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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Ask Slashdot: Best Rapid Development Language To Learn Today? 466

Posted by timothy
from the pronto-now-yesterday-or-else dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Many years ago, I was a coder—but I went through my computer science major when they were being taught in Lisp and C. These days I work in other areas, but often need to code up quick data processing solutions or interstitial applications. Doing this in C now feels archaic and overly difficult and text-based. Most of the time I now end up doing things in either Unix shell scripting (bash and grep/sed/awk/bc/etc.) or PHP. But these are showing significant age as well. I'm no longer the young hotshot that I once was—I don't think that I could pick up an entire language in a couple of hours with just a cursory reference work—yet I see lots of languages out there now that are much more popular and claim to offer various and sundry benefits I'm not looking to start a new career as a programmer—I already have a career—but I'd like to update my applied coding skills to take advantage of the best that software development now has to offer. (More, below.)

Group Wants To Recover 36-Year-Old Historic Spacecraft From Deep Space 141

Posted by samzenpus
from the bring-it-home dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A band of space hackers and engineers are trying to do something never done before — recover a 36 year old NASA spacecraft from the grips of deep space and time. With old NASA documents and Rockethub crowdfunding, a team led by Dennis Wingo and Keith Cowing is attempting to steer ISEE-3, later rechristened ICE, the International Cometary Explorer, back into an Earth orbit and return it to scientific operations. Dennis says, 'ISEE-3 can become a great teaching tool for future engineers and scientists helping with design and travel to Mars'. Only 40 days remain before the spacecraft will be out of range for recovery. A radio telescope is available, propulsion designs are in hand and the team is hoping for public support to provide the small amount needed to accomplish a very unique milestone in space exploration."

EU Plastic Bag Debate Highlights a Wider Global Problem 470

Posted by Soulskill
from the that's-why-i-use-disposable-cloth-bags dept.
jones_supa writes "An EU citizen uses around 200 plastic bags per year. That's too much, says the EU. But wasting plastic bags is not just a European problem. Countries around the world are struggling with the issue, and it especially affects growing economies such as Asia. Some Southeast Asian countries don't even have the proper infrastructure in place to dispose of the bags properly. The problems for the environment are many. Plastic bags usually take several hundred years until they decay, thereby filling landfills, while animals often mistake the plastic for food and choke to death. Additionally they are a major cause of seaborne pollution, which is a serious hazard for marine life. This autumn, EU started ambitious plans which aim to reduce usage 80% by 2017. Some countries have already applied measures to slow plastic bag use: England has added a 5p charge to previously free bags, and in Ireland the government has already imposed a tax of 22 euro cents ($0.29) per plastic bag. The EU Environment Commissioner, Janez Potonik, said, 'We're taking action to solve a very serious and highly visible environmental problem.'"
The Internet

Time For X-No-Wiretap HTTP Header? 202

Posted by timothy
from the tongue-boring-through-cheek dept.
Freshly Exhumed writes "A security blogger, acknowledging that the NSA methodically ranks communications on the basis of their 'foreignness' factor to determine candidacy for prolonged retention proposes, is proposing '...an opportunity for us on the civilian front to aid the NSA by voluntarily indicating citizenship on all our networked communications. Here, we define the syntax and semantics of X-No-Wiretap, a HTTP header-based mechanism for indicating and proving citizenship to well-intentioned man-in-the-middle parties. It is inspired by the enormously successful RFC 3514 IPv4 Security Flag and HTTP DNT header.'"

The L.A. Times Names Its Favorite Flops of the Year 145

Posted by timothy
from the always-too-many-to-choose-from dept.
SternisheFan writes "Salvador Rodriguez and Deborah Netburn of The Los Angeles Times have a rundown of the top 10 tech gaffes of 2012. From their article: 'As 2012 comes to a close we take a look back at the biggest "oops" moments of the last year. Whether it was an advertising misstep (Facebook's "Chair" commercial), or a product released before it was ready (Apple Maps), or just an idea that was ill-received (homeless men as Wi-Fi hotspots), we tried to compose a list of the times when the major players lost control of the narrative. It's also a reminder that everyone makes mistakes--even exacting tech companies.'"

Comment: Mutt (Score 1) 2

by Yenya (#42227819) Attached to: The current state of linux email clients?

Why limit yourself to the X11 clients? I am perfectly happy with mutt (www.mutt.org). It is _fast_ (especially with local mail storage), does what I want it to do (I don't need calendar, for example), and can be used everywhere, including remote ssh session from my Android phone.

But it seems my requirements are different to what the OP needs.


