Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - 6 month subscription of Pandora One at 46% off. ×

Comment This is how you... (Score 1) 150

Recipe: How to add a full fledged, previously tested feature to a new platform without creating false expectation like guaranteeing support for all cases of such feature.

Seems pretty fair to me. Microsoft just dumps features and markets them without the least relevant release notes, such as supported titles, and then we need to resort to the ends of the internet for seeing what we should rush snipe on eBay that will most likely Not Work (tm).

Comment Catch-22 (Score 1) 305

There are a series of ubiquitous problems in the medication scene, thus prescription or not, they're always be controversial: having ads for ANY drug directly targeting the consumer is a bad idea and it raises (some) costs and induces in (some) trivial treatments - that's health care for you in a nutshell, nothing just works, and that's why we have doctors to steer decision, but not to take it for us. For sure one thinks people should ask doctors and pharmacists what's good for what they have, not a TV commercial, and prescription is just a formalization for prone-to-danger drugs.

The real problem is that limiting the scope of awareness to health professionals (by not marketing to consumers) is also known to cause alarming disparities: Big Pharma abuses "lobbying" all kinds of professionals into their products not by conscience but by introducing benefits to promoters - paid vacation, luxurious conferences and product presentations in fancy hotels with all paid up, commissions for regional sale success, or even direct influence in professional development. They all play a part in Big Pharma's marketing strategy for any drug, a lot more than direct consumer influence.

I'd rather they make supervision measures of these problems stricter than just taking action on consumer-centric marketing. A good example for something people need awareness about is LASIK: most doctors won't prescribe it, it's not good for the spectacles industry and for insurers to pay up, but most people would have reduced quality of life if it wasn't their own initiative to request for LASIK operations.

Comment It's still better than nothing. (Score 1) 371

Read my title. Says it all.

You want process in software development, you start with industry standard, and that's still Scrum. Unless your project only has 10x programmers (who will get a sprint's worth of features done in a day no matter what). For those types, the better process will always be no process at all. That's the magic behind the genius: nobody understands it, it Just Works. And so does Scrum for the rest of the world.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 137

Maybe they want to show off - "hey US of A, this is how you do stealth right without spending millions on a proprietary coating that just doesn't work (TM)". Or maybe it's just bait-and-switch - publishing some theory backed science lacking non-obvious vulnerabilities, inducing the user to actually put something that can be easily detectable on their planes. Seems a lot cheaper than developing specialized detection technology, and even if it has no effect, it probably cost them almost 0 to try.

Comment Re:Money (Score 1) 337

my thoughts exactly. Apple is all about avoiding product cannibalization. Thus the super price tag and performance disparities on the Mac Pro vs iMacs, iPad/Mini vs iPad Pro, MacBook Air vs MacBook pro 13, MacBook Pro 13 vs MacBook Pro 15, and even MacBook Pro 15 vs MacBook Pro 15 with dedicated graphics. The only notable exception is the iPhones standard and plus, but hey, they still do the price disparity on the amazing price differences for storage capacity on those.

Comment Winding up... (Score 1) 337

What that would wind up doing is product cannibalization - Apple doesn't want to lose market share on tablets nor the premium ultra portable notebook (which they pretty much have on both) by doing a more expensive product that will induce the buyer on second thoughts, and making him skip that day-1 urge to get in line and buy the next iThingie.

Comment Re:Don't cut corners (Score 1) 118

I believe the problems of a company needing backups are usually too specific for there to be a swiss army knife for the backup topic. That's why I mentioned the "on-the-rocks" solution always being the better one. That's why many companies end up releasing their own versions of so many things, backup tools included, and then only a portion end up gaining traction.

Comment You and what army? (Score 0) 118

While you do present very fair arguments, you failed, like me, to address important issues of the OP. Not to mention your inconsistency on such examples.

For instance, you argument for customization with an example based on the trigger of a proprietary recovery system. So you can trigger a remote process with Bacula. I have a one-liner shell script command for that, nice job. Especially with a proprietary system which the OP specifically excluded in the title (Open. Source.). And from the clues I got, Bacula has issues with Windows systems, or you're gonna be needing at least 2 different sets of binaries to support both MSW+NIX. You need something pre-main-OS boot for a completely dual solution (as an under user, I think of the likes of Acronis or Ghost, and stuff too complex for me even to start name dropping for enterprise-level).

