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NASA Now Accepting Applications From Companies That Want To Mine the Moon

rueger Mod Parent Up Please. (251 comments)

Damn - used all my mod points to promote soylentnews.org!

Anyhow - I've been burning through the entire Heinlein library on audiobook this month, so appreciated the reference. It's amazing how fresh most of his stuff feels after 50+ years, and how many times he's managed to spot a trend that is only happening now.

about a year ago

Online, You're Being Watched At All Times; Act Accordingly.

rueger Please Read Before Modding Down (299 comments)

by emmagsachs (1024119) Alter Relationship on Sunday February 09, 2014 @12:58PM(#46205013) I have visited this website on a near-daily basis for over a decade. I have greatly benefited from its community, whether +5 Insightful or -1 Troll. It thus saddens me to watch Slashdot be changed into a bland, cookie-cutter news site, a la the present incarnations of Engadget and Digg. I am perhaps in the minority in this, but I kindly urge you to read this post, and others like it, and to consider joining the week-long Slashcott [slashcott.com] that begins on Feb 10th. I realize that posting off-topic comments such as this is disrupting the Slashdot experience for many of you, and I do apologize for it. But can you honestly say that the new Beta interface does not already disrupt Slashdot for all of us? These anti-Beta posts can quite rightly be viewed as "a series of shock slogans and mindless token tantrums", to borrow a phrase, but since we feel that we are ignored by Dice, this is the best that I, like many other slashdotters, could come up with.

What company directs 25% of its users to a partially-working, not-ready-for-production website? Please realize that Beta will not have the features that we want, because they interfere with Dice's plans for Slashdot. Dice presents Slashdot to their advertisers as a "Social Media for B2B Technology" [slashdotmedia.com] platform. B2B - that's the reason Beta looks like a generic wordpress-based news site. To be sure, a large precentage of Slashdotters work in IT, but Slashdot is most certainly not a B2B site.

Nevertheless, Dice is desperate to make money off of Slashdot, even at the cost of losing much of its current userbase. Turning Slashdot into a social platform for IT "decision makers" is a Haily Mary attempt to recoup the failed investment Dice made in buying Slashdot. As they have revealed in a press release [diceholdingsinc.com] detailing their performance in 2013, this acquisition has not lived up to their financial expectations:

Slashdot Media was acquired to provide content and services that are important to technology professionals in their everyday work lives and to leverage that reach into the global technology community benefiting user engagement on the Dice.com site. The expected benefits have started to be realized at Dice.com. However, advertising revenue has declined over the past year and there is no improvement expected in the future financial performance of Slashdot Media's underlying advertising business. Therefore, $7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media were reduced to zero.

The new Beta interface is not the result of a superficial makeover. Keeping in mind that Dice felt confident enough to present it as the new face of Slashdot to 25% of its visitors, it is safe to say that the new commenting and moderation system is exactly how they intended it to be. It is a new design that deliberately cripples the one thing that makes Slashdot what it is today, viz. thebest commenting and moderation system online today. From the users' perspective, there is nothing wrong with Slashdot that demands gutting its foundations and dumping the one part of Slashdot we exactly like. As others have commented, this is an attempt to monetize /. at any any cost [slashdot.org], and its users be damned. Dice views its users, the ones who create the site [slashdot.org], as a passive audience. As such, it is interchangeable with its intended B2B crowd. We, the current users of Slashdot, are an obstacle in Dice's way.

This is why they ignore the detailed feedback we have given them in the months since Beta was first revealed. This is also why they now disregard our grievances and complaints. Their claims of hearing us are a deliberate snow job. It is only pretense, since at the same time they openly admit that Classic will be cancelled soon [slashdot.org]:

"Most importantly, we want you to know that Classic Slashdot isn't going away until we're confident that the new site is ready.

There is a reason [slashdotmedia.com] why "News for Nerds, stuff that matters" no longer appears in the header:

Slashdot Media’s brands include Slashdot and SourceForge. These technology sites provide access to tools, software and forums for enterprise IT professionals working in all industries and companies from the world’s largest to small and medium-sized firms. Slashdot and SourceForge harness the power of social that no other tech site can compete with.

Slashdot Media provides its partners with proven integrated media strategies to effectively influence technology buyers. With over 15 years experience working with the largest and most engaged professional technology communities, Slashdot Media’s expert staff continues to contribute to the success of its partners branding, demand generation, and social media marketing programs.

