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Submission + - SlashcAliister: How HP and open source can save We (

MikeTheGreat writes: Ian McCallister has another insightful article (print version here), this time discussing how HP has announced their intention to open source the ill-fated WebOS tablet operating system. He brings up some good points about whether HP is simply trying to "offload the cost of developing and maintaining" WebOS, and how committed HP is to ensuring the success of an open source WebOS.

Comment Slash-CAllister (Score 4, Funny) 421

Is it just me, or has almost every article by Neil McAllister made it to the Slashdot front page?

I propose
1) a "slashcallister" because it rolls off the tongue, and can be used to tag these articles (as part of the greater "slashonomy"), so that
2) McAllister's articles be picked up by Slashdot's server-side RSS reader and auto-posted & auto-tagged, thus creating the Official Slashdot Neil McAllister Channel

Comment Video != list of still images (Score 1) 61

I have to admit that I enjoyed watching the video, and the very idea is pretty cool. I was disappointed that the cardboard support never goes away (isn't he ever going to eat the thing?) but seeing all the 'ginger snap, not gingerbread' postings above helped remind me why I keep coming back to /.

That said - the video seemed less like a video, and more like a collection of chronologically-arranged stills. I guess if you're providing the video as help, given the people making it, then you can assume that they'll all have VLC media player installed & know (or look up) the 'advance 1 frame' feature, but still.

Anyways, awesome article, regardless of my picayune carping :)

Comment Is this a Slashvertisement? (Score 0) 197

I'll be honest - I didn't really RTFA that closely, in part because it just fawns over the SSDs.

Can someone tell me why this is significant? (Because it's EBay, because it's the first large-scale deployment of SSDs like this, etc, etc)?

Thanks in advance (and sorry about the clueless SSD noob posting :) )

Comment Slashgold? (Score 4, Insightful) 403

I keep wondering why do BitCoin articles keep showing up here. Any given article doesn't really seem quite nerdy enough to be real 'News For Nerds' (and yes, I agree that most of the articles here haven't been News For Nerds for a quite some time), and it's kind of a weird topic.

I kinda feel like "BitCoin articles is to Slashdot as gold advertisements is to the Fox News Network".

So I'm going to coin a term that we can add to the Slashdot Taxonomy (or the 'slashonomy', as I like to call it: :) ): Slashgold!

As in:
Random dude: "So, was the article good?"
You: "Naw, it was just another fluff piece promoting slashgold"

Comment Re:No way... (Score 1) 242

because employers are more frequently treated like humans.

Yeah, I totally know what you mean. Since corporations are people too it's important for employees to pick an employer that gets the respect, treatment, and legal benefits that the employer deserves!

(I know it's a typo, but it's a funny typo :) )

Comment Provost to CS: Bring in the $$$ or else (Score 1) 298

Clearly, Provost Catherine Riordan is trying to extort the CompSci department to bring in some dough, or else she's going to cut the department.

Seriously - go back & read the "completely out of touch" article (, and it's all there.

The ONLY concrete criticism she's offering of the computer science department is that they're not "engaging the business community and other people to a sufficient degree". She repeatedly mouths some bland chastisements about not really preparing for / "thinking about the future" (whatever that means), she dismisses the department's effort to "updat[e] their curriculum in a major way to better meet the needs of students" (claiming that she's "not an expert" - if that's true then she should be fired & her 6-figure salary given to someone who is willing to take the time to understand the college she's running), and then keeps coming back to whole thing about reaching out to the region's tech community.

What she wants is for the CompSci department to cough up enough money to help her solve her budget problems. What this is is extortion!

Comment Great Summary (Score 1) 131

"Microsoft is reportedly in talks with major TV networks about having its Xbox Live service stream TV channels in the United States. This would be an interesting move on the company's part as it would allow an Xbox 360 user to stream TV channels though their Xbox."

Really? I had no idea that streaming TV channels to XBox Live would allow my XBox 360 to stream TV channels! Thank you, sir, for the excellent & informative summary! :)
</ ducks >

Comment 38 pages == good :) (Score 1) 46

The topic about extending ExtJS takes 38 pages, so it is really well covered.

