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Comment Re: Snap Circuits (Score 3, Informative) 200

Snap circuits are neat - but I'm not a huge fan. They are generally fairly very "high level, complex" building blocks. Even most of the definitions of what the pins (of the modules) do aren't described, nor referenced in any instructional way.

I agree 100%. I had exactly the same disappointment when my son started playing with Snap Circuits. It doesn't really try to teach any concepts, and the manual is is written like a boring lab textbook ("OBJECTIVE: To show how a resistor and LED are wired to emit light") and not at all geared towards creativity or exploration.

Comment Re: Facebook's open source license contains evil t (Score 1) 56

Those terms seem perfectly reasonable to me. If you want to cling to your patents, don't use their code. We could do with a few less patents in the world.

Agreed, but if I understand correctly this is not the actual legal effect of those the terms. When they say "any [...] other action alleging [...] indirect [...] infringement to any patent [...] against any party relating to the software" the trigger is ridiculously broad. Even saying something bad about Facebook because *they* sued *you* could qualify.

Before this was introduced, the ReactJS library originally was licensed under Apache 2.0 which includes a "your license is terminated if you bring a patent lawsuit against us" clause, but the same lawyers are totally fine with Apache 2.0. Facebook is doing something different here.

Comment Facebook's open source license contains evil terms (Score 4, Informative) 56

A friend of mine works at a company where the lawyers reviewed Facebook's "open source" licensing terms (surreptitiously buried in a text file entitled "Additional Grant of Patent Rights") and concluded that it isn't safe. They issued a company-wide order that all projects must immediately remove any Facebook open source with these license terms. The terms basically allow Facebook to unilaterally terminate the open source license if you take "any action" against their patent claims. The exact wording is:

"The license granted hereunder will terminate, automatically and without notice, if you (or any of your subsidiaries, corporate affiliates or agents) initiate directly or indirectly, or take a direct financial interest in, any Patent Assertion: (i) against Facebook or any of its subsidiaries or corporate affiliates, (ii) against any party if such Patent Assertion arises in whole or in part from any software, technology, product or service of Facebook or any of its subsidiaries or corporate affiliates, or (iii) against any party relating to the Software."


A "Patent Assertion" is any lawsuit or other action alleging direct, indirect,
or contributory infringement or inducement to infringe any patent, including a
cross-claim or counterclaim.

In this thread, a Google employee says that their lawyers came to the same conclusion:


If so, why would Facebook do this? Why isn't it more widely discussed?

Comment Re:CVS or Subversion (Score 5, Insightful) 325

For a small-to-medium team that has easy access to a centralized server, choosing Subversion instead of Git could save you a TON of time. In my experience, Git has a constant overhead of messed up merges, "brown bag" discussions to educate new devs about various gotchas, and ongoing debates about the right usage strategy (merging versus rebasing, branch management, how to keep histories from growing too large, etc).

By contrast, I've also worked at several different companies that used Subversion, and basically you just show new devs how to sync and commit, and they figure out the rest themselves. The reason is that having a single always-up-to-date master is an order of magnitude simpler than Git's model of working-copy/branch/master on your local PC and then also branch/master on a remote PC and push/pull/fetch/merge between them.

With Subversion you still have to manage branches sometimes, but there is typically a maintainer person who handles that. Whereas the model of Git is that every dev is doing merge algebra from day 1.

Comment Re:is this an article or quesiont ?! (Score 1) 288

It's a question without a good answer. There doesn't appear to be a "permanently prevent Windows 10 upgrade" switch anywhere.

If someone made a tool that lets me use Windows 10 with security updates but without spying or cloud or unwanted upgrades, I would pay for that. I don't see any technical reason why a 3rd party can't provide that. When Windows 8 messed up the start menu, tools like Classic Shell stepped in to fill the gaps, with huge popularity, and I think those download statistics were actually persuasive to the "data driven" business strategizers at MS.

Comment Re:If it ain't broke... (Score 1) 288

For me the killer feature is USB redirection. I can use a VM to install stuff like questionable device drivers, ancient apps, bloatware like iTunes or Zune, etc. and then attach the USB device to the host PC and use it within the VM (without polluting the host PC's OS). Hyper-V can't do that.

Comment Re:Gee, so only a year of screaming (Score 2) 387

> So it only took about a year of screaming from the users
> and slashdotters before Microsquishy paid attention and
> brought back the MENU instead of that god damned
> useless start screen.

No, what it took was a new CEO. Don't flatter yourself. What you have observed is merely the surface of a significant shift that is happening. The fact that these effects are already visible in the first 6 months is pretty telling.

Submission + - How Edward Snowden's Actions Impacted Defense Contractors

An anonymous reader writes: A new study sheds light on the attitudes of a very exclusive group of IT and security managers — those employed by U.S. defense contractors — at a time when national cybersecurity is under scrutiny. Most indicated that the Edward Snowden incident has changed their companies' cybersecurity practices: their employees now receive more cybersecurity awareness training, some have re-evaluated employee data access privileges, others have implemented stricter hiring practices. While defense contractors seem to have better security practices in place and are more transparent than many companies in the private sector, they are finding the current cyber threat onslaught just as difficult to deal with.

Submission + - Gates returns to Windows 7 after being unable to install the Windows 8.1 upgrade 3

Artem Tashkinov writes: According to rumors Bill Gate's first day at his office in Redmond turned out to be a complete disaster mixed with ostensibly curse words no one had expected from him. He tried to install the Windows 8.1 upgrade but the updater failed continuously asking to reboot the PC. Microsoft's new C.E.O. Satya Nadella who came to help resolve the situation couldn't sort it out. In the end Gates said he would be returning to Windows 7 for the foreseeable future.

Submission + - Slashdot Starting Move To Beta Site (slashdot.org) 1

MightyMartian writes: According to Slashdot's blog, great progress is being made in the redesign. According to a notice on the Slashdot front page:

"MOVIN’ ON UP. You are on Slashdot Classic. We are starting to move into new digs in February by automatically redirecting greater numbers of you. The new site is a work in progress so Classic Slashdot will be available from the footer for several more months. As we migrate our audience, we want to hear from you to make sure that the redesigned page has all the features you expect. Find out more."

According to many posters who are posting off topic, there seems little appetite for the upcoming changes.

Submission + - Is Verizon Already Slowing Netflix Down? (davesblog.com)

hondo77 writes: From Dave's Blog: "I’ve since tested this almost every day for the last couple of weeks. During the day – the bandwidth is normal to AWS. However, after 4pm or so – things get slow. In my personal opinion, this is Verizon waging war against Netflix. Unfortunately, a lot of infrastructure is hosted on AWS. That means a lot of services are going to be impacted by this."

Submission + - Google to have a tax adjustment of 1 billion euros by french Tax office (lepoint.fr)

opslashdot writes: Le Point (see link), reveals that google inc. will get a 1 billion euros (1,3 billion dollars) tax adjustment by the French Tax Office.
The French Tax Office claims that Google has declared very low revenues in France, using tax optimization techniques that allowed them to pay as low as 5.5 million euros taxes in 2011.

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