Don't hold your breath waiting for Dice to fix Beta. Their vision of Slashdot is a crippled shadow of the site as it is today. Don't let them pull the wool over your eyes. Dice doesn't need us. And If you do decide to boycott /. for a week, please resist the urge to visit it just to see how the boycott is doing [slashdot.org]...

about a year ago

SoylentNews is People!

rueger Look quickly! (2 comments)

This will be removed from the firehose in minutes. I know, because my similar submission lasted less than an hour.

about a year ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

rueger Minor Chrome Issue with Slashdot Classic (2219 comments)

Wow. Who knew that once the comment thread hit about 2000 Chrome would start to have serious issues?
br Guess I'll have to find a web site where people lose interest after the first hundred posts....

about a year ago

US Cord Cutters Getting Snubbed From NBC's Olympic Coverage Online

rueger Re:Hint: Canadian coverage is much better... (578 comments)

Although - and I wish I was making this up - several CBC Radio news podcasts are not available for two weeks because the newscasts would have Sochi content, and presumably someone else has Sochi content podcast rights ....

I can't for the life of me see why anyone would consider two weeks of McDonalds and Pepsi sponsored multinational corporate sporty entertainment should be a basic human right. Sochi has nothing to do with sport, or the sort of high ideals that we claim that sports represents.

It's strictly a great way for lots of particularity nasty people to make a lot of money - much of it out of taxpayer pockets.

Oh - and this just in from the Vancouver O-Games: all of those claims about a bright economic outlook coming from the Games: Pure and utter bullshit.

about a year ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

rueger Density is good. Text is good. (2219 comments)

OK, I skipped the last 150 comments, so maybe this has been said already.

I grew up reading text on paper. That's how I can intake and process information most efficiently. And that's why the web sites that I read regularly, and in which I participate, present information in much the same way as a printed page.

  • - Big swathes of white space means less text means less actual information.
  • - Pictures almost never add as much information as they take away - big pictures equal less actual information
  • - A video almost never is the most efficient way to get information across. You can take what you include in a 3 minute video and usually say as much in one paragraph.

Aside from these basic and to my mind blindingly obvious design concerns, I'll add a couple of things. I haven't spent more than five minutes with the beta because it was so immediately not what I need or want, but I have been reading the comments here.

  • - I really, really, really like the Slashdot commenting systems, the ability to set and change the levels of comments; and the moderation and meta-moderation. Without these I probably wouldn't be here. Anything that alters how they work will almost certainly be a bad thing.
  • - I'll say that the the overall quality of the comments on Slashdot is better than pretty much any site that I know. That's because there are a lot of long time users, with a lot of long time experience and knowledge, and because you can easily filter out the garbage and just see the stuff that matters. I don't know of another site with such far ranging interests that offers so much good information.
  • - Slashdot and The Register are the two tech sites that I read pretty much every day. When I visit other (Tom's Hardware, Ars Technica etc) it's usually because someone pointed me there from here.
  • - The honest to god truth is that I find that most tech sites offer a really low amount of solid and useful information, or bury it in a sea of advertising and other crap. My time is worth enough to me that I just won't bother.

Finally, I'll remind people that there was a time when Byte was THE magazine for anyone involved in computers. It became Byte the web site, but carried over a lot of the same content and contributors.

Then, in the misguided quest for the almighty dollar the owners managed to kill it off entirely. It was a great loss.

Dice would be very foolish if they think that they can't manage to do the same to Slashdot.

about a year ago

India To Build World's Largest Solar Plant

rueger OB: Oh yeah, but... (253 comments)

Just to save time, let's all agree that solar power could never, ever, ever work in North America. Or wind. Obviously the blah blah blah mumble mumble obfuscate is so different here that it would be impossible.

Also, the North American sun is like TOTALLY different from the Indian sun.

about a year ago

Super Bowl Ads: Worth the Price Or Waste of Time?

rueger AdBlock (347 comments)

Until they get AdBlock for TV I'll continue to download the Superbowl from Pirate Bay so that I don't have to watch the ads.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Are Linux Desktop Users More Pragmatic Now Or Is It Inertia?

rueger "Classic?" Or Just Uniform (503 comments)

When I look at all of the major variants mentioned - Gnome, KDE, Windows, Apple - I honestly don't see any great difference.

All of them offer:
- A desktop
- some kind of task bar (top, bottom, left, right - doesn't really matter)
- some form of menus for getting to stuff
- some kind of file manager application

There may be some things that are very different from one to the other (Lord knows that when I switched to a Mac I found some of their choices thoroughly obscure) but in the big picture most desktop systems are similar enough that Joe User can go to one or the other and figure out how to check his Yahoo mail account without problems.

As for why the GNOME variations seem to be prevalent? It's because some form of GNOME desktop was included as the default for the first widely popular "works out of the box" distros - Ubuntu, and Mint. the Son of Ubuntu.

People didn't install Ubuntu/Mint because of GNOME; they installed GNOME because it came along with Ubuntu/Mint. And 95% of those Linux users won't muck about and try different desktop systems because what they have just works.

1 year,52 minutes

Now On Video: GCHQ Destroying Laptop Full of Snowden Disclosures

rueger Re:Saving face? (237 comments)

Then again, the US is unique is having thousands of over the air radio and television stations living in mortal fear of anyone, anywhere saying "fuck" on the air for fear of massive fines from the FCC.

You do realize that the rest of the western world kind of snickers whenever you do some dumb-ass thing like freak out over the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction?"

1 year,7 hours

When Cars Go Driverless, What Happens To the Honking?

rueger There's an App For That (267 comments)

Seriously. Use the on board radar to spot idiotic behaviour and let 'er blast!

1 year,23 hours

Israeli Group To Attempt Moon Landing

rueger Possibly a Good idea (150 comments)

If they can send all of the "settlers" there, instead of into Palestine.

(Why am I imagine a mash up between Gil Scott Heron and Mel Brooks?

1 year,1 day

Yahoo Mail Resets Account Passwords After Attack

rueger Re:The real news (96 comments)

YMMV, but I had no problem with a Chrome/Mint Linux combo. Admittedly it took some rather irritating hunting (and multiple log-ins) to get to where I could change the password, but the actual change was no more or less easy than any other site.

And once again I was reminded that the only reason that I have a Yahoo e-mail/profile/thingy is because there is one, countem' ONE Yahoo group that I use. The actual e-mail account has nothing in it, not even random spam, after three or four months between log-ins.

I was thankful for the Yahoo Portal/ News page, because it got me all up to date on the latest Justin Bieber developments....

1 year,1 day

Michaels Stores Investigating Possible Data Breach

rueger Re:Easy one to catch (106 comments)

Damn. You had me right up to "boxed."

1 year,6 days

Kentucky: Programming Language = Foreign Language

rueger Y'all Goto 10 (426 comments)

Seriously, there had be a "Y'all" joke somewhere.

Or moonshine. Or bluegrass.

1 year,7 days

'Opportunity' Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary Roving Mars

rueger Re:NASA: incredible past, dubious future? (51 comments)

spending money on space exploration is a money pit, a drain on national coffers and more productive endeavors

I'll assume that's a troll, but will say "bullshit" nonetheless. The US space program was a key driver in 60s and 70s technological development, and the spin-offs from that investment are pretty much incalculable.

Of course in the current brain dead, uneducated, backwoods American political environment anything that smacks of "science" is considered evil and untrustworthy. (Canada too.)

My prediction is that the Chinese will turn that investment in space into a couple of decades of profit and growth, and will do what the Americans never did - establish a toe-hold on at least the moon and turn that into a money maker and a prestigious accomplishment.

1 year,7 days



Altslashdot.org becomes Soylentnews.org

rueger rueger writes  |  about a year ago

rueger (210566) writes "After the initial flurry of activity, especially in their forums, it appears that the rapidly growing altSlashdot community is moving to a new URL: http://soylentnews.org There's no confirmation yet, but the whiff of Dice lawyers seems to be in the air.

Meanwhile work continues apace to create a Slashdot fork for people that feel that the proposed Beta format won't serve their needs."

Link to Original Source

Ask Slashdot: Once Slashdot beta has been foisted on me, what site should I use?

rueger rueger writes  |  about a year ago

rueger (210566) writes "A fair question that is on many people's minds. Given that the beta site is proving incredibly unpopular, what Slash-replacements are out there?"

Something Better Than Alphabetical Sort

rueger rueger writes  |  about a year ago

rueger (210566) writes "We're putting together a small website for a fairly narrow industry. One of the goals is to drive business to our members.

