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Comment: Happy Birthday (Score 5, Insightful) 110

by zoward (#48186259) Attached to: Ubuntu Turns 10

Between Unity and Mir, it's considered cool to Bash Ubuntu these days, but even their most stalwart detractors have to admit they raised the bar for desktop Linux from the first day of their release. There's a reason it's become both a popular distro and a popular base for derivatives.

Thank you, Ubuntu, and Happy Birthday.

Comment: Ask (Score 1) 218

by zoward (#46551829) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Re-Learning How To Interview As a Developer?

You shouldn't be asking Slashdot why you're not interviewing well, you should be asking the people who didn't hire you. When you get the phone call saying "no thanks", ask them why you weren't hired. You'll probably get a non-committal answer from most, but there are some will tell you what they think you did wrong.

Good luck.

+ - Avatar - an open-source operating system for the Internet with privacy built-in->

Submitted by zer0point
zer0point writes: A new project aiming to help people to communicate and share more securely without sacrificing user experience or privacy. Avatar runs on top of Avatar Network which is a decentralize, anonymous p2p network based on the Phantom protocol. Users can send messages either inside Avatar Network, or to other social networks like Facebook or Twitter, store/share any data and access popular internet services with few clicks. The project is currently looking for architecture/security experts to help audit the protocol designs.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Q: How many characters lost in Tomb of Horrors? (Score 2) 218

by zoward (#46044209) Attached to: Celebrating Dungeons & Dragons' 40th Anniversary

This. I was the DM for our merry little band of adventurers traipsing through the Tomb of Horrors. We couldn't stop laughing. It was INSANE - no one could survive this. It was like they designed it to torture the players. One thing I'll never forget about it: after one particularly nasty trap that stripped the players of all the gear they were carrying, the text in the book said, parenthetically, "cruel, but most entertaining for the DM". And the same could be said for the entire module.

Second place for player cruelty goes to the Judge's Guild module Inferno, based on Dante. Then again, a lot of Judge's Guild modules bordered on the impossible.

Comment: Re:Spell it out the first time (Score 5, Insightful) 279

by zoward (#46022909) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: Any CLA Is Fundamentally Broken

Also, the Slashdot editors need to understand that when they don't spell out these acronyms the first time they use them, the first half of the comments section is going be discussing the lack of proper acronym definition and poor editorial skills instead of, you know, the actual article content. Just sayin'.

Comment: Profit vs. Cost Center (Score 2) 289

by zoward (#45221453) Attached to: The Cybersecurity Industry Is Hiring, But Young People Aren't Interested

That's because companies view network security as a cost center, rather than a profit center, so they want to spend as little on it as possible. Being a network security specialist is a "reactionary" job - you do everything you can to make the network safe (on the usually meager budget you've given to do so), and then wait for ... something ... to happen, after which you'll be implicityly if not outright blamerd for it. You can also look forward to carrying a pager, possibly 24/7. In order to do the job well you'd probably need a skillset that intersects knowledge of IT, networking and programming. You could be a programmer, which is a profit center for software companies, which means you'd probably be treated and paid better, and not locked into IT, which is a dead end at many companies who see IT as something they begrudgingly have to pay for.

Still, network security sounds sexy, and it probably pays better than mainstream IT - I'm surprised they're having that much trouble finding people to do it.

I also can't help wondering if the world's black hats would pay better for someone with the skillset. After all, for them, network security is a profit center.

Comment: Re:Sad loss. (Score 1) 98

by zoward (#44077459) Attached to: Citrix Founder and Key OS/2 Player Ed Iacobucci Dead At 59

Ah, the memories ... OS/2. It had a lot of great features, but it was a PITA to install, and they spent too much time trying to get it to run windows programs and not enough smoothing out some of the rough edges. I did prefer it to Win 3.11 at the time, though. IBM's WebExplorer become the first web browser I ever used. I still prefer the mutli-document interface from their NR/2 newsreader to anything I've used since. It also had the first multiboot launcher I've used, Boot Manager, which I had running DOS 6.2, Windows 3.11, OS/2 3.0 and slackware linux all on the same drive. LOL, it was fun trying to keep them all running and updated but I had no room for applications!

Comment: Re: That doesn't fix anything (Score 1) 581

This is why Microsoft has left the right to sell used games squarely in the hands of the publishers ... along with the legal liability for not doing so if it runs afoul of the EU's consumer protection laws. Notice they won't even claim a portion of the used game sales. Since when would MS leave money on the table like that? Since the EU has been jabbing them with multimillion dollar fines every other year. Used game sales is a hot-button issue, as the number of comments on this story suggests.

Comment: Re:Libre? (Score 1) 109

by zoward (#43157541) Attached to: Trisquel 6.0 'Toutatis' Is Now Available

WTF does libre mean in this context? Or are we talking about Mexican wrestlers again?

The term Libre is used by many in the FOSS community instead of "free", so they won't have to keep explaining the diference between "free as in speech" (free to use and modify) and "free as in beer" (cost).

They're downstream from Ubuntu instead of Debian because Ubuntu is more end user-friendly than Debian. I would imagine that could change depending on how Ubuntu changes over the next few releases.

I'll be downloading Toutatis today. Along with my main (gaming) rig (which runs Linux Mint), I maintain a "free box", which contains nothing but 100% Free (tm) software, mostly as an experiment to gauge the current status of how useful a box with only free software is (or isn't). I have to say, it's become a lot easier than it was in the old days, where almost nothing worked after you stripped out the nonfree bits. Modems and network cards were notoriously hard to get working. Brigantia, the prevous release of Trisquel, supports every peice of hardware on the box except the ethernet port (the box has an nVidia nForce-based motherboard), but the wireless worked, so I didn't really try. Interestingly, I've been increasingly using the free box over my gaming rig for day-to-day use, and may end up scrapping the gaming rig as I don't game as much these days.

Some things that are challenging on a free box:
- Anything that requires heavy graphical use, e.g., no serious games. The free box has an nVidia card, running X using nouveau.
- Flash-based stuff is iffy. I have flash video supported, but no apps (and in my case at least, little of value was lost).
- Any java programs that require Sun's implementation of java.
- The fonts are hard to look at. Does anyone konw here I can get some good libre fonts?
- Using proprietary audio/video formats. In many cases playback works, ostensibly becuase in many countries there are no software patents (yet). Since I''m in the USA and try to keep the Free box free, I stick to free formats (fortunately I ripped most of my music collection to FLAC a long time ago. For the free box, I wrote a script to go thorugh my collection and convert any remaining mp3's to Ogg).

As you can see, most of the issues revolve around proprietary languages, hardware, fonts, etc.

Congrats to the folks who put Trisquel together for getting Toutatis out. I can't wait to try it!

Comment: Re:Debian (Score 1) 121

by zoward (#42939951) Attached to: Canonical Announcing Ubuntu Tablet Tomorrow?

Can it be stripped and installed with Debian Linux?

...and will we want it to? I wasn't aware of Debian having resonable touch support (but TBH, I really don't know). How are the specs? How open is the hardware? Assuming reasonable specs, and open hardware drivers (and that's assuming a LOT), I'd like to see KDE Plasma Active on it.

I'd also like to see if Canonical can produce a usable tablet. I'm not a huge fan of Unity, but I'm willing to be impressed if they can make something impressive. Ball's in your court, Canonical.

Comment: Re:Monoculture, here we come (again) (Score 1) 314

by zoward (#42884521) Attached to: Opera Picks Up Webkit Engine

A browser monoculture based on webkit is at least better than a monoculture based on a closed source rendering engine...
Just how bad it is, really comes down to who controls it and how much input other people have into it.

Of course without intervention pretty much everything will end up heading towards a monoculture... Linux for instance has pretty much killed the varied proprietary unixes that existed just as x86 has killed the risc processors they ran on.

So if a monoculture is inevitable, then minimising the damage by keeping it open is the best you can hope for.

Last I checked, the various flavors of BSD were alive and well (but I haven't confirmed this with Netcraft, so I may be wrong).

Comment: Re:If you spend money on F2P... (Score 2) 377

You are the way this model should work - you understand that what you're spending money on is entertainment, not any sort of future investment. If STO shut down tomorrow. the $20 you spent last month wasn't "lost" - it was spent on a month's worth of entertainment, As you mentioned, it can actually be a good entertainment value. When MMO's do shut down, it's a sad day for players who enjoyed the game, but a worse day for those who mistakenly thought of the money they spent on the game as "invested" in their avatar(s).

Uncompensated overtime? Just Say No.