Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Change for the sake of change (Score 1) 375

Windows 95 OSR2 was far more stable than the initial release of Windows 98.

"Internet integration" was a sham, and it amazes me that people defend it. For the record, it was technologically possible to remove IE from Windows 95. Windows 98's "integration" ruined the modularity and usability of the system, and occurred for no reason other than to circumvent anti-trust stipulations and increase the penetration of Internet Explorer by any and all means necessary. We're still paying for that today.

Comment Re:Importance of Competitive Choices (Score 3, Insightful) 406

I remember Netscape 4. In fact, I was using it semi-regularly (albeit on my Windows 3.1 computer) as late as 2003.

Although it wasn't quite as lightweight as Netscape 3 (which was undoubtedly their high-water mark), it was generally stable and ran just fine on a 486.
It had none of the security issues that Internet Explorer 4 invited by going above and beyond the definition of what a web browser should do.
If it crashed, it seldom took the whole system down with it as IE would always do.
It didn't take the entire system hostage. It left the Windows shell well enough alone. It was uninstallable, like a normal application.
Its rendering capability was no worse than IE 4's. (If it seems worse now--and frankly, most people haven't used IE 4 in years so they don't really know--that's only because IE got ahead of it in rendering capability after Netscape had its air supply cut off and was in a mad scramble to do anything other than fade away without a trace.)

It was a more robust browser than IE 4 in practically every way. And if Netscape had been able to develop the software in a more natural manner (a la version 1-3) without a monopolist breathing fire at their heels with blatantly-illegal marketing practices, I'm sure it would have been better still.

(And before you claim that IE won the Macintosh market "fair and square," remember that Microsoft threatened to discontinue Office for the Mac if Apple didn't bundle IE as the default browser on its systems.)


One Year Later, "Dead" XP Still Going Strong 538

snydeq writes "Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows XP a year ago today, no longer selling new copies in most venues. Yet according to a report from InfoWorld, various downgrade paths to XP are keeping the operating system very much alive, particularly among businesses. In fact, despite Microsoft trumpeting Vista as the most successful version of Windows ever sold, more than half of business PCs have subsequently downgraded Vista-based machines to XP, according to data provided by community-based performance-monitoring network of PCs. Microsoft recently planned to further limit the ability to downgrade to XP now that Windows 7 is in the pipeline, but backlash against the licensing scheme prompted the company to change course, extending downgrade rights on new PCs from April 2010 to April 2011."

FDA Says Homeopathic Cure Can Cause Loss of Smell 452

Hugh Pickens writes "The FDA has advised consumers to stop using Matrixx Initiatives' Zicam Cold Remedy nasal gel marketed over-the-counter as a cold remedy because it is associated with the loss of sense of smell (anosmia) that may be long-lasting or permanent. The FDA says about 130 consumers have reported a loss of smell after using the homeopathic cure containing zinc, an ingredient scientists say may damage nerves in the nose needed for smell and health officials say they have asked Matrixx executives to turn over more than 800 consumer complaints concerning lost smell that the company has on file. 'Loss of the sense of smell is potentially life-threatening and may be permanent,' said Dr. Charles Lee. 'People without the sense of smell may not be able to detect life-dangerous situations, such as gas leaks or something burning in the house.' The FDA said the remedy was never formally approved because it is part of a small group of remedies known as homeopathic products that are not required to undergo federal review before launching. The global market for homeopathic drugs is about $200 million per year, according to the American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists. Matrixx has settled hundreds of lawsuits connected with Zicam in recent years, but says it 'will seek a meeting with the FDA to vigorously defend its scientific data, developed during more than 10 years of experience with the products, demonstrating their safety.'"
Internet Explorer

IE Losing 10% Market Share Every Two Years 345

mjasay writes "Mozilla's Asa Dotzler points to some interesting long-term trends in browser market share, noting that 'browser releases aren't having any major impact on the macro trends,' which suggests that a better IE will likely have little impact on its sliding market share. The most intriguing conclusion from the data, however, is that Firefox could surpass IE market share as early as January 2013 if Firefox continues to gain 5 percent every year, even as IE drops 5 percent each year. In the past, Microsoft might have fought back by tying IE to other products to block competition, but with the EU keeping a close antitrust eye on Microsoft and the US Obama administration keen to make an example of an antitrust bully, Microsoft may have few good options beyond good old fashioned competition, which doesn't seem to be working very well for the Redmond giant, as the market share data suggests. Microsoft's loss of IE market power, in turn, could have serious consequences for the company's efforts to compete with Google on the Web."

Comment Re:Are they breaking compatibility for its own sak (Score 1) 455

The difference, of course, is that recent Firefox releases are quite a bit better in terms of features, usability, rendering capabilities, and stability than Netscape Communicator 4.51 and the then-sub-prototypical Netscape 5/Mozilla Milestone 4 were ten years ago. I can think of no like advantage Windows Vista has over Windows 2000.

Comment Are they breaking compatibility for its own sake? (Score 4, Insightful) 455

Let's get this straight: "Raise the minimum requirements to require Windows XP Service Pack 3 or higher," with no benefit, and no rationale other than for breaking compatibility for its own sake? If that's the case, I venture to say that Mozilla has seriously lost its way.

So, Microsoft ditched support for Windows 2000 and Windows XP pre-SP2? So what; the APIs are just the same now as they always have been. If anything, Mozilla should focus more attention to catering to users of OS versions that Microsoft left behind, where they have less competition...and chances are, the users of Windows 2000 are still using the OS that they are because they're frustrated with Microsoft's "support" policies and the further regressions (performance and usability issues, product activation) posed by newer versions of its products.

I'm seriously still bitter about them breaking compatibility with Windows 95 and NT4 a few versions back: One consequence was that the current version of Firefox was no longer capable of running off a version of Windows not unremovably inundated with Internet Explorer and its ilk. Short of a miracle of penetration from the Linux camp, how are we going to wean people off of a steady consumption of upgraded Microsoft products when we get attitudes and potential decisions like this?


Google Losing Up To $1.65M a Day On YouTube 290

An anonymous reader writes "The average visitor to YouTube is costing Google between one and two dollars, according to new research that shows Google losing up to $1.65 million per day on the video site. More than two years after Google acquired YouTube, income from premium offers and other revenue generators don't offset YouTube's expenses of content acquisition, bandwidth, and storage. YouTube is expected to serve 75 billion video streams to 375 million unique visitors in 2009, costing Google up to $2,064,054 a day, or $753 million annualized. Revenue projections for YouTube fall between $90 million and $240 million." Maybe this is in part because, as Al writes, "Researchers from HP Palo Alto studied videos uploaded to YouTube and found that popularity has little to do with quality or persistence."

83% of Businesses Won't Bother With Windows 7 545

Olipro writes "Most enterprises stated they won't bother with Windows 7 for at least a year as they simply continue to distrust that compatibility issues won't occur with their mission-critical software ... The Million Dollar question will be whether the fact that XP upgrades to Windows 7 requires a clean install will prove to be Microsoft's undoing." I suspect that will change before they actually release the OS.

Clear Public Satellite Imagery Tantamount to Yelling Fire 230

TechDirt pointed out a recent bit of foolishness as a followup to California Assemblyman Joel Anderson's push to force Google and other online mapping/satellite companies to blur out schools, churches, and government buildings. When pushed, apparently his justification was that leaving these buildings un-obscured is the same as shouting fire. " ran an interview with Anderson, where he attempts to defend his proposed legislation as a matter of public safety. He claims that there is no good reason why anyone would need to clearly see these buildings online, and that it can only be used for bad purposes. [...] Apparently, Anderson is the final determiner of what good people do and what bad people do with online maps."
Internet Explorer

Microsoft Says IE Faster Than Chrome and Firefox 532

An anonymous reader writes "According to its own speed tests, Microsoft's Internet Explorer loads most websites faster than both Chrome and Firefox when looking at the top 25 websites on the Internet. 'As you can see, IE8 outperforms Firefox 3.05 and Chrome 1.0 in loading 12 websites, Chrome 1.0 places second by loading nine sites first, and Firefox brings up the rear by loading four sites faster than the other two browsers. Also, in case you missed it, IE loads faster than Firefox, and Firefox loads faster than IE, just for kicks.'"
Internet Explorer

IE8 May Be End of the Line For Internet Explorer 380

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Randall Kennedy reports on rumors that IE8 may be Internet Explorer's swan song: 'IE8 is the last version of the Internet Explorer Web browser,' Kennedy writes. 'It seems that Microsoft is preparing to throw in the towel on its Internet Explorer engine once and for all.' And what will replace it? Some are still claiming that Microsoft will go with WebKit, which is used by Safari and Chrome. The WebKit story, Kennedy contends, could be a feint and that Microsoft will instead adopt Gazelle, Microsoft Research's brand-new engine that thinks like an OS. 'This new engine will supposedly be more secure than Firefox or even Chrome, making copious use of sandboxing to keep its myriad plug-ins isolated and the overall browser process model protected.'" The sticking point will be what Microsoft does about compatibility for ActiveX apps.

Oklahoma, Vatican Take Opposite Tacks On Evolution 1161

nizcolas writes "Notable evolutionary biologist, author, and speaker Richard Dawkins was recently invited to speak on the campus of the University of Oklahoma as part of the school's celebration of Charles Darwin. However, Oklahoma lawmakers are working to silence Dawkins with the passage of House Bill 1015 (RTF), which reads in part: '... the University of Oklahoma ... has invited as a public speaker on campus, Richard Dawkins of Oxford University, whose published opinions, as represented in his 2006 book "The God Delusion," and public statements on the theory of evolution demonstrate an intolerance for cultural diversity and diversity of thinking and are views that are not shared and are not representative of the thinking of a majority of the citizens of Oklahoma ...'" Pending legal action, Dawkins is set to speak tonight at 7 pm. (Luckily, we no longer live in the era of Bertrand Russell's court-ordered dismissal on moral grounds from the College of the City of New York.) And reader thms sends word of the Vatican's Darwin conference (program): "The conference, marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of "The Origin of Species," has been criticized by advocates of Creationism or Intelligent Design for not inviting them. The Muslim creationist Harun Yahya, most famous for his Atlas of Creation, also complained about not being invited."

How a Router's Missed Range Check Nearly Crashed the Internet 196

Barlaam writes "A bug by router vendor A (omitting a range check from a critical field in the configuration interface) tickled a bug from router vendor B (dropping BGP sessions when processing some ASPATH attributes with length very close to 256), causing a ripple effect that caused widespread global routing instability last week. The flaw lay dormant until one of vendor A's systems was deployed in an autonomous system whose ASN, modulo 256, was greater than 250. At that point, the Internet was one typo away from disaster. Other router vendors, who were not affected by the bug, happily propagated the trigger message to every vulnerable system on the planet in about 30 seconds. Few people appreciate how fragile and unsecured the Internet's trust-based critical infrastructure really is — this is just the latest example." Vendor A, in this case, is a Latvian router vendor called MikroTik.

Slashdot Top Deals

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman