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Ask Slashdot: Advice For Summer Before Ph.D. Program?

nappingcracker Travel 2nd or 3rd world (228 comments)

Like others, I recommend traveling, but internationally. Go somewhere beautiful, affordable, and that has a few world heritage locations. Europe is nice, but very expensive. Go to Peru, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam. Get out and see other cultures, eat interesting foods, struggle with foreign languages and communication. This will be scary and fun and exciting and stressful and will give you more perspective than simply doing the AT or getting drunk with other foreigners in hostels around EU. Any international traveling will give you perspective, but IME I prefer the less traveled path. Live cheap, travel light, take nice photos and have fun.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Buying a Laptop That Doesn't Have Windows 8

nappingcracker OT: Win 7 vs Win 8 is the wrong question (570 comments)

A bit OT, but you shouldn't care about OS except Linux vs Mac OS.

My reasoning is that you can buy a Windows license for 7 and reformat nearly any laptop except Apple laptops. You can use Linux on many laptops, but you should do research to ensure compatibility. Since you are a student, a license for Win 7 will be very inexpensive, especially when distributed over the average 4 years of college. Since you are not in college, you have time to deal with reinstalling a Windows operating system, so the time factor is also moot (if you're using Linux, you'll need to do that anyway unless supporting a Linux vendor).

Unless I totally misunderstand secure boot and UEFI and all that other new lockdown junk Win 7 will work on any Win 8 machine.

So, in my opinion you should be asking: "Which portable laptop will have the _highest resolution_ and fit in my budget"

All things being equal, this (and an SSD, which you can upgrade whenever -- but is DIY and should be done ASAP) is the biggest factor to productivity on a laptop. GET A NICE SCREEN! You're going to look at it every day for 4+ years! High resolution, IPS. Buy the biggest SSD that fits in your budget and swap out the one that comes with your machine (again assuming you don't go with an Apple machine). Now you have a responsive machine and a portable hard drive (throw the large drive that came with your laptop in an inexpensive USB powered enclosure)

about a year and a half ago
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Alan Cox: Fedora 18 "The Worst Red Hat Distro," Switches To Ubuntu

nappingcracker Re:Ubuntu, really? (380 comments)

I was fine with Unity and Gnome 3, liked them both. But I'm in the same boat as you -- compiz would crash and disrupt my workflow. Switched to KDE and I now have a different set of gripes and crashes, but not at the WM level. Better, but...sigh...when will it all work and have a nice integrated desktop?

about 2 years ago
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Open Source Gaming Handheld Project Wants Your Money

nappingcracker Openpandora - nice if they send you yours (203 comments)

Openpandora never really lived up to the massive expectation.

Never lived up to expectation? Tell me about it! I never got mine! Just a $400 (2009 USD) donation to someone else's hobby project.

about 2 years ago
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Valve Continues Recruiting Top Linux Talent

nappingcracker Re:Interesting times ahead potentially.. (167 comments)

It's reasonable to assume Valve isn't doing this for the Linux desktop (though they may be doing things in such a way that Linux desktop is covered 'for free'), but likely related to the other rumors of a Steam branded game console.

Of course they're going to do it for the linux desktop, at least for source engine games (provided DRM continues to function), they are in a position to out compete the entire market, PC, console, engines, development tools.

IMO current and past games are not the big win for Valve. The Source Engine will quickly become THE most attractive engine for future development. It's easily the most disruptive idea to the video game market in a generation. As if digital distribution via Steam wasn't already disruptive, I think this is on the order of...I don't know of a good analog...optical disc vs cartrige? Microsoft's game SDK thing?

  • Easy cross platform PC
  • easy distribution
  • easy drm
  • Nice SDK with all the trimmings that come with it
  • easy community
  • big market
  • digital distribution
  • (as yet unreleased) steambox console
  • and STILL have potential or physical distribution on box or other console platforms

It's a masterstroke IMO.

more than 2 years ago
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Mozilla Contemplating Five Week Release Cycle

nappingcracker Re:You know what is funny? (495 comments)

Woah, hang on. Lets not get crazy now. At least try Chromiumo or Opera before going back to IE and stick with something that tries to embrace modern web standards as well as new proposed standards. Or Safari, as that is also based on Webkit. Or try webkit itself.

Please. Anything except IE. While the IE team is getting better, they are still holding back from widespread adoption of great new developments in web development.

Or if you like Chrome but do not like their privacy policy, consider SRWare Iron (a.k.a. Iron) - a modified version of Chromium with many (all?) of the privacy violating pieces removed. Or just go into Chrome itself and check out the "under the hood" privacy settings).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Chromium - does not have the RLZ tracking enabled

more than 3 years ago
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Google Launches Google+ Social Network

nappingcracker Re:Couldn't be worse (368 comments)

Do I have a choice?

Of course you have a choice. You chose to use facebook, despite the fact that it screws you over daily.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Incrementally Dropping Support For Older Browsers

nappingcracker Re:Well done, Google (353 comments)

It's not exactly the same logic. The last service pack for XP was released April 21, 2008; it has been updated since with security patches. The last release for the 2.6 kernel was May 30, 2011, it has been updated with security and features. (yes, I know 3.0 is just a number change. It's a feature!) Guess it depends what you consider noteworthy. Security is noteworthy (and XP is supported through 2014), but generally users think of features as noteworthy updates.

more than 3 years ago
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Germany To End Nuclear Power By 2022

nappingcracker Re:Complete and Total Over-reaction (822 comments)

Agreed. This is just a matter of engineering the reaction, not engineering the disposal of waste. Same goes for any waste - how do you solve the waste problem? Produce less waste!

more than 3 years ago
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9 Features We May See In Ubuntu 11.10

nappingcracker Re:Killer App? (281 comments)

They moved the buttons to the left so that per-window indicators can be used on the right. The keyboard window menu still work (Alt + whatever). The "why we did this" seems to change but AFAIK aptana + Apple OS are the reasons for the button change.

more than 3 years ago
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Why People Watch StarCraft, Instead of Playing

nappingcracker Re:I wish they would include that in more games (122 comments)

Even better would be if you could be turned into an npc that could do a little harassment but not enough damage to hinder the game. Kind of like the bob-omb in Mario Kart 64, but less of a threat to the game outcome.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Invests In World's Largest Solar Power Tower Plant

nappingcracker Re:Scale.... (387 comments)

Any good ideas about how much the gap could be closed if energy consumption was reduced through efficiency, policy, and awareness?

more than 3 years ago
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Lost Star Wars Scene In the Wild

nappingcracker Re: Comic Con 2009 Interview Mark Hamill - Not me (294 comments)

And James Earl Jones, who should've been behind that mask at the end of ROTJ. That would certainly have been a surprise.

And James Earl Jones, who should have been in the credits (for SW 1 and 2) (and who should have been advised to take percentage vs flat fee).

more than 4 years ago
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Google Shares Insights On Accelerating Web Sites

nappingcracker Re:Ajax Libraries (230 comments)

Yes, that is the best solution, fall back to local if the CDN fails.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Shares Insights On Accelerating Web Sites

nappingcracker Re:Ajax Libraries (230 comments)

~272kB is with EVERY jQueryUI plugin, which few sane people would ever need. That is also a non-gzipped figure.

Using your example with all the bells and whistles, both (jQuery + jQueryUI) total only ~73kB gzipped.

jQuery 1.4.2 itself weighs in at ~24kB gzipped, and with just a few plugins enabled, jQueryUI is much smaller.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Shares Insights On Accelerating Web Sites

nappingcracker Re:Ajax Libraries (230 comments)

You're right. Big company services never go down...except those times they did and it was a huge problem. Remember the Amazon S3 outage? EC2 botnet attacks? Google GMail and document services going down? This month Google's jQuery libs on their CDN went down 2-3 times.

Stuff going down for a few hours is a lot of money lost.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Shares Insights On Accelerating Web Sites

nappingcracker Re:Ajax Libraries (230 comments)

I disagree. Libraries have greatly improved the usability of many websites. I also doubt that many people are pulling down 300kb of libraries every time, since most are minified and gzipped. Even with a ton of bells and whistles it's hard to hit 100kb of .js, The ever popular jQuery + jQuery UI is only ~30kb (with reasonably useful plugins like tabs, dialog, etc, not all the crazy and expensive FX).

I'm OK with users having to pull even 100kb one time to have a nicer browsing experience all around.

I really wish I could get over my paranoia and link to the libraries on google's code CDN. Slim chance, but if they go down and my sites are still up, there be problems!

more than 4 years ago
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Ubuntu One Gets iPhone App For Contact Sync

nappingcracker Re:What about a non- iTunes method? (115 comments)

So, basically I'll need an iTunes account. No way around this huh? I wonder if there are app store licence issues with publishing to the iTunes app store and Cydia.
I just don't want an itunes account :(

more than 4 years ago

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