Well, if more pages == more good, then I guess I ought to go looking for an even bigger book! :)

I would have loved to know what it is in those 38 pages that cover the topic of extending ExtJS well. Even basic info about the 38 pages (it walks you through a single example in detail over 38 pages; it starts with a small example & builds on it over 38 pages; it covers sub-topics X, Y, and Z in detail (and X,Y, and Z are particularly important/difficult to do/etc), or whatever) would help me know if this book will be useful to me.

On a more serious note - I appreciate the reviewer taking the time to read through the book, and I appreciate being made aware of this particular title. Much thanks to samzenpus for going out of his/her way to post this!!

Comment Programming books best reviewed by programmers (Score 1) 57

On the one hand I appreciate someone bring greater exposure to Moodle, particularly as I've occasionally considered writing a plugin for it myself. On the other hand, I'd love to see this book reviewed by someone who actually has some programming chops. Statements like "I trust that the technical information given in this book is accurate as I have read several other books from the Packt Publishing company" aren't really helpful - the whole point of reading a review of a technical book is to find out things like whether the book is accurate or not.

My guess is that writing a Moodle plugin is the reviewer's first "scratching my own itch" project, I wish the reviewer well with it, and would love to hear from more experienced programmers about this book (if anyone's read it).

Comment What is an ePortfolio? (Score 2, Informative) 35

hehe - yeah, I hear you. If you're not familiar with ePortfolios then most descriptions sound like heaps of buzzwords from a different industry :)

Speaking as a teacher, I know what an ePortfolio is (more or less), so let me take a shot at explaining it. But instead of re-typing stuff, let me start with stuff from the "ePortfolio" page on wikipedia:

"An electronic portfolio, also known as an e-portfolio or digital portfolio, is a collection of electronic evidence assembled and managed by a user, usually on the Web. [...] E-portfolios are both demonstrations of the user's abilities and platforms for self-expression. [...]

An e-portfolio can be seen as a type of learning record that provides actual evidence of achievement" (

At the end of a traditional school experience, most students have a GPA/transcript, and whatever they've put on their resume. However in some fields (like art, or so I'm told :) ), grades aren't as useful to employers so students instead built up portfolios of their work - collections of good stuff that they've done that shows off both how skilled they are, and what their style is. This way the advertising agency doesn't waste time on the kid who's got a 4.0 but really wants to do Goth/emo illustrating for comic books, etc.

An ePortfolio takes this idea online, obviously. I've also seen it used for fields that don't traditionally require portfolios, in an attempt to make the school experience more "real world-y" ("look - our students are doing real things, not just taking exams! Look at the real things they're doing!"). It's not a bad idea, but has a number of problems/challenges in it's implementation. The biggest problem is that if your field values portfolios then you're probably doing it already. And if your field doesn't (like mine - computer science) then interviewers/grad schools don't really care that you're doing it.

Role Playing (Games)

Co-op Neverwinter RPG Announced For 2011 169

Atari and Cryptic Studios are teaming up to make a new Dungeons & Dragons-based RPG called Neverwinter, planned for Q4 2011. Gameplay will center on five-person groups that can include other players and/or AI allies, and there will be an extensive content generation system. Gamespot spoke with Cryptic CEO Jack Emmert, who explained parts of the game in more depth: "I think there are two very unique gameplay elements in 4th Edition that we've done something interesting with: action points and healing surges. In the tabletop game, an action point lets a player perform a reroll or add an additional die to a roll. In our game, action points are earned through combat and spent to power special abilities called 'boons.' These boons give players special boosts, but only in certain circumstances. Healing surges represent the amount of times a player can heal himself before resting. In D&D and Neverwinter, various abilities let players use a surge immediately or perhaps replenish the number of surges available. It's a precious resource that players will need to husband as they adventure in the brave new world. Positioning, flanking, tactics, and using powers with your teammates are also all things that come from the 4th Edition that are interesting. Of course, we're using power names and trying to keep power behavior consistent with the pen-and-paper counterparts. Neverwinter will definitely feel familiar to anyone who has played the 4th Edition."

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