Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Never mind run Chrome extensions... (Score 1) 152

For now.

Consider that in the past Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Internet Explorer and many other browsers all used to support the same plugins (which were made according to the Netscape Plugin API). Quite a long time ago IE changed to its own plugin API (ActiveX *shudder*), and Chrome now uses the Pepper Plugin API. There's no reason all the other browsers couldn't eventually move over to PPAPI (or some other one, but PPAPI looks like the best at the moment) and it would be like the old days when plugins didn't need to be made over and over for each individual browser.

Comment Yay (Score 1) 152

This is great news. Firefox is my browser of choice, but having written extensions for both Firefox and Chrome I must say that Chrome is far easier to develop for.

I wasn't expecting this, but it makes sense - with Mozilla focusing on Electrolysis (their project to make Firefox multi-process) the existing API wouldn't work well because it wasn't designed with a multi-process browser in mind. I was expecting them to design a whole new API and then have to go through extensions breaking every few updates as the new API stabilised. Going with an existing API that's already mature and known to work for exactly the kind of architecture they're going for will make the transition a lot easier for both the browser devs and extension authors.

Comment Re:Start with "Normal Mode" (Score 2) 125

I'd love a "keep cookies until" setting that behaves similarly to sessionStorage: every tab gets its own cookie jar which lasts until the tab closes, but the jar can be shared in certain situations (middle-clicking on a link to the same domain, for example). There are a number of policy details to get right to make this non-intrusive, but I believe this is the way to go.

Comment Re:Ahhh, well. (Score 4, Informative) 87

An immobiliser is a device used to prevent the engine of a car from running unless the correct key is used (this may or may not be the same key as used for the ignition). The first immobiliser was patented in 1919, although I wouldn't describe that as an "immobiliser chip" because that pre-dates integrated circuits. Anyway, immobilisers have been commonplace for many decades, and even mandatory for all cars in a number of countries since the '90s.

Normally you need a key to turn the ignition, but a car thief can reconnect the wiring to bypass the ignition lock and send power to the engine (this is known as "hot-wiring"). The immobiliser is there to prevent hot-wired cars from starting, making it considerably more difficult to steal them. That's all there is to it, really - it's not a remote-control shutdown switch.

Comment Re:Dunno (Score 2) 50

That's true. I had skimmed the article and jumped to the false conclusion that they were blackmailing officials into accepting the use of the very device that was being used to blackmail them.

What it actually claims is that a "top gold industry businessman" and a "bank employee" imported this illegally from Israel, with the help of a "senior government official", in order to secure (through blackmail) lucrative government contracts that might otherwise not have been awarded to them ("multibillion-rand" according to TFA - so the pay-off was in excess of 80 times the cost of the device, even assuming that the device was paid at full price).

They were caught because they attempted to resell the device once they no longer needed it. Oops.

I'm looking forward to learning who these individuals are.

Unfortunately, if this implicates JZ in any way then the case might be dropped and the entire division of the police involved disbanded. Investigating corruption has been difficult since last time that happened.

Comment Re:Dunno (Score 2) 50

The article says that it's worth $2 million, not that that is what it cost. Something like this needs to have a very large profit margin because of (1) a limited target audience and (2) the risk involved in needing to win a tender, which might not happen. So the actual cost is likely to be far less than $2 million. Besides, it's not unusual at all for large investments to be made in an attempt to win a tender, particularly when the investors are confident of winning, and the fact that the device itself can be used to manipulate the tender process if it doesn't go as planned no doubt boosted their confidence.

Sadly, the perception at the moment is that nearly all tender processes are manipulated, and that you can't win without doing something underhanded yourself.

Comment Re:Microsoft Key - Useful (Score 1) 698

I use most of those as well. I also assign various Win+Function keys to my media player's global hotkeys, and use AutoHotkey to make Win+Up/Down a bit more to my liking. Incidentally, here's the AutoHotkey script I developed, in case anyone finds it useful.

; Disable Win+F1 opening Windows help - have it mute the volume instead
#F1::Send {Volume_Mute}

; Win+F11/F12 control the system volume
#F11::Send {Volume_Down}
#F12::Send {Volume_Up}

; Win+Up toggles maximise instead of always maximising
WinGetPos, width, height, , , A
if ( width < 0 and height < 0) {
        WinRestore, A
} else {
        WinMaximize, A

; Win+Down always minimises, instead of sometimes unmaximising
#Down::WinMinimize, A

Comment Re:The power button (Score 1) 698

I suspect that's the very point GP was trying to get across. The summary notes that the context menu button is used roughly 0.1% of the time and ponders whether it might be a good idea to remove it, but that is poor reasoning because the fact that you don't need to press it anywhere near as as often as alphanumerics or the spacebar doesn't diminish its usefulness.

Comment Re:The Microsoft key!!!! I've never used it...ever (Score 1) 698

Pressing the Windows logo key is equivalent to Ctrl+Esc - it opens the "start" menu on Windows 95 and later operating systems. It also functions as a modifier key which is all-but-guaranteed not to have a meaning imposed by specific applications (unlike Ctrl and Alt, which apps all use for internal shortcuts) so you can safely use it for global hotkeys. Windows has several of these built-in - for example, you can press Win+E to launch Explorer, or Win+R to open the Run dialog, Win+D to hide all windows to expose the desktop, Win+T to give keyboard focus to the taskbar (this is extremely useful, but not widely-known) or Win+L to lock your computer.

It's a handy key, but is horribly-positioned on the keyboard - especially the one on the left, and especially when playing games.

Comment Re:Caps Lock used to power a huge lever. (Score 1) 698

It might be useful to have capslock switch the minus and underscore iff the cursor is in the middle of a word. I'd like to see how that works out in practice. In fact, I've been wanting to try my hand at making Sublime Text Editor plugins for a while and a small tweak like this might be just the thing for a first project :)

Comment What does"welcome-to-the-majors dept." mean? (Score 1) 42

What does"welcome-to-the-majors dept." mean? ODF was an ISO/IEC standard since 2006. The ODF 1.1 update was published by ISO/IEC in 2012. But now that the second update has been published they're considered "in the majors" for some reason?

It's certainly worthwhile to know that 1.2 is out and accepted as the new version of the standard, so I'm not complaining in a "why is this news" sense, but the " from the welcome-to-the-majors dept." byline that was added makes no sense - it's as though Soulskill was under the impression that ODF wasn't already an ISO standard the whole time.

He's dead, Jim.