Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re: YOU DONT NEED A BROWSER TO DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE (Score 1) 593

..... well then it's not a real package manager in the sense that a package manager is being described. Plus, in Windows 7 (and I believe Windows Vista too), it's just called "Uninstall A Program". Windows 7 has a link to the "Windows Marketplace", but that opens in, of all things, a browser.

So let Microsoft fix it and have it work in a sensible, useful fashion and get the EU off their backs while simultaneously providing the sort of functionality enjoyed in many other operating systems.

Comment Re: YOU DONT NEED A BROWSER TO DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE (Score 1) 593

Dear stuck-up elitist Linux user, how the hell am I going to find a package manager if I don't have a browser installed?

The package manager is a pre-installed application which is used for adding and removing other applications and anything upon which they may be dependent, as well as retrieving said applications and related pieces of information from a remote location (such as out somewhere on the internet; being its own application, it doesn't require a browser. Fuck you, too, and you're welcome.

Comment Re:Depends (Score 1) 1475

It's also interesting (I guess this makes #3) to point out that not allowing gay marriage doesn't mean gays can't live together; it means the government doesn't recognize it as a marriage. Which is, by this time, almost a name-only thing. I am guessing it has similar arguments (the non-legalizing it) as not allowing polygamy and bestiality to be legal marriage unions. Except homosexuals can be domestic partners, polygamists cannot be domestic partners with 2+ others, and you can't be a domestic partner of a cat.

The obvious solution here would be for the government to not have these various categories of relationships and have one generic "life partner" heading (for things like hospital visitation rights), and leave the marriage/whatever bit up to whatever ritual house or other sort of whim to define it within their own respective pool.

This would also be great because the whole "tax breaks for the married" bit is ridiculous. What, you pay less because you won the love sweepstakes? You pay more back in when you lose and get divorced? Assinine.

Comment Re:Stallman's approach is desperately needed (Score 1) 367

The fact that there's 350 comments debating the issue is another case in point. You may want free software. I may not care as long as it works. The guy next door doesn't seem to mind paying. So having a "unified vision of an ideal" just isn't going to happen.

Unless of course the unified vision is having tons of options, which is the direction it seems to be heading in again. Somehow, though, people tend to get really pissed and reject ideological offerings that don't fit them personally, while simultaneously running at the mouth about how true choice is "not so restrictive" as that with which they disagree --sentiment that itself promotes restriction and choice reduction. And in that case, you absolutely need the hard-liners preaching, because a well-reasoned decision has to be made considering several points of view.

You're free to reject that, of course, but don't suggest anybody who disagrees with you is wacky. They're looking at it from the point of view of different needs.

Comment Re:Stallman's approach is desperately needed (Score 1) 367

What with RELFEXIVELY CONTRARIAN TWATS* like yourself out there, it's no wonder they can't see the sense in arbitrarily satiating the whims of a few pissants. Your problem is you're looking for a unified gospel when you're being granted options from which to pick and choose. If you're serious about someone else telling you The Right Way for your desktop, you're looking in the wrong place.

*see? it's not nice!

Comment Re:The problem with Stallman's approach (Score 1) 367

The problem with Stallman's approach is the assumption that most people want the free software ideal. The reality is that most people are not even knowledgeable enough about their computers to even understand what free software is all about, why it matters, and why they should care.

I would imagine that this is why he regularly makes a very vocal big stink about it. Just think: sixty-odd years ago, most people didn't know what a carcinogen was, why it was bad, or that it could be found in ordinary, presumed-to-be-harmless things like lead paint and cigarette smoke. Now of course, people who knew could always go, "Nobody cares about this! People die every day! Don't interrupt people's lives with this scary, annoying information!" Historically speaking, though, I'd wager quite a few people are glad people bothered to speak up and do something about it.

Most people do not care about the legal or technical issues surrounding their software, they just want to get online and do stuff. Stallman insists that when somebody sends you a .doc file, you should refuse to open it and insist that they send you a PDF or ODT file instead. Great when you are dealing with engineers and programmers, but not so great when you are dealing with people who think you need to create a .doc file in order to attach an image to an email.

I doubt many people gave a damn about things like anti-virus software on their Windows machines when the internet started to get popular with the masses. Somehow over time, though, a fair number of these laypeople wound up learning (likely a combination of the hard way and word-of-mouth) that they're probably a decent idea. Sure, lots don't know how they work, or where those little bits of nastiness came from, or that most such problems could be avoided by other means, but they know they're important and do bother with them, slightly.

Really, I get what you're saying, but there's a point where it goes from "not everyone wants to know how the car goes" to "people can't and won't ever change a flat!" Give some people potentially useful information and it *does* stand a chance of getting filed and used somewhere someday.

Comment Re:and what about paying the programmers? (Score 1) 355

"So few if any"? You must be forgetting about all the people who do useful stuff like filing bug reports, writing howtos, lending a hand on forums where the software gets talked about, writing and sharing scripts, plugins, modules, and other forms of add-ons, donating cash towards a particular application or documentation project, and hell, even in some cases *gasp* coding applications. Yeah, I know, it's easier to pretend that not one single person actually puts any effort towards anything and that everyone's just a freeloading ingrate unwittingly applauding their own destruction as they vaccuously wave their FOSS pennant and take the willingly-offered fruits of other people's labors, but no matter how many times this gets pitched, the end-times trumpets don't sound.

