Technology

Some Weekend Reading

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• Julian Sanchez explains how surrendering privacy to the surveillance state can make us less rather than more secure.

• Tim Carney wades through the State of the Union address—the one where the president promised to "end the outsized influence of lobbyists"—and reveals which lobbyists had the most outsized influence on the speech.

• Tim Lee makes the case against the iPad.

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  1. It is Bush’s fault that lobbyists have so much influence in my administration.

  2. The Ipad article is interesting. No multi-tasking and no USB port. What a rip off.

    1. I agree. After what happened to Kindle customers it will be a long time before I even CONSIDER buying an ebook device that has wireless capability. I might buy the eSlick because it does NOT have wireless capability.

    2. Apple is the Anti-Christ. Yes, I mean the whole company. The world dodged an evil bullet when MS and the PC crushed Apple’s hopes of world dominion.

      1. Tell me more. I am interested.

        1. Subscribe to my newsletter, where I reveal Steve Jobs’ connection to a Satanist cult.

          1. Do you have free, trial subscriptions?

            1. What do you think I am, some kind of communist?

              1. As the New York Times pointed out, “free” trial subscriptions such as those sold by the evil, medieval-garb-clad freecreditreport.commers are in no way free and, gasp, tell you that you will be charged after a certain point.

  3. The store is an unnecessary bottleneck in the app development process that limits the functionality of iPhone applications and discourages developers from adopting the platform.

    AHAHAHA! Oh sure, there’s only something like 150,000 apps in the App store. A pittance compared to all those Windows Mobile apps, and the riches those developers are rolling in. And some of those Android apps certainly got around some limitations: there were phishing apps disguised as banking apps in that store for a while.

    There’s been a lot of griping here and elsewhere about the iPad, but most of the criticism misses the point. It’s not meant to be a general-purpose computer, it’s to do the things many people do most of the time with computers: surf the web, email, watch videos, view pictures, be an ebook reader, etc. No doubt it will expand its capabilities over time.

    And with a store that can sell not just books but also periodicals, it will revolutionize publishing. As someone who’s been involved in both dead tree and online publishing, I can assure you that the “restrictions” of the iBookstore are a relief to most publishers. Dead-tree publishing distribution is difficult, expensive, and very restricted, with only a few national distributors who are not models of openness and cooperation. And the (admittedly wonderful) openness of the web also makes it nearly impossible to actually sell words that aren’t on dead trees.

    And all those supposedly awful restrictions haven’t hurt the iPhone, have they?

    1. Maybe you are right. But, the thing seems to be too big to be a phone and not functional enough to be a computer. The web surfing and video features of the Iphone and comparable phones is pretty impressive. And they are smaller and function as a phone. Does the marginal increase in capability really justify the increased weight and space of having an I-pad and also having to carry a phone?

      1. A lot of people won’t be carrying this outside the home. They’ll be surfing on the couch or watching a movie or reading in bed. Those things are just barely doable on an iPhone-size screen.

        1. I have a 52 inch HD DV and a blue ray player. Why the hell would I watch a movie at home on that thing? Maybe if I traveled a lot. But again, I have to lug the thing around. Why not just carry an Iphone and a kindle or an iphone and a laptop instead?

          1. I don’t know, maybe your TV is in the living room and you want to watch the movie in bed. The iPad isn’t for everyone… but I’ll bet lots of people will have them in the coming years.

    2. It’s not meant to be a general-purpose computer, it’s to do the things many people do most of the time with computers: surf the web, email, watch videos, view pictures, be an ebook reader, etc. No doubt it will expand its capabilities over time.

      It doesn’t have a keyboard, or even a freaking USB port to attach a keyboard or mouse, so email and websurfing are going to be annoying.

      It doesn’t have an optical disk drive, large hard drive for storing movie files, or reasonable sized speaker, so it’s not a very useful movie player.

      It would work fine as an e-book reader, but it’s price point is double it’s competition.

      It has nowhere near the applications of a small laptop (which does include a keyboard, making it superior for email and web browsing), despite costing as much or more.

