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Comment V2V Developer (Score 5, Informative) 390

So I'm actually working on this technology, and every time I see an article about this, there's inevitably some concern about safety, security, government spying, etc.

First off, the reason this technology would be required in all vehicles is that it essentially consists of in-car wifi routers that send their GPS location to other cars. In order for the technology to work properly, all cars would need it, so they can all see each other. Obviously it's a big transition, but it has to be done eventually. New cars would come with the devices built in, and older cars would have after-market devices that can be purchased and installed. However, once in place, vehicle awareness will greatly reduce accidents and increase roadside efficiency. (Think of it this way; The traffic signals are almost always green when you approach an intersection.)

But wouldn't all that be pretty expensive? Not really. The core technology is pretty basic stuff. It's just gps and wifi, really. The fancy stuff, like in-car radar, video cameras, and so forth that you find in some of the luxury cars today isn't really necessary, though from what I gather, it could be plugged in to augment the system. For the most part, consumers won't notice a price change, and in the worst case, they'd have to spend a couple hundred to retrofit their old cars.

All fine and dandy, but what about hackers and people that would abuse the tech? Well, the system is being designed from the ground up to be heavily encrypted and secure. One of the government requirements for the companies developing this is that it meet certain security standards, and since this stuff is used to keep people from dying, you can bet testing will involve trying to exploit every aspect of it. The only issue I can see is malicious signal jamming, though since it requires a unique frequency, people doing this would be caught pretty easily.

Finally, we get to the issue of government spying. Since every vehicle is transmitting its location, doesn't this mean that the government could track everybody, or gather other information about them? This is actually very unlikely. The development of V2V tech has been fairly hands-off on the government's part. Their primary contribution has been to lay down certain standards and requirements for the tech, and then let the commercial companies implement it. One of their requirements has been that none of the data can be used to identify any vehicle in any way, which has certainly been a challenge to implement from the development side.
And to add my own anecdotal evidence, I've looked through all of the code used, from the firmware to the utilities, and I've seen nothing that could be used as a backdoor to get the information. Likewise, I've worked extensively with the hardware and done all kinds of signal analysis, and as far as I can see, there's nothing illicit on the hardware end either.

And don't forget, the V2V tech isn't only being implemented in the US, but Japan, Europe, and China as well. (To the best of my knowledge.) A lot of the hardware and software is shared between the companies working on it and they all have to fit a certain standard.

In any case, I'm sure few people will be placated by my explanation, but I myself would not be averse to having this system installed in my own car.

Comment Less and Less (Score 2) 951

I mostly play indie games nowadays, and the ones I like tend to release Linux clients. Other games I really like (read Warsow) are already for Linux. On the RTS front, I really only play Supreme Commander, and with the success of the Planetary Annihilation Kickstarter, it won't be long until my RTS itch is taken care of. On the RPG front, there are rumors that The Witcher 2 is being considered for a Linux release, and if that's true, we can expect CDP's future games to be on Linux too. I do really like the Evochron series, but as much as I bug Starwraith about it, they just don't have the resources to port it over, so I guess that would be a major reason.

So right now is essentially a transition period to using Linux on my main, gaming desktop for good. All my other computers already run Linux.

Comment Re:LILO vs GRUB2 (Score 2) 183

Lilo tends to be easier to get working with less effort. It's simple and does its job well, which follows the concept of using a Unix style environment. I've also found that saving your system from a disaster tends to take less fiddling when using Lilo. The configuration is very straightforward.
However, there are some things that Grub2 can do that Lilo can't. Fancier boot screens, more advanced command line arguments, etc. But if you aren't using those in the first place, then there's really no reason to use Grub2.
That said, Slackware does come with Grub2 in the extra packages directory of the install cd, so it's easy enough to use instead of Lilo.

Comment Re:Why Slackware? (Score 5, Informative) 183

The Slackware documentation has a summary on what makes it stand out:

In other words, it really doesn't have a lot of inconveniences after all. I think the biggest reason I moved to Slackware in the first place was the glut of dependencies that were installed whenever I installed a package in Ubuntu. With Slackware, you start out with a good portion of the packages you need, and manage the rest when you do third party installs. And while that may seem challenging, it ends up being fairly easy, since once you have your install set up and customized the way you like it, you can run it for years without having to make any drastic changes.

Also, the packages are all plain vanilla software, with very few distro-specific patches. While this tends to make the distribution seem less "uniform" out of the box, you also end up with more stability.

Full version upgrades also tend to be easier and more stable overall. Granted there's more work done under the hood, and there's always a chance you can mess up, but I've found that every time I've made a mistake, I've been able to rectify it using some simple method.

And that brings about the most important aspect of Slackware. It's the distro that puts you the closest to working with Linux, without having to delve through layers of "convenience" UI. It may seem harder at first, but after a bit of learning, you'll know Linux better than just about any other distro. (Excluding Linux from Scratch.)

That said, Slackware isn't for everyone. If you just want a distribution that takes the minimum effort to get going, you're probably better off with some of the other big names. But if you have the time and a bit of spare hard drive space, I recommend giving it a try nonetheless. Just be patient.

Comment Re:I hate the semantic desktop. (Score 4, Informative) 183

This only matters if you use KDE. (In which case you're going to get Nepomuk no matter what distro you use.) Also, Nepomuk is easy enough to disable,
If you prefer not to use KDE, Slackware comes with several other DEs and WMs, like XFCE and Fluxbox, out of the box. In fact, you don't even need to install KDE when you install Slackware. And if you're a Gnome user, there are several Gnome slackbuilds available. This is really a non-issue.

