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+ - Ask Slashdot: Life After N900 2

Submitted by Rydia
Rydia (556444) writes "Since it first released, I have been in love with my Nokia N900, and it has satisfied all my needs for a mobile with a high degree of control and utility. Sadly, the little guy is showing his age, both in battery life (even with the powersaving kernel options enabled), and performing in general has been left far, far in the dust by phones that are now considered quite old. The time has come to find its successor, but after a thorough search of smartphone options, I can't find any handset that offers everything for the power user that the N900 did (much less a hardware keyboard). I'd like to avoid supporting Google/Android, but there don't seem to be many options. Have any other techies found a replacement for their N900?"

Comment: Not Remotely Similar (Score 2) 786

by Rydia (#45259613) Attached to: Why Can't Big Government Launch a Website?

Beyond the fact that they were both directives from the government, there are no similarities

Moonshot:ACA Exchange

Regulation:
Whatever NASA thought was a good idea:Three extremely technical laws, plus various state laws

Interoperability:
Everything done in-house by NASA:Interacting with dozens of different providers using different systems that don't talk to each other, plus data verification from a few more agencies

Public Support:
Viewed as way to get one up on those darned ruskies:Extremely bitter partisan divide, was a major contentious issue in two elections

Government Support:
Willing to throw money at NASA to get it done:Part of the House of Representatives shut down the government and threatened default in order to build anti-ACA support for the next election

Actual Work Done:
Mostly in-house NASA work:Lots of contractors

Not that the exchange's launch hasn't been a complete disaster, but comparing the two is extremely tenuous.

Comment: Misdirection (Score -1) 610

by Rydia (#45138441) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't There More Public Outrage About NSA Revelations?

Because the prima donnas at the heart of the story (Snowden and Greenwald) made and continue to make the story about themselves, rather than the material. A story about a reporter and his whistleblowing buddy on the lam, both making crazy statements that greatly overshadow the series but drier material they are disclosing, always played better and therefore was covered better.

At this point, everyone's tired of them, and has forgotten what the whole fuss was about.

Comment: Frameworks are great, but ... (Score 5, Interesting) 115

by Rydia (#43897589) Attached to: How Unity3D Became a Game-Development Beast

Allowing more open development is fantastic. However, the summary (and really a ton of people) have the relationship at play with games backwards:

"This has helped developers focus less on creating a video game's underlying technology and more on the artistic and creative processes that actually make games fun to play."

The underlying technology, however, is the essence of the game. It's what tells us how mario moves compared to sonic or y metroid cant crawl. The artistic and creative process, while quite important, largely affect how a game is presented visually and thematically. The rise of one-size-fits-all platforms, designed to be broadly used not only between titles but between genres and platforms, has led to a massive homogenization of gameplay. Gameplay, of course, is what makes a game fun to actually play. Setting is not gameplay. Writing is not gameplay, and graphics aren't gameplay.

Yes, these platforms are customizable, but the distinctness that came with each game or class of games has largely been lost as games increasingly rely on generalized engines. Unity and Unreal (and various other engines) are great, but they're not responsible for freeing developers to make experimental games. To the extent that is happening, it is despite of, not because of, those engines.

Comment: SuSE (Score 5, Insightful) 573

by Rydia (#43263891) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: New To Linux; Which Distro?

SuSE has the best installation and configuration utility and has a ton of helpful user-run repos for packages. It also has builds for basically every windowing system, so you can pick your preference without any hacking, and when you do want to get down to brass tacks, the system will get out of your way (now that suseconfig is gone) and let you tinker as much as you please.

And when you screw everything up (half the fun, right?), it ships with a fantastic system repair tool to get you back on your feet. You can also use SuSE Studio to make a custom image if you have weird hardware.

It's a really great linux experience.

+ - Ask Slashdot: OSS, Web-based Time Tracking and Invoicing

Submitted by Rydia
Rydia (556444) writes "I am the partner in charge of the IT for my small (3 partners) law firm. We have used ClearOS (formerly ClarkConnect) with great satisfaction for the past three years, but with the new version our current groupware solution (Horde) is deprecated in favor of a new mail stack centered around Zarafa. Horde (being php-based) upgrades through PEAR, but attempts to upgrade from the most current supported version (3) to a reasonably current version (4) breaks everything due to the modifications the ClearFoundation folks have made to the php system.

My roadmap was to install Horde 4, which includes a time tracking/invoicing platform (time tracking and invoicing being a huge part of our business), but that is clearly no longer in the cards. Zarafa is a fine groupware suite for everything but that. My question is: are there any good web-based solutions for time tracking and invoicing, preferably OSS, available? Do any of them integrate with standard address books so we wouldn't have to double-book client information? Does this thing even exist?"

Comment: What? (Score 1) 206

by Rydia (#40922771) Attached to: How To Watch Internet TV Across International Borders

Wait, there is a slashdot article on the front page detailing how to violate various broadcasters copyrights? I mean, I know it's preaching to the choir, but I'm astounded this is an actual article.

IPlayer in particular isn't region-locked because the BBC hates foreigners; the service is paid for by television licenses, which people outside of England (obviously) aren't paying. It's much more than just defeating a region-locking scheme, it's basically piracy. Seeing it front and center is crazy.

Comment: Redundancy (Score 1, Insightful) 113

by Rydia (#39289737) Attached to: Chief Replicant Dev On Building a Truly Free Android

While I appreciate the thought that all software should be open-source, I can't shake the feeling that FOSS advocates are wasting their time and talent attempting to endlessly reinvent the wheel. I'm sure that avoiding proprietary blobs would be great, but it is worth all this effort with so little gain? You'll have a (very) small audience that will download it and put up with the inevitable incompatibilities, but why is so much effort being thrown at projects like this and nouveau; projects whose ideal result is something that perfectly mimics something that has already been made and is already in widespread use. Since ideal results are never possible, you are inevitably left making the excuse "sure, it's not as good, but it's more ideologically pure!" which is only really convincing for the most hardline ideologues.

Instead of endless FOSS projects just trying to replicate things we already have, I'd like to see these supremely generous and talented people work on new projects. Why spend time on nouveau when you could work on, say, a new cross-platform graphics API? I just don't think FOSS will ever gain significant mindshare as long as it is continuously trying to emulate functional applications that people are already using.

Comment: What? (Score 2, Funny) 355

by Rydia (#39085053) Attached to: FOIA Request Shows Which Printer Companies Cooperated With US Government

Really? This is cause for outrage? The insane idea that the government might look at something you wrote and hunt you down using a printer serial number and some possible registration information? This isn't a "the innocent have nothing to hide" argument, this is a "any government agency that actually used this for anything other than the stated purpose is insane" argument. There are hundreds of far more efficient, reliable and accurate ways to figure out who you are and what you have been up to.

Reading through the comments, about how your printer is going to betray you when the fascist power grab comes, it is abundantly clear that a sizable portion of slashdotters enjoy nothing more than working themselves up by finding whatever scant excuse to go on hyperbolic rants about how the government is just waiting to come and take them away to gitmo, and that the only way to avoid this is to compete to see who is the most paranoid.

The sad thing is when the government DOES overstep its bounds and quash our freedoms, these people will have negative credibility because everyone else know that, to them, everything is a sinister government plot.

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