Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Open Source License (Score 1) 630

Are you suffering from a lack of google? ;) GNU Scientific Library is GPL: []
The page also has a link to an RMS essay about how free software developers should prevent proprietary developers from using their software in order for the GPL software developers to get a collective advantage for themselves. (BTW, it sounds to me like RMS doesn't intend for proprietary developers to wrap the GSL in IPC.)

Comment Re:Open Source License (Score 1) 630

To wrap GPL code in its own process and use it via IPC is one of the most bizarre pro-GPL arguments I have ever heard. 'You are not being creative [subversive] enough!' What??? Why not simply license the code as LGPL in the first place and let the other developers avoid this arbitrary hassle that forces a most likely inelegant design? (Really. If you don't answer that question I can't take you seriously. As it is my faith in humanity went down a notch.) In addition, people may very rightly think it is circumvention of the GPL, including the authors of the GPL code and the end-users, breeding ill-will. Hypothetical GPL authors who promote IPC wrapping of their libraries seems obnoxious to me: you can use and redistribute my code in your proprietary app but only if you jump through hoops and waste your life to the benefit of nobody. Lose-lose.

(Of course, there could be a difference of perspective here: if you live in the world of the unix command line where so many things can be done with simple command line tools, and your role in life is shell script developer, doing simple command line things, then yeah the GPL is more a common part of life. If you are an application developer, using 10+ libraries, you do not want to have to create 10 auxiliary processes to run in the background and create 10 IPC server codebases. That is totally insane. And as an application developer, when I see someone license their middleware library as GPL (out of ignorance and not a cunning strategy for a future commercial dual license), I very quickly come to the conclusion that they are either ignorant newbies, or hippie idiots who don't understand how the world works and will end up with a userbase close to zero until someone slaps some sense into them. (And I have done that successfully.))

I have a open source project that I licensed as CC0 / public domain (it is small and obscure, otherwise I may have selected BSD/MIT), and in the same breath said I welcome contributions. I also am saying "We'll appreciate what you chose to contribute and ... will respect your choice for the things you chose not to contribute," but without forcing them to jump through any hoops or threaten to sue them if they don't share their modifications (or fail to create an IPC wrapper around it...LOL) and decide not to jump through those hoops.

I find that contributing back to BSD licensed open source projects is often in the end-developer's best interest anyway, as it can mean they don't have to maintain a private fork, and their changes will be regression tested and supported by the official team. (I won't even get into the nightmare of GPL and LGPL linking requirements on mobile devices and app stores. And in case you haven't noticed, the world is going mobile.)


Microsoft To Abandon Windows Phone? 505

symbolset writes "Microsoft has had some trouble as of late getting adoption of their mobile products. Even Bill Gates has said it was inadequate. Despite rave reviews of Windows Phone in the press it has failed to get double digit share of the smartphone market. Now comes reports from WMPoweruser that WP8 will lose mainstream support in July 2014."

Comment Re:.NET Developers Have Long Favored Open Source (Score 2) 146

I have been a .NET developer for about 9 years, and I am a little dumbfounded by this article as I have integrated opensource whenever I could, whether from codeplex (or github) or codeproject. Of course, if you are developing an application, you are not going to incorporate one of the few libraries that suicidally licenses itself as GPL, forcing you to do the same with your entire application -- you are going to stick to LGPL and BSD type licenses. This is not .NET specific -- any real app developer doing commercial work is faced with this reality (unless they don't want to make money, or want to be exposed to lawsuits.) Another great option for library developers is a dual GPL/commercial license, to let users try a library and work with it internally before deciding to purchase.

Sure there has been a cultural shift that maybe was in more of a full swing from 2006-2010 that has seen open source as less suspicious and fringe and more useful, but my reaction is: 2009 called and they want their story back.

There is still a lot of irrational fear about .NET out there. I used to find it irritating but now I am amused by others' ignorance as .NET continues to do well and be an enjoyable evolving technology within the scopes of the markets carved out for it on the Windows desktop, Mono, and virtually every major gaming platform via Unity3D. (Unity3D itself is not open source but it was made possible by the open source projects Mono and MonoDevelop, and I was just looking at an opensource plugin for Unity3D today.) ...And this while Oracle, which doesn't even seem to hide their evilness, seems to let Java rot with security vulnerabilities and slower inclusion of language features, as I uninstall it and don't miss it or see a competing alternative to Unity3D. And I develop for iOS, where Apple's tyranny makes Microsoft look pretty soft. (And LGPL isn't compatible with Apple's app store thanks to the relinking requirement.) (Note: I develop for both iOS and soon Android using .NET.) Aside from server-side things and perhaps Android, as far as I can tell .NET is being a better Java than Java at the things I pay attention to, and all the open source plays a huge part in that. (I do wish WPF/Silverlight was better and more prevalent, but perhaps I will be inspired to make an improved cross-platform version myself someday -- but many who like WPF have liked it a lot.)

I cut the haters some slack though, as I used to hate Microsoft in 2000, and it took me a few years of full time work with .NET to get over it and realize I could enjoy the technology today and probably years to come, rather than bracing for some unlikely patent-mageddon scenario where Microsoft lawyers slice off one of Microsoft's own legs and eat it for dinner. Even if that day comes, I am prepared to adapt to another technology feeling I come out ahead. I also stopped being a cheapskate and realized money (non-free software) makes cool things happen, and paying $1000 bucks for something is often better than working 200 hours to get something lesser that I don't have time to maintain or start an OSS community around. (And some stuff would be out of the question for me to create, like Xamarin or Unity3D.) Yes, companies like Microsoft have done and will continue to do some stupid things, but if you take corporate stupidity and greed into account and take the time to understand the realm of likely outcomes, you can save yourself from drinking the FUD kool aid and looking silly. But then again, if you are happy (and making a living) in whatever technological bubble you are secluding yourself in, power to ya. I for one am happy in the bubbles of my .NET worlds, surrounded with OSS (my projects usually end up with way too many cool OSS DLLs in them), and making my dreams come true with it.

Comment Re:Get with the times (Score 1) 215

No! People are upset about Facebook's privacy! And how they sell out as much as possible and have no qualms about ending privacy -- "privacy is dead" - didn't Zuck say that? Just recently they added wall postings, and people thought they were private messages. Even though this was a bogus problem, it gets people upset.

Also, ads.

Maybe if we all shared this with our non-techie friends it would help it gain traction.

Other plugs:
1) you can crosspost to facebook and twitter (and tumblr)
2) you can use hashtags. Score! People on FB get flamed for being idiots who don't know how to use twitter. This way they can win.

I've been a user for about 14 minutes now.

Comment Cheap VPS (Score 3, Informative) 123

I've been using a VPS for $3/month from I haven't done much with it yet, and I don't know how consistent it is, but so far I have no complaints. was another I was looking at that I believe has an even cheaper option ($15/yr!). Like someone else said, check out to become informed about the options. Of course, you get only a pittance of ram/cpu for these bargain basement prices (and often limited availability -- buyvm sounds like a bit of a lottery), but it is still nice to have full control over a linux system that I can pack it up and deploy it to another linux server with more resources/consistency if/when I need to, while playing around with it for cheap now. It's also nice to have a far away offsite backup in case my city gets EMP'ed / destroyed by aliens / etc.

Also, like someone else mentioned, I have run ssh/www for about 15 years on my home ISP since whenever I got broadband with no complaints from my ISP.

Comment Re:4:3 comes back! (Score 1) 537

I am pretty ticked off about it. My 7 year old 17" Dell laptop that still works (used for 5 years) but I no longer use daily has 1920x1200. For now when mobile I make do with 1366x768 with 7pt Verdana font and fullscreen mode and low expectations in Visual Studio and a nice and tiny 11" Macbook Air and 13" Acer.

My primary desktop is 2 1920x1200 monitors in portrait mode and I love being able to see a lot of code at once. The vertical (horizontal in portrait) viewing angle on Samsung 2443BW is atrocious but I get them just right and make do and they were dirt cheap at the time I bought them so I can't complain too much.

I'm hoping this iPad 3 thing and Apple's 27" monitor indulgences will spark a new resolution war. As in: a ~2000x1500 11" laptop please, and ~2400x1700 17-19" desktop monitors so I can put several of them together and take over the world.

I blame blu-ray and HD TVs for contributing to the marketing hype over 'short-screen' monitors.

Comment Re:This may be good (Score 1) 389

In their greed for controlling of the entire PC ecosystem, Apple and MS will eventually end up pissing off most computer users... at least most power-users..

