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Submission + - Steve Jobs' Android Diatribe Makes No Sense (

Thinkcloud writes: Why should every Android handset look the same and how does the fact that they don't correspond to lack of platform openness? Why should custom user interfaces, found in different flavors, not exist, and how does the fact that they do correspond to lack of openness? Aren't KDE and GNOME essentially custom desktop interfaces? Why should the fact that Windows PCs mostly look the same undermine Android's status as a flexible, open platform?...Overall, his swipe at Android only underscored how seriously he takes this young and fast-rising open source mobile platform.

Submission + - Answer to Adobe's Linux bash posted ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: There have been past claims by Adobe and others that development on Linux is a jungle, particularly in regards to audio. However today, the author of the popular "The Sorry State of Sound in Linux" has posted a follow up showing Adobe's claims to be FUD, as well as being a good update on where OSS and ALSA are holding today, and why PulseAudio isn't a good idea.

Submission + - IGDA split over quality of life issues (

LingNoi writes: Arguments between members of the IGDA (International Game Developers Association) have been red hot over recent controversy because of a "Studio Heads on the Hotseat" panel video.

The fighting started when IGDA board members (that also happen to be studio executives) which were taking part in the discussions made it clear their favour for "crunch time", a method of doing overtime on a game to make very tight deadlines. It has been seen as hypocritical that an organisation whose goal is to create a better quality of life for developers is lead by studio executives who are happy to overwork employees.

The IGDA released a response which didn't take side on the issue. Other board members however have been much more reactive with one calling an IGDA member that quit over the issue "a whiney little bitch"


Submission + - Hacks on Tibet Groups Hint at China's Anti-US Plan (

An anonymous reader writes: We took a brief look last month at a wave of digital attacks against Tibetan NGOs, but now it appears the privacy onslaught is mounting even further, while there are increasing signs that the cyber campaign may not just be based in China but reveal military tactics against the United States. From the article: "The incidents provide details on threats aimed at other targets: Security consultants say that some of the attacks involve computer servers in China that were previously used to target several United States military contractors. And similar tactics have been used against the Falun Gong religious movement."

Submission + - Component Video Preferred Over HDMI For Installers (

An anonymous reader writes: HDMI has had a lot of backlash, from its content protection schemes to the different versions and variations. So much so that most custom installers prefer using component video cabling instead of HDMI for everything, citing "that is works" among the reasons why. Will HDMI ever fulfill the promise it was sold on?
Social Networks

Submission + - The battle for Wikipedia's soul ( 1

njondet writes: "The Economist sheds light on the identity crisis faced by Wikipedia as it is torn between two alternative futures: "It can either strive to encompass every aspect of human knowledge, no matter how trivial; or it can adopt a more stringent editorial policy and ban articles on trivial subjects, in the hope that this will enhance its reputation as a trustworthy and credible reference source. These two conflicting visions are at the heart of a bitter struggle inside Wikipedia between "inclusionists", who believe that applying strict editorial criteria will dampen contributors' enthusiasm for the project, and "deletionists" who argue that Wikipedia should be more cautious and selective about its entries.""

Submission + - Can UK users opt out of Phorm? (

PReDiToR writes: "Phorm is coming to the UK.
Their partners are listed as British Telecom, Virgin Media (formerly NTL) and TalkTalk, and from that page those three companies represent "approximately 70% of the market".

The basic idea is to target advertising at users based on their web history.
The Phorm server takes every web request and scans for keywords, then injects ads into the page before it is returned.

The problem here is that page requests often contain personal data. Credit card details, email addresses, phone numbers, user/pass combinations, SSL/SSH negotiations, router configuration details and everything else http based that goes through your ISP.
Phorm claims that personal info is not retained, and how could we not trust a man who says

Our [non-executive] chairman is the former chairman of Microsoft UK [David Dornan]. There's nothing shady
The Register has two articles, the first is a roundup of Phorm-related information, the second is an interview with Kent Ertegrul (CEO) and techie Marc Burgess."


Submission + - Stop the future of the Internet! Communitarianism ( 1

uctpjac writes: Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of CyberLaw here and there, gave a lecture explaining that the Internet has to be taken out of the hands of the anarchists, the libertarians and the State and handed back to self-policing communities of experts. If we don't do this, the Internet will suffer "self-closure" — the open system that seals itself as its incapacity to put its own house in order leads to the take-over by government and business.

