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The Internet

The Right's War On Net Neutrality 945

jamie writes "To understand the debate being waged in the United States over Net Neutrality, it's important to understand just how drastically one side has been misled. The leaders of the American Right are spreading the lie that Net Neutrality is a government takeover of the internet, with the intention of silencing conservative voices. (Limbaugh: "All you really have to know about Net Neutrality is that its biggest promoters are George Soros and Google.") This may be hard to believe to those of us who actually know what it's about — reinstating pre-2005 law that ensured internet providers could discriminate on the basis of volume but not content. Since the opposing side is so badly misinformed, those of us who want the internet to remain open to innovation and freedom of expression have to help educate them before the debate can really be held."

Wine 1.2 Released 427

David Gerard writes "Stuck with that one Windows app you can't get rid of? Rejoice — Wine 1.2 is officially released! Apart from running pretty much any Windows application on Unix better than 1.0 (from 2008), major new features include 64-bit support, bi-directional text, and translation into thirty languages. And, of course, DirectX 9 is well-supported and DirectX 10 is getting better. Packages should hit the distros over the weekend, or you can get the source now."

The State of Ruby VMs — Ruby Renaissance 89

igrigorik writes "In the short span of just a couple of years, the Ruby VM space has evolved to more than just a handful of choices: MRI, JRuby, IronRuby, MacRuby, Rubinius, MagLev, REE and BlueRuby. Four of these VMs will hit 1.0 status in the upcoming year and will open up entirely new possibilities for the language — Mac apps via MacRuby, Ruby in the browser via Silverlight, object persistence via Smalltalk VM, and so forth. This article takes a detailed look at the past year, the progress of each project, and where the community is heading. It's an exciting time to be a Rubyist."

Submission + - AbiWord 2.8 and released (

uwog writes: The AbiSource community has released version 2.8 of the well-known AbiWord word processor. In addition to support for annotations (comments) and native SVGs, it comes with powerful, real-time collaboration capabilities that were originally developed for the One Laptop Per Child project. With this release, users can now collaborate with multiple people on the same document at the same time, using all of the rich-text features that AbiWord brings to the table. These features are tightly integrated with a new online web service called, which lets you store documents online, allows easy document sharing with your friends, and performs format conversions on the fly.

Comment Re:Since when did quality become optional? (Score 3, Interesting) 551

Good enough means good enough. It's not 50%. It's not 80%. It's whatever is the powers that be decide is the appropriate trade-off between competing interests (i.e. time to market, cost of deployment, $ paid to developers, estimates of the cost of future bug fixes, ...). If the market doesn't accept the product, it only means that their definition of "good enough" was wrong, not that there isn't a different "good enough" that the market will embrace.

"Good enough" for the software that runs a nuclear reactor or the space shuttle is probably near 100%. Pace-makers, surgeries, and pharmaceuticals failing? It's been known to happen. Sure, maybe only in 1/10000 cases, and only if you don't have a pre-existing condition. So, good enough is maybe five nines there. "Good enough" for that $1 umbrella you bought at Wal-Mart probably means something entirely different.

Comment Re:Because you see it as a laptop (Score 0) 268

Windows is a plenty good enough platform to deliver e-Books on. And Windows runs enough trendy OSS programming languages on (eg. python), that the kiddos could've gotten a kick out of it plus a crash course in programming. Also, there's a lot of educational software out there that only runs on Windows that these governments could potentially leverage on day 1.

Microsoft would've had plenty of incentive to keep it up to date, plus keep the price low. Besides, OPLC had potential customers who insisted that the device run Windows. What's Negroponte going to say - "no, your *country's* children can't have inexpensive educational tools because I insist that they run Linux!"? If the goal is to get educational materials into children's hands, sometimes compromises must be made.

I say this as someone who has a substantial amount of code on the XO - the XO failed largely on its own merits. The project was (in-large) done in a fishbowl and came in at 2x its promised price. Plus, we've seen time and again that top-down approaches toward helping poverty-stricken areas (unfortunately) seldom work.


Submission + - Have Sockets Run Their Course?

ChelleChelle writes: As can be inferred from the title, this article examines the limitations of the sockets API. The Internet and the networking world in general have changed in very significant ways since the sockets API was first developed, but in many ways the API has had the effect of narrowing the way in which developers think about and write networked applications. This article discusses the history as well as the future of the sockets API, focusing on how "high bandwidth, low latency and multihoming are driving the development of new alternatives. "

Comment Re:Different OS (Score 1) 363

Personally, I blame GTK2's obsession with double buffering everything.

Clearly, the Mozilla developers just forgot to call 'gtk_widget_set_double_buffered(false);'. That's what's been gumming up the works. Much appreciated, and thanks for your informed opinion on the matter!

Comment Futurama Naming Scheme (Score 3, Funny) 1397

My laptop: Fry
Wife's: Leela
Wife's old laptop: Amy
Printer: Zoidberg (dispenses ink)
Router: Bender ("bends" packets)
OLPC XO Laptop: Kiff (both small and green)
Car: Planet Express Ship (with which the 2006 Honda Civic shares a striking resemblance)
Cat: Zapp (cavalier, not too bright, doesn't wear pants).

I've been told by wifie that future pet names will include "Nibbler" and "Scruffy".

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