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Comment: Steambox (Score 1) 316

by fr0dicus (#40884687) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should Valve Start Their Own Steam Linux Distro?
I think they are gearing up to make their own fixed-target hardware spec. They talked a lot recently about working with Intel on drivers. It wouldn't be a stretch for them to partner up with Asus or someone like that to make an Ivy-bridge or newer spec system that's mac mini sized to go under the tv. Remember their fabled big-screen mode? It all fits in my mind. Big screen+mini box+Linux.

Comment: Security is not just software patching (Score 1) 627

by fr0dicus (#40118657) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Not Linux For Security?
Most security issues are circumvented by appropriate use of firewalls. Many vulnerabilities require phishing or similar attacks which are irrelevant on servers. Privilege separation limits any damage.

The simple fact is that it's much easier to just rebuild an infected or compromised laptop than re-tool your entire company to use Linux. Far, far cheaper, as you will already have someone in-house building new laptops anyway; the process is no different, just a few more man-hours.

Any sensibly-run company will use a mixture of technologies; Unix is strong on scalability and security, Windows for ease-of-implementation, off-the-shelf solutions and rapid development, mostly due to the widespread availability of cheap skills, and an out-of-the-box extensible directory service that makes user management a lot easier. Linux for web services, appliances and VM hosting.

There is no black and white solution to questions of this kind, but the argument against Linux is the same for any OS out of its comfort zone: cost.

Comment: Re:Yahoo? (Score 1) 169

by oscartheduck (#38675398) Attached to: Bing Search Overtakes Yahoo

Duckduckgo is not powered by Bing. The FAQ states:

DuckDuckGo gets its results from over 50 sources, including DuckDuckBot (our own crawler), crowd-sourced sites (in our own index), Yahoo! BOSS, embed.ly, WolframAlpha, EntireWeb, Bing & Blekko. For any given search, there is usually a vertical search engine out there that does a better job at answering it than a general search engine. Our long-term goal is to get you information from that best source, ideally in instant answer form.

http://help.duckduckgo.com/customer/portal/articles/216399-sources

+ - Coalclear Power

Submitted by
xfuzzy
xfuzzy writes "Around the time of the Fukushima accident there was a lot of discussion about the relatively low fatality rate per produced unit of energy for nuclear power. I wonder if this is intrinsic to nuclear power, or more an effect of all the precautions in the industry. After all, nuclear power production consists of many high-risk activities, including mining, enrichment, fuel production, energy production, decommissioning and final storage. Additionally it requires large complex buildings which are probably risky to build and maintain. I am inclined to believe that although nuclear power has a low real impact on our day-to-day life, it still has a high cradle-to-cradle cost.
I have started to wonder if one could lever the technology found in nuclear power to design a similar low-risk energy production chain based on a more traditional fuel such as coal. If so, would it not be possible to achieve lower fatality per produced unit of energy than that of nuclear power, for a lower total cost? In the case of coal, one could for example introduce rigorous safety precautions for the mining and use a closed combustion system collecting all waste products and store them.
So my question to Slashdot is: Do you believe that it would be possible to construct a new energy production chain based on some traditional fuel which could compete with the low fatality rate of nuclear power, while producing energy at a reasonably competitive price?"

Comment: Summary Inaccurate (Score 2) 109

by oscartheduck (#35856194) Attached to: Titan May Have an Ocean

FTFS: "The numbers indicate that Titan's moment of inertia can only be explained if it is a solid body that is denser near the surface than it is at its centre"

FTFA: "It's also worth pointing out that there is another explanation for Titan's strange moment of inertia. The calculations assume that the moon's orbit is in a steady state but it's also possible that Titan's orbit is changing, perhaps because it has undergone a recent shift due to some large object passing nearby, a comet or asteroid, for example."

Comment: Re:yeah (Score 1) 211

by oscartheduck (#35833468) Attached to: Rivals Mock Microsoft's 'Native HTML5' Claims

My understanding is that the wrote J++ with the specific intent to not allow JVM compatibility, but only with their own JVM implementation. That's a fair bit more than just adding language extensions, y'know? From the EU's research on this stuff

“[W]e should just quietly grow j++ share and assume that people will take more
advantage of our classes without ever realizing they are building win32-only java
apps.”
  —Microsoft’s Thomas Reardon

And from the NYTimes article on this:

Microsoft also licensed Java from Sun in 1996, but later began adding modifications to the code. The resulting Microsoft version of Java is tailored to run only on Windows, which negates the cross-platform purpose of Java. Sun has a civil suit pending against Microsoft on this issue, charging contract violation and unfair business practices.

+ - File sharing case argued in appelate court-> 1

Submitted by luge
luge (4808) writes "Harvard students, along with Prof. Charlie "eon" Nesson, took the next step in Joel Tennenbaum's case against the RIAA this week, presenting their arguments on the unconstitutionality of huge copyright damages to a panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeals (one level below the Supreme Court.) Serious junkies can hear the audio recording of the discussion here. This is an appeal of last summer's ruling, which reduced Tennenbaum's damages — to $2,000 per song. The appellate court's ruling could come in a few months."
Link to Original Source

+ - Microsoft blasts Google for false claims in court->

Submitted by recoiledsnake
recoiledsnake (879048) writes "Microsoft writes in a blog post that Google knowingly lied to the court while suing the US government over considering only Microsoft implementations. We previously discussed Google winning an injunction against the Department of Interior over this. According to Microsoft, Google "filed a motion for a preliminary injunction telling the court three times in a single document that Google Apps for Government is certified under FISMA.Google has repeated this statement in many other places as well. Indeed, for several months and as recently as this morning, Google’s website states, “Google Apps for Government – now with FISMA certification.” And as if that’s not sufficient, Google goes farther on another webpage and states "Google Apps for Government is certified and accredited under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)." So imagine my surprise on Friday afternoon when, after some delay, some of the court papers were unsealed, at least in part. There for all to see was a statement by the Department of Justice contradicting Google on one of its basic FISMA claims. The DOJ’s brief says “On December 16, 2010, counsel for the Government learned that, notwithstanding Google’s representations to the public at large, its counsel, the GAO and this Court, it appears that Google’s Google Apps for Government does not have FISMA certification. This revelation was apparently as striking to the lawyers at the Department of Justice as it was to me. As a result, the work of engineers and IT professionals was replaced, at least temporarily, by filings by lawyers. This meant significant delay for the Department of the Interior, which was trying to save millions of dollars and upgrade the email services for its 88,000 employees."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Duh? (Score 1) 168

by oscartheduck (#35761848) Attached to: Dropbox Authentication: Insecure By Design
I always assumed they were using an S3 backend, in which case it'd be the S3 public/secret key combination that wasn't being updated. There's an API to regenerate the key, but I know dropbox encrypts all of your files. I had always assumed that the simplest way to do that securely would be using the S3 secret key. If that's what they did, then regenerating the keys would become less trivial.

Comment: Re:Yeah, 12 years since the hucksters came (Score 2) 174

by oscartheduck (#34687692) Attached to: Open Source After 12 Years

You're correct in just about everything you're saying :) The article is about the branding change that was calling "Free Software" by a different name. Software released under licenses compatible with the Open Source definition, though, is much older.

If you're ever looking for further information on this stuff, the book "Free as in Freedom" has a little on the further history of Free Software from the RMS viewpoint.

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