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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:"Flaw"? (Score 1) 269

The only other information that is useful is generic information. Specific information (name, address, credit card numbers, etc.) the app developers (me included) do not need -- they are only useful to Google Play/Checkout/Wallet handling the purchase transactions on the app developers behalf.

The language you are running the phone in could be used to prioritize/target translations of the application. The version of Android could be used to concentrate testing. Tablet vs. phone as well as screen sizes can give an indication of where to improve UI layout and presentation (although the devs should still ensure it is at least functional on those setups). The device the app is installed on can be useful for tracking down bugs and if a particular device is popular for the app, the dev can purchase one to focus testing.

The only other information is app specific -- e.g. what functionality of the app is being used / where people are spending most of their time. This allows the devs to either remove the functionality (no-one wants it) or figure out how to make it more discoverable (no-one knows it's there). This also applies to help -- which help pages are being read the most (indicating a usability/discoverability issue).


Submission + - How to fix Firefox Metro style not launching in Windows 8 (

An anonymous reader writes: Many Firefox users got really excited to hear that Mozilla made available a new Firefox (Metro) Nightly version specially designed to take advantage of Windows 8 chromeless UI. But many users are reporting in different websites and in forums that the new Metro style version of Firefox is not working when they trying to launch the Nightly tile from the Start screen, and instead the default version of the browser launches.

Submission + - Kaspersky does it again; Explorer.exe crippled by them on XP machines (

Filgy writes: In less than a week Kaspersky has done it again. This time the problem is much more severe than last weeks update that prevented internet access on XP machines. They now pushed out an update that absolutely cripples Win XP machines. It causes total system hangs, failures to reboot, failure for the login prompt to come up, failure to login, login taking 20 minutes, and explorer.exe crashes (some people experience one symptom, some others). Kaspersky's "solution" has been to release a patch (pf80) that DOES NOT fix the problem for most users. They are now closing out support request tickets saying the problem is resolved. It is not. Just like last week, their forums are now starting to be set on fire again regarding this much more severe problem:

Submission + - Adobe CEO angers everyone by side-stepping Creative Suite pricing questions (

An anonymous reader writes: There have been a lot of very angry Adobe software users in Australia this week as it was discovered retail versions of Creative Suite would carry a massive premium (up to $1,800) over what Adobe charges US users.

So when Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen turned up in Sydney to meet with press and open a new office, the opportunity was taken to ask him why there was a huge pricing difference. Did he answer the question? He didn’t even attempt to.


Submission + - Inventing the Chromebook - First Version was Based on Firefox (

Andy Prough writes: Former Google engineer Jeff Nelson has written a fascinating blog post about how he created "Google OS", the forerunner to Chrome OS. Last August, he finally received a patent for it, but his work began in 2006, and the first versions of the OS were built on Firefox and a "bare-bones Linux distribution" that could execute any Linux program. In fact, when he first started writing the OS, Chrome itself did not exist, and the whole purpose for his work was to create a system that loaded fully — and only — into system RAM. This purpose grew out of his frustration with wait times as he wrote webapps for Google, and found himself waiting 30-45 seconds just to restart a web browser. By moving the entire OS to RAM, he was able to cut the Firefox restart time from 45 seconds to 1 second, and found similar speed increases for other mundane tasks. He built himself a "Chromebook" and used it as his primary development box for over a year. The fact that his boss and Google management originally had no interest in his project makes this story all the better. This blog post is a very interesting read, as it discusses the beginnings of the range of Google webapps that were ultimately created to "replace any and all functionality normally found on a desktop".

Submission + - Obama Administration Asks Supreme Court To Not Hear Jammie Thomas Case (

Jane Q. Public writes: The Jammie Thomas-Rasset case has been in the news for years now. As of the last court ruling, she has been ordered to pay $222,000 for sharing 24 songs. Her attorney argues that you can buy the same songs on iTunes for $24, and imposing a penalty of almost 10,000 times as much is "excessive and oppressive". The case has been appealed to the Supreme Court.

The Obama Administration has asked the Supreme Court to not review the case. Is this another example of this administration pandering to the copyright tro... I mean corporations, rather than The People they are supposed to represent?


Submission + - Opera picks up Webkit Engine ( 1

nthitz writes: Opera has announced that they will be dropping their rendering ending Presto, in favor of Webkit. This knocks the number of major rendering engines down to three. Opera will also be adopting the Chromium V8 Javascript engine. The news coincides with their announcement of 300 million users. "300 million marks the first lap, but the race goes on," says Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software. "On the final stretch up to 300 million users, we have experienced the fastest acceleration in user growth we have ever seen. Now, we are shifting into the next gear to claim a bigger piece of the pie in the smartphone market."

Submission + - Judge hints at jail time for porn troll Prenda Law (

rudy_wayne writes: A federal judge in Los Angeles has suggested serious penalties for Brett Gibbs, an attorney at porn copyright trolling firm Prenda Law. Facing allegations of fraud and identity theft, Gibbs will be required to explain himself at a March 11 hearing. And if Judge Otis Wright isn't satisfied with his answers, he may face fines and even jail time.

The identity theft allegations emerged late last year, when a Minnesota man named Alan Cooper told a Minnesota court he suspected Prenda Law named him as the CEO of two litigious offshore holding companies without his permission. Worried about exposing himself to potential liability for the firms' misconduct, Cooper asked the court to investigate the situation. Cooper's letter was spotted by Morgan Pietz, an attorney who represents "John Doe" defendants in California. He notified Judge Wright of the allegations.


Submission + - Why USPTO awards so many outrageously stupid patents ? (

morto writes: "Why USPTO awards so many outrageously stupid patents?

I am always amazed by the ever-growing stupidity of software patents. Why is that so? Is it dumbness, corruption or something else?

Please illuminate me because it is looking pretty crazy from outside (and take into account that I am Brazilian, meaning I should be at this point well desensitized by government agencies stupidity and corruption)."


Submission + - "Don't Copyright the Classroom!" (

rogue-girl writes: The website supporting the petition explains: "A School Board in Maryland is considering a policy of copyrighting all student and teacher work. So a senior paper, a first grader's poem, and a teacher's art would all belong to the school system. This could set a precedent — can you imagine if every school did this?"

Submission + - The hypocrisy behind Microsoft's Scroogled campaign (

Gumbercules!! writes: "Microsoft has spent an significant amount of effort in recent years "playing the man and not the ball", so to speak. From FUD about Linux to Gmail-Man and now Scroogled, Microsoft seems more intent on finding fault in more popular services than in competing on their own merits. However with the latest attack on Google's Gmail,, Microsoft should perhaps be looking in their own backyard first. With it recently coming to light that Microsoft are doing the exact same thing they accuse Gmail of (reading your private information to serve ads), with voice calls in Skype."

Submission + - Samsung Laptop Bug is not Linux Specific (

jones_supa writes: There is some new information about the Samsung laptop bricking UEFI bug in Matthew Garrett's blog. It can be triggered under Windows too, but the chain of events that causes the problem under Linux is as follows. The samsung-laptop driver needs to write certain magic values in order to trigger some system management code that actually performs the requested change. This is unusual in this day and age, but not unique. It turns out that it wasn't the writes that caused the problem, it was what happened next. Performing the writes triggered a hardware error of some description. There's code in the Linux kernel to make logging them easier on UEFI systems. Whenever a severe error is encountered, the kernel copies recent messages to the UEFI variable storage space. Unfortunately, it turns out that some Samsung laptops will fail to boot if too much of the variable storage space is used.

Submission + - Hasbro Buckles Down on Copyright Infringement, Pony Fans in Outrage (

An anonymous reader writes: Back in 2011 there was a Slashdot story submitted about Hasbro's lenient copyright enforcement policies with regards to the then-new My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic reboot. Hasbro did not protest when older fans created parodies and derivative works (and they even turned a blind eye when full episodes of the show were uploaded to YouTube) as they saw this activity as helpful to growing the brand. This was largely successful: the "brony" fanbase has swelled to the millions (their news site Equestria Daily is actually capable of Slashdotting other websites), and My Little Pony--a franchise previously known for being of interest only to little girls--has made its mark in pop culture. Now, Hasbro's tune has changed. Parodies and other works have been taken down, leaving fans upset and very worried. It looks like the cease-and-desist recently sent out to the fan-made game "Fighting is Magic" has become the straw that broke the camel's back, sending the fanbase into a total furor. (The linked article has so far attracted 1000 comments in just over two hours.) Also, it's worth noting that Hasbro originally was fine with this game being created, and this reversal means the cease-and-desist came after months of development.

Yes, it's true that this is (or was originally) just a show for little girls. However, My Little Pony became huge among grown men (!) in part because Hasbro was lenient on copyright enforcement--they basically allowed their content to be pirated, seeing it as free advertising. Now that they've reversed their policy, what will this mean for the fans? And what will it mean for the franchise?

Slashdot Top Deals

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman