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TSA: Confiscating Aluminum Foil and Watching Out For Solar Powered Bombs 289

schwit1 writes "If you think confiscating aluminum foil to prevent a solar powered bomb attack on a plane is a waste of time, don't blame the TSA agent. According to a former employee most of the security people agree with you. Instead, we need to hold accountable the people sending down such ridiculous orders. From the article: 'Ridiculous restrictions and the TSA have become nearly synonymous in the post-9/11 airport, and as new, improbable terrorist plots come to light, we will likely continue to be burdened with new, absurd rules. But our best bet is to take the frustration toward the TSA agent confiscating our over-sized liquids, and re-direct it to the people at TSA headquarters who are being paid the big bucks to make the rules — the ones who make the call as to whether our toothpaste is verboten and whether our shoes will need extra screening.'"

Comment Serious Doubts on Canonical's Ability (Score 3, Interesting) 251


I have serious doubts that Canonical is able to deliver on this: they do not have a history of delivering top-notch software, unless you count their press-releases and boundless enthusiasm as software.

Aside from a few interesting things (upstart being among the few projects adopted outside of Ubuntu), they've basically decided to ignore whatever the rest of the community is doing and implement their own (buggy) stuff which is "better". Canonical's stuff makes GNOME3 look usable. That takes some doing.

Aside from my doubts about their ability, I also find the concept deeply flawed. Cheap support infrastructure does not currently exist for a dockable phone. Sure, you can use it as a desktop, you just need to buy a dock that you carry around, or a dock for every desk you usually use. Sure, you can use it as a phone, you just need a bluetooth headset that you have to keep charged when you're using it as a desktop. Sure, it's dual-boot, it just means that you can't phone or use the desktop when you switch modes. Sure it can do all of the above, but you have no battery life.

People who need to navigate and use their phone a lot tend to have TWO devices: a GPS or built-in satnav an a phone. Convergence is a great idea, but you're going to pay a lot in battery life for all those features. Running out of juice is NOT FUN these days.

It appears Shuttleworth is trying to emulate companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google by doing the opposite of what used to be done in the spirit of Linux. The copyright clause in all Canonical software, Mir, forking GNOME into Unity and the doublespeak pouring out of the community spokesdrones have been in stark contrast to the early days of Debian, Slackware and open culture. Maybe he really believes he's Steve Jobs and Bill Gates reincarnated and rolled into one: I really think he's got the remorselessness of the one and the ruthlessness of the other.

I believe Ubuntu has single-handedly done more to bring down the quality of Linux on the desktop than any other distro.

I believe the reason Ubuntu is so successful is because of marketing. NOT because of technical quality. This is why I believe that the human race is getting stupider every year. Ah well.


Comment Re:DOWNMOD PARENT (Score 1) 319

While I don't very much like the *code* that Poettering contributes (pulseAudio took a LONG while to become stable), I see sense in a lot of his arguments:

1) SystemV initscripts are fine for systems that were designed 20 years ago. Things have changed quite a bit now.
2) After seeing some of the Apple launchctl things in action, I want some on Linux!
3) If we stick to POSIX, we might as well decide to throw in the towel, break out the old Slackware 1.0 distros and grow beards. If we can design a better interface/system that's more future proof, then DO IT.
4) Letting Upstart/SysV/OpenRC and whatever compete is *not* a good thing. It's the equivalent of having 3 incomplete kernels that allow you to run your audio, graphics or disk, one at a time.
5) Turns out pulseAudio got better AFTER PEOPLE FIXED IT UP. The architecture and the idea wasn't busted, but the execution was, for a long time.

The only reason Red Hat is upstream is because they contribute so damn much to the code. But, as Mark Shuttleworth said, Canonical contributes users and bugreports (sometimes directly to Red Hat, hilariously). Turns out, you have less control over code than the authors, go figure.

Finally, from my point of view, Unity and GNOME 3 are both abominations that should be killed with fire. I stand 100% behind Linus's statements about compatibility and ABI breakage. The fact that your app can only run on a specific distribution with a specific set of libraries is very rarely a good way to keep guys interested in developing for your desktop.

Comment Re:Canonical vs. Red Hat (Score 1) 319

Strange, last I heard was that Debian added it as an *alternative*. Gentoo's had their own initsystem (they switched to openrc right about when I left 'em), but, to be honest, the average Gentoo user could probably boot his PC just by flicking the power randomly to clock the bits into RAM.

Comment Canonical vs. Red Hat (Score 2) 319

Your viewpoint on how Ubuntu and Canonical contributes back to the community notwithstanding, there seems to be a stark difference between the management style of Red Hat and that of Canonical.

The perception raised with Unity is that Canonical has decided to diverge from upstream more and more: this is evident from the problems that the Debian project (which contributes the majority of code to Ubuntu) is facing, as well as GNOME and the dissent with the upcoming signed boot EFI implementations.

Red Hat (and the Fedora project) is trying to prevent the balkanization of Linux userspace with projects like systemd, which only Ubuntu rejects.

Red Hat's business model seems to be very successful, and Canonical, despite it's massive desktop market share, doesn't seem to be able to match it in reputation or revenue. Would you attribute this to Red Hat's deeper involvement in the kernel community and higher technical skills?

Comment Re:Does this mean the Apple turfers will be labele (Score 1) 230

In checking your other posts, I realize when you said "Apple turfers" you may have meant "anti Apple turfers", not "Apple astroturfers".
If that's the case, sorry I let you have both barrels because you mispoke or I misunderstood.

Still, group labeling of accounts is pretty offensive. You can block any user.
  I guess I don't participate in /. conversations as much as I did in the nineties, so I've only had to block on a few occasions.

Comment Re:Does this mean the Apple turfers will be labele (Score 0) 230

"Labeling" users? How offensive. How do you propose doing that, by affixing "armbands" to their usernames? Maybe you are the one who needs to wear a stigmatic identifier.

I'm -pretty sure- Apple's roaring success depends naught on maintaining an army of "turfers". However there seems to be no end of anti-Apple posters like yourself, suggesting they exist. I see the value of pre-emptively accusing your opponent of your OWN sins, however all documented instances of "astroturfing" have been attributed to Microsoft or their agents.

I'm not an Apple fanboy. Been running Linux at home since 1994. But at least Apple advanced desktop computing, while Microsoft held it back AND helped change the Internet into this incredibly insecure thing, by virtue of a PERMANENT army of zombie computers. Old MacOS was never as cavalier about security as Windows still is, and Apple's record on security is pretty damn good with OS X. I can still gripe about the window dressing on the Mac desktop, but the underpinnings of OSX are a solid standard UNIX kernel... the modern Apple OS foundation is solid, unlike Microsoft's.

Comment Re:StackOverflow competior? (Score 2) 230

Are you saying Oracle (for example) is going to have some expert answer common Java questions in a slashvertisement/tech support type thing?

This -does- have the feel of something which came out of a 'monetize' brainstorming session. The description reads just as badly... it sounds like Soulskill is reading off of marketing's talking-points.

So HOW exactly does this benefit Slashdot users? Or is there one at all?
  HOW are sponsor representatives represented in discussion? Are their comments automatic +5, and totally immune to moderation?
This doesn't need explanation, apparently. :-/

I've been on for about 14 years, and seen it survive the threat from Digg (and the the Digg self-destruct). But my interest is declining. The original stories are less insightful, more incidence of stories linking to overtly 'controversial' blog posts elsewhere designed to troll web clicks. Years ago I switched from viewing this website, to monitoring the RSS feed, and less and less often do I find reason to stick around when I click one of the feed items.

My biggest complaint of all is there is no benefit or advantage to the older accounts. I gave up submitting stories because even if I were one of the first (just a guess), there are semi-professional story submitters who get the credit. No wait, that's not my worst grievance... Slashdot has a checkbox for "Do not display ads", given for past participation on the site... but the checkbox doesn't work.

Maybe the worst annoyance is when I visit my ~user page, it tells me there's a new post on Will Wheaton's Slashdot journal.. which was deleted like 10 years ago, and because of that deletion I can't unsubscribe from it (it's a silent error, but probably failed SQL stupidity... and my support emails to slashdot go unanswered).

I think Slashdot recognizes that their future's probably in nurturing "communities" where the users interact more with each other (like Slashdot USED to be). GOOD call. But that space is served by Ning. If Slashdot's owners think the answer is "commercially sponsored questions and posts"... really? lulz. For me the answer is, different websites for different genres of information. That's way easier to follow, and you can somewhat get to know people.

Comment Re:...Good for you? (Score 1) 627

I'm sorry, this isn't a story. This is a blog entry, and a short one at that.

I'm sorry, you lack cynicism: what this submission IS is a troll for ad revenue. It's almost a troll... kind of like every John Dvorak article since 1990 (but without the legitimacy he had built up prior to that time).

I thought I had it good when we ditched our "desktop" computers 6 years ago and went with just laptops in the home. Now it's an iPad 1 and 2. When I am developing for Drupal, I use my iPad and laptop (Ubuntu, with Komodo IDE). When I take notes or read OReilly/Safari Books, it's the iPad. When I take notes or set appointments, it's the iPad and Google apps. When I play games, I use either the iPad or the PS3. When I watch movies, it's NetFlix on the iPad or PS3. I suppose for some the droid tablets are the same (although they all seem rather sluggish to me, and have inconsistent UIs.. but maybe I'm just jealous).


Using a Tablet As Your Primary Computer 627

harrymcc writes "Three months ago, I started using an iPad 2 (with a Zagg keyboard) as my primary computing device--the one I blog on, write articles for TIME magazine on, and use to prepare photos and other illustrations that go with my writing. I now use it about 80 percent of the time; my trusty MacBook Air has become a secondary machine."

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