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Microsoft Exec Says, "You'll Miss Vista" 273

Oracle Goddess writes "'Years from now, when you've moved on to Windows 7, you'll look back at Windows Vista fondly. You'll remember its fabulous attributes, not its flaws.' That's the opinion of Steve Guggenheimer, vice president of the OEM division at Microsoft. 'I think people will look back on Vista after the Windows 7 release and realize that there were actually a bunch of good things there,' Guggenheimer said in a recent interview. 'So it'll actually be interesting to see in two years what the perception is of Vista.' A dissenting opinion comes from Bob Nitrio, president of system builder Ranvest Associates, doesn't believe organizations that skipped Vista will ever regret their decision. 'I don't think for a second that people are suddenly going to love Windows 7 so much that they will experience deep pangs of regret for not having adopted Vista,' said Nitrio. If I had to bet, I'd go with Bob's take on it." My first thought was, Steve meant Windows 7 is designed to be virtually unusable as payback for all the complaints about Vista, but I might be biased.

Comment He knew the risk (Score 1) 414

He is a reporter and he went into a conflict zone knowing the risks involved (or so i hope).

and as a reporter in a conflict zone he probably wanted to spread information around, even if it meant for him to risk his life. Is wikipedia really acting in his interest by betraying the very idea of uncensored information flow, a thing he knowingly risked he's life for, assuming that it even going to help hem in any way? debatable...
is an abstract ideal worth a mans life? Only the man himself should decide that! Is wikipedia assuming this authority on his behalf by making an exception? I do think so.

with that being said, the way mass media handles/creates terrorism situation is obscene to put it mildly. the actual "harm" would be done by the fox news and such, because wikipedia istn even supposed to be a news agency?

Comment worst part (Score 1) 420

if there even is something like a worse and less bad part of this horrible story, anyway the worst part is in my opinion the fact that under the german law it is illigal for citizens to disclose those blocklists or parts of that blocklist.
You are apparently expected to trust them not to try anything funny if you believe that! (the gem of that story being the fact that a second instance court ruled it were even illigal to link to site which could in turn link to other "bad" sites.
There was a story about wikileaks story to that account not too long ago (the law wasnt even being passed yet, the fuss was about the australian blocklist!) now imagine/wait for this:

"blogger x" guys i found out that that brand new blocking list of our also includes political and other stuff, get a load of this!
"BKA" (kicks down door) you are not allowed to disclose stuff like that citizen! we'll confiscate your hardware as a start, cya in court!

A Black Day For Internet Freedom In Germany 420

Several readers including erlehmann and tmk wrote to inform us about the dawning of Internet censorship in Germany under the usual guise of protecting the children. "This week, the two big political parties ruling Germany in a coalition held the final talks on their proposed Internet censorship scheme. DNS queries for sites on a list will be given fake answers that lead to a page with a stop sign. The list itself is maintained by the German federal police (Bundeskriminalamt). A protest movement has formed over the course of the last several months, and over 130K citizens have signed a petition protesting the law. Despite this, and despite criticism from all sides, the two parties sped up the process for the law to be signed on Thursday, June 18, 2009."

Comment Re:Wait a second... (Score 1) 423

IMO there are in fact valid reasons to actually abolish copy/patentright beyond "everthing will work out somehow" and "middle ground" argument.

For brevity's sake i would like try to look at technical patents only but i think similar arguments can be made in regards to artistic copyright.

Lets compare the scenarios patenting/no patenting from the point of view of the person who is supposed to be protected by this whole thingie the scientist who invented cure for something or the software engineer who wrote a killer application:

CASE one, today's patenting solution: cure for cancer or THE SPAMKILLFILE algorithm or whatever has been invented or written by a person or a group of people. The moment it gets patented (actually before that but since the general public is none the wiser until stuff gets patented it doesnt matter much) the company those techs and scientist were working for are the ones in total control of that piece of intellectual work (including the power to sit on it and dont let anyone using it for some reason or other) and what is important here ist precisely that: patents do not empower those techheads but rather the firm who they work for. Sure, the do get paid for that piece of work, maybe they even get a raise, but then maybe not. If not, they couldn't just take that expertise of theirs and go implement the "brilliant ideaTM" elsewhere, the company owns that innovatiove piece of knowledge for effectively forever. Even the brilliant scientist who is one among the very few people in the world who actually has the most profound understanding of that new technology or the guru who knows the KILLERAPP code like no one else have no say whatsoever on how that piece of work will be put to good use (or even at all) Instead we have the firm using that piece of knowledge for one purpose and from one angle only, namely profit maximisation. I know we(you) have come to accept the fact that all the good things are a mere byproduct of that profit maximisation paradigm and subordinate to it when push comes to shove. (Indeed this could be one of the reasons people are fed up with IP concept. It helps create certain.. inefficiencies like letting poor people who cant afford the new drugs die and such)

Anyway this wasn't about failings of capitalism in general so lets look at the hypothetical
CASE two, no patent right whatsoever:

The same cure for cancer or killerapp is being developed and put into public domain the moment the product hits the shelves.
(I am aware of the obvious question: why would firms even invest money into R&D if they don't get to keep total control over the resulting innovation? i'll come to that in a moment, please bear with me)
Now for the tech in question the situation is obviously better than ever: her expertise is still worth as much as ever, in fact the more popular the application gets the more is his expertise worth. Sure there are thousands specialists in the same filed who are capable of understanding/implementing the innovation in question but the gals who wrote it are still the ones who know that shit better than anyone else, that is until the technology in all its possible and different implementations is commonplace (which would happen fairly quick with something truly innovative, as one would hope it should).
Now the company better treats their scientists and coders right! Lest they pack up and go implement the idea elsewhere.... Which is kinda apropriate because those where the guys who actually did all the (intellectual) work and such. Yeah the coders still need an admin to mind the network and their servers and such and yes the scientist still need someone to do the stuff that needs to be done and whatsnot but one still could argue that a software developing firm ist primary about writing software and pharmaceutical firm is about developing drugs?
The point i am obviously struggling with here is that patenting is not empowering those people who actually provide the service in question, quite the opposite perhaps?
On the other hand, putting stuff into public domain empowers the inventor in question, but more importantly (if to a lesser extent) it empowers his whole profession! Yeah the new drug might be public domain and everything but still, the amount of people with any real insight into hows and whys is limited to the actual specialists in that field. The levels of sophistication und reproducibility will vary of course but still i think techs are better off empowering each other by making their respective skills more useful even if they "giving up" "their" promised quasimonopoly of patents.

Now, why would firms even want to pay those techs so much money if they don't get to keep total control of the resulting technology? The answer is, i think, for the same reasons they do now: to keep ahead of the competition. What could, of course, change is the risk-to-expected return ratio for the firms in question. A little euphemistic some would say....

Now when we are considering abandoning the institution of patenting it is obvious that it would require something of a... paradigm change, a change in mentality if you will. That much is trivially evident. So lets be a little bolder while we are in the depth of hypothetical compliance anyway and ask ourselfes: would such an reevaluation of risk-to-expected-return for commercial entieties be necessary such a bad idea?

I know many patentig proponents are operating under the asssumption that abandoning (or just weakening) patenting would necessarily result in firms reducing their R&D budget. I say lets not jump to conclusions here. Lets try to evaluate the general case before we get married to some seemingly inevitable special solution/optimisation! A longwinded way to say: they certainly would have to reevaluate their priorities in regards tp R&D, ok.
What are this priorities now and how would they change in absence of patenting? The answers to that question are in my opinion not quite as clear cut as the industry would no doubt try to argue (just to avoid the hustle for example).

I am sorry but i really am in over my head here especially timewise so i have to leave this one with a question rather then a more rigorous approach.. I hope it is not deemed uncourteous to point out that the uncertainty of "might be" applies to the other side too ;)


Submission + - General Electric's new 500+ Gb holodisk (

Kargoroth writes: General Electric revealed ( a new storage medium project that ist apparently due to reach markets in 2012. Apparently its a disk which stores information holographically with small holograms embedded into the whole plastic layer as opposed to information stored on metallic layer only in conventional disks like dvd and blueray. It is supposed to have a capacity of 500gb of data now and GE is aiming to reach terabyte sizes by the time first shipments are expected by 2012. These things are supposed to last much longer too, and remain readable in 50-100 years (again because plastic is much less degradation-prone compared to metals used in the disk technology now which start to corrode in about 10 years). First targed consumers are supposed to be commercial archiving sector like medical institutions who need to keep large amounts of information for a long time.

German Police Raid Homes of Domain Owner 430

BountyX writes "First and foremost, is back up after downtime due to server load; however, the German government wants to keep the site down. According to their twitter page, police have raided the home of domain owner Theodor Reppe (PDF) over internet censorship lists that were leaked two weeks ago. What the Australian government's secret ACMA internet censorship blacklist has to do with Germany is a mystery. This case is a prime example of multiple governments collaborating in support of censorship." Reader iter8 provides a link to coverage on Wikileaks itself, which says that police searched Reppe's homes in both Dresden and Jena, and adds: "According to police, the reason for the search was 'distribution of pornographic material' and 'discovery of evidence.' Wikileaks has published censorship lists for Australia, Thailand, Denmark and other countries. Included on the lists are references to sites alleged to contain pornography, including child pornography. Wikileaks has not published any images from the sites."

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982