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Slashback: Equivalence, Toilets, Hundredth 238

Screenshots of the recently released OpenOffice, another appeal for old Usenet archives, a possibly true account of the One True Conspiracy, and Yes, a way for you to send messages of (sympathy? rage? hope?) to sojourners at MIT while they study for exams. All below in tonight's episode of Slashback.

Screenshots to show the boss. Jim Hall writes: "The other day, I downloaded OpenOffice build 628C for Linux and for Windows. I use Red Hat Linux (7.1) at home, and I already use StarOffice (5.2) for my regular office needs. It works great. I think my main complaint with OpenOffice is the silly desktop. Other than that, I consider it a fully functional office suite that can replace my MS Office needs anytime.

I didn't see any cool OpenOffice screenshots, so I made my own of the text document program. I didn't do any (yet?) of the spreadsheet program, or presentation software. These were really captured for the benefit of my brother, but I'm posting them here so that others can see them."

When I was a boy, we didn't have "archives" ... jbrw writes "Occasionally complaints will pop up that the archives at groups.google.com aren't complete enough. Well, here's your chance to help. Google is conducting an archive hunt to find some CDs from the "NetNews CD Series" pre-dating 1995, to help fill out their archive. I'm sure there's a whole heap of useful information hidden away in there, so it would be nice if it was available for all. Google says they will pay a spotter's fee for any of the CDs they don't have yet. I imagine the /. crowd would be more impressed with some sort of custom t-shirt, but there you go..."

We've mentioned this before, but it looks like they're still looking, or at least haven't updated the page.

Pinch your salt well, folks. Sir_Real writes "The RIAA wants to re-establish the CPRM standard. It is also lobbying lawmakers to make the ISP responsible for content shared by the people they provide for. Sound Cards are being targetted also. If Ms. Rosen has her way, "Watermarked" content will not be rippable because of hardware protection implemented in the new cards. The Register has the full story."

My advice would be to take this one more as a thought experiment than anything else, though it would be interesting if some sort of substantiation emerges.

The site named after a game show noise hits a milestone. Zanthrax writes: "ZZZ Online just got their 100th edition out ! You should go see this site if you allready haven't. Lots of cool stuff on the site gets submitted to /. , Like their ornithopter story which was on a lot sooner than here on /."

Just good, clean, vicarious bathroom fun. random-nerds writes: "Following a suggestion from a Slashdot reader, we built and installed a display in our bathroom so all you crazy Int0rnet junkies can send us messages while we're in our bathroom. Now the MIT Bathroom Server is fun for the whole family. Check it out at http://neurosis.mit.edu/foo/"

There's something wrong there.

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

Slashback: Equivalence, Toilets, Hundredth

Comments Filter:
  • I want an actual picture of the message screen on the bathroom server. I know it would be /.ed in no time, but this just sticks text inside of a graphical frame. I want proof! ;)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 08, 2001 @08:12PM (#2404271)
    I'm sure pr0n filters have been enabled on those systems...
  • by Sawbones ( 176430 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @08:13PM (#2404278)
    What's with the big red button on the MIT Bathroom display? If it does nothing may I suggest the "Please Fed-Ex me Toilet paper" internet alert button.

    Next feature request: send remote flushes to the Foo Floor toilet.
  • Safe Harbour (Score:2, Redundant)

    by Lord_Pall ( 136066 )
    There's a choice quote from Hillary Rosen that everyone needs to pay close attention to.

    Looks like she wants to repeal the safe harbor protection that ISP's have.

    "Because of the magnitude of the problem, ISPs can no longer be shielded from the wrath of the law"

    I'm just aghast at the arrogance from all parties involved.
    • Re:Safe Harbour (Score:3, Redundant)

      by Lord_Pall ( 136066 )
      It dawned on me that my first post wasn't completely clear.

      She's referring to holding all ISP's accountable if their users are found to be infringing on the riaa/mpaa ip rights (or wrongs if you prefer :) )

      The idea of pawning off legal or ip enforcement onto the isp is reprehensible to me, but seems to be the direction we're going

      we don't need a pesky legal system with due process.. just string them up at the corporations discretion..

      • Re:Safe Harbour (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mvdwege ( 243851 )

        On the other hand, many people in the anti-spam community seem to support the idea of holding an ISP responsible for its spammers. Although I support that idea whole-heatedly, it presents me with a conundrum: if I want to hold my ISP responsible for the spammers it harbours, but I don't want them to be responsible for copyright infringement on their network, am I being a hypocrite?

        • I've only heard that discussed when the ISP has an agreement with the spammer that they won't be tossed for spam, the so called pink contracts.
    • Re:Safe Harbour (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sulli ( 195030 )
      She is such an idiot. Does she realize that this would kill the ISP business as we know it?

      Oh yeah, she doesn't care, just so long as she can keep collecting recording-industry millions.

      Your CD purchase dollars at work!

    • Re:Safe Harbour (Score:3, Insightful)

      by unitron ( 5733 )
      So let me see if I've got this straight. The RIAA, hardware makers, and Congress conspiring together to hijack your wallet and an open source answer to MS Office deserve to be buried in a Slashback with something about web surfing from a bathroom?
  • So. . . (Score:3, Redundant)

    by jiheison ( 468171 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @08:16PM (#2404285) Homepage
    It seems the RIAA is not only determined to run itself into the ground, but now wants to sink the entire PC industry by robbing it of the utilities that people actually want? I was fine when they were only trying to dissuade me from buying new CDs, but now they want to discourage me from upgrading my sound card and/or entire computer.

    Especially now, PC manufactureres need the RIAA like a hole in the head.
    • Re:So. . . (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jason Earl ( 1894 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @08:26PM (#2404315) Homepage Journal

      My favorite quote:

      Steve Heckler: "Once consumers can no longer get free music, they will have to buy the music in the formats we choose to put out."

      Or alternatively, consumers may simply start listening to bands from alternative labels that do most of their promoting with free music samples over the Internet. The fact of the matter is that the record labels are not nearly as useful as they were when distributing music meant putting vinyl records on shelves, and promoting it required convincing radio stations to give it air time.

      I personally have steered clear of this whole MP3 craze. So I couldn't care less what happens. But history and simple economics would suggest that the time is ripe for alternatives to the current music distribution scheme.

    • Re:So. . . (Score:2, Interesting)

      by plugger ( 450839 )
      If some legislation like this becomes law, what happens to hardware manufactured outside the US, for use outside the US? Are you guys gonna be making trips to Europe to buy non-crippled hardware or will economies of scale ensure that everyone gets copy-protecting hardware?
      • Re:So. . . (Score:2, Informative)

        by jiheison ( 468171 )
        Are you guys gonna be making trips to Europe to buy non-crippled hardware or will economies of scale ensure that everyone gets copy-protecting hardware?

        My money is on the latter, though not due to any kind of economy. You can already get arrested in Sweden for defying the MPAA, and South Korean college students are carrying their MP3 collections on portable hard drives to evade the local equivalent of the RIAA. Rest assured that the Copyright Industry is bent on world domination.
    • I'm betting they'll start lobbying to outlaw user-programmable PCs ("Why, imagine if these pirates and hackers and terrorists used them to run unlicenced encryption! Think of the CHILDREN!! ") entirely in favor of dumb media appliances. They've already shown a blatant disregard for PC users with their latest CD copy control measures. It's only a matter of time.
    • Why is the drop in CS sales automatically attributed to the new Napsters? I actually don't know that many people that use them. Besides, when Napster first started, CD sales were going through the roof. They only started dropping again after Napster was killed. Or, maybe the drop in sales has something to do with the fact that the whole economy is slowing down. Or the fact that people simply don't like the RIAA, and are boycotting them. I'm starting to get just a little bit annoyed by their anti-competitive tactics, their purchasing of laws, and their misinformation. I, personally, have purchased more CDs as a direct result of being able to preview the music first, and know many other people who are the same way. Sure, there may be people who purchase less, but the point is, the RIAA is wrong in trying to convince everyone that the drop in sales can only be attributed to new Napsters.
    • Well, I wonder if by the time they get their way, it may become irrelevant.

      Personally, I wouldn't mind if everyone who disagreed with them got to send them a little jolt of static electriciy, just to remind them they were not liked.

      I have other ideas, but they are not proper in a public forum like this.

  • by ragnarok ( 6947 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @08:16PM (#2404287)
    http://www.ratemypoo.com [ratemypoo.com]
    I'm speechless...
  • by imadork ( 226897 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @08:19PM (#2404293) Homepage
    At work, we've been worried that our boss is tracking our bathroom time to make sure we're "productive" enough on company time. And these guys are posting their bathrom usage on the Net [mit.edu]? How ironic.
    • by snake_dad ( 311844 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @08:31PM (#2404334) Homepage Journal
      Which ofcourse makes me wonder just how much you have to "produce" in the bathroom to make your boss happy? :-)
    • While I have no proof of this other than circumstantial evidence, I believe that IBM hires will work for food people off the street. The deal being minimum wage and all the bran muffins they can eat. They then circulate these people between bathrooms. My only proof of this is that within moments of going into any IBM bathroom to take a dump, someone will come in, choose the stall right next to yours (Doesn't matter if there're six empty ones) and commence with the explosive diarrhea. It definitely makes you want to cut your business short and get the hell out of there, let me tell you...
  • Would aol be all to happy with ms. rosen?
  • by Robber Baron ( 112304 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @08:24PM (#2404311) Homepage
    We'll leave the last, chilling word to Sony Music Entertainment's Steve Heckler: "Once consumers can no longer get free music, they will have to buy the music in the formats we choose to put out." You have been warned.

    ...or I could simply be satisfied with the music I already have, or start listening to unsigned independent artists, or quit passively listening to the garbage the RIAA has the temerity to call "art" or "music" and start jamming with my friends. Who knows, I may even share it with whoever wants it in a format that I choose. Regardless, there is nothing that says that I have to do anything that involves participating in their greed-inspired, twisted vision of the future.
    • A very interesting source of music if you like soundtrack stuff and/or electronica are old game CDs. The tracks can be quite short, and some of the first CD platforms out there used audio track for dialogue, but there are some seriously interesting bits of music hidden away on Game CDs.

      Personally, I bought a Game Doctor (CD buffer) to repair scratched CDs so I can buy second hand stuff without worrying too much that it will skip. And I regularly visit the new electronica [mp3.com] page on MP3.com.

    • I may even share it with whoever wants it in a format that I choose.

      I like what you are saying here but the point would be better made if you stated it as "a format that they choose" since the real issue here is that music should be open to all in unregulated formats (no copy protection) or they should be rebuilding there business model to encorporate the ever changing world.

      You do have to understand a little where these record companies are coming from. Before electronically transfered files became common, these companies were making money hand over fist. Suddenly their profits are not increasing at the same rate.

      -- sigmata
  • by neema ( 170845 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @08:29PM (#2404326) Homepage
    Lets hope the bathroom servers don't have a disk dump!

    Get it?


  • by Anonymous Coward
    I use SO5.2 on my Linux laptop and my Win tower at home. And I like the desktop, and can't figure out why so many people bash on it.

    All of the office apps are neatly tucked away under a single entry in KDE's task window. I click that open, and I can see every one of my documents in a neat little desktop.

    In SO6.0beta, I get a individual window for every single document for each application (i.e. if i have two text documents and three presos open, I have 5 entries in the KDE task window, and I can't tell them apart until I onMouseOver them)

    btw - the load times for 5.2 with desktop seem to be about the same for me as loading just one app in 6.0 beta. In fact, it seems faster to use 5.2 once it's loaded when I create new documents.

    Some things aren't so useful, like the start button, and yes it does cover up other windows in the background, but I usually send SO to Window 4 or something all by itself, so that's no big deal

  • by jasonbrown ( 142035 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @08:36PM (#2404355) Homepage
    I want to assure all those reading this post that my reason for opposing all these ridiculous bills proposed by the RIAA and other powerful interests is not to "download free music". As a musician and a member of our community orchestra, I do not need to get my music from major labels. I get all the live music (which i prefer) from my friends, family, and the musicians that I know and play with.

    As I am treated like a child and told how I can and cannot use my computer (or other interactive digital devices), I am forced to use one of the first and easiest forms of protest to stop a commercial entity from causing harm. I am simply not buying commercial music (or other IP) from companies that support these new laws aimed at taking away our rights and freedom AS A FORM OF PROTEST. It's called consumer backlash and it is very effective. No money ---> No power.

    At the same time I am writing letters to my legislators opposing these new bills like the SSSCA. We let the DMCA get by us. That was a mistake. The DMCA should be declared unconstitutional (which is being worked on) and we should as Americans stand up and let our lawmakers and power hungry corporations know that we will not stand to be treated like children.

    The point of the matter is: Everytime you buy a CD from the companies that make up the RIAA, your funding this war on your privacy and freedoms. So quit buying them. Music is everywhere. Find it where it is free. Do not circumvent, just find something else to listen to. If you will just open your ears you will discover the world is full of music and we do not need the RIAA to feed it to us.

