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Submission + - After Snowden: Prioritising Free Software for Computing You Can Trust (april.org)

An anonymous reader writes: The president and the executive director of April, the French free software advocacy association, published this week an article in the popular French newspaper Libération entitled "After Snowden: Prioritising Free Software for Computing You Can Trust"

Here are two excerpts :

"The mechanism that establishes computing you can trust is not any different from that which regulates a modern democratic society. It essentially rests on the right to vote, associated with access to objective information. Free/libre software, which, in a global computer base dominated by Microsoft, is gathering momentum, is the only one to follow these principles: its code is accessible to everyone and its modifications are collectively decided on by a community of developers. The installation of a backdoor by the NSA within the source code of a free program is theoretically not impossible, but it will always remain much less likely than it would be within a proprietary program, whose code is kept secret."

"That said, technical solutions have their limits. What we need is political awareness, both at the governmental level and at the individual level. This choice is going to require some efforts from each of us: proprietary software programs have for years aimed to infantilize our relationship with IT, on the assumption that the less we knew, the more we would behave like captive customers. Regaining control of one's computing is not easy, but it is an essential civic initiative. Everyone should try to give priority to free software."

Education

Submission + - Rethinking Shakespeare for the Digital Age (madshakespeare.com)

cordsie writes: Teaching Shakespeare to a class of disinterested students is one of an English teacher's worst nightmares. Teachers usually come away from the experience frustrated, while students are often turned off of Shakespeare for life by painful school experiences. One of the reasons for this is that while Shakespeare's plays are renowned for their language, poetry, and cultural impact, they can also be maddeningly difficult to understand, especially for young students with no previous exposure to Shakespeare.

A small Irish start-up is trying to address this with their Shakespeare In Bits series, the first real attempt to properly present Shakespeare in a technological setting. It displays the original text alongside a full three hours of audio and animation, and is full of elements such as instant translations, inline notes, and section-by-section analyses. Rather than relying on modern translations as many existing 'notes' versions do, Shakespeare In Bits tries to present the play in such a way as to make it easy to follow the original text. It is being used successfully by students and by teachers on their in-class projectors as a compelling alternative to showing BBC videos with the subtitles turned on.

Their first play, Romeo and Juliet, is reviewed in full by an English teacher from Mad Shakespeare, who notes:

"In all, the program is like Sparknotes.com on steroids. With cartoons. And Kate Beckinsale as Juliet. Most importantly, the actual text appears in front of the students as the cartoon actors perform, allowing students to interact with the original text."

The application is written in Adobe AIR, and an iPad version is ready for testing, (despite a marked absence of iPads in Ireland at present).

Submission + - Israel Blocks iPad Imports (macobserver.com)

unixcrab writes: Apple’s iPad is proving to be popular everywhere — except Israel. The country’s Communication Ministry is refusing to let people bring the multimedia tablet into the country because it hasn’t tested and approved the Wi-Fi technology used in the device, according to Haaretz.

Ministry officials commented, “The iPad device sold exclusively today in the United States operates at broadcast power levels [over its WiFi modem] compatible with American standards. As the Israeli regulations in the area of WiFi are similar to European standards, which are different from American standards, which permit broadcasting at lower power, therefore the broadcast levels of the device prevent approving its use in Israel.”

The government seems serious about its iPad import ban. Customs officials have already confiscated ten iPads and told their owners to ship them overseas.

Submission + - iPad Connectivity Issues Keep It Out of Princeton (chronicle.com)

weeble566 writes: Wired Campus reports that due to connectivity issues, Princeton University is recommending iPads not connect to their network. According to the notice from the Princeton Office of Information Technology (http://helpdesk.princeton.edu/outages/view.plx?ID=3095 )

"Network monitoring has shown that many iPad devices are causing a problem on the campus network. These devices are continuing to use an IP address they have been leased well beyond the time they should. (In technical terms, the device's DHCP client software stops renewing its lease, but the device keeps using the IP address after the DHCP lease expires. This is not a WiFi issue.) This behavior causes a disruption on the campus network."

Apple

Submission + - How Adobe Might Take on Apple in the Courts (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: In a follow-up to a report in Slashdot earlier this week that Adobe may be planning to sue Apple over Flash, blogger Steven Vaughan-Nichols asked some lawyers what tack Adobe might take and what their chances of success are. The short answer: It won't be easy. If Adobe chooses the antitrust route, their best chance may be in Europe.

Comment Re:The VM is decent. The language sucks. (Score 1) 667

The more options are left open for runtime bugs, the more bugs will be in the final product.

Maybe if all else were equal, but it's not. I could argue that the time you save with a dynamic language leaves more time for debugging, and that the kinds of errors a type system helps with are generally the kind that show up early and are easy to fix.

Anyway, there's a reason I asked for evidence and not arguments. I've heard plenty of the latter already.

The more options there are for converting one value to another, the more bugs there will be in the final product. There is a lot of things that can go wrong during conversion.

I'm not sure how this is relevant to dynamic typing. Are you referring to weak typing?

Comment Ha Ha Ha Ha (Score 1) 190

When content is available for free, someone will take it and make money with it.

