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Comment Re:mod parent up (Score 5, Informative) 253

I will give MS the benefit of the doubt in this one. Good for them, and for the cause of Free Software.

However, about your rhetorical question:

Okay, I'll bite: how many entities has MS sued for .net patent violations on the subsequent versions, as you referenced? It's been the better part of a decade now, right? No doubt they have sprung their trap...?

I'll answer: I don't know, but MS doesn't need to sue when half of all Android devices worldwide paid extortion money to MS to the tune of USD 28 billion in confidential settlements, and it refuses to disclose which exact patents it is using for (extortion) licensing.

IMHO, the trap has sprung, and has bitten a lot of people. So yes, some distrust in MS is well warranted.

Comment Re:Why Chemistry? (Score 2) 29

I think it's for two reasons: first, because the technique enables to watch molecular processes at the 'single molecule' level, and this is highly significant for chemistry, obviously.

I think there might be a second reason too: the effectiveness of the technique depends on a lot of photochemical knowledge and proper selection of dyes, which again is another significant area of study and research in chemistry.

Submission + - What do Slashdotters do on long flights? 3

gannebraemorr writes: I’m about to take a long flight (5 hours, then layover, then 7 hours). It will be evening when I land, so I don’t want to sleep too much on the flight. What the heck do I do to pass the time? Battery life and no internet remove the laptop option. I’ve never been a big book reader. I’m not a big fan of exchanging life stories with people I’ll never see again. maybe it would be fun to just make stuff up as your life story.

Submission + - Samsung Smartwatch Steals Spotlight From Apple's iWatch (

jarold writes: The heat is on as Samsung tries to steal spotlight from Apple by planning to launch its own version of iWatch-like smartwatch. This wearable computer, dubbed as Samsung Galaxy Gear, is expected to be unveiled together with Galaxy Note III on September 4, 2013 at Berlin Road Show.

The buzz began when Samsung announced last March that it was developing a watch device. Then, recently, news firm BBC reported a patent and trademark filing that reveals Samsung has registered the names Samsung Gear in South Korea and Samsung Galaxy Gear in the US.

Submission + - NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds" (

NettiWelho writes: The Washington Post: The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents.
Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by law and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls.

Submission + - New GMail compose inspires user backlash 1

s13g3 writes: Yesterday, Google finally rolled out the "new compose" as a mandatory change to all users, eliminating the "old" compose option with no way to revert. The move has sparked such a significant amount of user backlash on Google's product forums that moderators are having to close hundreds of "I hate the new compose" threads as "duplicates" and are directing people to the main feedback thread, which is currently over 21 pages some 24 hours later. So far, there appears to be nothing in the way of a response or recognition from Google of the amount of hate the change has inspired, only an insistence that somehow the input of "Top Moderators" from their forums since October 2012 resulted in a number of "improvements" to the new compose in response, which supposedly makes it easier to use, but does nothing to address the laundry list of complaints and issues people have with it: simply put, no one likes the new compose, and significant numbers of users are threatening to abandon the service as a result of this forced change.

Comment Re:Do not want (Score 5, Informative) 173

Try pinfo. From the description:

Pinfo is an info file viewer. It was created when the author, Przemek Borys, was very depressed trying to read gtk info entries using the standard tools.

Pinfo is similar in use to lynx. It has similar key movements, and gives similar intuition. You just move across info nodes, and select links, follow them... Well, you know how it is when you view html with lynx. :) It supports as many colors as it could.

Believe me, it's a lifesaver for reading info pages.


What Happened To Diaspora, the Facebook Killer? It's Complicated 215

pigrabbitbear writes "Created by four New York University students, Diaspora tried to destroy the notion that one social network could completely dominate the web. Diaspora – 'the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network,' as described on their Kickstarter page – offered what seemed like the perfect antidote to Zuckerbergian tyranny. The New York Times quickly got wind. Tired of being bullied, technologists rallied behind the burgeoning startup spectacle, transforming what began as a fun project into a political movement. Before a single line of code had been written, Diaspora was a sensation. Its anti-establishment rallying cry and garage hacker ethos earned it kudos from across an Internet eager for signs of life among a generation grown addicted to status updates. And yet, the battle may have been lost before it even began. Beyond the difficulty of actually executing a project of this scope and magnitude, the team of four young kids with little real-world programming experience found themselves crushed under the weight of expectation. Even before they had tried to produce an actual product, bloggers, technologists and open-source geeks everywhere were already looking to them to save the world from tyranny and oppression. Not surprisingly, the first release, on September 15, 2010 was a public disaster, mainly for its bugs and security holes. Former fans mockingly dismissed it as 'swiss cheese.'"

2-Year Study Shows Mac Users Downloading More Open Source Software 203

AmyVernon writes "We combed through about two years' worth of data on SourceForge, looking at the platforms of the users who downloaded projects, and millions more Mac users are downloading open source projects now than were in February 2010. In the same time, Windows downloads have increased by a much smaller percentage and Linux downloads have actually declined." I wonder how much of this last part can be chalked up to the ever-better download infrastructure that the various Linux distros have. (Note: SourceForge and Slashdot are both part of Geeknet.)

Submission + - Slackware

willy everlearn writes: Wed Aug 26 10:00:38 CDT 2009
Slackware 13.0 x86_64 is released as stable! Thanks to everyone who
helped make this release possible — see the RELEASE_NOTES for the
credits. The ISOs are off to the replicator. This time it will be a
6 CD-ROM 32-bit set and a dual-sided 32-bit/64-bit x86/x86_64 DVD.
We're taking pre-orders now at Please consider
picking up a copy to help support the project. Once again, thanks to
the entire Slackware community for all the help testing and fixing
things and offering suggestions during this development cycle.
As always, have fun and enjoy! -P.

Obama To Reverse Bush Limits On Stem Cell Work 508

An anonymous reader sends this quote from the Associated Press: "Reversing an eight-year-old limit on potentially life-saving science, President Barack Obama plans to lift restrictions Monday on taxpayer-funded research using embryonic stem cells. ... Under President George W. Bush, taxpayer money for that research was limited to a small number of stem cell lines that were created before Aug. 9, 2001, lines that in many cases had some drawbacks that limited their potential usability. But hundreds more of such lines — groups of cells that can continue to propagate in lab dishes — have been created since then, ones that scientists say are healthier, better suited to creating treatments for people rather than doing basic laboratory science. Work didn't stop. Indeed, it advanced enough that this summer, the private Geron Corp. will begin the world's first study of a treatment using human embryonic stem cells, in people who recently suffered a spinal cord injury. Nor does Obama's change fund creation of new lines. But it means that scientists who until now have had to rely on private donations to work with these newer stem cell lines can apply for government money for the research, just like they do for studies of gene therapy or other treatment approaches."

Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955