Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:I must agree (Score 1) 458

Apple is doing more work in the back end to bring stuff about like SSD caching that solves real world problems (e.g.. "i has an ssd and a hd and but don't want to manually manage storage").

For reference, there is actually code out there that can do this under Linux - it's called bcache. The only issue is that it hasn't been accepted into the mainline yet, which is unlikely to happen for some time due to differences of opinion between the maintainer and the other kernel devs.

Comment Re:Prosecutors (Score 1) 382

I doubt it would get anywhere. The adversarial nature of the legal system pushes a black and white worldview - the prosecutors perceive themselves as the heroes in a fight of good vs evil, and like most people, will commit any number of logical fallacies to protect their egotistic self-perceptions.

Comment Re:No google for u! (Score 1) 329

I'll second this. I was buying a new laptop recently, and I'd have been perfectly happy to put myself on a list (temporarily) to get emails, ads, etc. about laptops. The main criticisms of ads are that they distract from the content, and that they're not relevant.
As long as I have the option to turn the tracking off (e.g. by disabling cookies or using Incognito Mode / etc.), I have no objections to be being tracked.

Comment Re:What about this. (Score 1) 1059

This is starting to sound a lot like addicition to one of the worse drugs. You can't just stop, because the withdrawal could easily kill you. But simply continuing on this route isn't going to help either. The required solution is a careful, controlled descent, but you don't have the self-control to pull it off so you'll probably just keep on going deeper of the end until you OD and die...

Comment Re:Can't America get its acts together ? (Score 1) 1059

"All of us" can't declare war, mint currency, prosecute crimes, or ratify international treaties, either.

Not sure about the others, but I see absolutely no reason why we can't declare war. All you need are weapons and someone you don't like (and you don't even need the weapons if you are in the mood for a cold war; merely the illusion of them will suffice).

Comment Re:Obvious things to check (Score 1) 247

2) Depression meds actually work

That depends. In my experience, there are two kinds of depression: the kind caused by a chemical imbalance, and the kind caused by one lifestyle/environment/perspective. Meds can only really help the first - the second is more related to the reality and how one perceives it / thinks about it, the latter of which generally benefits more from things like cognitive behaviour therapy.

Comment Re:Perfect List (Score 1) 453

...for building a tablet that nobody will buy.

Who cares whether or not it'll sell if you just build one for yourself? It's out of reach of the average person, but probably not a more talented geek. You can buy current gen ARM CPUs for fairly reasonably prices, as well as tablet screens thanks to economies of scale. Add a battery, bluetooth/wifi/gps chip and anything else you feel like and you're done. Not necessarily the easiest way to go about things, but it's the only way to get every feature you desire when you don't fall into the main demographic.

Comment Re:Good! (Score 1) 561

MS made (and still makes) some of the first and best mass-market ergonomic keyboards.

Microsoft used to make some of the best mass-market keyboards. Their new ones are absolute crap though - no tactile response whatsoever. This appears to be by design - they advertise it as 'soft touch', and while it's pretty quiet, it's also horribly gummy and really slows you down.

Comment Re:non-Oracle ZFS FTW (Score 1) 113

Unless you're playing tricks with shims and wrappers, such as by running ZFS in userspace somehow, or forcing end users to do all the work of setting up ZFS rather than making it quick and easy to set up, you're probably violating the CDDL and GPL by distributing ZFS with a Linux distribution.

The official position is that the license conflict just means you can't compile it into the kernel, not that you can't publish it as a kernel module.

I acknowledge that there is some controversy over whether kernel modules are considered derivative works, but the fact that proprietary drivers do exist and are often available in the non-free sections of repositories contradicts the idea that the licensing issue alone is enough to stop it. Furthermore, Linus' opinion on the matter seems to be that modules developed for other OSes which are then ported to Linux should not be considered derivative works.

But one gray area in particular is something like a driver that was originally written for another operating system (ie clearly not a derived work of Linux in origin). At exactly what point does it become a derived work of the kernel (and thus fall under the GPL)?
THAT is a gray area, and _that_ is the area where I personally believe that some modules may be considered to not be derived works simply because they weren't designed for Linux and don't depend on any special Linux behaviour.
Basically: - anything that was written with Linux in mind (whether it then _also_ works on other operating systems or not) is clearly partially a derived work. - anything that has knowledge of and plays with fundamental internal Linux behaviour is clearly a derived work. If you need to muck around with core code, you're derived, no question about it.
Historically, there's been things like the original Andrew filesystem module: a standard filesystem that really wasn't written for Linux in the first place, and just implements a UNIX filesystem. Is that derived just because it got ported to Linux that had a reasonably similar VFS interface to what other UNIXes did? Personally, I didn't feel that I could make that judgment call. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't, but it clearly is a gray area.
Personally, I think that case wasn't a derived work, and I was willing to tell the AFS guys so.
Does that mean that any kernel module is automatically not a derived work? HELL NO! It has nothing to do with modules per se, except that non-modules clearly are derived works (if they are so central to the kenrel that you can't load them as a module, they are clearly derived works just by virtue of being very intimate - and because the GPL expressly mentions linking).
So being a module is not a sign of not being a derived work. It's just one sign that _maybe_ it might have other arguments for why it isn't derived.

So legally, there aren't any issues with running ZFS under Linux, or even distributing binary kernel modules for it. Legally there's no distinction based on the relative difficulty of installation, it's merely a question of whether it's compiled into the kernel or not.

Slashdot Top Deals

Do not use the blue keys on this terminal.