The first instinct is to list all 60+ member companies in alphabetical order, but that obviously will tend to favour the companies with names starting with A, B, or C.

A quick google turned up this and this, but so far I haven't seen a really useful idea for presenting our member list in a way that helps everyone to have an equal profile.

I'm sure there's some actual design and technology ideas that will help us solve this dilemma."

Massive Game of Thrones Arrests

rueger rueger writes  |  1 year,7 days

rueger (210566) writes ""Dozens of "Game of Thrones" fans were taken into custody last Sunday morning after a midnight battle reenactment at turned ugly. The trouble began on Saturday when throngs of participants arrived in medieval armor, along with swords, battle shields, ballistas and 6 war horses. It was supposed to be an evening of friendly rivalry between the Keswick and Newmarket “armies” featuring displays of swordsmanship, battleaxe ice-carving and a reenactment of the Battle of the Blackwater.

The actual battle was intended primarily as a photo session, a chance for both armies to show off their costumes and strike fearsome poses for the cameras. Unfortunately, the Keswickians had prepared several 40-gallon barrels of green Jello to be used as “Wildfire”. Several witnesses said that Joffrey Baratheon, a 15-year-old Tim Hortons server from Keswick, escalated the conflict when he ordered his forces to pour the green goo into a replica catapult and launch it at the Newmarket ranks."

(it's considered by many that there something serious wrong with the water supply in Keswick, Ontario)"

Link to Original Source

Suggestions for a Simple Media Server

rueger rueger writes  |  1 year,18 days

rueger (210566) writes "We live and breathe Netflix, but sometimes want to watch programs downloaded from the 'net. I've been carrying them downstairs on a USB stick, but would prefer to run a small media server on my Mint Linux box.

As usual, I thought this would be simple. Install a package on my PC, and use our Netgear NeoTV Max box to play stuff off of the server.

Plex was highly recommended, and installed easily, but will see some mkv files, but not others, for no obvious reason. The one file that does show up plays fine, except that subtitles don't work. And it completely refuses to see the partition full of music. A quick tour of the Plex forums suggests that making this work would take more hours than I'm prepared to spend.

Serviio looked good too, and "sees" my music, and sees the movie folders that Plex couldn't, but won't show the actual mkv files. And again, it looks like configuring the thing could consume half of my life.

So I'm asking — is there a fairly simple, works right out of the box, fairly resource friendly, media server that will just allow me to play movies that I download without a lot of headaches?

(Notes: one obvious issue is that movies and TV shows downloaded can be in a any of a dozen formats. I'd love it if the server dealt with that. Second note: Used to own Apple hardware, and don't care for it, especially iTunes. Third note: I'm also open to suggestions for a Roku style box that does Netflix well, but which will also play nicely with a media server. And if any or all of these things can also let me play streaming video off the web (like BBC Iplayer content) I'll be in heaven.)"

Ashley Madison Sued For Typing Injury

rueger rueger writes  |  about a year ago

rueger (210566) writes "Adulterous dating site AshleyMadison.com is being sued by a former employee to the tune of $20 million. Doriana Silva is seeking $20-million from Ashley Madison for what she calls the company’s “unjust enrichment” at her expense, plus another $1-million in punitive and general damages. Her job was to "create 1,000 “fake female profiles” meant to lure men to the new Brazilian Ashley Madison site – and given only three weeks to complete the work, the document alleges." The result was an RSI injury that has left her disabled."
Link to Original Source

Best SOHO Printer Choices?

rueger rueger writes  |  about a year ago

rueger (210566) writes "I can remember trading up from a daisy-wheel printer to dot matrix, and can remember when Jerry Pournelle used to say "Buy the most expensive HP printer you can afford." Mine was a 4P. Times have changed though, and I'm looking for trustworthy advice before buying a couple of new printers.

Specifically, a B&W Laser with sheet feed scanner, and a color inkjet with a solid flatbed scanner for copying music. We want solid, reliable machines that will give a few years of small office service, that have reasonably cheap consumables, and that will "just work" with Windows and Linux. Network ready of course.

Let me expand. These days there seems to be no market leader in printers — they tend to be cheap disposable items. Part of the reason is that it is hard to find any real user reviews of these machines — most of the comments on Best Buy or other sites are full of fanboy enthusiasm, or extreme negativity — nothing that can be relied on. Between those, and the sock puppets, and the astroturfing, there's nothing I'd trust.

