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Comment: Re:What good is... (Score 4, Informative) 360

by dracvl (#33555284) Attached to: IE9 Team Says "Our GPU Acceleration Is Better Than Yours"

I tried to submit something through the feedback thing, but as far as I can tell, things written there go nowhere, so who knows.

No, we read pretty much all the feedback (through filtered and clustered searches) -- the volume is very high, and so we can't respond to individual comments, though.

We are aware of the issue with hardware acceleration on certain setups. Try updating your graphics card drivers and try again?

-- Alexander Limi, Firefox User Experience Team

Comment: Re:I'm pretty sure (Score 1) 554

by TheKidWho (#31165928) Attached to: Google, Apple Call Workers' Race & Gender Trade Secrets

Huh?

If I'm running an organization like Google or Apple, I want the brightest minds working for me. I could care less if they were white/black/latino/chinese/etc, I only care about their technical abilities and their capability to work well in a team.

Yeah, yeah, laws made to conteract bigoted employers are "draconian" and "racist"

Yes, quota systems are draconian and racist by design...

Comment: Re:Meanwhile (Score 1) 1136

by aonic (#31165808) Attached to: A Warming Planet Can Mean More Snow

We have satellites doing centimeter-level laser altimetry with millimeter-level orbit determination flying around the globe every few hours measuring ocean height. When the data from those no longer correlates with the amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, I will stop concerning myself with AGW. Same goes for the glacier ice levels.

Until then, you can talk about how much snow or the local temperature until you get bored. AGW doesn't try to predict any of those. It predicts that the amount of GHGs in the atmosphere will increase the temperatures of the global climate (over decades). All the other anecdotes are secondary.

Comment: Re:I don't believe it (Score 1) 507

by h4rdc0d3 (#31163442) Attached to: Apple Bans Jailbreakers From the App Store
Why was the parent modded troll? He/She has an excellent point. The *ONLY* result from blocking access to iTunes is a loss of revenue from the blocked user(s). Apple has nothing to gain by doing so and would only force said user(s) to pirate apps, since they would no longer have a legitimate method to acquire them.

Mod parent +1 Informative/Interesting.
Book Reviews

+ - Plone 3 for Education->

Submitted by
Reinout
Reinout writes "Plone 3 for education, break the webmaster bottleneck by empowering instructors and staff, is a new book for those that want to use Plone in an educational setting. Easy to read, comprehensive and goal-oriented.

The author, Erik Rose works at Penn State University, supporting many educational Plone websites. So his credentials for writing the book are OK.

Target audience: well, you want a website for your course or your university department or your group of teachers. You're able to get your hands on a webserver where you can install Plone. You want multiple people to be able to comfortably update the site without getting stuck on a single webmaster. The book's subtitle rightfully is break the webmaster bottleneck by empowering instructors and staff. You can set up a reliable, functional and professional website yourself without needing to pay tens of thousands of Dollars/Euros/whatever in license fees. You'll need to know about websites in general and you'll need to be reasonably comfortable installing stuff on your own PC and, possibly/probably with someone's help, on a webserver.

Non-educational audiences can get benefit from the book, too. A results-oriented intro on skinning/theming doesn't hurt a small business website. And the calendaring tips are also useful for a church or sports club website. You might want to look up the online table of contents.

Book style: perhaps strange for a technical book, but I'd say it makes you enthousiastic. It shows you how to accomplish things with Plone. How to get specific things things done, as the book is laced with screenshots ("this is what your course page can look like") and direction-giving introductions ("you'll probably need a staff directory, here's what you can accomplish"). The tone is friendly, but with experience-born firmness and personal opinion in some cases.

Overall book impression is very positive. For a technical book it is mercifully thin at some 190 pages compared to the customary 300. Yet it is remarkably complete. You get to set up your site with content, tips on essential add-on products, skinning/theming basics, web server installation and setup instructions and basic maintenance (backup/restore) guidelines. All the basics you really need. If you need more, there are other books.

For more elaborate theming you could pick up Veda William's Plone 3 Theming book and for hard-core development Martin Aspeli's Professional Plone Development.

The first chapter shows you how to get most of the information you need to present for a course done with out-of-the-box Plone. A couple of folders, events for exam dates, agenda items for homework and assignments, some overview pages. And practical advice, for instance on enabling comments: they help invite feedback and increase interaction between students. And with the proper settings, comment spam is virtually non-existant. The chapter has effective screenshots that show what you can accomplish and how to do it. The screenshots are especially handy for Plone's powerful collections ("smart folders" that effectively show search results) as they can be tricky to configure. A screenshot helps a lot in explaining the necessary settings.

The second chapter helps you install the first add-on product with reasonably complete instructions. The add-on helps you show your date and event related information in prettier ways than is possible with stock Plone. The chapter has some side comment on security (group/user rights) setup which deserved a more prominent spot. But where... The book is full of small helpful tips and information, so perhaps such "oh, by the way" sidebars are ok. Also good: the author is not afraid of pinpointing Plone pain points: in this case spotty support for showing recurrences.

A university or school needs a list of faculty/staff. The author and his colleages wrote a specific add-on for this purpose and documented it fully in chapter three. A-z listings, per-department views, per-speciality views. Handy is the documentation on how to best use the various grouping methods (department, speciality, group) and how to connect the staff in this listing with their actual login accounts.

But... every university is different and wants extra fields: a fax number, a building floor, a list of published papers. Plone allows you to extend existing products in a reasonably clean way and chapter 4 shows you how. Watch out, though, as the instructions on how to set up a new site to test your extension misses several steps and uses a program which full installation instructions are only explained in chapter eight. One of the rare real omissions in the book.

Chapter five helps you add blog and forum functionality. There are several add-ons for that. Add-ons mean extra functionality but also extra risk: how well are they maintained? The author helps you with criteria and gives you his own recommendation. Most of the time I agree, but I was a bit surprised at the "PloneBoard" add-on's description of recieving prompt updates all the time: two or three years ago it was a problem child with a poor maintainance record as far as I could see at the time. So take a good look at the current maintenance record of add-ons!

Chapter six has one of those attention-grabbing sentences in the introduction that invite you to really delve into the chapter: "triple your traffic using the iTunes store". And yes, later on it helps you set up podcasting for your audio or video lecture notes with Plone and submit the podcast to iTunes. Which apparently triples the incoming traffic for many educational institutions.

A Plone killer feature is introduced in chapter seven. PloneFormMailer is a fantastic add-on for creating forms without resorting to programming. Almost all sites I deployed when working as a full-time Plone programmer included PloneFormMailer. The author heaps praise on this add-on and he's right. Good point for the book: it shows all the available form field types as small screenshots. That helps when building the forms.

Chapter eight is on theming/skinning/styling your Plone site. Theming is a bit of a pain point in Plone right now. Plone is halfway the easier, but sloppier and harder to debug Plone 2 style of skinning and some incredible (I mean that!) probably-there-in-a-year Plone 5 goodness. And being halfway means confusion, so this is a difficult chapter for a book author. In my opinion, the author has done a good job explaining all the necessary ingredients and the various ways in which you can get your hands on some necessary adjustments of Plone's default style to your organisation's style.

Chapter nine made me say "wow". A solid chapter on deploying your site on the server. Including apache and squid setup and a Plone caching tutorial. Yes, your site needs to be able to stand up agains a whole flock of students hitting your site right after class (or five minutes before the final exam). For educational settings, the tip to look at Enfold proxy to integrate with Windows' IIS server is a good one. One thing that surprised me was to see Squid as a caching proxy: I thought Varnish was the standard by now. At least, it's been at least two years since I last touched Squid.

The last chapter, ten, finishes off the book with some maintentance tasks like backups. Good chapter for yourself or your sysadmin.

All in all: recommended!"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Google acquired On2, makers of video codecs (Score 5, Interesting) 369

by dracvl (#30857278) Attached to: Vimeo Also Introduces HTML5 Video Player

Google recently acquired On2, makers of the Ogg Theora (aka VP-3) codec which was released into the public domain and then taken over by xiph.org.

On2 have codecs VP-7 and VP-8 which have equivalent (if not better) quality than h.264.

It would not be surprising if Google made those codecs available, since they aren't patent-encumbered, and Google is heavily invested in HTML5 --and likes open standards.

This would be the ideal outcome. h.264 is a really bad option.

Technology

The First Paper-Based Transistors 177

Posted by kdawson
from the bend-me-shape-me dept.
Roland Piquepaille found news of research out of Portugal that has resulted in the first paper-based transistors (the original article is less informative than Roland's blog). More precisely, they've made the first field effect transistors (FET) with a paper interstrate layer. According to the research team, such transistors offer the same level of performance as 'state-of-the-art, oxide-based thin film transistors produced on glass or crystalline silicon substrates.' Possible applications include disposable electronics devices, such as paper displays, smart labels, bio-applications or RFID tags. The research will be published in IEEE Electron Device Letters in September.
Displays