    And please, write your congressmen and senators with real paper. Let them know how you feel about these new bills and the DMCA. They won't know your opinion unless you tell them.

    These bills can be stopped but it takes many voices to be heard over all that money flowing from the lobbyists.
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @08:38PM (#2404361)
    "Sound Cards are being targetted also. If Ms. Rosen has her way, "Watermarked" content will not be rippable because of hardware protection implemented in the new cards"

    The RIAA is going through the classic crisis in the concept of property introduced by digital information.

    Since the invention of records and up to recently, music could never be found "living" outside of their wax drums, or vinyl disks, or cassette tapes. This was also true with books and photos, where the information could never be found "outside the paper". In short, up to recently, the medium and its content were inseparable from each other. As a result, humanity at large have blissfully mixed the commerce of media, which are physical numerable objects, and their content.

    Now that digital technology have split the two (you can have music or books or photos "floating around" as pure data), a millenia-old way of trading properties is totally crumbling : one cannot be sure that selling one medium-object sells exactly one copy of the content. The reason why traditional commerce of medium-objects works is because, up to today, it was harder or more expensive to copy the content onto a new medium than acquire a legit new copy. This is not true anymore : the lines have crossed, and it's now easier, cheaper and more convenient to copy the content than to acquire a legit copy.

    This is not a new problem. When did the lines cross ? for certain types of documents, like music sheets, the photocopier was a disaster (and publishers fought the photocopier). For music, the lines crossed when people could copy their audio cassettes with only a little quality loss. The lines haven't crossed for photographies, but I'm sure that won't take too long. Finally, books still sell as books today because people prefer paper books to LCD-equipped ebook, and it's still as hard to photocopy a paperback than to go buy it.

    So, the RIAA is fighting a lost battle : because they can't keep the medium and the content inseparable, they're trying to impair all the playback and recording devices enough that the hard-to-copy/easier-to-buy lines cross back to what it was before. Of course, it's impossible : even if every CD player and every soundcard in the world had copy protection (which is not going to happen, cf. 1930s prohibition), people would still find an easy way around the protection. The RIAA's other way of making it harder to copy things is by making it more legally dangerous : they count on most people's fear of the policeman to deter them from copying things, and in some cases, people's intrinsic honesty. For that to work, because copies are so easy to make, they'd have to create an Orwellian police state, and that's actually a real possibility.

    Of course, all traditional media companies are in the same boat. For example, when people will massively prefer E-paper over traditional books, book publishers will join forces with them, and that's not a prediction, that's a fact.

    What's the solution ?

    Well, there aren't many today : the traditional system of commerce with physical objects is so deeply rooted in human cultures that it's not going away anytime soon. A solution would be to create an entirely new economy for media contents from scratch. Not likely. Then, of course, if we had teleportation like in Star Trek, we could teleport medium-object as fast as we download data today, yet the teleported objects would retain their "object" property of uniqueness. Provided the teleportation process is free or very cheap, this would simply deprecate digital copies altogether. Again, not very likely.

    What's in store for the near future ? the RIAA, MPAA, publishing companies and other traditional giant media companies dying a more or less slow death due to their new-found utter inadequacy, and as they go down, hurting people's rights by imposing shoddy products and by twisting the arm of the law to protect their dying business models, instead of reinventing themselves.

    Brace yourself, it's going to hurt and it's only the beginning ...

    • The lines haven't crossed for photographies, but I'm sure that won't take too long.

      Really? So I take it you've never heard of a scanner? Companies like have developed technologies like "digital watermarking" which makes embeds copyright information into photographs in such a way that they are not visible to the naked eye, but scanners and other copying devices will pick them up. Put into an application like Photoshop, this copyright information can be read, and information about the copyright owner can be displayed. If all image editing and viewing applications supported such technology, it would be possible to prevent copying and modifying these copyrighted images.

      • "Really? So I take it you've never heard of a scanner?"

        What I meant is, you don't (yet) hear Kodak or Polaroid moan and whine about how easy it is to scan argentic photographs with a scanner to view them on your screen, proposing that photo prints be moired to avoid scanning, or asking scanner manufacturers to embed watermark recognition in scanner's firmware to block scanning of copyrighted photos. The truth is, a photo print still is the best way of viewing a photo, until flat monitors with resolutions of 3000dpi or more are available for purchase by the average Joe Blow for cheap. Digital music on the other hand is as good from a CD player as it is from a $50 computer with a sound card, which is at the heart of the RIAA's complaints.

