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Slashback: Reviews, Resources, Pogo 51

As usual, updates and tangents from previous stories in tonight's Slashback. Read on for more on toys from Pittsburgh, the newest iteration of the Magician-named distro, open source directory entries, and everyone's favorite trademark dispute. So hit the button.

For better, for worse, for what it's worth. Thanks to the people who pointed out reviews of Mandrake 8.0 after I complained about a dearth of these when posting a couple of other reviews

Chris "soup" Campbell, for instance, points to his 8.0 review at Binary Freedom, and the_rev_matt writes: "Timothy was bemoaning the lack of Mandrake 8.0 reviews, so here is one." There's also a pctalk.org review discussed at the excellent Mandrakeforum site, as well as quite a few harsher comments when the release was announced. (I wish other distros would put comments in a forum like this, too.)

You know, 'bouncy bouncy'! Illah Nourbakhsh of CMU's CS lab (the same folks who brought your the Palm Pilot robot kit) writes: "... So here is the newest thing we've done. We make one-legged hopping robots that use an unusual spring system. We wondered what would happen if we scale the hopping robot up so it's much larger than 6 inches-- big enough to carry a human being. Then we can throw away the computer and the human can do the control. The result, the BowGo, enables ordinary humans to jump very, very high into the air and over obstacles. It is a far more powerful Pogo stick. http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~bowgo - there are both pictures and videos available from there. This is from the Toy Robots Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University."

Please give these people your venture capital, because I want to ride one of these! Mountain pogo-ing looks fun.

How can a jump rope be "open"? An unnamed reader contributes: "I've kept my eye on the guys over at the open source directory since I saw them take a good tongue lashing on /. a few weeks ago. They aren't doing too bad getting some listings, but the ones they have gotten seem to be making some waves. By my math, it looks like they've somehow gotten *two* new open source licenses passed through the boys at OSI (open source initiative) since they started three weeks ago."

Well, my tongue is out of lashing practice, but queries for "nano," "bluefish," "gimp" and "python" all return zero matches, so it doesn't seem like the first place I would go "to find Open-Source applications that are stable." The site still looks like a good idea, but is it eclipsed by existing resources? Maybe if enough people go visit it and add entries ...

A high-security remote terminal app by any other name nodvin writes: "In a Slashdot story on Mar. 22, 2001, it was stated Secure Shell Will Remain 'SSH'. However, the draft documents
now start with the title "draft-ietf-secsh-" rather than "draft-ietf-ssh". The charter is now found at: http://www.ietf.org/html.charters/secsh-charter.ht ml and the mail archive is now at:
ftp://ftp.ietf.org/ietf-mail-archive/secsh/ "

Say it ain't so.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Reviews

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    We have met the enemy and he is us?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    i expect the general population will need these helmets too... can you imagine the victim of a bowgo accident? ow.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I just installed Mandrake 8.0 on a Thinkpad yesterday. The trackpoint works fine. It installs as a standard ps/2 mouse and you're good to go. Perhaps he had a faulty laptop?:)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2001 @05:21PM (#262867)
    ... by the "Site Security Handbook" working group when SECSH was formed. It's been this way since the beginning, and way before the whole trademark debate.
  • by deno ( 814 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @06:59PM (#262868) Homepage
    to be more precise, current 2.4 kernel in LM is troublesome on Thinkpads. There is also an issue with some ADAPTED SCSI controllers, but that would be it, as far as "big" problems go.

    If only people would try to install with 2.2 kernel instead of default 2.4 kernel (bunch of floppy images with 2.2 kernel is available on install CD), most of these problems would suddenly become a non-issue, and world would be a better place.

    Btw, Mandrake will have to issue the kernel update before packs hit the shops because of problems with firewall code in 2.4.3 kernels, and I bet Thinkpads will work fine once the update comes out. .-)
  • Well, I suppose that Slashdot really is dead when such an uninformed post gets (5, Informative.)

    Oh, I guess that because it praises WinXP, it gets a 5, because as everyone knows, Slashdot is now the mouthpiece of Microsoft marketing, even if the people in charge don't like MS.

    I really doubt that you really have 8 final because I'm running Cooker and I haven't had whatever it is that crashes on you crash. The kernel panics? X crashes? What? What crashes? You haven't told us anything about what crashes, just that "it" crashes, whatever the hell it is. Konqueror crashes? What?

    I agree that Mandrakesoft needed to do a bit more QA/debugging work before they did a release, but FWIW they seem to be trying to recover from the PR nightmare that Macmillan created for them with their 7.2RC Christmas release. If 8.0 final doesn't work for you so well, grab apt off of a Mandrake mirror, run 'apt-get update; apt-get dist-upgrade' and bring your system up to speed with the development release. It's not perfect (on my machine, KHTML seems to be broken, and libperl seems to have disappeared, which FWIW only affects Xchat) but it seems to be pretty solid overall.

  • It's thought like yours that made final so bad.

    Yes I am running final, not beta 3, not RC1.. final. I spent plenty of time downloading and installing it to know that I have final, thank you. You call my post uninformed then you insult my intelligence.

    And to answer you 'what crashes' question. Well just about everything. That includes kernel panics, X crashing and Konqueror.

    My X font server dies a terrible death also.

    And what I meant by my first line is -- just because everything works for *you* does not meant that it works for everyone!

    I am not alone. My friend has almost the identical problems.. and many more that I didn't write about.

    My complaint was and is that people testing and reviewing seem to use some stable settings and rarely dip their toes in into the expert install, and really muck things up.

    I for one detest the default recommended settings (another thing I think should be worked on), and must go in play with everything in expert mode.. I wish I didn't have to, but I do.

    Stop trying to praise MandrakeSoft everyone and *try* to break things. If you can do it, someone actually will in practice.
  • by Mandrias ( 5341 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @08:43PM (#262871) Journal
    To begin, I can't update rpmdrake so I can't fix any of the problems. Any sites I add vanish the next time the program reloads. I've notices others complaining about this too. In fact I'm having many, many problems with 8.0 final. For example, unlike the last beta, I find that the final is less stable than even MS-Windows 9x! The stupid thing crashes on me 6 or more times a day! Various other problems with stability and graphics glitches when switching between X and console are annoying too. Anti-aliasing fonts *do not work* for me anymore with final. This blows and I'm not sure why this is.
    My friend and I have both installed 8final and have the same problems. It makes me mad that all the reviews rave over the mighty wonders of Mandrake 8. I think it has something to do with non recom. install. I like to go in and actually know what I'm installing, but Mandrake 8 final seems to be broken terribly because of this.
    I think it's sad when a beta is more useful and stable than a final release and I was hoping this wouldn't happen with Mandrake 8. To be honest, this was rushed. I don't know why they release finals so fast but Mandrake-Soft has to take a deep breath and learn something from other software developers... even Microsoft.
    I'm running a beta of Windows XP right now because *it* is much more stable and usable than my mandrake partition. That's just crazy..
    We need better QA.. and much longer beta, rc cycles.
    I'm dissapointed.
  • So why should something be licensed if no one is making money off of it, is it to be geek-chic or something?

    Easy. If it's not licensed it can't be free software. Anything that does not have a license will get the default copyright permissions applied, and these do not allow you to distribute someone else's software.

    For example, if someone gives you some source code without a license attached to it and you put it up for public download, you could get sued by the copyright owner. If people want their own software to be freely modifiable and distributable, they have to explicitly state this intention in a license.

  • by hta ( 7593 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @11:32PM (#262873) Homepage Journal
    was the Site Security Handbook.
    When the SSH standardization effort came along, the "ssh" name wasn't available. Thus - SECSH.
  • I think this [powerskip.de] is the "home" site.

