Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment It's about time (Score 5, Insightful) 362

I have wondered for years how long it would take us Canadians to finally get rid of that awful piece of currency. Especially given that it takes more money to produce it than it is actually worth. No one can buy anything with pennies anymore and they really are nothing more than just metal wasting space. Plus, vending machines have never taken them which has made them even more useless than before.


Submission + - File Sharing Lawsuits In Canada Begin (

Magorak writes: It appears that despite the recent change in copyright law within Canada, the file sharing lawsuits have taken a step closer to reality in Canada. TekSavvy, a leading independent ISP, has received a motion from Voltage Pictures for the names and contact information of thousands of customer whom they believe have illegally distributed their works over P2P. All eyes will be on this one to see whether or not any of these allegations actually make it to a court of law.

Comment Re:Translation (Score 3, Insightful) 866

This is another case of a parent who doesn't want their kids to fail in anything until they get to the real world and realize that, uhm, people fail at a lot of things and your daddy isn't going to help you any.

Seriously, I took chemistry twice and sucked at it and just got through it. We can't all have classes that are picture perfect for us. Some things we're good at and others we're not. Deal with it.

Comment Cable & Broadcast is dying, not TV (Score 1) 839

I have had television my whole life. On top of that, I can't ever remember not having cable TV in my home (live in Canada, cable gives us the major US networks). As of today, I pay $75/mo for cable in two rooms in my house with two PVR's, time shifting, some HD channels, and a good chunk of regular programming.

I've found myself for the first time in my life thinking about cancelling cable and going straight with Netflix and torrent downloads for my TV shows. All for one simple reason. Money. The fact is, if I can download all of these shows at no cost, or pay a small premium fee (such as Netflix) to watch them when I want to watch them, why would I fork out $75/mo to watch the news, sports, and channel surf. I don't watch sports on TV and I read all the news online.

I realize that torrent downloads don't help to pay for the shows I watch, or prevent them from being cancelled, but I'm in Canada and our viewing habits do not influence US shows from cancellation. On top of that, there's no good television "service" that allows me to watch the programs I want without commercials. I would gladly pay the $75/mo for my television service if it meant I could watch anything I want, anytime I want, but without commercials.

It feels like people's viewing habits are changing now that television programs are available on demand and that as the demand for on demand (as lame as that sounds) continues, I don't think it's the death of TV, but the death of broadcast/cable television.

Comment Re:Turn it Off (Score 0) 130

I really shrug my shoulders and shake my head when I see comments like this

I mean, really? Is that really what people are so paranoid about? Are you so scared that by telling your friends you are at Starbucks for coffee that others are going to break into your house and steal everything you own? Are you really that worried that there's SO many people out there that want to steal YOUR stuff that they are watching everything YOU do and just waiting for you to leave the house to take your stuff?

I get wanting to take precautions and I get wanting to be safe, but just because the service is there doesn't mean you have to use it. Hell, a simple tweet or FB status update can tell the world that you're at work. How is that any different? Do you ever do an update that says where you are? Probably at least once you have.

Yes, it has happened where people's homes have been broken into because other folks knew they weren't home. It's also happened when people drive by your house, see no one home, and break in. I would bet the odds are higher that the latter would happen versus theft via FB update.

To assume that the usage of location based services like this or FourSqaure immediately means people are going to use it to commit a crime against you comes across as being a bit paranoid. Relax. Not everyone is out there to steal your stuff.

Comment Re:Great, open source (Score 1) 293

I agree with you completely.

There's a misconception amongst hardcore OSS folks that everyone in the world likes to "tinker". No, they don't. No they want things to just WORK and when it doesn't, to be able to get answers easily without being chastised and made fun of because of their "inferior" knowledge.

I consider myself a full on geek as I have been surrounded by computers since I was 7 years old (30 years ago). I've programmed in DOS to C to PHP. I've built servers, I've taught classes, I've blah blah blah. I know how to get shit done when it needs done and I don't know everything but I know enough.

I have tried several times over the years to make the switch from Windows and proprietary software to Linux. I love the idea that Linux is open and that there's such a huge community of open source out there. I really want to embrace it.

But every single time I have tried to make the jump, it's been made clear to me what the difference is. Most of the points made in your post are true. Documentation is horrible. Yes, there are a TON of sites on the internet with information and YES there are some sites that are really well done. But how does someone who has NO KNOWLEDGE of these sites find them? Telling me to "google it" is not an answer. How much time should I be spending "searching" for answers.

Most installs I have done have gone off without a hitch, but when something doesn't work, it's hell trying to find an answer. Scouring through message boards and countless other sites trying to get an answer on the simplest questions is not fun. Plus, in many instances, the Linux community comes back with the harshest of answers saying that if I don't know how to recompile my kernel, or don't know how to fix a driver issue, I shouldn't be using Linux in the first place.

These are the reasons that Linux has never and will never become a mainstream desktop OS unless there's a fundamental change in the way the OSS community treats NON-geeks. Regular users. Regular users JUST WANT STUFF TO WORK! They don't care about how it works, or why it works, they just want it to work.

This is why Windows and OS X are so popular. You can whine all you want about power hungry corporations blah blah blah. But the products they produce are easily used by millions worldwide and most of them are dumbass users who have no clue how anything works, and they are content to be that way.

So with all of that said, do you really think it's a good idea to have an OSS version of Facebook where instead of having what FB is now, we have 100 crappy copies of it that are all basically the same thing but with very minute differences? How does that HELP anyone?

Comment It is worth it for some people (Score 1) 750

I've been reading reviews and keeping up on the iPad info from various places because it is something that I am very interested in. In reading this review here, it doesn't surprise me that people are bashing it. It seems that the tech savvy folks are attacking the iPad for a whole pile of reasons because it doesn't do what they want it to do. Then we get reviews like this one that go at it because of the lack of Flash and a pile of other things that seriously sound like nitpicking. But, everyone has an opinion and here is mine.

I have yet to put my hands on an iPad but I already know exactly what I would use it for and why it would work so well. I work for a large IT company and have been a tech savvy geek for more than 20 years so I know all about what is good and what is crap, but I also have seen plenty of folks on sites like this bitch about products like the iPad for a pile of reasons that ultimately don't add up to much down the road.

I absolutely can see this type of device being used for CASUAL computing. Not sitting at your desk typing out reports, or spending hours upon hours doing work stuff. But for simple uses like basic web surfing, watching tv and movies, and providing other types of content in an interface that is simple and easy to use. I give you my own experience.

I have a small laptop which could almost pass as a netbook and I have it because it's portable and I can take it places. A lot of times it (or my wife's laptop) sit on the kitchen table and if we want to look something up, we open it up, and check our bank account or other various online activities. I've used it to stream music in our kitchen, but mostly we read the news, check Twitter or Facebook, read our email, or do quick little look ups of stuff. We don't use it heavily in the kitchen but it is there.

I got an iPhone through work and have been using it for almost two years. Around the same time, I was also trying to come up with some sort of multimedia/internet solution for my kitchen. I wanted to be able to stream my MP3 collection and Shoutcast radio to my kitchen amp. I also thought it would be nice if I had a touchscreen interface to access the stations and music I wanted, along with basic internet surfing if I wanted to check my bank balance, or update my Twitter & Facebook. I never got a good solution but I did buy a dock for my iPhone which lets me play music through my amp. I ended up with my or my wife's laptop on the kitchen table to do the other stuff. I always thought that if I had an iPhone that was a lot bigger, it would likely be able to do what I want.

Well wouldn't you know it, the iPad arrives. This gives me exactly what I want.

I'll be the first to admit that my situation is unique, but I would like to point out that Apple is going after a market for people that want an EASY solution for CASUAL internet and multimedia. I'll tell you, nothing irritates me more than when Iopen my laptop and it takes 10-20 seconds for me to get the web browser open because it was asleep and I have to wait for it to come out of hibernation, and then it acquires a wifi signal and blah blah blah. Regardless of what laptop I use, it still takes me anywhere from 15-60 seconds to go from opening the lid of my laptop, to having a webpage loaded. When I do it with my iPhone, I have pages loaded before the browser on my laptop has even opened. My laptops are decent machines with good RAM and are solid, but coming out of sleep mode, they suck.

The idea that I can just grab a tablet, tap the screen a few times, and I have my bank account open is EXTREMELY appealing. Apple is king when it comes to ease and interface. This has been shown again and again. People can argue all they want about being locked in to their app world, and the lack of open source and all of that stuff, but at the end of the day, they create products and interfaces that JUST WORK! I don't have to spend countless hours trying to put something together to give me what I want. I can just buy a product that has it. I could have built my multimedia internet solution with a pile of old hardware and maybe Windows or Linux installed and done a pile of tweaking, but I'm at the point now in my life where I JUST WANT THINGS TO WORK and I don't want to have to spend countless hours of fiddling to make it work. Apple is going to give me that.

I do not see the iPad as ever replacing a full blown laptop, at least not at this stage of the game. But is something that I thought of right away for my mother-in-law who can't stand using her husbands computer because it is so slow. She doesn't type long emails and just wants to look at her Facebook, do her banking, and not have to worry about anything too complicated. To me, the iPad is perfect for her and it is perfect for simple solutions. It's never going to be a Macbook Pro or a Toshiba Satellite. It's a simple device used for multimedia, internet, and e-reading. Anyone who thinks that it is supposed to be MORE than that is totally missing the point.

Personally, I don't get why he didn't try BeeJive on the iPad because it will connect to pretty much anything as I far as I know. But regardless, the device has only officially been out for a couple days and already people are bitching about the lack of app support? Come on. Seriously? In six months, it will be a whole different ball game.

I will say that I do think a webcam would have been nice but I don't think it's a deal breaker.

So to folks who are bitching about the iPad's complete lack of use, well only time will tell. If a year from now, the product has failed, I'm more than willing to say I was wrong. But if a year from now the product is doing quite well, you folks will still be bitching about what it doesn't do while the rest of us are enjoying the new technology.

Oh ya, and as for Flash. Seriously? It's entirely subjective to the types of sites you visit. I do a lot of surfing on my iPhone and I rarely have issues going to sites because of Flash. Bitch all you want about the lack of support but it's specific to what sites you go to, and I go to plenty.


Are Complex Games Doomed To Have Buggy Releases? 362

An anonymous reader points out a recent article at Gamesradar discussing the frequency of major bugs and technical issues in freshly-released video games. While such issues are often fixed with updates, questions remain about the legality and ethics of rushing a game to launch. Quoting: "As angry as you may be about getting a buggy title, would you want the law to get involved? Meglena Kuneva, EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner, is putting forward legislation that would legally oblige digital game distributors to give refunds for games, putting games in the same category in consumer law as household appliances. ... This call to arms has been praised by tech expert Andy Tanenbaum, author of books like Operating Systems: Design and Implementation. 'I think the idea that commercial software be judged by the same standards as other commercial products is not so crazy,' he says. 'Cars, TVs, and telephones are all expected to work, and they are full of software. Why not standalone software? I think such legislation would put software makers under pressure to first make sure their software works, then worry about more bells and whistles.'"

Slashdot Top Deals

Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature cannot be fooled. -- R.P. Feynman