        I don't know if you're into photography, but watch the photo industry and you'll see that these guys are busy reconverting to digital and embracing the future because they realize argentic prints will eventually be deprecated. The music industry on the other end is busy clinging to their old way of making money, which is on the go for sure.

        • watch the photo industry and you'll see that these guys are busy reconverting to digital and embracing the future

          I was surprised when Kodak came out with its first digital cameras. Kodak has to be one of the few companies that took technology that was going to destroy their bussiness and run with it. Kodak even beat out the camera makers (Cannon, Pentax, etc.) to produceing a digital camera. Kodak knows that film and developing paper is about to be replaced by digital cameras and picture quality printers. As such Kodak has moved its bussiness over to making cameras and printers.

        • by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @01:06AM (#2404927)

          What I meant is, you don't (yet) hear Kodak or Polaroid moan and whine about how easy it is to scan argentic photographs with a scanner to view them on your screen, proposing that photo prints be moired to avoid scanning, or asking scanner manufacturers to embed watermark recognition in scanner's firmware to block scanning of copyrighted photos.

          There's a big difference between Kodak or Polaroid and those the RIAA represent. Kodak isn't producing IP. They produce media with which IP can be created. Granted - they might see a niche market in producing some of the watermark tech in their digital products.

          A better example of someone with a vested interest in photograph IP is Playboy.

        • What I meant is, you don't (yet) hear Kodak or Polaroid moan and whine about how easy it is to scan

          Why would Kodak or Polaroid moan? They don't take pictures. Content creators certainly do moan - people like Playboy, Corbin, and other stock photography libraries. What you're suggesting is closer to the situation if people like Studer (hardware) and Ampex were complaining about copying (assuming Studer are even still in business - I couldn't tell for sure from a quick search).
  • Ooh! Ooh! I want to be the first one to hax0r an MIT student while he's on the crapper!!

    This opens up a whole new realm of hacktivism... bathroom display defacement.

    Wouldn't that suck, sit down to take a leisurely dump, and suddenly find out that L337mAfiAd00dz 0wNz j00...

  • by flikx ( 191915 )

    Sorry, but those open office screenshots look identical to Star Office 5.2 .. the only difference we can see is the title bar.

    Isn't there anything wild and new that would convince me to try out the beta and dump Star Office 5.2??

    • ...but it is not worth a thousand uses. The difference is that the new version of StarOffice has a nicer "feel" to it, can change its look, has no more "desktop", does much better with M$Office files, and defaults to an open, compressed XML format. My suggestion is, try it. If you already have MickeySoft Office you may not want to change, but if you are in need of an office suite you may find it a much better alternative.
      • No no no.. I don't use M$lop office at all, and I am well aware of the new underlying functionality of OO6.0. My point is that screenshots generally show off the new sexy features of an application. These screenshots look like they could have come straight from SO5.2 two years ago.

  • The way how the RIAA is set up they could never make explicit comments about specific technologies. They can only make general comments about 'concerns on developments' and potentially use the IFPI to document potential solutions without rating them against each other....
    There is no way that they could have a meeting like that, especially since all of them are lawyers that are very skilled at avoiding anti-trust problematic issues, neither would there be any way that a high-profile execs would join such a 'secret' meeting.
    I mean why did the Register post this? Is it April Fool's day in some bizarre religious calendar?

  • If the RIAA actually makes CD unrippable, I'm going to be really pissed.

    CDs are bulky, damage easily, are difficult to keep organized and are difficult to search through.

    I just bought a Rio and ripped all of my music (that I leagally own). The CDs are in a closet. If I can't buy a CD, rip it, and put it in the closet, I AM GOING TO BE VERY ANGRY.

    Am I alone in this?
    • I have already ripped most of my ~300 CDs to high-quality MP3. The server is mounted on all my computers around the house, so no matter where I am I can pull up my favorite music.

      I certainly intend to boycott any CDs that have that ridiculous protection on them...not just because I can't MP3 them but because pretty much every CD player I own outside my car stereo (and that is even debatable) is actually a CD-ROM drive and probably won't play the disc anyways.

      I wish the RIAA would wake up and smell the burning plastic. Hell, if I could pay for and download albums on-demand and they were in standard MP3 format I'd buy MORE than I do now, simply because of the convenience factor. Yes, people are going to trade songs no matter what you do; I think the solution is to just make it so CHEAP AND EASY to pay for the music legit that there isn't a whole lot of reason to get pirated copies. Something like emusic.com but with a decent selection.

