Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale Extended! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 20% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY20". ×

Comment Notecase Pro (Score 1) 227

I know that you asked for Open Source tools, but if others are going to propose Notepad and Microsoft products, let me mention Notecase Pro.
It comes in flavors for windows, Linux, and Mac. There are constant updates. There is a user community developing plugins. You can write in different fonts, with font colors and background colors. You can embed screenshots.
It is a hierarchical note manager. The price is reasonable, you can get a single user (any number of computers) perpetual license, or pay more and get a multiuser license.
It is not open source though.

Comment will they allow pocket calculators? (Score 4, Interesting) 350

When I was learning Celestial Navigation, there were two sets of 'Almanacs' we had to use. One was the Nautical Almanac which gave the positions of the stars, the Sun and the Moon for each minute of each day of the year. These were issued every year by some National Observatory. The other set was just a cookbook of spherical trigonometry. Obviously you can program any modern calculator with the appropriate trig formulas so the Midshipmen would not have to waste time looking up those numbers in the books. I am pretty sure that with modern memory you could put the entire almanac for the year on a USB stick, and so you would not need to look up those numbers either. Add the two together and you can have a rugged, solar powered device that can do the calculations for you. Now all you need to do is get out your sextant and clock, take the sights, plug in the time, the readings and the corrections, and let the pocket calculator do the grunt work.

Comment Sen Rand Responsible for this? (Score 1) 135

There is no mention in the article of Sen Rand's filibuster opposing the bill.
I presume that when the article says that they could not get enough Republican votes they mean they did not get enough to override the filibuster?

(I'm Canadian and so not as knowledgeable about american political procedures as I could be.)

Comment M3800 Works well with Ubuntu (Score 2) 133

I have a recent 3800. I got it with Ubuntu, no Windows.Mine does not have the 4K screen. All the hardware I have tested works well with it, which is unusual for laptops in my experience.
The media keys work. Sleep/resume works. The camera works. It will boot in UEFI mode, secure boot ON of OFF (i.e it comes preloaded with a shim that allows secure boot). The trackpad works. Two finger scrolling works. Wireless works with no hassle. The RJ11/USB dongle works. Have not tested Thunderbolt.
I think Dell could have done a much better job with the documentation (there is none that is not Windows releated) and the startup screen where you install Ubuntu, has an 'EULA' that is obviously a Windows artifact (and probably illegal under the GPL). Further given that mine came with an SSD Dell could have fixed the fstab to make some of the filesystems as type "tmpfs".
But overall I am quite impressed and happy.

Comment American Pressure did it. (Score 2) 121

I think the reason this was done was because of american diplomatic pressure. The US state dept has classified Canada as a 'pirate country' right up there with China, and other countries that make billions from counterfeit knock-offs just because we have different copyright laws. Further, the US has pushed hard, and successfully to have the the 70 yr term included in the new (quasi secret) Trans Pacific trade treaty. None of the other countries wanted that term but the US got it in there anyway. Canada finds it very difficult to do things the US is strongly opposed to; and once the Treaty was approved we would be stuck with 70 years anyhow. This is very much a case of 'Resistance is Futile' and the Borg is the US state department.

Comment Re:GPS tracks nowadays (Score 2) 776

Why does she not have two cell phones, a work phone and a personal one. The work phone provided by the company could have whatever crap they wanted installed on it. She could leave it at work when she went home for the day or the weekend. She could carry her personal phone when she was not working.
This would be akin to the company providing a computer. The courts have sort of ruled that what you do on company provided computer, network or email account, cannot be expected to remain private. The same might apply to a company provided cell phone.

Comment Re:Dave Cutler's work lives on (Score 1) 336

I remember it that Cutler left DEC when DEC would not develop a 32 bit real time OS, or a 32 bit PDP-11.
MS hired him partly to rescue NT development, which was in trouble, and partly because they wanted an Alpha ( the next great DEC chip) port of NT.
But I would sure like to know if Anonymous' post has any truth to it.
Sad to say MS's ethics are so bad that one cannot dismiss it out of hand.

Comment How Does Apple Control This? (Score 1) 451

My wife has an an Apple MAC OS/X. I don't recall ever giving Apple permission to modify my machine. Does Apple have a back door built into all OS/X systems that allows them to disable whatever they want at will without me knowing? What else can they do? Should I be encrypting all my disk partitions?

Comment Fool Me Twice? (Score 1) 913

Maybe the reason that the H/w mfgs didn't commit heavily to Windows 8, is that they learned from the Novell WordPerfect disaster that you are a fool if you trust MS advance info. I can just see a mfg committing big money to a Windows 8 based touch machine, only to find out that MS had to change the API at the last minute to accomodate their own Surface Product. MS are perfectly capable of getting the industry to ramp up the hype for a Windows 8 based tablet, and then try to scoop the market by a) releasing their own competing tablet, and b) crippling those mfgs credulous enough to believe their advance specs by changing the API at lhe last minute. They have done it before.

Comment FRAND Patents? (Score 1) 211

Given Microsof'ts history I would be very leary of adopting any standard they proposed. There have been several standards that were adopted before people realized that they contained submarine patents. Microsoft typically proposes FRAND terms for their patents, and FRAND terms are incompatible with the GPL among other things. Any standard that requires FRAND licenses cannot in practice be used by FOSS (Free and Open Source Software).

Comment Legal Problems. (Score 3, Insightful) 304

Considering the approach that Oracle is taking of trying to copyright and charge license fees just for using the Java API's (see Oracle vs Google) I cant see any sane person developing on a non-Oracle provided Java platform. If they can sue Google for Dalvik they can certainly sue whoever deploys Rootbeer if they feel like it.

A rock store eventually closed down; they were taking too much for granite.