Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Layoffs (Score 0) 640

The demise of MS will only lead to better software, more competition, lower prices, and no more annoying unpaid tech support calls from your parents/grandparents/brother/etc.

I'm sorry, I have a problem with this. If anyone honestly expects this to happen then you are frighteningly mistaken. I really hate to point out that Linux needs Windows. It wouldn't be the same beast without Windows, none of this "free and open source" alternative ideal that Linux inspires. Without Windows, the allure isn't there - "the grass is greener" so-to-speak.

There are some god-awful Linux programs out there, don't preach about "better software" - each platform has their good and bad code. How many Linux programs would be crippled or rendered completely incompatitble with a kernel update. It happens with Windows too and automatic updates but you don't see "Requires Windows XP SP2 w/ KB###### and libX" in ReadMe.txt...

More competition, why? What's stopping me from picking up Visual Studio and banging out a Windows program for free and releasing the source code? If anything, there's should be more competition on Windows due to market saturation. I can't argue with lower prices, but what happens when a company decides to release Linux Office 2010 boasting 101% compatitbility with MS Office and then charge $200 for it? We'll be no better off than we are now.

How many of us are going to receive phone calls from family when they can't get printer or wireless drivers? What about a lot of programs distributed only as source? Do you really trust your grandma to be able to compile anything? Even the most noob-friendly distros require a shell prompt and that's where why there's never going to be a "Year of Linux on the Desktop." Though I would love to be proved wrong.

Comment Re:Prior Art? (Score 1) 261

IANAL but it's hard to deny there's plenty of prior art that's for certain. Though the patent clearly states (paraphrased) "a three-dimensional graphical, multi-user world where each user executes a client to view a virtual world from the perspective of that user."

This suggests that text-based MUDs are excluded because they're not three-dimensional (although certainly graphical and multi-user in nature) and don't display the virtual world from the perspective of the user.

Comment Re:Just in time (Score 4, Interesting) 207

Take out Quick Load, and I'll bet the load time for Office is just about the same as for OpenOffice.

It doesn't. I've always disabled programs from pre-loading at bootup (for ongoing performance issues, not just initial boot times) and Word 2007 opens a fresh document in 3 seconds (no previously opened documents or Office apps). After closing Word and re-opening, it loads a fresh document in 1 second.

Comparing this to OOo 3 and it takes 7 seconds for initial launch and 4 seconds for subsequent launches. To me, this is pretty conclusive that Quick Load isn't the reason MS Office loads faster but probably speaks for the MS Office team doing a better job writing optimised, modular code. These test results are of course subjective depending on the hardware you have but it's the kind of thing people notice when trying to convert them away from MS Office.

It's been said before but OO's problem is the monolithic and legacy nature of the code causing it to bloat. I imagine if OO developers completely rewrote the code, stripped out all the shit and didn't use Java then they could compete with MS Office for performance. Maybe, just maybe...

Comment Re:What about TPG? (Score 3, Informative) 231

TPG was bought out by iiNet a few years ago but has retained the brand name and the control to operate independently of iiNet. This is great because I like TPGs plans after being with iiNet some time ago.

Though TPG did outsource its support lines to an Indian/Asian/Whatever company I've still got very good support from them. Only very occasionally do they had some DNS issues but it's easy enough to use iiNet's instead :)

Comment Re:One word to explain why (Score 1) 98

Sweet jesus have you paid any attention to what's going on with the proposed filters? Or even what the summary is talking about? It's ignorant conclusion-jumpers like you that make us Australians look like an uneducated hoarde.

Telstra has nothing to do with this story! The only relevance Telstra has to this story is that they will be subject to the same filter as every other Australian ISP.

Comment They've been tried before... (Score 1) 248

From the first basic games like Pong and Pacman to platformers and finally the shift to full 3D, we've seen more of a maturity not just in the types of games but mostly the technological needs of the medium.

A book might be incredibly easy to pick up and read but to understand more complicated concepts requires a maturing mind to accompany it. This spectrum of the printed medium makes it popular across all demographics - not just the "geek" group. When it comes to games (or the tech, as stated above), the maturity is found in how easily it can be adopted by the masses. Ease-of-use advances such as Plug'n'Play devices for systems like computers/consoles and home entertainment will give gaming a wider-acceptance just as the progression and availability of printing facilites allowed more and more people to become writers eventually saturating our bookstores with wide ranges of subjects.

I think that as we see a wider acceptance of this pastime (much like TV) it will start to mature in the content that is consumed. We've started to see a change in these content-delivery systems already where we now have on-demand streaming pornography for TV, bloody and disturbing movies like SAW, and violent testosterone-fueled games like the multitudes of gorey shooters (really, too many to name).

In the end, it'll come down to what people want to consume via their entertainment system of choice. The classic laws of supply and demand will untimately be the victor. Though as the average age of your gaming population continues to increase (last I heard it was 28-ish) our minds may crave more intellectual stimulation and this will start to be reflected in the content that is produced.

That said, if you really want your games to challenge you then go find a good puzzle game or flash based sudoku... :)


TechCrunch Wants To Create an Open Source Tablet 160

RKo618 writes "TechCrunch announced that they are planning to design their own $200 web tablet device. Quoting: 'The idea is to turn it on, bypass any desktop interface, and go directly to Firefox running in a modified Kiosk mode that effectively turns the browser into the operating system for the device. Add Gears for offline syncing of Google docs, email, etc., and Skype for communication and you have a machine that will be almost as useful as a desktop but cheaper and more portable than any laptop or tablet PC.' The aim is for the tablet to run on modified open source software, which will be released back to the community along with the specifications for the hardware."

IPhone 3G Jailbreak Released, Paves Way For Open Source Apps 382

PainMeds writes "iPhone Atlas is reporting that the first jailbreak for the iPhone 3G has been released, and includes the popular Cydia community installer for distributing free games and applications. Since Apple's SDK was released, web sites have criticized Apple for the restrictions placed on both what developers could write and what APIs they were allowed to use. Others have noted the SDK's incompatibility with the GPL. The Cydia installer has provided a distribution channel for both open source software and software that would otherwise be impossible to build using the restricted SDK. A few applications are already out, including MobileTerminal and, a Nintendo game console emulator. In just over a week, open development is finally here for the iPhone 3G!"

A DIYer's Quick Guide To Cheap Wireless Extension 148

An anonymous reader writes "This piece is described in one of the comments on it as 'a little piece of genius'... and I have to agree! Although Peter Cochrane seems a bit of a crack pot, the ways that he comes up with to get connected when he's out of range in the sticks are pure genius and he makes them appear really simple! Think old satellite dishes, USB dongles and plastic bags and you'd be on the right tracks to upping wi-fi signal by 4 bars." A perfect excuse to link to one of my favorite sites, if you want more details and photos on similar jury-rigged long-distance connections. However, your meterage may vary — I've found USB Wi-Fi devices to be pretty fickle under Linux, with some distros working way better than others.

Slashdot Top Deals

The "cutting edge" is getting rather dull. -- Andy Purshottam