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Slashback Java Linux Business Programming

Slashback: Munich, Harlan, Alacrity 213

Read on below for tonight's edition of Slashback, with followups to several previous Slashdot stories, including the Linux-in-Munich saga, Harlan Ellison's feud with AOL, Hotmail's response to the growing space for webmail, and more. Read on for the details.

Please don't link "here": case in point. Kent Brewster writes "As previously mentioned here(1), here(2), and here(3), national treasure Harlan Ellison has been fighting a drawn-out battle with AOL over alt.binaries.e-book. Looks like a settlement has been reached; details (such as they are) are on AOL."

Papa Legba adds a link to an informative page on the suit's progress, with lots of informative links.

The basement dwellers burrow deeper. kevin_conaway writes "Accoring to this article on Tech Target, the DNS outage at Akamai was caused by a massive DDOS attack on Akamai's servers. Akamai Technologies Inc. said a 'sophisticated, large-scale distributed denial of service attack' on its domain name service bogged down several of its clients' Web sites yesterday morning, and that it's investigating the incident with federal authorities."

Time to quit your Winin' marmoset writes "As a followup to this story, Dave Winer has posted information about transitioning weblogs.com sites. Rogers Cadenhead and Steve Kirks pitched in to help. The plan includes a 90-day free evaluation period, during which the affected users will be able to make local copies of their data, sign up for paid hosting, or move to another hosting solution."

Pay up, Pal. ack154 writes "Following up from a previous slashdot story, PayPal may have reached a preliminary settlement in the class action lawsuit brought against them in 2002. The lawsuit was regarding the freezing of suspected fraud accounts and communication of limits on accounts. Limited details are available right now, but the eBay announcement states that anyone who signed up for a PayPal account between Oct 1999 and Jan 2004 may be eligible."

Forkenbrock points to this USAToday today article which says that "Ebay's Paypal will pay a total of 9.25 million dollars to its users (businesses and individuals)."

What about Java vs. T++? Stefan de Bruijn was one of several readers who reacted to the benchmarks cited in the Slashdot post titled 'Java faster than C++'.

He writes "I took the liberty to re-write a major piece of the C++ part of the benchmark. Furthermore, the Intel compiler has been tested as well. The Java code was assumed 'correct.'

The results are quite different than the former posting. Here, C++ appears to be a winner for the vast majority of programs; where Java scored better with (recursive) algorithms and the use of file IO (where it must be remarked that the C++ code uses iostreams)." joekaylor writes "I did a similar study 6-months ago to the study sited recently here on Slashdot, and I did it with java jdk 1.4.x. Java performance has been underestimated for QUITE some time. It's not the best tool every time, but it is not considered often enough and for the wrong reasons."

And an anonymous reader writes "This article by USC graphics researchers surveys a number of good (mostly numeric) benchmarks and then explains the theory of why maybe java should be faster than C++. It also raises the (unanswered) question of why geeks (ostensibly intelligent and scientifically-minded people) continue to believe some ideas (for example, 'garbage collection is slow') despite strong evidence to the contrary that has been available for many years."

Well, it's sort of like a gigabyte. helloanand writes "So, a day after yahoo relaunched their email service with 100 MB space, hotmail also expanded their offering to 25 MB. Just logged into my hotmail account and saw the space bumped up. The thing that I noticed is that MSN/Hotmail didn't make a big splash about it. Its actually a good thing for the users. Gmail started this trend by coming up with 1 GB (yes! gigabyte) worth of space. Then yahoo joined the party with their own 100 MB version and now the latest to join in bill gates & co (aka MSN Hotmail). Lets see what other changes does Gmail stimulate to the email service. Also the thing to note is that Google's gmail is being closely observed by the established players like MSN and Yahoo."

Each city represents a star system; players alternate by country. Wudbaer writes "The Munich city council has finally OK'ed the multi-step 30 Million Euro project to migrate the Munich city council to Linux, as heise news reports (German text). The planned high-profile migration of the administration of one of the largest cities in Germany has already created a lot of interest both in pro and anti-OSS camps, and was rumored to have run into substantial problems at the beginning of the year which might have endangered the council's final OK for the project. But now apparently the road is open for the project. Go Tux !"

Marcus links to this announcement on the city government's web page, and suggests that you put it through Google.

securitas writes "Hot on the heels of Munich's decision to go with Linux, the City of Bergen, Norway will replace its Unix and Windows core infrastructure with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8. The second part of the implementation will migrate the city's educational network - with 100 schools and 32,000 users - from 100 Windows application servers to 20 Linux IBM eServer BladeCenters. Bergen is Norway's second-largest city. ZDNet UK's Michael Parsons discusses the choice in an interview with Bergen CTO Ole Bjoern Tuftedal."

Making less of a mess. HishamMuhammad writes "The GoboLinux story featured recently on /. got the project some publicity, but again a number of misconceptions showed up, from people who think we are "just another user-friendly distro", because of our verbose pathnames like /System/Settings. Here is an article I wrote in order to explain the principles behind the design of GoboLinux (also in PDF), which tells our side of the story."

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

Slashback: Munich, Harlan, Alacrity

Comments Filter:
  • by AEton ( 654737 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:02PM (#9458358)
    My Hotmail account still only has 2MB of storage - and every time I leave it alone for more than two days, it fills up with spam. I checked the site pretty carefully for any expansion offers, but it looks like either the poster lied or was one of a select few to get an offer that's unavailable (for free).
    • by JPriest ( 547211 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:41PM (#9458622) Homepage
      I just checked my MSN account and I also only still have 3 meg. I clicked the get extra storage link, pricing for a 10 meg account is $19.95/year, and 25 meg accounts are $29.95/year.

      For $19.99/year with Yahoo, I can get a 2 Gig account.

      I'm glad Yahoo upgraded to 100 megs, I've had the same yahoo alias for several years and never gotten spam to it, I use yahoo notepad all the time.

      With hotmail, I have created uncommon aliases and gotten spam to them before even having a chance to give out the address.

    • Yup, I still have Hotmail's 2MB limit going. Sure is nice watching bounce-notice 40KB viral .pif attachments with my address spoofed as the sender bump my quota up in 2% increments about 5-10 times/day, to say nothing of the dozens of other messages that aren't so large. But I hear that a full Junk Mail folder cannot actually stop incoming mail.

      I do however feel like mailing MS a floppy so that they can double my storage. Cheapskates... the postage would cost more.

      • That's the beauty of hotmail - a full account never stops incoming mail! It just bumps out old stuff! You know, the stuff that you actually wanted to keep. Obviously that's much less useful than some brand-new spam.
    • Absolutely. I logged into my Hotmail account (which I am slowly phasing out in favor of my yahoo account), and the inbox was just 2MB, with a smattering of spam all over it. I've been using Hotmail since pre-Microsoft, but the service has only gotten worse (unexplicably lost e-mails even to other Hotmail users is the worst-when I write a message, I want it to reach the sender!).
    • well... i just logged into my free hotmail account and it says i have 10MB. how strange. maybe this confusion is just another part of their Scheme to Take Over the World
    • Mine's still 2MB too. :(

      And although hotmail's spam filtering seems to have improved recently, it's still enough of a problem for me (keep running up close to the limit).

      One thing I found that helped - you can configure hotmail to dump junk-mail rather than filing it. That's keeping me comfortably at 50% at the moment.

      I'd love to be able to download some mails out of my hotmail account to free up space there, but that doesn't seem to be an option (OK, it might work with Outlook, but I don't have Outlook)
  • by k4_pacific ( 736911 ) <k4_pacific @ y ahoo.com> on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:05PM (#9458375) Homepage Journal
    Of course, the reason that Hotmail is 25 MB, and Yahoo is 100 MB, is because Hotmail runs on Windows server, which needs the rest of the space for its system files.

    I figured Microsoft would try to turn Hotmail into a category killer by making it UNLIMITED!!! (Actually, they would promise it, but never deliver) They would of course pay for this with the OEM tax on new computers.
  • by macrom ( 537566 ) <macrom75@hotmail.com> on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:05PM (#9458378) Homepage
    I just checked and Hotmail is still showing 2 MB for me. This link [msn.com] still shows a fee of $29.95 a year for 25 MB.

    I always thought it ludicrous to pay MSN for more space for one simple reason : the only cause of me exceeding my space limit was all of the spam that I got from having a Hotmail account, and Microsoft is still the only company (that I know of) that counts your junk mail folder against your quota. Why should I give them money to house more crap when it's their insecure system that's the cause of all of my spam?
  • by Alaren ( 682568 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:08PM (#9458394)

    Don't get too excited. It looks like the 25MB is not for everybody. I use Qwest/MSN for my home DSL, and that account jumped from 10 to 25 megabytes. I technically pay for that account as part of my DSL service.

    But the free Hotmail account I've had since before Hotmail was MSN is still sitting at two megabytes.

    My wife's free Yahoo account went up to 100MB without incident. I'm waiting to grab myself an address at GMail, though, and then... bye bye Hotmail! At least, if they leave my free account at two megabytes. No one at tech support seems to know how to convert my old Hotmail account into the pay account for my DSL. Ah well. Gotta wonder what they're thinking...

  • by Angry Toad ( 314562 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:10PM (#9458400)
    Ellison said: "Through this litigation, I have come to realize that AOL respects the rights of authors and artists, and has a comprehensive system for addressing the complaints of copyright holders.