Numero dos: tapes? Your argument for having a clue for backups is name dropping TAPES? In case you didn't notice, snapshot'ing, with rotation doesn't really need tape support. You're not going for the petabytes, and I doubt you're going for the 10+years, even for corporate. A snapshot will have only the diff of the previous one. With that said, Why da fck do I need tapes for, or barcodes, or bells and whistles?. You could have mentioned diff support in Bacula, that would have been big, if it wasn't so deep in its manual (mostly what took me away from Bacula/Clonezilla. Now to be fair, my example also does full backups over time, no diffs and integrity checks, but with exceptions - my method happens to produce really, REALLY minimal, compressed tars with 100% parity and 99% reliability to what was on that backup day if needs be (you just update Debian until that point of time, single difference in the system will be the hardware/UUID).

You know what else was designed to interface with everything and anything (including emulating virtual tapes as entire drives, or even just files)? The Unix CLI

And just to make a fking point, this guy came to /. asking around for a backup solution. Put yourself in that perspective before you go demanding the manpower of setting a datacenter-wide B&R process. Because when you start mentioning the big bucks Oracle (seriously, when there's something which's presentation page has a Training/Certification section, like that Oracle crap does, it's big bucks), that pretty much translates that you're gonna need an IT section just for managing that B&R process. This guys came to slashdot, Ima' repeat that, to SLASHDOT asking for FOSS. No matter how much he keeps mentioning "we" or "the company", he is 100% either a manager of a small team (1-3 ppl) who is trying to focus on not-so-scalable stuff. He doesn't need tapes or Oracle's antics, unless he's already on that wagon (which he's not, he was ordered to use FOSS... and HE CAME TO SLASHDOT, not Oracle support forums). And he if wants FOSS, if he does have that big a company, there's nothing more FOSS than going the extra mile and making your own fucking shell script-based super-duper-complex process, since the company is pressuring wide FOSS usage, then upping it to github with a copyleft/apache license afterwards. In the end, that's what the big guys who want to go FOSS are doing now, unless you didn't have a clue.. If that company is going FOSS for financial reasons, they are doing it wrong.

Comment Don't cut corners (Score 3, Informative) 118

I once was in a crossroads of choosing between stuff like Clonezilla and Bacula, for small business purposes. Bottom line is they add a lot of complexity for low to no flexibility. I ended up building my own tar/move/ script with cron triggers at after ours downtime, then I would simply move them around network locations for avoiding single points of failure messing up the backups. Adding your own exceptions for the backup is a plus. At the last point, I had something reliable, fast, and that would require the simple overhead of re-installing Debian before the actual restore, then an update-grub and a change in fstab for the new disk replacing the broken one's UUID (because you don't really do that many restores so it's a fair trade-off, while you do save time exponentially by not backing up the entire OS). A good starting point is

Comment Wow. (Score 4, Insightful) 113

Game Manager, social media integration, system notifications tab...

Seems to be ticking all the right boxes on my graphic driver customization shit list. Please bring more clutter to an already confusing piece of software that should have as main focus its simplicity, transparency, and not meddling in tasks my OS and Browser are supposed to be doing...

Comment Good News From Google! (Score 1) 150

I just dug deeper into this issue and found some Google documentation stating it might not be as bad as I initially thought:

Note that if verification fails at any stage, the user must be visibly notified and always be given an option to continue using the device at their own discretion. (source:

So everything I expected could be rendered useless will actually still have a chance to run. *Exales in relief*

Comment Netflix just launched here in Europe... (Score 1) 358

...and as soon as I turned it on, I realized that I not only had 200 cable channels to chose before, but now I also have on demand content that would fill a lifetime in front of tv only for my top 3 genres. Then I remembered they have a great recommendation engine that will feed me the best of what I really like, giving me some comfort, and saving me that lifetime.

Bottomline is: we shouldn't worry with too much choice - we should worry about the quality of the choices we have, and the quality of the choices MADE FOR US, that don't originate in ourselves. Having few choice is a subset of the environment making a choice for you, the only option left being to accept or not that choice (chosing "nothing" as the OP says). This curation has been the past, present and will stay the future basis of human society as a whole: it is, for example, what a government does for you after you elect it, or what newspaper editors, television/radio programming managers' work is all about. This article states choosing nothing is the worst choice and a consequence of having a lot of choices (only partially true, i.e. a BAD ASSUMPTION). I say having a lot of choices with different characteristics makes you chose "nothing" a lot more easier (because you value things by what they are rather than everybody using them), which is always good when you consider you have limited time in this earth to make use of your life choices. One obvious case of when this is bad, for example, for companies, is when your business model is based on using something rather than paying for the curation itself. Competition is the best thing about capitalism. It is the essence of freedom applied to organizations. But I believe if there's something clearly valuable by itself, it will always stand out, reducing this problem to peanuts.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg