basically) and have their own image service embedded into their UI. Third party image services are just rendered as links in the official client. twitpic was dead in the water years ago.

The guy who owns it (It's a small self-funded business) should have seen the writing on the wall and taken the $10M he was offered years ago. I suspect when twitter tightened their grip twitpic's revenue, profit and users dissipated. In it's heyday it was allegedly making ~$700K a year.

about 2 months ago
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Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

enter to exit Don't Ask. (579 comments)

How about not asking about gender on account registration and assigning a random username?

It'll make it hard to claim that Wikipedia treats females differently.

about 3 months ago

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