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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Well I'll be... (Score 4, Insightful) 248

You could start a signing company now, and if people trust you, they will add your keys, and you may even get traction from the OEMs. Nothing in secure boot prevents that except that no one wants to create a signing organization because they don't want to be bothered. In face Secure Boot MS Spec requires OEMs to enable users to add their own keys or even remove Microsoft's if they don't trust it.

Comment Re:Yup (Score 2) 168

>The response has often been that I'm over-reacting

Because you are.

No he isn't.


in at least four cases, Barksdale spied on minors' Google accounts without their consent, according to a source close to the incidents. In an incident this spring involving a 15-year-old boy who he'd befriended, Barksdale tapped into call logs from Google Voice, Google's Internet phone service, after the boy refused to tell him the name of his new girlfriend, according to our source. After accessing the kid's account to retrieve her name and phone number, Barksdale then taunted the boy and threatened to call her.

In other cases involving teens of both sexes, Barksdale exhibited a similar pattern of aggressively violating others' privacy, according to our source. He accessed contact lists and chat transcripts, and in one case quoted from an IM that he'd looked up behind the person's back. (He later apologized to one for retrieving the information without her knowledge.) In another incident, Barksdale unblocked himself from a Gtalk buddy list even though the teen in question had taken steps to cut communications with the Google engineer.

Comment Re:What are the school's alternatives? (Score 1) 168

Google has a remarkably good track record regarding security. They may be the best company (of Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Yahoo) in their industry, and if they aren't #1, then they aren't far behind.

Did anything like this happen at the other companies?

Comment Re:Crippled crap... (Score 1) 232

So what you're saying is there were no big deployments of iPads before this and there are no programming languages apps currently that canbe privately distributed, but this will magically happen now? Even if that happens, the school is in control if and whether it wants those apps. Also the sandbox and api restrictions are still in place on these iPads, so that precludes many interesting software experiences

Comment Re: Crippled crap... (Score 1) 232

How does using a pen and paper encourage proper grammar and spelling? It doesn't, you do that. When taking notes, you abbreviate, when writing formal communication, you use proper grammar.

Keyboards don't change this.

The issue is that touch screen discourage proper typing. Lets say someone gives you ten pages of handwritten text and asks you to email a soft copy of the text to them.

You have the following in front of you, a desktop with a full keyboard and monitor, a laptop, an iPad with a bluetooth keyboard, an iPad without one, an iPhone.

Which would you or anyone else choose for this task and in what order of preference? Why?

Now lets say you have to write an essay on a topic in 10 minutes and the limit is 3000 words. How better would the essays come out on each device?

Now apply the same logic to writing emails or even online comments and the GP's statement is very true.

The choice of which keyboard is available definitely influences writing and even content.

Assume that suddenly you were unable to talk for a week and had to communicate through a device like Stephen Hawking's. Would your "talking" be the same as now? Why?

Comment Re:Crippled crap... (Score 2) 232

Or they can just share their code for others to download and use

Can they?


Here’s what happened.

We were contacted late December last year (20th or so) by an Apple App Reviewer. He informed us that Codea’s project sharing feature violated section 3.3.2 of the Developer Agreement.

3.3.2 An Application may not download or install executable code. Interpreted code may only be used in an Application if all scripts, code and interpreters are packaged in the Application and not downloaded. The only exception to the foregoing is scripts and code downloaded and run by Apple’s built-in WebKit framework, provided that such scripts and code do not change the primary purpose of the Application by providing features or functionality that are inconsistent with the intended and advertised purpose of the Application as submitted to the App Store.

While Codea doesn’t, and has never “downloaded” code. It did “install” Lua source code if directed to do so by the user. That is, a user could open Mobile Safari, point it at a .codea project, and be given the option to “Open in Codea.” This then placed the file into Codea’s sandbox and Codea would extract that file into a new project for the user.

This is essentially the same as the user visiting a website which displays the source code, selecting the text, copying it to clipboard, and pasting it inside the code editor. Except a lot more convenient.

I mentioned this to the App Reviewer over the phone. I think I even asked him, “What happens if the user types code into the app that they see somewhere on the web, is that downloading?”

The answer I got was that it’s a grey area. And most app reviewers are not able to make a decision like this – so they must err on the side of caution. However, the app reviewer was extremely friendly, helpful and completely open to allowing me to initiate further discussion with Apple over this matter. He even started the appeal process for me. This makes me hopeful that when this issue is examined further it will be possible to come to a solution.

It would be great if iOS development tools warranted their own clause in the agreement.

We received a call from Apple about violations regarding downloadable executable code (namely, the .codea packages).

Edit: We have worked with Apple and have resolved the issue. The app will be available to download/purchase in the future, but we have removed the sharing feature in the next update. We will attempt to convince Apple that the feature is benign and that we should be able to keep it using their official channels.

Apple obviously wants only their store to have programs that can be distributed. That means any code written by iPad apps can't even be shared without jumping through needless restrictive hoops that are in place to make it as hard as possible to even do something basic as share code.

Easy peasy, indeed.

Comment Re:Crippled crap... (Score 2) 232

Who said anything about programming.

That's the problem right there, no one is saying anything about programming while handing the kids general purpose and powerful computer hardware thats been expressly crippled by software and DRM to kill programming and any other non-sandboxed or unapproved-at-Cupertino program.

Comment Re:wait what? (Score 1) 232

Of course, in your infinite wisdom, I'm sure you'd just buy a shipping container full of $100 Chinese tablets, drop it on the school district's doorstep and say "You're all set!"

That'd still only cost 300K, 1% of the cost here. Order 5K additional units for replacements and you still have tens of millions left over for software and warranty.

Comment Best combination of devices for kids... (Score 1) 232

I think the best combination of devices for kids would be an e-reader(preferably something bigger like the Kindle DX) and a real laptop, here's why.

Pros of e-reader
1) Better battery life measured in days rather than hours. Less of "Hey mom, I'm watching tv because my textbook ran out of juice(because I was watching youtube.)"
2) Readability outdoors and in sunlight. Tried to read a tablet on a bench? All you can see is your face!
3) Less distractions from the temptation to play games, videos and apps. The last thing a kid needs while studying is distractions from notifications from games, twitter, facebook, instagram, snapchat, vine etc. etc.
4) DRM. Yes, since it's obvious that textbook makers are preferring iPad in this story because of the DRM to discourage sharing and copying, e-readers are similarly locked down and will help them get on board.
5) Cheap. Break one? Cheaper to replace. And they're more rugged than the iPad which breaks if you look at the wrong way at it and needs bulky cases.

Pros of laptop(whether touch or not)
1) Can watch videos that you cannot on the above e-reader.
2) Interactive educational apps
3) Bigger screen to read and do things.
4) Attached keyboard encourages writing more than a tweet length.
5) Some kids can do programming if they want, whether web or Python or even Logo.
6) Install alternate OSes on hardware or in VMs
7) Millions of programs, er.. i mean apps, available

Stories like this make the MS tax days look like the golden era of computing where you were free once once you paid the tithe to MS and exposed a lot of kids to Linux.

Comment Re:So why not have Tesla dealers? (Score 1) 309

Elon Musk, being an adherent of Steve Jobs' approach, also wants to display his products in the best possible way and he believes that only sales people who exclusively sell Tesla cars (i.e. stores that only sell Tesla cars) can sell it right and that these people should then be also employed by Tesla Motors.

I get that and if I was him, I would do the same. This is really a crucial time for Tesla (and electric cars in general) and I wouldn't want any GM, Ford or Chrysler-sales person trying to sell my cars - next to all the other cars he has on display...

Where is the dealership that sells different companies' cars in the same facility? All I see around are specialized dealerships that deal only in Toyota or Ford etc.

Comment Re:Example screenshots of the abuse... (Score 1) 230

That is an old screenshot, I don't get paid for these posts and my family and my time is too valuable to me to sit and take the effort to convince Google fangirls on the internet., Interesting to see that so many complain but not a single person has posted a proper screenshot they claim makes it all okay.

Google changed it from this to this to this to make more money by confusing people, and people like you defend them as if Google can never do any wrong. Sad, really.

Comment Re:Example screenshots of the abuse... (Score 1) 230

What use is the so called "color" if it so barely distinguishable from the background that some people are not able to even see it on some monitors or if older people are not able to see it? Have you read the other articles in my post?

Why is there no border between the ads and search results?

Slashdot Top Deals

People are always available for work in the past tense.