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Media

Submission + - Tux Magazine RIP

colinmc151 writes: "Word is that Tux Magazine, which has always aimed itself at new users is no more, word from publisher Phil Hughes is that issue 20 (currently out) is the last issue. A shame because it seemed to be the one place you could point the newbie user (ok, I am biased, I have written some items for Tux Magazine, I will miss it as a place to write for ... anyone interested in buying some unpublished articles aimed at new users...)."
User Journal

Journal Journal: The Problem with Driver-Loaded Firmware

(Submitted as a story on 12/31/2006)

If you've gone to a big-box store and purchased a wireless card recently, you might have had some trouble getting it to work under Linux, or any non-Windows OS for that matter. One reason for this is that more and more manufacturers are producing hardware that are useless without proprietary firmware. While these new designs allow for lower parts counts and thus lower cost, it presents a serious problem for F/OSS software because it can sometimes gua

Networking

Submission + - The Problem With Driver-Loaded Firmware

Kadin2048 writes: "If you've gone to a big-box store and purchased a wireless card recently, you might have had some trouble getting it to work under Linux, or any non-Windows OS for that matter. One reason for this is that more and more manufacturers are producing hardware that are useless without proprietary firmware. While these new designs allow for lower parts counts and thus lower cost, it presents a serious problem for F/OSS software because it can sometimes guarantee no out-of-the-box compatibility. Jem Matzan has produced a detailed article, "The battle for wireless network drivers," on the subject, including interviews with manufacturers' representatives and OS developers, including Theo de Raadt. The bottom line? In general, Asian hardware manufacturers were far more responsive and liberal about firmware than U.S. manufacturers (Intel included). Look for more firmware issues in the future, as not only wireless hardware, but regular wired Ethernet cards, take the driver-loaded firmware approach."
Printer

Submission + - Printers that don't use toner level chips?

xymog writes: "I'm increasingly seeing people with printers that stop working and provide a "toner out" message, even though the end user swears they are using a new cartridge. Though they are not using Lexmark printers, I am pretty sure they are using a printer and cartridge combination that uses so-called toner level chips. These are discussed in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexmark_Int'l_v._Stat ic_Control_Components. The chips allow manufacturers to lock users into using their cartridges, rather than using OEM or toner refill programs. Good for the manufacturer, bad for consumers and consumer choice. In my bumbling way I've tried locating more information, or even a list, of personal or small workgroup printers that use these manufacturer lock-in techniques, but wasn't able to find such a list. Any Slashdot readers have anecdotal suggestions or even a pretty-darn-sure list I could refer to?"
Google

Can Games Fly On Google Earth? 30

simoniker writes "A team at Intel have built a game prototype that works entirely within Google Earth, in which: 'Martian robotic spacecraft are invading... Your mission is to decipher the messages, and blast these Martians before they can suck people off the planet.' The engineers explain: 'Existing games we found all require switching back and forth between a web browser window and Google Earth. Our goal was to develop a game with all the action inside a single window, similar to a traditional video game, leading to a more immersive and responsive experience.' The gameplay is fairly simple as of yet — but could this be the start of a host of fully integrated Google Earth games?"
Programming

Submission + - Where are the C++ frameworks?

wandazulu writes: Objective C has Cocoa, C# has .NET, Java has its packages, and every scripting language has an extensive library of functionality for handling things like XML, HTTP, encryption, regular expressions, etc. So why is there no likewise unified library of functionality for C++? At this point I can pretty much count on having a standard template library for any C++ compiler I use on any platform, but that provides basic functionality, like containers and strings. Why is it that I have to write my own socket-based routines for getting a web page, or hashing a string, etc.? So why is there no unified framework for C++? Is it because it's not "owned" by a particular organization or person? Has anyone even attempted to create a library to rival Java's or Ruby's or Perl's or Python's....

Comment Isn't it time Slashdot had a Wiki icon? (Score 5, Interesting) 204

There are regular stories on Wikipedia on Slashdot, and occasional stories on other wikis. Shouldn't there be either a Wikipedia icon or a Wiki icon to distinguish these stories? The Wikipedia "multilingual globe being built" is copyright (one of the very few things in Wikipedia which is) so you can't use that, but the Wikipedia "W" is fairly well known. Looking through Wikimedia Commons, this puzzle piece looked good to me. I don't know if the GFDL licence would be a problem for Slashdot.

The MediaWiki sunflower would only be suitable as an icon for Wikis powered by that piece of software. I don't have an idea for an icon to represent all wikis.

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