      You know I really resent the fact that the RIAA and MPAA automatically treats me as a criminal. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? The hundreds of CDs and DVDs in my possession should be ample proof that I'm willing to pay for what I use.

      I just don't know folks. I am really starting to feel like my country has completely sold out.

  • must be scrolling messages at an insane rate.

    I am waiting for the thing to hit a continous tone.

    Why doesn't someone at MIT set up a video camera to record everything?

    It would be fun to see the movie on the net as the smoke starts to pore out of the display unit.

    • Why doesn't someone at MIT set up a video camera to record everything?

      You do realize this is in a bathroom, right?
      • Why doesn't someone at MIT set up a video camera to record everything?

        You do realize this is in a bathroom, right? Hey, they have to pay off their student loans somehow you know.

        • Why doesn't someone at MIT set up a video camera to record everything?

          You do realize this is in a bathroom, right?

          Hey, they have to pay off their student loans somehow you know.

          yeah, but it is MIT... i dunno about you, but if i want to watch a bunch of geeks, i'll look out in the hall... or in a mirror ;)
  • by alpinist ( 96637 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @08:57PM (#2404436)
    Even though I am in Canada, I find this whole snowballing IP situation very disturbing. I frankly don't care about getting an MP3 copy of some copyrighted song. I've been very pleasantly surprised at the quality and sheer quantity of music you can download from artists who actually want you to do so.

    I have pretty much sworn off buying CD's from any record company associated with the RIAA. Movies I almost never go out to see anymore, although I used to, but now I feel my money should not be going to the MPAA who wishes only to destroy entire other industries (ISP's, PC hardware, software) so they don't have to reconfigure their business model to work in the digital age.

    Unfortunately, it seems the entertainment industry is writing the law freely, and consumers are the ones getting the shaft, and people are losing rights, well, left and right. I wonder about the connection between our entertainment-centric society where people are obsessed with celebrities and this power the industry seems to have now to do whatever they please.

  • love it! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Dr. Awktagon ( 233360 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @09:02PM (#2404455) Homepage

    The music industry and its hired muscle, the Recording Industry Ass. of America, plans to step up its war against MP3 file sharing and CD ripping with campaigns targeting legal, technological and Internet access fronts, The Register has learned.

    Awesome! Slashdot editors, please be sure to borrow this idea, and refer to the RIAA this way from now on in all your articles!

  • I have a stereo which i use to play sound through my computer. I can very easily hit record and put whatever's playing on my computer into a cassette. Then I can use playback on my stereo and use my line-in to put it back into mp3s. Presto! I have just circumvented the RIAA's nifty technology! So how long before owning a stereo be illegal?
    • Screw that, man. Just plug your CD player straight in to the "Mic In" in your sound card.

      I used to do this -- I had a computer with a CD drive that would always fail when I tried to rip for some reason. The sound quality didn't take any noticible hit (well, beyond the hit that all MP3's take, which is barely noticible even on a great system).

      Of course, given that my kid sister could break RIAA-style encrytion, this is hardly an issue. The real danger isn't the technical stop-gap measures, it's the longer term transition of ideas into immutable corporate property.

  • It would be nice to see Star/Open Office offer some innovaitive and compelling features into their package. Until then, I will stick with MS Office for now.
    • Ok, please don't use the 'I' word. It makes most of us hurl. As for compelling features in OpenOffice/StarOffice there are a couple things going on:

      1. This is the first release of a better modularized StarOffice. A lot of time was wasted in nailing down some of the basics that Star was missing.

      2. There really aren't any "compelling features" left to develop for the basic types of software. I still use M$ Office 97 instead of upgrading to the "new, improved" 2000 or XP versions. And why should I? Do they offer anything over my current software WORTH several hundred dollars? No, not really.

      Sun is really trying to make a commodity of Office apps instead of trying to make them "better". Making them "better" will only result in most people complaining that it isn't the same (ergo the StarDesktop).
      • As a legit owner and user of Office 97, I have never seen any reason to upgrade to O-2000 or O-XP.

        Are there any compelling reasons to upgrade/sidestep to OO/SO?

        • Are there any compelling reasons to upgrade/sidestep to OO/SO?

