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Comment Re:whats the crime in hate crime? (Score 1) 778

Besides I like living in a free society where the government doesn't get to decide what I can legally think.

Oh, a Martian? You're obviously not familiar with some of our customs. You see, when we earthlings say you're entitled to free speech, what we actually mean is: as long as your speech doesn't offend our bigoted ears. If you feel that this law-enforced discrimination is no better than racism, sexism, or homophobia - keep that feeling to yourself, because asserting that *laws may actually be discriminating* will get you jailed in no time! That's because we earthlings honestly believe that to really understand the "freedom" of speech you should contemplate it from behind bars.

Comment Re:Fine (Score -1, Troll) 548

A modest proposal: they should just further ramp up their EU prices (say, to 1.000.000 EUR per copy of Win7) and lower their US prices (say, to 1 $). They should do likewise for *all* US products. This approach would (1) fairly reflect the true value of US products and (2) be as effective as boycotting them, *without being rude*.


Submission + - 10 greatest inventions of the next 100 years (nytimes.com)

wisebabo writes: So the London science museum is celebrating its 100th birthday and is showcasing 10 of the greatest inventions of the last 100 years. It is also inviting visitors to list what they think are the 10 greatest inventions of the last 100 years. Here is the story from the New York Times website: http://globespotters.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/on-display-10-inventions-that-changed-the-world/?hp
Anyway, since I think most of us has seen many of these lists before (penicillin, computers, airplanes etc.) as a science fiction buff I'd like to know what slashdotters think are the 10 greatest inventions of the NEXT 100 years (or the singularity, whichever comes first; also sorry, the iPhone was invented two years ago!). As a bonus it would be nice if they were chronologically ordered.


Submission + - Open Source Enterprise Apps Make Headway (linuxpromagazine.com)

Anonymous Coward writes: "Market research firm IDC just finished a study of open source enterprise applications with decision makers in 515 European organizations. The result: open source is undergoing market expansion in business applications. Open source solutions for enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) have reached enough of a critical mass to "make a 'bleep' on every vendor's radar screen," as the IDC study reports."

Comment Re:Anonymous Coward (Score 1) 339

Cars should be designed so as to run right smack in the middle of the road by default, unless the user changes the default -- to accomplish which, a reasonably complex procedure should be put in place, in order to avoid accidental/unwanted changes to the sane defaults.

Alternatively, cars could be produced to run on the right side of the road, whereas trucks could be produced to run on the left side by default.

That would avoid the localization problems mentioned in the above post. Similar solutions could be provided for other localization problems (for example: by default, in place of light switches, there should be two live wires protruding from the wall, leaving it to the user to change that default configuration). And so on.


Submission + - Need a Favor? Talk To My Right Ear

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Telegraph reports that scientists have found that if you want to get someone to do something, ask them in their right ear. Known as the "right ear advantage," scientists believe it is because information received through the right ear is processed by the left hand side of the brain which is more logical and better at deciphering verbal information than the right side of the brain. "Talk into the right ear you send your words into a slightly more amenable part of the brain," say researchers. The team led by Dr Luca Tommasi and Daniele Marzoli from the University of Chieti in central Italy, observed behavior of hundreds of people in three nightclubs across the city where they intentionally addressed 176 people in either their right or their left ear when asking for a cigarette. They obtained significantly more cigarettes when they made their request in a person's right ear compared with their left. "These results seem to be consistent with the hypothesized specialization of right and left hemispheres," say researchers. "We can also see this tendency when people use the phone, most will naturally hold it to their right ear.""

Comment Re:It's not my fault (Score 3, Funny) 339

This race-to-the-first-post is getting tiresome. The Admins should modify their software: by default, every first post should be deleted, so that the 2nd post becomes 1st. Then, the 1st post should be deleted, so that the 2nd post becomes 1st. Then, the 1st post should be deleted, so that the 2nd post becomes 1st. Then...

That would simplify SlashDot and make it more user-friendly, making AJAX and other complex technologies virtually obsolete.


Submission + - Is software installation in Linux broken? (freesoftwaremagazine.com) 6

crimperman writes: Most GNU/Linux distributions have established package management tools which greatly aid the end-users to install and manage software on their systems. But are they just extending the problem for new and beginner users? Tony Mobily at Free Software Magazine thinks so and has come up with a plan for "fixing" the "broken" software installation methods in GNU/Linux.

FTA: "Users should be able to: install software even without being root; install different versions of the same software immensely easily; be able to run either their own version of the software, or the one installed on the system; should be able to download and install software even though it doesn't come from an official repository...;should be able to "give" a piece of software to a friend by simply dragging an icon onto a memory stick. Software just needs to work — unchanged — even if it's a bit old and it's run on a newer distribution"

Comment Re:Help me out, please (Score 1) 325

You must PAY to use a patented format, such as jpeg or mp3 or mpeg-4. In practice, the maker of your DVD player or your video camera, or the company making the software or ripping CDs, or your content provider, will have paid that "tax" in advance -- from your pocket, of course. That way, everything gets a bit more expensive than it should be. Players, cameras, computers, software, everything is encumbered with this "tax".

It also means that, if the patent holder decides to prosecute us users tomorrow (just as RIAA is doing today) and they find a jpg, or mp3, or mpeg-4 file on your computer that was obtained without paying for the royalties, using patent-circumventing means -- which roughly comprises ALL free software and many OSS phones/players/PDAs -- they may sue your ass off. That's why license matters.

Comment I thought Theora was GPL-ed? (Score 1, Troll) 325

If I were to choose between a proprietary, obfuscated, possibly patent-encumbered format and an open, free, community-geared format, I'd always choose the latter, without all that nitpicking about performance and technicalities. In the end, it all boils down to whose interests you want to support -- those of a patent holder who's gonna charge you every single time you watch a video, or your own.

On the other hand, consumers are strange and bewilderingly uninformed creatures. They rarely choose what's in their best interest (as shown by the mp3/ogg controversy, by the wide acceptance of DRM-ed content, and so on).

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The absence of labels [in ECL] is probably a good thing. -- T. Cheatham