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Submission + - Improvements The Linux Desktop Needs (

jones_supa writes: In the last fifteen years, the Linux desktop has gone from a collection of marginally adequate solutions to an unparalleled source of innovation and choice. Many of its standard features are either unavailable in Windows, or else available only as a proprietary extension. As a result, using Linux is increasingly not only a matter of principle, but of preference as well. Yet, despite this progress, gaps remain. Some are missing features, others missing features, and still others pie-in-the sky extras that could be easily implemented to extend the desktop metaphor without straining users' tolerance of change. DataMation begins the discussion by throwing some suggestions on the table: easy e-mail encryption, thumbnails for virtual workspaces, more workable menus, professional and affordable video editor, a proper document processor, color-coded title bars and, icon fences. There's probably dozens of other unspoken ideas out there, so what improvements to the Linux desktop would you add to the list?

Submission + - Nine Traits Of The Veteran Network Admin

snydeq writes: Born or made, network admins share certain defining characteristics. Deep End's Paul Venezia offers nine: 'I hope that this insight into the extremely logical, yet consistently dangerous world of the network admin has shed some light on how we work and how we think. I don't expect it to curtail the repeated claims of the network being down, but maybe it's a start. In fact, if you're reading this and you are not a network admin, perhaps you should find the closest one and buy him or her a cup of coffee. They could probably use it.'
User Journal

Journal Journal: Programming != typing

A while back, I was looking at a forum where someone asked if you'd use a tablet to do computer programming. Most of the responses were centered around "typing is slow/awkward on a tablet."

I agree. Typing is awkward. But, who says programming has to equal lots of typing? Yes, it does, currently. But does it have to?

Submission + - Beware the Internet

frost_knight writes: Washington Post opinion writer Robert J. Samuelson writes "If I could, I would repeal the Internet. It is the technological marvel of the age, but it is not — as most people imagine — a symbol of progress. Just the opposite. We would be better off without it." It is his belief that the dangers of the Internet outweigh its benefits.

Submission + - The Goleden Age of Microsoft Windows Is Over (

ChannelGonzo writes: Larry Walsh at Channelnomics gives Redmond the rough treatment saying the once ubiquitous OS Windows "ain’t what it used to be" and not even the launch of Windows 8.1 will help get its mojo back. While Microsoft may not be entirely responsible for the decline of the PC market, the contention is that the commercial market really didn’t need another operating system. Businesses are reticent to change and consumers have too many choices to allow Windows to maintain its market leadership. The problem is exacerbated by Microsoft's late entry into the tablet wars and a host of not insignificant defections by major OEMs like HP, which recently inked a reseller partnership with Google.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Autodidact Jobs Search 3

StonyCreekBare writes: How can an autodidact get past the jobs screening process?
I have a long track record of success, despite limited formal education. Despite many accomplishments, published papers, and more, I cannot seem to get past the canned hiring process and actually get before a hiring manager. Traditional hiring processes seem to revolve around the education and degrees one holds, not one's track record and accomplishments. Now as an older tech-worker I seem to encounter a double barrier by being gray-haired as well. All prospective employers seem to see is a gray-haired old guy with no formal degrees. The jobs always seem to go to the younger guys with impressive degrees, despite a total lack of accomplishment. How can an accomplished, if gray-haired, self-educated techie get a foot in the door?

Submission + - Why Study Humanities? What I Tell Engineering Freshmen (

Lasrick writes: This is great. Here's a quote: 'But it is precisely because science is so powerful that we need the humanities now more than ever. In your science, mathematics and engineering classes, you’re given facts, answers, knowledge, truth. Your professors say, “This is how things are.” They give you certainty. The humanities, at least the way I teach them, give you uncertainty, doubt and skepticism.'

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How smart are the new British porn filters?

professorguy writes: I have a little personal website (since 1997) that contains links to essays about horology. In one of the essays, I discuss the merits of bridges (a component of a wristwatch) as compared to cocks (a slightly different component of a wristwatch). The link appears on my site as "Why I Prefer Cocks."

Now I hear about the new opt-out filters for UK ISPs. This brings up several questions:
— Is the cock link visible through the filter? The page? The site?
— If not, if I change the link to something less ambiguous, will the missing piece(s) reappear?

UK slashdotters with ISP filtering, please compare these 2 links with these 2 images:
Site: http://professorguy.comWhat it should look like
Horological page: it should look like

I guess my real question is How smart are these filters? Thanks.

Submission + - We should be able to browse the Web without running nonfree software. ( 1

Atticus Rex writes: Even if you run a free browser, you're almost certainly loading tons of proprietary JavaScript as you traverse the Web. Though your browser downloads and runs it without alerting you, it's harmful in the same way as any other nonfree software; it prevents people from understanding, modifying and building on the programs they are running, and this results in software that is designed to control users rather than serve the interests of them and their communities.

Today the FSF kicked off a campaign to put pressure on webmasters to make their sites work without requiring nonfree JavaScript. The first target is, a site the US government uses to take public comments on proposed regulations. Right now, the site requires nonfree JavaScript, requiring citizens to sacrifice their freedom as users to take part in their democracy.


Submission + - Xbox Kinect Body Scanner Finds Jeans That Fit (

itwbennett writes: "For those of you who can't count on a friend to tell you that a little more air should come between you and your Calvins, a Bloomingdales store in Palo Alto has just the solution: An Xbox Kinect-based body scanner that will help you find your best fit. While body measuring systems aren't new, using the Xbox Kinect is a much more affordable solution. Which means that soon we'll all have the opportunity for a computer to tell us that we should 'avoid wearing low to mid rise jeans.'"

"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape." - Ellyn Mustard