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Comment: Re:This seems foolproof! (Score 2) 94

by Dr.Dubious DDQ (#49778515) Attached to: Russian Space Agency Misused $1.8 Billion, May Be Replaced
"You propose to replace it with a sole-source, crony capitalist, 'state corporation', to take advantage of the important synergies between the public sector's capabilities in corruption and mediocrity and the private sector's sophistication in financial and organizational malfeasance?"

(No, I'm not going to write it! NO! I said! My will is strong! I cannot...)

In Soviet Russia, State corrupts Corporations!

(Dagnabbit...)

DRM

Firefox 38 Arrives With DRM Required To Watch Netflix 371

Posted by timothy
from the chinese-finger-trap dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from VentureBeat: Mozilla today launched Firefox 38 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Notable additions to the browser include Digital Rights Management (DRM) tech for playing protected content in the HTML5 video tag on Windows, Ruby annotation support, and improved user interfaces on Android. Firefox 38 for the desktop is available for download now on Firefox.com, and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. As always, the Android version is trickling out slowly on Google Play. Note that there is a separate download for Firefox 38 without the DRM support. Our anonymous reader adds links to the release notes for desktop and Android.
Software

Ask Slashdot: What's the Future of Desktop Applications? 276

Posted by Soulskill
from the software-becomes-softwhere dept.
MrNaz writes: Over the last fifteen years or so, we have seen the dynamic web mature rapidly. The functionality of dynamic web sites has expanded from the mere display of dynamic information to fully fledged applications rivaling the functionality and aesthetics of desktop applications. Google Docs, MS Office 365, and Pixlr Express provide in-browser functionality that, in bygone years, was the preserve of desktop software.

The rapid deployment of high speed internet access, fiber to the home, cable and other last-mile technologies, even in developing nations, means that the problem of needing offline access to functionality is becoming more and more a moot point. It is also rapidly doing away with the problem of lengthy load times for bulky web code.

My question: Is this trend a progression to the ultimate conclusion where the browser becomes the operating system and our physical hardware becomes little more than a web appliance? Or is there an upper limit: will there always be a place where desktop applications are more appropriate than applications delivered in a browser? If so, where does this limit lie? What factors should software vendors take into consideration when deciding whether to build new functionality on the web or into desktop applications?
Businesses

Swiss Launch of Apple Watch Hit By Patent Issue 111

Posted by timothy
from the called-dibs-too-late dept.
wabrandsma points out this Reuters story, according to which: Apple is not able to launch its new smartwatch in Switzerland until at least the end of this year because of an intellectual property rights issue, Swiss broadcaster RTS reported on its website. The U.S. tech giant cannot use the image of an apple nor the word 'apple' to launch its watch within Switzerland, the home of luxury watches, because of a patent from 1985, RTS reported, citing a document from the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property.
Biotech

Lawsuit Over Quarter Horse's Clone May Redefine Animal Breeding 172

Posted by Soulskill
from the reasons-genetic-superhorses-will-take-over-the-world dept.
schwit1 sends this report from the LA Times: "Lynx Melody Too, a clone of a renowned quarter horse, is at the center of a lawsuit that could change the world of animal breeding and competition. Texas horse breeder Jason Abraham and veterinarian Gregg Veneklasen sued the American Quarter Horse Assn., claiming that Lynx Melody Too should be allowed to register as an official quarter horse. A Texas jury decided in their favor in 2013, but a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that ruling in January, saying there was 'insufficient' evidence of wrongdoing by the association.

The suit is among the first to deal with the status of clones in breeding and competition, and its outcome could impact a number of fields, including thoroughbred horse racing and dog breeding. The quarter horse association is adamant that clones and their offspring have no place in its registry. "It's what AQHA was founded on — tracking and preserving the pedigrees of these American quarter horses," said Tom Persechino, executive director of marketing for the association. "When a person buys an American quarter horse, they want to know that my quarter horse has the blood of these horses running through it, not copies of it."
Businesses

Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair" 305

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-your-cut dept.
journovampire writes with this story about how much artists make on Spotify. "Pandora founder Tim Westergren has claimed that the company is paying out 'very fair' sums to artists, despite its per-stream royalty weighing in at just one sixth of Spotify's. The digital personalized radio platform has previously gone on-record as saying that it pays music rights-holders approximately $0.0014 for each play of their tracks: Westergren blogged in 2013 that Pandora pays ‘around $1,370 for a million spins’. That’s around 80% smaller than Spotify’s per-stream payout, which officially stands somewhere between $0.006 and $0.0084."
Open Source

Removing Libsystemd0 From a Live-running Debian System 755

Posted by samzenpus
from the taking-sides dept.
lkcl writes The introduction of systemd has unilaterally created a polarization of the GNU/Linux community that is remarkably similar to the monopolistic power position wielded by Microsoft in the late 1990s. Choices were stark: use Windows (with SMB/CIFS Services), or use UNIX (with NFS and NIS). Only the introduction of fully-compatible reverse-engineered NT Domains services corrected the situation. Instructions on how to remove systemd include dire warnings that "all dependent packages will be removed", rendering a normal Debian Desktop system flat-out impossible to achieve. It was therefore necessary to demonstrate that it is actually possible to run a Debian Desktop GUI system (albeit an unusual one: fvwm) with libsystemd0 removed. The reason for doing so: it doesn't matter how good systemd is believed to be or in fact actually is: the reason for removing it is, apart from the alarm at how extensive systemd is becoming (including interfering with firewall rules), it's the way that it's been introduced in a blatantly cavalier fashion as a polarized all-or-nothing option, forcing people to consider abandoning the GNU/Linux of their choice and to seriously consider using FreeBSD or any other distro that properly respects the Software Freedom principle of the right to choose what software to run. We aren't all "good at coding", or paid to work on Software Libre: that means that those people who are need to be much more responsible, and to start — finally — to listen to what people are saying. Developing a thick skin is a good way to abdicate responsibility and, as a result, place people into untenable positions.

Comment: Re:Mac and "PC" only...oh, I see. (Score 4, Insightful) 117

by Dr.Dubious DDQ (#49012211) Attached to: Google Earth Pro Now Available Free
UPDATE: Oh, I see what you mean. Instead of honestly saying "Huh? Linux? What's that? We've forgotten!", Google is quietly sending Linux users a copy of the previous version (6.0.something) of the "free" Google Earth (that's what's in the "GoogleEarthLinux.bin" file), and appears not to have bothered with Google Earth Pro.

I knew I shouldn't have put my pitchfork and torch away so quickly. Friggin' Google. As much as I love playing with maps, Google can take a long walk off a short pier - I'm not desperate enough for their "product" to mess around with WINE.

Comment: Re:Mac and "PC" only. (Score 2) 117

by Dr.Dubious DDQ (#49012149) Attached to: Google Earth Pro Now Available Free

It says "Mac and PC" (not "Windows PC") - we've been complaining for years that "PC" doesn't mean "Windows PC", looks like Google for once got the message.

When you click through you do get a "GoogleEarthLinux.bin", or at least, I did. (downloaded on x86_64/Arch Linux/Firefox)

I haven't tried it yet, so I don't know yet if it actually WORKS (unlike the previous version of "regular" Google Earth for me) but it looks like they are handing out Linux versions.

Comment: Re:Yes meanwhile.. (Score 1) 167

by Dr.Dubious DDQ (#48986503) Attached to: Google Quietly Unveils Android 5.1 Lollipop
...UNLESS you A)Get one of their "Galaxy" devices and B)are fairly confident that CyanogenMod or other custom ROM will likely be supported on it.

Thanks to the availability of Heimdall, you hypothetically have the ability to unlock and reflash any of the Samsung Galaxy devices (I've only tried on my ancient "Mesmerize" [a variant of the original Galaxy S] and my S4, but both worked fine).

I don't really feel confident that any of the manufacturers are going to bother keeping up with updating older devices, so the first thing I've been looking for since the harsh lesson I was taught by Motorola with my "CLIQ" [ironically still a useful device, having gained support from CyanogenMod back in Gingerbread] is the likelihood that I'll be able to update the device myself with a 3rd-party build.

Granted, that's not for everybody, but it's not as difficult as one might think.

Comment: Re:Yes meanwhile.. (Score 4, Informative) 167

by Dr.Dubious DDQ (#48986451) Attached to: Google Quietly Unveils Android 5.1 Lollipop
Based on my current, admittedly short, experience, I'm blaming Google.

I recently completely reset/reformatted my 2012 Nexus 7 and put CyanogenMod's CM12 ("Lollipop") nightly on it. I intentionally did NOT install the "gapps" (Google apps) add-on.

So far, my own 2012 Nexus 7 has been working great, better even than it was with CM11 ("Key Lime Pie"/Android 4.4.4) with all the Google bloat.

Google has been shoving more and more of the "Android" experience into their apps instead of the OS. The not only are the "apps" and "services" getting more digitally obese, but there seem to be more and more of them every release, just loading up and clogging up ram and occasionally "updating" themselves online doing who-knows-what.

I feel like I saw similar (though less obvious) improvements in performance with previous now-"obsolete" devices that I've similarly purged and custom-ROMmed without the Google Search/Play/Music/Plus/News-And-Weather/Mail/Now/etc.

You're kind of stuck with it if you're dependent on apps that are only available from the Google Play store, but I'm finding I can get everything I need from f-droid instead, or through the web browser, at least so far (and for my own needs).

Anyway, point is, so far it doesn't seem to me like it's really "Lollipop" that the 2012 N7 has a problem with...

Security

Adobe's Latest Zero-Day Exploit Repurposed, Targeting Adult Websites 203

Posted by samzenpus
from the watch-what-you-watch dept.
MojoKid writes Adobe issued a patch for bug CVE-2015-0311, one that exposes a user's browser to become vulnerable to code injection, and the now infamous Angler EK (Exploit Kit). To fall victim to this kind of attack, all someone needs to do is visit a website with compromised Flash files, at which point the attacker can inject code and utilize Angler EK, which has proven to be an extremely popular tool over the past year. This particular version of Angler EK is different, however. For starters, it makes use of obfuscated JavaScript and attempts to detect virtual machines and anti-virus products. Its target audience is also rather specific: porn watchers. According to FireEye, which has researched the CVE-2015-0311 vulnerability extensively, this exploit has reached people via banner ads on popular adult websites. It was also noted that even a top 1000 website was affected, so it's not as though victims are surfing to the murkiest depths of the web to come in contact with it.

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