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+ - Purchasing a copy of Windows as a Linux user is hard!

Submitted by EnigmaPhoenix
EnigmaPhoenix (879777) writes "How would you rate your windows buying experience? If you are a Linux user 0. Long read but this was my experience today trying to buy Windows 8.1 without access to a Windows machine (so I fudged no access to a Windows machine). Longish read, but I'm amazed at how hard it is for a Linux user to get a non-physical copy of Windows.

Jennifer: Thanks for contacting Microsoft Store Chat! My name is Jennifer, how can I help you today?
You: Hello. Just purchased windows 8.1 and need to download the iso (not this installer). How do I go about that?
Jennifer: Hello
Jennifer: I'd be happy to help you with Windows today!
Jennifer: Ok, let me get you that ISO link
You: thank you!
Jennifer: Please click here to Create installation media for Windows 8.1
Jennifer: You're welcome!
You: no link directly to an iso? will be creating the bootable usb from linux.
Jennifer: You will need to create one, I do apologize.
You: I am creating a bootable usb. but I cant run this setup file from linux. Thus just need the iso.
You: In short. I'm a linux user looking to install windows. To do so I need the iso to create media.
Jennifer: Right, you will do this from a PC.
You: a pc running linux.
Jennifer: Yes, that link above is to create the ISO file on a USB from a PC.
You: from a windows pc. lol
Jennifer: Yes, that is correct
You: let me understand. I am a linux user that wants to install windows and I cant so so from a fresh install after purchasing the product because I'm on linux.
Jennifer: I do understand, what you will need to do is create the ISO file from a PC and then install it from there
You: I'm on a PC. Just not a windows PC. So no solution other than run the windows program from windows when you dont have windows?
Jennifer: You are not running the program you are burning the ISO file but you will need to do this from a Windows PC. That is correct
You: well. That's a no go then. Although great meme material. I understand you personally dont have a solution here and I appreciate the help. But this creates quite the issue for someone using linux to adopt windows.
Jennifer: I can get you over to customer service to see if they have another option.
info: Please wait while I transfer the chat to the appropriate group.
info: Privacy Statement
You are now chatting with 'Hilda'.
Hilda: Thank you for contacting Microsoft Store, my name is Hilda. I will be handling your concern from here please give me 2 to 3 minutes to review the previous conversation.
You: Thank you.
You: Just need to download the iso really, legally. Trying to do the right thing here and purchase this product for use.
Hilda: What is your current OS?
You: Ubuntu 14.04
You: I've got bootable media ready, just need to extract the iso to it.
Hilda: Oh so you need a .iso so create a bootable file, the link can't be found on our web site you can only be provided by our Windows 8 tech
Hilda: I am sorry but that concern is already out of our support scope, but nothing to worry since we have a certain department that can surely assist you with this concern, you may call WINDOWS 8 at 1-877-696-7786 Mon — Fri 8 AM – 12 AM EST Sat & Sun 12 PM – 6 PM EST or if you prefer online support you may call chat them at http://answerdesk.microsoftsto....
You: Well, I appreciate the help Hilda. But this Windows buying experience is getting out of hand. What's a Linux user to do. I suppose I will have to call.
Hilda: I am sorry for what happened you may contact them online if you want http://answerdesk.microsoftsto....
You: Appreciate that.
Hilda: Thank you for visiting Microsoft Store again this is Hilda, have a wonderful day
You: Appreciate that.
Hilda: Thank you:)"

+ - The Next Big Thing in FOSS, according to the author of Linux Cookbook->

Submitted by trogdoro
trogdoro (3716731) writes "Command-line lovers, allow me to introduce you to Xiki, the incredibly interactive, flexible, and revolutionary command shell. I do not use the word "revolutionary" lightly. The command shell has not advanced all that much since the ancient days of Unix. Xiki is a giant leap forward. If you're looking for the Next Big Thing in FOSS, Xiki is it."
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+ - Text Editor and Programming Language Correlation

Submitted by tyggna
tyggna (1405643) writes "The flame wars of different shells and text editors have long been established, but my question is this: are text editors and various languages linked? Do the majority of Ruby programmers use Emacs? Are most Perl programmers using vim?
Please post your editor and language of choice in the comments."

Comment: Node.js (+nodekit if necessary) (Score 1) 2

While I don't personally use the whole NodeJS+JS+CSS+HTML stack, I think that it could be useful for the goals you outlined above.

JS is pretty easy to learn, and the whole web stack of HTML5+CSS3+JS5 works pretty well on pretty much every modern browser on most platforms.

It's rather convenient because it offers a REPL, which allows you to try out whatever it is that you want. It's also rather simulative of an interpreted language in that regard, which is one of the things you asked for.

Since Node is JIT'ed (V8), as are most JS implementations (V8, WebKit, SpiderMonkey, etc.), the performance is reasonably fast. As long as your code isn't particularly obtuse, you should be okay on the speed and energy-saving fronts.

Finally, using something like nodekit (Node+WebKit) allows you to create actual deployable desktop applications that are easy for users to use. It also lets you easily plug in functionality from C libraries into your application. For a good example of a project that uses nodekit, see Popcorn Time.

Now personally, I use C, but that's mainly because the majority of the work I do is server/CLI oriented. And hey, that's just me.

+ - Ask Slashdot: What's the best rapid development language to learn today? 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Many years ago, I was a coder—but I went through my computer science major when they were being taught in Lisp and C. These days I work in other areas, but often need to code up quick data processing solutions or interstitial applications. Doing this in C now feels archaic and overly difficult and text-based. Most of the time I now end up doing things in either Unix shell scripting (bash and grep/sed/awk/bc/etc.) or PHP. But these are showing significant age as well.

I'm no longer the young hotshot that I once was—I don't think that I could pick up an entire language in a couple of hours with just a cursory reference work—yet I see lots of languages out there now that are much more popular and claim to offer various and sundry benefits.

I'm not looking to start a new career as a programmer—I already have a career—but I'd like to update my applied coding skills to take advantage of the best that software development now has to offer.

Ideally, I'd like to learn a language that has web relevance, mobile relevance, GUI desktop applications relevance, and also that can be integrated into command-line workflows for data processing—a language that is interpreted rather than compiled, or at least that enables rapid, quick-and-dirty development, since I'm not developing codebases for clients or for the general software marketplace, but rather as one-off tools to solve a wide variety of problems, from processing large CSV dumps from databases in various ways to creating mobile applications to support field workers in one-off projects (i.e. not long-term applications that will be used for operations indefinitely, but quick solutions to a particular one-time field data collection need).

I'm tired of doing these things in bash or as web apps using PHP and responsive CSS, because I know they can be done better using more current best-of-breed technologies. Unfortunately, I'm also severely strapped for time—I'm not officially a coder or anything near it; I just need to code to get my real stuff done and can't afford to spend much time researching/studying multiple alternatives. I need the time that I invest in this learning to count.

Others have recommended Python, Lua, Javascript+Node, and Ruby, but I thought I'd ask the Slashdot crowd: If you had to recommend just one language for rapid tool development (not for the development of software products as such—a language/platform to produce means, not ends) with the best balance of convenience, performance, and platform coverage (Windows, Mac, Unix, Web, Mobile, etc.) what would you recommend, and why?"

Google News Sci Tech: SteamBoy Project is a Portable Steam Machine - GameSpot->

From feed by feedfeeder

SteamBoy Project is a Portable Steam Machine
A teaser video for SteamBoy Project posted to YouTube gives us a first peek at a Portable Steam Machine. Developed by SteamBoy Machine Team, a third party not affiliated with Valve, the video shows off brief, close-up shots of a portable device with the...
Someone is making a handheld Steam game systemEngadget
Meet SteamBoy, The Portable Steam MachineKotaku
SteamBoy Aims To Be The Handheld Steam Machine - UpdateThe Escapist

all 13 news articles

Link to Original Source

Google News Sci Tech: Someone is making a handheld Steam game system - Engadget->

From feed by feedfeeder


Someone is making a handheld Steam game system
Every Steam Machine shown so far has amounted to a small desktop PC. But what if you want to take that gaming experience on the road? Well, you might get your wish -- meet Steamboy, a handheld take on Valve's platform. On the outside, it's pretty much...
Meet SteamBoy, The Portable Steam MachineKotaku
PC gaming at E3 2014: Gaining steam, even without Steam MachinesCNET
More SteamBoy Details Emerge, Including Provisional SpecsOverclockers Club
The Escapist-Gamenguide
all 13 news articles

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+ - Need to move to IPv6 highlighted as Microsoft runs out of US address space->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Microsoft has been forced to start using its global stock of IPv4 addresses to keep its Azure cloud service afloat in the U.S., highlighting the growing importance of making the shift to IP version 6. The newer version of the Internet Protocol adds an almost inexhaustible number of addresses thanks to a 128-bit long address field, compared to the 32 bits used by version 4. The IPv4 address space has been fully assigned in the U.S., meaning there are no additional addresses available, Microsoft said in a blog post earlier this week. This requires the company to use the IPv4 address space available to it globally for new services, it said."
Link to Original Source

+ - Apple's Spotty Record Of Giving Back To The Tech Industry->

Submitted by chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy (814965) writes "One of the meta-stories to come out of the Heartbleed ( debacle is the degree to which large and wealthy companies have come to rely on third party code ( — specifically, open source software maintained by volunteers on a shoestring budget. Adding insult to injury is the phenomenon of large, incredibly wealthy companies that gladly pick the fruit of open source software, but refusing to peel off a tiny fraction of their profits to financially support those same groups.

Exhibit 1: Apple Computer. On Friday, IT World ran a story that looks at Apple's long history of not giving back to the technology and open source community. The article cites three glaring examples: Apple's non-support of the Apache Software Foundation (despite bundling Apache with OS X), as well as its non-support of OASIS and refusal to participate in the Trusted Computing Group (despite leveraging TCG-inspired concepts, like AMDs Secure Enclave in iPhone 5s).

Given Apple's status as the world's most valuable company and its enormous cash hoard, the refusal to offer even meager support to open source and industry groups is puzzling. From the article:

"Apple bundles software from the Apache Software Foundation with its OS X operating system, but does not financially support the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) in any way. That is in contrast to Google and Microsoft, Apple's two chief competitors, which are both Platinum sponsors of ASF — signifying a contribution of $100,000 annually to the Foundation. Sponsorships range as low as $5,000 a year (Bronze), said Sally Khudairi, ASF's Director of Marketing and Public Relations. The ASF is vendor-neutral and all code contributions to the Foundation are done on an individual basis. Apple employees are frequent, individual contributors to Apache. However, their employer is not, Khudairi noted.

The company has been a sponsor of ApacheCon, a for-profit conference that runs separately from the Foundation — but not in the last 10 years. "We were told they didn't have the budget," she said of efforts to get Apple's support for ApacheCon in 2004, a year in which the company reported net income of $276 million on revenue of $8.28 billion."

Carol Geyer at OASIS is quoted saying her organization has done "lots of outreach" to Apple and other firms over the years, and regularly contacts Apple about becoming a member. "Whenever we're spinning up a new working group where we think they could contribute we will reach out and encourage them to join," she said. But those communications always go in one direction, Geyer said, with Apple declining the entreaties.

Today, the company has no presence on any of the Organization's 100-odd active committees, which are developing cross-industry technology standards such as The Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP) and the Public-Key Cryptography Standard (PKCS)."

Link to Original Source

+ - Microsoft Could Be Required to Ensure Support For Windows XP After April 8->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "If Windows XP were a photocopier, Microsoft would have a duty to deal with competitors who sought to provide aftermarket support. A new article in the Michigan Law Review argues that Microsoft should be held to the same duty, and should be legally obligated to help competitors who wish to continue to provide security updates for the aging operating system, even if that means allowing them to access and use Windows XP's sourcecode."
Link to Original Source

+ - How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion->

Submitted by pitchpipe
pitchpipe (708843) writes "

Using the Internet can destroy your faith. That’s the conclusion of a study showing that the dramatic drop in religious affiliation in the U.S. since 1990 is closely mirrored by the increase in Internet use.

I attribute my becoming an atheist to the internet, so what the study is saying supports my anecdote. If I hadn't been exposed to all of the different arguments about religion, etc., via the internet I would probably just be another person who identifies as religious but doesn't attend services. What does Slashdot think? Have you become more religious, less religious, or about the same since being on the internet? What if you've always had it?"
Link to Original Source

"I may be synthetic, but I'm not stupid" -- the artificial person, from _Aliens_