Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Comment Re:Caps Lock used to power a huge lever. (Score 5, Informative) 698

It was reverted because, as computers started systematically replacing the typewriter in businesses (instead of being a specialist machine, like terminals), secretary-typists and the typists in corporate typing pools complained about the location of the Caps Lock key not being where they were used to it. Keyboards for computers intended for general business use accordingly swapped over, since the people who typed the most and had the strongest opinions on keyboards in the early 1980s wanted it that way.

Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 2) 216

Have you ever been annoyed by users of *nix systems that are less popular than Linux? Then have no fear; Wayland is an effort to kill off those platforms.

You see, first you reduce X on Linux to the sort of second-class status that it has on OS X. So then people switch their development for Linux to Wayland. So then they stop maintaining an X version of their app (even if the toolkit they're using supports both X and Wayland), since it costs them resources for such a tiny fragment of people. Then, since nobody's developing for X, the toolkits themselves drop support for X. And then all those people using *BSD or Solaris are up shit creek without a paddle. And then the makers of Linux server distros, who are the ones who have to compete with *BSD and Solaris profit.

Oh, sure, they can't come out and say openly that the purpose of Wayland is to destroy the competition. So they'll talk about all sorts of technical advantages. But then ask yourself, if the goal was simply to create a modernized/simplified/higher-performance/whatever GUI system, why deliberately choose to make it dependent on the Linux kernel, instead of developing such a system for all *nix systems?

Comment Re:dupe dupe dupe... (Score 1) 496

Of course, that's why it's at least theoretically a useful interview question. The North Pole answer takes just enough cognitive work to reach that upon arriving at it you can feel clever and stop. So the question filters for the people who don't stop.

(The major problem with it is that it's a reasonably famous such question; I remember reading it and learning the existence of the infinite number of South Pole answers in grade school.)

Comment Re:And blocked in court in 3, 2, 1 . . . (Score 1) 234

First, under the test used in both the majority and concurring opinions in Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League, the enacted legislation must have specifically named municipal entities in order to affect them; general wording (such as "any entity") doesn't work, and no executive action can change that.

Second, Federal law supersedes state law precisely insofar as the Federal government is allowed to legislate in the area at all, and the majority opinion in Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League says Federal law can't make states allow their own municipalities to sell Internet.

Comment Re:One Word ... (Score 1) 234

The Federal Government can no more authorize a municipality to provide Internet service outside its "imaginary boundaries" than it may authorize a municipality to enforce its city ordinances outside its "imaginary boundaries". The geographic scope of the powers of municipalities is an internal matter of the organization of the state government for the same reasons the existence of ans such powers is an internal matter of the organization of the state government.

Submission + - Virgin Media censors talk of "bufferbloat" on their discussion forums->

mtaht writes: Given that bufferbloat is now fixed by fq_codel and the sqm-scripts for anyone that cares to install openwrt and derivatives on their home routers (or use any random linux box for the job), AND standardization efforts for the relevant algorithms near completion in the IETF, I went and posted a short, helpful message about how to fix it on a bufferbloat-related thread on Virgin Media's cable modems... And they deleted the post, and banned my IP... for "advertising". I know I could post again via another IP, and try to get them to correct their mistake, but it is WAY more fun to try to annoy them into more publically acknowledging their enormous bufferbloat problems and to release a schedule for their fixes. Naturally I figured the members of slashdot could help out Virgin and their customers understand their bufferbloat problems better. My explanations of how they can fix their bufferbloat, are now, here.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:And blocked in court in 3, 2, 1 . . . (Score 2) 234

Just like states are only part of the country?

No, not "just like" that at all. There are three basic classes of entity in US constitutional law - the Federal Government, the states, and individual people. States are not organs of the Federal Government, but legally separate entities with independent rights and powers. On the other hand, municipalities are mere organs of the state.

Comment Re:One Word ... (Score 4, Informative) 234

Given the 8-1 decision in Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League in 2004, it's essentially certain that this FCC action will be overturned by the courts. The FCC doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that federal law did not and could not preempt a Missouri state law that prohibited municipalities from providing Internet service. Of the eight-member majority in that case, five (Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Scalia, and Thomas) are still on the court.

Comment And blocked in court in 3, 2, 1 . . . (Score 2, Interesting) 234

As a constitutional matter, municipalities do not have any independent existence; they are organs of the state governments. Municipal governments only have whatever powers states choose to give them, and the federal government may not commandeer a state government. So if a state chooses to deny its municipalities the authority to sell Internet access (or sell it below a certain price), then no declaration from the FCC can give the municipality that power, nor require the state to give a municipality that power.

So, all this vote means is the FCC majority has decided to waste a bunch of taxpayer dollars losing a lawsuit.

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.