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Comment: Who cares? (Score 5, Informative) 180 180

This isn't as interesting as it sounds (or have i misunderstood?) Basically, if you are a spammer, and download binaries of 'cracked' spamming software... surprise surprise, there is a back door in it that lets other spammers use your servers to spam. It is kinda interesting from a technical point of view (putting perl scripts into elf binaries) but the headline is very misleading, this is not a serious linux/bsd security issue.

Comment: Not sure what youaspx on on apache (Score 1) 421 421

1. Is .NET up to the job?

Which job? The question needs better defined. If it is replacing every single other programming technology then the answer is simply No.

2. Is there an open source choice today that's popular enough to be considered the standard that employers would like?

Java is almost a drop in replacement for .Net. and has better cross platform support. Depsite being very popular, it has never gained universal acceptance. Often (for example) something like python, or C is a better choice depending on what you want to do and where you want to do it. I don't see .Net being any different.

3. If the answer to 1 is yes and 2 is no, make the argument for avoiding .NET.

You say 'avoiding' as if .Net is somehow automatically going to get rolled out everywhere like a steamroller. This is nonsense. Change is expensive and problematic, if you want people to start using .Net in areas where it is not currently dominant, you need a very compelling reason. If there is no 'standout' reasons, people will just stay with the status quo.

I should say the c# is an excellent language and .Net is one of the best things to come out of microsoft (along with Excel and games), But it is firmly positioned as a windows application development tool, often tightly integrating with other windows components (such as Visual Studio, IIS), which means it is far less paletable when targetting non windows environments (for development OR deployment), or if you have a pre-existing architecture it has to integrate with. Being 'open source' doesn't magically fix interoperability issues.

Also in terms of web applications (most business .Net development work is actually asp.net for be-spoke apps), the server application code technology is decreasing in importance. JQuery and other client side technology is where all the progress is being made, the server code is often just a glorified access layer to a database.

Comment: Re: What about the male stereotypes? (Score 1) 642 642

> Because sexualised women is a male sexual fantasy. Big beefy player characters is a male power fantasy
You seem to be saying the problem is the sexualisation of women. This rating is suppossedly for 'Avoiding sexism and gender sterotypes in video games'. That is not the same thing at all.
I have a problem with the assumption that sexualisation of women in media is equivalent to, or has a causal link with, sexism. In fact there seems to be a fairly strong negative correlation between women's civil rights, and them being freely portrayed as sexual beings. Look at the middle east, or back in history, (for example Victorian england.) The important things are respect, rights and equality, i find it annoying when very important issues (such as sexism) are incorrectly dragged in to defend prudishness.

> You don't honestly think they're targeting women with the "muscles and guns" thing, do you?
No I dont, why would you think i did? If they *were* targeting women would it then be a problem?
Surely if this is an issue at all targeting males with such stereotypes would be worse, they would be influenced to believe that it is appropriate to take lots of steroids and go out and kill everyone. (But we have had many decades of research into how violent games causes real violence, and depsite media hysteria, there is no link. )

Comment: What about the male stereotypes? (Score 1) 642 642

There are tons of games in which men are portrayed as vicious musclebound gun toting maniacs. If negative stereotypes is the problem, why are they only looking at the female characters in the games? is that not sexist by definition?
The most obvious negative female stereotypes in my opinion are Disney princesses (mindless bimbos in fluffy dresses), which are targeted at the youngest and most impressionable, but somehow i don't think thats what they want to target.

Comment: False Premis (Score 1) 304 304

Over the past 100 years many many jobs have been automated. We have been vigorously automating almost everything for ages. Yet you look at the US unemployment figures over the past 100 years, you see it fluctuates up and down, but there is no overall increase in unemployment. That is despite it now becoming normal for a household to have two parents in full time work instead of just the man. No doubt in the past a women in work was seen by some as 'taking a mans job'. So why don't we have 50% unemployment rates? The flaw in the logic that is often repeated, both by idiot futurists, and xenophobes is that "they" are "taking our jobs" It is a fundamentally broken line of thought. There are not a fixed number of jobs that get 'used up', never was and never will be. The only effect is that people in specialist roles that cannot adapt to new environments may go hungry. The horse drawn carriage driver has had to find a different way of making a living. Automation is not the problem, but sometimes too rapid automation (like the influx of many immigrants over a short period of time) can be a painful transition for certain groups of workers, but it has no effect on overall employment prospects. Never has, Never will.

Comment: The useless appendix (Score 1) 111 111

Man : "God, why did you give me this useless appendix? it serves no purpose, and it gave me appendicitus"?
God : "Ah i see you have trouble with that appendix, what you need is MORE OF THEM!!"
Man : "Eh? uehah wait a moment... "
God : "Sure, that one i put in first wasn't really in the best spot, the next five i put in will be much better... "

Seriously, i don't see why we cant just drop ALL top level domains entirely. 'google' not 'google.com' 'slashdot' not 'slashdot.org' etc. if businesses really want to split their traffic up by country, or otherwise distinguish themselves they can do it with subdomains any way they see fit (e.g. uk.google ). The idea of humans distinguishing between 'hotpants.org' and 'hotpants.com' is fundamentally flawed.

Comment: Re:Mozilla can't even do math in PDF (Score 3, Insightful) 84 84

Typical open source bug handling ...

As oppossed to commercial bug handling? On more than one occaision i have had problems in our systems, and traced the bug down to a bug in the commercial vendor product. From both Oracle and Microsoft we have got the response which was essentially "Yeah, its a bug. We have no plans to fix it, so tough luck buddy." To give another slighly different example, I had an issue displaying IBM Cognos produced excel spreadsheets on blackberry devices, and traced it down to them not bothering to follow the microsoft spec for .xlsx documents. They just said "oh we dont support blackberry", and took no interest in the fact that the root problem was that excel spreadsheets were actually malformed, and would be easily fixed. On an open source system i could have added a few lines to fix it myself. I probably could have decompiled the java and done this with Cognos, but i couldn't due to license restrictions.
IBM, Microsoft and Oracle are 'big names' who have biggest budgets and investment in their brand, I doubt any of their competitors behave any better, and I would expect smaller commercial vendors support to be on average significantly worse.

Often support for relatively obscure bugs in open source products suck, thing is it isn't *because* it is opensource, commercial support sucks too. You think because you are paying them for support you are calling the shots? it doesn't work that way. Opensource does however give you a lot more freedom. If offical support is letting you down you can fix it yourself, pay someone to fix it, or just investiage the code and try to figure out a way of avoiding the problem.

Comment: Not just about browser choice (Score 1) 391 391

I have a setup with 3 different sandboxes for browsing. 1) Sensitive (banking, confidential, financial or highly personal info) 2) General (regular random surfing such as slashdot) 3) Scary (file shares, flash games, java, anything that looks dubious or untrustworthy) The 3 sandboxes are simply different users setup on linux, all with restricted rights, and independent caches and profiles, and none of which is my normal 'login'. The 'launch' commands just run the browser under appropriate user. As for browser, Who do you trust? Microsoft? Google? Apple? I'd go with mozilla/firefox

Comment: "Because CDs aren't digital" - eh? (Score 1) 393 393

I thought this was a tech site? CDs of course *are* digital. Vinal is not digital which folk use as an excuse to collect old vinal records. lossy/lossless compression is just different ways to compress DIGITAL data. There is of course 'lossiness' when the analogue wave gets digitized too

Comment: Business Reasons to opensource (Score 1) 167 167

The reasons to opensource in a business context are :-
  • 1) You want to use GPL or similar licensed components in your software instead of spending time and money re-inventing the wheel
  • 2) You expect the product to be adopted by other DEVELOPERS, who will work on and improve the code for free in their own interests
  • 3) If 'broad' user testing is usefull. By releasing opensource you are potentially greatly extending the userbase and by releasing early it is possible to get significant testing.