The End of Non-Widescreen Laptops? 668

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the aspect-ratios-give-me-shivers dept.
Santi Onta writes "Today Lenovo retired the last NON-widescreen laptop they offered (the T61 14.1) from the market, and Lenovo is just an example (Apple, Sony, HP, etc. are the same). I understand the motivation behind all the laptop manufacturers to move to widescreen: they can still advertise that they offer 14.1 or 15.4 screens, but the screen area is smaller, and thus they save more money. Some people might like widescreens (they are useful for some tasks), but any developer knows that vertical space matters! Less vertical space = less lines of code in the screen = more scrolling = less productivity. How can laptop manufacturers still claim that they look after their customers when the move to widescreens is clearly a selfish one? I just wish they offered non-widescreen laptops, even if it were for a plus (that I'd be more than happy to pay)." I've always preferred the widescreen aspect ratio -- vertical matters, but having two nice wide columns always mattered more to me. Until this reader's submission, I hadn't realized that it was such a contested issue. Does this matter?
Announcements

+ - 24h Open Source Coding Marathon Hackontest started-> 1

Submitted by
maemst
maemst writes "Can you code 24 hours non-stop? Hackontest is a new Google-sponsored 24-hour programming competition between different open source projects. Its goals are to enhance Free Software projects according to user needs and to make visible how enthusiastically open source software is being developed. During the current online selection process users and developers of open source software may submit feature requests and rate and comment them. On Swiss national holiday August 1st, 2008 the Hackontest jury will pick the three most promising teams. They receive a free trip to Switzerland on September 24/25, 2008 to participate in the competition located at OpenExpo 2008 Zurich. Hacking 24 hours inside an etoy.CONTAINER, the teams and their virtually present communities will implement certain features based on the online ratings and jury selection. In the end, the Hackontest jury evaluates the code and awards the winners with a total of USD 8500. The jury is made up of 10 renowned open source contributors: Jeremy Alison (Samba), Jono Bacon (Ubuntu), Brian W. Fitzpatrick (Subversion), Martin F. Krafft (Debian), Alexander Limi (Plone), Federico Mena-Quintero (GNOME), Bram Moolenaar (vim), Bruce Perens (OSI founder), Lukas K. Smith (PHP) and Harald Welte (gpl-violations.org)."
Link to Original Source
Portables

HTC Shift + ThinkPad X300 + MacBook Air = Perfect Notebook? 108

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the pipe-dreams dept.
Tom's Hardware has an interesting look at the HTC Shift, the newest contender in the ultralight portable arena, with a strong compare and contrast to the other two heavyweights, the ThinkPad X300 and the Macbook Air. "As some of you know, I actually like the Macbook Air but found the Lenovo ThinkPad X300 to be a vastly more useful product in the class. I'm one of the few folks that have been using an early version of the HTC Shift , a smaller screened ultra light tablet with a keyboard and a touch screen which is superior to both offerings in some ways and just released on Amazon.com for $1500 (someone screwed up, this wasn't supposed to happen until next week). This got me thinking: The perfect next generation ultra-sexy notebook should be a blend of all three products."
Announcements

+ - Plone 3.0 released->

Submitted by
dracvl
dracvl writes "After a year of development, the Plone Foundation announced the release of Plone 3.0 today. Plone is Python's leading content management system, and this is a major milestone for open source content management systems. Recent converts to Plone include Novell, Akamai... and the CIA. Major new features in this release is pervasive versioning, automatic locking, links that never break and ajax-powered inline editing. The list of features is a good start if you're wondering what it can do."
Link to Original Source
Sci-Fi

Using Technology to Enhance Humans 293

Posted by Zonk
from the now-entering-transhuman-space dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "It's a well-known fact that technology can improve our lives. For example, we can reach anyone and anywhere with our cellphones. And people who can't walk after an accident now can have smart prosthesis to help them. But what about designing our children on a computer or having a chip inside our brain to answer our email messages? Are we ready for such a future? In 'Robo-quandary,' the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that many researchers are working on the subject. And as a professor of neuroscience said, "We can grow neurons on silicone plates; we can make the blind see; the deaf hear; we can read minds." So will all we become cyborgs one day?"
The Internet

The Internet of Things - What is a Spime? 141

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the sounds-like-it-would-taste-sour dept.
CoolVibe writes "From the abstract in the talk: "World-renowned Science Fiction writer and futurist Bruce Sterling will outline his ideas for SPIMES, a form of ubiquitous computing that gives smarts and 'searchabiliity' to even the most mundane of physical products. Imagine losing your car keys and being able to search for them with Google Earth." It's a very interesting lecture given by Bruce Sterling about something we might see in the near future. The lecture can be viewed here on Google Video."

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