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+ - MS undecided on suing users of its open source .NET

Submitted by ciaran2014
ciaran2014 writes: With Microsoft proudly declaring its .NET runtime open source, a collegue and I decided to look at the licensing aspects. One part, the MIT licence, is straight forward, but there's also a patent promise. The first two-thirds of the first sentence seems to announce good news about Microsoft not suing people. Then the conditions begin. It seems Microsoft can't yet bring itself to release something as free software without retaining a patent threat to limit how those freedoms can be exercised. Overall, we found 4 Shifty Details About Microsoft's "Open Source" .NET.

+ - Is Pascal an Underrated Programming Language? 6

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: In the recent Slashdot discussion on the D programming language, I was surprised to see criticisms of Pascal that were based on old information and outdated implementations. While I’m sure that, for example, Brian Kernighan’s criticisms of Pascal were valid in 1981, things have moved on since then. Current Object Pascal largely addresses Kernighan’s critique and also includes language features such as anonymous methods, reflection and attributes, class helpers, generics and more (see also Marco Cantu’s recent Object Pascal presentation). Cross-platform development is fairly straightforward with Pascal. Delphi targets Windows, OS X, iOS and Android. Free Pascal targets many operating systems and architectures and Lazarus provides a Delphi-like IDE for Free Pascal. So what do you think? Is Pascal underrated?

+ - Is D a Criminally Underrated Programming Language?->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes: While some programming languages achieved early success only to fall by the wayside (e.g., Delphi), one language that has quietly gained popularity is D, which now ranks 25 in the most recent Tiobe Index. Inspired by C++, D is a general-purpose systems and applications language that’s similar to C and C++ in its syntax; it supports procedural, object-oriented, metaprogramming, concurrent and functional programming. D’s syntax is simpler and more readable than C++, mainly because D creator Walter Bright developed several C and C++ compilers and is familiar with the subtleties of both languages. D’s advocates argue that the language is well thought-out, avoiding many of the complexities encountered with modern C++ programming. So shouldn't it be more popular?
Link to Original Source

+ - Arrested For Not Giving Up Camera->

Submitted by ancientt
ancientt writes: The cop told him to hand over his camera, but he knew his rights. It didn't keep him from being arrested.

Andrew Flinchbaugh was approached by NJ police and ordered to give up his camera but he recorded the incident on his mobile phone. That recording has now gone viral. They did give him his camera back, but not without arresting him and not without going through the photos first, something that should require a search warrant they did not have. At one point he says that if they take his camera, they will have a lawsuit on their hands. It will be interesting to see if Mr. Flinchbaugh is true to his word.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Voting matters? (Score 1) 381

You know, we really need to get rid of this first-past-the-post system for selecting representatives. At this point about all it's doing is insuring that we only ever see two viable candidates for far too many positions and people wind up holding their noses while voting for the least objectionable candidate... just voting 'someone else' tends to not be very effective. Consider the banking collapse in Iceland and how a bunch of jokers wound up winning elections there... and then wound up coming up with some viable (at least in the short term) solutions for the problems. Now consider how the holy fuck things would have to go sideways in the US for anything even remotely resembling that to happen above the city or county level. Seriously, NOBODY seems to want to take the risk that the Other Party Who Is At Least Marginally More Objectionable will win, so they refuse to vote for a candidate that might actually properly represent them and instead just vote for the slightly less objectionable candidate who seems to stand a chance. Yeah ... not viable to keep this up in the long term.

+ - Linux Compatible High-End Laptop With Open BIOS Is Being Crowdsourced->

Submitted by Luarvic
Luarvic writes: Purism Librem 15 is a high-end laptop designed to respect your freedom and privacy. All its hardware is fully compatible with Linux and requires no proprietary drivers or firmware to work. Its BIOS will be open source Coreboot in final production version. The hardware specs are quite impressive: 15.6" display with resolution a buyer can choose between full HD (1920x1080) and 4K (3840x2160), powerful 4-core 3.4 GHz 64-bit Intel Core i7 4770HQ processor supporting full hardware virtualisation, 4 RAM slots for up to 32GB memory, full-size backlit keyboard with normal F-keys, 3 USB 3.0 ports, extra drive bay which can contain either DVD drive, or extra HD or SSD. Many components like battery, HDD/SSD, RAM, wireless card can be easily replaced or upgraded after unscrewing a few screws.

Crownfunding campaign to fund production of the first batch of Purism Librem 15 is now in progress at Crowd Supply until end of January. Laptops are expected to be shipped to campaign backers in April 2015 if the campaign succeeds.

There is a positive review of Purism Librem 15 in Linux Journal.

Link to Original Source

+ - WSJ refused to publish Lawrence Krauss' response to "Science Proves Religion".

Submitted by Kubla Kahhhn!
Kubla Kahhhn! writes: Recently, the WSJ posted a controversial piece "Science Increasingly Makes a Case for God", written by non-scientist and darling of the apologist crowd, Eric Metaxas. Noted astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss wrote a simple and clear retort in a letter to the editor, which the WSJ declined to publish. Is it an example of the kind of "fair and balanced reporting" we can expect, now that Wall Street Journal is owned by Rupert Murdoch?

+ - Adobe Flash Update Installs McAfee Security Scan Plus Crapware

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: If you get an update notification for Adobe Flash you will also be installing McAfee Security Scan Plus. This mornings update did open an Adobe webpage but did not give the option of unticking a box to prevent installation of McAfee crapware like previous updates have had. To uninstall — Start, McAfee Security Scan Plus, Uninstall, restart, cross your fingers nothing gets borked.

+ - Telecom providers strike back on Obama's net neutrality support 1

Submitted by mwagner
mwagner writes: The cable and phone industries came out swinging following President Obama's surprise endorsement of net neutrality Monday. The industry says strong net neutrality regulation would hurt broadband by freezing investment. They threatened to take the fight to Congress and the courts, as they've done in the past. National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) President & CEO Michael Powell said "Congress and only Congress should make a policy change of this magnitude." Verizon said Title II "would apply 1930s-era utility regulation to the Internet."

Comment: Re:rolls eyes. (Score 1) 2

by Chromium_One (#48273817) Attached to: Vulnerabilities Found In More Command-Line Tools
Dead wrong. Parsing bugs in bash were the issue. Bash immediately executing any code that trailed a function definition was not intended behavior. Programs passing data via environment variables is standard practice because it's fast and convenient.

See: http://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/c...
"GNU Bash through 4.3 processes trailing strings after function definitions in the values of environment variables, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted environment [...]"

+ - Say Something Nice About systemd 4

Submitted by ewhac
ewhac writes: I'm probably going to deeply deeply regret this, but every time a story appears here mentioning systemd, a 700-comment thread of back-and-forth bickering breaks out which is about as informative as an old Bud Light commercial, and I don't really learn anything new about the subject. My gut reaction to systemd is (currently) a negative one, and it's very easy to find screeds decrying systemd on the net. However, said screeds haven't been enough to prevent its adoption by several distros, which leads me to suspect that maybe there's something worthwhile there that I haven't discovered yet. So I thought it might be instructive to turn the question around and ask the membership about what makes systemd good. However, before you stab at the "Post" button, there are some rules...

Bias Disclosure: I currently dislike systemd because — without diving very deeply into the documentation, mind — it looks and feels like a poorly-described, gigantic mess I know nothing about that seeks to replace other poorly-described, smaller messes which I know a little bit about. So you will be arguing in that environment.

Nice Things About systemd Rules:
  1. Post each new Nice Thing as a new post, not as a reply to another post. This will let visitors skim the base level of comments for things that interest them, rather than have to dive through a fractally expanding tree of comments looking for things to support/oppose. It will also make it easier to follow the next rule:
  2. Avoid duplication; read the entire base-level of comments before adding a new Nice Thing. Someone may already have mentioned your Nice Thing. Add your support/opposition to that Nice Thing there, rather than as a new post.
  3. Only one concrete Nice Thing about systemd per base-level post. Keep the post focused on a single Nice Thing systemd does. If you know of multiple distinct things, write multiple distinct posts.
  4. Describe the Nice Thing in some detail. Don't assume, for example, that merely saying "Supports Linux cgroups" will be immediately persuasive.
  5. Describe how the Nice Thing is better than existing, less controversial solutions. systemd is allegedly better at some things than sysvinit or upstart or inetd. Why? Why is the Nice Thing possible in systemd, and impossible (or extremely difficult) with anything else? (In some cases, the Nice Thing will be a completely new thing that's never existed before; describe why it's good thing.)

Bonus points are awarded for:

  • Personal Experience. "I actually did this," counts for way more than, "The docs claim you can do this."
  • Working Examples. Corollary to the above — if you did a Nice Thing with systemd, consider also posting the code/script/service file you wrote to accomplish it.
  • Links to Supporting Documentation. If you leveraged a Nice Thing, furnish a link to the docs you used that describe the Nice Thing and its usage.

We will assume out of the gate that systemd boots your system faster than ${SOMETHING_ELSE}, so no points for bringing that up.

+ - Ken Ham's Ark torpedoed with charges of religious discrimination->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber writes: Back on February 4, "Science Guy" Bill Nye debated Creationist Kenneth Alfred "Ken" Ham (http://science.slashdot.org/story/14/02/04/1731233/watch-bill-nye-and-ken-ham-clash-over-creationism-live). That high-profile debate helped boost support for Ham's $73 Million "Ark Encounter" project, allowing Ham to announce on February 25 that a municipal bond offering had raised enough money to begin construction. Nye said he was “heartbroken and sickened for the Commonwealth of Kentucky” after learning that the project would move forward. Nye said the ark would eventually draw more attention to the beliefs of Ham’s ministry, which preaches that the Bible’s creation story is a true account, and as a result, “voters and taxpayers in Kentucky will eventually see that this is not in their best interest.” (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/28/creation-museum-kentucky-noahs-ark-museum-ken-ham)

In July, the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority unanimously approved $18.25 million worth of tax incentives to keep the ark park afloat. The funds are from a state program that allows eligible tourism attractions a rebate of as much as 25 percent of the investment in the project. (http://www.kentucky.com/2014/07/29/3356998_noahs-ark-theme-park-gets-preliminary.html) Since then, the Ark Park's employment application has became public:

Nestled among the requirements for all job applicants were three troubling obligatory documents: “Salvation testimony,” “Creation belief statement,” and a “Confirmation of your agreement with the AiG statement of faith.” (AiG is Answers in Genesis, Ham’s ministry and Ark Encounter’s parent company.)

That caused the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet to halt its issuance of tax incentives for the ark park. Bob Stewart, secretary of the cabinet, wrote to Ham that “the Commonwealth does not provide incentives to any company that discriminates on the basis of religion and we will not make any exception for Ark Encounter, LLC.” Before funding could proceed, Stewart explained, “the Commonwealth must have the express written assurance from Ark Encounter, LLC that it will not discriminate in any way on the basis of religion in hiring.” (http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/07/ark-park-hiring-issue-jeopardizes-tax-incentives/16854657/)

The ark park has not yet sunk. It is "still pending before the authority" and a date has not yet been set for the meeting where final approval will be considered.

Link to Original Source

365 Days of drinking Lo-Cal beer. = 1 Lite-year

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