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Comment: Re:Ping times are long, but too optimistic. (Score 1) 245

by VSpike (#38635858) Attached to: ViaSat Delivers 12 Mbps+ Via Satellite
My house (in the UK) has no ADSL available and so I pay for satellite internet. It's not a bad service, but it's relatively expensive, and the caps suck. All this has been discussed to death in other comments. Regarding ping times, my experience is that 0.8-1.2 seconds is about normal. The box does have some optimisation software in it, but AJAXy pages are still horrible to use, mainly because of the lack of visual feedback. No optimisation or preloader can preload the result of a click in a web app that hits a webservice and updates a bit of the UI based on your response. This takes a lot longer over satellite, and the designers of the app usually have never tried it on anything other than a low-latency connection, so they never thought to include an indication that something is actually happening in response to your click. Also, many things can defeat any kind of optimisation, and these things are common for anyone working from home (a common enough things for tech workers in rural areas): VPNs, any kind of remote desktop (RDP, Citrix, etc) especially when combined with a VPN, and any sort of remote shell (SSH, telnet). I think HTTPS also defeats the optimisations, but I'm not sure. I added squid and dnsmasq to try and improve speed and help with the data caps. I also scheduled any large download (including OS updates) to run in the "free zone" between 23:00 and 05:00. That is probably beyond the ability of your average punter though.

Comment: Re:So obvious question... (Score 5, Insightful) 388

by VSpike (#34022380) Attached to: Oracle Needs a Clue As Brain Drain Accelerates

My bigger concern is what it is gonna do to FOSS in general. While I'm primarily a Windows guy I use a lot of FOSS tools and this whole LibreOffice business, now with the developers abandoning ship, could really come back to bite FOSS companies in the butt. How? Because one of the ways to get serious revenue is to be bought out by a bigger company with the resources to put behind your project and who is gonna wanna buy a FOSS software company now? They will look at Oracle and say they didn't get the code (because libreOffice is quickly taking that) and they didn't get the people (because they all split) so what did they get for all that money? Office furniture?

I'm not sure I see that argument. It's perfectly possible to buy a non-FOSS company and drive away all the best talent, squander your customers' good will, lose the market position of your products though underinvestment and/or stupid strategies and generally drive the good name that you paid for into the dirt. In that case, you'd end up with nothing but office furniture too. When you buy a company, sure you have some assets both tangible and intangible. But also what you're really buying is a brand, a place in the market, some mindshare, a community, and good will. If you lose that (which is all too easy to do) then it doesn't matter if the company's products were closed or open, you're still equally screwed.


Splash, Splatter, Sploosh, and Bloop! 100

Posted by samzenpus
from the wouold-you-like-some-ottamottapia-with-that dept.
Acoustic Bubble writes "Researchers at Cornell University have developed the first algorithm for synthesizing familiar bubble-based fluid sounds automatically from 3D fluid simulations, e.g, for future virtual environments. The research (entitled 'Harmonic Fluids') will appear at ACM SIGGRAPH 2009 in New Orleans in August 2009. Check out some videos of falling, pouring, splashing and babbling water simulations (computed on a Linux cluster)."
Hardware Hacking

$100 Linux Wall-Wart Now Available 464

Posted by kdawson
from the not-to-be-confused-with-wal-mart dept.
nerdyH sends us to LinuxDevices for a description of a tiny Linux device called the Marvell SheevaPlug. "A $100 Linux wall wart could do to servers what netbooks did to notebooks. With the Marvell SheevaPlug, you get a completely open (hardware and software) Linux server resembling a typical wall-wart power adapter, but running Linux on a 1.2GHz CPU, with 512MB of RAM, and 512MB of Flash. I/O includes USB 2.0, gigabit Ethernet, while expansion is provided via an SDIO slot. The power draw is a nightlight-like 5 Watts. Marvell says it plans to give Linux developers everything they need to deliver 'disruptive' services on the device." The article links four products built on the SheevaPlug, none of them shipping quite yet. The development kit is available from Marvell.
Linux Business

1 of 3 Dell Inspiron Mini Netbooks Sold With Linux 230

Posted by timothy
from the for-their-patients-who-chew-gum dept.
christian.einfeldt writes "According to an article in Laptop Magazine on-line, one-third of Dell Inspiron Mini 9s netbooks are sold with the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Dell senior product manager John New attributed the sales volume to the lower price point of the Ubuntu Linux machines. And the return rate of the Ubuntu Linux machines is approximately equal to that of comparable netbooks sold with Microsoft Windows XP. Dell spokesperson Jay Pinkert attriutes the low return rate to Dell's good communications with its customers, saying 'We have done a very good job explaining to folks what Linux is.'"

+ - AISD Teacher Throws Fit Over Student's Linux CD-> 1

Submitted by
VSpike writes "The Austinist reports on a classic misunderstanding reminiscent of the City of Tuttle vs. CentOS. A teacher sees a student showing off his HeliOS system and confiscates all the disks. She reprimands the student for distributing illegal software and then fires off a threatening email to the person who provided the software to the student, stating "No software is free and spreading that misconception is harmful.""
Link to Original Source

Rewriting a Software Product After Quitting a Job? 604

Posted by kdawson
from the clean-room-white-coats dept.
hi_caramba_2008 writes "We are a bunch of good friends at a large software company. The product we work on is under-budgeted and over-hyped by the sales drones. The code quality sucks, and management keeps pulling in different direction. Discussing this among ourselves, we talked about leaving the company and rebuilding the code from scratch over a few months. We are not taking any code with us. We are not taking customer lists (we probably will aim at different customers anyway). The code architecture will also be different — hosted vs. stand-alone, different modules and APIs. But at the feature level, we will imitate this product. Can we be sued for IP infringement, theft, or whatever? Are workers allowed to imitate the product they were working on? We know we have to deal with the non-compete clause in our employment contracts, but in our state this clause has been very difficult to enforce. We are more concerned with other IP legal aspects."

CERN Releases Analysis of LHC Incident 149

Posted by timothy
from the training-exercise-was-too-trite dept.
sash writes "From the fresh press release: 'Investigations at CERN following a large helium leak into sector 3-4 of the Large Hadron Collider tunnel have confirmed that cause of the incident was a faulty electrical connection between two of the accelerator's magnets. This resulted in mechanical damage and release of helium from the magnet cold mass into the tunnel. Proper safety procedures were in force, the safety systems performed as expected, and no one was put at risk. Sufficient spare components are in hand to ensure that the LHC is able to restart in 2009, and measures to prevent a similar incident in the future are being put in place.'"
The Internet

+ - hacked

Submitted by
VSpike writes " appears to have been hacked, although the site itself is not giving much away, serving only a minimal homepage at

The site RSS feed sent the the following articles this morning:- iiNautilus script that strips symbols off object files./ibr / br / bAbout this version/bbr / Final version./ibr / br / bAbout this version/bbr / Hacked By casakiller Mon, 01 Sep 2008 01:07:53 GMT

[New] dsqfsqdfsfqd (ver. test)
About this version
GreeTz to ALL Muslims

[New] FuCk_You_Lamer (ver. 1.2)
About this version
The Internet

+ - How to co-exist with Outlook users

Submitted by
VSpike writes "The company for which I work has mandated for marketing & presentation reasons that all email should be in a Futura Book 10pt font with a standard signature including a company logo. This effectively mandates the use of Outlook within the company, even though we do not have exchange server, because no other email client can actually do this. But, there is a deeper problem here related to the Microsoft-centric view of business software. I can see the basic intention (consistent presentation across all media) but most people will not see the desired font because most people do not have Futura Book installed. Furthermore, only Outlook is vaguely guaranteed to render this in the way intended. I use Thunderbird, and mostly see plaintext messages with winmail.dat attachments. Even if the Outlook users switch on HTML format, older versions of Outlook and many other HTML-capable clients will render the bletcherous HTML that Outlook generates differently.

I'm not totally opposed to HTML email and I'm not religious about top posting vs. bottom posting and other old favourites, but this well-intentioned but misguided practice will only have the desired effect with people using a recent version of Outlook, and could shut out anyone who is not. I couldn't find good statistics on this, but one estimate is that even in the world of business 20 to 30% of people don't use Outlook. I argue that HTML should be used where required only, and should be limited to simple constructs like emphasis, italics, bulleted lists, fixed vs. proportional fonts and so on.

How can I educate my CEO and colleagues about this? Has anyone had any success doing this, or is it a fight that was already lost some time ago?"

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen