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Comment Re:Always with the jabs (Score 4, Interesting) 513

In my case it was more to do with the fact that my iPod touch downloaded an update file onto the device which filled nearly 1/3 of the available space on the file system. This is despite me turning off all of the update options in settings. According to all of the forums I checked there's no way to get rid of this file without jail breaking.

I didn't want to update my device but in the end it was the easiest way to get all of my storage space back. The process might be slick, but apple are definitely pushing you to do it.

Comment Re:Genome Sequencing (Score 2) 153

We could be close to this with the MinIon sequencer from Oxford Nanopore.

Less than $1000, disposable and about the size of a USB stick. Connect it to your computer, drop a sample into a hole in the top and a sequence file starts building up on your hard drive.

It's due to be released in a couple of months when we'll see if this is as good as it sounds.

Submission + - MuseScore makes Open Goldberg Variations available (

rDouglass writes: "MuseScore, the open source music notation project, has created a new edition of Bach's Goldberg Variations, and a set of online tools that facilitates the public scholarly review of the work. The review period is intended to help the MuseScore team identify any problems with the score. The score can be viewed and played in the browser. Annotations and discussions for each part of the score enable review and corrections. Downloadable versions include MuseScore, MusicXML, MIDI, mp3, or PDF. Video scores (YouTube videos that are synchronized to play with the score) let the score be viewed in the context of individual performances. MuseScore is a partner in the Open Goldberg Variations Project, a crowd-funded effort to place a definitive score and recording of the work into the public domain in such a way as to make them widely and freely available, without usage restrictions (Creative Commons Zero). German pianist Kimiko Ishizka will produce the studio recording of the work later this year. Funding continues on Kickstarter until June 3, 2011."

Study Finds That "Extreme Gamers" Play 48 Hours a Week 272

An anonymous reader writes "Think you're a big gamer? According to a new study from market research firm NPD Group, to be considered among the real hardcore you'll need to play an average of 48.5 hours a week — nearly seven hours a day. This group of gamers is, on average, '29 years old, and — perhaps surprisingly — one-third of them are female. They're more likely to play on consoles than on the PC, and on average they've purchased 24 titles in the past three months — a bill that could easily run over a thousand dollars. But dedicated though they may be, the Extreme Gamers are just a small minority: a mere 4% of the US's 174-million-strong gaming public. '"

After 2 Years of Development, LTSP 5.2 Is Out 79

The Linux Terminal Server Project has for years been simplifying the task of time-sharing a Linux system by means of X terminals (including repurposed low-end PCs). Now, stgraber writes "After almost two years or work and 994 commits later made by only 14 contributors, the LTSP team is proud to announce that the Linux Terminal Server Project released LTSP 5.2 on Wednesday the 17th of February. As the LTSP team wanted this release to be some kind of a reference point in LTSP's history, LDM (LTSP Display Manager) 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 were released on the same day. Packages for LTSP 5.2, LDM 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 are already in Ubuntu Lucid and a backport for Karmic is available. For other distributions, packages should be available very soon. And the upstream code is, as always, available on Launchpad."

Copyright and the Games Industry 94

A recent post at the Press Start To Drink blog examined the relationship the games industry has with copyright laws. More so than in some other creative industries, the reactions of game companies to derivative works are widely varied and often unpredictable, ranging anywhere from active support to situations like the Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes debacle. Quoting: "... even within the gaming industry, there is a tension between IP holders and fan producers/poachers. Some companies, such as Epic and Square Enix, remain incredibly protective of their Intellectual Property, threatening those that use their creations, even for non-profit, cultural reasons, with legal suits. Other companies, like Valve, seem to, if not embrace, at least tolerate, and perhaps even tacitly encourage this kind of fan engagement with their work. Lessig suggests, 'The opportunity to create and transform becomes weakened in a world in which creation requires permission and creativity must check with a lawyer.' Indeed, the more developers and publishers that take up Valve's position, the more creativity and innovation will emerge out of video game fan communities, already known for their intense fandom and desire to add to, alter, and re-imagine their favorite gaming universes."

Comment Re:Time to encrypt everything. (Score 1) 280

Which is well and good but unless you have a certificate authority which only ever grants certificates to people who are not part of the ISP or the music industry, it's more or less useless for this purpose.

I don't see how that follows at all. The point about a signing authority is that as long as you trust the authority then you can check that a given site certificate really belongs to that site. It's not sufficient to substitute another site's certificate, even if it's one signed by the same authority.

To compromise the system then CertsRUs would have to issue a signed certificate for to the RIAA. Whilst the tinfoil hat bridge may choose to believe that this might happen I can't see it. As soon as this was discovered (and the signatures from the RIAA certificate for and the real cert for that site would differ, so they would be disovered) then CertsRUs would rapidly be removed from the list of trusted signing authorities for a vast chunk of the internet, at which point their business goes down a hole.

Comment Re:Attitude (Score 1) 172

If you RTFA, you'll see that the reason that they wanted to do the no password for signed packages was because if you always have to type in your password to install something, after awhile you just get in the habit of typing in your password whenever that little window pops up.

Actually the reason for this is that there is a more fundamental rewrite of the DeviceKit and PackageKit systems in Fedora underway which will eventually allow more flexible allocation of system admin privileges to different classes of user. This is a good thing.

However - when F12 was released this rewrite was only partially complete. The backend systems were pretty much all in place but the front end which allows the editing of rules and the assignment of roles had not been written. Fedora was therefore shipped with a default set of rules.

Under the new system the previous behaviour of asking for the root password, but allowing the option to not be asked for it again in future had been removed (for fear of creating a 'make it up as you go along' security policy). The decision therefore had to be made to either allow console (not remote) users to install signed packages with no authentication required, or to require the root password for every install. The developers chose the first option. This has now been changed to the second option.

I'm kind of ambivalent about the light this sheds on Fedora. It's a bad thing to have happened, but it was sorted out quickly and there is now much discussion about setting up a firmer security policy so this won't happen again. Mistakes happen, but as long as they are spotted and corrected then we should all just move along.

Comment Re:arguably Apple share the blame (Score 3, Interesting) 215

It depends when you last jailbroke your iPhone. I did a jailbreak early on. I installed openSSH and changed the default password. I then found out that the phone entered an infinite loop of restarting the home screen and had to be forcibly restored.

The problem appears to be that the passwd binary on the phone is (deliberately?) broken so it generates incorrect hashes for the password entered. If you actually want to change your password then you need to jump through some hoops to change it without using the usual passwd command.

Comment Re:No, that's not it (Score 1) 814

What things can OS X do better, than no other OS can do?

Can't speak for anyone else, but in my case my reason for having an OSX laptop is that hibernate/suspend works better than on any other laptop I've ever seen. It's quick and I never have to mess about with restarting services/programs/networks when it restarts. That alone is enough to get me to use it.

Comment Re:"Go away" (Score 1) 184

I was in a team handing out CDs in the UK and we spent the morning honing our approach tactics to not scare people off. Some people will never stop for someone in a bright green t-shirt handing out CDs, but plenty of others could be persuaded.

What we found was:

* "Have some free software" = FAIL

You can just see the alarm bells going off in their heads, and frankly I don't blame them.

* Hide the CDs under a leaflet!

If you try to give people a CD they often blank you. If you give them a leaflet wrapped around the CDs they'll more often take it. Once they had it in their hand then they usually stop to ask what all this other stuff is.

* Talk about software freedom day first

Don't say you're handing out CDs, say you're promoting an international event - then let them have the discs.

* Hold a balloon.

Don't ask me why, but I got much higher take up from people when holding a balloon when handing out CDs. Maybe I was less threatning that way? We also found that having a load of balloons on the stall brought kids over and you could talk to their parents whilst they were there.

Things we plan to do next year.

1) Have more software for Macs. Maybe we hit an unusual demographic but we had lots of Mac users stop and talk to us and neither of the discs we had (OpenDisk and Ubuntu live CD) would work in a Mac. We'll add freeSmug next year.

2) Helium balloons and free sweets. Brings families over without any further sales pitch being required.

3) Free internet access. Not sure if we can arrange this but a big sign offering free internet access and a load of laptops with 3G dongles running linux. Would attract people over and let them try linux out at the same time.

I've done these events for the last three years and we've had a good reaction from the public each year. I'd stronly encourage people to get involved next year as it's a great way to talk to people about why they might want to use free software and what's available.

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