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+ - Sourceforge staff takes over a user's account and wraps their software installer-> 11

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Sourceforge staff took over the account of the GIMP-for-Windows maintainer claiming it was abandoned and used this opportunity to wrap the installer in crapware. Quoting Ars:

SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows on the service, according to e-mails and discussions amongst members of the GIMP community—locking out GIMP's lead Windows developer. And now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer replete with advertisements.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Latency and bandwidth (Score 2) 276

by Coward Anonymous (#49667459) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Future of Desktop Applications?

Anywhere that latency is not adequately met by "cloud apps" will require desktop apps.

Over time, bandwidth will become less of an issue as it continues to improve but latency is governed by the speed of light and light ain't getting any faster.

Conversely, if a "cloud app" is a huge pile of JavaScript that does everything locally on your machine, it is arguable that it is really a desktop app.

Comment: Re:So? (Score 3, Interesting) 202

by Herkum01 (#49663661) Attached to: Study Reveals Wikimedia Foundation Is 'Awash In Money'

The problem with this,

  • There is not hard limit on what enough actually is, so they will continue to ask for money. In fact it is almost its own separate business. Just ask lobbyists.
  • Someone will spend it, or lose it on things not related to the goals for the organization. Hurting the it in the long-run.

Comment: High-priced is one key. (Score 1) 469

by aussersterne (#49641391) Attached to: Why Was Linux the Kernel That Succeeded?

Sure, the hardware was pretty cool, but the prices were just really, really high.

I remember a call to Sun where I was asking about a SunOS license for a used 3/80 I was thinking of buying from the department, and it was going to run me like $3,000 for the OS or $5,000 with development environment or something along those lines, and it was quoted to me as the *academic* price, and no matter which media delivery I wanted I would have had to buy additional hardware to read it, and so on. I mean, that's $5,000 to $8,000+ in today's cash for an already old, low-end Unix system at the time. I remember pleading with the person on the other end of the line to help me brainstorm and find other options, as I was a CS student and needed to be able to do my homework at home and all of that, but of course, they just felt like I was tying up the line—I looked sort of ridiculous from their perspective.

And then they told me that it was really too old to be useful, that I wanted an IPC or an IPX, I forget which, and the prices were well into five digits, again *academic* price for a bare bones configuration. And here I am a broke CS undergrad already struggling to pay $4k/year in tuition to a state school. It was a total non-starter.

Meanwhile, the first purpose-specific Linux box that I assembled (as my Linux excitement grew and I knew I wanted to do a dedicated build) was a 386/40 with 8MB RAM and about 1GB ESDI storage, along with a Tseng ET4000 VGA card. It was all used gear, again bought in surplus channels, but the thing was that it got me beyond what the 3/80 would have provided in terms of performance, and was perfectly servicable at the time as an X+development box, and it cost me a total of like $200. That was just plausible.

I built a sync converter circuit to connect an old Tektronix 19" fixed-sync color monitor to the VGA port and felt like I had a real, honest-to-god Unix workstation for $300, with a very competent development environment and Emacs, NCSA Mosaic, etc., rather than having had to spend 10x that much for less in the end.

People talk about *BSD, but the driver support on *BSD wasn't as good even a few years later when I looked at it. Linux supported crap hardware in addition to great hardware, which sounds bad until you realize it means that any broke student could scrounge around in the boardbucket and put together a fairly decent Linux system for peanuts.

Comment: To each his own (servers). (Score 1) 469

by aussersterne (#49641237) Attached to: Why Was Linux the Kernel That Succeeded?

I didn't have access to that tier of internet service at home at the time—I had UUCP and a Fido tosser, both of which dialed out over a modem once a day for a multi-megabyte sync.

Sun3/4, HP900, and some DEC boxes were all in use in the CS labs at my school at that period, though they were getting old. So I had ftp access there, but there was no removable storage on those machines, and no direct way to access them from my dial-up, and my account quota was pretty low on the NFS server, just enough to hold a bunch of C code for class and the binaries it produced, so space was pretty precious. For those reasons, it never occurred to me to ftp or gopher around at school for software to figure out how to take home. Plus lab access was limited and you really wanted to spend your time there doing your homework problems and getting them to compile and run, not dinking around looking for freeware.

