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Comment Re:Missing the point of the brand... (Score 1) 629

Just imagine if you could walk into a Radio Shack and have a selection of stuff like what you can get from Digikey and Newegg combined. That would totally kick ass.

Just add a Hackerspace in the back and it would be perfect.

P.S. To any prospective business out there, I, and I'm sure the Anonymous Cowardon above, would be perfectly fine with you stealing this idea and implementing it. It's encouraged.

Comment Re:Sorry Eric (Score 1) 128

It's been interesting watching Apple and Google get more negative comments on Slashdot over the last few months (or the last couple of years in Apple's case).

I think the criticism of Apple is partly because of their inherent need to have control, which clashes with a community of geeks who love to hack at things, find non-obvious/non-intended uses for them, and just generally gain more knowledge. That then boils over when, like you said, some Apple fans are so quick to jump on any criticism at all (see: Reality Distortion Field).

Google, on the other hand, has a lot to do with privacy and their enormous databases. I also think that after seeing what happens when one company becomes too big/has too much control (Microsoft), the slashdot crowd is being a lot more vigilant to possible abuses. It seems too many people are quick to implicitly trust and not question anything for no other reason than "It's from Google", which can easily lead to bad things when left unchecked, as it did with Microsoft.

Comment Re:only mp3 players left (Score 1) 128

Google Search Appliance is a single purpose server to provide in-house search services. It's basically a search program that happens to come with a server, not a server to be used for anything.

Xserve is a general purpose server. Google only competes with Apple here if your only intention for the Xserve was to implement a custom search engine on it. Even if that were the case, the main selling point for Google in that instance wouldn't be the hardware, but in the performance of their search method compared to your own. As far as I know, Apple doesn't sell their own search algorithm so it still wouldn't be competing with Apple.

Comment Re:Easy to avoid (Score 2, Informative) 394

Have customers just select a password for each account. Retailers would verify the password the same way they verify CSC numbers now,

Visa and Mastercard have already implemented this option. The only problem is the store has to be capable of handling it, and not all of them are, unfortunately.


The account number is simply placed on the card, and authentication comes from physical ownership of the card. (PINs don't count because they are unfortunately verified based on machine-readable information on the card itself.)

This is wrong. PINs haven't been stored on the card for a long time (I'm not even certain they ever were for all cards). You can easily check this yourself with a relatively cheap reader, or you can build one yourself.

Comment Re:Obsolete (Score 5, Informative) 423

Not only that but they can make web tools Live/Bing/Hotmail work best with their browser - influencing users of those tools to almost be forced to to use IE.

They've already been bitten by that one. They blocked all browsers except IE from accessing MSN.com. After two days of people making noise about it they let everyone view MSN again.

Did they learn? No. Less than two years later they served a stylesheet to Opera (and only to Opera, other browsers received a working stylesheet and IE had its own) that deliberately broke the display of the page. They served Opera the IE stylesheet, which displayed fine, after some more complaints.

Was that enough for them? No, they tried again with hotmail. They sent Opera an incomplete javascript file that was missing a required function to empty the junk e-mail. Other browsers were sent a different javascript file.

I don't think they'd dare try again with how closely the EU is monitoring them now.

Comment Re:Think about it yourself... (Score 3, Informative) 251

It was 500 billion in Icelandic currency (krona), not 500 billion euro or USD.

According to xe.com:

500,000,000,000.00 ISK = 3,904,722,881.3900 USD

However, the wikileaks summary says "45 million to 1250 million euros". I haven't read the post that the GP links, except to check the currency type, to find out where it gets the 500 billion number.


Submission + - Clampi risk increases with new exploit

riskpundit writes: "The risk associated with Clampi, a three year old Trojan-type virus, has gone from low to extremely high due the exploits of an alleged Eastern European cyber-crime group. On July 29, 2009, right before Black Hat, SecureWorks published a summary of its research about how Clampi is being used. http://www.secureworks.com/research/threats/clampi-trojan/ The anti-virus vendors have rated the risk level of Clampi as Low. But it's the exploit process that makes the risk level high. In fact, it's really the process that's the issue, not the actual Trojan. Other Trojans could and have been used."
Classic Games (Games)

Submission + - Ethics of selling GPLed software for the iPhone 11

SeanCier writes: "We're a small (two-person) iPhone app developer whose first game has recently been released in the app store. In the process, we've inadvertently stepped in it, bringing up a question of the GPL and free software ethics that I'm hoping the Slashdot community can help us clear up, one way or the other.

XPilot, a unique and groundbreaking UNIX-based game from the early/mid nineties, was a classic in its day but was forgotten and has been dead for years, both in terms of use and development. My college roommate and I were addicted to it at the time, even running game servers and publishing custom maps. As it's fully open source (GPLv2), and the iPhone has well over twice the graphics power of the SGI workstations we'd used in college, we decided it was a moral imperative to port it to our cellphones. In the process, we hoped, we could breathe life back into this forgotten classic (not to mention turning a years-old joke into reality). So we did so, and the result was more playable than we'd hoped, despite the physical limitations of the phone. We priced it at $2.99 on the app store (we don't expect it to become the Next Big Thing, but hoped to recoup our costs — such as server charges and Apple's annual $99 developer fee), released the source on our web page, then enthusiastically tracked down every member of the original community we could find to let them know of the hoped-for renaissance.

Which is where things got muddy. After it hit the app store, one of the original developers of XPilot told us he feels adamantly that we're betraying the spirit of the GPL by charging for the app (hopefully he'll chime in with a comment below; I'll leave him anonymous for now to avoid further stepping on toes).

That left us in a terrible spot. We'd thought we were contributing to the community and legacy of this game by reviving it, not stealing from them by charging for it — and didn't think $2.99 was unreasonable (and, again, the source is available for free from our page). It never occurred to us that one of the original creators would feel that we were betraying their contribution. We've discussed the philosophical fine points of free-as-in-speech vs. free-as-in-freedom with him, and have suggested a number of remedies — such as reducing the price (it's now $1.99), profit-sharing with previous contributors, making the game free at some point in the future (once we'd at least recouped our costs), or going "freemium" (offering a fully-functional free version plus a paid version with enhancements we added ourselves, with both GPLed of course). But in each case, the bottom line is that this developer feels the app should be free-as-in-beer period, and anything less is a sleazy betrayal of anybody that made contributions under that license. Which is a shame, because we deeply respect his work on this game and would love for him to be on board with the port — but at the same time this was months' worth of work and we honestly believe we're going about this in a reasonable way.

Obviously one of us has a non-mainstream understanding of open source ethos, but it's become clear we can't come to a consensus on which of us it is, and whether the "spirit of the GPL" allows selling GPLed software (especially when one wasn't the original creator of the software but a more recent contributor). The only way to determine that, it seems, is to poll the open source community itself.

We're determined to do the right thing by the GPL and the community. So here's our plan: we'd like anybody with an opinion on this to vote, and if the community feels that ethically this should be free-as-in-beer, we'll fix it by making it free, end of story. In order to make the vote clear and transparent to all participants, we'll use twitter. Remember, we're not talking about whether it's practical to base a business on GPLed software, nor the best business model for doing so, and certainly not whether the source must be distributed for free (obviously it must be), but just whether charging the binary version of an enhanced/ported version of a GPLed app (while releasing the corresponding source for free) is an ethically defensible thing to do.

If you feel that, ethically, any GPLed app must be given away for $0, include "#xpilot #freeasinbeer" in a tweet.

If you believe a binary version of a GPLed app may be sold with a clear conscience (as long as the source is distributed free of charge), include "#xpilot #freeasinspeech" in a tweet.

We'll count the tweets from unique accounts in one week and behave accordingly."

Comment Re:Perhaps I'm Naive, but (Score 2, Interesting) 392

Because that leads to exactly what we have now...using Flash for video. And a private company isn't going to cater to every niche platform/architecture.

Also, it's still left to the browser to implement. What specifying a format in the HTML5 standard does is allow the browsers to actually implement the feature since it gives them something concrete to reliably settle on. With HTML5 in all the major browsers, webmasters will then know they have another option that is widely available. This allows them to switch their video over to Theora|H264 and using the VIDEO tag, without worrying about isolating any users and knowing a wider array of devices will be supported.

As it stands now, for most web video you have to hope Adobe cares about your particular OS/Platform enough to cater to it (or that your platform will even let you use it, a la iPhone) . With an alternative standard implemented then all you have to worry about is if your browser, of which there are many to choose from, supports HTML5. There is no worrying about a private third party plugin that also comes with a fair amount of security holes.

Comment Re:Additional recommended reading (Score 1) 81

For those interested: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/book.html
And a link straight to the book: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/musicfiles/manuscripts/SEv1.pdf

Quote from the author:

My goal in making the first edition freely available five years after publication was twofold. First, I wanted to reach the widest possible audience, especially among poor students. Second, I am a pragmatic libertarian on free culture and free software issues; I think that many publishers (especially of music and software) are too defensive of copyright. (My colleague David MacKay found that putting his book on coding theory online actually helped its sales. Book publishers are getting the message faster than the music or software folks.) I expect to put the whole second edition online too in a few years.

I have a hard copy of this, and while I've only read a select few chapters I have to say I enjoy the book. Definitely recommended to anyone who has a interest in any kind of security, be it information security or anything all the way upto securing a nuclear missile.

Comment Re:um...grats? (Score 2, Insightful) 111

...people can be logged into iGoogle, and still block adsense and all the other crap they disapprove of.

You are logged into their servers. They don't need all that fancy javascript and other voodoo to track you. They know exactly who you are because you're sitting there screaming it at them. All they need to do is log it straight to your account.

Sure, AdSense on other sites might be blocked but anything you do on their servers while logged in is easily logged on their end.

Comment Re:Unpopular but interesting. (Score 2, Informative) 473

The source is cited but apparently you couldn't be bothered so here you go:


And here's an article that talks about it: http://www.historynet.com/men-against-fire-how-many-soldiers-actually-fired-their-weapons-at-the-enemy-during-the-vietnam-war.htm/print/

In a squad of 10 men, on average fewer than three ever fired their weapons in combat. Day in, day out - it did not matter how long they had been soldiers, how many months of combat they had seen, or even that the enemy was about to overrun their position. This was what the highly regarded Brigadier General Samuel Lyman Atwood Marshall, better known as S.L.A. Marshall, or 'Slam,' concluded in a series of military journal articles and in his book, Men Against Fire, about Americaâ(TM)s World War II soldiers. Marshall had been assigned as a military analyst for the U.S. Army in both the Pacific and Europe. The American, he concluded, comes 'from a civilization in which aggression, connected with the taking of life, is prohibited and unacceptable... The fear of aggression has been expressed to him so strongly and absorbed by him so deeply and pervadingly - practically with his mother's milk - that it is part of the normal man's emotional make-up. This is his great handicap when he enters combat. It stays his trigger finger even though he is hardly conscious that it is a restraint upon him.'

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