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Comment Re:Why not Python? (Score 1) 963

From a more technological point of view there is also a fundamental difference between the philosophies of the two languages.

Perl subscribes to "there is more than one way to do it"; Python is all about "there should be only one way". The latter is what made Java such an insipid and annoying language to develop in. Python is probably saved from this only by its much better standard library and generally smaller verbosity.

Personally, if I had to choose from the two, I would still choose Python because of the gentler learning curve, and because I hate forced indentation/whitespace slightly less than Perl's type sigils.

But if you can choose any language, try one of those newly popular "modern" languages - finally get down on your ass and learn Haskell (as I should), or Kaya, or LISP (which, as one of the oldest still in use today, is more "modern" than almost anything that has seen light ever since), or Ocaml, or even F# or something. (Any one of these can also show you that OO is not the only way of abstraction, or the best way, or, god help me, even a particularly good way.)

Microsoft

Microsoft Gives Xandros Users Patent Protection 298

DigDuality writes "Microsoft, shrugging off licensing moves to prevent it from repeating its controversial patent deal with Novell, has signed a set of broad collaboration agreements with Linux provider Xandros that include an intellectual property assurance under which Microsoft will provide patent covenants for Xandros customers."
The Internet

Does Wikipedia Suck on Science Stories? 400

An anonymous reader writes "An editor from Wired writes on his blog that Wikipedia sucks for science stories — not because they are inaccurate, but because of what he calls the 'tragedy of the uncommon': Too many experts writing about subjects in ways that no non-expert can understand. Would this be the dumbing-down of Wikipedia — or would it be a better resource for everyone?"
Music

Submission + - Internet Radio Saving Bill

k-zed writes: "A bill has been introduced that will save independent internet radio by setting royalties at the same level paid by satellite radio services, a reasonable amount (7.5% of gross revenues) which will benefit the artists as well as not bankrupt net radio stations. Call your Representative right now and ask to cosponsor the "Internet Radio Equality Act", just introduced by Representative Jay Inslee. This bill will set royalty rates that internet radio pays to the same reasonable level that satellite radio pays."
Movies

MPAA Committed To Fair Use and DRM 212

Doctor Jay writes "At a LexisNexis Conference on DRM this week, MPAA's Dan Glickman announced that the MPAA was fine with consumers ripping DVDs for portable video players and home media servers. 'In his speech to industry insiders at the posh Beverly Hills Four Seasons hotel, Glickman repeatedly stressed that DRM must be made to work without constricting consumers. The goal, he said, was "to make things simpler for the consumer," and he added that the movie studios were open to "a technology summit" featuring academics, IT companies, and content producers to work on the issues involved.'"
The Internet

Ohio University Blocks P2P File Sharing 425

After receiving the highest number of notices from the RIAA about P2P file sharing, Ohio University has announced a policy that restricts all fire sharing on the campus network. Some file-sharing programs that could trigger action are Ares, Azureus, BitTorrent, BitLord, KaZaA, LimeWire, Shareaza and uTorrent. Claiming that this effort is 'to ensure that every student, faculty member and researcher has access to the computer resources they need,' is this another nail in the coffin of internet freedom in American universities or a needed step to prevent illegal fire sharing?
The Internet

Dealing With Venom on the Web 326

theodp writes "In a world where nastiness online can erupt and go global overnight, BusinessWeek finds Corporate America woefully unprepared and offers suggestions for how to cope, including shelling out $10,000 to companies like ReputationDefender.com to promote the info you want and suppress the news you don't. And in what must be a sign of the Apocalypse, BW holds Slashdot's moderation system up as a model for maintaining civility in message boards."

Is Assembly Programming Still Relevant, Today? 676

intelinsight asks: "Consider the following question given the current software development needs, and also the claims of the Assembly lovers for it being a language that gives one insights of the internal working of a computer. How relevant or useful is it to learn Assembly programming language in the current era? "
The Internet

Consumer Revolt Spurred Via the Internet 309

sas-dot writes "UK's newspaper Independent outlines the brewing consumer revolt being fomented on the web. 'Consumer militancy' is becoming ever more common, as individuals join forces on the internet to fight back against the state and big business. Businesses from banks to soccer clubs have been the target of these groups, in each case facing the fury of consumers who feel they have been wronged. For example, 'A mass revolt has left the high street banks facing thousands of claims from customers seeking to claw back some of the £4.75bn levied annually on charges for overdrafts and bounced cheques. More than one million forms demanding refunds have been downloaded from a number of consumer websites. The banks are settling out of court, often paying £1,000 a time.' Are these kinds of organized 'advocate mobs' going to be the future of internet activism?"
Music

Is Interoperable DRM Really Less Secure? 189

Crouch and hold writes "Are closed DRM schemes like FairPlay more secure than interoperable ones? Based on the number of cracks, it doesn't look like it. 'When it comes to DRM, what history actually teaches us is that one approach is no more secure than the other in practice, as they relate to the keeping of secrets. Windows Media DRM has had fewer security breaches than Apple's FairPlay, yet WM DRM is licensed out the wazoo: there are more than a dozen companies with WM DRM licenses.'"
Novell

Novell May be Banned from Distributing Linux 553

Hymer writes "Reuters is reporting that Novell may be banned from selling Linux. In the wake of the (much maligned) Novell/Microsoft deal, the Free Software Foundation is reviewing Novell's right to sell the operating system at all. The foundation controls the rights to key parts of the operating system, and council for the organization said that 'the community wants to interfere any way it can' with the Novell business arrangement. No decision has yet been reached, but one should be made in the next two weeks." Is this a measured response, or an over-reaction to the Novell/Microsoft arrangement?
Security

25 Percent of All Computers in a Botnet? 408

Beckham's_Ponytail writes to mention an Ars Technica article, with some disturbing news out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Vint Cerf, one of the 'fathers of the internet', has stated that the number of botnets online is larger than believed. So large, in fact, that he estimates that at this point one in four computers is infected with botnet software. We've discussed the rise of botnets numerous times here on Slashot, but the image of 150 million infected computers is more than a little bit sobering. With the extremely lucrative activities that can be done with botnets (such as password ripping, spamming, DDoSing), as well as reports of organized crime adopting 'cyber-terrorism' as a new line of income, is it likely that law enforcement will ever be able to curb this particular bane?
Security

MySpace and GoDaddy Shut Down Security Site 344

Several readers wrote in with a CNET report that raises novel free-speech questions. MySpace asked GoDaddy to pull the plug on Seclists.org, a site run by Fyodor Vaskovich, the father of nmap. The site hosts a quarter million pages of mailing-list archives and the like. MySpace did not obtain a court order or, apparently, compose a DMCA takedown notice: it simply asked GoDaddy to remove a site that happened to archive a list of thousands of MySpace usernames and passwords, and GoDaddy complied. Fyodor says the takedown happened without prior notice. The site was unavailable for about seven hours until he found out what was happening and removed the offending posting. The CNET article concludes: "When asked if GoDaddy would remove the registration for a news site like CNET News.com, if a reader posted illegal information in a discussion forum and editors could not be immediately reached over a holiday, Jones replied: 'I don't know... It's a case-by-case basis.'"
Encryption

HD-DVD and Blu-Ray AACS DRM Cracked 432

EGSonikku writes "According to this article on Endgadget, the AACS DRM used in HD-DVD and Blu-Ray has been cracked. The program allows one to decrypt and dump the video for play on a users hard drive, or it can be burned to a blank HD-DVD and played on a stand-alone player. According to the accompanying video, a source release for the program will be made available in January. Time to get that $200 Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive?" Warning: this link contains video.

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