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Comment next gen (Score 1) 141

I'm excited about the idea of new forum software. I feel like Google, Facebook, and Twitter have made reasonably good conversation interfaces that forum or bulletin board software could easily borrow from. Having good search facilities, an interface with lower friction (i.e fewer clicks and scrolling) and snappy performance would be a great start.

Recent improvements in web user interface frameworks such as Twitter Bootstrap would go a long way towards making a mobile friendly and easier to use forum interface. It seems strange that popular forum software doesn't use those technologies.

Comment nntp (Score -1, Flamebait) 141

" I wonder if it will ever have an NNTP gateway."

I don't like when anonymous posters tack on some irrelevant piece of opinion on the end. I don't even know *who* is wondering whether it might support NNTP or why that might matter. It's like an anonymous comment trolling except that it is on the front page.

Why is this added to the article and why do the editors choose to publish it? /rant

Comment Re:Why do people ask questions like these? (Score 1) 530

It sounds like any popular general purpose language will do just fine for you. There are more important concerns you should be spending your brain power on. Just flip a coin, pick a language, and do a project. If you don't have any specific goals right now, then don't worry about it. If you later decide you would like to make programming a full-time thing, then you can more carefully learn a language that fits well with the problem domain you are interested in.

As for suggestions, language that are presently popular and have have supporting libraries for just about everything include: Python, Ruby, Java, and C#. There are many more but these are a few safe suggestions no matter what platforms or types of projects interest you.

Comment Re:to be fair (Score 1) 90

From what I understand of their boxes, they are able to operate without communicating at all with Blue Coat. Syria doesn't have to sneakily do anything. And I doubt a country's ISP cares about cloud-based ANYTHING. They just want to configure a box to block traffic. What Syria is doing may be more advanced, but would you blame Cisco if someone set up a router not to route to select IPs?


What If Aliens Came To Save the Galaxy From Mankind? 534

astroengine writes with an amusing piece in Discovery. From the article: "In a study carried out by NASA and Pennsylvania State University scientists, several intelligent extraterrestrial encounter scenarios are examined. One of the scenarios is a sci-fi favorite: what if we encounter an alien race hellbent on destroying us? However, there's a twist. This isn't mindless thuggery on behalf of the aliens, and they're not killing us to get at our natural resources; they have a cause. They want to exterminate us for the greater good of the Milky Way."
GNU is Not Unix

Emacs Has Been Violating the GPL Since 2009 295

Digana writes "Emacs, one of GNU's flagship products and the most famous software creation of Richard Stallman, has been discovered to be violating the GPL since 2009-09-28 by distributing binaries that were missing source. The CEDET package, a set of contributed files for giving certain IDE functionality related to static code analysis, has distributed files generated from bison grammars without distributing the grammar itself. This happened for Emacs versions 23.2 and 23.3, released during late 2009, and has just been discovered."

Submission + - iPhone/SpyPhone--The Music Video! (

stonemirror writes: "As a final installment to this saga, I put together yet another modified version of Peter Warden's iPhoneTrack application, and used it to produce a video showing the locations the phone gathered, in order, over a ten-month period. The soundtrack is David Byrne's "My Fair Lady", used under a Creative Commons license.

The video is on YouTube, and a higher-quality version can be downloaded from my site, along with a pre-built version of my modified iPhoneTracker, the modifications to the source code, and "The Wired CD", a Creative Commons-licensed CD of tunes from some excellent artists, including Mr. Byrne. Enjoy!"

Comment Re:FFS (Score 2) 370

As usual, they're simply trying to make a statement in a controversial manner ... arguments like this just continue to paint Greenpeace as a collection of sensationalist, attention-whoring, hippies.

And websites like Slashdot disseminate these articles on their behalf instead of more meaningful, less sensational ones. Unfortunately, these articles keep you and me coming back here to click on the ads (or Slashdot would still be a blog run by CmdrTaco).

Comment Re:It's all solar powered (Score 1) 334

Ultimately every element that exists above the level of hydrogen was formed in a sun somewhere so nuclear power is stellar power.

But the only reason some stars eventually make higher elements is because of gravity. So really, nuclear power is fuelled by gravity.

Can we blame what happened to Hiroshima and Nagasaki on gravity?

Comment Common package maintainers (Score 1) 345

The Debian project lead, Stefano Zacchiroli, is being terribly misquoted.

The numbers in the article do not address the common case of having one package maintainer for both distros. That 74% actually means that 74% of packages are *in common* between the distros. It is conceivable that much of that 74% is because of maintainers who contribute to both distributions. It isn't fair to say that Debian does all the work and Ubuntu merely takes advantage of it.

Seeing that the same package exists in both Debian and Ubuntu does not mean that the package originated in Debian and was taken without effort by an Ubuntu maintainer. Frequently, the same person creates a package for both. Either by creating an Ubuntu package and verifying that it works on Debian or the other way around.

Go look at the names of package maintainers. You'll see the same big group of people working on both projects.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.