    Wow - I'm genuinely impressed that they managed to get that much out of him. I'd at least expect that he would have gotten pissed off, thrown a tantrum, and then insist that they refer to him by a silly name in the press release.

    • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @08:58PM (#9459059) Journal
      Somebody really needs to put Harlan and RMS in the same room for a while. Maybe with ESR to moderate.

      AOL didn't put enough work into blowing off Harlan and his lawyer when they first complained. The DMCA is an awful mess, and people besides Harlan have found even worse things to do with it than he did, but he really does not appear to have understood Usenet or ISPs or the Internet particularly well, except as a medium for evil nassttyy fffffile ssssharrerrrssss to steal hisss preciousssss. Now, piracy is not unknown on Usenet, and while it's not quite mandatory in many of the alt.binaries newsgroups, that's only because spam fills up the rest of the spare bits. But that not only doesn't mean that he can reasonably expect ISPs to pay copyright lawyers to read through every terabyte of slowly-moving-self-parody that comes in on the newsgroups to determine what might or might not be pirated, it also doesn't mean that it's reasonable for him to demand that they block access to material or sites that their subscribers might try to access, any more than he can reasonably demand that Xerox not sell devices that facilitate book piracy.

    • And I'm amazed that he could get through the whole thing without telling everyone how great a writer he is and how his original script for "City on the Edge of Forever" was SO much better than what was filmed for the original Star Trek.
  • by Black Art ( 3335 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:11PM (#9458411)
    Harlan's books are rarely posted to alt.binaries.ebooks. The only times i have seen it happen is after he has one of his legendary tanrums.

    If he really wants to do justice to the authors whos work does get posted to that group, he should work to see that their work remains in print and available in local bookshops.

    Media tie-ins and "books in the world of famous author by someone you never heard of" do more harm to real authors than e-books ever will. The less you can find real authors in your local bookstore, the more people will turn to e-books.
    • Media tie-ins and "books in the world of famous author by someone you never heard of" do more harm to real authors than e-books ever will.

      I've downloaded a few of these. It was interesting and occasionally useful to have the searchable text of a book I was reading (legal printed edition) to find things. But I can't imagine reading a novel that way. Even if I printed it out, it's much less nice to read than in printed and bound form. With online used books (Amazon has them, many others) you can get most bo

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:12PM (#9458416)
    Hotmail users have been finding that gmail invites are getting routed to their spam filters, even when they have the spam filter disabled. What's up with that?
  • Yahoo e-mail (Score:4, Informative)

    by richwmn ( 621114 ) <rich@@@techie...com> on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:13PM (#9458421)
    My yahoo e-mail went to the 100mb limit the other day, but, in addition for the last few months neither the bulk mail (spam) or the trash folder have counted against the limit
  • by theirpuppet ( 133526 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:15PM (#9458429)
    Perhaps it's just a gimmick. All jokes aside, Hotmail is still part of MickeySoft and them increasing it to 25MB is still a joke in the face of what the other big boys are doing.

    But, we should still make consideration for the face that hotmail has tons of users. Gmail is new, although there are good minds behind it. Yahoo is looking for any way to make the press. MickeySoft doesn't necessarily need to attract users so much as retain and build upon that retention.

    That sounds a bit like Windows Dominance and all the /. stories lately.
    • by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @08:28PM (#9458852)
      That sounds a bit like Windows Dominance and all the /. stories lately.

      If the limit had been raised to ten gigabytes, everyone would be complaining about how they're using their vast cash reserves to drive everyone else out of the webmail market. If they had left the limit at two megs, the complaint would be that they're just using their market dominance and not innovating. If they got rid of hotmail completely, everyone would be whining about how their five-year-old address was disappearing, and if they sold the hotmail domain to Google, the conspiracy theorists would have a field day.

      No matter what the situation, you guys always seem to know Microsoft is at fault. It's just the reason why that changes.
    • stagnant (Score:4, Informative)

      by twitter ( 104583 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @11:12PM (#9459837) Homepage Journal
      But, we should still make consideration for the fact that hotmail has tons of users.

      It's sheer software fanaticism coupled with greed that has stagnated Hotmail. I can consider Hotmail's user load for about half a second. Then I remember Hotmail's history and know that Microsoft has taken a cool thing and run it into the ground.

      Microsoft has wasted tons of money and time converting Hotmail over to their own OS. The effort failed more than once and they had to increase the number of machines just to keep up with stagnant or declining demand. Their own consultants use the Hotmail example of Unix virtues. [theregister.co.uk] Is it any wonder that the only improvements have been cosmetic and trivial?

      The list of improvements is slim. Microsoft has added some spam filtering, "folders". They have also improved the attachment dialogs so that it's easier to fill your 2500KB. You also get more adds. Singles adds my wife finds cheesy and offensive.

      The service has been unusable for a couple of years. My wife seems happy with it, but she's also happy with clear channel and other advert heavy broadcasts. Watching her try to get things done with it is sort of like watching someone try to eat well buttered, American rice with chopsticks. It's impossible for her and family members to exchange files over 2K despite cable modems at both ends.

      Oh well.

  • by heptapod ( 243146 ) <heptapod@gmail.com> on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:18PM (#9458458) Journal
    Now I can get 23 more megabytes of penis enlargement, Paris Hilton and weight loss in 30 days messages and I'll still be over quota!
  • by miu ( 626917 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:22PM (#9458489) Homepage Journal
    A couple of the referenced links on java note that GC is likely to increase memory locality, but I have never seen non-trivial (greater than 20k lines) C or C++ code that did not use a memory arena or customer allocators. Even smaller programs benefit from simple techniques like using std::vector to emulate a std::map for increased memory locality

    I think the fact that new/delete are a huge part of the overhead of complicated programs is pretty obvious to anyone who has every profiled their code. Once you throw threads into the mix you will see another massive hit to time spent in allocation.

    • Um. Both memory arenas and customer allocators are likely to make locality worse... the whole point about garbage collectors is that they compress the objects down and hence improve locality.
      • Um. Both memory arenas and customer allocators are likely to make locality worse... the whole point about garbage collectors is that they compress the objects down and hence improve locality.

        Standard malloc/new gives you a first fit or best fit chunk of memory. With a custom allocator you often know the size of object you are allocating and sometimes the order in which those objects will be referenced, you can pre-allocate a chunk of memory of n * 'size' and hand out consecutive 'size' chunks when memor

        • With a custom allocator you often know the size of object you are allocating and sometimes the order in which those objects will be referenced, you can pre-allocate a chunk of memory of n * 'size' and hand out consecutive 'size' chunks when memory is needed.

          Sounds like a heck of a lot of fiddling about to me; and brittle code; change the sizes of the objects or allocate an extra object anywhere and suddenly your custom allocator runs like dog food.

          I suppose it does depend on how you write the allocator,

    • by Markus Registrada ( 642224 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @10:59PM (#9459773)
      The original report (anonymously) parrots common propaganda in favor of garbage collection. In fact, people who think Java is slow think so because when they run real Java programs, they find that real Java programs really do run slowly. The question why has lots of good, easily articulated answers, having to do with virtual memory locality, and cache locality, and cache poisoning, and even hard-to-avoid misconfiguration. (Do you know how much memory to tell your Java runtime to allow each of your programs to use?)

      Nobody complains that C++ programs are slow, because they aren't. Nobody is obliged to notice they are C++ programs, because they are easy to install, and they just work. They don't call much attention to themselves, because they rarely suffer from the security flaws common to C programs. (Some people think C++ iostreams are slow, but gcc-3.4's iostreams are as fast as, and often much faster than, libc equivalents; the slowness turned out to be just a bad implementation, now fixed.)

      In principle a really good garbage collector might not be slow, for certain common kinds of jobs, However, Java runtimes generally can't use those garbage collectors; they have to use the slow ones instead. Haskell is supposed to be (uniquely) very good at helping its GC maintain locality, but that doesn't matter much because Haskell is slow anyway.

      The presence of garbage collection actually prevents the language from offering the kind of automated, encapsulated resource management uniquely possible in C++, leaving coders to use essentially C-like management for resources other than memory. Does garbage collection really carry its weight? It has been years since I last coded a "delete" statement. What could GC possibly do for me, to make up for eliminating the most useful library idioms I have?

      GC propaganda is common in academic Computer Science departments, but real programs are built by engineers who are not fooled. LISP has failed to take the world by storm, decade after decade, for sound reasons, just like so many more-modern languages also crippled by GC and LISP apologia. GC doesn't just automate memory management; dependence on it automatically confines the language to niche uses.

      You can tell a bad benchmark because it seems to show that languages you already know are slow aren't.

      • Nobody complains that C++ programs are slow, because they aren't.

        (raising hand) I DO! I DO!

        C++ with QT on Mac OS X is horribly slow. I complain all the time. It is MUCH slower than the equivalent java on the same box.

        Languages aren't slow or fast. Different implementations of algorithms are slow or fast.

        --jeff++

      • In fact, people who think Java is slow think so because when they run real Java programs, they find that real Java programs really do run slowly.

        In my experience people find that the GUIs on Java programs run slow. Which they do. That makes the whole thing feel slow. It's a real concern, but not directly related to the language, VM, garbage collection, level of abstraction or the rest.

        Gnome is noticably slower on my PC than Win 2000. That does not mean the Linux kernel is slower than the NT5 kernel.

        Al

        • In my experience people find that the GUIs on Java programs run slow. Which they do.

          That should read some of the GUIs. There are some very fast Java GUIs. SWT, for example, is a thin layer above native GUIs, and is virtually indistinguishable in terms terms of speed. Years ago Netscape produced a very light portable GUI for java called IFC. That was not native GUI but was fast. The only really slow GUI for java is Swing, and even that is not that bad under later versions of 1.4 and on 1.5.

          All those
      • by Decaff ( 42676 ) on Friday June 18, 2004 @04:21AM (#9461160)
        they find that real Java programs really do run slowly.

        Not true. Most people who run Java programs have no idea that they are running Java programs.

        Nobody complains that C++ programs are slow, because they aren't. Nobody is obliged to notice they are C++ programs, because they are easy to install, and they just work. They don't call much attention to themselves, because they rarely suffer from the security flaws common to C programs.

        This is so wrong, its hard to know where to start.

        First, installation. Java apps can be packaged as a single JAR or WAR file that can be run just by clicking on it, or putting into the right directory of an app server. Alternatively, you can set up networked installs via WebStart. The thing is you can prepare a single binary for all platforms.

        With C++ you need to get the right compiled binary for the processor, and the right versions of system libraries: just look at the trials of installing something via rpms.

        As for speed - you must have a short memory. In the 80s and early 90s there were serious worries about C++ performance, with many complaints that it was far too slow when compared with C or assembler. Remember the complaints about the speed of early versions of Mozilla? It was so bad that many of us assumed it was some interpreted system. No - it was C++!

        As for 'just working' and 'security flaws' this is directly contrary to evidence. Unless you code using bounds-checked collection libraries (which can be intrinsically slow) there is absolutely no difference between C++ and C in terms of memory access, and an equal possibility of buffer overruns.

        As for garbage collection: The comment about niche uses is just nonsense. Not by any rational definition could languages such as Java and C# be defined as 'niche'.

  • i don't pay anything for yahoo, and they give you ten times what hotmail will give you for free- while microsoft tries to charge you 20 bucks fo a tenth of the space! Also, to no matter what I do, my inbox is filled with atrocious amounts of spam ARRGH!
  • by roror ( 767312 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:26PM (#9458517)
    Yes, I am talking about gmail demise. We all love google and hate yahoo ads, but, with the release date of gmail still uncertain, privacy rumours in everyones mind, the chance of gmail taking a lead might be really slim. It might verywell be a email_SE (read special edition) for the geeks. Nothing more. I wonder how many would trade the superior spam filtering of yahoo for the 900MB extra storage of gmail. (And we all know how to use adblock don't we ? so the yahoo ad problem is not that much of a problem.) There is atleast 6 months before gmail goes public. Yahoo could make a killing in this period. I don't see many yahooligans moving to gmail - i.e. when they get a chance to. Yahoo has done its homework this time. Just a little bit of storage hammer can keep the gmail away.
    • Not to mention the two gigs of storage you get with their mail plus pack for only $20 a year. Two gig storage, no adds, no indexing and POP3 access for less than $2 a month is a hell of a deal. Now if only they'd offer the same thing to their business mail customers.

      TW
    • by dubiousmike ( 558126 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @08:07PM (#9458758) Homepage Journal
      unfortunately, many of us still feel that Yahoo isn't far enough removed from their shady past (spamming me once they bought Launch, and changed their privacy policy qhich automatically opted me into a bunch of third party mailings).

      I do agree that Yahoo is cleaner than Hotmail, but I will certainly move over to try Google once it is available to me. Google has never struck me as dishonest while Yahoo has.
    • by tfoss ( 203340 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @08:46PM (#9458966)
      Yes, I am talking about gmail demise.

      Oh c'mon, you just wanted the first "Gmail is dying" post, didn't you?

      We all love google and hate yahoo ads, but, with the release date of gmail still uncertain, privacy rumours in everyones mind, the chance of gmail taking a lead might be really slim. It might verywell be a email_SE (read special edition) for the geeks. Nothing more

      Or maybe it'll do to Yahoo mail what Google did to Yahoo search.

      I wonder how many would trade the superior spam filtering of yahoo for the 900MB extra storage of gmail.

      Superior? To what? The still beta Gmail filter about which very little is really known? Doesn't it seem likely that a company as into research as Google would be able to create a damn fine filter technology? (Beyond which, I wouldn't even call yahoo's spam filter that good...)

      There is atleast 6 months before gmail goes public. Yahoo could make a killing in this period.

      Make a killing off of all those users of its free email system?

      Yahoo has done its homework this time. Just a little bit of storage hammer can keep the gmail away.

      I don't buy it, but more to the point, Gmail is still in beta. Still will be for a while, and making any predictions of how things will go is just kind of silly.

      -Ted

    • gmail is amazing (Score:2, Informative)

      by rbright ( 54766 )
      I simply don't see how anyone who has actually used GMail could honestly think it has any competition at all.

      And I don't mean from Yahoo!, Hotmail, or the latest 2GB provider. I mean any mail client period. Web-based or otherwise.

      Yes the 1GB storage capacity is awesome, but it's just icing on the cake to an amazing interface. GMail is a pleasure to use.

      It's not just faster than any other web-based mail client. It's faster than any other website period. Assuming a decent amount of bandwidth, it's fas
  • by Ryu2 ( 89645 ) * on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:30PM (#9458546) Homepage Journal
    It's not really Gmail's storage space that most people (myself included) find compelling about Gmail. Other free services like Spymac (http://www.spymac.net/) offer comparable storage amounts also.

    Rather, it's the clean user interface, the automatic threading of messages, and the fast searching that most users (myself included) like.

    Only if Yahoo, MS, SBC, et al. can replicate that part of the user experience, will Gmail have a viable competitor.
    • I don't use Gmail, or Hotmail, or anything like that. I use an e-mail account on my webserver and use Outlook XP for my client software. For all intents and purposes I have unlimited e-mail storage. If I want more, I'd buy a bigger HD.

      That said, I LOVE the "lables" features of Gmail. I REALLY hope other places and pieces of software pick that up. I do a form of that now using folders, but of course it's not perfect. I would especially love to see that with my MP3 collection. Again I've found a way to "fake

      • That said, I LOVE the "lables" features of Gmail. I REALLY hope other places and pieces of software pick that up. I do a form of that now using folders, but of course it's not perfect. I would especially love to see that with my MP3 collection. Again I've found a way to "fake it", but the real thing would work much better.

        Oooo... now that sounds like a service worth signing up for. How does the whole evite process work, anyway? Are you allocated a certain number of evites, or can you send as many as you l
    • Gmail is by far the quickest webmail I have ever used. I still prefer my IMAP mailboxes (recently with SA spam filtering, 99.9% accuracy). I have more than 1 GB as we run own own domain and mailserver, but gmail is really attractive as a personal mailbox. I know that I would pay to have IMAP access to gmail, but it looks that that option is unavailable for the near furture.

      The reason IMAP is prefered is not because of gmail's web interface being bad. It's really good as a matter of fact. However, I have ot
  • No wonder... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ianoo ( 711633 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:50PM (#9458683) Journal
    he thing that I noticed is that MSN/Hotmail didn't make a big splash about it. Its actually a good thing for the users. Gmail started this trend by coming up with 1 GB (yes! gigabyte) worth of space. Then yahoo joined the party with their own 100 MB version and now the latest to join in bill gates & co (aka MSN Hotmail).
    No wonder MSN Hotmail isn't making a "big splash about it" considering their service has managed to cough up one fourtieth of Gmail's space and one quarter of Yahoo's space. I'd hardly call that "joining the party" - more like a desperate move. Let's hope that Gmail and a "new wave" of similar services drives these ad-ridden insecure [slashdot.org] proprietary [theregister.co.uk] badly-run [winnetmag.com] messes under once and for all. Who on earth would want to use MSN Hotmail when Gmail goes to full public access?
  • by geekwench ( 644364 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:56PM (#9458707)
    Harlan Ellison is a decent writer. However, he's also a fantastic grandstander. His temper tantrums and aggressive behavior at writers' conventions are nothing short of legendary. The quality of his writing aside (I like most of his short stories), a good portion of his popularity is tied directly in to his notoriety. He knows, much to the chagrin of many people, that his antics keep his books on the shelves where less - colorful - authors disappear from print.
    It doesn't surprise me that AOL settled. Having seen the man on one of his torrential rants (not, thankfully, as the focus of his ire), I almost feel sorry for the execs of AOL/Time/Warner, imagining what sort of invective must have been leveled against them.
    • by cei ( 107343 )
      He knows, much to the chagrin of many people, that his antics keep his books on the shelves where less - colorful - authors disappear from print.

      But the sad fact is that I don't believe any of his novels are currently in print, and of his 30+ short story collections, I think only 3 or 4 are readily available.

      I really had high hopes for Borealis publishing's Edgeworks series, but they only managed to get 4 volumes out. I'd love to see Memos from Purgatory and Web of the City published in one volume with
  • Geek-machismo.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by k98sven ( 324383 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @08:02PM (#9458731) Journal
    It also raises the (unanswered) question of why geeks (ostensibly intelligent and scientifically-minded people) continue to believe some ideas (for example, 'garbage collection is slow') despite strong evidence to the contrary that has been available for many years.

    It's not an unanswered question, it was answered quite long ago, in satirical form:
    Real programmers don't use Pascal [pbm.com].

    The same attitude prevails today, albeit the programming languages are different.

    Personally, I've been around long enough to have heard "C is slow, you should be writing that in assembly language". And now the mantra is "Java is slow, you should use C/C++".

    That is the first category of machismo anyway: speed-freaks who are quick to recommend C, yet seem surprized when their favorite program turns out to have a buffer-overflow exploit.

    The second category appears to be the CS-geek-machismo which is more academic.. These are the guys who are talking about how it all should be Lisp, no matter what. And Java sucks because of its typing, etc. Practical use of the language seems to be of less concern than the design of the language itself for these guys.

    Then there are those who believe in using the right tool for the right job. Sadly, you don't hear as much from these guys, probably because macho-geeks are loud and obnoxious by definition.

    Anyway, I used to teach a beginners' course in programming, and often got the question on what the 'best' programming language was. I usually answered by asking: "What's the best tool, a screwdriver or a hammer?"
  • by acomj ( 20611 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @08:54PM (#9459027) Homepage
    They gave a bunch of programmers some tasks to do. The fastest language was...

    perl then java then c then C++.

    It had more to do with the perl programmers use of hashes than anything else. Thats the way perl programmer think.

    Basically the more difficult you make it to use more efficent data structures the less likely programmers are to use them. C++ even with the STL is non-trivial.

    The company I worked for was having trouble with STL three years ago, and only one guy there really knew it well. We were parsing lots of text. Java was easy to use with well documented libraries and surprising fast. And everyone picked up the java programming language quickly.

    Will highly optimized C/C++ toast all other languages? Yes, but writting the code is significantly more difficult and time consuming. For many tasks computers are fast enough now where it doesn't matter for many tasks..

    • Will highly optimized C/C++ toast all other languages? Yes, but writting the code is significantly more difficult and time consuming. For many tasks computers are fast enough now where it doesn't matter for many tasks..

      Right, and what all this benchmarking is showing is that the difference between C++ and Java is about 10% overall (though up to 1000% is specific cases). So anyone using the blanket statement "I won't use Java because C++ is much faster" is really only displaying their ignorance.

    • How I think of it is this:

      If I want a speed demon or something that's going to get really big (a large game that has OpenGL support + shaders for example), I'll use C++.

      If I want something just so I can perfom a few quick tasks, and that I can carry around or just for showing people proof that a certain thing works, I'll use perl.

      If I want something that works, I want it now, quick and dirty I'll do it in lisp. I say dirty because most people get lost with lisp so they can't read it at all.

      It all depend
  • by Gregoyle ( 122532 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @10:19PM (#9459539)
    I found out along with everyone else a couple days ago that Yahoo had upgraded their mail services, but the post doesn't mention the upgrade they made to those of us paying for services through them.

    About a year ago I upgraded my Yahoo account to 25MB of storage for something like $20 a year. It was worth it to me because that was the email address I had used for years, and i wanted to be able to access every important message I had gotten in a few years from anywhere (I'm in the military). Yahoo had bumped up my inbox size a couple times before (I think new users got 4 MB but mine had gone up to 8 by that time). But I was running out of room and wanted to keep my messages.

    So anyway, I logged on a couple days ago, and my mailbox had been upgraded to 2 GB. Damn.

    It also turned out that they had implemented almost every feature I had wanted, and a few that I didn't know I wanted. I almost never get a spam mail, partly through discipline and partly through Yahoo's pretty decent spam filtering. The one feature I really wanted was the ability to search through all my mail. They put this in, and along with a few other features (like filtering rules and better spam protection), put in a feature which i had never actually wanted before, but that was only because I had never thought of it.

    I think it's called something like "Address Guard", and it's a lot like what American Express is doing with its credit cards for online purchases. They realized that you can never stop ALL the spam, so they made it so you can make throwaway email addresses that link to your actual address. You give out your throwaway, and if you start getting spammed at it you can just delete it, and ::poof::, all the spam starts bouncing. I think you can make as many as you'd like, one for each site where you feel it's necessary. That is way cool. (I know you can do this with your own private server as well, but that would cost a lot more and be less accessable).

    The enormous mailbox limit has given rise to a new feature request. Now i wish they had a remote disk function, where I could back up part of my hard drive on their servers. A 200 MB PGP disk could hold just about all my sensitive files (including scans of all my military records) and make them accessable from anywhere. I know there are services (like .mac) that do this, but with a 2 GB space I could even keep multiple versions of the backup. As it is they have a 10 MB message size limit.
  • Gobo Linux... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @10:47PM (#9459709) Journal
    After reading the doc, I think I can answer all questions rather quickly...

    Q: Why change the directory names/structure?
    A: Because he can. No other reason.

    Q: Why aren't user and superuser programs seperate?
    A: He just does not understand the numerous benefits of doing so. I really mean that.

    Q: How can I boot into a skeleton (single-user, root / only) system?
    A: You can't. He's decided that you must use bootable media, and no other way. I leave it to you to discuss the problems with that...

    Q: How about remote mounts and/or seperate partitions?
    A: You have one choice... Union mounts. He believes doing it the normal Unix way is morally wrong, or something like that.

    Q: Why is the name of root changed?
    A: This is a multi-part answer:

    1. He dreams of a no-root system, where everything is peaches and cream, but since it doesn't work well in the real world, there is still a root.
    2. He feels more secure in the cloud of obscurity that comes when root isn't named "root".
    3. He likes people to ask, so he can take the opportunity to rant about how a Unix user/root system is wrong, and terrible. He's not trying to work on the new (theoretically superior) system, he just wants to complain.

    I think that covers it pretty well.
  • I'm beginning to think that part of the DDoS against Akamai was through the use of open HTTP proxies. A friend who uses Mandrake experienced a what appeared to be a DoS attack on his network Wednesday night and asked me to help. The cause was a bunch of bogus HTTP proxy requests from outside his network. Turns out Mandrake's apache2-mod-proxy module was installed and has proxying turned on by default in the config file. He was not aware HTTP proxying was enabled. He was getting a ton of obviously bogus
  • ...would allow me to implement my own white list. Imagine getting mail only from those people I've authorized, and *never ever* having to deal with a single piece of spam.

    I can do that now, of course, with my own server - and I do. But with my region's uncertain, semi-regular power flickers, along with inexplicable ups and downs of my cable service, I'd like a white-list free account that I *know* I'll be able to get to no matter where I am and regardless of whether or not my servers are rebooting or tem
    • I can do that now, of course, with my own server

      You are rather slow...

      Just about every webmail service allows you to define filter rules. One rule to deliver all mail to trash, then a rule for each sender you want to allow, and you're all set. I've done this on yahoo mail myself a couple years ago.

      I think whitelisting is a horrible idea myself, but there you go.
  • by murr ( 214674 ) on Friday June 18, 2004 @02:02AM (#9460662)
    The biggest problem in the Java vs. C++ benchmark is that it benchmarks mostly toy problems and library fuinction. The toy problems are extremely sensitive to algorithmic changes.

    Here's my implementation of the Ackermann function in Ruby:
    #!/usr/bin/ruby

    def ack(m,n)
    case m
    when 0
    return n+1
    when 1
    return n+2
    when 2
    return 2*n+3
    else
    return ack(m-1, n>0 ? ack(m,n-1) : 1)
    end
    end

    n = ARGV.length > 0 ? ARGV[0].to_i : 1
    puts "ack(3,#{n}): #{ack(3,n)}"
    Not only is this massively faster (in an interpreted language) than either Java or C++, but it also handles much bigger input arguments, because ruby supports bignums (on my machine, it calculated ack(3,400) pretty much instantaneously.
    • massively faster than either Java of C++

      Well, here's my quick translation of your ruby program into standard Java:

      import java.math.*;

      public class Ack {
      public static final BigInteger ZERO =BigInteger.ZERO;
      public static final BigInteger ONE =BigInteger.ONE;
      public static final BigInteger TWO =new BigInteger("2");
      public static final BigInteger THREE=new BigInteger("3");

      public static BigInteger ack(BigInteger m, BigInteger n) {
      if (m.compareTo(ZERO)==0)
      return n.add(ONE);
      else if (m.comp

  • The link to the paypal announcement leads to an invite to mail them for more information, which I did, and discovered these are the limits to their largesse: If you opened a PayPal account between October 1, 1999 and January 31, 2004, you are a member of the class unless you fit into one of the following exclusions. Excluded from the class are: any judicial officer to whom the lawsuit is assigned; any current or former employee, officer, or director of PayPal; anyone who resides in Austria, Belgium, Denm
  • Here, C++ appears to be a winner for the vast majority of programs; where Java scored better with (recursive) algorithms and the use of file IO (where it must be remarked that the C++ code uses iostreams).

    I RTFA, and I don't see a "vast majority" of C++ over java - the best C++ (intel) beats the best java (server) times 8 to 6... the same margin that server java beats the best G++. For an on-the-fly compiled system which is fully debuggable and fully portable, this isn't anywhere near a decisive victory,

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