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Comment Re:and what about paying the programmers? (Score 1) 355

"So few if any"? You must be forgetting about all the people who do useful stuff like filing bug reports, writing howtos, lending a hand on forums where the software gets talked about, writing and sharing scripts, plugins, modules, and other forms of add-ons, donating cash towards a particular application or documentation project, and hell, even in some cases *gasp* coding applications. Yeah, I know, it's easier to pretend that not one single person actually puts any effort towards anything and that everyone's just a freeloading ingrate unwittingly applauding their own destruction as they vaccuously wave their FOSS pennant and take the willingly-offered fruits of other people's labors, but no matter how many times this gets pitched, the end-times trumpets don't sound.

People keep making stuff and giving it to other people on the terms they decide, because that's how they want to do it. If you want to write and application and charge for X, Y, and Z around it, nobody's stopping you.

Comment Re:and what about paying the programmers? (Score 1) 355

Aw heck - you're just looking for a spot to go all sour grapes contrarian on us. If project management on up isn't sharp or otherwise attentive enough to have already clamped down on unauthorized projects for every perceived IP and budgetary nightmare in the bogeyman's sack, they're not about to catch it when it's time to trim overhead in a blind panic. A shitcanning during an economic downturn is more likely to be a good ol' fashion lay-off that takes out Secret Agent FOSS in the same fell stroke as Corporate Drone.

Comment Re:Solutions in search of a problem? (Score 1) 57

I am hearing impaired. What's the accessibility standard to help me enjoy a podcast? Do we require closed captioning for all podcasts? Require a written transcript to be posted with every podcast?

No, we have guidelines which suggest providing a text alternative enclosed in a semantically meaningful, standards-compliant markup so anyone browsing with a user agent which deals with things in those terms can make some amount of use of them. In terms of audio content, this can range from full transcripts to a terse single sentence description of the subject of the audio content presented. It's up to the content provider to determine how far it needs to go, or if it's actually necessary considering the target audience; if they leave out people with hearing-related disabilities and are providing podcasts, and it hurts their profits/popularity/whatever, it's their gonads in the vice. Nobody is in fact required to do anything, so steer clear of ye olde fashioned "nanny state" reef before the young and/or impressionable lump it in with reflexive pseudo-libertarian diatribe computery types supposedly all embrace.

Seriously, if there's *anything* to complain about here, it's that the sprawling mess of WCAG 2.0 doesn't stress the practical approach of "consider the message before the medium". That's a very basic principle that every entity hoping for some amount of netly attention needs to consider: is what you're attempting to do suited towards [media type here], or is your message going to leave people out because you're fixating on a podcast/user-submitted video site/Flash game/whatever and the afterthought-like provisions to provide a more limited experience for the differently abled is short-changing those in the target audience? The point to remember here is that most of the solutions suggested are concessions towards smaller segments of a given audience and still provide a limited experience. If that seems like more trouble than it's worth, there are either people who just aren't in your audience that you most likely don't need to account for, or your whole concept of presentation for the subject matter is fucked.

Communications

Cisco To Buy Jabber 66

Danny Rathjens writes "In the continuing trend of big companies buying out small companies with open source products, Cisco has announced that they are buying Jabber. The press release doesn't really talk about the open source aspect of Jabber, and Jabber's website doesn't mention the news yet. I'm sure the question many of us have is whether Jabber's open source status will be changed in any way due to the purchase." Reader Eddytorial had this to contribute: "eWEEK offers a good look into how Jabber's messaging client will fit into Cisco Systems' overall 'presence' strategy in its market wars with Avaya, Microsoft, Nortel, and others. Cisco, which already had a basic instant messaging option, but one that didn't scale for an enterprise nearly as well as Jabber's, has just about everything else in place." It's also worth noting that Cisco open-sourced Etch in recent months.

Drop-In Replacement For Exchange Now Open Source 434

Fjan11 writes "Over 150 man-years of work were added to the Open Source community today when Zarafa decided to put their successful Exchange server replacement under GPLv3. This is not just the typical mail-server-that-works-with-Outlook, it is the whole package — including 100% MAPI, web access, tasks, iCal and Activesync. (The native syncing works great with my iPhone!) Binaries and source are available for all major Linux distros."
Science

Political Viewpoints Linked To Fear 800

Pentagram writes "Researchers writing in Science report that the political orientation of test subjects who have strong views is linked to how easy they are to startle. They found that subjects who were more fearful were more likely to have right wing views, such as being in favor of capital punishment and higher defense budgets. The researchers suggest that this psychological difference is why it is so difficult to change people's minds in political arguments."
Patents

Apple Attempts to Patent Pre-Existing Display Software Idea 256

Nuclear Elephant writes "Apple appears to be taking ideas from commercial software already being sold and is attempting to patent the concepts as their own. According to Apple Insider, Apple has recently filed a patent application for a notification screen on the iPhone. The only problem with this is that Intellisync has been using this concept in their popular iPhone notification screen software for over a year now, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this is a clear rip-off. Apple recently became famous (or infamous) for stealing other people's ideas when they rolled out their Dashboard in Mac OS X, which had many similarities to a desktop widget program named the Konfabulator, which later became Yahoo widgets. The case here isn't a simple hijacking of an idea, however — Apple is applying for a patent on Intelliscreen's concept, which could be detrimental to the original manufacturer of the software, who is actively selling it for Jailbroken iPhones"
Media

Canonical Offers Sale of Proprietary Codecs for Ubuntu 427

ruphus13 writes "Playing DVDs on Linux that required proprietary codecs has been a source of much pain. Ubuntu (or anyone else, for that matter) is not legally allowed to redistribute these codecs. So, users were left with sub-optimal choices. Convert the multimedia to an open format, acquire new media, or use a codec 'found' on the web, which may be illegal. In its continued effort to have a seamless and slick user experience, Canonical made the hard choice to offer the sale and support for proprietary codecs that users had to actually purchase for Ubuntu. This is not a fight Canonical can fight alone, and they are sure to get some grief for the decision."
Power

Germany Fired Up Over Clean Coal 385

MIT's Technology Review is reporting on the world's first coal-driven power plant designed to capture and store C02 emissions. "Vattenfall's small 30-megawatt plant burns the lignite in air from which nitrogen has been removed. Combustion in the resulting oxygen-rich atmosphere produces a waste stream of carbon dioxide and water vapor, three-quarters of which is recycled back into the boiler. By repeating this process, known as oxyfuel, it is possible to greatly concentrate the carbon dioxide. After particles and sulfur have been removed, and water vapor has been condensed out, the waste gas can be 98 percent carbon dioxide, according to Vattenfall. The separated carbon dioxide will be cooled down to -28 C and liquefied. Starting next year, the plan is to transport it by truck 150 miles northwest, to be injected 3,000 meters underground into a depleted inland gas field in Altmark. Ideally, in the future, the gas will be carried by pipeline to underground storage, says Vattenfall. "
Microsoft

Microsoft Uses "I'm a PC" Character In New Ads 837

arcticstoat writes to tell us that in the wake of their largely unsuccessful Jerry Seinfeld ad campaign Microsoft is setting their sights directly on recent Apple ads by featuring the "I'm a PC" character in their new advertising campaign. "He then follows this with another phrase, such as 'and I've been made into a stereotype' before the advert shifts to a range of people performing a diverse assortment of jobs, all of which also say they're a PC. Among those featured are astronaut Bernard Harris, as well as religious author Deepak Chopra and 'Desperate Housewives' actress Eva Longoria. The ad also features a wide range of anonymous people, including a shark diver, a teacher and a guy with a beard."
Software

SGI Releases OpenGL As Free Software 167

StoneLion writes "Since its release, the OpenGL code that is responsible for 3-D acceleration on GNU/Linux has been running on licenses that were accepted by neither the Free Software Foundation (FSF) nor the Open Source Initiative. Today, however, the FSF has announced that the licenses in question have been rewritten, the problems resolved, and the code freed. Peter Brown, executive director of the FSF, says, 'This represents a huge gift to the free software community.'"
Patents

EFF, Public Knowledge Sue Over Secret IP Pact 104

Cowards Anonymous writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge have filed a lawsuit against the Office of the US Trade Representative in an attempt to get the office to turn over information about a secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement treaty being negotiated to step up cross-border enforcement of copyright and piracy laws. ACTA could include an agreement for the US, Canada, the European Commission and other nations to enforce each others' IP laws, with residents of each country subject to criminal charges when violating the IP laws of another country, according to a supposed ACTA discussion paper [PDF] posted on Wikileaks.org in May."
United States

Voting Machines Routinely Failing Nationwide 237

palegray.net writes "Voting machines in several critical swing states are causing major problems for voters. A Government Accountability Office report and Common Cause election study [PDF] has concluded that major issues identified in the last presidential election have not been corrected, nor have election officials been notified of the problems. How long can we afford to trust our elections to black box voting practices? From the article: 'In Colorado, 20,000 left polling places without voting in 2006 because of crashed computer registration machines and long lines. And this election day, Colorado will have another new registration system.'"
The Internet

Graduate Student Defends Right To Own Chicago2016.com 461

An anonymous reader points to a story in the Chicago Tribune about another domain-name battle. Quoting the article: "As Chicago wages its battle to host the 2016 Olympics, it also finds itself scrapping over a valuable piece of cyberspace: the domain name of Chicago2016.com. The bid team along with the U.S. Olympic Committee are trying to wrest that online address from Stephen Frayne Jr., a 29-year-old MBA student. Frayne snagged it back in 2004, about two years before the bid was launched. ... 'We certainly see Chicago2016.com as the logical default domain for our site, and we believe having someone else control it is misleading for people seeking information about Chicago's bid,' said Patrick Sandusky, a spokesman for Chicago 2016, a moniker protected by trademark."

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