We need someone to sneak into Ballmer's room while he's sleeping and play a recording with subliminal message: "USERS USERS USERS. USERS USERS USERS! YES!"

(Or maybe some would argue he already got this message and that's why they're doing this. Maybe replace it that with power users, or else they may jump to Linux like the parent says. (Might Google take Android to the desktop and open it up for power users? Or are they too engrossed in the web to believe in the future of the desktop?))

As a reasonably happy (cross platform and OSS) .NET developer for 7 years now (and Linux fanboy before that, so maybe that's saying something) it has been a relatively long time since Microsoft ticked me off. The walled garden thing is a big reason why I can't stand Apple, and it is invading the Windows desktop? I've got the heebie jeebies. But if Microsoft thinks they have a green thumb that will make a for a pretty little ecosystem like Apple (and hopefully not as annoying), I can see how they think it may help their image in software quality and ease of use and wish them the best in providing Apple with competition in the tablet and phone (and maybe eventually desktop app store) spaces, while hoping for a trivial way to break the walls of the walled garden for even the least of the power users.

Comment Re:VS Express and Windows SDK (Score 1) 389

Wait and see what Microsoft's lawyers do to you if you try to use it for commercial product development.

Do you know what you're talking about? A quick google makes it looks like their lawyers should be fine with it:

Comment Re:Proudly Canadian (Score 1) 104

The nature of copyright has to evolve with current times and technologies, allowing P2P downloads for personal use while putting a fee on MP3 players and blank media is a compromise that I see as fair.

I think it might be nice for us Canadians since the levies are not too high, but still a horrible compromise.
Conceding that everyone who buys MP3 player or blank media is a sort of criminal by putting a levy on the player is a horrible idea to me. It gives everyone in the country a license to be a legitimate pirate, because they're paying the penalty whether they like it or not. What kind of logic is "don't do this, it's bad, but even if you don't, we're taking your money anyway"? I've heard Indy producers get hurt by the blank media tax (not sure how much that is true). And where does the money go? In communistic fashion it gets redistributed in some horribly inefficient and inaccurate way to people who some government agency thinks deserves it, and it is a breakdown of the free market.

As for music (and movies), I think part of the answer is to make stores more convenient. The first music store I bought a lot from was allofmp3, but I don't think it was legit. It was awesome, had a very large library, letting me download previews and buy in any format I wanted. I wouldn't have minded paying more to a legit store. I currently subscribe to emusic and they give super short music samples, which is idiotic and I plan to unsubscribe when I finish getting what I want from there. (I can't speak for iPod/iTunes because I hate all the Apple DRM and proprietary lock-in.) A lot of people care about convenience more than freeness, and a lot of people also want to contribute back to the artists they love who they think does deserve something. Perhaps a radical idea is that it would be great to have more of a culture of honour and tipping. lets the customer decide how much to tip, and most of their customers do, knowing 50% goes directly to artists. I also think has a great interface overall.

I think our government should take an anti-draconian stand in the world and against the US lobbies, and committing (in legislation) to never sell the souls of consumers to content companies. This legal and technical arms race in **AA is a cancer in the world and needs to be stopped. The forced obsolecence of the HD analog mentioned recently on /. makes me mad. Soon they will want to plug the analog hole by injecting devices into our eyeballs do degrade our viewing experience to standard def unless we pay extra money for the full experience, and throw everyone who takes the device out in jail.


CFLs Causing Utility Woes 859

dacut writes "We've seen compact fluorescent lamps start to take over shelf space at the local hardware store. Replacing a 60 watt incandescent with a 13 watt CFL seems like a great savings, though many consumers are disappointed with the slow warm-up times, lower-than-advertised lifetimes, and hassles of disposing the mercury-containing bulbs. Now EDN reports they may use more energy than claimed due to their poor power factor. Mike Grather, of Lumenaire Testing Laboratory, 'checked the power factor for the CFLs and found they ranged from .45 to .50. Their "real" load was about twice that implied by their wattage.' The good news: you're only billed for the 13 watts of real power used. The bad news: the utilities have to generate the equivalent of 28 watts (that is, 28 VA of apparent power for you EEs out there) to light that bulb. Until they fix these issues, I'll hold on to my incandescents and carbon arc lamps, thanks."

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.