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The REAL Reason We Use Linux 682

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the slow-saturday dept.
Vlad Dolezal writes "We tell people we use Linux because it's secure. Or because it's free, because it's customizable, because it has excellent community support... But all of that is just marketing BS. We tell that to non-Linux users because they wouldn't understand the REAL reason." The answer to his question probably won't surprise you.
Programming

A Congressman Who Can Code Assembly 421

Posted by Zonk
from the at-least-its-not-haskell dept.
christo writes "In what appears to be a first, the US House of Representatives now has a Congressman with coding skills. Democratic Representative Bill Foster won a special election this past Saturday in the 14th Congressional District of Illinois. Foster is a physicist who worked at Fermilab for 22 years designing data analysis software for the lab's high energy particle collision detector. In an interview with CNET today, Foster's campaign manager confirmed that the Congressman can write assembly, Fortran and Visual Basic. Will having a tech-savvy congressman change the game at all? Can we expect more rational tech-policy? Already on his first day, Foster provided a tie-breaking vote to pass a major ethics reform bill."
Portables

Sony Says Eee PC Signals "Race To the Bottom" 393

Posted by kdawson
from the what-you-mean-we dept.
Alex Dekker writes "Sony's Mike Abary says in an interview, 'If [Asus's Eee PC] starts to do well, we are all in trouble.' Presumably by 'we' he means all the hardware manufacturers who sell over-priced, full-fat laptops. And he's not going to be too pleased when he sees the Linux-powered, sub-$200 Elonex One. Looks like what's bad for Sony may be good for the consumer." The CNet article mentions that a version of the Eee running XP is available in Japan now and will be coming to the US within weeks.
Portables

Lessons To Learn From The OLPC Project 261

Posted by Zonk
from the keep-it-small-keep-it-cheap dept.
FixedSpelling writes "Whether you're impressed with it or not, the XO-1 could have a major impact on notebook design. The concept behind the OLPC's development brings outside-the-box thinking and cost-consciousness to a level that we rarely see in portable computing. There are a number of lessons that can be learned the from its unique design and we can already see that some of these concepts have been noticed by manufacturers. 'The biggest attraction to the OLPC project has always been the price of the system. You don't have to be a cynic to understand that the impact of a $100 notebook could be huge and the price has generated the majority of the interest in the project. Notebooks break, they get lost, and they are replaced frequently, so the cheaper, the better. The low price was originally important so that the XO-1 could be produced in large quantities without putting too much of a burden on the buyer but the low cost appeals to everyone.'"
Linux Business

What is the Best Way to Start a Paid GPL Project? 231

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the will-food-for-code dept.
pooslinger writes "I know little to nothing about programming but would like to start, fund, and maintain a GPL linux POS application. I see there are a few available with the majority being closed source. I am currently starting a business and really despise the fact that I will have to spend $2-$5k on a proprietary solution. I would like to create an application where you could take a midrange PC, connect inexpensive touchscreens, barcode readers, thermal printers, credit card readers, etc; scan/input inventory; and begin selling. Something like a Debian POS distribution that boots into X and starts a POS terminal. Does something like this exist, am I just trying to reinvent the wheel?" How have other people approached starting a new GPL project, finding talent, and ensuring the code choices best benefit the community?
Programming

Computer Program Learns Baby Talk in Any Language 170

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-was-your-machines-first-word dept.
athloi writes "Researchers have made a computer program that learns to decode sounds from different languages in the same way that a baby does. The program will help to shed new light on how people learn to talk. It has already raised questions as to how much specific information about language is hard-wired into the brain."

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