          10. Open XML formats.
          9. If M$ changes their file formats and SO supports them.
          8. Ability to change interface to your preference of platform style.
          7. Uses less disk space than M$ Office.
          6. Free! Free! Fat Free! (Sorry, saw that on a Spanish freeware program once. Guy apparently didn't know English.)
          5. It runs on Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, MacOSX, etec.
          4. Smaller files due to built in compression.
          3. No more upgrade costs.
          2. No stupid licensing/registration program that trys to shut off your computer.

          And the number one reason to choose StarOffice:

          1. Fight the evil empire!!!

  • Mjolnir [jtan.com]

    There is nothing else more impressive than this.
    • It's even more impressive when you stick your head inside the hole in the front while it's playing "Rammstein - Du Hast" at the highest volume the amp can do without blowing the fuse, tweaked for full bass. Or when you're sitting on it. That's fun stuff.
  • by ekrout ( 139379 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @09:17PM (#2404502) Journal
  • Be careful if you're upgrading from Star Office 5.2 to 6.0 beta. I had my own document directory tree I use, so I found soffice's work directory to be inconvenient. So I did what any logical thinking unix user would do, and created a symlink from within soffice's work directory to my document directory.

    When 6.0beta came along, it asked if I wanted to import my settings from 5.2 into 6.0. Sure, sounds good. It worked great. Until I needed to retrieve my files from my personal doc directory. They were ALL GONE!!! The installer followed my symlink and "accidentally" deleted all my files in my document directory. It left the directories intact, but all the files were GONE!

    Fortunately, I had just made a backup of my system a couple days before, but I still lost a bit of work. !@$#.

    Moral of the story: backup early and often. Moral #2 of the story: beware of using beta software on production machines.

    You can read all the details of my experience on Sun's newsgroup that they collect bugs for star office on. It wasn't pretty.

  • In Canada, we collect a levy on CDR media, this allows us the RIGHT as a citizen to make copies of any music CD for our own personal use.

    See more about this here: http://neil.eton.ca/copylevy.shtml#copy_for_friend s [neil.eton.ca]

    I have been toying with the idea of organizing / promoting a "Come and Copy CDs Day" at University of Windsor [uwindsor.ca] or maybe at on of the local Windsor Library [windsorpubliclibrary.com]locations, which does in fact contain a whole PILE of CDs we can now legally copy...

    I believe it is important now to 'get the word out' and snuff out their massive revenue stream...

    Also I believe we should simply order the CDRs online anf FUCK their 'corporate-whore-tax', it would make this otherwise legal event a little more gray, but hey, fuck them.

    This could be seriously fun...
  • Jim Hall is high... (Score:4, Informative)

    by SpookComix ( 113948 ) <spookcomix AT gmail DOT com> on Monday October 08, 2001 @09:50PM (#2404562) Homepage Journal
    "The other day, I downloaded OpenOffice build 628C for Linux and for Windows. I use Red Hat Linux (7.1) at home, and I already use StarOffice (5.2) for my regular office needs. It works great. I think my main complaint with OpenOffice is the silly desktop. Other than that, I consider it a fully functional office suite that can replace my MS Office needs anytime.

    Sheesh. Misinformation abounds about this product! First off, the current build is 638C. That build of OpenOffice contains much of the same base code as the official StarOffice 6 Beta that was released on Oct. 4.

    Let me be bold and italicized for this next one: There is no more integrated desktop. None. It sucked, and everyone knew it, so it's gone. Each component is seperate, with it's own icon (Text Document, Spreadsheet, Presentation, etc.)

    One last thing, because I know it will come up. Previous builds of OpenOffice did not contain a spell check. Before you flame about that, let me mention two things: I just downloaded a build of Mozilla a few weeks ago, and it had no spellcheck either (yet the version of Netscape that used that Mozilla build *did* have a spell check...keep reading). Second, I'm pretty sure this build has a spellchecker in place, or it's right around the corner. Beyond that, if it's not there already, there will be options for different languages (I know German is mentioned often on the discussion list.)

    StarOffice 6 Beta has a spellcheck, because that's one component that Sun owns and did not open source. There are other components in StarOffice that aren't in OpenOffice, but not many.

    Whether you go with StarOffice or OpenOffice, you won't be disappointed. It's an incredible product. It is the product that will allow me to convert my clinic (250+ employees) away from MS Office, which will pave the way for more free (as in speech, and possibly beer) software down the road. I'm very excited about it!


