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Comment: Re:I have worked at a few ISPs (Score 4, Interesting) 251

by sheetsda (#47709107) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

"...attempts to retain customers at any cost."

I use this to my advantage.

1. A competing trash service sent me a flier offering the same service at about 60% of the price I was paying. The current service matched the price for 1 year. Even if they're not making a dime on me they're dividing their fuel cost one more way.

2. Last month I called Time Warner and told them I wanted them to match the introductory price of competing internet service (~75% of regular price for 1 year). They did. This is the second time I've had my price lowered to an introductory rate without being a new customer.

When these prices run out I'll call again and get the rate lowered again. Or I'll cancel and go to the competitor. Either way, these add up to about $360 saved this year for two 15-minute phone calls. Pretty good $/hr.

Comment: Re:Because they can. (Score 4, Informative) 252

by Bushcat (#46946485) Attached to: $200 For a Bound Textbook That You Can't Keep?
In my neck of the woods, educational institutions are legally allowed to break copyright for educational purposes. So it's fine to take one book and photocopy it a bazillion times. Result is that most books are cheaper than photocopying. It also means found web assets can be incorporated into teaching materials without the hassle of clearing copyright.

The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money 693

Posted by samzenpus
from the coffers-are-bare dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The GNOME Foundation is running out of money. The foundation no longer has any cash reserves so they have voted to freeze non-essential funding for running the foundation. They are also hunting down sponsors and unpaid invoices to regain some delayed revenue. Those wishing to support the GNOME Foundation can become a friend of GNOME."

Comment: Re:What prospects of Emacs left to be damaged? (Score 1) 252

by WWWWolf (#45855263) Attached to: Emacs Needs To Move To GitHub, Says ESR

Is there still any prospect at all? I left 5 years ago because they stopped improving anything for a decade.

Emacs still has plenty of awesome projects going on, just that they're bloody haphazardly organised. You need to really go look for them and sometimes some minor assembly is required.

For example, the single most awesome Emacs package right now is Org-Mode, which especially speaks to me as a writer (a lot of writers swear by Scrivener, but screw it, we have a better open source alternative in Org). You'll note that it's developed outside of Emacs proper with its own release schedule. You'll note that if you want the newer versions (which aren't always required, the ones shipped with Emacs itself are usually pretty decent) you need to get the git version or use the one from Emacs ELPA package manager, which in itself is still kind of in early stages and not many projects make themselves available through it (translation: I use a whole bunch of emacs extensions, but none of them are available through ELPA). If you want nifty extensions for Org, you really need to hunt random files all around the interwebs and pray they actually work in current version of Org.

This sort of disorganisation is actually just what Emacs has been all about for decades. The core Emacs devs don't innovate that much (well, at least they do add cool new features in major releases, which is a good thing), and just package the outside contributions whenever they can. There's all sorts of cool shit going on, but you just wouldn't always know where to find them.

(That said, if you want to develop Java or C++, NetBeans just blows Emacs off the water.)

Comment: Re:He's not "conceited". He's absolutely correct! (Score 1) 400

by sheetsda (#45778725) Attached to: Is Ruby Dying?

Its development tools are a decade or more behind those of Java and C++.

It's worse than just being behind. Behind is a solvable problem. Basic IDE features like auto-completion/typo checking are impossible for the IDE when the content of an object can't be known until run-time. Consider a simple example that uses a random number to either define a given property on an object or not - the IDE fundamentally cannot know whether than property should show up in its autocomplete list. So I think the poor quality of the tools can also be blamed on poor JS design. JSDoc provides reasonable solution to this problem at the cost of writing a bunch of documentation that would be pedantic in other languages and negates weak types (not enforced unfortunately). I compare this to documenting every "int foo = 0;" in C++ with a comment saying "//this is an integer".

Ultimately, I feel the lesson comes down to this: Weakly-typed languages are for smaller projects than strongly-typed languages.

Unfortunately, if you need to do something in a browser you don't really have a strongly typed option right now. That is also a solvable problem, and as the browser becomes more and more important as a platform someone will solve it. Though, if you'd have asked me 10 years ago I'd have at least expected to be able to see the solution on the horizon by this point. :-(

+ - Nmap team releases 5 gigapixel favicon map 1

Submitted by iago-vL
iago-vL (760581) writes "From the creators of Nmap comes the largest survey of this its kind ever performed: the favicon.ico files of over a million Web sites were scanned, compiled, and sorted to create a 5 gigapixel image, blowing their 2010 survey out of the water! It's searchable, zoomable, and incredibly fun to play with! Can you find Slashdot without cheating? (Hint: it's near Facebook)"

Comment: Without a security vulnerability? (Score 5, Insightful) 161

by sheetsda (#45590199) Attached to: How To Hijack a Drone For $400 In Less Than an Hour

"All of this is done wirelessly and doesn't require the use of any exploit or security vulnerability"

"...detects the wireless signal sent out by a target drone, injects WiFi packets into the target’s connection, de-authenticates it from its real controller and then authenticates it to the Skyjack drone"

Uhh... for what definition of "security vulnerability" is this not a "security vulnerability"?

Comment: Re:follow the money (Score 2, Insightful) 334

Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.

To me, this sounds like a pretty open and shut case of "Hey, I've heard that these 'NoSQL' database thingies are trendy these days. Let's use one of those!"

There's a difference between using fun, exciting new technologies and learning something new while doing that... and doing a project which stays in schedule and budget, is based on technology you already know thoroughly, and on which people's lives can depend (well, indirectly).

+ - Virtual World Money to Aid Real World Relief Effort

Submitted by sheetsda
sheetsda (230887) writes "You've probably heard that you can pay for your EVE online subscription with the in-game virtual currency, ISK. EVE developer CCP has now taken that system a step further, and more noble by allowing players to spend that in game cash to donate to the Phillipines typhoon relief effort. Spend ISK for PLEX, donate the PLEX, and CCP will donate $15 to the Icelandic Red Cross relief effort."

Comment: Intrinsic Value (Score 1) 177

I have deployed computers and devices in a manufacturing setting. The number one factor in ensure that a device or even rugged terminals is to make sure your putting stuff on it that makes the users job easier or benefits the user directly. Quality checking systems, work reporting tools, extra work when its functioning will DOOM a device. These things are breaking because they have homework on them...I'm really sad to say.

Comment: Nmap didn't fail, Hakin9 did (Score 5, Informative) 41

Hakin9 is a magazine that's not exactly too reputable.

It looks like someone took a paper "written" using SciGen and submitted it to them. Because they didn't read the paper at all, they didn't notice it was absolute bullshit courtesy of finest context-free grammars people could code.

Brilliant work - not only is SciGen great for busting less than reputable scientific publications that don't exactly value this "peer review" thing, but now it has busted security magazines too.

When you don't know what you are doing, do it neatly.