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Linux Business

Submission + - Will the support business model survive? (

AlexGr writes: "By Savio Rodrigues (InfoWorld): A while ago Shaun Connolly at JBoss posted an entry titled "What's in a Subscription". Shaun states: "Put simply, a Subscription is comprised of: 1. Software bits 2. Patches and updates to the bits 3. Support in the use of the bits 4. Legal assurance" I am beginning to wonder if, in the long term, the only truly scalable business model for OSS is one that incorporates #1 & #2 on Shaun's list. When you think about it objectively, purchasing a 'subscription' to get "Software bits" and "Patches and updates to the bits" is the model the software industry has been using for decades. The only difference with OSS is that 99% of your users are doing so without paying for the product."

Submission + - TD Ameritrade customer details stolen by spammers

An anonymous reader writes: In an announcement sent out via email at 10AM EST, TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (part of TD Bank Financial Group) sent an announcement to it's customers saying it "..has discovered and eliminated unauthorized code from its systems that allowed access to an internal database. The discovery was made as the result of an internal investigation of stock-related SPAM. .... Information such as email addresses, names, addresses and phone numbers was retrieved from this database and affects TD AMERITRADE retail and institutional clients. While more sensitive information like account numbers, date of birth and Social Security Numbers is stored in this database, there is no evidence that it was taken." The investigation was performed by ID Analytics which claims to have "...found no evidence of identity theft related to TD AMERITRADE clients as a result of this issue" At the time of writing, there are no details available on the number of people affected by the breach, who was responsible, or how the breach occurred.

Submission + - 360 Degree Light Field Display

Gary writes: "Designed by USC's Institute for Creative Technologies the Interactive 360 Degree Light Field Display won the Best Emerging Technology Award at SIGGRAPH 2007. The system is capable of producing 3D images which can be viewed by multiple users. The display uses a standard programmable graphics card to render over 5,000 images per second of interactive 3D graphics, projecting 360-degree views with 1.25 degree separation up to 20 updates per second. As the video shows it is capable of Star Wars styled Holographic Style Projections."

Submission + - A Visit from MPAA Senior VP Rich Taylor

tedswiss writes: Fate has dropped a unique opportunity upon my lap: I teach at a moderately small independent school who has as one of its alums Richard Taylor. Mr. Taylor is both speaking at our start-of-year festivities and being honored with this year's "Distinguished Alum Award." Having followed and been disgusted by the MPAA's corporate practices regarding DRM and government lobbying in the past (Anyone remember DeCSS?), I would love to make his visit help to truly educate our student body, not just indoctrinate them. The school administration is sympathetic to my plight, but I want to present them with more than just my complaints. To the /. community: How would you best make use of this opportunity if you found yourself in my shoes?

Submission + - Judge: use P2P, you're stealing music ( 1

JonathanF writes: "If you were hoping judges would see reason and realize that just using a program that could violate copyright law was about as illegal as leaving your back door unlocked, think again: an Arizona district judge has ruled that a couple who hosted files in KaZaA is liable for over $40K in damages just because they "made available" songs that could have been pirated by someone, somewhere. There's legal precedent, but how long do we have before the BitTorrent crew is sued?"

Submission + - Bachelor's Degree of Uselessness? 1

DarkMorph writes: I have received my bachelor's degree in computer science back in May, and it's nearly September now, and my job search seems to be entirely in vain. So far I have had only one opportunity in California, which ended up being a big group interview and it was a dud. Lately I've found an online business that distributes resumes to thousands of recruiters nationwide. I received from them the list of 569 recruiters (with jobs in Florida where I live and California where I want to be) that they contacted with my resume and I still sit in silence after two weeks. My college degree doesn't seem to be very rewarding at all, and I don't know what to do about getting a job that pays enough for me to move out. The Slashdot community would be the best to address regarding employment due to the variety and quantity of readers, and I was wondering what would be a good step for me to do next? I know a handful of programming languages, and web languages, but I find C/C++ and Linux-related stuff the most interesting.
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Announced

Anthony Boyd writes: "The official D&D page over at the Wizards of the Coast site now has a counter running with a few hours left (as I write this). It hints at something having to do with the number 4. Well, the cat's out of the bag. One company published an article a day early. And Wizards itself apparently left a hidden forum open to the public for an hour or two. By the time this hits the Slashdot front page, much more may have been revealed: 4th edition of D&D is coming. Nerds, get out your d20s. It's a whole new party."