    Looks like fun, but I don't think big 6'5" guys can flip flip too well. :)
  • I remember watching Robot Wars on Comedy Central and one of the Robot builders had a pair of roller blades with DeWalt drills on each foot. It looked like they were attached to the rear wheel with a ratchet mechanism (so you could still roll without power). He zipped around pretty well on those. Needed both hands to control though.
  • by Col. Klink (retired) ( 11632 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @07:29PM (#262876)
    Yes, this is just more proof that the editors never read the site. It was pointed back then that there was a URL http://www.ietf.org/ids.by.wg/secsh.html that refers SSH (and all IETF URLs refer to "secsh". This is because http://www.ietf.org/ids.by.wg/ssh.html is the "Site Security Handbook".
  • by jurgen ( 14843 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @06:22PM (#262877)
    The name of the working group, and the filenames of the drafts have ALWAYS been "secsh". On the other hand the protocol itself has always been referred to as SSH in all the documents, and still is. If you want proof check the mailing list archives or the IETF working group webpage [ietf.org]. Check your facts before you cry wolf.
  • The open source directory may suck, but it is visually represented in cool 3D - thanks to the Canadian company Antarti.ca Systems [antarti.ca]. Directory categories appear as fully exporable geographic regions of Antarica, with sites as clickable map points. For that reason alone, osd should be given a second look.

    "come off crisp and play up to the cynic
    clean and schooled right down to the minute"

  • by Polo ( 30659 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @05:12PM (#262879) Homepage

    • Q: Is riding the BOWGO good exercise?

      A: Subjectively speaking, we find that 20-30 minutes with the BOWGO provides an entertaining and invigorating workout for the whole body. Like skiing or skate-boarding, the BOWGO introduces and element of control that challenges balance skill and involves whole-body motion. We have noted improved strength and endurance in bicycling after training with the BowGo. There is evidence that the repeated, sustained periods of acceleration and free-fall provide general strengthening of the body tissues.

    Am I the only one who thinks of late-night exercise "device" infomercials when reading this question and answer?
  • If they will make a large robot version of this. I like the idea of bouncing around for fun, however I am lazy and would prefer not to have to exert energy to enjoy the bouncing sensation.
  • by Velox_SwiftFox ( 57902 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @09:28PM (#262881)
    Will now take giant leaps forward employing the Bowgo!
  • by LordNite ( 65590 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @04:36PM (#262882)
    The name "Secsh" refers ONLY the NAME of the IETF Working Group. The protocol will still be called SSH. The dispute was over the protocol name not the IETF Working Group name.

    From the charter on http://www.ietf.org:
    "The goal of the working group is to update and standardize the popular SSH protocol. SSH provides support for secure remote login, secure file transfer, and secure TCP/IP and X11 forwardings. It can automatically encrypt, authenticate, and compress transmitted data."

    Please read a little more closely before posting. Thanks.
  • The kernel works very nicely (in my case SuSE-off-the-shelf-2.4.2) on a TP 240. And you are right, the trackpoints are just ps/2 devices and as such no different than any other ps/2 mice.

    There have been complaints also with Debian installs and on some occasions various PCMCIA-cards/controllers did not work (i.e. TP's).

    But again: that's not a kernel but a distro issue!

  • From http://www.ssh.com/legal/trademarks/ [ssh.com]

    Additionally, SSH Communications Security has no desire to cause any inconvenience to users or developers who have been accustomed to using the "ssh" command name with our products. Accordingly, we will provide, free of charge, a trademark license to use the term "ssh" as a command name with proper attribution. It is the use of the ssh® trademark in product names or in ways otherwise likely to cause confusion and infringe the ssh® trademark that the company desires to prevent.

    So they don't need to rename the command, just the product name.

    I for one wish Debian had called the package openssh, since I for ages thought the ssh from ssh.com was that good, until I tried ssh-socks and discovered the difference.

    I'm not totally convinced that OpenSSH infringes the trademark of SSH, since it is generally accepted that OpenXXX is a seperate, Open Source version of XXX (Specifically Legal over here in Oz) (eg OpenBSD, OpenDOS)

    But that's generally accepted amongst the sort of people who read Slashdot. Even so, it seems obvious that it's not the same thing, so I worry about people who send OpenSSH problems to SSH.com.

    In short, change the project name (Since the protocol's SecSH) and just relax a bit.

    Paul "TBBle" Hampson
  • Hmm, I see what you mean.

    Mind you, from the reading of the SSH.com documentation, they would argue that the protocol is the "Secure Shell protocol" even though they are listed as the authors of the IETF drafts which specify "SSH Protocol"

    I dunno exactly how trademarks work, but I suspect that they can still hold the trademark on the "SSH" protocol, and the IETF WG would have to refer to it as the "Secure Shell" or "SecSH" protocol.

    Alternatively, they may not mind people who conform to the protocol calling it the SSH protocol, since that's what it is. That was even the licensing agreement on the code on which OpenSSH was built.

    Either way, I don't think they can stop people who conform to their protocol calling it the SSH(R) protocol.

    Paul "TBBle" Hampson
  • by pete-classic ( 75983 ) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Thursday April 26, 2001 @06:08PM (#262886) Homepage Journal
    Wow, that's an easy one.

    The benefit of the GPL over, say, Sun's "open" license or simply putting your code in the public domain is that it requires people who use your code to play by your rules.

    So, for instance, if I spend a bazillion man hours doing grunt work on some project, and want to share it with the world, some company (or person) can't add one "killer" feature and refuse to share under the same terms.

    So why should something be licensed if no one is making money off of it, is it to be geek-chic or something?

    If your only motivator is money, I suppose it doesn't make sense. But in the final analysis it really comes down to the same reason that proprietary software is licensed: whoever writes the code, makes the rules. Don't come to the party if you don't like the way the host plays.


  • This is the sort of thing that pisses me off. Not everything that is useful is marketable and I'm sick of people telling me not to waste my building the tools I need because some miracle corporation supposedly probably already made it.

    Marketability means demand to customers en masse. That's why corporations make products. The fact is highly critical tools for projects are frequently not money makers because no one works on exactly the same project unless they are in the same company. It maybe a lifesaver but it's no pot of gold.

    Maybe I'm weird but my work doesn't depend solely upon killer apps, the bestsellers, those miracles of modern confusion.

    My work most of the time depends up little unmarkettable but highly necessary utilities.

    Now, I know some of you think there's a contradiction there. God bless your greedy little short-sighted hearts, you idiots are quite amusing. Now go take an economics course.

    Ever heard of props? Yes. Good. Ever seen a prop freom one movie appear in another movie completely unrelated to the first? I didn't think so.

    If there's a tool I make that I need, I gain quite a bit by licensing it. A license guarantees that I can always find updates to my little tool and improvements and such and in exchange so can others. I have projects to finish. I can't afford to keep chasing tools. If someone improves my tool, I still have one not a billion tools to worry about. As much as I may need features in a tool I refuse to get gouged by some company and their licensed-because-we're-making-a-buck software and their one-size-fits-all feature sets.

    When I need a generic tool, I'll gladly pay for it. When I need an odd PROP and one-time use feature that is critical in a project and in only that project I will not be trying to make a buck from it but while I'm working on that project I'd like to avoid having to waste time hunting down alternatives. I save a lot of time and wasted effort by just seeing anyone has added something to my tools.
  • They're about $1000 american. Of course, that's the price in other countries. I imagine it's proportional to lawyers per capita, so figure about $1200 US.
  • Someone quick -- go run and remount -rw
  • The protocol has always been named "ssh" or "SSH". Only the working group is abbreviated "secsh".
  • As others have pointed out, the last "news" item here is not news.
    IETF's naming convention for working group drafts is draft-ietf-wgabbrev-...-NN.txt
    The working group abbreviation "ssh" was already taken, by the Site Security Handbook WG (which has completed its work and disbanded), so "secsh" was used instead.
    The documents are still titled "SSH".
    The protocol is still named "SSH".
    The draft filenames have always been draft-ietf-secsh-*
    Bill Sommerfeld
    IETF Secure Shell working group chair.
  • That statement belongs to Sen. Joseph Mcarthy.
  • by RennieScum ( 118197 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @05:58PM (#262893) Homepage
    -- 2 front mountain bike Bowgo (tm) kits
    -- 2 back mountain bike Bowgo (tm) kits
    -- 4 truck mount Bowgo (tm) kits

    Oh, hell, throw in a kit for my sweet little old neighbor lady's walker
  • by AMuse ( 121806 ) <slashdot-amuse.foofus@com> on Thursday April 26, 2001 @04:03PM (#262894) Homepage
    Cool. Sounds like a great new end-segment for 'The Man Show'. Girls on pogosprings!!
  • I always saw the GNU/Linux terminology as a raw power play on RMS' part myself. I don't consider him much different from people like BillG in that regard; I remember flipping through the docs for gcc years ago and finding out that the purpose of other C compilers is to bootstrap gcc.