People keep making stuff and giving it to other people on the terms they decide, because that's how they want to do it. If you want to write and application and charge for X, Y, and Z around it, nobody's stopping you.

Comment Re:and what about paying the programmers? (Score 1) 355

Aw heck - you're just looking for a spot to go all sour grapes contrarian on us. If project management on up isn't sharp or otherwise attentive enough to have already clamped down on unauthorized projects for every perceived IP and budgetary nightmare in the bogeyman's sack, they're not about to catch it when it's time to trim overhead in a blind panic. A shitcanning during an economic downturn is more likely to be a good ol' fashion lay-off that takes out Secret Agent FOSS in the same fell stroke as Corporate Drone.

Comment Re:Solutions in search of a problem? (Score 1) 57

I am hearing impaired. What's the accessibility standard to help me enjoy a podcast? Do we require closed captioning for all podcasts? Require a written transcript to be posted with every podcast?

No, we have guidelines which suggest providing a text alternative enclosed in a semantically meaningful, standards-compliant markup so anyone browsing with a user agent which deals with things in those terms can make some amount of use of them. In terms of audio content, this can range from full transcripts to a terse single sentence description of the subject of the audio content presented. It's up to the content provider to determine how far it needs to go, or if it's actually necessary considering the target audience; if they leave out people with hearing-related disabilities and are providing podcasts, and it hurts their profits/popularity/whatever, it's their gonads in the vice. Nobody is in fact required to do anything, so steer clear of ye olde fashioned "nanny state" reef before the young and/or impressionable lump it in with reflexive pseudo-libertarian diatribe computery types supposedly all embrace.

Seriously, if there's *anything* to complain about here, it's that the sprawling mess of WCAG 2.0 doesn't stress the practical approach of "consider the message before the medium". That's a very basic principle that every entity hoping for some amount of netly attention needs to consider: is what you're attempting to do suited towards [media type here], or is your message going to leave people out because you're fixating on a podcast/user-submitted video site/Flash game/whatever and the afterthought-like provisions to provide a more limited experience for the differently abled is short-changing those in the target audience? The point to remember here is that most of the solutions suggested are concessions towards smaller segments of a given audience and still provide a limited experience. If that seems like more trouble than it's worth, there are either people who just aren't in your audience that you most likely don't need to account for, or your whole concept of presentation for the subject matter is fucked.

Communications

Cisco To Buy Jabber 66

Danny Rathjens writes "In the continuing trend of big companies buying out small companies with open source products, Cisco has announced that they are buying Jabber. The press release doesn't really talk about the open source aspect of Jabber, and Jabber's website doesn't mention the news yet. I'm sure the question many of us have is whether Jabber's open source status will be changed in any way due to the purchase." Reader Eddytorial had this to contribute: "eWEEK offers a good look into how Jabber's messaging client will fit into Cisco Systems' overall 'presence' strategy in its market wars with Avaya, Microsoft, Nortel, and others. Cisco, which already had a basic instant messaging option, but one that didn't scale for an enterprise nearly as well as Jabber's, has just about everything else in place." It's also worth noting that Cisco open-sourced Etch in recent months.

Drop-In Replacement For Exchange Now Open Source 434

Fjan11 writes "Over 150 man-years of work were added to the Open Source community today when Zarafa decided to put their successful Exchange server replacement under GPLv3. This is not just the typical mail-server-that-works-with-Outlook, it is the whole package — including 100% MAPI, web access, tasks, iCal and Activesync. (The native syncing works great with my iPhone!) Binaries and source are available for all major Linux distros."
Science

Political Viewpoints Linked To Fear 800

Pentagram writes "Researchers writing in Science report that the political orientation of test subjects who have strong views is linked to how easy they are to startle. They found that subjects who were more fearful were more likely to have right wing views, such as being in favor of capital punishment and higher defense budgets. The researchers suggest that this psychological difference is why it is so difficult to change people's minds in political arguments."
Patents

Apple Attempts to Patent Pre-Existing Display Software Idea 256

Nuclear Elephant writes "Apple appears to be taking ideas from commercial software already being sold and is attempting to patent the concepts as their own. According to Apple Insider, Apple has recently filed a patent application for a notification screen on the iPhone. The only problem with this is that Intellisync has been using this concept in their popular iPhone notification screen software for over a year now, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this is a clear rip-off. Apple recently became famous (or infamous) for stealing other people's ideas when they rolled out their Dashboard in Mac OS X, which had many similarities to a desktop widget program named the Konfabulator, which later became Yahoo widgets. The case here isn't a simple hijacking of an idea, however — Apple is applying for a patent on Intelliscreen's concept, which could be detrimental to the original manufacturer of the software, who is actively selling it for Jailbroken iPhones"
Media

Canonical Offers Sale of Proprietary Codecs for Ubuntu 427

ruphus13 writes "Playing DVDs on Linux that required proprietary codecs has been a source of much pain. Ubuntu (or anyone else, for that matter) is not legally allowed to redistribute these codecs. So, users were left with sub-optimal choices. Convert the multimedia to an open format, acquire new media, or use a codec 'found' on the web, which may be illegal. In its continued effort to have a seamless and slick user experience, Canonical made the hard choice to offer the sale and support for proprietary codecs that users had to actually purchase for Ubuntu. This is not a fight Canonical can fight alone, and they are sure to get some grief for the decision."

Slashdot Top Deals

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.

Working...