Comment The Only Distro (Score 2) 183

I've been waiting for this one for a while. Running Slack on my PC, my netbook, and my 10 year old laptop. I even managed to sneak it onto my work computer! Here's hoping Slackware keeps going for a long time . . .

Comment Slackware User (Score 2) 252

I'm a relatively new Slackware user, having only been using it for the past 2 years, but I can't think of another distro I'd rather use. So I'd be devastated if Slackware did die.
However, I knew from the start that this was just people overreacting. Eric regularly posts updates on his blog, and although the changelog and updates in -current aren't as frequent as some other distros, they are there.
I'll definitely be getting a subscription as soon as the next release comes.

Comment Re:Too Bad (Score 5, Interesting) 255

Tennant ran around and yelled a bit too much for my taste. Eccleston felt far more like the classic Doctors, in that he was more of thinker than a man of action. I definitely preferred Eccleston to Tennant. (Though Tennant does look dashing, and has some great moments.) I haven't gotten to Matt Smith yet, but from what a few friends of mine have told me, his Doctor is a lot closer to the classic Doctors, which is something I really liked. (FYI, my favorite Doctor is still the 7th, though I thought each one brought something unique to the table.) In any case, I have a feeling Tennant would have gone over a little better if it weren't for Russel T. Davies' writing style. But I guess I shouldn't complain, as RTD did bring the show back from the dead after all.

Comment This is a GOOD thing (Score 2) 470

I just recently watched a few episodes of the remaster of the original series, and I'm quite amazed at how good it is. The details are crisp, the color balance is very appealing, and, most importantly, the graphical tweaks remain true to the original show. This is what George Lucas SHOULD have done when remastering Star Wars. I also got a chance to compare it with some episodes from The Next Generation, and surprisingly, the remaster of the show from the 60s looked better than the non-remaster of the show from the 90s.
So I'm very eager to see how The Next Generation turns out. People could scoff and say that this is just a money-grab, and I guess it kind of is, but it's definitely worth it to the viewer. If you don't believe me, watch an episode of TOS Remastered alongside a non-remastered version. (And then put a non-remastered TNG next to that.)
I've always disliked blu-ray, but this may be the thing that coerces me into buying a player at last.

Comment Bloat (Score 3, Interesting) 488

Slackware ships on a DVD, and a full install is about 5-6 GB. But it certainly isn't bloated. It's one of the quickest and most stable distributions I've used, so I hesitate to say that adding more stuff to the Ubuntu install justifies people calling it bloated. Ubuntu's selection of software is still conservative in quantity. If anything would be blamed on bloat, it would be implementing it in such a way that it negatively affects your system's performance. So if they're adding unnecessary things to the system startup, or a lot of background processes that you don't use, then that would be bloat. (In Ubuntu's case, this has been happening, but it started long before they ever decided to ship a release that was too large for a cd.)

Comment Re:DRM (Score 1) 206

The original poster has a good point. However, I don't necessarily have an issue with closed source game releases for Linux, provided they don't have any sort of DRM involved. There's nothing wrong with closed source software (provided there aren't any ridiculous software patents involved), and having that software available for Linux gives the user the choice of buying it, or skipping it in favor of an open source solution. But that choice is important, as it provides the impetus for people using other platforms to migrate over to Linux.

But, I will admit that as much as I dislike OnLive, it's good that Linux users have the choice to use it if they wish, just like they have the choice to support closed source games.

Comment My 2 Rules (Score 1) 226

I have 2 rules for any PC game I buy:

1. No DRM. No exceptions, not even Steam. I don't care how much I'm drooling over an upcoming game. If it has DRM, I'm not touching it.
2. No console ports. Said game must be developed for PC first. I don't care how well it was ported over from console, I'm not interested.

These rules are actually pretty easy to abide by, as nowadays I just don't have as much time for gaming as I used to. Plus there are a plethora of indie games, not to mention the whole catalog from GOG, that I can turn to if I want something to play.

How serious am I about all this? Deus Ex was my all-time favorite game. I'm not even considering DX3, because it fails to meet my criteria.

Comment Slackware Convert (Score 1) 266

I started using Slackware with the 13.1 release last year, and I've been hooked ever since. I love the amount of control I'm given as well as the simplicity of the design. Plus it's fast, stable, and secure. The releases tend to be pretty up to date, and the packages that use an older version I really don't mind all that much. Granted the initial setup takes a bit of work, but once that's done, I never really have to touch anything else. The package system is actually pretty flexible and reliable. The official packages are guaranteed to work, and using the Slackbuilds website, third party packages are relatively easy to acquire. If worst comes to worst, it's easy to wipe everything back to the default package setup, as well as the default configurations.

I've installed it on my home desktop, my ancient laptop (for testing stuff out), and my netbook, and they all run quite well. I definitely recommend Slackware for anyone who wants more control and a better understanding of their system, without sacrificing speed and stability.


Submission + - Slackware 13.37 Released (slackware.com)

Zosma writes: Despite the promise not to raise its version number again, a new version of Slackware is out boosting the version by 36 decimals to... 13.37!

Check the official announcement.

Packed with the latest, greatest but stable software,
13.37 tries to remain true to the original philosophy of simplicity,
vanilla packages and a no-frills, "don't get in my way" attitude.

Included are the Linux kernel, Firefox 4.0, upgrades to the X Window System,
changes to the installer and much more.

It's still not too late to get slack
(and convert to The Church of the Subgenius)

List of mirrors.

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