  • by Traa ( 158207 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @05:14PM (#262896) Homepage Journal
    If you want extreem bouncy, then check this [entertainfla.com] out. After watching some of the video's on this site [entertainfla.com] I decided that I am not ever going to be THAT crazy. We are talking 6 foot jumps and leeps. The videos have this cute little disclaimer: "PLEASE, don't try this at home".

  • by fjordboy ( 169716 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @04:38PM (#262897) Homepage
    I remember seeing this sort of thing in Popular Mechanics a while ago (or some mag), but it was using gasoline powered shoes. I found some interesting things on them however, they are gasoline powered shoes that allow you to get about 4 meters to the stride and allow people to run about 40km/hour (or so the article says) It comes from a russian design.

    Daily radar has an article about them here [dailyradar.com] and another article about the gaspowered shoes is available here [canoe.ca] I want a pair of these!

  • When I was kid I wanted a Hop Rod Gas Powered Pogo Stick [lightlink.com] There was a road test of one in an April issue of Road and Track in the late 60s
  • Denis,

    Congratulations on your marriage, and getting your job at Linux-Mandrake.

    One of Mandrake's goals has always been to produce the easiest to use Linux distribution available. By and large, they've succeeded.

    I maintain that it is inexcusable to ship a distro where my thinkpad trackpoint ( a generic ps/2 device) does not work. I have used SuSE 7.1 on the same machine, and it does work with a 2.4.x kernel.

    Advising me to use an older kernel is interesting advice, but not particularly exciting or appropriate advice- The linux community waited over a year to recieve the 2.4 kernel, and now you want to tell me that I can't use it?

    This kind of advice, from a man working at a company that wants to attract Windows users? Shoot, I'll go back to Windows (shudder) or my Mac (mmmmmmm...) before being told I must downgrade, especially when I know the advice to be incorrect. Maybe I ought to become loyal to SuSE or another distro...

    A host is a host from coast to coast, but no one uses a host that's close
  • I appreciate your reply more than I do your mod points anyway.
    I wasn't flaming him as much as mandrake.

    What you consider a valid workaround, I consider not that hot a suggestion. As I said, it worked with Mandrake 7.2, so I could have stuck with a 2.2 kernel if I'd wanted to.

    I did try the betas, and there is a bug open for this in Mandrake 8.0's bugzilla. Rather than submit a redundant bug and further swamp the Mandrake team, I added my comments to the bug saying that I had found a way to make it work - sort of, but that it's not a complete solution.

    If you install using text mode instead of graphical mode (defeating one of Mandrake's advantages) and tell it repeatedly that you have a ps/2 mouse, on post-install reboot, it will work, as long as you don't allow kudzu to remove the ps/2 mouse configuration. If you casually press spacebar in anxiousness to get to the usable system, you've lost the mouse again and won't be able to get it back.

    Denis' workaround is invalid, he blames the kernel, which even you say isn't at fault.

    And I don't consider what I wrote to him to be a real big flame. My annoyance is directed at Mandrake, not Denis.

    A host is a host from coast to coast, but no one uses a host that's close
  • by firewort ( 180062 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @06:08PM (#262901)
    The one reviewer that tried to install mandrake on a thinkpad noted that Mandrake doesn't work with the trackpoint, which is a generic ps/2 mouse

    He dimisses this as an issue saying he prefers a USB mouse!!!

    This is inexcusable, it ought to work with the hardware (esp. when 7.2 did), and making me drag a mouse around to plug into my 802.11b equipped laptop sucks big rocks.

    It even worked right in redhat 5.1-7.0 dammit.

