* Posts by George Madison

12 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Oct 2007

Ten of the Best... iPod rivals

George Madison
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iTunes - *FEH*!

One of the reasons I don't use an iPod is because iTunes is such a vile piece of crap.

The others are that iPlods don't support Vorbis and FLAC, and don't have proper replaceable batteries. Only designs that are cheap and disposable can be excused for having a non-replaceable battery (the iPod Shuffle, for instance). In any other case, it's planned obsolescence to "encourage" people to buy another unit instead of simply replacing a worn-out battery.

A third of Vista PCs downgraded to XP

George Madison

@AC - W98

The big reason for the resistance to Windows 98 was that it was the edition where M$ started actively cramming IE down people's throats by making the desktop render through the IE engine as a way to make IE a part of the OS rather than a standalone app.

Fortunately, I discovered 98Lite - a program that, with access to a W95 install CD would graft 95's purpose-built desktop code onto 98 - resulting in the combined advantages of 98SE's improved stability, vastly better USB connectivity - and 95's much faster desktop response.

Comcast accuses FCC of impotence

George Madison

Comcast & dishonesty - what a shock.

I have to agree with what others have said - bandwidth shaping to control how much bittorrent traffic is going through is one thing; actively interfering with the protocol is QUITE a different thing. The first could get by as "reasonable network management," the latter can NOT.

I have to say that it looks like Comcast is in collusion with the RIAA/MPAA. I can't believe Comcast (and the Ass.'s) are unaware that many bittorrent tracker sites monitor user upload to download ratios. By blocking their users from uploading, it seems clear that Comcast is hoping to discourage bittorrent users by making it difficult to impossible for them to maintain an acceptable ratio on such sites. Sure, there are open trackers - but torrents are often better seeded and longer lived on the private trackers, for obvious reasons.

Star Trek XI teaser trailer beams onto web

George Madison

Sheer Crap

What the Trek franchise needs is some ONE at the helm who understands and loves it - and for more than the few minutes preceeding the press release announcing the hire.

Someone who can prove they've been a fan for at least 10 years or more would be a start.

Boutique directors who are going to try and turn Trek into something else are a terrible sign. Rehashing the past is foolish; it turns into an absolute nightmare of retconning and timeline management.

I suspect this film will wind up being hated even more than Star Trek Nemesis - and that's saying something.

Napster looks to de-tether downloads

George Madison
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Now that we've slipped the shackles of DRM...

...how about a push to move from MP3 to a better format, like Ogg Vorbis?

Asus: memory upgrades will not void Eee PC warranty

George Madison

Voiding Illegal in USA ;)

I don't know about the legal situation elsewhere, but I do know that here in the USA, voiding a warranty for "usual and customary" upgrades - like memory, in a case like this with a standard module slot and a door designed to give access to it - is definitely illegal. I remember this being hashed out in the courts a while back.

Asus Eee PC 4G sub-sub-notebook

George Madison
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Why XP on EeePC?

For me, it's simple. I ride a motorcycle, and thus the SSD - vastly more vibration proof than any hard drive - makes perfect sense. But one of the major apps I want on my traveling companion is MS' _Streets & Trips_, and there is nothing remotely comparable available for Linux. From what I've seen, WINE is not an option, not least because (as one might expect of something like this from MS), S&T obtains road construction updates via Internet Exploiter.

For anyone who is tempted to suggest a "regular" laptop - obviously they've never packed a bike for a long trip. Space is at a premium, another point on which the EeePC excels.

An EeePC, a wee USB GPS module and S&T under (nLite-ed) XP - fantastic for what I want.

Microsoft sells Windows twice

George Madison

I have to wonder...

...how similar this "special" version of XP for this refurbishing program resembles "Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs."

When that was rolled out a while back, M$ said it was only for people in their "Software Assurance" program. I wonder if this is a way to get some return out of the work that went into creating it. I mean, all one has to do to make it look like another version of Windoze is to change the winbrand.dll file.

Windows Server 2008 to come in 8 flavors

George Madison
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@Scott: The client-license issue is a big chunk of what got us an Apple XServe at my last job. No client licensing stupidity, better compatibility with the departments using Macs than "Services for Macintosh", and no downside for the PC users.

Obviously there are situations where OS X Server wouldn't be the top choice - but there are more of them than I think a lot of people realize.

California inches toward 300 megawatt solar plant

George Madison

Solar Water Heaters - for where they work.

Here in Los Angeles - and other places in the sunbelt - I really don't understand why solar water heaters aren't mandatory. Sure, there will still be a need for supplemental heating - but here, they'd pay off fast and save energy for years after.

Asus to offer Eee PCs pre-loaded with Windows

George Madison

Why Windoze?

@Tim Bates: Because I want one of these ultra-portable laptops for a travelling companion on my motorcycle to run mapping/trip planning/GPS software (among other things), and there's simply nothing that runs under Linux that can come close to M$'s Streets & Trips.

Honda offers FCX for '08, bitchslaps Google

George Madison

Hydrogen as an auto fuel makes no sense.

The energy density of even liquid hydrogen (10.1 MJ/litre) is abysmal compared to ethanol (24 MJ/litre) or butanol (29.2 MJ/litre). For reference, gasoline produces 34.6 MJ/litre. Considering we're talking about compressed hydrogen, the energy density is even lower.

Furthermore, while ethanol and butanol are liquid at common temperatures and can be handled much as we do gasoline now, hydrogen gas requires a large expenditure of energy to compress it to even a semi-useful density, a fact often ignored by proponents of the idea. That's aside from the kind of tankage and pipework needed to contain it under high pressure.

I'd love to see a hard-nosed comparison of the energy costs for preparing various fuels from raw material to ready for use. It's an aspect of "alternative" fuels that's often glossed over at best.