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Comment Handy for use with screen readers (Score 3, Interesting) 210

For persons using screen readers to read web content (Apple VoiceOver, for example) the option to simplify the content of an article and automatically pull it together as a single page is wonderful.

Try closing your eyes and reading, via a text to speech system, a typical Forbes article broken across five pages packed with links, for example. This option or the Firefox Readability extension speeds things up something wonderful.


Rumor of Betelgeuse's Death Greatly Exaggerated 356

The Bad Astronomer writes "A rumor is spreading on the Net like wildfire that the red supergiant star Betelgeuse is about to explode in a supernova. This rumor is almost certainly not true. First, it's posted on a doomsday forum. Second, it's three times removed from the source, and is anonymous at each step. Third, the evidence is shaky at best. Plus, even if true, the supernova is too far away to hurt us. But other than that ..."
Open Source

Open Source Developer Knighted 101

unixfan writes "Georg Greve, developer of Open Document Format and active FOSS developer, has received a knighthood in Germany for his work. From the article: 'Some weeks ago I received news that the embassy in Berne had unsuccessfully been trying to contact me under FSFE's old office address in Zurich. This was a bit odd and unexpected. So you can probably understand my surprise to be told by the embassy upon contacting them that on 18 December 2009 I had been awarded the Cross of Merit on ribbon (Verdienstkreuz am Bande) by the Federal Republic of Germany. As you might expect, my first reaction was one of disbelief. I was, in fact, rather shaken. You could also say shocked. Quick Wikipedia research revealed this to be part of the orders of knighthood, making this a Knight's Cross.'"

Ubuntu Will Switch To Base-10 File Size Units In Future Release 984

CyberDragon777 writes "Ubuntu's future 10.10 operating system is going to make a small, but contentious change to how file sizes are represented. Like most other operating systems using binary prefixes, Ubuntu currently represents 1 kB (kilobyte) as 1024 bytes (base-2). But starting with 10.10, a switch to SI prefixes (base-10) will denote 1 kB as 1000 bytes, 1 MB as 1000 kB, 1 GB as 1000 MB, and so on."

Comment Re:Inflamatory headling superceeds mundane content (Score 5, Informative) 268

We have announced that our upcoming Mono release (2.8) will default to 4.0:

For the first time in Mono's history our C# compiler and its supporting engine and core libraries were done before Microsoft released the product, we were usually one to two years behind. This time we are some five months ahead of time:

There are still a handful of loose ends here and there, but luckily, nothing major.

Comment Re:O rly. (Score 3, Insightful) 425

.NET was released in July of 2000.

And Google uses a mix of languages and tools: different features require different tools and all that. Had there been no legal problems, it would have been a no-brainer to use .NET over other technologies.

It did not have to be Mono, it could have been a third party .NET implementaion.

Comment Re:Wah wah wah (Score 4, Interesting) 425

You are mixing two different things.

Microsoft claims that they have patents had a chilling effect on Mono adoption.

That does not mean that I do not stand 100% by our position in the Mono project regarding patents. To begin with, we think it is a bullshit argument, since everything you use is infringing on someone else's patents (Microsoft included).

Microsoft like any other corporation will do a cost/benefit analysis of suing someone over patents. So far the kernel has been a juicier target than Mono has.

PlayStation (Games)

BioShock 2's First DLC Already On Disc 466

An anonymous reader writes with this quote from 1Up: "Trouble is brewing in Rapture. The recently released Sinclair Solutions multiplayer pack for BioShock 2 is facing upset players over the revelation that the content is already on the disc, and the $5 premium is an unlock code. It started when users on the 2K Forums noticed that the content is incredibly small: 24KB on the PC, 103KB on the PlayStation 3, and 108KB on the Xbox 360. 2K Games responded with a post explaining that the decision was made in order to keep the player base intact, without splitting it between the haves and have-nots."

Comment Re:boo hoo (Score 1) 965

Yes, I am a card carrying member of the nerd set. I would never be totally without a more "open" computing device, but that doesn't mean I never want to trade tinkerability and "control" for appliance-like reliability and consistency. Sometimes I do. And I think it's just fine--progress, even--if a few internet devices make that tradeoff. it's not like we're looking at the death of open computing.

Comment Re:boo hoo (Score 1) 965

You're missing the point entirely. Many people find it more freeing to use a device which does only a few things reliably and well instead of traditional PC with its impressive list of features, non-uniform experience, requiring more knowledge, etc.

Slashdot is largely populated by a tech elite who, if they had their way, would always choose a phone with a command prompt and who wonder why the rest of the world isn't building robots in their basements. But there's a big world out there and sometimes it's okay for the technology to go to them instead of making them always come to it.

Comment Re:boo hoo (Score 1) 965

I don't think anyone much cares what it's called. Give people something fun and useful with features that are easy to discover and use, something that works as expected every time and doesn't require you to have a bachelor's in software engineering to keep working... they are going to want it and enjoy it. And good for them, I say.

I don't see a future for me where I have no "open computing" device. Like everyone here, I'm too old school for that. But would I get an iPad? Hell yes. I can't recompile the kernel of my television, either, but I still want one.

Comment boo hoo (Score -1, Flamebait) 965

Oh dear! Nerds have a device or two that isn't for them! That IS a shame.

Perhaps we could aim a few products at the non-technical people out there for once? Computers haven't gotten any easier to use in the last two frickin' decades. Maybe, just maybe, we could allow a few products for them without declaring that the goddamn sky is falling? Hmm?

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