      The iPhone was in competition with other feature-rich cell phones – the apps, web browsing, and email didn’t have to be as good as an actual computer’s, just better than other cell phones. It succeeded because it was the slickest cell phone on the market. This thing is the “bonus” functionality from an iPhone made bigger and without the phone.

      That doesn’t mean it will be a total flop – Apple has leaned heavily on marketing since the iPod and can still move their overpriced laptops largely on it’s power. If you’re an Apple fanboy, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper way to satiate your brandlust than a MacBook Air.

      1. It has a docking port, and Apple announced a keyboard that docks to it on the same day.

        A mouse is superfluous with the touch-based interface.

        I think Apple is counting on the Wi-Fi to obviate the need for ports or a big hard drive.

        Yes, it costs more than a standard ebook reader, but those don’t handle color or video, or iWork, or thousands of apps from the App store.

        True, a laptop does more. This isn’t a laptop. It’s something less, and yet more.

      2. Wired did an interesting article on ten things missing from the ipad.
        http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab…..-the-ipad/

        A lot of it comes down to maximizing battery life (Flash is processor intensive, so is multi-tasking) and the like. When you need to type something, a keyboard pulls up (like on an iPhone et al).

        Second generation will be interesting to see.

    3. I thought it was the iJitterBug.

      1. +1 for obscure reference

    4. Dead-tree publishing

      “Books,” you mean? Do you call French fries “dead-potato eating”? Trees (and potatoes) are grown to be killed and used by humans. The “dead tree” meme is a silly and childish indicator of Gaia-worship (if not Apple-worship).

      1. Don’t get your panties in a wad, it’s just a jokey term meant to distinguish traditional publishing from the electronic sort.

    5. Yes, those restrictions have hurt the iPhone, but it’s impossible to gauge the chilling effect of Apple’s censorship; for example, they’ve banned dictionaries for containing supposedly bad words, for example.

      the iPad is an oversized iPod Touch. No phone, no multitasking, no Flash support (!!), no keyboard, etc, etc, etc.

      Most people would be better served by a $300 netbook….similar battery life, and a REAL operating system, and less than half the price.

      But let’s be real, this isn’t about functionality, this is about Apple fanboys having a new toy with which to broadcast their coolness. People aren’t going to use these at home, they’re going to use them in public, to show off. Expect to see them being wielded by coffee-shop dwelling, hipster douchebags POST HASTE.

  4. In some way, this product reminds me a bit of the Iridium satellite network.

    1. It reminds me of the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator.

  5. ipad is going to tank. Jobs and his retarded control freak mentality is going to fuck him again. The first bandwagon he missed was gaming with his, “Apple computers are not toys.” Hello apps store, shitton of games. Now he’s doing the same thing again with the, “All your media belong to us!” bullshit.

    No thanks. At some point the kool toy utility will out pace the disutility of having to use Orwellian programing. I hate Google, but god I hope they can get off their ass and get some decent software and hardware out.

    1. P.S. I’m amazed they didn’t glue a fucking water sensor in the middle of the screen.

    2. Google would take years to get anywhere near this level of software and hardware integration, if they could do it at all. This level of slickness is what Apple does, and there’s really nobody else who does it as well.

      And no, this won’t tank (as the Apple TV more or less did), nor will is soar quite as high and far as the iPod. But I’ll bet it will sell a million+ in the first year. Every geek who has to support Grandma’s Windows PC so she can get her email is going to want to give her an iPad for Christmas.

      1. Apple TV did tank.

        I think you may have mistaken me for a fanboi. Or maybe you are, I wouldn’t pass judgment either way. But your points aren’t lost on me. Apple product, like the macbook I’m typing on or the iPhone I use, are very polished and user friendly. They are gaining market share as well. But the software is still proprietary and generally not used. Itunes is used because the nifty gadgets it goes with require it, the program sucks as a music cataloger and player.

