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Tag: OPINION

With Ubuntu's shift to Qt in 11.10, an attack on the mobile sector must be imminent

Qt, come the end of 2011, is to become a standard component of Ubuntu 11.10. Ubuntu currently, and in the upcoming 11.04 Natty Narwhal distribution, uses Gtk+, a competing toolkit maintained by the GNOME Foundation. When Canonical announced Ubuntu's shift away from the GNOME desktop manager in 11.04, the switch to Qt was almost a foregone conclusion; GNOME requires Gtk+, but Unity doesn't --...

News flash: everything on the Internet is hackable

This weekend, Gawker Media had its primary database compromised. In this monstrous breach, not only did 1.5 million users have their privacy breached and email address stolen, but they also had their passwords cracked. In a day and age where the currency of our email address and password -- and thus our identity -- is only superseded by our bank details, it's fair to label the Gawker breach as...

Chrome Web Store needs to list geo-restrictions

Now that it has finally launched, it's been a lot of fun playing with the apps available in the Chrome Web Store. There is, however, one pretty big annoyance that I'd like to see rectified. Right now, there's no way to tell whether or not certain apps will work in your country -- like MOG. There's nothing in the Web Store description for MOG that it's U.S. only, and there's no note in the...

Facebook -- with or without Google -- will destroy the world as we know it

On Monday, Facebook announced the launch of a platform that will set in motion a process that will catastrophically terminate the world as we know it. Known by the end-user as the rather demure 'Messages', and internally as Project Titan, it is only those that look toward the future that know its true name: Skynet. The future can be defined as a flow of time that has the potential to become...

Hands-on with RockMelt, the underwhelming Chrome 6-based Facebook-connected Web browser

The day you've all been dreading has finally come: RockMelt, a Web browser that forces you to log into Facebook, is here. Lee covered its release earlier today, but now I'm going to give you my hands-on impressions Looking through the accompanying gallery is by far the best way to understand what RockMelt is, but read on if you want my opinions. RockMelt is, for all intents and purposes,...

Is Mozilla making a huge mistake by breaking add-ons so badly on Firefox 4?

I'm stoked about Firefox 4; I think many of us are. It's a beautiful browser, and with the addition of Tab Candy (now "Panorama"), it's even cooler. Whenever Mozilla release a new version of Firefox, add-ons break. It's become routine, so nobody's overly worked up about it by now. The Mozilla add-ons site is littered with yesteryear's great extensions, including such crowd pleasers as Hit-a-Hint,...

What the Zuk: Stickies is the best sticky-note application money can't buy

What the Zuk is a (very) occasional feature, in which I review software that I have been using for many years, and which is instrumental for my work. These are the first tools I install on every new system, the reliable work-horse applications I turn to for every need. In every installment I will try to explain what makes this particular program special, and why I find it so vital for my...

What the Zuk: an ode to Total Commander

What the Zuk is a (very) occasional feature, in which I review software that I have been using for many years, and which is instrumental for my work. These are the first tools I install on every new system, the reliable work-horse applications I turn to for every need. In every installment I will try to explain what makes this particular program special, and why I find it so vital for my...

Usability rant: why doesn't KeePass have a Read-Only mode?

KeePass is an awesome password management utility. In fact, "awesome" is an understatement. It has transformed my computing experience and made my online life significantly more secure. I run KeePass and enter my obscenely long pass phrase multiple times every day; I trust KeePass so much that I don't even know the passwords to most websites I frequent. This includes some really important...

Dear Firefox, please fix the crappy Find UI already

Firefox is doing a lot of usability-related work recently. And really, it now sports a fairly usable UI. It's kind of sluggish at times, but it is my browser of choice, mainly for political reasons. But one thing never fails to piss me off ... why does the Find function have to be so bad? Many people use large monitors these days (and often, more than one). This means that we often have a large...

Opinion: Why Ascender's Fonts Live service is doomed from the get-go

Fonts Live is a service which lets you embed beautiful fonts right on your Web page. They have a catalog of 200 fonts, and they are all quite lovely. Does the idea ring a bell? Maybe it's because Google has a very similar service which is totally free! This is something that really astounds me. How can you offer a service for such rates and expect to make money, when a behemoth like Google is...

Software to steer clear of: Acronis Drive Monitor

Acronis is a fairly trusted name in the world of system utilities. Such trust is not easily gained, and should not be abused. This is all the more reason why I am so disappointed with Acronis Drive Monitor. I downloaded it, hoping for an easy utility to tell me whether or not my drive was failing. Before letting me download this "free" tool, Acronis wanted my full name, country and email address....

Amazing software tip: Pay free software developers to get stuff fixed!

If you've read my review of WriteMonkey, you know how much I love this simple-looking, yet very powerful, full-screen editor. In fact, I use WriteMonkey for all of my Download Squad posts. I find it much easier to focus when I have just my text in front of me, in monospaced font, with no distracting chrome. I guess you can imagine the disappointment I felt when WriteMonkey stopped working for me...

Backing up your brain is becoming a reality

New Scientist is running a story this morning about immortality -- not the physiological, philosopher's stone variety, though: digital immortality. What if, rather than dying, you could live on... inside a computer? Physically we might die, but if an accurate representation of our brain and all of its associated memories can be recreated inside a digital computer, stored in digital memory, can...

Why Ubuntu Netbook fails in real life

On paper, Ubuntu Netbook Edition looks great. I mean, what's not to like? It's got a sexy launcher, a lean and mean footprint, fast boot times, ... and it's free! So, I decided to take the plunge. I didn't use a virtual machine to just "review it," though. I actually took an old Acer Aspire 1650 laptop -- which was running XP -- and switched it to Ubuntu Netbook Edition. Installation was a...