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Comment what determines Slashdot article initial expansion (Score 4, Interesting) 102

(for example) "Bionic Eye Implant Available In US Next Month" starts out closed/shuttered/compressed/whatever yet several even more esoteric Slashdot articles are initially presented with a full accompanying paragraph to read without an initial click to open them out. i'm just curious what determines this state(?) clearly it isn't number of comments.
The Internet

Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Approve Work On DRM For HTML 5.1 307

An anonymous reader writes "Danny O'Brien from the EFF has a weblog post about how the Encrypted Media Extension (EME) proposal will continue to be part of HTML Work Group's bailiwick and may make it into a future HTML revision." From O'Brien's post: "A Web where you cannot cut and paste text; where your browser can't 'Save As...' an image; where the 'allowed' uses of saved files are monitored beyond the browser; where JavaScript is sealed away in opaque tombs; and maybe even where we can no longer effectively 'View Source' on some sites, is a very different Web from the one we have today. It's a Web where user agents—browsers—must navigate a nest of enforced duties every time they visit a page. It's a place where the next Tim Berners-Lee or Mozilla, if they were building a new browser from scratch, couldn't just look up the details of all the 'Web' technologies. They'd have to negotiate and sign compliance agreements with a raft of DRM providers just to be fully standards-compliant and interoperable."

Comment Can the connection to amazon be turned off? (Score 1) 88

I've got an ~series2 Kindle that i use for pdf etc viewing; but the catch is that I often have review articles on it that must not be accessible by anyone but me for the time that I've got them (or else the lawyers start to parachute from black helicopters). A Kindle with the wifi off is an great solution for me and my colleagues for this purpose; but color would be *sweet*... so my question: if one buys one of the new Kindle Fire models can one be tolerably be sure of turning off all external access? Is there still a wifi *off* option? ...doesn't really sound like it.

Comment GMO is just a tool... (Score 1) 400

...it's what you do with that tool that decides if the result is a positive or negative thing. The knee-jerk fear of (and efforts to eliminate/label/vilify) all GMO is generally part of a sad, and often justified, anti-government, anti-big-business, and lately, (unjustified) anti-science, social psychology. GMO is typically not distinguishable from all the cross-breeding done by dog-breeders, rose fanciers, and agriculture for hundreds of years. It's only when combined with other nasty procedures, for instance being coupled with the use of herbicides ("RoundUp"), that it becomes the screw-driver in the hand of a villain.

Comment Re:Um... for a Ph.D.? (Score 3, Interesting) 160

In the late 90s (yeah might as well be 12,000 years ago) i did my PhD in Latex; but, two of my Profs *insisted* on editing bits (in retrospect, mostly adding pointless elaboration) with MSWord. (one committee member didn't even understand how any document wasn't the same as a "word file"). So, i learned to use rtf2latex (and similar tools for bibliography and index), back and forth; email RTF, convert it back, (if the addition was over a three sentences). It wasn't bad at all when one learned maintain all tables and figures as merely included files. It was all worth it when the thesis committees, who check tedium like margins to within a millimeter and equation formatting, passed my thesis right off; while my grad-school mates that used MSWord all had their format go wrong when the "approved font" was applied.

Comment Re:NVIDIA borken again... (Score 1) 74

yep/me-too/%#$!! the best annoying dumb trick comes via dkms (Dynamic Kernel Module Support). so there's was a working graphics module (for nvidia blob 304.88) then unlucky fool (which would be me) does an update/dist-upgrade, and so dkms uninstalls the working module, attempts to install a new module, which fails to compile ("nv-i2c.c function ‘nv_i2c_del_adapter’ : error: void value not ignored as it ought to be") and now we're left with a box which will have no graphics upon reboot.

next-up: any kernel >= 3.10.0-rc1 (yes yes... that's "-rc" so technically: no whining!) effects the transition of create_proc_entry() to proc_create() which no nvidia blob nor source seems remotely ready for.

Comment whaat? no comment on brutal finger theft?? (Score 1) 632

i'm shocked (shocked!) that there's no long thread about how this technology will promote fingers being hacked off (and worn around the neck along with several others necklace style) by eeevil folk. for instance, here's your precedent: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4396831.stm now... let's get on with our panicking about this aspect, shall we?

Comment so old it must be replaced... (Score 5, Funny) 300

nothing that old can possibly be relevant anymore (cf "trust no one over 30"). it should be replaced with something more responsive to a one-hand touch interface abbrev friendly imho. math, a central theme in TeX, no longer has any relevance to the modern world (just ask any millionaire agile scrum extreme php programmer). any remaining bits of math are done entirely by app; the vestigial remnants of the usefulness of "math" can only be found in the interjections of animated characters. only a tiny ancient dying breed of tenured academics (and i suspect *europeans*) would ever seek typography beyond the standards of MSWord. page layout was forever perfected by expensive per seat layout software around 1996 and requires no more changes. markup languages are <b>too</b> hard to learn. anything that requires a compiling phase has gone the way of C++. the world is better now as everything old and outmoded quickly recedes. sine-die.

Comment don't count yer fibers just yet (Score 2) 108

i've been sitting in seattle, well, since forever... and this is at least the third try at this. comcast the evil monopoly that holds seattle in its death-grip will try everything that was successful at shutting this down and then-some before letting this through. they will start with "incentives" (building computer labs in the schools for example), then move to bribes (there's a hot mayor race coming up. watch if one candidate suddenly gets a zillion in outside funding. "but that's illegal!!" yeah... right), then legal threats like suing for restraint of trade (which have turned the trick before). they may also get federal, using a bribed federal regulatory agency to shut down the endeavor. so as much as i'd love to see this, and might even directly benefit, this ain't going to go down smoothly. this is a fairly fidgety "David" against an massively monetized Goliath.

Comment The sad view from the R&D desk... (Score 1) 761

...of 25 some years, i've thought long and hard about this. A tech workers union could well be a positive thing in the lives of folks who get laid-off the second that some CEO decides to off-shore, or, (and this always struck me as the saddest short-sighted of all), fire folks because the discovery they labored for has been made. (actual overheard paraphrasing by a CFO: "who needs an R&D department after the discovery is done and patented? they're just a waste of wages at that point")

yet here's my sad overly generalized conclusion: Those with an Engineering degree tend to be too conservative and have swallowed a bunch of malarkey about unions being Communist (see comments on this very page); whereas those with a PhD are somehow too elitist to think they need this sort of low-prole protection. I hope i'm wrong, and it'll just take a new generation to see the long-range benefits of getting organized, but i certainly have my doubts.

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