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Linux

+ - One incident exemplifying why Linux is not ready 2

Submitted by pspahn
pspahn (1175617) writes "Preface: I am typically a fan of Linux and what makes it great. That said... So I had decided to make a short video to submit to the next Survivor casting call. It's only 30-60 seconds, so I came up with an idea and started recording. I used my EeePc netbook running Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04 simply because it has worked well for me before when recording short videos. Had I known the problems I would encounter, I would be sleeping by now. Yes, this is a bit of a rant, but the point remains, things should simply not be this difficult and time consuming.

Upon loading up Cheese, I am finding that it, for some strange reason, is no longer working as it used to. Choppy video, poor recording, all around strange. It had worked perfectly fine last time I needed it. I think maybe it's some memory thing, or my hard disk is going wacky, but after some looking around, I find out that a lot of things broke between 9.04 and 10.04. Ugh. Ok. I spend a couple hours getting things working adequately.

Now I have some video that I want to move over to my main machine running Win 7 to edit and polish. I assume at first that the .ogv files from my netbook will import into something (I had done it before, somehow). I find out I assumed wrong. I spend another hour or so looking around for software to convert it into something usable. Try a couple things, and end up trying to simply use VLC to convert it (on both ends, Ubuntu and Win 7). Movie doesn't play. I try other web cam programs, all had problems.

It's now about six hours later, and I have yet to record a video on my netbook and get that video loaded and ready to edit on my Windows machine (and play correctly). This is just ridiculous. I'm not saying that it can't be done, I know it can be done, I've done it before. The problem is that this is a task I don't do on a regular basis (at least on Linux), so just getting things to a point where I can function has taken hours. I'm sorry, but this is such a slap in the face that shows how primitive and unusable Linux is for a majority of end users. A similar situation in a commercial OS would have taken minutes to get going. I have to say, Linux can often be nothing but an endless search through forums, wikis, docs, etc. just looking to find the answer to why something isn't working, only to find out there's another problem that will occur subsequently."

Comment: Re:If, if and more if (Score 1) 384

by Fenresulven (#33919794) Attached to: Five Times the US Almost Nuked Itself
It was a Mk-4, basically an improved Fat Man design, but using a composite Uranium/Plutonium core with a levitated pit. Obviously not a gun-type. As a matter of fact I don't think the US had any gun-type devices in service during 1950, the T-1 demolition bomb was withdrawn from service before then and the Mk-8 had not yet entered production.

Comment: If, if and more if (Score 3, Insightful) 384

by Fenresulven (#33919352) Attached to: Five Times the US Almost Nuked Itself
Had the bomb been armed with its fissile capsule, the immediate death toll may have reached six figures.

And maybe that's the reason the fissile material wasn't inserted into the bomb? And in any event I'd be very surprised if the fire caused the explosives to detonate sufficently simoultaneously to actually cause anything more than a fizzle.

Comment: Re:the Lawrences are cunts (Score 1) 32

by Fenresulven (#32018852) Attached to: Restaurant Refused To Serve Blind Man Because of His "Gay" Dog
Oh, really? Do you have any evidence? If I brought a baboon into a supermarket, would that be OK? If I pointed out that my baboon was gay, would it be homophobic to refuse the beast entry?

You're an idiot, allow me to quote the fucking SUMMARY for you:

"A statement given by restaurant owners Hong Hoa Thi To and Anh Hoang Le said one of the waiters had understood Mr. Jolly's partner Chris Lawrence 'to be saying she wanted to bring a gay dog into the restaurant. The staff genuinely believed that Nudge was an ordinary pet dog which had been desexed to become a gay dog,' the statement said. Mr. Jolly and Ms. Lawrence were refused entry to the restaurant -- which displays a 'guide dogs welcome' sign -- even after providing staff with a guide dogs fact card."

They displayed a sign with the text "Guide dogs welcome" and then denied the dog access since they confused it for a gay dog. Yes, it WAS homophobic to deny the dog entry.

+ - Why Can’t the I.R.S. Help Fill in the Blanks-> 1

Submitted by gollum123
gollum123 (810489) writes "IN the digital age, filing income tax returns should be a snap. The important data from employers and financial institutions have already been sent to the government’s computers. Yet taxpayers are still required to perform the anachronistic chore of preparing a return from scratch. And, in many cases, they pay a software company for the privilege. Many developed countries now offer taxpayers a return containing all information collected by the taxing authority. It’s a stunningly reasonable idea. When you prepare your return, why can’t you first download whatever data the Internal Revenue Service has received about you and, if your return is simple, learn what the I.R.S.’s calculation of your taxes would be? You’d have the chance to check whether the information was accurate, correct it as needed and add any pertinent details — that you’re newly married, for example, or have a new child — before sending it. Far better to discover problems early with the I.R.S., whose say matters more than third-party software’s best guess. The I.R.S., however, isn’t rushing to offer returns that are already filled in."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Nonsense (Score 5, Insightful) 408

by Fenresulven (#27626033) Attached to: What the Pirate Bay Verdict Could Mean For Google
The verdict explicitly addresses this point and states that due to TPB running the tracker and thus being intimately involved in the sharing of copyrighted material any comparison with Google is false. They were not convicted because TPB is hosting a bunch of torrent files, they were convicted because they were running a tracker.
Privacy

+ - Why isn't privacy invasion considered "theft&#

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Its become common practice for companies and industries to refer to a wide variety of digital actions as "theft". If you download media content without paying for it, you have stolen it. If you download a pirated copy of software to check out its suitability, you have stolen it. If you use any copyrighted material in a Youtube video without consent — well, you've stolen it. God forbid if get your hands on data a company considers "confidential" — instant arrest and imprisonment. Theft, theft, theft is the mantra and it seems that not a day goes by without some industry association reminding the world that all internet users are thieves at heart.

What about the privacy of ordinary people? Mainstream media like the BBC and CNN always uses soft terms like "privacy concerns" to make it seem like a "well it isn't very nice, but its hardly a hard crime" thing. But is this actually the case? Does having to have your likeness recorded for an unknown period of time by CCTV cameras when you go for a stroll past some shops, or having your IP logged by each website you take a glance at not "take" something from you? What about datamining, where computer algorithms try to "figure out" where you are in the world, what kind of person you are, what your interests, consumption habits and preferences look like, what you might be likely to buy or spend? Again, does this not constitute "taking" something from you that you have not voluntarily provided? Would you shop at a creepy record store or bookstore where some scientist in a labcoat follows you from shelf to shelf with a clipboard and notes down the exact time you looked at items, the sequence you looked at them in, and some information that lets the shop know that you, not some new customer is back and browsing for more? Would you consent to bricks and mortar shops coating sidewalks with a special substance that makes your shoeprints stand out in bright colors and let them figure out where you came from or where you went after you checked out?

Is it not "theft" to take something a person cares about and cannot get back once its taken? Is it not "theft" to force a person to leave an "imprint" of their presence behind with every digital step, no matter how casual or insignificant? To record someone's activities as if its "normal" that every step you take should be recorded in some way and become the property of whoever recorded it? To whisk someone's data into some database at a datacenter where the person who effectively OWNS the data will never see it again?

And would labeling privacy invasion "theft" or "stealing" in daily discourse be an effective way to corner those organizations, digital or not, that trample on people's privacy without appology? Should we remind mainstream media organizations that use fluffy terms like "privacy concerns" to add that "privacy infringement is in fact theft"? Should we treat companies that don't take privacy seriously as "thieves" and openly label them as such?"
OS X

+ - Massive Data Loss Bug in Leopard->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Leopard's Finder has a glaring bug in its directory-moving code, leading to horrendous data loss if a destination volume disappears while a move operation is in action. This author first came across it when Samba crashed while he was moving a directory from his desktop over to a Samba mount on his FreeBSD server."
Link to Original Source
Media

+ - BBC backtracks on Linux audience figures

Submitted by
6031769
6031769 writes "After recently claiming that only 400 to 600 Linux users visit the BBC website, the BBC's Ashley Highfield has now admitted that they got their numbers wrong. The new estimate is between 36,600 and 97,600 according to his blog post. He stops short of describing how Auntie arrives at these two widely different sets of numbers and how their initial estimate is two orders of magnitude out."
Education

+ - Schools Placing at 99th Percentile for Cheating 3

Submitted by
theodp
theodp writes "Time reports that sometimes No-Child-Left-Behind really means No-Test-Scores-Left-Behind, creating opportunities for data forensics firms like Caveon (check out their Ten Most Wanted Cheaters poster). Take Houston's Forest Brook H.S., which was a shining example of school reform. In 2005, after years of rock-bottom test scores, 95% of its 11th graders passed the state science test. Teachers were praised and the school was awarded a $165,000 grant by the governor. But an investigation found a host of irregularities and last year's testing was monitored by an outside agency. Test scores plunged and only 39% passed science."
NASA

+ - Antarctic ice sheet melt accelerating 1

Submitted by OriginalArlen
OriginalArlen (726444) writes "The rapidly diminishing extent of Arctic sea-ice has been widely covered here and elsewhere. Now NASA scientists using satellite data have published a paper in 'Science' demonstrating increased melting around the margins (mostly) of the Antarctic ice sheet. This is potentially much more serious, as the margins act as barriers, preventing the much larger land-borne ice-sheets sliding off the continent into the sea — causing a catastrophic 4-6m rise in sea-levels."

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