Here we have a bunch of text often with inaccuracies, distortions and lies. But it is a lot of text. That should be worth something, right? So we have a company taking that because it is free to take and making money from it.

This should be the first guidepost for those that would like to remove copyright protection from things. They will be picked up by companies like this and sold. So if your music is free to download and do whatever with. expect to find someone selling CDs of it somewhere. Might just be at a flea market, might be on Amazon or WalMart.

Is it right? Well, the door WAS left open. If you wanted to retain control you wouldn't have used a Creative Commons license now would you? So without that control, someone is going to make money with it. Maybe not a lot of money and maybe not very ethically, but it will happen. And there is nothing that can be done about it.

Think they will make a lot of money from this? I doubt it. But just wait until the blogs of someone that licenses them with Creative Commons start showing up on Amazon as their "Collected Writings". Going to happen sooner or later.

Comment Re:Internships should always be paid (Score 1) 182

"Yeah.... a minimum wage of $7.50/hr or whatever California charges these days should not be a big deal for a software-related company, especially next to what they have to pay full-time employees. Heck, IBM was paying me $18.75/hr for an internship right after my sophomore year of college.
--"

The real cost after medicare, SSI, medical, and other head taxes would bring that number close to $25/hr. At that price IBM can buy someone in India for cheaper than your intern rates who has years of experience.

IBM is more interested in people who can work for $6/hr untaxed than to pay A TON for an intern. Corporations are very very cheap today and are run by accountants.

Comment Re:Sorry, but why? (Score 1) 267

Pepper spray is illegal for use in war under the Geneva Convention, it falls under riot control substances, which are banned.

What they are talking about doing is feeding it to their soldiers in cold weather. That definitely wouldn't help their cold weather survival because it would boost circulation, increasing heat loss, so it must be about making them more capable in cold weather - essentially making them "better soldiers" in the cold at the cost of having to be more careful with hypothermia.

Comment Mini ice age coming. Unless IPCC wrong of course (Score 1, Troll) 687

So you don't believe the IPCC's scientists then ?

Mini Ice age predicted, with 30 years of global cooling at least, co2 effect on climate grossly overblown, models in agreement with co2-climate link wrong.

Yet last week in Geneva, at the UN's World Climate Conference -- an annual gathering of the so-called "scientific consensus" on man-made climate change -- Prof. Latif conceded the Earth has not warmed for nearly a decade and that we are likely entering "one or even two decades during which temperatures cool."

The global warming theory has been based all along on the idea that the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans would absorb much of the greenhouse warming caused by a rise in man-made carbon dioxide, then they would let off that heat and warm the atmosphere and the land.

But as Prof. Latif pointed out, the Atlantic, and particularly the North Atlantic, has been cooling instead. And it looks set to continue a cooling phase for 10 to 20 more years. "How much?" he wondered before the assembled delegates. "The jury is still out."

Who claims this ? Good question : Prof. Latif, of the university of Leibniz, lead author of the IPCC last 2 global warming reports.

So you're, it seems stuck, if you assault this guys credibility, of course you're also assaulting the IPCC's credibility. If you don't, obviously you have to accept the conclusions "as you're not a climate scientist". So which is it ? Or are we going to go with the rotten apple theory, which of course would mean the scientific consensus mainly rests on a few rotten apples ...

But we all know what is motivating your global warming beliefs. And it's not science.

(and this is by no means the worst news for climate change theory, there is a revolution going on in thermodynamics relating how out-of-balance "systems" (like the earth and it's climate) behave, and it's very bad news : in the long term, anything that happens, including pumping huge amounts of co2 in the air, can only result in one of 2 things : a. nothing at all b. a return to equilibrium. If this theory gets proven, it is a theoretical proof, independant of any particular climate equation being right or wrong, that nothing inside the system can break the climate cycle that we're in, unless it fully obliterates earth)

Btw : I still find the IPCC a bunch of overpaid elititists with conflicts of intrest Obama himself would be ashamed of, but I love the situation this puts global warming nazis into.

Comment Re:Despecialization isn't an objective. (Score 1) 362

Well, the drop rate-enhancing class could be useful for crafting, as well. It would then essentially be the class carrying most of the player-based economy. Make it worthwhile to do so (for example by handing out EXP for crafting and foraging and making that part of the game interesting in general) and yu have an interesting class that appeals to players who don't neccessarily want to go on killing sprees all the time.
Media

Submission + - VLC developpers to drop Windows support (videolan.org) 2

An anonymous reader writes: In a recent post on the VideoLAN development mailing lists, developers of the popular media player and streaming server wrote that "Due to a continued lack of Windows developers in our team, this will likely be the last release of VLC media player on the Windows platform until a new developer for VLC media player Windows has been found."
Networking

Submission + - What IT/Network Admin apps have not been done yet?

An anonymous reader writes: I have worked in IT/Network Engineering for over 10 years now and it seems that there is a constant flood of new tools/apps designed to help us better run our IT organizations. This morning I was reading a trade rag and was again bombarded with adds for IT/Network management tools on every other page. I am curious to know from the community what they feel has not been done yet. What killer IT/Network admin management app does not exist yet? Anything?

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