The core idea is that costs are shared by co-operation between parties who have a similar need. This is not a new concept, and has appeared and suceeded in many different forms in business. Like a 'franchise' which shares branding costs because it would be impossible to get the same level of branding on their own individual budgets. There are other reasons to opensource your code (fame, altruism, etc) but these are not very appropriate in your context.

Comment: Back in what day? wtf are you talking about (Score 1) 193 193

Not one of the programming languages listed were a success because 'it was taught to students'. Its arse about face, they were taught because they were successful. Who the hell wants more languages anyway? renaisance? wtf are you talking about? We need better, faster, easier ways to get the job done. Not spewing out more languages for the sake of it. Also if you *did* have some magic new language, why would you want to force feed a bunch of inexperienced students with it? If you come up with a *genuine* significant improvement, be it a language, a technique, a library or whatever real programmers will pick it up and it will soar on its own wings. Look at JSON for a very recent and clear example of this. depsite the MASSIVE investment in XML by big industry and acedemia, some single guy posts a webpage and says 'hey heres an alternative format that works well with javascript' and now half the world is using it.

Comment: Re:Google What? (Score 5, Interesting) 286 286

Also, If you have the facebook android app, facebook can do any of the following without your knowledge
  • Access all the stuff on your SD card
  • Track your current location with GPS.
  • Download anything they like onto your phone.
  • Access ALL the accounts (not just facebook) that you use on the phone.

On many phones (like mine) this app is pre-installed and actually uninstallable it was the main reason i switched to cyanogenmod

Comment: burn them all (Score 1) 663 663

I hate windows, osx, kde and gnome. I use exactly the same ratpoison setup on my laptop and on my desktop. Its not for everyone, but i think the core principle of having an window manager that is almost invisible could be taken MUCH further, and provide a great window manager that techs and non-techs would be happy using. People dont actually need to USE a window manager, they need to use their applications, the WM is just the middleman. The problem is that a gutted out highly optimised WM is not be very desireable to the majority. They dont pick WM because they are easy to use, they pick largely based on 'bling' (if people see my windows flipping about doing summersaults they will think I am l33t h@x0r!!). So perhaps they get the WM's they deserve.

Comment: Re:AMD Linux support sucks (Score 1) 132 132

Goodbye nvidia, i wont miss you. For years I've stuck with nvidia because everyone said that they are the best choice for linux, but i've hated every minute of it. They were a constant annoyance for the following reasons.
  1. Every time you build a kernel you have to download the latest nvidea driver and install it separately.
  2. Want to try a release candidate kernel? nope forget it. Just to get the damn thing to install you have to reverse engineer their installation scripts, and even after you get that working, the driver is usually unstable (not surprisingly).
  3. It overwrites libgl with its own version that wont work with anything else ... WTF??
  4. I had serveral problems such as an unstopable crackle coming out of my TV/monitor over HDMI (nevermind actually getting the HDMI audio to work!) , or having to write my own modeline to stop overscan
  5. The installer is a real PAIN IN THE ASS if you swap about kernel builds a lot. It complains about kernel versions and refuses to install, or refuses to uninstall grrrrr
  6. nouveau simply did not work for me, and even if it did i wasn't sure the 3D would be good enough for my needs. I could never get X running with it on my monitor. just screen noise. The nouveau guys are kinda heroic but why isn't nouveau backed by nvidia? and why is nouveau helping sustain a product whos manufacturer wont play ball? might they not be better employed helping improve the open ATI drivers?

recently i finally decided to give the radeon and try. and bought a cheap radeon HD 6450. Ok. I admit i still had to write my own modeline to get rid of overscan issue (similar to my experience with nvidea), but after that it JUST WORKED, with seemingly any kernel i build without having to shoe-horn in proprietary drivers everytime i do a build.
The 3D performance seems perfectly adequate for my needs, and being opengl 4.1 I can build and run opengl ES 2.0 type code against it happily. I really dont know why every slags off ATI/radion support, and gives nvidea a free ride. I like life of the ATI side of the fence and I'm not going back to nvidia anytime soon.
For some of us having a card with a half decent opensource driver in the kernel tree is not an idealogical battle, but simply a practical necessity.

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