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Comment: Re:Is it really about "art"? (Score 1) 121

While I agree most digital pianos do not have the greatest sound, VST plugins (particularly Kontakt) can emulate a piano quite closely using libraries that are gigabytes in size. It's not uncommon to see a MacBook chained to a digital piano during a performance.

+ - Melbourne Uber Drivers Slapped With $1700 Fines; Service Shuts Down->

Submitted by beaverdownunder
beaverdownunder (1822050) writes "Will Uber succeed in Australia? It's looking a bit grim for the service: Victoria Australia's Taxi Directorate has begun a crackdown on Melbourne Uber drivers, fining them $1700 each for operating a taxi service illegally, with total fines apparently equalling over $50000. In response, Uber has shut down its Melbourne service, and has refused to comment on whether its drivers will be compensated, since Uber told them they were providing a legal service. (Fined Uber drivers could take the company to the state's consumer tribunal: stay tuned!)

Uber is set to meet with the Directorate next week but it is likely the demands the Directorate will place on Uber drivers, such as mandatory criminal record checks, vehicle inspections and insurance, will make the service in Melbourne unviable.

Meanwhile, the New South Wales government is awaiting a report to determine if Uber drivers operating in that state are doing so illegally, warning that drivers could face substantial fines if they are found to have been operating in breach of the law. In South Australia, it doesn't even appear Uber will get off the ground — the state has made it clear that those who operate as an Uber driver will be driving without being covered by the state's mandatory insurance coverage, essentially de-registering their vehicle and making them liable for fines and license suspension."

Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: Practical alternatives to systemd?

Submitted by systemDead
systemDead (3645325) writes "I looked mostly with disinterest at Debian's decision last February to switch to systemd as the default init system for their future operating system releases. The Debian GNU/Linux distribution is, after all, famous for allowing users greater freedom to choose what system components they want to install. This appeared to be the case with the init system, given the presence of packages such as sysvinit-core, upstart, and even openrc as alternatives to systemd.

Unfortunately, while still theoretically possible, installing an alternative init system means doing without a number of useful, even essential system programs. By design, systemd appears to be a full-blown everything-including-the-kitchen-sink solution to the relatively simple problem of starting up a Unix-like system. Systemd, for example, is a hard-coded dependency for installing Network Manager, probably the most user-friendly way for a desktop Linux system to connect to a wireless or wired network. Just this week, I woke up to find out that systemd had become a dependency for running PolicyKit, the suite of programs responsible for user privileges and permissions in a typical Linux desktop.

I was able to replace Network Manager with connman, a lightweight program originally developed for mobile devices. But with systemd infecting even the PolicyKit framework, I find myself faced with a dilemma. Should I just let systemd take over my entire system, or should I retreat to my old terminal-based computing in the hope that the horde of the systemDead don't take over the Linux kernel itself?

What are your plans for working with or working around systemd? Are there any mainstream GNU/Linux distros that haven't adopted and have no plans of migrating to systemd? Or is migrating to one of the bigger BSD systems the better and more future-proof solution?"

+ - Medialink Sues Redditor Who Wrote Negative Review on Amazon

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The review written by the redditor in question happened to be ranked as the most helpful critical review on Amazon for the Medialink router it was written for. The current review is updated to reflect the libel suit, but in his original review, the redditor claimed that most if not all of the positive reviews are fake and that the product is actually a re-branded version of a much cheaper router also sold on Amazon. '[T]hink about it,' he wrote, 'They only sell these routers on Amazon, so the whole success of their company depends on Amazon reviews.' Medialink's lawyers have informed him that litigation will only be avoided if he deletes his Amazon review, stops posting negative reviews of any Medialink products, and no longer buys Medialink products at all."

Comment: Re: how come we never hear (Score 1) 302

by beaverdownunder (#46847991) Attached to: Amazon Embodies the Gender Gap in Tech

It's ironic in a way that there are so many brogrammers deriding womens' ability to code when there were so many women who wrote early computer programs in assembly language, and there are so few brogrammers who could do the same. After all, most of them only seem to know JavaScript or Ruby...

Comment: Comments say it all... (Score 0) 302

by beaverdownunder (#46847943) Attached to: Amazon Embodies the Gender Gap in Tech

I think this comment thread does a great job of proving the point TFA was trying to make.

Of course, chanting "women are no good at IT" often and loud enough will cause women to shy away from IT as a career. Using that mantra as justification to not hire those foolish enough to continue pursuing it solves that problem too.

The reality is different. Plenty of women were programmers in the 1980s. Thousands of girls learned Pascal in the high schools of the late 1980s / early 1990s. That females are capable of being technologically savvy is indisputable.

The truth is, for a number of self-interested male reasons the IT of the last couple decades has drifted toward misogyny rather than away from it, like the rest of corporate culture. Why? Well, brogrammers, aspies and hustlers, for a start, each for their own reasons, don't like collaborating with women, out of fear of conflict, or the risk of feeling humiliated if shown up. They need to man up, but as long as the industry at large permits them to have their little male-only clubhouses they won't make any effiort to change,

Comment: Sense of permanence... (Score 2) 1037

by beaverdownunder (#46675077) Attached to: How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

Many people become Christian because they worry about relevance. An after-life makes the here-and-now less relevant, and there's less of an onus on making your mark, you just "have to follow the rules".

The Internet creates that sense of permanence. You post photos, you document your life, you create music, images, apps, stories, blog entries, etc. etc.

People realise that blogging on Sunday morning makes them feel better than going to church, and there you go...

Comment: It's all about context... (Score 1) 1746

by beaverdownunder (#46657613) Attached to: Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

If he was CEO of Coca-Cola, nobody would've really cared that much about his views on same-sex marriage. But in the tech industry, where there is a disproportionate number of gay, lesbian and transgender workers, saying to them, "I don't think you should be able to marry your partner" is not a great career move.

Yes, when he was CTO people cared less -- but CTO is not CEO, and CTOs are expected to be assholes. When he shifted from second to first place and became the face of the company, his past views then became a serious and unacceptable issue.

So it was only a matter of time before he would be forced out. And yes, there will still be all kinds of fallout, since he put himself under scrutiny. The tech community is a bit strange that way, but it is how it is.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie