Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Submission + - What is the best file/photo uploader for my web application? 3

51mon writes: "I work on a web application, we have a Java file/Image uploader. It is very like the one Facebook had, it has issues very like the Facebook photo uploader had. The biggest issue is it requires Java Runtime, and I've disabled Java in my browser to save Firefox the trouble of doing it every 5 minutes, so I can't act surprised if our users don't have it or want it. Also the Java detection isn't very good, Java detection is harder than it should be.

I'd like an uploader that; uploads regulars files, will scale images down client side (JPEG, GIF, PNG), can upload and resize a bunch of photos in one go with some sort of progress indicator. Free software (as in freedom) preferred. If it spots a mobile browser or phone and does something plausible that would be brilliant. Needs to work in current browsers (that includes IE8 still — no really some people still use it), but otherwise latest stable Chrome, and Firefox (We have no issue with telling people to upgrade their browser if a newer version would work better AND is available for their platform). Drag and drop highly desirable but if it opens the appropriate (native) multi file select dialog box then we can survive without drag and drop.

Best candidate so far is "plupload" — doesn't appear to have a switch for setting upload resizing client side — but that looks fixable as long as all the images in one upload are the same size, which is probably acceptable for our purposes. "plupload" can fall back to all sorts of exotic backends, but that is fine, as long as if I have a modern browser it "works" without them. Fall back to something for IE8/IE9/IE10(?) is almost mandatory. We already fall back to a simple HTML form when the users despair of Java or we don't detect Java.

I've looked at: Uploadify (no resize of images), SWF-Uploader (dying), GWT-Uploader (seems to be revamped SWF-Uploader), Silverlight File Uploader (obvious issue here), ThinFile Upload (Java and demo died), Agile-Uploader (seems to lack love), FineUploader (No image resize), and some other less notable uploaders.

Can /. reader tell me if I've missed one worth examining. Or should I look to browser plugs and mobile Apps."

Submission + - Finding every power socket in every airport in the world ( 4

avleen writes: One of the most stressful things when you travel: Your phone or laptop is low on power and you can't find an outlet to charge it! They're almost always subtle, hidden away.
No more! We released an app to map out every power socket in every airport in the world. Ambitious? Sure. Feasible? Definitely.
If you're travelling, check this out. We still need help finding power sockets — if you see one at an airport, it's very easy to submit it for everyone to see, right from the app. Join us, help us out!


Submission + - Kickstarter to fund an Open Source Augmented Reality Toolkit Called Palimpsest (

PhoenixT writes: "For the past four years I have been working on a system called Palimpsest, for creating dynamic Augmented Reality (AR) applications. This started as my MFA project for the Digital Arts and New Media program at UC Santa Cruz, and has continued under the auspices of my startup company, Augmented Mountain Ltd. This is a true DIY project, I wrote most of the code myself, and a labor of love that I hope will be able to grow into something big. In Spook Country, William Gibson describes the potential of AR by stating "Cyberspace is everting", or turning itself inside out. We wish to see this reality come to fruition, but it is difficult to do without low-cost, powerful, and accessible tools available to make it happen. Most of the AR solutions out there right now are either costly, encumbered by restrictive licenses, or otherwise exist in a controlled environment. The desire of my partner's and myself, is to make our Palimpsest project Open Source and free to the community to use and contribute to. Palimpsest is a powerful tool with a low barrier to entry, so that anyone can begin to play in the realm of location aware Augmented Reality. We are looking for funding to be able to finish up some of the final bits of the code, resolve some licensing issues, test, and otherwise make it ready for the larger community to participate. Please check out what we are doing, and consider helping us out!

You can check out some of the (free) apps that we have made with Palimpsest by going to

Thank you!"


Submission + - Fukushima cooling knocked offline by...a rat

necro81 writes: The cooling system at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, responsible for keeping the spent fuel pools at an appropriate temperature, lost power early on March 18th. During the blackout, the temperature in the spent fuel pools gradually increased, although TEPCO officials indicated the pools could warm for four days without risking radiation release. Power was restored earlier this morning, and the pools should be back to normal temperature in a few days. During the repairs the charred remains of a rat were found in a critical area of wiring, leading some to believe that this rodent was the cause of this latest problem. At least it wasn't a mynock — then we'd really be in trouble.

Submission + - Feds investigate Microsoft bribery allegations .. (

An anonymous reader writes: Federal authorities are examining Microsoft’s involvement with companies and individuals that are accused of paying bribes to overseas government officials in exchange for business, according to a person briefed on the inquiry.

Microsoft’s practices in those countries are being looked at for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a federal law passed in 1977 that prohibits American companies from making payments to government officials and others overseas to further their business interests.


Submission + - Making a Case for Security Optimism (

An anonymous reader writes: The information security industry is known for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. We are bombarded with depressive statistics and buzzwords on a daily basis and those can overshadow the real progress that's being made. Jeff Jones, Director at Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, takes a broad view of the industry and talks about making a case for security optimism.

Submission + - Apple Hires Former Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch, Destroyer of iPhones (

Nerval's Lobster writes: "Why did Apple hire former Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch as vice president of technology? Adobe and Apple spent years fighting a much-publicized battle over the latter’s decision to ban Adobe Flash from iOS devices. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was very public in his condemnation of Flash as a tool for rich-content playback, denigrating it in an April 2010 letter posted on Apple’s Website as flawed with regard to battery life, security, reliability and performance. Lynch was very much the public face of Adobe’s public-relations pushback to Apple’s criticism; in a corporate video shot for an Adobe developer conference in 2009, he even helped run an iPhone over with a steamroller. (Hat tip to Daring Fireball’s John Gruber for digging that video up.) As recently as 2010, he was still arguing that Flash was superior to HTML5, which eventually surpassed it to become the virtual industry standard for Web-based rich content. It’s interesting to speculate whether Steve Jobs would have hired someone who so publicly denigrated Apple’s flagship product. But Jobs is dead, and his corporate successors in Cupertino—tasked with leading Apple through a period of fierce competition—obviously looked at Lynch and decided he’d make a perfect fit as an executive."

Submission + - WHSmith Putting DRM in eBooks without permission from the authors (

sgroyle writes: "DRM had, without my knowledge, been added to my book. I quickly checked my other books; same thing. Then I checked the books of authors who, because of their vocal and public opposition, I know are against DRM – Konrath, Howey, and Doctorow, to name a few – same result. ALL books on WHSmith have DRM in them.

Rather than assume WHSmith where at fault, I checked with my distributor, Draft2Digital. They send my books to Kobo, who in turn send my books to WHSmith. D2D assured me the DRM was not being added by them and were distressed to hear that this was the case. Kobo haven’t replied to any of the messages in this thread: “WHSmith putting DRM in books distributed via Kobo”. I’m not holding my breath."

Submission + - Check your Paypal buttons (

51mon writes: "Seems Paypal regard domain domain as defunct. Probably broken by recent infrastructure changes at Paypal (April 19th)

People with older Paypal buttons may find their pages slow or fail to load.

Paypal support seem to be relaxed on the issue asking me to supply them lists of their own documentation which use the old name. There appears to be no planning to the decommissioning, no use of HTTP redirects.

I can't find a start date for this problem, I can't find any other references."

Comment Re:I think the FSF might be a bit biased (Score 2) 277

We can't tell from Blackduck's data either since it isn't known what criteria are used by them.

We could pick other projects and see what the trend is in them, but ultimately all we would know is what the trend is in them. Google Code looks like a fairly easy place to gather some figures from and they host a lot of code these days.

Any such study is limited by the set of data it looks at. I presume the FSF chose Debian because it is (a) large (b) licenses are reasonably easily checkable (c) well documented historical versions, so they could quickly check if the there is a trend away from the GNU GPL in the kind of systems the FSF was created to create.

The changes in Blackduck's data are simply too large to reflect changes to say GNU/Linux distros, since software tends not to change license that often, so it seems likely they are just including more sources of free software from other places which simply have less GNU GPL software in them, in which case what you are seeing is their data becomes more representative of the totality of free software code rather than a trend away from the GNU GPL.

Thus it is possible both studies are correct and that GNU GPL usage is increasing in Debian (and probably other general purpose GNU/Linux desktops - not least a lot of them are based on Debian, and perhaps in general), and GNU GPL now forms a smaller part of the code base that Blackduck are keeping in their knowledge base.

Whilst I'm sure the FSF like people to use the GNU GPL, they are pro-free software, so if that the amount of free software Blackduck find is growing faster than the growth in GNU GPL software, it is unlikely to be keeping my friends in Boston up at night.

But what really matters is what software people use, not the proportion of software in repositories. I'm using Debian to write this, and I don't much care what free software license most of the software I use is, as long as Debian can inspect, package, fix and distribute it.

I care more when I write code, but mostly that the codebase I'm contributing to aims to remain free, a copyleft license is a guarantee of that, but it isn't the only such guarantee that makes me feel good. I'd happily contribute freely to the Apache project knowing me and my friends can expect to benefit from any such contribution in future even without a copyleft license.

Comment Re:Windows Cl is useless (Score 1) 780

You've never enabled the extra features in Bash auto-completion have you.

In Bash the tab auto-completion is programmable, with the typical configuration used on Debian it completes command names, file names (to nearest unambiguous match and then shows you the list of matching names), it will display the command line options to commands limited to those which match what you've typed so far, for various commands that take commons lists (like list of available software packages) it will auto-complete those arguments from those lists.

I believe Zsh does similar but also shows short extract from documentation on command line options in addition.

The problem is as a GNU/Linux user you can end up like me and just hit tab whenever the grey matter glitches and you forgot what you were going to type next.

Say you want to install a web server with PHP5....

$ apt-g[tab] completes "apt-get "
$apt-get i[tab] completes the "install" option
$apt-get install libapa[tab] saves typing the "che" (goodness you can get lazy)
$apt-get install libapache2-m[tab] saves typing "od" for mod
$apt-get install libapache2-mod-ph[tab] saves typing the "p5"
$apt-get install libapache2-mod-php5

So I've saved typing 15 characters (if I can count), got everything spelt right first time, and this one command will (I think) get you a webserver and PHP5 installed and ready for development work, of course usually you want to specify which thread model you want for the Apache webserver and probably want some other dev tools but it makes the points that you only need 16 key presses to install a webserver with PHP (no browsing to websites, downloading installers, or finding your original installation CD image to drag IIS off, or patching to get it up to date after running the command (since it'll install the latest versions). Only the command name "apt-get" is a file name.

It has been this way for a long time in Debian (although PHP5 wasn't around all that time), and you have to uncomment a line in one of the config files to enable the enhanced completion otherwise I think it is just filenames (including commands).

Comment Re:Obligatory quote (Score 1) 780

I was kind of worried about the opposite. It suggests someone at Microsoft has been doing some serious work making Windows easier to administrate, which might make it more popular amongst the IT literate crowd, and thus more popular generally.

This remote admin will make automaton of admin easier, and also discourage what we (and many others) are guilty of, which is logging in with VNC or remote desktop, and messing about as Administrator because we only have a few boxes. Until we realize actually we have far too many to be doing it all this way.

Comment Re:Reasonable Expectation (Score 1) 403

"That said... a reasonable expectation may not translate into something actionable in a court of law."

IANAL - but UK law explicitly implemented rules to govern consumer agreements where you can't negotiate contract terms. (Unfair terms in consumer contracts regulations) which were based on an EU directive from 1993, which effectively boils down to a reasonableness test (although there are restrictions on fields of reasonableness).

Whilst I don't have a problem boycotting Sony, perhaps such contracts probably needs some sort of proper legal redress in the style of the European directive, as otherwise it would be pretty much impossible to buy/lease any modern software or hardware without agreeing to similarly outrages terms and conditions as were used in this class action.

Comment Re:Pftt (Score 1) 487

Apple get called draconian because of the things they do.

Being a good citizen in free software doesn't just mean doing those things in your own self interest to do, of which we agree Apple do a lot, but also not doing things that might be perceived as in your own short term self interest that are unethical (of which Apple also do plenty).

Slashdot Top Deals

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.