I do trust Slashdot though for things like this. People here are able to offer realistic advice and experience that can usually tell the story.

So I ask: who's making good printers these days?"

How Broken Is The Internet?

rueger rueger writes  |  about a year ago

rueger (210566) writes "The NSA ( or your local variant) can capture or watch everything that you do on-line. Hacker/hacktivist/script kiddie groups shut down or deface large websites on a regular basis. Large companies attain market dominance then arbitrarily change terms and conditions, eliminate features and tools that millions of people use, and then sell your private information to the highest bidder. Companies as big as Adobe and as small as the town that I live next to get hacked, with customer data disappearing into places unknown. And we, the end users, are forced into computational gymnastics trying to satisfy password, user ID, captcha, and multi level authentication requirements that offer more of an obstacle than a protection.

There are now web sites that I don't use because of pop-ups; because I can never manage to actually remember the obscure password that I had to create, because they're paywalled, or because they've totally ruined their interface in the name of progress. Or that haven't bothered to update their code so that it functions on a mobile device. Or that bury real content under a deluge of advertising.

And of course there's The Cloud, a non-existent place where data floats around under the control of some other corporation, and where there's always a more than minimal chance that one morning the company, or just your data, will disappear. As in, what happens when the imps that hacked Adobe, or a government web site, manage to get into Amazon or Microsoft's cloud operations?

So, I ask. just how broken is the Internet today? And what can be done to fix it?"

Social Fixer falls Victim to Facebook Legal Threats

rueger rueger writes  |  about a year ago

rueger (210566) writes "The author of the very excellent Social Fixer browser plug in is bowing to legal threats from Facebook and removing the core functionality that made his tool so great. I like Social Fixer a lot. It makes Facebook at least three or four times more usable.

The author Matt Cruze says "Any threat of legal action is a big deal. I am a one-man operation. If I were sued for whatever reason, I would find it very difficult to defend myself, even if it was without merit. I would be risking my personal life to maintain a tabbed news feed for users. As much as I’d like to be your Robin Hood, I just can’t do that to my family."

Bizarrely, when he asked Facebook why they don't also threaten Ad-Block, the Facebook rep claimed to have never heard of it."

Dial Up Poll

rueger rueger writes  |  about a year ago

rueger (210566) writes "The last time that I used a dial-up modem was:

x Right this minute!
x More than a month ago
x More than a year ago
x More than five years ago
x A dial-up what?
x ATDT8003182265
x I leech off of Cowboy Neal's Wifi"

Catch.com - Poster Child for Avoiding The Cloud?

rueger rueger writes  |  about a year ago

rueger (210566) writes "It's a small thing maybe, but speaks volumes. One of the apps on my Android phone that I really used was AKNotepad, from catch.com. It was small, and simple, and just worked.

Last week I had to reinstall the Android OS on my phone. When I went to sync AKNotepad to download my notes it just hung and never finished. I find today that the company behind it shut down their servers last week. If they e-mailed to warn users I can't find it in my Gmail archive. Their page on the Play site STILL lists the app and the cloud back-up features.

Time to start moving my e-mail, calendars, and whatever else out of the cloud and back onto my own machine.... in the meantime, is it reasonable to expect that companies will maintain servers like this for a decent amount of time instead of dropping users with little or no notice?"

Ask Slashdot: Cheap Chinese Smart Phones

rueger rueger writes  |  about a year and a half ago

rueger (210566) writes "My trusty Nexus S is getting pretty battered up, so I'm phone shopping. It still does everything that I need — Gmail, Calendar, GPS, and some pictures, just showing signs of age. My evil cel provider wants $400 to $700 for a new phone, so I'm looking at some of the cheaper than cheap Chinese smart phones. Obviously the build quality might suffer, but for $75-100 I can use it for six months and replace it and still come in cheaper — a LOT cheaper. I'm wondering what cheapo phones people have bought and liked."

Has Anyone Seen the Next Facebook?

rueger rueger writes  |  about a year and a half ago

rueger (210566) writes "If, as many suggest, Facebook has peaked, and is due to be replaced by the next, newest social media thing, it's reasonable to assume that the New Thing is already here.

Where will all of the Facebook users move to? So far it doesn't look like Google+ or any of the Open Source social media platforms have attracted the large numbers of the Mom and Pop users that Facebook enjoys. Is there a new commerical social media service around that will be the next Facebook?"

Best Search Engine? (Or, Is Google in Decline?)

rueger rueger writes  |  about a year and a half ago

rueger (210566) writes "Reading about the end of AltaVista, I was more interested in the number of comments suggesting that Google just isn't delivering the way it used to. My own experience suggests that it's increasingly less likely that a Google search will generate a page of results that's immediately useful. At least if "useful" excludes ask.com, bad computer "experts", and shopping sites. So, hard core search engine users: what's out there that matches the Google of five years ago, or which could be the next big thing?"

Poll: BBQ Season

rueger rueger writes  |  about 2 years ago

rueger (210566) writes "It's BarBQue Season (most places) and I'm getting ready to fire up:

x Charcoal Briquettes
x Gourmet Charcoal
x Mesquite Chips
x Propane
x My Microwave
x I'm vegan you insensitive clod!"

Massive Canadian E-mail Crash

rueger rueger writes  |  about 2 years ago

rueger (210566) writes "One of Canada's biggest cable/Internet providers has their customers in an outrage. "...after an interruption of Shaw’s email services Thursday led to millions of emails being deleted. ... About 70 per cent of Shaw’s email customers were affected when the company was troubleshooting an unrelated email delay problem and an attempted solution caused incoming emails to be deleted ... Emails were deleted for a 10-hour period between 7:45 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. Thursday, although customers did not learn about the problem until Friday, and only then by calling customer service or accessing an online forum for Shaw Internet subscribers."

To top it off, when Shaw did send out notices about this, they looked so much like every day phishing spam that many people deleted them unread. Read more:"

Link to Original Source

Why is Facebook So Broken?

rueger rueger writes  |  about 2 years ago

rueger (210566) writes "Facebook is about to foist another redesign on its users, and like most I expect that it will be annoying and unwelcome. The problem of course is that everyone (more or less*) is on Facebook, and that makes it a must have tool.

My question is: Why is that Facebook seems to suck so badly, and manages to consistently make things worse with every change, while other companies (like Google) manage to get incrementally better, and manage to not irritate every user they have? Or, why is that most people will trust Google, but not Facebook, and why hasn't Facebook managed to fix this?

It's not a question of resources — both companies have enough money and expertise to do things right. So what is it about Facebook's corporate culture that seems destined to cripple it?

(*Yes, I know that you aren't on Facebook, and hate it, and will never darken its door, but you are still in the very small minority.)"

Link to Original Source

Shooting Yourself In The Foot: 21st Century Style

rueger rueger writes  |  about 2 years ago

rueger (210566) writes "Right now there's an election happening in British Columbia. A desperate government is flooding Facebook with "Sponsored Post" spam extolling the wonderful things that they plan to do if re-elected. There's one problem though. Every one of these posts is followed by hundreds of extremely negative comments added by people who either dislike the party in question, or Facebook spam in general. Desperate moderators are trying to control the "discussion," but seem to have no hope of doing so. What was thought to be a cool marketing tool has turned into a public relations disaster. Is this the worst use of social media in an election?"
Link to Original Source

Really Short Time Wasters

rueger rueger writes  |  about 2 years ago

rueger (210566) writes "At various times during the day I need a quick break from serious work. Browsing the 'net is not a good choice because it invariably winds up consuming an hour on places like Slashdot, so right now that means that my break is a game of Solitaire. Loads in seconds, takes maybe a minute to play, then back to stuff that matters. I'm wondering what other goodies could fill that role — maybe games, maybe something that actually leads to knowledge, skills, or a measurable output? Think of it as on on-screen micro-hobby. Ideas?"

Best Distro For Holiday Fun?

rueger rueger writes  |  more than 2 years ago

rueger (210566) writes "With a few free days coming up over the holidays, I'm ready to play with a new distro. By way of history, I've tried at least a dozen over the years, but Ubuntu was the one that stayed on my PC, and Mint Cinnamon is what I use today.

I'm looking for suggestions for a less mainstream, but still painless distro to try out. I'll take Gnome over Unity any day, and I do need to run VirtualBox for Windows. If it'll make a nice media server to feed our Sony BluRay, all the better.

I don't mind mucking about in the guts of things, but any problem that eats up more than two hours without a solution will likely not be fixed — I'll try a different software rather than spend that much time."


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