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Comment: Why was this even posted? (Score 1) 172 172

What good did Slashdot editors think it would do to post SourceForge's response in a story like this?

Nobody here is going to believe the corporate spin from Dice, so why bother posting it at all? I know that Slashdot likes to drive traffic and commentary to their stories by posting inflammatory articles or misleading summaries. However, when the topic actually involves Dice/DHI, getting the user base riled up about it is pretty self-defeating.

Also, rather than being from the "before-the-weekend" department, shouldn't this be from the "before-the-5-day-weekend-where-we-pretend-not-to-see-user-submissions-about-sourceforge" department?

Comment: Re:Took long enough for you to post this Slashdot (Score 1) 384 384

Given the trajectory of the SourceForge site, do you really find the story suspicious?

SourceForge went from showing deceptive ads with a big Download button, then started bundling a malware installer with any projects that wished to opt-in to their revenue sharing scheme.

Is it really hard to believe that they'd start bundling that same installer with "abandoned" projects? Plenty of other news sites seemed quite able to post about the story without finding it super suspicious, or requiring so much research to verify the story.

Face it, the reason that the story didn't immediately come up on Slashdot is because the site is owned by Dice. That is the reason for the suspicion you have, and the need for the editors to be cautious about posting the story.

The caution by the editors in this case is understandable and expected; just as the anger of the user base is also understandable and expected. No point in anyone pretending otherwise.

Comment: The decline of SourceForge (Score 1) 384 384

I knew the site was in trouble as soon as they started showing those misleading ads with the big "Download" button, which were more prominent than the actual download links. Any site that actually cared about its user base or the projects it hosts would've stopped that right away. Instead, these guys double down on the deception, moving the malware from the ads to the actual content of the site. The initial appearance of those ads told me all that I needed to know about the new owners of the site.

It is really sad that SourceForge was bought out by such parasites. It used to be THE place to download and host open source software. In the hands of someone who actually wanted provide that service, it could have remained useful.

It is sad that someone would buy the premier open source hosting site if they had no interest in continuing to provide the premier open source hosting site. Some may say that the site's downfall was inevitable, but really it wasn't. They could have modernized the service, or sold it to someone who actually wanted to run a business around it. Instead it was sold to someone that intends to milk every last dollar out of it, while simultaneously destroying any value the site actually had. The site doom wasn't a foregone conclusion, but rather a result of the decisions made by the site owner.

Comment: Re:Oh god the stupid... (Score 3, Insightful) 489 489

Removing regulations would do nothing to remove the immense cost to compete with the regional monopolies. In fact, in a completely unregulated economy that was unconcerned with anti-trust and monopolizing markets, I'm pretty sure that more of these mega ISPs would merge with one another. So instead of having four or five big ISPs nation wide, you'd have one or two.

The same convergence already happened in the phone industry, before they broke up Bell. Then Bell started to reassemble itself. In this particular space, the free market has been proven to move towards consolidation, for the benefit of big corporations and the detriment of their customers. Creating new competition seems to require government intervention.

So I guess you're pointing out that libertarians *think* they have a solution, but ignoring the fact that their solution has zero chance of working in the real world.

Comment: John Oliver on Nuclear Weapons (Score 3, Insightful) 228 228


As usual, John Oliver has a great rant on the subject.

Right now, the US has more nuclear weapons than they can safely take care of. Manning the silos is now a demoralizing job, because those people basically do nothing and yet the job is tremendously tedious. So it ends up being done by people who really shouldn't be in such an important position, and do not take enough care in their job, especially given the dangers if something were to go wrong.

The US is the only country to drop a nuke on a civilian population. Everyone knows about when they dropped a couple on Japan, but few people remember when they accidentally dropped one on North Carolina. It did not explode, but it was one of a number of close calls that have happened over the years.

As it is being managed now, the nuclear deterrent is more of a danger to the US than to anyone else, though it is also a danger to planet as a whole. I don't think a complete disarmament makes any sense in the short term, but a move towards scaling back to safe and sustainable levels would make sense. However, those that benefit from such massive and useless military spending are not about to let it happen without a fight.

Comment: Re:"Reasonable" my ass (Score 1) 700 700

The fake chips most certainly do represent themselves as FTDI chips, by using their FTDI's USB vendor ID.

It is quite possible for them to use the same hardware interface with a different vendor ID, but then they couldn't use FTDI's driver for free.

In fact, the whole reason FTDI makes the ID a writeable setting is so that other companies can use (genuine) FTDI chips in their products, but use their own vendor ID. Usually they'll use FTDI's driver too, but when it is plugged in, Windows will identify the device as "Company XYZ's Device" instead of something generic like "USB to Serial Converter".

Comment: Re:On the other hand... (Score 1) 700 700

End users don't buy anything that is FTDI branded.

They buy USB devices that happen to have FTDI chips in them (or counterfeit FTDI chips, in some cases).

This ultimately hits device manufacturers and electronics distributors. The shady ones deserve to be hit, whereas others who have been duped are now going to be more careful. The good thing is that they now have a foolproof test to tell if their components are genuine.

Comment: Re:I'm convinced there is no elegant PDF library (Score 2) 132 132

It could be that iText is just what he needs though. iTextSharp is the C# port of the original iText Java library. At times, it is easier to find code examples for iText than iTextSharp. Since the iTextSharp folks did their best to use C# conventions, the Java call names aren't always the same as the C# ones.

Comment: Xamarin solves some of this (Score 3, Informative) 209 209

Client side can be made a bit less painful with Xamarin. You can use one language (C#) for all platforms, and share a fair bit of code between platforms.

Of course you still need separate code to give a native UI on each platform, and different packaging to get the application out there.

Gone are the days of being able to target Windows to get over 90% of the client side market. There is real fragmentation, and innovation is happening quickly. There are many benefits to this, but stability in client side frameworks is not one of them.

Comment: OS fragmentation vs many different OS (Score 4, Insightful) 289 289

Sure, Android fragmentation is a real issue. However, before Android, just about every phone manufacturer had its own operating system, and it was difficult to do development for.

It isn't like if Android didn't exist, everything would just run iOS. If Android didn't exist, we'd likely have a situation where every vendor has their own entirely different platform. That'd be real fragmentation in the phone industry.

Right now, Android is much like Windows. You don't know exactly what version a user will have, and what hardware and configuration they'll have, but at least there is a set of common APIs you can rely on. Thanks to majority market share, you can develop an Android app and get a massive chunk of the market, even if that app needs some code to deal with specific versions of Android.

"Ninety percent of baseball is half mental." -- Yogi Berra