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Comment Re:Please don'd die (Score 3, Informative) 271

My most common command to my Google Nexus phone is: "Please (beeeeep) battery, do not die. It's been just 3 hours since I fully charged you." I hope that the next generation of Android will teach the phone to obey.

You're exaggerating by quite a bit or you have a broken phone. I got ~30 hours on a single charge running stock Nexus One ROM. I am currently running Cyanogenmod 6.0-RC2, and after 8.5 hours of a few calls, a few Youtube/Flash videos and a whole lot of internet browsing I still have 71% charge left.

Maybe you have the brightness cranked to the highest setting? Enabling Automatic Brightness (Settings->Display->Brightness in Cyanogen; probably the same in stock) will make the biggest difference in battery life. Although, even running it at the highest brightness setting, I've managed somewhere over 12 hours of time after a full charge.

Comment Re:why BNF? (Score 4, Informative) 453

Why BNF?

I think he is referring to Boyce-Codd Normal Form, a level of database normalization, as opposed to Backus-Naur Form, a way of describing context-free grammars.

Perhaps he accidentally dropped the C in the acronym. Although, judging from my CS classes, this is a common confusion.

Comment Re:Does the avg user actually require man pages? (Score 1) 769

If you're not going to use the CLI, there's little point to using Linux. A powerful command line environment is the single greatest feature Linux or any UNIX(like) has.

Beg to differ. Inside the deepest bowels of the Linux kernel lies some of the best operating system concepts and implementations man* has even seen. Are you missing something if you're not using the command line? You betch'yuh. But are you still getting a far better operating system than Windows? Definitely.

* - kind, not page.

Comment Yes (Score 1) 769

For example, show me the documentation for an experienced sysadmin who's never dealt with LDAP before, to configure and fire up openLDAP. The middle of '06, I spent nearly a month googling, asking on mailing lists, and fighting with it. The "documentation" was garbage, and appeared to assume that I had the time to read the code and understand the zillions of lines of it.

If I had, I would have rewritten their tools so that a) they gave correct error messages, and b) they didn't require deeply obscure sets of switches just to do normal things like searches.

        mark, author, Egoless Documentation, SysAdmin, June '06

Comment Re:Not just beginner to apprentice. (Score 1) 769

These days I spend hours playing with Udev, HAL, PolicyKit, and GNOME, often feeling more like I'm fighting a Windows machine with its typical determination to hide all interfaces but the desktop interface from me and prevent me from controlling my own system in the way that I see fit.

This is why I stick with Slackware, which has none of that nonsense, lets you control everything manually, and behaves in a consistent and well-defined manner.

Comment Re:They might have a case (Score 3, Interesting) 180

but they'll never see 12 million dollars out of it.

I think it's more likely that they are trying to get a cut of any assets sold by 3D Realms, either physical or intellectual. I could see them making a grab for Duke Nukem copyright, handing it over to another developer, and putting it out under the Duke Nukem Forever title...

Comment Re:It's been 5 years . . . (Score 1) 267

I think you just didn't notice people using them; they are not only limited to cell phones and credit cards, you can buy Suica / PASMO cards and load them with money. They can be read through a wallet or purse too. They are a godsend for trains; you can skip the crowed ticket vending machines, and go directly to the tracks. You wave your wallet / cell phone / purse over the blue IC reader on the turnstile and you're in. You ride to which ever station, go to the exit turnstile, wave it again, and it automatically deducts the appropriate amount. It makes dealing with transferring train lines so much easier to; just walk through the turnstiles you need. The paper tickets support some limited transferring, but you have to know exactly where you're going and how much it costs, and buy the combined amount of money for the station you want to end up in. If you make a mistake, you either throw away the ticket and the money or have to talk to a station master to pay the difference.

They were all over the place two years ago, but I noticed a sharp increase when I was in Tokyo two weeks ago. Every station on the Yamanote Line has added pink Suica / PASMO only turnstiles, something you learn to watch for after trying to use a paper ticket on them. It wasn't just Tokyo, either; Niigata, Kyoto, Oosaka, all of them had these at every turnstile, on vending machines, and at every convenience store I went to. They seem pretty dangerous, though; they're even faster and easier to use than a credit card. You think American's average debt is large now...


After Domain Squatting, Twitter Squatting 201

carusoj writes "Squatting on domain names is nothing new, but Twitter has created a new opportunity for squatters, in the form of Twitter IDs. Writes Richard Stiennon: 'Is there evidence of Twitter squatting (squitting?) Let's check. Yup, every single-letter TwitID is taken ... How about common words? Garage, wow, war, warcraft, Crisco, Coke, Pepsi, Nike, and Chevrolet are all taken. My guess is that Twitter squatters have grabbed all of these in the hopes that they will be worth selling in the not too distant future. Of course the legitimate holders of brands can sue for them and Twitter can just turn them over if asked. But, because the investment and risk for the squatter is zero, you are going to see the rapid evaporation of available Twitter IDs.'"

Submission + - Official : Far Cry 2 Is Coming To PS3 And Xbox 360 (

XueCast writes: ", Today in an official press release, Ubisoft has just announced that Far Cry 2, the much anticipated First Person Shooter game title will be coming to Sony Playstation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 video game consoles in the year 2008 or 2009. Far Cry 2 is currently under development by Ubisoft Montreal Studio and it will use neither CryEngine ( The game engine previously used on the first Far Cry game title ) nor CryEngine 2, but instead it will use a new game engine called Dunia ( Means " The World " in Indonesian and Malayan languages ). The Dunia engine supports DirectX 9, DirectX 10, and Multi Core Processors."

Submission + - Are CS students poor programmers? 2

DavidHumus writes: "Recently, at a computer conference, I heard two separate people say the same thing during the same day: computer science students are usually very poor programmers. Both these people were college professors in areas that do a lot of computing — mathematics and biology (population genetics) — and have dealt with a lot of students who have had to write programs for their courses.

The specific complaint of both professors was that CS students seem to have very superfical knowledge, that they don't understand things like the limitations of floating point arithmetic and verifying their output. One professor recounted the story of a student who wanted a good grade on a program because it ran to completion — never mind that the answers it gave were off by many orders of magnitude.

Do slashdotters agree or disagree with this? If it is true, why? Shouldn't computer science students be good programmers?"

Submission + - Microsoft launches the i'm Initiative

Khuffie writes: "Remember those stupid chain letters years ago, that claimed that Bill Gates will pay you for every person you forward the email to? Well, they've turned into reality...kind of. Microsoft has launched the i'm Initiative through Windows Live Messenger. Basically, you add an emoticon to your display name based on the charity you wish to support, and a portion of the advertising revenue generated from your usage of Messenger (remember, it has ads) will be donated to them. A neat idea, and they currently have nine charities to choose from, but unfortunately it is only available if you are in the United States."
User Journal

Captain Copyright Expires 114

The Canadian superhero Captain Copyright has finally expired, not due to pirates or to the passage of 50 years after the death of the author, but because "the current climate around copyright issues will not allow a project like this one to be successful." The cartoon was intended to provide an education in copyright law for children, but it became a focus for criticism when even the Canadian Library Association condemned it for lacking balance because it ignored issues like Fair Dealing (Canada's version of Fair Use). Personally, I was hoping we'd see them get sued by DC & Marvel, who claim to own the trademark on the word "superhero", and vanish in a puff of logic.

"Very Severe Hole" In Vista UAC Design 813

Cuts and bruises writes "Hacker Joanna Rutkowska has flagged a "very severe hole" in the design of Windows Vista's User Account Controls (UAC) feature. The issue is that Vista automatically assumes that all setup programs (application installers) should be run with administrator privileges — and gives the user no option to let them run without elevated privileges. This means that a freeware Tetris installer would be allowed to load kernel drivers. Microsoft's Mark Russinovich acknowledges the risk factor but says it was a 'design choice' to balance security with ease of use."

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