Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: An Alternative Suggestion (Score 1) 143

by nickspoon (#41759307) Attached to: Facebook Patents Pokes-Per-Minute Limits
Actions by a user exceeding the threshold may trigger the violation module 240 to take an action. For example, the point 360, which may represent fifty occurrences of trivial patents in a five year period, does not violate any of the policies as illustrated. However, the point 350, which represents fifty occurrences in a two year period, violates the stupid-patent threshold 330 and the blindingly-obvious invention threshold 340. Thus, if point 350 represents a user's actions of obtaining ludicrous patents for everyday things, then the policy is violated. Think I'm on to a winner here.

Comment: Re:Sad (Score 1) 183

by nickspoon (#35564746) Attached to: Nintendo 3DS Battery Is Quick To Die and Slow To Charge
We've come to expect the 9+ hour battery life we got from the DSi and its ilk. It has to be said that there's no real comparison for a handheld 3D device, but if 3D is off then I would expect at least to get a similar battery life to the DSi, given that the functionality is equivalent. It makes me wonder what it is that Nintendo has included which saps batteries so quickly, if it's not the 3D hardware.

Comment: Re:Recently been searching for a new job (Score 1) 473

by nickspoon (#33012982) Attached to: Dell Drops Ubuntu PCs From Its Website
Dell want to guarantee that the machines they sell bundled with Ubuntu are functional out of the box. They have to make sure that the wireless chipset doesn't need funky drivers, that whatever audio drivers get configured correctly, etc. Which is a reasonable thing to aim for, but it does mean that they have to test systems with Ubuntu, and some of their systems will inevitably have some incompatibility (although it's been a while since I've had that issue). Couple that with their tendency to swap out hardware with cheaper equivalents and you've got quite a difficult situation.

Comment: Re:For a day? (Score 2, Insightful) 460

by nickspoon (#32794334) Attached to: Local Newspapers Use F/OSS For a Day

I knew someone was going to point a case like this out, which is why I said it doesn't always work; yes, this happens. Occasionally there are decisions made by developers which seem stupid to users, perhaps are stupid (in this case it does look to me like the developers made a mistake in ignoring the bug). These cases are, in general, annoying problems faced by a minority of users.

But that doesn't mean that the general ethos is "oh, the user is stupid, the developer knows best". That is largely down to individual developers and - in the case of big projects like Firefox - project managers, who are often developers themselves.

In addition, I think it's a little unfair to apply this only to FOSS projects. If there's a (non-security) issue in Flash, for example, sending an e-mail to Adobe is unlikely to make them fix it. In practice I imagine that commercial consumer software is just as bad, if not worse (given that there is often no public bug-reporting system at all).

Comment: Re:For a day? (Score 1) 460

by nickspoon (#32793954) Attached to: Local Newspapers Use F/OSS For a Day

With non-commercial Free Software the developer is making the decisions and requests by users are either ignored or even actively blocked.

While I would agree that it's quite easy for this to happen with smaller projects (where you have one or two developers writing code to fit their own needs and just happen to release it too), all FOSS projects worth their salt have a bug tracker designed explicitly for this purpose. If a user can submit a detailed bug report (which is being made easier all the time) then the problem can be effectively communicated to whichever developer wishes to tackle it. Okay, it doesn't always work, but it's not as though the developers are sitting in their ivory towers completely ignoring the people who use their software.

Comment: Re:Luddites (Score 4, Insightful) 171

by nickspoon (#31388410) Attached to: A Balanced Look At Cellphone Radiation

Name-calling isn't going to help anyone. The fact of the matter is, to some people hyperelectrosensitivity or whatever the buzzword is nowadays is a very real phenomenon. It has been shown pretty conclusively that the electromagnetic radiation itself does not cause the issues (in one study researchers used an inert box with blinking lights on it to produce the same effect), but that does not mean that the condition is unimportant, or not to be taken seriously. That would be like telling a schizophrenic "none of that stuff is real, shut up".

Rather than laughing at these people, we should consider their problem a mental disorder and treat it accordingly. This does, of course, mean that you consider the condition the problem, not the EM sources.

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.