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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: GPU of Choice For OpenCL On Linux?

pecosdave Re:nVidia w/ binary driver works (109 comments)

I'm with this guy, I've had nothing but nightmares from ATI historically, can't say I've given modern AMD a chance, but nVidia works so well I have little motivation to.

4 days ago
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Microsoft Ends Mainstream Support For Windows 7

pecosdave We knew we had to get off of it, (640 comments)

which is why we just finished out our Vista roll-out last week!

about two weeks ago
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Asus Wireless Routers Can Be Exploited By Anyone Inside the Network

pecosdave The horror- (68 comments)

every HTTP request goes to a site that has nothing to do with goats!

about three weeks ago
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FCC Favors Net Neutrality

pecosdave Re:Of course the FCC wants net neutrality - (255 comments)

It has nothing to do with packet discrimination and everything to do with being in control. Best case scenario is having such a plethora of providers to pick from that garbage can be avoided easily. Right now the carriers lobby and receive regulation that prevents competition which creates the illusion that laws need to be passed to protect consumers from packet discrimination. In reality if you got rid of competition barriers carriers would be afraid to throttle because they know we'll pack up our bits and move.

about three weeks ago
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FCC Favors Net Neutrality

pecosdave Re:Of course the FCC wants net neutrality - (255 comments)

Bullshit.

It's not up to the corporation to create a level playing field. It's up to the government to stop creating barriers to competition.

about three weeks ago
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FCC Favors Net Neutrality

pecosdave Of course the FCC wants net neutrality - (255 comments)

The arguments being made for Net Neutrality are not for Neutrality but control. The Pro "Neutrality" angle is a government dominated Internet, the anti-Neutrality angle is a corporate dominated one. There's not much of a difference considering how hard it is to tell the difference between the two. Real net neutrality is a level playing field without government protectionism (which we have tons of at the moment) and the ability to purchase whatever we want and there's real repercussions for companies that attempt to fuck over the users because the users have another option.

about three weeks ago
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Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

pecosdave Re:thatsracist.gif (448 comments)

Wait - you're still stalking me? My personal racist caller, always figured you found something better to do with your life.

I guess working for a self proclaimed Hispanic company doesn't dull that attack any - no sir! Couldn't possibly have anything to do with 12 Spanish channels my family and I have no interest in being crammed into the lowest tier while stuff like the NASA channel which is free in every way but cable tier is one up.

If anything the cable company is racist - Hispanics get everything on the lowest tier while the majority English speakers have to pay extra to get something other than Home Shopping Networks and MSNBC along with some useless local stations.

about three weeks ago
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Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

pecosdave Cable service is already shitty. (448 comments)

And it's just getting worse. There's been articles here on Slashdot about how carriers "tune" channels for quality on the shared data pipe. SciFi, Discovery, the nature type channels that all benefit the most from good quality get the low tuned down shit, but never mind, the Home Shopping Network is always 1080P and max bps.

I haven't had cable of my own or satellite in years and I frankly don't miss it. Every time I'm at a friends or relatives and I see definitive examples of said channel tuning and all the Spanish networks being on the lowest paid for tier while even channels that are free streaming over the web and on terrestrial satellite being on upper tiers it doesn't soften my feelings towards cable companies.

about three weeks ago
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Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman

pecosdave At least it takes Micro-SD. (391 comments)

Being Sony you would think they would fuck their own product over by insisting on Memory Stick.

about three weeks ago
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How Long Will It Take Streaming To Dominate the Music Business?

pecosdave It doesn't already? (169 comments)

I like to use BTSync to keep all of my music where/how I like it on every device, but the users in my organization along with family/inlaws all seem to be obsessed with streaming. I know people who will skip the movie/music on their HDD to stream it because it's easier to find.

Geeks, DJ's and old folks seem to be all that's left not streaming. (old folks using physical media of course)

Does radio count as streaming?

about three weeks ago
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Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

pecosdave Re:OS X is just not reliable any longer (598 comments)

As a user of OSX, Windows 8, and Linux I have to say:

They're all doing pretty well in the stability department.