        It will sell better than Apple TV. It will not be a boom like iPod or iPhone. It’s not revolutionary, it’s just an adjustment to existing products that have already been relegated to the hardcore followers. By Apple’s recent release standards this will tank. I’m not alone in the thinking either, closing at what 191? 10% drop in three days? Ya, it’s an albatross.

        Don’t worry though, 4g iphone (3,1) and the At&T contract expiring will drive the stock to 200+ by year end. Good time to buy?

        1. No kidding Itunes sucks. The initial version was really nice. But it has gotten progressively worse. It used to be that I could hook up my Ipod to my computer and see all of the music on it and add and delete music from it in a simple click and drag format.

          But that all ended about three years ago. Now I have to “sync” my IPOD. That means that I can’t just delete a single song or group of songs from it. I have to reformat the whole disk and put a whole new set of music and playlists on it from scratch. It sucks ass. I don’t know why they did it other than maybe Jobs is Satan’s little helper.

          1. John, you don’t have to sync if you don’t want to. Go to iTunes > Preferences > Devices and check “Prevent iPods and iPhones from syncing automatically.” Then you should be able to manage things manually.

            1. I will try that. Thanks. I loved my Ipod until sycing came out. I don’t understand the use of it. And they made it the default setting.

    3. This product has some great application possibilities, but I don’t see them coming to fruition. The most notable would be Apple hooking up with Mc-Graw Hill, Pearson, Thompson, Prentice Hall, and the other text book publishers they could revolutionize the text market, retain their proprietary product focus and preference and probably make as much or more money for publishers, writers, and themselves. But I imagine the red tape for such a plan is pretty thick.

      1. I remember when Apple was all you saw in lower level learning institutions like grade schools and high schools. They gave up their niche in education.

  6. The picture of the iPad article author is really, really creepy. Nightmarish.

    Thanks, Jesse. Wife’s out of town, all alone in the house, and I’ve got the image of that guy in my brain. I’m going to go check to see if all the doors and windows are locked. Twice.

    1. Whenever that happens to me, I buy more guns.

  7. Did anybody read Sanchez’ article?

    It really is common sense. Franklin recognized it. To the extent that one entrusts one’s “safety” to the public sector, one is making a humongous mistake.

    Further, the garrsion state, itself, is a danger to all of us. A much greater danger than Muhammad. Al Queda does not wage the drug war against me; it does not confiscate my property and it does not seek to bankrupt me in its quest to maintain and expand an empire.

    1. Do you really think the purpose is to make us safe?

      In my view, it’s about the collection and storage of as much data as possible to aid in a prosecution.

      I think LEOs would love the ability to identify, via cell phone GPS or triangulation, everyone that was near a crime, for example a murder. They access the data via their special login and get a list of people to question. This would save them a fair amount of time compared to the current method.

      The pipe dream is that by mining data they will have a list of people about to commit a crime.

      The end result will be your electonic information telling them everything they want to know about you, thus making your right not to incriminate yourself moot.

      1. Tricky Vic-

        Of course the purpose is power.

        Its the oldest trick in the book. Trouble is, there are too many so-called libertarians who allow their love of nation state and the stars and stripes to overcome their ability to reason. Hence, you get non-sense like “we’d all be speaking german today if we did not make war on Germany” or “lincoln freed the slaves” or “weapons of mass destruciton” or “Ahmadinejad said he wants to wipe Israel off the map” etc.

  8. SugarFree – the article is coming from inside your house!

    1. [SugarFree tries to scream, but no sound comes out.]

      1. Fine. Make all the fun you want. But stare into his cold, dead eyes for a little while and see if you sleep soundly tonight. They are like an endless winter of horror.

        1. No, dude–the teeth. His fucking teeth. They look like teeth a wraith would have.

          (shudders)

        2. Dammit, SF, I looked and now I’ll never get to sleep. THANKS A LOT.

          1. Hey! I warned you! Monkey’s paw and all that.

            1. Ha ha ha! I didn’t see any of this and I slept like a baby.

          2. Oh Jesus, me too. WE MUST END HIM

    1. I forgot. Mad TV predicted this years ago.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L68aKVAzwQ4

  9. ProL,

    Microsoft may have kept us all from the evils of Apple, but it was just an exchange for a slightly lesser evil, a less smug evil.

    As a hardware platform, the PC is a far less evil box, I’ll grant you that.

    1. For those who may be interested, this is a list of 100% free software operating systems. If you don’t like either Apple OS or Microsoft Windows these are 100% free (both as in freedom and as in price) alternatives.

      http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html

      1. What? No BSD?

        Figures you’d rely on a commie like Richard Stallman to guarantee your freedom. That explains a lot about cosmotarians.

        1. I have no problem with BSD, each to their own. Why do you call Richard Stallman a “commie”? Because he does not recognize IP? Does that make the folks at the LvMI commies also? Please, rather than throw around labels let us make this debate (if there is one) in the arena of ideas. What is your issue with Richard Stallman? Assuming you have one.

          1. Count me among the Stallman haters. The guy is a loon and does a disservice to the open software community.

            OTOH, I’ll throw in with Eric Raymond any day.

            1. Do youjust think he is too much of a purist? The pragmatic / purity dynamic is an interesting one. As I recall KDE started off as a more “pure” alternative to Gnome. Now, however, it is Gnome that is often percieved as being the more “pure” of the two. We need both pragmatists and purists. They are both usefull to future development.

              1. I think he just comes off as an anti-capitalist crackpot, always raging against the machine.

                I will freely admit that it’s been years since I read anything about him, but from what I recall is that he refused to acknowledge the role that markets played and that it was *OK* to make a buck on software. It had to be freefreefreefreefree…all the way down.

                1. That may be, I admit I have not read everything he has ever written. I only know him from his work with the FSF (to which I have donated). I like to eat Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream but do not agree with their politics. I also like to eat Chick-fil-A and do not agree with their politics. I support the FSF because of their work on free software.

          2. Reading the GNU license, I’d say Stallman certainly does recognize IP. At least he recognizes it enough to create a license that tells you, in effect, you can’t link GPL licensed software to other free software libraries such as that licensed under the NPL or the APL, or for that matter BSD licensed software. Also, GPL licensed software requires providing the source code for any improvements or modifications done to a distributed version of GPL licensed software.

            Contrast that to the BSD license – the code is in the public domain, and anyone can do anything they want with it. Sell it, modify it, base a proprietary product on it – no obligation.

            1. This is a matter of strategy – that is all. You can argue that his strategy is not as effective as the BSD one but I believe the goal is the same.

              The same sorts of differences can be seen within the libertarian movement. Some libertarians view the entire act of voting as counterproductive – some even view it as an act of coercion. Others say you should vote but only for ideological pure libertarians (i.e. members of the Libertarian Party). Still other libertarians say it is OK to vote for the “lesser of two evils” in some cases. An entire range of people who share the same goal.

    2. Sorry, I think anything Windows is more evil than anything Apple….

      1. Yeah, Apple is not evil. That is why I can hook a Zune up to Itunes or download music from Amazon right into my Itunes program. Apple is the most proprietary dictatorial company on the planet. They just don’t generate as much hatred as Microsoft because they only have a small percentage of the population locked up in their little proprietary prison.

        1. Apple is sooooo evil. Really, what do you think it would be like if they dominated the computer market? A system would cost $4,000 and Linux would be illegal.

          1. Right, and why can’t I install their OS on a box they did not manufacture? If I wanted to that is. I was once interested in them enough that I would have done that if I could. They will not support the product if I do. Microsoft will allow me to install their product on an Appple box.

            1. why can’t I install their OS on a box they did not manufacture?

              They tried that back in the clone years, but couldn’t make money that way. They sell hardware and software together, which has advantages and disadvantages. Personally I’m pretty happy with their hardware, though I wish they had something in between a Mac Mini and a Mac Pro.

              1. “They tried that back in the clone years, but couldn’t make money that way.”

                Funny that Microsoft can make money that way. So can Canonical.

                1. But neither of them actually makes computers, do they? Apple does the hardware and the OS, and needs to sell them together to make the whole thing work.

                  1. Why do they have to sell them together? Some people have remarked about the quality of Apple’s hardware. Why not let someone buy a tabula raza one and put another operating system? And why not let somoene buy OSX and put it on a Dell laptop?

                    1. The answer to the first question is that nothing stops you. Many people run Windows and Linux on Macs.

                      The answer to the second is that Apple doesn’t think they can make money that way, and they don’t want to support OS X on crappy PC hardware, and take the blame when it doesn’t work right. Of course, if you really want to put OS X on a Dell, there are ways to do it. Google it. AFAIK Apple hasn’t put any DRM in OS X to prevent you.

                    2. “The answer to the first question is that nothing stops you. Many people run Windows and Linux on Macs.”

                      Ahh, but part of the built in price to their box is the operating system. People sometimes talk about a “Windows tax” but it is possible to buy OS free PCs. Not so with Apple machines. Correct me if I am wrong.

                      “they don’t want to support OS X on crappy PC hardware, and take the blame when it doesn’t work right.”

                      In my experience people tend to blame whoever made the hardware. “Damn HP Crap” I hear. Of course, if it really is a software issue they blame MS if it is an MS box.

                      “AFAIK Apple hasn’t put any DRM in OS X to prevent you.”

                      It is against the EULA so if there are any issues they will not be willing to help.

                    3. True, the OS comes with the hardware. From Apple’s p.o.v., you might as well ask the buy a Chevy at a discount because you don’t want the engine, because you’re planning on adding a different brand of engine later. That’s just not the way they operate, and they have a right to operate that way.

                      No, I think if people bought OS X to install on their old PC hardware, they’d likely blame Apple when things went wrong. When people installed Vista on old hardware and it didn’t work, they blamed Microsoft. (Admittedly Microsoft was largely to blame, by misleading people about hardware requirements.) But the world of PC hardware is vast, and Apple would have to either spend lots of time making sure OS X would work on everything, or alienate people with a narrow list of systems it was OKed for.

                      True, it’s against the EULA, and you are on your own when you do it. But I don’t see much reason to avoid Apple hardware in the first place. Their stuff is well-made, not much more expensive than equivalent-quality PC hardware, and the only significant gap in their lineup (IMHO) is some sort of minitower, in between the Mini and the Pro.

          2. Indeed, I will never use their OS if I have to spend several thousand to get a desktop that isn’t designed for retards.

            1. There are Apple desktops for less than “several thousand dollars.” How about $599?

              1. Did you miss the retard bit? I would want a desktop, not an all in one, or a crappy little box. i.e. something between an iMac and a Pro. The mac mini is a turd.

          3. I wsa on a computer list for 12 years, populated largely with Apple zealots, including the list owner, who was about one of the biggest dickheads you’ll meet in your life (and a solid Boomer Democrat, the kind you want to punch in the face forever).

            It’s not the company that’s evil so much. It’s its fucking customer base.

        2. I believe Amazon sells MP3s, correct? Nothing stops you from putting those into iTunes or on an iPod. I don’t think you can buy from Amazon through iTunes, but so what?

          1. I tunes doesn’t like it when I download from other places. It has a bad habit of not recognizing the artist and song title. Music from other places ends up as “unknown artist”. It is annoying as hell.

            1. Really? Works for me. I download all sorts of oddities from music blogs, and most tracks come with at least some of the meta information, though I have to add or correct things at times.

      2. None of them are evil, they’re just assholes in different ways. If you don’t like control freakery, Apple is pretty fucking assholish.

        I approach every product, OS, whatever with a clean slate. The iPhone is a pretty awesome little device. Mac OS sucks. Windows 7 has been great so far. Office sucks monkey balls. Linux is for dorks. TiVo (runs on Linux) is the greatest.

        And don’t forget I’m a .NET developer. Being a fanboi for any company is the same thing as partisanship, and just as stupid.

        1. Is it just me or is OS X pretty average with an annoying UI? Win 7 has been a pleasant surprise. I still do my banking in linux.