  • As much as I hate to admit it, the one MS product that is pretty good at what it's supposed to do is Word (and to a lesser extent, the other office modules). I think it pretty much goes without saying that Office applications are also the primary thing holding Linux back in the so-called "desktop wars". I can't tell you how many times I hear people around me say, "well, I *would* use Linux, but I need Word docs, PowerPoint, blah blah blah...".
    I have tried using StarOffice on and off again pretty much since it was released to the general public. And each time, it sucks a little bit less. I'm going to give OpenOffice a shot tonight, and if I see a little "start menu" and a fake Windows-ish desktop, it's gonna be curtains. :) Hopefully, it will suck *less* than the latest StarOffice, and then it'll be one substantial victory for Linux users everwhere.
  • Yeah a whole new channel for sending SPAM
  • I think ALL of teh Posters have missed an importanr point.These restrictions will be only in the continent of North America(US ,CANADA and Mexico maybe due to NAFTA).

    The reasons:

    1.IN EUROPE:
    The EU takes privacy,customer rights and other little man issues very seriously.Case in point the absolutely tight Personal Data laws.I mean it's ridiculous that in the us a company can *own* YOUR personal information.

    They are also massively anti big company who push their way through.Why?Because the grass roots participation of Europeans is very high and they take deep interesrt in any issue affecting them again in contrast to US.

    Also sice this fight is led by Recording and Movie industry it puts the back up of most anti
    american culture types.

    Lastly,Technology is a very very important economic sector and the EU is unlikely to stifle choices and make protocols proprietary.

    2.Rest of the World:

    Taiwan,India,South Korea are in no mood to bind their tech sectors to some foreign companies' interest.In India any such "appeasing" of foreign companies shall be the death knell of govt.Another important factor is that geeks:) in india enjoy quite an amount of public ear and it's normally assumed that geeks right,Huge Big Corporation greedy pigs....


    unlike in the past when anyone displeasing the US could get hit by Super 301.Now of cource there is WTO....Which can and has given rulings against US.
    I would assume that WTO is unlikely to permit such an imposition on other member countries when it shall be opposed by all but US and Canada.


    Even if Americans are unsuccesful in preventing another rape of their constitution,the rest of the world doesnt have much to fear yet....

  • Apple now has a retail outlet on University Avenue in Palo Alto, CA. The place looks like an ego trip for Steve Jobs, who lives nearby, rather than a profitable retail outlet. (The last Apple dealership nearby went bust a few months ago.)

    But that's not the point. Employees were demonstrating the storage and playback of music. That's legally questionable. One can make arguments based on the Audio Home Recording Act for home use, but in a commercial environment, you need ASCAP and BMI licenses, as a minimum. Bars, restaurants, and nightclubs all pay. (Record stores have a special deal.)

    At some point, Apple is going to have to face the RIAA. That should be interesting.

  • It's too bad that Rosen, Valenti, the other members of the RIAA, MPAA, and other icons of entertainment industry greed weren't holding their secret meetings on the top floor of the WTC on 9/11. Of course their PR firms would spin it that they died fighting digital terrorism or some other rot. Given their 'Screw other industries and the public' attitude, I certainly wouldn't miss them.

    If they would take even half the money spent on crap legislation and copy protection and used to produce quality art, they wouldn't have a problem making a profit.

  • In reply to "Have to buy"

    "Want To Bet?" You forgot something important - The consumer has a vote. I'm going to whoever has good material that meets my needs. If the market goes dry, I'll work from sheet music, cd's, LP's, casettes, DVD's and reel to reel tape already collected. I don't have to have new music every year. If you choose not to meet that market, you loose as a supplier. Are you ready to cut yourself out of the market by closing the market? Have you noticed the market of USED? Goodwill gets $5 per CD. Used DVD's are $10 and up. Right of first sale is alive! If you cripple new material, existing material will only go up in value.

  • I use ADC/DAC I/O cards to digitize ionospheric sounder data recorded on analog tapes so that it can be processed on a computer. Many people use these cards to log data from experiments and to monitor and control industrial processes. These are not "sound cards" but it would be trivial to configure one to behave like a simple sound card. Is the RIAA going to demand that all ADC/DAC I/O cards contain copy protection circuits? Sorry about that oil refinery blowing up, the I/O card shut down after it falsely detected a copy protection watermark in the signal from the cat cracker pressure sensor.
  • I imagine the /. crowd would be more impressed with some sort of custom t-shirt, but there you go..."

    Forget about it. I was promised a Google shirt, but was never sent one. I tipped them to a number of usability problems with Google, from the logo not linking to their front page, to the << span pages >> arrows jumping you 10 pages at a time instead of the implied 1. Oh well.

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.