I remember the days of Windows hell. I remember pre-OSX Mac, and I've had my share of weird Linux issues. OS X has taken a major nose-dive with Yosemite - I recommend staying on Mavericks. As far as Windows is concerned get over your Start Button issues and just deal with the new interface, it's not that bad and you might like it if you get used to it. As far as Linux is concerned - stop being afraid of it and give it a shot - it's actually easier to keep up to date than Windows is! (though Windows is catching up)

about three weeks ago
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"Infrared Curtain" Brings Touchscreen Technology To Cheap Cars

pecosdave The DVIS system - 1980's tech at NASA (123 comments)

used the infrared curtain concept. It was basically a badass intercom, or a closed loop HAM radio that used fiber optics instead of radio depending on how you want to look at it.

Not super awesome capacitive touchscreen tech - but it's something that will work for gloved or calloused fingers - something touch screens have a problem with. (you have no idea how many bad "drops" I've made on video games because the screen doesn't work on my callouses)

about a month ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

pecosdave What are the chances those on the side of force (1051 comments)

as in forcing children to get the vaccines or incur penalties are the same ones who are demanding we leave our borders completely unchecked. As in allowing unvaccinated people to walk in unregistered and do as they please in our our country. So it's okay to force our own people to do it, but it's racist to expect other people in our borders to do it.

Time to learn some objectivity here!

Slashdot used to be a nice place to discuss technical things, it's slowly started taking on a pro-big-brother attitude.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Electronics-Induced Inattentiveness?

pecosdave My old coworkers intentionally broke mine. (312 comments)

As a tech I tend to change jobs and work with people I've worked with before, we tend to pull each other along to better places. I have had a reputation for an incredible ability to focus on the task at hand and tune out the world around me. Part of being an aspie geek.

My old coworkers thought it was hilarious to "pull me out of the zone" intentionally.

The end result is I can still focus rather well, but I'm now more attentive to what's around me. I'm more easily distracted than I used to be - but I've noticed a compounding issue - so is everyone else.

It seems like the late 90's - mid 00's that everyone was more able to do their job. As time has gone by I've noticed that in contrast to the coworkers that pulled me out of the zone intentionally that everyone around me feels the need to chat, interrupt, and generally draw my attention away from what I'm doing, regardless of age. Part of what makes me a valuable work - my ability to focus and get things done - is completely contrary to the way every place I've been in the past decade+ does business. When I first started this career field in my late teens it seemed accepted that people had to focus on what they were doing, now it's a full time IRC channel in the real world the Endless September interruptions. To top it off some of the worst offenders when it comes to interrupting are coworkers I had over a decade ago elsewhere. I still get projects done, but it's nowhere near as efficiently as I used to be able to do.

about 2 months ago
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How Apple Watch Is Really a Regression In Watchmaking

pecosdave You can keep your Apple Watch, (415 comments)

I bought my Casio in 2005, it's solar rechargeable. I've worn it daily with the original batter every since I bought it, never a problem and the time is always right. I'm too utilitarian to want something that needs constant attention. Maybe it comes from being a tech, I get tired of fixing problems and see no reason to generate them.

Great watch.

about 2 months ago
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Solving the Mystery of Declining Female CS Enrollment

pecosdave Re:"women are more practical than men" (608 comments)

I like those cargo pants that you linked to. What I can't tell on yours for certain, but one picture seems to say yes, is if it has a data pocket or not. The pockets on mine actually have another pocket under them that's vertical "behind the flap" and in the middle. I put my phone in one and often my Bluetooth mouse in the other where the big pockets are still available for other use. I gave up on belt holsters for my phone years ago and just bought pants that have their own, when I got laid off from NASA I switched to these from carpenters (carpenters appear to be the defacto standard at both Johnson and Kennedy).

I lost most of my really old stuff when hurricane Ike hit, I'm looking to get a new buckling springs keyboard soon with the requirement that it be multi-media, controlling volume at the system level seems to have won out over controlling at the speakers as time moved on and finding a good multi-media keyboard is a bit of a challenge. Daskeyboard appears to be my answer, even though I would prefer one of the model M clones from pckeyboard.com otherwise.

I'm from the American Southwest (even though I live in the Gulf region now). I'm the black-sheep geek from a family that has rural roots, both settler and Indian on my dads side, and poor European immigrant on my moms. Cast iron isn't even a question where I'm from, using something else makes as much sense as using a crescent wrench instead of the proper sized wrenches or not painting a steel fence. Cast iron is just what you cook with, be it the ever useful and popular skillet, the dutch oven, or my moms favorite the small griddle. Works equally well on a camp fire or stove. You find that lot in rural country people, these fancy ceramics and (now proven dangerous) Teflon stuff is just yuppy toys to us. I guess you can take me out of the sticks, but some of the sticks are still here.

about 3 months ago
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Solving the Mystery of Declining Female CS Enrollment

pecosdave Re:"women are more practical than men" (608 comments)

I haven't had plants in quite a long time, not since I last had a house.

I stopped collecting old hardware! I still have a few things here and there, but considering it's my profession I've done well in the getting rid of stuff department. (I've probably got a few too many bike parts however)

I've integrated most of my stuff and I'm integrating further. I'm actually going to commit the heresy of ditching my game consoles for emulators soon (once I get the system rock-solid reliable) and combine it all into one entertainment PC in the living room (that can network to other rooms if needed).

I wear pants with leg pockets! (seriously, these Wranglers are a god-send for geek use - even passes for business casual)

I've been letting my beard go a bit wild, I only use a little soap in it and I clip off anything that becomes annoying.

I love cast-iron! The non-stick ceramic, easy break, can't use metal utensils in stuff vs. my cast-iron and stainless has been a little mini-war. I do need to pass my cast iron over a proper open wood fire and have a real grease fire in it to season it a little better, but I'm almost to the point where I can fry an egg on it without it sticking.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Is mobile phone bloatware literally criminal?

pecosdave pecosdave writes  |  about 4 years ago

pecosdave (536896) writes "I have an HTC EVO, tech specs wise it is an incredible phone, the problem is, it has horrible battery life.

This is not HTC's fault (not solely anyways).

Remember how Windows home computers from big manufacturers came almost unusable due to craplets? Sprint has successfully introduced the craplet to a Linux based OS, and though my experience is limited to Sprint they probably aren't the only guilty ones. I personally have an EVO and Sprint, but I realize this is not isolated to just them, but I did write this with my own perspective in mind. Feel free to share your own in reply.

Now that the brief introduction is aside, it's time to get to the geeky core.

The real problem with the EVO in particular is simply Tying. I started researching the history of the tying issue and found out mobile phone makers could be in the same boat as Microsoft was in with IE. These crap software items the user's don't necessarily want, report back to servers regularly, and don't even provide useful services drain the battery in such a manner the inclusion of these programs at minimum should count as a civil liability against the phone provider. Why do providers feel the need to install this much spyware? If they were to install a single snooper app that keeps track of where I'm at at all times and then resell the data instead of installing four of five of their own plus letting Amazon put one on it would preserve the battery life. Sure it's a low life thing to do, but at least only one application doing it would use less battery life than half a dozen doing it separately.

On to the hacking, this is why I blame Sprint, not HTC or Google in my own case.

I jail broke mine for the single purpose of removing bloatware. This was NOT good enough. Turns out simple jail breaking doesn't work, the section of onboard memory that contains this crap ware is locked hard-core (I blame HTC for this) so not even simple rooting allows you to get rid of the crap from here. I wound up installing a really old version of Android plus a couple of other hacks to get rid of the garbage, I'm sure there's easier ways to do it than what I did, but Froyo 2.2 came on mine and they had just recently started packaging Froyo on this model when I got it so online how-to's were sparse at best. Afterward I re-upgraded to 2.2.

Result?

My phone that used to barely make it 8 hours stock with all the extra radio's etc turned off could immediately make it to 24 hours, some more uninstalls and OS tweaks I'm up to about three or so days of standby. I can't really test this, 24 hours is about the best I can do when it comes to leaving the thing unplugged and not messing with it. I've told the people at the phone store I could get at least 32 hours of standby, when I tell them I'm using the factory battery they refuse to believe me. All they've done is recommend I use ATK under their breath. I've proven setting the thing up properly is better than that.

Providers should be required to report what every one of these protected area programs gathers and reports about the users. Especially things like Amazon MP3 which don't even originate from the provider. It would be bad enough just installing the craplets. Installing craplets that a user can't uninstall without hacking is worse. Installing craplets that you can't even get out with simple rooting is akin to criminal.

My question to other SlashDotters — do mobile phone craplets fall into the same category of bundling as IE and Windows 95 and the famous lawsuit? Even with the legalese and the disclosures given in the pages of agreement they give you with the phone is this data gathering legal? Can the battery waste done by the applications constitute another form of legal misrepresentation outside of the initial ethical and privacy concerns? Has Google, HTC, or any of the other manufacturers weighed in on this? I've personally turned my barely portable due to short battery life machine into a long running mobile powerhouse, Google and the manufacturers are bound to be concerned about these apps making their hardware and OS look bad."
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Are Sprint's preinstalled spware apps criminal?

pecosdave pecosdave writes  |  more than 4 years ago

pecosdave (536896) writes "The HTC EVO is arguably the best phone on the market today as far as tech specs are concerned. Indeed, it can make an iPhone cry. The problem is, it has horrible battery life.

This is not HTC's fault (not solely anyways).

Have you ever bought a new Windows computer and it's almost unusable due to craplets? Sprint has successfully introduced the craplet to a Linux based OS.

Now that the brief introduction is aside, it's time to get to the geeky core.

The real problem with the EVO is simply Tying. The crap software the user's don't necessarily want, report back to servers regularly, and don't even provide useful services to the user on a regular basis drain the batter in such a manner the inclusion of these programs at minimum should count as a civil liability against Sprint. Why does Sprint feel the need to install this much spyware? Why can't they install a single snooper app that keeps track of where I'm at at all times and resell the data instead of installing four of five of their own plus letting Amazon put one on? Sure it's a low life thing to do, but at least only one application doing it would use less battery life than half a dozen.

On to the hacking, this is why I blame Sprint, not HTC or Google.

I jail broke mine for the single purpose of removing bloatware. This was NOT good enough. Turns out simple jail breaking doesn't work, the section of onboard memory that contains this crap ware is locked hard-core (I blame HTC for this) so not even simple rooting allows you to get rid of the crap from here. I wound up installing a really old version of Android plus a couple of other hacks to get rid of the garbage, I'm sure there's easier ways to do it than what I did, but Froyo 2.2 came on mine and they had just recently started packaging Froyo on my phone when I got it so online how-to's were sparse at best. Afterward I re-upgraded to 2.2.

Result?

My phone that used to barely make it 8 hours stock with all the extra radio's etc turned off now can make it 32 on standby, easy.

Ethics aside there's some serious civil liability here.

Sprint should be required to report what every one of these protected area programs gathers and reports about the users. Especially Amazon MP3 which isn't even a Sprint app.

I have actually stood in a Sprint store, told their sales people I hacked my phone and it gets 32 hour standby. They ask which after market battery I bought. They don't believe me when I tell them I'm still using the factory battery and why it last so much more. They sort of advise me to use ATK under their breath. This is much better than that.

It would be bad enough just installing the craplets. Installing craplets that a user can't uninstall without hacking is worse. Installing craplets that you can't even get out with simple rooting is akin to criminal.

The SlashDot community is usually vocal about stuff like this. What do you think?"
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Where are the ISP's with unfiltered ports?

pecosdave pecosdave writes  |  more than 5 years ago

pecosdave (536896) writes "Years ago I subscribed to the now defunct South Western Bell DSL service, it gave me 5 IP addresses and completely unfiltered internet access and I loved it, it was good. I ran a low traffic web server — that I mostly hosted Fark photoshop contest pictures on along with a few things only of interest to those who know me. Later, I used Time Warner cable, same thing, only 1 IP address this time, and I found evidence of them testing my SMTP serve on occasion to make sure it wasn't open to the world, it wasn't, so they left me alone and it was good.

Since then, I've been unable to find any national ISP that doesn't filter every sever port I could possibly want to use, at least for home access. Local ones are few and far between as well. For twice the cost of home use bandwidth I can forgo most home services that I might want in addition to internet access (triple play, bundles etc) and get half the bandwidth on a "professional" plan that may or may not come with a couple of static IP's, but really "professional" access is just an excuse to charge more for less in most cases. I'm probably going to move in a couple of months, and the availability of "real" internet access can largely affect where I will move to. There's a lot of information online about performance of different ISPs but I can't find anything about what I consider real net neutrality and individual ISPs. My particular dilemma is something a majority of home users don't care about so it's completely overlooked. To add complications to the matter you can't call up ISPs and ask them if they filter access or not, Verizon and some others will outright lie to you if you ask about filtering, and most of the people doing internet sales don't even know what an IP address is, much less if they block ports or not, they're just interested in the sale."

Link to Original Source
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Linux is ready for the desktop.

pecosdave pecosdave writes  |  more than 5 years ago

pecosdave writes "Three of my friends argued this morning, and I was late to the party so instead of jumping in I'm just going to write my own article about why Linux doesn't have a lot of penetration on the desktop.

Right now, fingers are pointing because Linux isn't desktop ready. The question of "is it mainstream?" is answered. YES it is mainstream, on servers and embedded devices. The question is, who do you point the finger at as to why it's not on the desktop. My answer — the unnamed person who hasn't made it work yet.

Linux is absolutely ready for the desktop, but only on controlled systems. Before you call me crazy, first think about how many things BSD and Linux have in common, then realize BSD is on the desktop, it's popular, and it's run by a bunch of elitist who consider the command line, and I'm going to quote what one said to me as "Barbaric". It's Mac OS that is BSD.

Why does Mac OS work where Linux fails? The answer of course is Apple. Lets tear it apart:

1. Apple makes their own distribution.
2. Apple makes their own hardware.
3. Apple makes their distribution incredibly easy to use.
4. Apple makes their hardware really flashy, yet basic and to the point.
5. They keep choices to a minimum.
6. EVERYTHING JUST WORKS.

Linux has NONE of these things. Quite the opposite, especially #5. The closest thing we've got to Apple in the Linux world is ASUS with their Eee PC. I personally know the shortcomings of that, they focus on hardware while leaving the distro to someone else, not the worst of ideas, but they put their fingers in the distro just enough to screw it up.

I'm going to more or less outline my imaginary company that is going to make "Apple Formula/Apple Killer" systems.

1. We're going to have to maintain our own repository. Our distro is going to have to just work, and yes, I'm going to say, add another Debian derivative to the pile, heck, it may become Awesombuntu. We're going to have to have a mainline stable distribution that doesn't change that often other than patches and a few important updates, like browser updates and a few other things that need to be updated often. This is where Debian stable falls short, it stays unchanging enough, but it doesn't update important stuff, like browsers or plug-ins. That's why Ubuntu happened. On the other side of the coin, normal Ubuntu updates to much for this idea, the long term Ubuntu is just slightly better off than Debian stable in this regard.

2. We're going to have to make our own hardware dedicated to the task. This is where ASUS succeeded. Their Eee's were created with Linux in mind and it all works. That's the trick to making Linux work on the desktop. Sure us geeks can piecemeal a system together and it will work great, but we can't expect Joe Bob off the street to do it. We're actually going to have to make the hardware too. We can't just settle for an off the shelf relabel, we're going to have to design our own motherboards and cases so that our motherboard manufacturer can't just drop our model, or change chips on us. When you use Linux, buy by the chip, and build by the chip. This doesn't mean go proprietary, it simply means build in accordance to what you want to do. Just like Apple did.

3. We're going to have to make it easy to do. Why does Apple work as a Unix distributor? Their users don't have to learn Unix, that's why. Sure, Synaptic/Apt is awesome and easy to use where package management is involved, but hitting Alt+F2 > kdesu synaptic > password is out of the question. We're going to have to make it automatically refresh it's package list and check for updates weekly, like a Mac does (please don't lecture me on the already existent things that do this for Apt/Yast/Yum). Then we're going to have to make it get in your face and say "hey — I have a critical update!" like a Mac does with its annoying little bouncing icon. These critical updates need to include browsers, the default IM program, browser plug-ins, media player updates, and possibly even be extended to include an office suite. I would like to make that last one a variable. ITunes is a really big part of why Apple works, their main included software is handled automatically, but you can buy stuff from iTunes that you have to handle it through i-Tunes. We need something like a compartmentalized Synaptic to be iTunes.

4. Hardware — it needs to be sexy to attract buyers. The Sony Vaio originally did really well because compared to everything else of the era it first appeared in, it was slim and sexy — it was eye candy. Apple stuff does really well for same but different reasons. The Vaio was the table dancer covered in jewelry, perfume, and rubbing your crotch. Apple takes the approach of smiling girl next door who you just saw change her own oil and has an obviously huge chest under her shirt, but isn't wearing a plunging neckline. You want them both, but for somewhat different reasons. You have to portray one of those reasons and make it work. Apple is doing better than Sony because as I mentioned, she changed her own oil.

5. One of the things that hurts Linux is the vast array of choices. Sure it helps Linux for people like us Geeks, but it hurts it for the desktop. If we're going to make a desktop work, we have to decide for the customers. Not in the current Apple "if you make something cooler than us for the iPhone we're not going to let you distribute it" type attitude, but the the current Microsoft/OS X attitude. We provided you with good default setup, you can add to it, but you can't uninstall our stuff without breaking the warranty, or quite possibly the system. As much as I hate "can't uninstall" I think we should stick with that for the default desktop of our Apple inspired distro, remove the ability to remove the default stuff from the distro. That way they can add their own stuff all they want and make it default, but what we provided should always be there and working. That's software — we need to also standardize our hardware to not stretch out to much. We need to increment screen sizes an inch at a time from about 7" to 19", all of those need the same basic ports, they all need webcams and microphones, they need everything more or less the same. Only CPU speed, storage type/size and RAM varies within a screen size. The larger ones need everything the smaller ones have plus maybe an optical drive and a few more ports, possibly an express card slot, but keep it consistent, don't put firewire on the big ones but not the small ones. Don't give the small ones an SD reader but not the big ones etc..... We also need basic, normal, and awesome desktop models. We need to limit ourselves to two different basic video processors, and 1 type of LAN, 1 type of sound, etc..... Or if we do branch out a little keep it minimal and keep ALL of it up to date in the repository.

6. This is the most important part. It has to work. We can add one line to our repository configuration to specify a model repository if we must, but I'm actually against that. I like eeebuntu's method of having a lite, specialize, and full version. I think we could pull something like that and make it work for netbook version vs. an everything else.

If we actually make it big this way, and we become big enough, we will begin to drive everything else. We will make it well known the reason we chose the chip maker we did was because their crap works with Linux. We will make it clear we chose the software we did because it worked with our hardware, desktop, etc.

Then we dump money into our developers. Whatever software is on our systems we contribute to the development of that software, and I'm not above sending a note with request on it along with my contribution. I'm not against hiring a developer who's been making something for years, putting him on my staff, saying keep doing it, keep it GPL, but now you answer to me.

Apple is a cathedral, Linux is a bazaar. Apple backed programs on a Mac desktop are going to look more or less consistent, they're going to use the menu bar at the top of the screen instead of on a window, they're going to use the same file manager etc.... Something that isn't as easy/transparent in the software world is tool kit selection. We need to be able to swap tool kits easier. I'm a KDE guy and I would love to run Firefox in KDE compiled against Qt instead of GTK, I think of this every time I save a file. In turn, I think that if someone wants to run Konqueror with GTK they should be free to do so. Consistency is one of the lingering hurdles to market penetration. The whole front end concept is nice, but as we all know, all front ends are not created equally. It's my imaginary company, and we're going to push a KDE desktop. My competitors are certainly going to push Gnome. I see no reason why we can't offer the same applications tightly integrated into both of our desktops. Dumping money back into the developers with notes attached is probably the best way to accomplish this. As my friend said after I clarified this statement "You want choice for the geeks, but only so you can more tightly integrate a solution to sell to the morons?" Well, not a geek does not == moron, but yeah, that pretty much summed it up.

Linux is ready for the desktop, but right now it's only ready for geeks, or for businesses where you have a single geek at the top calling all the shots. Linux is ready to be "Appled" as we speak."

Journals

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The I-Told-You-So moment!

pecosdave pecosdave writes  |  more than 2 years ago

There is a "talked bad about Apple" blacklist! I'm on it for addressing real issues in a discussion based manner. I've pretty much gone to poking fan-boys with a stick since then, but here you go:

Another curious anomaly in the pro-Apple hater racket is that they operate on a blacklist system. Once youâ(TM)ve crossed Apple in any way ever, youâ(TM)re on the blacklist and can never get off. (Not coincidentally, this is the case with Apple itself. Ask any journalist who canâ(TM)t get an invitation to any Apple event.)

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My opinion of Microsoft is improving.

pecosdave pecosdave writes  |  more than 5 years ago

For many years I've hated Microsoft, in a way that compared them to Satan him (possibly her) self. I was a Novell admin, I loved Netscape and suggested people use it, and I was generally in the Windows as an OS, get everything else from somewhere else crowd. Remember, Linux was still somewhat in its infancy back then, and Mac was pre OS X so it sucked. OS 2 was out there, but largely ignored at the time.

Their "patches" that regularly attacked and broke the Netware Client and Netscape among other things I didn't use in the name of improving "Windows Stability" caused me to hate them in ways no person should hate a corporation. Their leveraging of OS prices to force the adoption of the inferior IE browser etc, the way Exchange slipped in as a defacto standard and the way a new version of anything was little more than bug fixes for old products really just kept digging them deeper and deeper into the mud in my opinion of them.

