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


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Re: I wonder... (Score 1) 277 277

Absolutely those are the problems with that approach. And, for the record, I've been saying for years that the NT server needs replacing, and it looks likely to happen soon as its hardware continues to get less reliable. But the fact remains that many things do not get upgraded because of one simple factor: "this works now, and may not after an upgrade". Hell, there's plenty of stuff out there that still runs DOS.

Comment: Re:I wonder... (Score 1) 277 277

Yes, they have made a lot of changes, but those changes have only pissed off the tablet users. So now you have an OS that not only desktop users don't want to use, but tablet users don't want it either.

Sounds like a step in the right direction; the insistence on using the exact same UI on tablets and desktops is the biggest thing wrong with Windows 8. Which no-one really wants to use on either desktop or tablet anyway, so I'm not really seeing a lot of downside to these changes.

Comment: Re:I wonder... (Score 2) 277 277

Sure, businesses upgrade when they need to. Never a moment before there is a serious, compelling NEED to upgrade; typically something they absolutely need to operate absolutely needing the newer version, or existing hardware failing and new purchases coming with the new version. The business I work for has mostly XP workstations, and the server that we rely on most is running NT 4.0.

"Upgrade when you need to" is secondary to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Whatever shiny new features the newer version has, there are always teething problems with an upgrade. They could be minor, such as needing to tweak the config of something and only taking a few minutes. Or they could be major, such the software you need not working properly with the new version and needing some rewriting, taking who knows how long. And there's no way of knowing ahead of time what it'll be, so upgrades are always a crapshoot on how much productivity you'll lose in the process.

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 1) 531 531

It's nice that there is an option to disable it - even if it is indirect. But the fact that the "feature" is there at all still offends me. When the makers of a browser decide it's a good idea to turn my browsing history into targeted advertising, I decide a different browser is a good idea.

I've been making less use of Firefox in general in recent years anyway, but this is the straw that broke the camel's back. Firefox gets uninstalled on all my machines.

Comment: Re:there's a strange bias on slashdot (Score 1) 192 192

microsoft is eternal evil , it always does wrong, and google is eternal good, it can never do wrong

this might have made sense 15 years ago, but google has immense power ripe for abuse

You're right, things have changed in 15 years. But just because Google is now evil, doesn't mean that Microsoft suddenly isn't. Which of the two is more evil is a matter of debate, but I still cannot see Microsoft as good.

Comment: Re:Still ARM11, still a crappy CPU (Score 5, Informative) 355 355

There's just no rationalizing away the fact that they have been grossly underpowered regardless of context.

I have to disagree there. They are plenty powerful for learning basic coding on. They're plenty powerful for a basic web server for a local network. They're plenty powerful for controlling various bits of hardware via the GPIO port. They're plenty powerful for plenty of things.

Comment: Spare room. (Score 4, Insightful) 720 720

Just do your gaming in the spare room. Put a small quiet/silent PC in the living room for media centre stuff if you cannot live without a living room PC.

Also, I'd have to advise against replacing the TV with a projector. They're hellishly expensive if you get one with decent resolution, require a pitch black room to look any good, effectively prevent rearranging the living room, etc.

Comment: In short: no. (Score 1) 206 206

I would think that the cybernetic bits should be treated no differently than any other physical evidence on or in a person's body. If, for example, paint stains on a suspect's shoes prove that (s)he was at a certain location at a certain time, that's effectively the same thing as an implanted chip that proves the same thing.

Comment: Re: That's open source (Score 1) 165 165

why do kids need a pi to learn programming, its a shitty platform all around and offers nothing special in regards to programming

Because it's a cheap computer that they can own themselves and be free to experiment with, rather than the expensive family PC that their parents will stop them from doing anything adventurous with. That the hardware itself offers nothing special is irrelevant. That it's a "shitty platform" is irrelevant. You don't need blazing fast network throughput, massive storage or heaps of CPU power for learning basic programming. You just need a functional system with the necessary basic tools for programming, and this provides it for very little cost.

Comment: Re:Why. (Score 1) 165 165

It really depends what the particular aim of the education is. If it's teaching hardware design to university students, sure, you've got a point. But it's not. The educational aims of the RaspPi Foundation are teaching primary school kids how to code and do simple stuff with a GPIO port. You don't need an entirely open platform to do that.

I'm in favour of things being completely open as much as the next man, but the reality is that there are instances where it's not the greatest concern. It doesn't matter to the ten-year-old writing Hello World in Python that the graphics driver is a binary blob or that the full specs of the SoC are not public. When he's got the knowledge and understanding to be able to delve into things like that (likely some years later), there's nothing stopping him from moving on to platforms that are completely open.

Comment: Interesting. (Score 1) 122 122

Interesting idea, and it is in general terms good that different options are appearing on the market. With that said, I see no compelling differences between this and the Raspberry Pi for my uses. Replaceable CPU/memory? Meh, $35-odd to entirely replace the whole computer is below my give-a-damn threshold. More CPU grunt is kind of nice, but to begin with anything I'm doing with something in this class of computer is not something that needs a great deal of that. More RAM? More or less the same thing as with CPU grunt. I've still got the earlier model of RasPi with only 256MB in active service as my ssh/torrent/whatever box, and it works just fine with such little memory.

Plus, the Raspberry Pi is a popular platform with its particular hardware features well supported by a variety of software. I imagine this thing's SoC has a different hardware mpeg4 decoder than the RasPi (if it even has one), for example, meaning you couldn't just take a RasPi build of XBMC and use it with this.

Still, if you do need something that's the size and approximate cost of a Raspberry Pi but with a little more power, or the same size and a bit more costly with a bit more power and more RAM, good for you, you now have another option.

Comment: Nothing. (Score 2) 427 427

There is nothing that would motivate me to get a smartwatch. Everything they can possibly do is done better by a smartphone, with the sole exception of the convenience of being able to tell the time with a glance at your wrist, and that is offset by the inconvenience of having an uncomfortable chunk of metal strapped to your wrist. One might possibly be able to make a case for Google Glass or something like it, but not a smartwatch.

After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found on the bench.