Submission + - Cross-platform Microsoft (

willdavid writes: "By John Carroll (ZDNet Blogs): Microsoft, apparently, is helping the folks at Mono to port Silverlight to Linux. This is good news, as the primary fear I've heard from developers is that Silverlight will be locked to Microsoft platforms and products. Microsoft has already committed to supporting Silverlight cross-browser on Windows, and has a version that runs on Mac OS X (which is even available from the Apple web site). The last step is Linux, and Microsoft is working with Novell and Mono to make this happen."

Submission + - Software "Upgrade" Disallows Remote Deskto 2

langelgjm writes: "I work for a small business, and I have been using Remote Desktop to work from home and school quite happily for the past 3 years. We recently purchased an upgrade to one of our manufacturing software packages (this is high-priced CAD/CAM stuff, complete with hardware security dongles), and I just discovered that the "upgrade" no longer allows the application to be run over Remote Desktop. This wasn't disclosed anywhere. I called the distributor, and was told that my options are to buy a network key and another license for the software, which will cost several thousand dollars, or to use a service like GoToMyPC or VNC. Frankly, I'm at a loss; I don't understand: 1) why they deny Remote Desktop but then suggest you use another program to accomplish the same thing; 2) why I should need a network key and two licenses when only one person can use Remote Desktop at a time; 3) why I should have to pay nearly $200 a year indefinitely and rely on a third party (GoToMyPC) to accomplish what I've been doing for free in the past. I specifically chose not to use VNC because Remote Desktop is significantly faster and better looking over slow network connections; also, Remote Desktop has lightweight and secure clients for OS X, Pocket PC, and Linux, all of which I use.

Have any Slashdotters been in a similar situation? Is there a workaround that will allow me to keep using Remote Desktop? Why do companies feel the need to remove completely valid, legal, and extremely useful features from new versions?"
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA Short on Funds? Fails to Pay Attorneys Fees

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Can it be that the RIAA, or the "Big 4" record companies it represents, are short on funds? It turns out that despite the Judge's order, entered a month ago, telling them to pay Debbie Foster $68,685.23 in attorneys fees, in Capitol v. Foster, they have failed to make payment, and Ms. Foster has now had to ask the Court to enter Judgment, so that she can commence "post judgment collection proceedings". According to Ms. Foster's motion papers (pdf), her attorneys received no response to their email inquiry about payment. Perhaps the RIAA should ask their lawyers for a loan."

Submission + - What workstation monitoring software do you use? 2

An anonymous reader writes: I am one of two IT personnel at the small company I work for. My boss recently expressed interest in monitoring the usage of our workstations. We run a Windows Domain with 20 computers. There is 1 administrator account and all other users log on with restricted user accounts. So far we've already tried one software package called BeAware Corporate. It seemed like it was exactly what my boss wanted. The only problem with this software is that it would only function properly when logged on as an administrator. We would rather not give our users administrator privileges. In particular he would like to monitor programs used, websites visited, and emails. He would also like for it to act sort of like a surveillance camera system in that it would take screenshots of all the workstations at set intervals. Additional features a plus. Ideally, the usage information from each computer would be inserted into a central database. Is there any software out there that does these things without requiring everyone to be an administrator?

Submission + - Top IT skills list - programming is hot again (

Ian Lamont writes: "Are you a solid project manager? Or are you an ace at wireless networking? How about network convergence? If you answered yes to any of these, then you can breath easy about your career prospects, or says Computerworld, which just released a list of "12 IT skills that employers can't say no to." Many of the named skills are obvious assets, but a few of them are more obscure, such as business intelligence systems, and 'Digital home technology integration.' The article also notes that programming — which is often downplayed as a skill set, thanks to the emergence of low-cost outsourced programming work in lower-wage countries — is once again a major asset. From the article:

"Everything I see in Silicon Valley is completely contrary to the assumption that programmers are a dying breed and being offshored," says Kevin Scott, senior engineering manager at Google Inc. and a founding member of the professions and education boards at the Association for Computing Machinery. "From big companies to start-ups, companies are hiring as aggressively as possible."
A total of three items on the list directly address programming — mobilizing applications, open-source programming, and '.Net, C #, C ++, Java — with an edge.'"

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller