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Microsoft confirm their new Chromium-powered Edge browser is coming to Linux
5 November 2019 at 6:11 pm UTC Likes: 1

Mountain ManI'll stick with Firefox, partly because I don't trust Microsoft, but mainly because it's the only browser for Android that supports extensions, and I consider at least uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger, and HTTPS Everywhere to be indispensable for privacy and security.

Pretty much exactly this - uBlock Origin, regardless of Chrome or Firefox or whatever, is the first thing anyone should be installing into their browser, these days.

The related uMatrix or something like NoScript if you're OK with manually whitelisting JS for your favourite sites.

But yeah, on Android, get F-Droid, get Fennec (Firefox) from it, put uBlock Origin in, and don't ever use the built-in Chromium-based stuff ever again. When Google lets you install extensions on Chrome for Android, then maybe that'll at least get a pass, but despite their corporate flaws, Mozilla's still the way to go, IMO. Even if you'd rather a spinoff/de-branded/sanitized version.

But hey, if you can install Chrome versions of extensions in Edge, even on Android? Then maybe it's even a better option than stock Chrome. ;)

Please look at this Wine graph showing a 4.18 increase
18 October 2019 at 10:08 pm UTC Likes: 6

Completely off-topic silliness, but this is the first thing that jumped into my mind reading this headline.

Look at this graph

System76 have put Coreboot into two of their main Intel-powered laptops
11 October 2019 at 4:08 pm UTC

I'm honestly still waiting to see more mobile Radeon GPUs for Linux laptops, at least for gaming and even workstation purposes. The iGPU stuff is decent enough, and all, but everyone's still putting nVidia chips in for their 'high end' lineup.

nVidia, the one damned-near actively hostile company to proper Linux driver adoption, withholding the what... keys, firmware, whatever it was for the GTX 980 and newer for how long now? Still offering proprietary binary-blob drivers, etc.

Nah, I want all my future systems to have AMD GPUs because of the much better, new open source driver (we don't talk about fglrx), which coincidentally, isn't the one Valve has been helping them optimize and such, too?

CPUs, yeah, Ryzen has issues with the PSP, just like Intel's 'Management Engine'. Honestly, I can't wait for "x86" (or the weird bastardization of what's left of it as a mess of decoder logic taking up wayyy too much space in modern CPUs) to die and be superceded by a much more open RISC-V implementation anyhow. One day. ;)

Richard Stallman has resigned from the Free Software Foundation and MIT
17 September 2019 at 5:18 pm UTC Likes: 8

Doc AngeloDo leaders of countries have to be almost silent about almost anything, then? Of course not. Because then they would just be mouth pieces of the public opinion because they want to get re-elected.

... my sarcasm detector is beeping.

Kind of off-topic here, but I mean, 'mouth pieces of the public opinion because they want to get re-elected' is pretty much modus operandi for politics, isn't it?

Also, I'm a bit confused here, on 'shitty social rules'. The social rules that say it's okay for men in power to make sexist, homophobic, etc. jokes while at the office, surrounded not only by their straight male peers, but women, etc. who are supposed to smile and nod lest they lose their jobs for speaking out? 'Cause I'm totally fine with getting rid of those - those have held us back ever since men took over 'computer programming' and turned it into 'software engineering' and pushed women (perfectly smart, trained, capable women!) out of the field in droves. And we wonder why it's so hard to get women back into STEM - it's certainly not a lack of interest in the subject fields...

If you're the spokesperson for an organization, be it a non-profit or a C-level exec of a megacorporation, the opinions you air in public reflect on that organization, no matter how much you try to qualify it as personal vs. professional. That's part of being a public figure and spokesperson. Yeah, it sucks, and you should be able to have a private forum to discuss things. A mailing list to a large chunk of staff isn't that private forum.

Richard Stallman has resigned from the Free Software Foundation and MIT
17 September 2019 at 4:53 pm UTC Likes: 7

RMS has long suffered from the 'you can be technically correct, and yet still act like a raging asshole about it' syndrome that Linus Torvalds, etc. also suffer from.

I don't like how media outlets have basically stretched and almost misquoted him in their headlines, because it makes it all sound like this is the only mis-step he's made over the years in this area. If that were the case, you'd not be wrong to be at least a little upset that this seems like a disproportionate reaction.

But that's the thing - in reality, this is more 'the straw that broke the camel's back'. RMS has been problematic for years, but the Epstein <-> MIT link was the kick at the end.

You can probably dig deeper if you're so inclined (here's one place to start - where Vice got their info).

I wish the FSF best of luck in finding someone new to champion their cause.

Some more thoughts on Ion Fury, the FPS from Voidpoint and 3D Realms
23 August 2019 at 4:29 pm UTC Likes: 8

I know I shouldn't bother reading the comments section on articles on this, but first - please have some context as to where the accusations of transphobia from the devs came from (and yes, they're legitimate):

Resetera link to Discord screens

The couple texture changes for items in game were made because that stuff ticked off 3D Realms; they don't want their name associated with this kind of stuff, so presumably they really wanted the devs to scrub the game clean of anything remotely homo/transphobic. That's their right to ask - they're the publisher, and sure, it's 'censorship' - you can even argue it's self-censorship since, after all, this is also their baby, and they felt the need to state an updated policy on this stuff for future games. None of this is being forced by a government, or the ESRB, or anything like that.

Now, some of you are probably wondering... how did people get these screenshots? Why were they in a Discord server for this (relatively obscure/niche) game? And why would they then be upset over this stuff?