Submission + - Kubuntu Sells Out

nurb432 writes: From the latest news at, it appears that now they have a large enough userbase they are forking out a commercial only version and are going to turn their backs on the community. Sound familiar anyone? ( Red *cough*cough* ).

The actual news release: Kubuntu-KDE4 Hardy Alpha is here. There will be two editions of Kubuntu with the 8.04 release, a commercially supported KDE 3 edition and a community supported KDE 4 edition. We recommend the KDE 4 edition to those who want to try this exciting new desktop version and can put up with some missing features.

Submission + - Wooing female gamers ( 1

PrayingWolf writes: One (more) count of problematizing womens' free will in CS by CNN: 38 percent of gamers are girls, but there are more men than women in the industry creating those games. How to make women go where they have not (voluntarily) gone before?

Sherry Floyd, a game designer at SOE's Seattle studios says "I honestly don't think it's a gender issue, I think it's a marketing issue."
Courtney Simmons, public relations director for SOE, who helped spearhead the G.I.R.L. program and enjoys playing video games with her three children, believes that women are being "gamed down to," because, she says, "there is a lack of understanding about how women play."
Simmons wants to see "more women making games, making more games that women want to play."

What do you think? Are women being "gamed down to" or are women just smart enough not to waste time on (developing) games?


Submission + - Giant Sheets Of Dark Matter Detected ( 2

Wandering Wombat writes: "The largest structures in the universe have been, if not directly found, then at least detected and pounced upon by scientists. FTA:

The most colossal structures in the universe have been detected by astronomers who tuned into how the structures subtly bend galactic light. The newfound filaments and sheets of dark matter form a gigantic features stretching across more than 270 million light-years of space — three times larger than any other known structure and 2,000 times the size of our own galaxy. Because the dark matter, by definition, is invisible to telescopes, the only way to detect it on such grand scales is by surveying huge numbers of distant galaxies and working out how their images, as seen from telescopes, are being weakly tweaked and distorted by any dark matter structures in intervening space.

By figuring how to spot the GIGANTIC masses of dark matter, hopefully we can get a better understanding of it and find smaller and smaller structures."


Submission + - Is Mono a patent threat to Linux? 4

Yuioup writes: Over at there is a heated debate about how much Ubuntu is too dependent on Mono and the relevant Microsoft patents in an article entitled: How GNU/Linux Gets Contaminated with Software Patents from the Back Door. They argue that the "'Monopendencies' could soon turn GNOME into MONOME, making it virtually impossible in due time to use basic applications without Mono somewhere in the dependecies tree".

Trying to find out more about this issue, they contacted Mark Shuttleworth who had this to say.

What do slashdotters think about Ubuntu's dependency on Mono? Is Mono a potential patent Trojan horse?
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Flight of the cyclogyro

holy_calamity writes: "Singapore researchers have successfully flown a cyclogyro, albeit on the end of a tether, New Scientist reports. See a video of it here. The rotating "paddle-wheel" approach to flight was popular in the 1930s but until now there has been no recorded successful flight. There is now renewed interest from research groups around the globe because the design offers greater efficiency and manoeuvrability than helicopters at small sizes — great for AUVs."

Submission + - PLI Argues Why The U.S. Patent System is Broken

blckbllr writes: Gene Quinn of the Practising Law Institute argues why the U.S. patent system is broken: "What is currently passing for the US patent system is horribly broken in my opinion. The trouble with the system, however, is not the system. The trouble with the US patent system is that no one really seems all that interested in actually letting the system work."

Submission + - Software Patents May Be A Thing Of The Past!

An anonymous reader writes: It looks like the courts may finally be gearing up to overturn the ruling that opened the floodgates for both software and business model patents. It's been nearly ten years since the US courts decided that business methods were patentable and that most software could be patentable — and we've all seen what's happened since then. With all the efforts to fix the patent system lately, it appears that the court that originally made that decision may be regretting it, and has agreed to hear a new case that could overturn that ruling and restore some sanity to the patent system.

If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we would all be millionaires. -- Abigail Van Buren