          1. I agree for the most part. I admit that OSX is less prone to viruses than Windows but if it had a bigger market share this would not be the case.

            1. I’m no expert, but I don’t agree. There seem to be inherent problems with Windows that OS X doesn’t have. If it were just a matter of market share, OS X would have a proportionate share of viruses (or more, given most Mac people don’t even run anti-virus software anymore), but it has so few that when someone creates one as a proof of concept or to win a contest, it makes the papers.

              1. A nefarious person wants to do as much damage as possible. In terms of effort it is not a “market share” issue. You can’t look at this as a company selling software – the motivation is very different. That want to damage things – not sell things.

                1. A nefarious person could certainly do a lot of damage to all those Macs without virus protection, and cause a hugely ego-gratifying uproar. And yet it never happens….

                  1. As others have pointed out the perception (wrong IMHO) among many people is that Microsoft is more evil than Apple. Many who are involved in the writing of such viruses etc. are interested in targetting Microsoft products because they view them as being deserving of such attacks.

                    1. Mmmm, I don’t know. Lots of the attackers are just criminals looking for the easiest ways to steal credit card numbers or identities or send spam or create a botnet they can rent out. I don’t think most of them are ideological. Windows PCs are very much the easiest target.

                    2. OK, let us assume you are correct. Let us assume that J.K. Thief wants to steel a credit card number. If you are a fisherman looking for fish you go to the lake with the greatest number of fish. it seems to me that if you were a thief looking for credit card numbers the same principle would apply. You would go write a program for the greatest number of computers.

                    3. I think they would go for the easiest targets, and Windows boxes are by far the easiest targets. My point is that there are millions of Macs out there with no virus protection, so if they were so easy to root someone would have done it by now.

            2. OSX is less prone to viruses than Windows but if it had a bigger market share this would not be the case.

              This is one reason why I want a dedicated linux box to do nothing but Internet and Open Office.

              I’m still conflicted about whether to do my gaming, music & video editing on Mac or Windows. If I can afford it, I’ll probably go with Mac, b/c Final Cut is supposed to have it all over Adobe Premiere Pro. Having used Premiere Pro for several years, I can believe that.

        2. GNU/Linux took a bit of getting used to but once I did I fell in love with it. Being free software it is not connected to any one company. I am a distro hopper and can do that as often as I like without spending a dime. I have not once had a virus or worm or anything like that one any of my GNU/Linux machines.

          1. My problem is abject lazitude. I have no drive to setting up a dual boot system with a free distro of something or even just severing from Windows entirely. I think it partly comes from the fact that, even as a Windows user at home, I have never had a virus or worm or anything. DESPITE being pretty lazy about keeping up with security patches.

            I just don’t do stupid shit, especially online.

            1. Same here. I rootkitted myself about 2 years ago, but I was d/ling a lot of out of print music off of blogs. It was a nastly little bitch, spamming out through my SMTP account. It outed itself with delilvery failure notices coming back to me. *Nothing* would find it and I tried everything.

              That was my only malware in using Windows for 15 years.

              1. Ive been windows free since 2001, primarily due to Open Source being my business so I just emerged into Linux full time (instead of dual booting, like I was doing in the 90s) back then.

  10. Here’s an example of the shittiness of apple:

    New dude in my lab gets himself a fancy 1500 quid “professional” laptop from apple (15″ macbook pro) for his PhD work. Installs win XP as virtual machine and some CAM software. CAM software requires USB dongle. I have some files he needs to setup CNC operations. MacBook only has two USB ports and they’re so close together that you can’t put a dongle in one and a USB stick in the other. So he has to exit the CAM program and remove the dongle every time he wants to transfer some files.

    Very shitty for a 1500 quid “pro” grade laptop. What the fuck do you do if you want to use a USB mouse with the program.

    1. I met someone who installed XP on a Macbook. He said he has to hit the mouse button twice for some functions that you could use the “right click” for on a two button mouse. I would find that exceedingly anoying.

      1. On a Mac you can either command-click, option-click, or control-click to get the equivalent (if not more) of a right click.

        1. Perhaps with Mac OS but what if you install Windows on it? That was what this person did.

          1. Maybe all he needs is to plug in a two-button USB mouse. Macs have been able to use those for years.

      1. Yeah, I really want to carry around loads of adapter cables just so I can plug a USB stick into my GBP1500 “it just works” sooper-dooper computer.

        1. Dude – real estate on a laptop is limited by definition. There is only so much space where you can put ports. Most peripheral manufacturers recognize that. If the software company that requires the dongle does not recognize that, that is a problem with the dongle, not the computer. If your friend insists on using dongle-protected software, he’s prolly going to have the same problem with most laptops. Which leaves him with two choices – whine, or buy a fucking 99 cent adapter.

          1. Yeah, a 15″ laptop is tiny. It definitely can only support two USB ports that have been positioned very close together. FFS!

            And btw, the dongle is smaller than a standard Sandisk USB flash stick.

  11. Right-clicking for common functions is one of the most useful things that an OS can do. Center-clicking (pasting in Unix & Linux, primarily) is super-duper useful.

    1. I second. I wish that three button mice were more common. I could not stand having to work with a one button mouse.

      1. Any scroll mouse has the scroll as the center button.

        1. There are some older/cheap ones that scroll only.

          1. I’m sure, but the ones that don’t function as a button are the exception IME.

            I have an old Logitech PS/2 mouse with 3 buttons. I’ll send to anyone that wants it. It still works fine.

    2. As much as I dislike their software, Microsoft makes some of the best keyboards and mice I have ever used.

  12. Long time Mac fanboy here.

    When it first came time to get a computer to do real work, I got a cheep PC and installed linux. Because I could make it do what I wanted it to do—important when you’re in a minority career and sometimes have oddball requirements.

    Recently I’ve been working on macs again. Because their unix underneath, and come with a development environment. Once again I bask is warmth of Apple trademarked slickness. But I can also get shit done.

    I haven’t bought a iPhone, wouldn’t even if I could afford it, and won’t buy any other piece of closed off hardware, or any hardware not under my own control.

    1. I actually do know the difference between “there”, “their”, and “they’re”. I really do.

      But for the last fortnight or so I have typed them wrong more times than not. And I don’t always catch it in proofreading.

      Is theirthere such a thing as late onset dyslexia. Or is it early onset dementia?

      1. A friend told me her husband got a shot of testosterone and that livened his cognitive skills. I do have to add that it had a side effect that prevented her from getting to work out 😉

        1. Really? I would have thought she got a good workout.

          1. BakedPenguin,apparently you don’t remember your dog in heat days. -time,+ quantity.

    2. I use GNU/Linux and am a free software supporter but do not pretend to be anything close to a computer programmer. However, I wonder why someone, somewhere has not created a free software GUI that would be compatable with Aqua GUI. As you correctly point out, beneath the GUI is UNIX (Darwin distro). I would think this might be easier to acompish than WINE for example. This would enable people to run MAC programs on any box and on free software natively.

      1. It took ten years to get Wine to v1.0. I don’t think you’d reverse engineer Aqua in any less time. Although Gnustep might be a good foundation.

        Face it, when it comes to gui interfaces, the free software options suck rocks.

        1. I dont see this, but I guess it depends on what you want from your gui interface. Gnome (and KDE and a number of others) work fine for me. Realistically, all I want is somewhere to open firefox, openoffice and a bunch of terminal windows.

          Having multiple desktops (why hasnt MS implemented this yet? Its been standard in Unix/Linux GUIs for nearly 2 decades) handles my tracking my terminal windows properly.

          No GUI is installed on any of my servers. They are all connected to remotely anyway, so its unnecessary. The fact that MS still hasnt produced the promised (for at least 10 years now, at least back to NT4 days) server version with the no-GUI option says more negative about their GUI than anything else.

          1. There are a number of lightweight window managers out there such as xfce and fluxbox if all you need is to open a few programs and terminal windows.

            1. Im well aware. Gnome comes out of the box though. Laziness wins. 🙂

              Ive run some of the others at times, but I tend to stick with Gnome.

          2. I believe Windows XP (and possibly 2000) had a official MS thing that allowed multiple desktops.

            http://www.microsoft.com/windo…..rtoys.mspx

            I would guess that this was not default for the same reason that Apple discourages multi-tasking (ie user confusion).

      2. Certainly possible, but

        * There is a lot that would have to be rebuilt
        * There are fewer people who care than for the Windows case
        * Stuff with Mac [drivers|versions] usually also has Windows [drivers|versions] (and often Linux as well), while there are plenty of products that do just fine puttering along as Windows only products
        * Most of the people who care about having a good Free (libre or gratis) GUI are working on X and/or gnome or kde or xfce already.

        And while gnome, kde, and xfce are quite usable and reasonably visually appealing, they don’t have the kind of polish that Apple produces. That secretive, overbearing corporate world hides a design culture that does some damn good work.

  13. Apple is sooooo evil. Really, what do you think it would be like if they dominated the computer market? A system would cost $4,000 and Linux would be illegal.

    Perhaps. It wouldn’t put wanting it past them. But don’t forget that it was MS that pushed so hard for the Trusted [not to let our customers avoid paying us] Computing Platform. Or whatever they called it.

    1. Evil is all relative. MS seems less insidious. More like Franco to Apple’s Hitler.

  14. Me? I use CP/M.

    1. I still have a Comodor PET. I also have the Trek X tape, yes, tape that goes with it.

  15. The Carney article gets filed in the no shit folder. GE, Boeing, Unions, hell its a who’s who of common sense.

    The surveillance article is pretty good too. I never thought of security that way. Putting systems like that into place just reduces the amount of work for bad guys. I wonder what the exposure is for liability for private companies.

    1. “the ones who think it is socialist, godless, a step on the road to a police state – are often the ones it seems designed to help.”

      godless? Why does this author think this has anything to do with religion?

      1. “the ones who think it is socialist, godless, a step on the road to a police state – are often the ones it seems designed to help.”

        Well some of those who oppose a police state are those whom a police state is designed to help.

        Maybe that is why they oppose it.

    2. “Mr Gore was talking sense and Mr Bush nonsense – but Mr Bush won the debate. With statistics, the voters just hear a patronising policy wonk, and switch off.”

      Wow, this author has no bias to his article at all.

      1. The gist of that article is that Americans are emotionally driven morons who would vote for the democrats if they knew what was good for them. But they don’t.

        Ahh, but if the richest most prosperous nation on earth could be smart and enlightened they would be more like Europe is.
        (but then who would save them when they start throwing brown people in ovens?)

    3. Obama’s administration made a tremendous mistake by not immediately branding the economic collapse that we had just had as the Republicans’ Depression, caused by the Bush administration’s ideology of unregulated greed.

      *rage*

  16. Somebody ought to tell the guy who wrote the Ipad article to make his blog readable if you surf with images turned off by default.

  17. I first saw the iPad it seemed pretty cool. I travel a lot, and I like to watch movies on the plane. Laptops don’t have the battery life necessary for 12 and 14 hour flights. Hell they are not even good for 4 hour flights inside the US.

    10 hours of battery? Way cool. Cooler would be if I could change the battery, and have two or three batteries. Cooler would be if if I could attach a 16, or 32 gig thumb drive for even more movies or tv shows, or whatever I want.

    Being that Apple is not going to do the above, why can’t another company just design a better Ipad? With all the features that I mentioned? Kind of like what Gerber did to Leatherman?

    1. I think the 10 hour claim is in ebook mode. The leaked stuff on it said 3 hr usage.

      1. So then it is basically a laptop but without a keyboard*, without a dock for a thumdrive, without a way to shut the thing down if it freezes on you.

        (*not that you need a keyboard with a touchscreen)

        1. So, another company should be able to top this soon right? Or do we have here a failure of the free market?

          1. Maybe the HP Slate.

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