Minix I read about on Usenet and tracked down some binaries, IIRC. But it wasn't impressive. Every now and then I'd hear something about *BSD, but it really wasn't clear how to get my hands on it, and nobody could really tell me. The people "in the know" as far as I knew were in the CS department and they were using the commercial unices and knew those pretty well.

In the Fido and Usenet groups I was in, Linux was the thing that turned up often and easily. Maybe I was reading the wrong groups, who knows. There were a hell of a lot of them in those days, if you recall, and it was all pretty noisy.

But Linux seemed then and over the several years that followed to come up over and over again. Others—not so much. It is what it is.

Comment: Single case anecdote. (Score 4, Interesting) 469

by aussersterne (#49632059) Attached to: Why Was Linux the Kernel That Succeeded?

I had been trying to afford a Unix installation at home as a CS student. All I knew was the Unix vendors. I was not aware of the social structure of the Unix world, various distributions, etc. I was crawling university surplus lots and calling Sun and DEC on the phone to try to find a complete package that I could afford (hardware + license and media). Nothing was affordable.

I was also a heavy BBS and UUCP user at the time over a dial-up line. One day, I found an upload from someone described as "free Unix." It was Linux.

I downloaded it, installed it on the 80386 hardware I was already using, and the rest is history. This was 1993.

So in my case at least, Linux became the OS of choice becuase it had traveled in ways that the other free Unices didn't. It was simply available somewhere where I was.

This isn't an explanation for why Linux ended up there instead of some other free *nix, of course, but by way of explaining the social diffusion of the actual files, I saw Linux distros as floppy disks around on BBSs and newsgroups for several years, with no hint of the others.

For someone with limited network access (by today's standards), this meant that Linux was the obvious choice.

As to why Linux was there and not the others—perhaps packaging and ease of installation had something to do with it? Without much effort, I recognized that the disks were floppy images and wrote out a floppy set. Booted from the first one, and followed my nose. There was no documentation required, and it Just Worked, at least as much as any bare-bones, home-grown CLI *nix clone could be said to Just Work.

I had supported hardware, as it turned out, but then Linux did tend to support the most common commodity hardware at the time.

My hunch is that Linux succeeded because it happened to have the right drivers (developed for what people had in their home PCs, rather than what a university lab might happen to have), and the right packaging (an end-user-oriented install that made it a simple, step-by-step, floppy-by-floppy process to get it up) while the other free *nix systems were less able to go from nothing to system without help and without additional hardware for most home and tiny lab users.

For comparison, I tried Minix around the same time (I can't remember if it was before or after) and struggled mightily just to get it installed, before questions of its capabilities were even at issue. I remember my first Linux install having taken an hour or two, and I was able to get X up and running the same day. It took me much longer to get the disks downloaded and written. Minix, by comparison, took about a week of evenings, and at the end, I was disappointed with the result.

+ - How Silicon Valley got that way -- and why it will continue to rule.->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Lots of places want to be "the next Silicon Valley." But the Valley's top historian looks back (even talks to Steve Jobs about his respect for the past!) to explain why SV is unique. While there are threats to continued dominance, she thinks its just too hard for another region to challenge SV's supremacy.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Rely on the counterfactual. (Score 1) 211

by aussersterne (#49589491) Attached to: Yes, You Can Blame Your Pointy-Haired Boss On the Peter Principle

Yes, in practice it's usually a mix of the two, so the principle is more an abstract model than an argument about real, concrete thresholding.

But the general idea is that by the time someone stops being promoted, if they continue in the job that they are in while not being promoted for an extended period of time, it means that they are likely not amongst the highest-merit individuals around for that particular job and responsibility list—because if they were, they'd have been promoted and/or would have moved to another job elsewhere that offered an equivalent to a promotion.

When the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.