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Comment: Re:Hillary Clinton says: (Score 1) 103 103

Ms. Clinton was then "able to seize on loopholes" to help who she represented.
Indeed, this seems to be an ideal trait to have in Washington. Whether or not she would chose to be representative of "us" except for increasingly limited definitions of "us" is, however, another question entirely.

Comment: Re:Not really a US company? (Score 2) 52 52

The claimed advantages of launching "deep in the Southern Hemisphere" are bunk. Unless you're launching into retrograde orbits there are no advantages to launching far from the equator. It's more likely that someone is running out of money and has to move back in with his parents.

Comment: Re:Assumptions are the mother of all ... (Score 1) 166 166

And should I also put the bigger screen, full size keyboard and mouse in my bag and carry it with me every time I visit a client on-site?

Taking a portable computer with a big screen with me is better than taking a portable computer with a small screen with me, for exactly the same reasons that having a big screen (or more than one) on my desktop is better than having a small screen on my desktop. Yes, it's balanced out modestly by weight and power issues, but carrying a bag that weighs an extra pound from the train/car to the client's office/facility is hardly a burden for any reasonably fit adult.

Comment: Go back to school and learn to read (Score 1) 168 168

I'm unique - there are a dozen OS that I don't like. I don't complain about them, I just don't use them. You're like the majority of people. Really.

You are unique. Uniquely stupid and unable to pass basic reading comprehension.

The GP felt dismayed that Linus has drunk the systemd coolaid, and wants to switch to FreeBSD. I pointed out that not everyone has been taken in by the systemd nonsense, and that their are distros available that remain untainted, that if he wants to switch to *BSD I've found Dragonfly to be quite nice, but that there are a number of Linux choices he has available if he doesn't want to switch.

But go ahead and label that whining, since I don't love the excrement you find so appealing. And feel free to demand I spend my free time writing a competing pile of excrement for having the audacity to prefer existing init systems, such as those used by the *BSDs, and OpenRC, and to mischaracterize my contentment with OpenRC and other superior-to-systemd init systems as "doing nothing."

Feel free to say whatever nonsense you like. It reveals far more about yourself and other systemd astroturfers on this site than it does those of us who prefer the alternatives. And yes, it does reveal you as a bully as well as an idiot.

Techdirt: Amnesty International Told That GCHQ Spied On Its Communications->

Amnesty International has been heavily engaged in fights against mass surveillance, recognizing that many of the people it communicates with need an expectation of privacy in their communications with the group. Last year, Ed Snowden revealed that the NSA specifically spied on Amnesty International and other human rights organizations. And, while Amnesty International was unable to gain standing by the US Supreme Court, since it couldn't prove that the NSA had spied on its communications, the story appears to be somewhat different over in the UK.

Last year a legal challenge was filed in the UK via the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) concerning Amnesty International. And now, the group has been informed that, yes, it was spied on by GCHQ in the UK.

In a shocking revelation, the UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) today notified Amnesty International that UK government agencies had spied on the organization by intercepting, accessing and storing its communications.

In an email sent today, the Tribunal informed Amnesty International its 22 June ruling had mistakenly identified one of two NGOs which it found had been subjected to unlawful surveillance by the UK government. Today’s communication makes clear that it was actually Amnesty International Ltd, and not the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) that was spied on in addition to the Legal Resources Centre in South Africa.
As you may recall, a little over a week ago, the IPT had ruled that the GCHQ had erred in holding onto emails too long -- but had named that Egyptian organization as the one whose emails were held. However, that's now been corrected to Amnesty International.

The actual email sent by the IPT basically says that GCHQ told them that the IPT made a mistake. What you won't see anywhere is an apology from GCHQ. Amnesty is rightfully incensed about the whole thing:

“How can we be expected to carry out our crucial work around the world if human rights defenders and victims of abuses can now credibly believe their confidential correspondence with us is likely to end up in the hands of governments?

“The revelation that the UK government has been spying on Amnesty International highlights the gross inadequacies in the UK’s surveillance legislation. If they hadn’t stored our communications for longer than they were allowed to by internal guidelines, we would never even have known. What’s worse, this would have been considered perfectly lawful.”
Both issues raised here are significant. The only reason Amnesty now knows about this is because GCHQ held onto the emails too long. If it had done its usual purge, then the IPT likely would never have revealed that, and Amnesty's communications would have continued to go on being compromised without anyone knowing.

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Comment: Re:Assumptions are the mother of all ... (Score 1) 166 166

I don't need to install an alternative shell. I've got one that works just fine out of the box. It's called the Windows 7 UI.

FWIW, it's not the start menu I'm bothered about. Since Win7 I hardly use it anyway, I just have my regular applications set out in the task bar and use jump lists probably 90% of the time I load one. This gets me to anything from a spreadsheet I worked with recently to a shell on a remote server I use regularly with two clicks and is one of the cleanest UI set-ups I've ever seen in an OS GUI.

The thing that annoys me about the Win8+ GUIs is how dumbed down and in-your-face they are. Huge areas of bright colours (yay for eye strain), boxy styles where you never quite know what you can click (sorry, tap) until you try, clumsy icons that don't really tell you anything anyway, and everything all spaced out so fat-fingered people with tablets don't accidentally reformat their disk instead of sending an e-mail. For someone using a keyboard and mouse with good screen(s), all of this is moving backwards. If I wanted dumb UIs for simple stuff, I'd buy an iPad and use web apps instead of desktop applications.

I do realise that some of this related primarily to what was then called the Metro UI in Win8 and some changes have been made since then. But from what I can see so far with Win10, it looks like they're pushing the overall UI theme even more in that direction, even if the default method of interaction looks more like a traditional desktop again.

Comment: Dragonfly BSD, Funtoo, and (for now) Gentoo (Score 1) 168 168

I'm happy to see that you don't hate systemd. That was the last shoe to drop. I'll complete the switch to BSD now!

Dragonfly BSD works quite well on the desktop, as does Funtoo Linux, which is systemd-free. Gentoo also works and still uses OpenRC by default, although there is growing concern some of the devs are quietly preparing to push a systemd agenda (kdbus patches in the kernel, one of the devs commenting he hopes systemd would become the Gentoo default, and a habit of the moderators in the Gentoo forums to shut down any discussions critical of systemd).

Linus may not be showing good leadership in this instance, but not everyone has drunk the urine just yet, and there are others stepping up to the plate to maintain or create alternatives.

Comment: Re:Assumptions are the mother of all ... (Score 1) 166 166

Unfortunately, I'm in the UK, where the selection is much more limited.

For example, Dell UK's web site lists exactly one laptop with a 17+" screen and SSD, and it is also a touchscreen and comes with Windows 8.1.

HP do at least promote the Windows 7 option (via Win8 downgrade rights) for the high-end ZBook laptops on their site. However, the pricing on those tends to make the closest equivalent Retina MBPs in specification look cheap.

Also, Microsoft UK don't seem to have any high-end devices at all within their Signature Edition range, so it's invasive crapware city all the way with a lot of the big name brands, even on their expensive, high-end models.

Comment: Re:Assumptions are the mother of all ... (Score 2) 166 166

But the screenshots I've seen of Windows 10 still mostly look flat and/or garish, and it seems to be more a case of trying not to make the visuals too much worse than what is already available via Windows 7 than actually trying to be better. Another example is the icons, which have gone from being widely ridiculed to being... well, slightly less widely ridiculed... in all of the reviews I've come across, and with considerable justification if the examples I've seen myself were representative.

It's not just the visuals that put me off, though. It's also the fact that I use a traditional desktop PC with multiple large monitors, and I want an OS and software that work well in that kind of environment. I saw a review the other day of the new preview release where literally every screenshot that had substantial content in it also included the word "tap" somewhere, with obvious concessions to touchscreens that just don't make sense for a desktop workstation. This was one of the big problems with Windows 8, and it seems like with the Surface tablet hardware and Windows 10, Microsoft are doubling down on touchscreens. #donotwant #haverealworktodo

I'll wait to see what people say when Windows 10 actually ships and we're not just talking about preview releases and educated guesswork, but so far the signs don't seem promising. Windows 7, on the other hand, is tried and tested and works just fine on the numerous computers I use it with today, so as I said, if I could buy an approximate equivalent with newer and more powerful hardware right now, I'd be right in there. Sadly, I'm in the UK, and what you can pick up over here is quite limited compared to what you can get in say the US.

Comment: Re:Assumptions are the mother of all ... (Score 2, Insightful) 166 166

If I could find a good high-end laptop that came with vanilla Windows 7 instead of 8 and all the pre-installed extra junk, I would be throwing money at the supplier and begging them to sell me one. That has far more to do with avoiding more recent versions of Windows and their kindergarten, touch-obsessed UIs than it does with wanting a cheap upgrade when 10 ships.

Comment: iOS users feel it (Score 1, Insightful) 306 306

I currently have a web radio transceiver front panel application that works on Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, under Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. No porting, no software installation. See blog.algoram.com for details of what I'm writing.

The one unsupported popular platform? iOS, because Safari doesn't have the function used to acquire the microphone in the web audio API (and perhaps doesn't have other parts of that API), and Apple insists on handicapping other browsers by forcing them to use Apple's rendering engine.

I don't have any answer other than "don't buy iOS until they fix it".

Comment: Re:essential to know about jQuery (Score 1) 125 125

Given the fact that this is a third-party library that you are unlikely to modify, hosting it on your own servers provides no advantage whatsoever.

Of course it does. It has the same advantages in terms of security and your visitors' privacy as any decision to host your own material instead of quietly using a third party service. Whether you consider those significant advantages is a different question, and whether your visitors would is a different question again, but clearly there is a difference.

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce

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