I have in recent years however begun to see them differently. For one, they are no longer absolutely shunning open standards and other companies software. Granted, it's not for the best or reasons, it's because the got a big "Fuck You!" from the community as a whole and they're learning that us Linux Loonies actually do have some pull (granted, the Apple Fruits have a bit more than we do on the desktop). I think the company actually started softening up and seeing the light some time after the introduction of Vista. I think Microsoft introduced Vista with their old fashioned "We control everything so you're going to use it" attitude. Indeed, they did enforce this by cutting out XP Licenses. Then, in a manner akin to what the industry did to IBM when they tried to regain control of the computer industry by introducing the PS/2 and it's proprietary standards, the industry lifted up their kilts in unison and told Microsoft what to do with what they saw.

Sure, Microsoft initially responded with their normal FUD by trying to convince everyone that despite initial findings Vista was actually good (stupid Mojave commercials anyone?). After a while, they backed off a little bit. They declared Firefox legitimate by (forcibly) making .net and active X extensions for it. When they were caught violating the GPL instead of jumping up and down, denying it, and claiming the GPL is invalid anyways, they hitched up their plants and "Ok, here you go, we'll comply". The Microsoft of 5 years ago would NOT have done that.

Despite their initial opposition to XP staying alive, it's still available primarily for the Nettop and Netbook markets. Granted the only reason they're leaving alive is to keep Linux off of these devices, but they're proving they can cave and listen to their customers a bit now.

They appear to be backing off of this concept of forcing you to subscribe to their software. Not an entirely bad idea in my opinion, but I don't trust them, or anyone else for that matter, to actually come through on their promises.

This recent thing about Microsoft China ripping off a website, I knew things would get corrected, not because of the Chinese government, but because Microsoft was behind it. I was right.

For the first time ever, this past year or so I've actually started to see Microsoft taking the moral high ground in a lot of cases. If they can keep it up I may eventually declare them usable again.

Update - less than 12 hours after I post this "road to forgiveness" entry they have to go and pull this bullshit. Thanks a lot Microsoft, I was beginning to give you the benefit of a doubt here.

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I'm looking at my last three mod - downs

pecosdave pecosdave writes  |  more than 5 years ago I think I annoyed a fan boy with each! Mods are such morons. Don't they know they're supposed to mod based on the intelligence/relevance of what what's being said, not if they agree or not? Seriously, I'm nowhere near pro-Microsoft, but I've modded quite a few pro-Microsoft posts up because what the person said sounded intelligent, relevant, or even in the case of a couple that made fun of FOSS in a way that was actually funny, and not just inflammatory I've modded them up even if I disagreed with what they said.

Lets review the ones I'm talking about:

emacs is a pretty good operating system but it lacks a decent text editor Redundant. Granted, if someone else had already said it this go around I would agree, but they didn't. I just annoyed a fan boy.

Here's one where I obviously ticked off an Apple fan boy for suggesting Apple sell Mac OS X to try to gain market leverage. I like OS X, I'm not an outright Apple Fanboy, but I have an iPhone and I'm typing this on a Mac now - I still use KDE and Linux quite extensively, but seriously, Apple fan boys are the worst when it comes to sand issues.

Here's the most glaring abuse of mod powers. Overrated. Is there any doubt that Intel Graphics suck? Especially something that gathers replies. If I get replies that aren't pure anti-troll flames, I think that deserves an up instead of a down.

Oh well, morons. Spleen vented for now.

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I'm getting tired of unqualified mods.

pecosdave pecosdave writes  |  more than 11 years ago

You know, the kind that like to browse with all their score mods in place. I have modded quite a bit, and I follow the guide lines religiously. Browse at -1 in case someone got wronged, turn off all karma bonuses and minuses, that way I can be fair. Now that I have great karma I get over rated quite often because the mods don't know how to RTFM, and I watch as obviously incorectly modified -1's sit their and rot. Perhaps we could get the powers that be to automagicaly change mods to a raw setting for the duration? I'll consider asking them some day, as for now I'll just post a brain dump.

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Learning is a constant thing.

pecosdave pecosdave writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Yep, I've just learned don't click on a link then use the back arrow when moderating. Two people just got double modded up, oh well, they probably deserved those points anyways. I was just hoping someone else agreed.

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