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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Fair enough (Score 1) 213

by Gavin86 (#19107305) Attached to: Rethinking the Linux Distribution?
The article makes a few interesting points. One thing I disagree with, however, is replacing the entire desktop with a browser. The problem this solution is attempting to solve is valid, however the implementation is terrible. He's got it backwards: It's not, "The Desktop is the Browser", it should be, "The Browser is the Desktop". The desktop has evolved the way it has for a reason. And it should be noted that the desktop is not a series of static tabs that replace each other when clicked. The Window metaphor has served pretty well for the last few decades because it mostly works. It will be enhanced and modified and eventually replaced, but it is still pretty solid. Case-in-point is the Symphony distribution's Mezzo, a Mozilla-based desktop environment. The entire interface is built in Javascript and XUL. The desktop would be able to fetch applications online and cache them in an Applications directory for re-use, meanwhile displaying them just as any other native resident application would be, in a way that is consistent and familiar to users. In a recent interview Mitchell Baker, Firefox's CEO, claimed the company is expecting to support offline web application usage. This means something similar to the WHATWG Web Application 1.0 spec where web-programs can save local sessions. The browser is already moving in this direction, we just need a better way of tying and presenting it to the desktop and users. The trend of web applications and dev technologies such as Microsoft's recently introduced Silverlight and Adobe's Flex--and of course Mozilla's Application Framework that has been using XML-based UI markup languages for almost a decade--are moves that support this idea.

Study Finds P2P Has No Effect on Legal Music Sales 294

Posted by Zonk
from the everybody-feign-deep-shock dept.
MBrichacek writes "The Journal of Political Economy is running the results of a study into P2P file-sharing, reports Ars Technica. The study has found that, contrary to the claims of the recording industry, there is almost no effect on sales from file-sharing. Using data from several months in 2002, the researchers came to the conclusion that P2P 'affected no more than 0.7% of sales in that timeframe.' 803 million CDs were sold in 2002, according to the study, which was a decrease of about 80 million from the previous year. While the RIAA has been blaming that drop (and the drop in subsequent years) on piracy, given the volume of file-sharing that year the impact from file sharing could not have been more than 6 million albums total. Thus, 74 million unsold CDs from that year are 'without an excuse for sitting on shelves.'"

+ - Developing websites using PHP

Submitted by
NilayVaish writes "I am a final year Computer Science student at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. I am trying to build an online programming contest system. The frontend would be web-based. I am thinking of keeping the backend in the form of PHP scripts. Is the choice good especially for high speed performance and scalability? Can anyone suggest some of the web design tools that provide PHP support?"
Book Reviews

PHP 5 in Practice 116

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Michael J. Ross writes "Computer programming books come in all varieties, but there are at least four general categories: introductory texts, which typically have the lowest content per page; language references, which have become increasingly supplanted by online sources; "advanced" treatments, which are often a mishmash of errata-riddled articles; and "how-to" books, usually at the intermediate level, and sometimes presented as "cookbooks." It is that last category that has been growing in popularity, and for good reason. When an experienced software developer needs assistance, it is rarely for language syntax, but instead a desire to see how someone else solved a specific problem. For solutions using the PHP language, one source of information is PHP 5 in Practice." Read the rest of Michael's review.

+ - Obama Boosts Broadband in 2008 Announcement Speech

Submitted by
Arlen writes "As many as 17,000 people (according to police estimates) watched Senator Barack Obama officially announce his candidacy for President in Springfield Illinois today, he mentioned several things that Slashdotters will be interested in. The Senator said he wanted to free America from what he called "the tyranny of oil," and went on to promote alternative energy sources such as ethanol (a big political winner in the midwest where he announced, because of all the corn farmers). He also talked about using science and technology to help those with chronic diseases, which is likely to have been an allusion to his staunch support of stem cell research. Perhaps most of interest to Slashdotters however is that Obama made the following statement halfway through his speech: "Let's invest in scientific research, and let's lay down broadband lines through the heart of inner cities and rural towns all across America. We can do that." Like nearly everything in his speech, this was met with robust applause from the crowd. You can watch a video of the entire speech at Obama's website."

Journal: Trickle Down (and out of the country)

Journal by Timos
Subheading: how globalization killed low taxes.

One of the strongest arguments for having low taxes has been that it helps business thrive and when people get rich they will spend money and eventually some of this money will trickle down and generate jobs and salaries for the middle and lower classes. This may have been true in the past but today in the global economy this is less and less true.

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.