Well, having a number of transfeminine and transmasculine (and enby and pan and...) friends and acquaintances online, this one hurt pretty hard because up until that point they were all super excited for this game and recommending it to each other! There's a joke in transfeminine circles that if you search for thigh-high rainbow or trans pride coloured socks on Amazon, you'll get recommendations for books on programming and computer parts in the 'People also Bought' section - trans people were quick to adopt the online world to be able to reach out to each other across vast distances; trans people, especially transfeminine people, maybe stereotypically, maybe not, tend to skew towards the nerdy side.

These people run Linux. They run FreeBSD. They reminisce about systems that were sometimes before their time. The designer of the ARM architecture was trans. They like to game, but are constantly being shut out by this cloud of toxicity that surrounds a lot of modern gaming, so they make their own, supporting each other in the process and getting onto platforms like itch.io.

They were fans of games like Duke3D when it came out. Some younger people discovered it on recommendation of the older folks. It's silly, over the top, fun, and yeah - a little sexist - but it was the '90s, and part of the pastiche. Think of the modern day band Steel Panther, and people 'get it' - it's all in good fun. At least, when it's acknowledged that's not how you actually treat people these days.

They game on Linux (and BSD!), and more than one have I pointed to this very site as an example of great reporting ( you, Liam and others!).

...but I have to remind them, 'just... don't read the comments', and they have to begrudgingly accept that. Like every other site, these days.

I don't expect things to change, but I hope for some of you this adds some more context as to why this was such a big deal. Having someone important that worked on something you were genuinely super excited for turn around and shit on your existence as a human being is not a great feeling.

Facepunch adjust their Linux plans for Rust, refunds being offered as it won't continue at all
15 August 2019 at 4:37 pm UTC Likes: 1

Pretty sure I got my copy in the Humble Bundle back then, too, so I'm probably not eligible and/or it's not worth the hassle for what would be basically $5 or less.

I wish I could like... convert it to a giftable and give it to a Windows-running friend or something instead, but eh. I've moved on, I feel, from all this. The way they handled Linux support in the past is almost a textbook example of 'how not to do it', but this gesture is probably the best that could come of it, in terms of fairness and cutting their (future) losses.

The EU is going after Valve and others for "geo-blocking", a statement from Valve
5 April 2019 at 4:46 pm UTC Likes: 7

Geo-blocking is BS, so for once the EU is in the right of it with their demands.

In Canada, the price for a game is the same across the country, whether you're in Ontario or the Yukon (barring GST/PST/HST differences, similar to VAT).

In the US, same deal - it doesn't matter what state you're in, the price of a game is the price of that game.

The article lists some EU member states in the Eurozone and some that aren't - sure, the requirement for currency exchange tends to mean there are winners and losers on the price difference... but isn't the point of the EU the whole 'single market' thing? So set the price of a game in Euro, let non-Eurozone-but-still-EU members buy it for whatever that converts to in their local currency, and otherwise treat the EU as a single 'country'.

I'd argue a step further and say games should just be priced globally in whatever the local currency of the developer/publisher is (e.g. Yen for Japanese games), and the rest of us pay whatever the equivalent of that is in our currency. The devs/publishers want to be paid in their own currency at the end of the day, right? If people are going to pirate it because they can't afford it, going to all the extra effort to get a pittance fraction of the cost from poorer regions just doesn't seem worth it.

But maybe it is, because the 'actual cost' is mostly fixed, and the reproduction/transmission cost of selling additional copies is next to nil (barring translations, etc.). So a game that sells for $60 in the US might still be worth translating and selling for the equivalent of $5 somewhere else. How much of that $60 is profit vs. the $5? What if the game was just... $20 everywhere in the world?

Global economics is hard. ;) But the internet is global. Artificial barriers will get broken, so it's a difficult proposition to figure out how to position your work so that poorer countries with weaker currencies could still afford and enjoy it, while not taking a chunk out of your earnings in wealthier nations. Maybe the 'cheaper' cost version is still enough to break even or make a little bit of money, and the 'wealthier' costing version is pure profit. Maybe the sales in wealthier countries subsidize the sales in poorer ones (though I doubt it - they'd just not bother offering it for sale in said countries then, right?).

I worry for smaller, Indie devs/publishers trying to get this right. I have no sympathy for the likes of EA/Ubisoft/Activision-Blizzard/etc., though, who abuse the crap out of their employees and give their execs multi million dollar salaries and bonuses.

Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm is out with Linux support as expected
14 February 2019 at 9:55 pm UTC Likes: 4

As much as I'd love to jump on this, the EULA shenanigans are gross:

https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/take-2-interactives-new-eula.632925/

Quote"By installing and using the Software, you consent to the information collection and usage terms set forth in this section and Licensor's Privacy Policy, including (where applicable) (i) the transfer of any personal information and other information to Licensor, its affiliates, vendors, and business partners, and to certain other third parties, such as governmental authorities, in the U.S. and other countries located outside Europe or your home country, including countries that may have lower standards of privacy protection; (ii) the public display of your data, such as identification of your user-created content or displaying your scores, ranking, achievements, and other gameplay data on websites and other platforms; (iii) the sharing of your gameplay data with hardware manufacturers, platform hosts, and Licensor's marketing partners; and (iv) other uses and disclosures of your personal information or other information as specified in the above-referenced Privacy Policy, as amended from time to time. If you do not want your information used or shared in this manner, then you should not use the Software."

"The information we collect may include personal information such as your first and/or last name, e-mail address, phone number, photo, mailing address, geolocation, or payment information. In addition, we may collect your age, gender, date of birth, zip code, hardware configuration, console ID, software products played, survey data, purchases, IP address and the systems you have played on. We may combine the information with your personal information and across other computers or devices that you may use."

The Humble Double Fine Presents Bundle is out with some nice games
15 January 2019 at 11:56 pm UTC

Oh wow. Watching the Game Grumps play through a bit of Everything was pretty hilarious, and it's still... interesting (different? Weird? But in a good way?)

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