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Comment: Ode to feature phones (Score 3, Insightful) 205

by ahziem (#46431047) Attached to: Firefox OS Will Become the Mobile OS To Beat
Not all 3.5M people want a feature phone. Benefits of feature phones include: cheaper phone, cheaper plan, smaller hardware, longer battery life, less distractions (e.g., email, social media, games), fewer privacy concerns (e.g., tracking, malware), and smaller target for theft. Also, it's much easier to text from my phone's slide-out keyboard than from a touchscreen.
GNOME

GNOME 3.8 Released Featuring New "Classic" Mode 267

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the extend-freely dept.
Hot on the heels of the Gtk+ 3.8 release comes GNOME 3.8. There are a few general UI improvements, but the highlight for many is the new Classic mode that replaces fallback. Instead of using code based on the old GNOME panel, Classic emulates the feel of GNOME 2 through Shell extensions (just like Linux Mint's Cinnamon interface). From the release notes: "Classic mode is a new feature for those people who prefer a more traditional desktop experience. Built entirely from GNOME 3 technologies, it adds a number of features such as an application menu, a places menu and a window switcher along the bottom of the screen. Each of these features can be used individually or in combination with other GNOME extensions."
Firefox

Emscripten and New Javascript Engine Bring Unreal Engine To Firefox 124

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the cycle-is-nearly-complete dept.
MojoKid writes "There's no doubt that gaming on the Web has improved dramatically in recent years, but Mozilla believes it has developed new technology that will deliver a big leap in what browser-based gaming can become. The company developed a highly-optimized version of Javascript that's designed to 'supercharge' a game's code to deliver near-native performance. And now that innovation has enabled Mozilla to bring Epic's Unreal Engine 3 to the browser. As a sort of proof of concept, Mozilla debuted this BananaBread game demo that was built using WebGL, Emscripten, and the new JavaScript version called 'asm.js.' Mozilla says that it's working with the likes of EA, Disney, and ZeptoLab to optimize games for the mobile Web, as well." Emscripten was previously used to port Doom to the browser.
Google

Google Pledges Not To Sue Any Open Source Projects Using Their Patents 153

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the now-and-forever dept.
sfcrazy writes "Google has announced the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge. In the pledge Google says that they will not sue any user, distributor, or developer of Open Source software on specified patents, unless first attacked. Under this pledge, Google is starting off with 10 patents relating to MapReduce, a computing model for processing large data sets first developed at Google. Google says that over time they intend to expand the set of Google's patents covered by the pledge to other technologies." This is in addition to the Open Invention Network, and their general work toward reforming the patent system. The patents covered in the OPN will be free to use in Free/Open Source software for the life of the patent, even if Google should transfer ownership to another party. Read the text of the pledge. It appears that interaction with non-copyleft licenses (MIT/BSD/Apache) is a bit weird: if you create a non-free fork it appears you are no longer covered under the pledge.
The Media

What Does It Actually Cost To Publish a Scientific Paper? 166

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the one-trillion-dollars dept.
ananyo writes "Nature has published an investigation into the real costs of publishing research after delving into the secretive, murky world of science publishing. Few publishers (open access or otherwise-including Nature Publishing Group) would reveal their profit margins, but they've pieced together a picture of how much it really costs to publish a paper by talking to analysts and insiders. Quoting from the piece: '"The costs of research publishing can be much lower than people think," agrees Peter Binfield, co-founder of one of the newest open-access journals, PeerJ, and formerly a publisher at PLoS. But publishers of subscription journals insist that such views are misguided — born of a failure to appreciate the value they add to the papers they publish, and to the research community as a whole. They say that their commercial operations are in fact quite efficient, so that if a switch to open-access publishing led scientists to drive down fees by choosing cheaper journals, it would undermine important values such as editorial quality.' There's also a comment piece by three open access advocates setting out what they think needs to happen next to push forward the movement as well as a piece arguing that 'Objections to the Creative Commons attribution license are straw men raised by parties who want open access to be as closed as possible.'"
The Courts

+ - Piriform asks BleachBit to Remove Winapp2.ini Importer-> 1

Submitted by ahziem
ahziem (661857) writes "As author of the BleachBit system cleaner, I received a polite but firm a request from Piriform, makers of the similar application CCleaner, to remove a two-year-old feature from BleachBit that allows individual BleachBit users to import winapp2.ini data files created by the community that define which files to delete for applications. Does Piriform's request have merit? Do I need a lawyer? What is a good response to avoid any ugly situation?"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Similar to a service called... (Score 1) 205

by ahziem (#36911592) Attached to: Google Announces Google CDN
Google Page Speed is like CloudFlare, which is an easy-to-use, free, sort-of-CDN/web-proxy with rewriting rules. I've been using it for a few months and haven't noticed any problems, and CloudFlare seems more matures. Each offers unique features: CloudFlare has security features to prevent some attacks and bots, while Google has some unique rewriting rules and sharding.
Software

+ - Ubuntu vs. Windows in OpenOffice.org Benchmark->

Submitted by
ahziem
ahziem writes "Ubuntu's Intrepid Ibex and Redmond's Windows XP go head-to-head in an OpenOffice.org 3.0 performance smackdown measuring vanilla OpenOffice.org, StarOffice, Go-oo, and Portable OpenOffice.org 3.0. Each platform and edition does well in different tests. Go-oo is known for its proud slogan "Better, Faster, Freer," but last time with OpenOffice.org 2.4 on Fedora, Go-oo came in fourth place out of four. Slashdot has previously reported Ubuntu beating Vista and Windows 7 in benchmarks, so either XP is faster or this benchmark carries a different weight."
Link to Original Source

Comment: I did it (Score 1) 503

by ahziem (#26534477) Attached to: Can a Small Business Migrate Smoothly To OpenOffice.org v3?
I administered ~50 computers at a non-profit. We ran the latest OpenOffice.org (versions 1 and 2) for several years and even after I left the company.

Generally training and file format compatibility were not an issue. The initial draw to OpenOffice.org was not having to count licenses (so tedious!), and later it helped us switch half the systems to Linux (most on a terminal server).

One 'gotcha' was that the accountant needed Excel to use Quickbooks because it interfaces directly over a COM API.

The second in charge (an Apple fanboy ironically) wanted to switch to Microsoft. He didn't give a good case why.

To increase compatibility reading OpenXML, install odf-converter-integrator. To understand how it works, read "A Better Docx Converter".

Software

+ - New Features in OpenOffice.org 3.1, an Early Look-> 1

Submitted by
ahziem
ahziem writes "With the final release two months away and an alpha version available, it's time to look at OpenOffice.org 3.1's new features: eye candy, better charts, replying to notes in the margin, overlining, macros in Base, RTL improvements for Arabic and Hebrew, and (believe it or not) better sorting. Download and report any bugs you find."
Link to Original Source

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