    A host is a host from coast to coast, but no one uses a host that's close

  • Yeah know, I wasted the chance to mod you down to reply to you.

    Deno gives a valid work around to get it workin and you flame him. Did you try the betas and submit a bug report? There is nothing in kernel 2.4 that is really necessary besides USB Mass storage, that is not covered in 2.2.19 for desktop use.
  • The BOWGO (patent pending) is a new kind of pogo stick that bounces higher, farther and more efficiently than conventional devices. The BOWGO is a product of the Toy Robots Initiative [cmu.edu] and is a scaled-up, human-sized version of the Bow Leg. The Bow Leg is a highly resilient leg being developed for running robots at Carnegie Mellon University [cmu.edu]'s Robotics Institute [cmu.edu]. The key technology is the fiber-reinforced composite (FRC) spring that bends like a bow to store elastic energy. Compared to the steel coil spring used in a conventional pogo stick, the bow spring stores 2-5 times as much energy per unit mass, and precludes the sliding friction that results when long coil springs buckle sideways. The BOWGO also uses rollers to guide the plunger, in place of the usual plastic guide bushings, providing smooth, almost frictionless motion. The force/deflection characteristic of the bow spring is tailored to provide high-energy storage with minimal shock at ground contact. A large, rubber-padded foot allows the BOWGO to be used on relatively soft surfaces such as grass, sand and gravel. (We recommend using the BOWGO only on soft surfaces and away from any obstacles that might cause injury.)

    Two prototypes, BOWGOI and BOWGOII, have been built and tested with a number of users and spring designs. Performance has greatly surpassed our expectations. A third prototype is presently in the works that should push performance even higher. We are currently seeking licensees for the technology.

  • by sulli ( 195030 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @04:14PM (#262904) Journal
    Yeah, and laws forbidding us from using our cell phones on them. As if our legislators don't have anything better to do!
  • by sulli ( 195030 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @05:06PM (#262905) Journal
    All you need to know about these, from the second article, emphasis added:

    Kunikov said there have not been any accidents so far.

  • Hah! Good luck trying to bring down a CMU server w/ the Slashdot effect. All OC3s...
    Mod this redundant.
  • Anomymous_Spork is a piece of meat.

    Thank you for your attention ladies and gents.

  • If OpenSSH and the standards team cave and change the name (Don't do it!!!!), the world will echo with the keystrokes of

    ln -fs secsh ssh

    Easy enough! :)


  • Okay I`ll bite...
    Linux on its own simply refers to the kernel, this is the bit that Linus wrote at first and is now contributed to by the kernel hacking guys. GNU refers to the UNIX style utilities which are shipped with the Linux kernel in most distributions so that you can actually use the kernel to do useful stuff (like running shells, X-windys etc). RMS is just being anal, everybody else means GNU/Linux when they refer to just Linux.

    A crash reduces
    Your expensive computer
  • What would be the most acute arc achievable on the pogo? With that piece of material just sticking out in front, I'd be worried about it snapping and taking out several coeds.

    Not that I haven't had that problem before.

    Dancin Santa
  • by Dancin_Santa ( 265275 ) <DancinSanta@gmail.com> on Thursday April 26, 2001 @04:09PM (#262911) Journal
    As soon as possible, helmet laws should be enacted to prevent head injuries as a result of misuse of the mega-pogo stick. Laws requiring neck braces should probably be enacted also, but seeing as how neck braces are not as commonly available as helmets we can put off passing that law for a while.

    But eventually...

    Dancin Santa
  • This is surely a compromise drawn from the goodwill of the group. It is obvious from the language of the original license they were under no obligation to do so. I personally think it is a good thing to show such goodwill to those who have contributed to our effort, even when they get grumpy about things not turning out as they had envisioned. For my part, and on my machine, I will simply ln -s secsh ssh
  • Does this bring back memories for anyone else about the Cobra Pogo [yojoe.com] vehicle from GI Joe? Man, that thing rocked. I played with it all the time! I wish they had something like that in real life.
    George W. Bush
    President, United States of America
  • Someone should deny Microsoft their passport!! Hahahahaha!!!
    Rootnode.org [rootnode.org]

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak