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Comment Filter Your Connection, Don't Lock Down the PCs (Score 1) 1117

If you are worried about kids using the internet to do bad things, then filter the internet. Use something like SurfControl which runs essentially between the internet and your network and looks out for things you don't want your network users to be looking at. Since it's your internet, you should be able to dictate how it is used. However, you said in your post that the laptops are basically theirs, so they should be the ones who decide how the laptops are used. Let them do what they want with them when they are at home. Using a filter that runs externally to the PCs is a great compromise. It gives them flexibility at home and the structure you need at school.

Comment Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (Score 1) 626

Microsoft software in schools is a pitiful, ignorant waste of my tax money.

If the function of schools is to prepare students to survive in today's world, and Windows/MS software area part of that world, shouldn't schools be teaching kids to use such software.

I understand that there are indeed free alternatives available, but as similar as they might be, they are not the same. Open Office is nothing like Office 2007 for example. Sure, the basic functionality might be the same, but if all you are going for is a something that can take text input, why not just use Notepad?

Anyone who has seriously compared Office to Open Office knows that there really isn't a comparison. Office is substantially better piece of software. What you are really trying to advocate is using schools to force your standards upon youth. Get 'em while they're young you might say.

Well, sir, I personally don't believe schools should be used as a place to advocate social change. But if you want to disagree fine. I am sure there a great number of dictators throughout history who would take your side.

Linuxcare

Submission + - How to tweak Linux for an SSD

Shadow7789 writes: I am getting a SSD-based netbook in the near future, and the first thing I want to do when I get it is to reformat it with Linux. This is going to be my first experience with an SSD as my primary drive, and I have some concerns about its performance and longevity. What kind of tweaks can I make to ensure I get the most performance and longevity out of my drive? Is there a particular filesystem that is best? What about swap? Cache? Any other tweaks that I can make to ensure that my SSD is being best utilized?
Media

Submission + - Who is at fault?

Shadow7789 writes: I am taking a class next fall on intellectual property, and recently it got me thinking about DRM and the state of Fair Use on computers. I know all us Slashdot readers love to blame the recording, movie, and TV companies for all our woes, and there is certainly a large part of truth to that. However isn't the real problem not that the media companies demand DRM which has a ring of logic behind it, but that there are competing and conflicting varieties of DRM? If everyone could just agree on one form of DRM and every device was compatible, would it not be just as good as no DRM if you could still use the media on all your devices? I know there are a lot of assumptions and this is probably impossible, but let's assume a perfect world.
Upgrades

Submission + - Why buy a PC preloaded with Linux? 1

Shadow7789 writes: I have been in the market for a new computer for the past few weeks and I know that I want to run Linux on it. However, every time I look at Dell's (for example) computers that are preloaded with Linux, one question that always pops into my head is "Why should I buy a PC preloaded with Linux?". They are more expensive after all, and its not hard to just reformat the PC with Linux. I hate paying the Microsoft Tax as any other user, but if paying that "tax" allows companies to bundle products that I will never use with my PC to reduce my price why wouldn't I just buy a Windows loaded PC and reformat?
Portables

Submission + - Mobile website development?

Shadow7789 writes: In many other developed nations, the concept of the "Internet on the Go" has taken a much larger foothold than it has in the United States. Go to Japan or South Korea, and it seems like few pages do not have mobile counterparts, but come to the United States and many notable sites (Slashdot included) do not have any mobile formatted pages available. Should website developers be taking larger strides to ensuring that their content is available to mobile clients, or is the effort not worth the rewards?
Portables

Submission + - HTC refuses to fix defective, misadvertised device (engadgetmobile.com) 6

Shadow7789 writes: After months of complaints by customers, claiming poor video performance on a plethora of recent devices (which were advertised as multimedia devices), HTC has decided to announce that it will not be providing fixes for the affected devices, instead claiming that the "overall value of its devices based on their combination of functionality and connectivity exceeds their ability to play or render high-resolution video."
Handhelds

Submission + - Driver issues plague HTC handhelds (htcclassaction.org)

An anonymous reader writes: The latest and greatest HTC SmartPhones and PocketPC's, including the TyTN II, are plagued with driver issues, namely missing or grossly underperforming video, touchscreen and camera drivers. After months of complaining to HTC and them hardly even acknowledging the issue, there is now even talk of a possible lawsuit to get HTC to fix the problems.

Affected devices include the "PDA of the year" HTC TyTN II (Kaiser, AT&T Tilt, T-Mobile MDA Vario III, Vodafone v1615), the "iPhone killers" HTC Touch / Touch Dual / Touch Cruise, the HTC Titan (Sprint Mogul, Verizon XV6800) and several other less known devices.

Google

Submission + - Gmail IMAP Problems? (google.com)

Shadow7789 writes: It seems there are some problems over at Gmail HQ today. It seems that IMAP support has been randomly disabling and enabling itself on my account today. I have been periodically checking the Google Blog today and scanning through their press releases today, but I can't seem to find anything to hint at a cause of what I am experiencing. Fortunately, Web UI still works, but it is annoying when my desktop client and mobile device stop syncing my email. Worth mentioning is that when I access the Web UI while my IMAP is out, the option has mysteriously disappeared from the settings. Has anyone else experienced these difficulties, or does anyone know what is going on? Maybe we are getting some sought after IMAP improvements.
IBM

Submission + - Lenovo delivers SUSE Linux-based ThinkPads

angryfirelord writes:
PC vendor Lenovo has promised ThinkPads with pre-installed Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 for some time now; however, Lenovo will deliver the goods the week of Jan. 14. Lenovo will release pre-installed SLED 10 on its Intel Centrino processor-powered ThinkPad T61 and R61 14-inch-wide notebooks. In February, Lenovo's pre-integrated Novell Linux offering will expand to include some Penryn-based ThinkPads. The starting price for this system will be $949, $20 less than the same laptop with Vista Home Premium.
Patent deal or not, I'm happy to see that another major PC manufacturer is putting the effort to pre-install Linux.
Microsoft

Submission + - Vista named year's most dissapointing product (pcworld.com)

Shadow7789 writes: No surprise here, but to complete its humiliation, PC Magazine has named Windows Vista the most disappointing product of 2007. From the article:
'Five years in the making and this is the best Microsoft could do?...No wonder so many users are clinging to XP like shipwrecked sailors to a life raft, while others who made the upgrade are switching back. And when the fastest Vista notebook PC World has ever tested is an Apple MacBook Pro, there's something deeply wrong with the universe.'

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