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Slashback: Apache, DRM, Limbo 175

Slashback tonight has an important correction about the role of the Apache Foundation (none) vis a vis yesterday's ".NET for Apache" post. Also, another view of the recent DRM (stacked) roundtable in Washington, a review of Red Hat's new beta, and more. Anyone who has successfully downloaded the new Mandrake beta want to comment on that?

Those guys did not ride in with us. Sascha Schumann of the Apache Software Foundation wrote to correct the story presented in Monday's post (".Net for Apache"), writing "this is _not_ a joint Apache Software Foundation/Microsoft stunt. It has not been approved or endorsed by the Apache Software Foundation, nor does it require any of those acts -- it is a deal between two private companies, Covalent and Microsoft."

Fly on wall video, anyone? kikensei writes: "DSL Reports has a story summarizing last week's DRM round table that was stacked with corporate panel members. You can read it here. It presents a much more apt framework for discussion than the overly sensitive, passive account from Al3x that defined our discussion last week."

Dancing in limbo, limbo, limbo. Earlier this month, we mentioned Red Hat's new beta, called Limbo. wiredog writes "From eWeek, a review of RedHat 8.0 beta. With gcc 3.1,the latest versions of GNOME, Mozilla and OpenOffice, and Apache 2.0"

The force is strong in these metallic boxes. Verizon Guy writes "CNet is reporting that Industrial Light and Magic, the group responsible for rendering the special effects in the Star Wars films, is moving away from their proprietary SGI/IRIX/RISC based systems and is instead moving to Dells running Linux. This will give them 100% performance at 20% of the cost."

Here's a link to our post with the recent Linux Journal article on same; look for more on this soon.

Wear name tags, please. mpawlo writes "Slashdot meetup day is only a week away. Some 4 500 people have already signed up to meet all over the world on Thursday July 25, 2002, 7 pm. We need more fellow Swedes to meet in Stockholm and I guess the same goes for other cities."

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Slashback: Apache, DRM, Limbo

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  • by cheezycrust ( 138235 ) on Tuesday July 23, 2002 @08:11PM (#3941206)
    According to the top meetup list [], more than 200 meetings are with 5 or less people. I wonder how many of them will actually take place. The 70 meetups with only one member will be really cool... at least there's no risk the other guests are boring.
    • by CoolVibe ( 11466 ) on Tuesday July 23, 2002 @08:28PM (#3941283) Journal
      The 70 meetups with only one member will be really cool... at least there's no risk the other guests are boring.

      Nobody will disagree with you either.

    • Well, one lousy bit of scheduling is that this Thursday conflicts with Otakon []; I'm not going to be anywhere near my home base. I'm not really complaining; I'm sure every day has something at least tangentially geek-related. So, er, that's one less person in Grand Rapids.
      • Worse yet, The EAA [] fly-in is in Oshkosh this week and I planned on going Thursday. Looks like rain up here in da nort woods, so I think I'll make the Madison meetup after all.
    • The problem with the meetup situation is that they seem to think people won't go outside a few blocks from their homes to meet up. I mean there are a lot of /. ppl in newyork but it restricts groups to small locations. There are 5 people in queens, ny for example but there are many in new york city. I bet a larger group of people would be willing to meet up if the venue was larger even if some people have to take public transit into the city.
      • The problem didn't happen in the LA-Beverly Hills-Hollywood (damn, who concatenated that unholy hodge-podge!) area. 48 geeks will be dropping by Jillian's Bowling Alley in CityWalk for the meetup. Including moi.

        I would have actually preferred a little more localism. A San Fernando Valley meetup would have been way better for my purposes (Sherman Oaks, anyone?) and I'm sure Westsiders would have been much happier with a Venice or Santa Monica locale. Downtown would probably have been better for the NOC geeks centered around One Wilshire. However, it's cool that there will be such a throng.

        I will be bringing the digital camera. Photos will be up at as soon as I can swing it after the big event.
    • 29 people signed up for Columbus, OH -- 6 confirmed! :D Not sure what we're going to do in Virgin Megastore (browse the DVD section?) but there's lots to do in Easton.
    • does the first one there get to wear a t-shirt saying "1st p0st" and with a grayscale photo of ms portman?
  • by Eric_Cartman_South_P ( 594330 ) on Tuesday July 23, 2002 @08:13PM (#3941215)
    Some 4 500 people have already signed up to meet...

    4,500 people! I feel sorry for the three girls that are gonna show up. Behave yourselfz, gentlemen! Keep your 1337n335 where it belongs!
  • by Hollins ( 83264 ) on Tuesday July 23, 2002 @08:14PM (#3941220) Homepage
    In order to learn the secret location of a geek get together in your area, you must submit your email address.

    The site promises that I won't be spammed, but I have found repeatedly that many companies don't share my definition of spam. More often than not, when a company promises not to use my email address for spam, what they mean is that they won't sell my address (for now). However, they don't consider sending me a weekly newsletter consisting soley of product ads to be spam.
    • by Eric_Cartman_South_P ( 594330 ) on Tuesday July 23, 2002 @08:15PM (#3941230)
      Really? Send me your e-mail and I'll make sure it all stops.

    • What's the problem? Get free address from
      just for meetup purposes and volia!
      • I have about six such addresses. I create a new one each time the old on gets overwhelmed with spam. I'm sick of dealing with it, so I simply don't participate. I think others are, also. Hopefully folks will realize this to be the case stop trying to require registration.

        The real-world analogues to these types of promotions don't use similar tactics, because they know doing so is silly. When I'm offered a free sample at the grocery, I'm not asked for my phone number.
        • I was going to recommend to you, but they seem to be down for some reason? Anyhow, it's a great service(if it works) and avoids the hassle of creating a new hotmail/yahoo account each time.
        • I have a friend who creates a sendmail alias on his box every time he puts an email address in a form just to see who spams him. He always opts out of everything.

          One time he called McAffee because he filled out a form on their site listing his email as and he started getting spam to that address. The claimed that they don't give out email addresses, and he informed him that they were the only people that had this email address, calling BS on them.

          But in the end, just delete the alias if it starts getting spammed.

        • I used to just forward all my email into /dev/null. Then one day I decided to do a mail backup, so I gzipped it, and my computer disappeared!
    • Actually I find I can enter anyaddress/password to 'sign up' and it just lets you through. So type in a junk address and see where it is. You can confirm going there (not sure if that actually requires a legit email or not) afterwards. Happy meetups!
    • The reason it asks for your email address is that it uses it. A few days ago it mailed people who had signed up, to let 'em know if there were enough people signed up, and to get people to RSVP, if the meeting was on.
    • Actually, they even explicitly state that they may do so. It's in the usage terms.
    • In order to learn the secret location of a geek get together in your area, you must submit your email address. The site promises that I won't be spammed, but I have found repeatedly that many companies don't share my definition of spam.

      Easy. Your email is, and your password is slashdot. I tried it, and I guess I am not the first one to try it, because it says "Welcome back cmdrtaco!"

  • by great throwdini ( 118430 ) on Tuesday July 23, 2002 @08:19PM (#3941246)

    Anyone who has successfully downloaded the new Mandrake beta want to comment on that?

    What? We're no longer permitted to respond in-band []? Or can the Mandrake Beta now claim to be /.'s quickest Slashback [] topic? In other words: huh?

  • Hmmm, I have Red Sox tickets for tomorrow night but how can I possibly pass up the chance to socialize with the WIPO Troll []?

    And it's only the Devil Rays...

  • CD1:

    545250K ..... @ 34.44 KB/s
    542000K ..... @ 29.90 KB/s
    Wget is working hard, but damnit, I need more bandwidth!
    • Strewth: do they not have a net installer with just a basic small (e.g. 35MB) bootableISO download yet? Why waste your precious bandwidth on packages you're never going to use? Try Debian see why I don't ever want to download Mandrake again.

      I wish Mandrake come up with some way for me to upgrade painlessly over the 'net without having to download and burn GBs of ISO. If I can't get it done, the next time I try to upgrade my Mandrake 8.1 system, I'll replace it with Debian and never worry about it again.
      • Um the last time I installed MDK 8.1 It took 1 floppy for the net install. Not one cd. Not multiple floppies. 1 floppy.
        • CableModemSniper is correct. Mandrake has a network install floppy image for 8.2 (and previous releases), located on your favorite mandrake mirror at /pub/mirrors/linux/Mandrake/VER#/i586/images/netwo rk.img (where VER# is the version number, ie. 8.2). I'm pretty sure it only takes one floppy to get the install going, but maybe it takes two. However, they have yet to release anything for 9.0 but the ISOs on their main download page.

          Perhaps the 9.0b1 net install image is accessible somewhere and not made widely known because they want beta testers to test the cdrom install program, which is one of the features that leads people to choose Mandrake over other distros.

  • The company is currently using these machines on ... "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines."

    From the CNet article

    About time. I can still remember the news about how advanced the Terminator 2 movie was in terms of Computer Graphics, breakthrough bla bla blah.

    More info about the movie here [], here [], and here [].
  • Only if they provide tags I will. If they have these corny "Hello, I am " stickers/tags, I will blatantly refuse...
  • Slashdot meetup day is only a week away

    What is the week stuff, it's only 2 days away.
  • uh-huh (Score:1, Redundant)

    by 1010011010 ( 53039 )
    I'll just refer back to
    my original comment []
  • by realgone ( 147744 ) on Tuesday July 23, 2002 @08:46PM (#3941353)
    It's usually a good hour's wait to get a lane for even four people at Bowlmor. I can only imagine what will happen when 51 happy geeks (myself included) show up en masse this Thursday evening.

    I pretty much figure we'll see the first ever recorded Slashdotting of a bowling alley!

  • > Digital Revelations is largely relying on
    > Intel-based computers for the effects on "Rendezvous
    > with Rama," a thriller coming out next year in
    > which a group of humans seek revenge on aliens
    > that blow up Italy.

    Possibly offtopic, but I don't remember Arthur Clarke's story having any mention of destroying Italy...
    • > Digital Revelations is largely relying on
      > Intel-based computers for the effects on "Rendezvous
      > with Rama," a thriller coming out next year in
      > which a group of humans seek revenge on aliens
      > that blow up Italy.

      Possibly offtopic, but I don't remember Arthur Clarke's story having any mention of destroying Italy...

      IFF that caption accurately represents the Hollywood interpretation of Arthur C. Clark's masterpiece the movie will not be worth seeing.

      In the book a meteor of natural origion caused tremendouse damage to the Earth when it skimmed by the atmosphere (I don't recall if Italy was affected per se, but it may have been), resulting is the construction of a space defense against any future incoming rocks. This defense detected an inert alien craft entering the solar system (years or decades after the defense system had been built), and a science mission was sent to explore it.

      The encounter is a little remeniscent of Stanislaw Lem's Fiasco. The scientists experience a great deal, see a lot, learn a little, but those who survive come away at the end mostly baffled and uncomprehending of what they saw.

      No "evil alien attacking" or other such nonsense ... just an encounter with an intelligence (or perhaps just an automated machine) we are apparently unequiped to understand. A fun and very thoughtful story, which the blurb you quote above seems to imply Hollywood is shameless bastardizing into something unrecognizable and repellant.
    • Not Again (Score:3, Interesting)

      by krmt ( 91422 )
      Possibly offtopic, but I don't remember Arthur Clarke's story having any mention of destroying Italy...
      Or, for that matter, any humans seeking revenge, or even live aliens present on the ship (unless you count plant and animal life).

      I'm getting that "they're going to rape and pillage it like Starship Troopers" feeling. What a waste.
      • After doing a little web searching, and reading the story from the film-makers as to what movie they are actually making, I surmise that this plot summary is not entirely accurate.
        Try here []
    • Well, if memory serves, a meteor destroyed (or at least severely damaged) Italy, which is why there was a group with the ability to link up with Rama when it is detected. So, I could see how a combination of alterations to the plot for the movie, and a reporter garbling the summary could result in the above, even if the movie is reasonably faithful.
  • Putting in a fake email address (mine was will get you the meetup location without email confirmation. In my case, it's about 500M from my workplace, so I will drop in.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Please stop signing me up for mailing lists. I am tired of getting your spam.

      Joe Dickless
      Society for the Prohibition of Circumcision
  • I'll bite. What does this refer too? None of the articles mention a baby do they?
    • Oh, that'd be my niece, who I get to visit and carry around a bit tomorrow :)

      She's ready to beat up (or at least intimidate) other kids who are the same age. They're building new charts to accomodate her. When she learns to walk, I believe people will find a trail of destruction in her path.

      Gigantic baby in the good sense.


  • by philipx ( 521085 ) on Tuesday July 23, 2002 @08:57PM (#3941402) Homepage
    ILM switching is another sign of the popularity Linux gains in the graphics market too. But what I found interesting was the way the changed happened.

    I have a friend who has a friend who etc. works for ILM. They had planned this thing for a loooong time and they had assigned three (small) teams to this swithover project.
    One of the teams was to investigate the actual power of Linux in this domain and the offer of the marked. Techies .
    Second team was to look over the market see about savings, opportunities, investors, stuff like that. Financial $tuff
    The existence of the third team will probably never be acknowledged, but their task was to look into what their competitors who switched to Linux (see preview slashdot's announces of switchovers) were doing, how were they doing it, what impact on their revenues had, etc. I'd say spies. They've done a pretty good job.

    Of course, this is highly fictional and has no relation to any living person or existing company ;) .

    • not that the spies had a hard job.

      Go to competitors company
      wait until some techies get out of there cars
      say "There is no way Linux is any good at "
      Listen to the 30 minute lecture on why its been good for the company.
    • Then went over to Company X and offered the person who oversaw their Linux shift a large paypacket to switch.

      Its the cheapest way to steal IP, just steal the people.
    • There's been buzz that all of SGI's Hollywood customers have been dissatisfied with IRIX-based solutions for 3 or 4 years now. It wouldn't take James Bond to figure out that all the other studios are looking for alternatives. Nowadays, everybody who owns proprietary hardware is asking themselves if they can save money by switching to commodity solutions. Most of their "intelligence work" probably just consisted of reading the trade journals or attending conferences.

      But then, that's what intelligence is like. Most CIA employees spend their work days analysing documents that are either public or not very hard to get. The people who sneak into the Pottsyvlvania embassy to photograph the secret war plans contribute to the information stream, but most of the work goes into analysing the information, not gathering it. Of course, nobody will ever make a movie about a guy sitting in a cube in Langley, reading foreign newspapers!

      • Of course, nobody will ever make a movie about a guy sitting in a cube in Langley, reading foreign newspapers!

        Well, at least 'The sum of all fears' hinted at that. ;-)

  • by eagl ( 86459 ) on Tuesday July 23, 2002 @09:08PM (#3941446) Journal
    The meet FAQ specifically states that nobody "runs" the meets. They are instead pure peer-to-peer gatherings.

    If someone were to bring a floppy disk or CD with an MP3 file on it, or even a sheet of music with lyrics, wouldn't that technically violate the DMCA resulting in the RIAA attempting to prosecute the whole meet structure? As an organized peer-to-peer structure, it MUST have no other purpose than to violate copyrights, right?

    I've got my good buddy Fritz on the line. Maybe he'll funnel some of that good sweet Disney or RIAA Christmas money my way. I'll wash his campaign limo so it's all legal as payment for a service of course... You peer-to-peer criminals have only one thing in mind, and you're the biggest threat to individual expression and creativity the universe has ever seen!

    *wakes up in cold sweat, hits "decline" RSVP link*

  • Industrial Light and Magic, you're getting a dell!
  • The Quiet Majority (Score:4, Interesting)

    by s20451 ( 410424 ) on Tuesday July 23, 2002 @09:21PM (#3941522) Journal
    Check out the top cities [] for Slashdot Meetup Day. First on the list is Toronto. Vancouver (13) and Montreal (Tied-14) are in the top 20; taken together they outscore the combination of San Francisco and San Jose. Outside of Canada, London (England) is second on the list (the top American city is Washington, at third). The Aussies are putting in a strong showing with three in the top 20: Melbourne (6), Sydney (7), and Brisbane (11); Perth weighs in at 32nd. "Majority" is too strong a word to use, but ... are us non-Americans taking over Slashdot?
    • by Monkeyman334 ( 205694 ) on Tuesday July 23, 2002 @11:24PM (#3942123)
      Your statistics mean nothing. The ACs are arguing that Americans just aren't interested in the meetup, but that's so subjective that it's not worth arguing, and I don't even think it's true. Anyway, the reason your stats are useless is because they don't take per capita into accont. The population of Seattle is 500,000 people, 500,000/100meetup people, it's about 1 in 5000. The population of Toronto is about 2.5 million people. Does Toronto have 5 times as many people as Seattle on the meetup? Not even close. I in 17,000. So no, Candians aren't taking anything over, they're just bad at math.
      • So no, Candians aren't taking anything over, they're just bad at math.

        And you're bad at spelling.
      • Seattle only has about 560,000 people because a lot of people live in suburbs. But that's bullshit. In your friendly neighbor to the south, Portland, we have about 530,000 people in the city, even though the metro area is obviously much, much smaller.

        You are guilty of spreading useless statistics yourself.

        A more useful measure would be metro areas. Taken from [], Seattle has 3.7 million people and Toronto has 4.9 million people.

        That gives them roughly the same ratios (1 in 37,000 for Seattle, 1 in 34,000 for Toronto).

        What conclusions can we draw? None really, but if you wanted to you could probably agree that the Seattle area and the Toronto area have roughly similar percentages of socially awkward nerds.
        • Socially awkward? Hey, at least these are the nerds that are getting out :) And yeah, I wanted the stats for the greater Toronto area, but couldn't find anything on google that looked recent, my bad.

      • Please, Americans can't even add up ballots.
    • The Aussies are putting in a strong showing with three in the top 20: Melbourne (6), Sydney (7), and Brisbane (11); Perth weighs in at 32nd

      I think I can explain some of this. Perth is fairly boring :P

      • Perth is fairly boring

        Apparently, compared to Adelaide, it's a positive hive of excitement and fun:

        337. Adelaide, Australia (2 members)
        That would be a lot cooler if it were 1000 places down, though... (=

        (Note for the non-Aussies: Adelaide and Perth are State capitals with quite a lot of similarities, including population sizes. Adelaide, however, is renowned for being the most boring place in au.)

  • I just dl'ed disc 1 and grabbed the rest of the junk I need from cooker. . .
  • by johnthorensen ( 539527 ) on Tuesday July 23, 2002 @10:06PM (#3941799)
    You have been formally invited to a


    Please bring the following items:
    1. Trollbot
    2. Know-it-all Attitude
    3. Socialist Mindset
    4. Secret piggy-bank where you keep that big karma horde
    5. "I love/hate Linus" Flag
    6. e-Book version of the Bible, preprocessed to replace "God" and "Lord" with "Richard Stallman" and "Eric Raymond", respectively.
    7. Outrageously Customized Computer Case (Laboratory Eyeshades optional)
    8. Anti-Editorial-Censorship SLASH backdoor
    9. Photoshopped picture of you and a beautiful woman (woman stolen, of course from OMM's coverage of QuakeCon)
    10. Editors: Your favorite foot (for insertion into your collective mouth)
    Come one come all!!!
  • Oh come on we are supposed to be the second damn silicon valley or something like that.

    Ok so granted most of the high tech companies around here /. is not exactly friendly to. . . .

