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Linux Today Readers Speak: Sneaky Skype Stuff and Splendid Sarcasm

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Here is yet another small sampling of worthy Linux Today talkbacks. I wish I could post all the good ones, but since that would be most of them I'll save myself the trouble and point you to Linux Today.

Today's theme is sarcasm. As I was reviewing the Talkbacks I noticed that a number of them were splendidly sarcastic, so I collected them by sarcasm rather than subject matter.

The leadoff Talkback is not sarcastic, but an important reminder about how Skype users "agree" to let their PCs be used as Skype supernodes, and how in Linux you cannot turn this function off without jumping through some major hoops.

Grey Geek writes:

"Skype converts some users computers, unknown to them, into proxy servers by establishing what it calls "SuperNodes" on certain users. Those users agree to allow this to happen on their computers because they clicked through the user agreement, even though most do not read it and would not understand it if they did read it.

"A computer selected to launch a SuperNode is usually one with a fast CPU, several GB of RAM AND a cable Internet connection. When my PC was selected as a SuperNode it took up to 340Kb/s of my bandwidth! It was a noticeable slowdown, sometimes causing the mouse to hesitate during startups of certain other applications. Also, when the SuperNode was running and I was connected to someone with Skype, the video began to lag to audio by up to 20 seconds or more!

"On Linux the SuperNode isn't listed among the running services. The only way to kill it is to make sure Skype is not idling in the system tray and then rebooting."

OK, now we're into the sarcasm! Rainer Weikusat nicely skewers the "Linux IT staff cost too much" myth:

"There was also some talk that because you also needed more talented IT folks to deploy Open Source solutions (their words), part of that cost savings is actually offset by higher personnel costs.

"This is supposed to mean that, in addition to the

'pricely' MCSEs, one would need to hire a student

for a nominal salary or something like that, right? "

Linux? There Are Simply Too Many Versions! is a gentle poke at the idea that Linux offers too many choices, and it inspired this comment by Bernard Swiss:

"...I could go on about so many other auto-design deficiencies -- such as hood-releases, octane-requirements, gas vs diesel vs whatever, tire-pressures, dip-stick locations, etc. -- all of which could be solved if only every car followed the superior design principles embodied in my own beloved chariot, but I'll just mention one more proof that _usability_ is almost invariably a poorly thought-out, last-minute consideration that assumes that the end-user will just have to accept whatever the maker provides;

"why on god's green earth would any model have the gas fill-cap _anywhere_ but on the right (ie. driver-side) rear panel?

"Expecting new users to adjust their habits, or face either the near impossibility of dragging a too-short hose to the opposite side of the vehicle, or go around and pull in to the fuel pump again, is a clear indication of design lapses implemented by amateur tinkerers..."

Scientists get a million Linux kernels to run at once, an interesting story about building a giant Linux cluster to study botnets, resulted in some excellent snarks at Windows, like this one from Shiva:

"I am surprised Microsoft hasn't jumped at the chance to top the supercomputing charts by donating free Windows virtual machines for this purpose along with watchdog software to auto reboot crashed Windows instances."

jhansonxi beautifully sums up Linux/FOSS community dynamics in a single sentence:

"I'm not sure I can accept your view of the patent threat regarding Chris's work until there is at least a month's worth of flaming threads and blog postings about it. "

Thank you excellent readers, I enjoy your comments very much!


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