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Comment Has anyone mentioned that developing Flex Sucks? (Score 2, Informative) 181

Has anyone else tried to use Flash/Flex to do anything more then just a game/animation? The frameworks are at best immature. While the Flex language is "ok" (basically just ECMAScript), the libraries, tools, frameworks, and most everything else that goes with it are just abysmally bad when compared to any other modern language (Java, Obj-C, Python, C#, etc).

The Flex Builder plugin for eclipse only supports Eclipse 3.3, which means modern plugins won't work. The flex compiler itself is slow and hard to setup. Oh, and the tools only officially support Windows and OSX. The documents are horrible and only give you most simplest of use case examples, but this might be because most of the frameworks breakdown when doing even remotely off the "rail" they have defined.

Just as a quick example of something inexcusably broken, the ComboBox that comes with Flex doesn't have a set selected by value function. You can only set by index and by label... which is just crazy when you consider most ComboBoxes contain localized strings order alphabetically in that local.

As a development environments go, I think you would be hard pressed to find something worse for development than flex.

And I could go on about how bad the user interaction is by default. But you really have to see that one to believe it.

Operating Systems

Submission + - Google Announce Chrome OS Plans

Neil writes: "The official Google Blog features an announcement this morning that the company is going ahead with plans to develop the Chrome browser into a fully-fledged operating system distribution, targeted at x86 and ARM netbooks. The project is separate from Android, but is also based on a Linux kernel and will be open sourced. It is lated for release to consumers in the second half of 2010."

Princeton Student Finds Bug In LHC Experiment 243

An anonymous reader writes "A Princeton senior has found a bug in the hardware design for the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). In the hardware used to record and capture events in the LHC, she discovered errors that were leading to the appearances of double images because of particle streams known as jets. 'Xiaohang Quan '09 was working on her senior thesis when she found a miscalculation in the hardware of the world's largest particle accelerator. Quan, a physics concentrator, traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, last week with physics professors Christopher Tully GS '98, Jim Olsen and Daniel Marlow for the annual meeting of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). This year, however, they also came to discuss Quan's discovery with the designers of the hardware for the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment, which, as part of the Large Hadron Collider, has the potential to revolutionize particle physics.'"

Reasonable Hardware For Home VM Experimentation? 272

cayenne8 writes "I want to experiment at home with setting up multiple VMs and installing sofware such as Oracle's RAC. While I'm most interested at this time with trying things with Linux and Xen, I'd also like to experiment with things such as VMWare and other applications (Yes, even maybe a windows 'box' in a VM). My main question is, what to try to get for hardware? While I have some money to spend, I don't want to, or need to, be laying out serious bread on server room class hardware. Are there some used boxes, say on eBay to look for? Are there any good solutions for new consumer level hardware that would be strong enough from someone like Dell? I'd be interested in maybe getting some bare bones boxes from NewEgg or TigerDirect even. What kind of box(es) would I need? Would a quad core type processor in one box be enough? Are there cheap blade servers out there I could get and wire up? Is there a relatively cheap shared disk setup I could buy or put together? I'd like to have something big and strong enough to do at least a 3 node Oracle RAC for an example, running ASM, and OCFS."
Input Devices

Microsoft Buys Motion-Detection Technology 65

DaMan1970 writes with news that Microsoft has purchased 3DV Systems, a company that specializes in motion detection technology. When early reports of this deal appeared last week, it led to speculation that this could be part of Microsoft's plans for future gaming technology. 3DV itself has been focused on the gaming market. "Now that graphics have become so advanced, it explains, the key to making a real difference lies in how you can control the game. The ZCam lets players control the game using body gestures alone, rather as PlayStation's EyeToy does, or Microsoft's Vision or Nintendo's Wii. 3DV Systems argues that its system is better than these, adding that you don't have to wear anything."

Amazon Fights Piracy Tool, Creators Call It a Parody 268

jamie points out an interesting story which started a few days ago, when a pair of students from the Netherlands released a Firefox add-on which integrated links to the Pirate Bay on Amazon product pages. Customers who had the add-on would see a large "Download 4 Free" button next to items which were also available on the Pirate Bay. The add-on quickly drew notice, and the creators were hit with a take-down notice and threats of litigation from Amazon. Now, the students have removed the add-on, and they are claiming an unusual defense: "'Pirates of the Amazon' was an artistic parody, part of our media research and education at the Media Design M.A. course at the Piet Zwart Institute of the Willem de Kooning Academy Hogeschool Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It was a practical experiment on interface design, information access and currently debated issues in media culture. We were surprised by the attentions and the strong reactions this project received. Ultimately, the value of the project lies in these reactions. It is a ready-made and social sculpture of contemporary internet user culture."
The Internet

Bittorrent To Cause Internet Meltdown 872

Gimble writes "Richard Bennett has an article at the Register claiming that a recent uTorrent decision to use UDP for file transfers to avoid ISP 'traffic management' restrictions will cause a meltdown of the internet reducing everybody's bandwidth to a quarter of their current value. Other folks have also expressed concern that this may not be the best thing for the internet."

Amazon Launches "Frustration-Free Packaging" 353

mallumax notes Amazon's new Frustration-Free Packaging initiative. Over several years the retailer hopes to convince many of its suppliers to offer consumer-friendlier packaging. It's starting with just 19 products from Mattel, Fisher-Price, Microsoft, and Transcend. Until this program spreads to more products, better get one of these (ThinkGeek and Slashdot share a corporate overlord). From Amazon's announcement: "The Frustration-Free Package is recyclable and comes without excess packaging materials such as hard plastic clamshell casings, plastic bindings, and wire ties. It's designed to be opened without the use of a box cutter or knife and will protect your product just as well as traditional packaging. Products with Frustration-Free Packaging can frequently be shipped in their own boxes, without an additional shipping box. Amazon works directly with manufacturers to box products in Frustration-Free Packages right off the assembly lines, which reduces the overall amount of packing materials used."

Mimicking Electric Eel Cells 71

An anonymous reader writes "A team of US researchers has asked the following question in the new field of systems biology: 'Do we understand how a cell produces electricity well enough to design one, and to optimize that design?' They believe it should be possible to build artificial cells replicating the electrical behavior of electric eel cells. In fact, such artificial cells could deliver better performance — as much as 40% more energy than real eel cells, a computer model suggests. They could be used to power medical implants and other small devices."

Submission + - Scam autopsy: EBay auction phishing (

brainhum writes: "Unlike the email-based scams most of us get everyday, this phishing attack starts as an authentic eBay auction. Loading the auction page (which is served by eBay) causes an embedded Flash object to redirect you to the scammer-controlled page. A low-priced 'Buy it now' auction provides incentive to submit credentials to the phishing site. This is a short blog article on it with screen caps. Mirrored here as well."

Submission + - Citrix to buy XenSource for $500m 1

Penguinisto writes: Apparently Citrix doesn't want to be left out in the cold when it came to Virtualization.So, it decided to snap up Xen Source in whole, with a combination of cash and stock. Question is, what impact exactly will this have on Linux as a whole? (Xen runs on/under Windows too, but Linux is arguably its biggest playground to date). Also, is this a defensive move on Citrix' part, given Microsoft's development of potential VMWare and Xen competitor Viridian?
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - The Pixo Secret: iPods Run OS X and Always Have.

Redrum writes: Everyone thinks that Apple's iPod runs an OS called Pixo, and that the iPhone ushered in a brand epoch based on OS X. That myth has been busted: the iPod runs Apple's own Mach/BSD kernel, and Pixo is only used as a graphics layer. Daniel Eran outlines the story behind Pixo and what OS X means for Apple. It's no joke; the story was confirmed by Tim Monroe, a member of Apple's QuickTime engineering team as is easy to verify yourself: Those OS X iPods? They're Already Here! Pixo, ARM, and the Mac OS.

Submission + - Joost Half Open

Saul writes: "Joost is now half open. This means that all beta Joost users now have unlimited invitations. So it should be easier then ever to get a Joost invite, now if they only had stuff to watch."

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