+ - The current state of linux email clients? 2

Submitted by mcloaked
mcloaked (2791017) writes "We get all kinds of news about new developments but one subject has been lacking for some time and that is email clients for linux (or Windows for that matter).

A number of reviews mostly not all that recent have pointed to the main clients as Thunderbird, Evolution, Claws-mail, and Kmail as possibilities. Up to about a year ago Thunderbird seemed to be
"the" email client with the best mix of positives.

However there are no recent reviews that I have seen and in the meantime Thunderbird has moved to monthly releases which are more maintenance releases, with security fixes, with little real functional change — and little new development. Thunderbird won't be changed into the future much, if one interprets the available news information.

Evolution is reported to be rather prone to being buggy, and kmail even more so. Claws-mail has limitations as does kmail.

So where is the future going without any real innovation on available linux mail clients? We need a well maintained and capable mail
client, with preferably good calendar integration (webcal/google calendar), properly supported html composing, good maildir format storage for local mail, good security support including the capacity
to deal with both gpg and s/mime encryption and signing. It needs a good modern UI, and good import/export facilities as well as good
integration with its address book, including good import/export of addresses.

Are we likely to see this kind of package as we move into the future or will mail clients slowly disappear?
At the moment it looks like email client support is dead — maybe users are moving more into web mail and the cloud rather than having a properly functional mail client on their desktops?

I wonder what do people think?"

Comment: Re:We're all missing the point (Score 2) 202

by Yenya (#40833975) Attached to: Fedora 18 To Feature the GNOME2 Fork MATE

Also, unrelated, but I feel like the GNOME 3 hate is really blown out of proportion. Sure, some users were driven away, but the exact same thing happened with GNOME 2 and people called it trash and crap and whatever else.

And they were right.

I have been using GNOME since GNOME 1 times, and I think for former GNOME users the GNOME 3 fiasco is not something unexpected, it is a logical outcome of the overall trend in GNOME development.

I remember Sawmill/Sawfish being replaced by Metacity, which even in the latest GNOME 2 releases was not able to do things which were supported in Sawfish since day 1 and still are.

I remember Galeon being pushed out of GNOME and replaced by Epiphany (seriously, did anybody used Epiphany?), and again, Galeon was more capable than Firefox (and of course than Epiphany, but no surprise here), until it bit-rotted enough to be removed from Fedora about year and half ago.

I remember GDM being rewritten for GNOME 2.20, omitting XDMCP support altogether (a display manager without XDMCP, would you believe that?) and removing the config file, in which the user previously could set his own X server options, allowing, for example, correct multi-seat support. Those features were promised to be added later, but they never were, with the notable exception of the XDMCP support. And guess what? GDM in GNOME 3 is said to support multi-seat, but it generates its own hard-coded xorg.conf for secondary seats somewhere under /run, and again there is no way to configure the xorg.conf for secondary seats.

So no, GNOME 3 has not been a surprise, at least for me. GNOME 3 has been a logical outcome of the general trend, which has been visible in the GNOME development for several years. That said, GNOME 2 was bearable for me for general use (with Galeon, xdm, and Sawfish). When GNOME 3 was released, I have finally switched to XFCE.

Comment: Re:End of network display? (Score 2) 230

by Yenya (#40611701) Attached to: Ubuntu Still Aims For Wayland in Quantal Quetzal

Today all of our apps are network transparent.

Sadly, this is not true anymore. Many apps today depend on things like D-Bus or PulseAudio, which cannot be easily forwarded through the X protocol connection. Add a "run only a single instance of $app no matter what" mentality to the mix, and you are screwed: the $app started on a remote machine detects that another instance (on a completely different machine but the same display) is running, and tries to forward its own command line arguments to the previously running instance. But arguments like filenames are depended on the X client machine. Oops.

The Courts

+ - Court: Newspaper Articles not Copyrightable->

Submitted by
Yenya writes "In Slovakia, newspaper articles can be freely aggregated and archived, and are not worth copyright protection. The district court in Bratislava, Slovakia, stated in the case between news publishing house Ecopress and a news monitoring company Storin, that while the news articles manifests traces of creativity, it is not enough to be considered worth protecting the authors rights."
Link to Original Source

+ - RIP: Dennis Ritchie->

Submitted by
walterbyrd writes "Computer scientist Dennis Ritchie is reported to have died at his home this past weekend, after a long battle against an unspecified illness. No further details are available at the time of this blog post. He was the designer and original developer of the C programming language, and a central figure in the development of Unix. He spent much of his career at Bell Labs. He was awarded the Turing Award in 1983, and the National Medal of Technology in 1999."
Link to Original Source

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"