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+ - Microsoft losing the schools to iPads and Chromebooks

Submitted by dkatana
dkatana (2761029) writes "Microsoft licensing scheme, high cost of support and difficult management of devices are the key factors making schools drop Windows for better alternatives as iPads and Chromebooks.

Google is making a dent on education with Chromebooks. The internet giant has been promoting the use of Chrome OS with specific tools for schools to manage the devices, their apps and users. Its Chromebooks for Education program is helping schools deploy large numbers of devices with an easy management system.

While Google is successful with Chromebooks as school laptops the clear winner on tablets is Apple. iPads are a the preferred platform for schools deploying tablets as digital learning devices."

Comment: Intel isn't going to win this one (Score 4, Insightful) 91

by steveha (#48374601) Attached to: Intel Claims Chip Suppliers Will Flock To Its Mobile Tech

I've said it before: companies that are perfectly happy with ARM chips now are not going to be in a hurry to lock themselves in to sole-source chips.

Intel would have to be better than ARM, and not just a little bit better... they would have to be dramatically better, such that the risk of being locked in to a sole source vendor would be worth accepting. It hasn't happened yet and I don't expect it to happen.

It will be difficult for any company, even AMD, to really challenge Intel in the high-end CPU market. But it would take a miracle for Intel to lock down the mobile CPUs market.

Intel's plan:

0) Get everyone locked in to needing to buy chips from Intel.
1) Charge stiff margins for those chips.
2) Profit!

Intel does have some chips in some Android devices, but they aren't charging the stiff margins they would like to charge. I don't think they will ever manage to do it.

Second best would be to not charge stiff margins but at least get a large chunk of the available profits from the mobile space. But I don't think they will be able to push out ARM and gain majority share of the market; they will continue to be a niche player.

+ - Pitivi Video Editor surpasses 50% crowdfunding goal, releases version 0.94

Submitted by kxra
kxra (2826067) writes "With the latest developments, Pitivi is proving to truly be a promising libre video editor for GNU distributions as well as a serious contender for bringing libre video production up to par with its proprietary counterparts. Since launching a beautifully well-organized crowdfunding campaign (as covered here previously), the team has raised over half of their 35,000 € goal to pay for full-time development and has entered "beta" status for version 1.0. They've released two versions, 0.94 (release notes) being the most recent, which have brought full MPEG-TS/AVCHD support, porting to Python 3, lots of UX improvements, and—of course—lots and lots of bug fixes. The next release (0.95) will run on top of Non Linear Engine, a refined and incredibly more robust backend Pitivi developers have produced to replace GNonLin and bring Pitivi closer to the rock-solid stability needed for the final 1.0 release."

Comment: Re:Unfortunate, but not surprising (Score 3, Informative) 450

by steveha (#48343667) Attached to: Joey Hess Resigns From Debian

Another turn in the wrong direction, in my opinion, is Wayland, which breaks many highly useful (to users) capabilities provided by X11.

If Keith Packard thinks Wayland is a good idea, I'm inclined to trust him. And, he does.

Perhaps you don't fully understand what Wayland is or why the senior X11 developers think it is a good idea. Please read through this and see if it changes your mind:

Comment: Non-expert suggestions (Score 1) 250

by steveha (#48330063) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Minimizing Oil and Gas Dependency In a Central European City?

I'm not an expert, but you asked on Slashdot so I guess you are willing to listen to non-expert opinion.

  • Insulate as much as you can. In the USA we can hire experts to come out, look at a building, make recommendations, and then carry out the work. My home, for example, had its insulation upgraded as much as possible: thick insulation in the attic space, as much insulation into the walls as they could take (not much), and windows replaced with triple-pane windows filled with krypton gas.
  • If you expect to lose power for only short times, it may be enough to have a large capacity UPS on your server. For long-term independence you will need a generator.
  • Could your server needs be handled by a low-power server? I use an HP Proliant Microserver which is pretty much a laptop motherboard (uses an AMD Turion II mobile processor). Perhaps you could use an actual laptop for your server and have a built-in "UPS" in the battery.
  • For rooftoop solar, photovoltaic panels would be simplest, but I believe that panels that collect heat are the most efficient. I suggest you Google search for "solar off-grid" and "solar water heating" and read about these.

+ - Slashdot Skeptics Were Right About Dual-Core TK1 Performance 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In August, Slashdot published a scoop titled NVIDIAs 64-bit Tegra K1: The Ghost of Transmeta Rides Again, Out of Order. In the comments section, many skeptics chimed in, saying that while the out-of-order architecture being re-introduced by NVIDIA would likely lead to improved benchmarks, real-world use scenarios might experience stalls-aplenty.

Turns out the skeptics were right, as The Verge, Gizmodo, and even the rather Google-biased Android Police have panned the user experience rendered by the 64-bit to be choppy, laggy, slow, and unacceptable. Needless to say, this is rather ironic, considering the chip has been flaunted by NVIDIA as the fastest mobile SoC ever.

After stepping out of the phone game, the lack of design wins for the past few years, the spontaneously cracked trim and weak WiFi antenna on their flagship SHIELD Tablet, it seems that NVIDIA's future in producing fabless mobile SoC's is in serious peril. Stock 64-bit ARM A57/53 cores (which stick to the proven out-of-order architecture) are predicted to be smoking fast, while even the current 32-bit A15, and even A12/17 (which are next generation's midrange cores) provide a very smooth user experience. ARM's high-end stock GPU, the MALI T-T60 series, is no slouch either, and when scaled up to its maximum of 16 cores, provides similar computing power to the 192 Core Kepler architecture used in both the 32-bit A15 and 64-bit Denver variations of the Tegra K1 SoC.

NVIDIA has essentially run out of wildcards to differentiate themselves in the high-end segment, which their own CEO has claimed is all they are aiming for at this point. It would not be far fetched to imagine a world in which NVIDIA totally bows out from the mobile-SoC game in only 1 or 2 years. They simply can't keep losing billions on it year after year, forever; not when the future looks this bleak."

Comment: Re:Vote by mail. (Score 1) 388

by steveha (#48322525) Attached to: Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

Why make it harder to vote for people who have to work, single parents, the elderly, those without transportation, etc?

When in-person voting was standard in my state, there was always a provision for "absentee" ballots, available to anyone who would have a true hardship to vote in person. I never proposed getting rid of all absentee ballots; I just think they should be limited to those who truly need them, rather than all voters mailing all ballots always.

The number of fraud cases is likely extremely low, to the point of being a statistical anomaly.

How can you know this?

Comment: Re:Vote by mail. (Score 1) 388

by steveha (#48321147) Attached to: Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

If you prevent 1,000 cases of fraud by stopping 10,000 legitimate voters then would you really say that is a solution?

Do you have any evidence whatsoever that in-person voting stops any voters, let alone ten thousand of them?

If in-person voting is such an unreasonable burden, then why was it the way my state did things from the time it became a state until a couple of years ago?

Do you at least agree that voter fraud is a problem? If an honest count of the people's votes would choose candidate A, but ballot-stuffing manages to swing the election over to candidate B, would you agree that some harm has been done?

I claim that 1,000 fraudulent votes is equivalent to disenfranchising 1,000 legitimate voters. Do you agree, or do you disagree with this statement? If you disagree, then why?

It is disenfranchisement for the sake of exclusion, not actually making the system better.

Who is trying to disenfranchise voters for the sake of exclusion? Who are the voters to be disenfranchised?

Did you intend to specifically imply that I'm a liar, that I don't actually care about voter fraud but just want to disenfranchise people? If so, upon what evidence do you base this conclusion?

Comment: Re:Vote by mail. (Score 1) 388

by steveha (#48319903) Attached to: Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

I don't personally have any evidence that it's happening. James O'Keefe, however, collected video evidence that if it did happen, that the Democratic party operatives he talked to would be okay with it and encouraged it.

"I mean, that's not even like lying or stealing. If someone throws out a ballot, you should just... do it."

But isn't this sort of beside the point? If I told you about a vulnerability in a server, would you (a) fix the server, or (b) demand to know whether I had any evidence that the vulnerability was actually being exploited?

Comment: Re:Vote by mail. (Score 2) 388

by steveha (#48314777) Attached to: Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

Much better solution. No lines. No scheduling around work. Several weeks to study out everything.

It's also much easier and lower-risk to vote fraudulently by mail. Even if someone comparing the signatures detects a forged vote, it will be pretty much impossible to find the person who forged it.

I much prefer showing up at a polling place and marking a piece of stiff paper or light cardboard, with volunteers (all political parties welcome) watching everything. I want the ballots hauled away in locked boxes and watched at all times.

Go ahead and use computer scanners to tally the votes. But keep the ballots as a paper trail. Recounts are easy to do and humans can easily check up on the results from the scanners.

And, polling places can have unofficial vote tally scanners that count votes all day and then forward the results to the state department of elections, so the news can find out who appears to be winning.

In fact, the above is the way elections used to work where I live; in recent years the state has gone to mail-in ballots only.

Where I live, the state department of elections mails out a voters's guide many weeks before the actual election, so it's easy to study. Ideally the guide should include a printed sheet that would list the offices for which you could vote, so you don't even have to figure that out on your own from your voter's ID card or whatever.

Comment: Re: How long will it last... (Score 2) 94

by steveha (#48312517) Attached to: Internet Archive Launches Arcade of Classic Games In the Browser

Politics is the art of the possible. There are big-money companies that really, really don't want some properties to go into the public domain... and I don't think it will be possible to make a simple scheme like 14+14 in the face of their opposition.

I think the best we can hope for, the best we can realistically obtain in the current political environment, is to allow copyright holders to renew forever, but absolutely require that renewal (nothing automatic).

So Disney will pay people to meticulously track every old Disney cartoon, will pay the copyright renewal fee on each one every 5 years or whatever, and won't oppose letting other stuff fall into the public domain. Meanwhile, wacky old video games where nobody is even sure who controls the copyright would fall into the public domain, as nobody would pay the fee.

I don't even care how much the fee is. Make it $1. What I want is for the default case be that things fall into the public domain.

I don't view the above solution as perfect, but I do think it is the best that we can hope for in the current environment.

Comment: Re:Journalctl logging is more secure (bug #1098132 (Score 1) 928

by steveha (#48284231) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?

where's the problem?

Upon re-reading the original post, I have figured out what I missed the first time around: the original poster doesn't trust the SystemD journal system and wants the ability to completely remove it. (I had tunnel vision on the remote logging thing; mea culpa.)

The original poster also claims that, as existing logging solutions are well-understood, that using the SystemD journal system might expose the owner of the computer to liability. I consider this idea rather wild; I'm not a lawyer but I'm pretty sure that no court would consider it negligent to use the provided logging daemon that Red Hat has been shipping for years now. And, one of the reasons for the binary format in the first place is to make it impossible to alter a log without the changes being detected; this seems like a rather strong advantage with respect to liability.

I would like to see statistics of how many computers are running SystemD, and of those, how many have had actual problems with the journal. If it's as bad as the original poster is claiming, then let's see the numbers.

Comment: Re:Journalctl logging is more secure (bug #1098132 (Score 1) 928

by steveha (#48281993) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?

syslog-ng is receiving a copy of what journald is deciding to write

Yes, that seems pretty clear. What of it?

The original poster was claiming that SystemD is unsuitable for servers because there was no possible way to get remote logs, and thus if someone cracks the server he could mess with the logs. Installing rsyslog would solve the problem. The attacker could scramble the SystemD binary journal files, but not the remote log.

Why should I care whether the log data was collected by the SystemD logger (I guess it's called "journald"?) before rsyslog got it? As long as the log messages are faithfully passed along, where's the problem?

When all else fails, read the instructions.