    Err, but crud. With Real Networks, McNeel Software, Wild Tangent, Immunex, and so forth all around here, why doesn't Seattle have a few hundred people minimum signed up? Not to mention Boeing, Starbucks, Seattle's Best Coffee, and other Nerd and Geek related enterprises.
  • by Brian Stretch ( 5304 ) on Tuesday July 23, 2002 @11:00PM (#3942025)
    Along with replacing its workstations, ILM also has installed a 1,000-processor render farm based on Advanced Micro Devices' Athlon processors and a server cluster built with Compaq Alpha processors.

    So Intel chips get the headline but Athlon MP rackmounts do the serious computation. I bet if ILM had found a top-tier vendor with a decent Athlon business (vs. consumer) desktop configuration they'd have Athlon XP's on their desktops too. Or Athlon MP dual CPU workstations, which cost about the same as a high-end uniprocessor P4. Having fought with some thoroughly screwed up Dell Optiplexes recently, the support geeks at ILM have my sympathies.

    (Not that the whole business vs. consumer thing really matters, until you try to convince purchasing of that point...)
  • I liked the RedHat beta review that was posted on eWeek. It pointed out a lot of positives but it wasn't overly complicated. I agree with the finding, RedHat needs to have a graphical font installer/manager that can change system-wide fonts in X such that I don't have to squint on my 1600x1200 desktop.

    I haven't tried the beta yet, but it mentions a screen resolution changing tool. What exactly is this? Is it a tool that just changes the viewport size? Or does it in fact change the entire desktop's resolution? I hope it is the latter because I hate modlines.
  • So I finally got all three ISO's DL'd by 9 PM last night. Tucked in the missus and slunk down to the den where the dual celeron 533 / 256 Mb / nVidia Gforce awaited my fresh meat like a hungry lion.

    Next thing I booted up with disk 1, and the installer came up with a dialog (install from FTP/HTTP/CDROM/HD). I was going to upgrade from Mandrake 8.2, but the RPM database update took too long, so screw it. Hit reset. Repartition and blow it away. Format, check for bad blocks, select individual packages. I installed most of the workstation goodies, and GNOME as my WM. XFree 3.3.6 had 3D support. This is a media PC, hooked up to the stereo, and by 10:30 had a nice little desktop going. Moz 1.0, GNOME 2.0, no OpenOffice, nothing fancy, but very stable, and XMMS works like a champ. Grabbed some files and played DJ for a couple of hours today. Schwweet.

    BTW, did anyone else see that Senator Tom Daschle posted a comment on /.? If that's true, kudos to you sir. You are the first U.S. Senator I have seen posting on Slashdot, and I tip my hat to you. I wish our other elected officials had your guts to offer their views on this type of forum.

    On a slightly off-topic note, how many goverments around the world are investigating Open Source? Britian, Peru, China, Russia, Norway, all this year. Seems like there is a wind of change blowing through many goverments. Maybe our goverment (USA) may want to investigate as well.

    • XFree 3.3.6 had 3D support.

      While this is true, it is sub-optimal.

      What you really want to do is tell it to install XFree 4.x, then go to and download the latest drivers and install them.

      Your 3D acceleration will be much faster.

      Mandrake does not include these drivers because they are not Open Source.

      When Mandrake's installer tells you that only Xfree 3.x had 3D support for your Geforce, that's because those are the only 3D drivers *it* has. The official nvidia drivers are better, and XFree 4.x kicks ass over 3.x any day.

  • I'm looking forward to the Rendezvous with Rama movie .. but I sure hope the bit about "revenge against aliens who blow up Italy" was a misprint. Talk about plot butchering.
  • "Jack Valenti, spokesman of the MPAA, continued to make himself an easy target by insisting at one point that his group did not oppose the VCR."

    Do you think this was an attempt at revisionism or did he really mean that his group did not successfully oppose the VCR?

1 1 was a race-horse, 2 2 was 1 2. When 1 1 1 1 race, 2 2 1 1 2.