Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


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 Re:There is nothing special about programming (Score 1) 767

For what it's worth, we developers basically feel the same way about designers: clearly it doesn't take anything special to churn out UI mocks or web page layouts in Photoshop. Drop shadow here, lens flare there, all done! Oh, it can't be implemented that way in the current codebase? It's not technically feasible? Not my problem, it's time for my latte break! ;)

All kidding aside, if programming is boring to you, you just aren't doing it right.

Comment Re:Just use Postgresql (Score 1) 336

Please pass the crack pipe to your left, then stand and be educated:

mysql_install_db --basedir=/path/to/mysql/installation --ldata=/your/path/to/database
mysqld --datadir=/your/path/to/database --general-log=logfile
mysqladmin -u root create mydatabase
mysql -u root mydatabase

These can be run as any non-privileged user, on any filesystem, with any standard MySQL options. For extra credit, go look up mysqld_multi.

Comment Re:Not for long? (Score 1) 307

Come back to this thread when you need to use a computer for something other than watching Justin Bieber videos and poking at Flash games on Facebook. Linux is not a "GUI shell bolted on top of a CLI OS", it's a kernel. You probably think you know what the difference is, but your foaming rant makes it strikingly clear you don't.

There are plenty of dumb appliances out there already that will hide the scary complexities of a computer from you.

Comment Rail shooter? (Score 1) 102

Gorgeous graphics or not, is anybody actually still interested in rail shooters? I thought they went out of style about 10 years ago. I'll grant you that FPS are rather awkward on these devices when implemented with on-screen controls, but seems to me that there's even less room for innovation in this genre than in FPS. Is there anything gameplay-wise here that we haven't experienced before?

Comment Can we just stop accepting stories from theodp? (Score -1, Offtopic) 167

Seriously, this is what, the 3rd or 4th blatantly misleading submission from theodp in the past two weeks?

The issue was not that Google is collecting WiFi SSIDs, signal strength, or anything like that. This is public information as far as I'm concerned (much like the street number on the front of your house) and if they are correlating that data with a mapping application, I doubt there are any laws in North America anyway that would stop them from doing so. The reason they're in trouble now is that they were also logging unencrypted traffic, which probably runs afoul of wiretapping laws pretty much everywhere.

Probably too much to hope that /. editors will stop rubber-stamping anything and everything with an attention grabbing headline, but this is getting to be too much.

Comment Re:Blind Faith != Religion (Score 2, Informative) 892

King James' Version.

Doesn't take a Pope to revise the Bible. Of the people I've discussed this topic with (at least the non-theology and non-literature majors), none -- ZERO -- were even aware that there were multiple, significantly different versions of the Bible. Or that King James personally authorized many changes to the wording of HIS Bible, nearly 1,200 years after the original version was thought to be written, to suit his own political tastes and purposes. As for what he changed, I'll leave that as an enlightening exercise for the reader, but the KJV Bible is still one of the more common Bibles in publication today.

A hint: Find the word "witch" in the King James Bible, and then go and find it in an older version.

Comment Re:NewYorkCountryLawyer is dishonest (Score 1) 525

Come on. You think that every single time that one user downloads a song from another user on a P2P network means a sale was lost?

At best, these users either have no intention of buying music, or they don't believe the music is worth what they're being asked to pay. Sidestepping the issue of whether or not their actions are morally or legally correct for a moment, these users STILL have no intention of ever buying music. These lawsuits are simply a means for the recording industry to wring outrageous profits from a demographic of the population who they wouldn't be able to make money from otherwise, under the guise of a law that was enacted when printing presses were the technological boogeymen du jour.

The argument that the unknown, indeterminable, unquantifiable amount of music that Tenenbaum actually "distributed" impacted RIAA sales in any significant way (much less than to the tune of $675K) is total lunacy, case law be damned.

Comment Re:DEFAULT PASSWORD? (Score 3, Informative) 215

User: root
Password: alpine

Unless you reset it with passwd once you get in (something no guide underscores the importance of, and your typical "ooooh shiny" mass-market Apple consumer won't know), this is the default.

Having a default password is bad enough, but my question is: why does the celluar network in Australia permit direct device-to-device connections over the air?

Comment Re:But if it can't do 100% of what I need (Score 3, Informative) 757

A good friend of mine recently switched to Linux wholesale after sitting on the fence for a while.

He's a smart guy, but not a technical whiz by any stretch -- usage pattern is about 50% HTML/CSS editing, 30% graphic design and 20% gaming. He knew all of the keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop, was pretty handy with Dreamweaver, and knew enough MS Office to get done what needed to get done. Unfortunately he was also re-formatting his machine every 6 months due to the usual Windows bit-rot, and he'd pretty much had enough of that. I'd been using Linux for about 7 years myself, so I suggested that he get himself a copy of Ubuntu. He had installed it on his own a few days later (one of many non-technical people that I've seen get through the install unassisted).

It's been about 18 months now. There were the typical "where is everything" questions at the start, and it took some time for him to cozy up to the idea of using a command prompt once in a while, but it would be impossible to say that he's not better off now. Inkscape replaced Photoshop, vim (!) replaced Dreamweaver, and Google Apps replaced MS Office. But more than simply replacing what he already had, using Linux somehow enabled him to quickly develop a whole new skillset. After doing nothing but HTML/CSS for 12-15 years, he's writing PHP now, and he's pretty damn good considering where he was a year and a half ago with no coding experience. He's every bit as good with vi as he was with Photoshop. And he's even installed Ubuntu on his wife's laptop, and she's rapidly developing higher technical abilities as well.

One thing that has struck me watching new users is how quickly people seem to "get it". If they have preconcieved notions about Linux, they're gone after using Ubuntu for a day. After that happens, a sense of awe and wonder seems to set in and they gradually become genuinely curious about computing. My friend's wife was a hunt-and-peck typer who knew "how to do email". I've since heard her telling others how to use apt-get and she knows how to remotely access GNU Cash on their home server (X11 forwarding over SSH) to do accounting. She even knows what that means, and it's only been several weeks.

To the parent poster, I'd say if you tried to do your job in Linux at all, you didn't try very hard. Or you started with a distro that is ridiculously overwhelming for a beginner. If you want a real reason to use Linux, delete every program from your Windows machine that you don't hold a valid license for and see how much "work" you can get done. Or imagine what else you could have spent the money for your Windows/MS Office license on next time you're forced to re-format because your system just isn't as snappy as it used to be.

Windows became so ubiquitous because it was (is) so easy to pirate, and now we have a whole generation of computer users that think anything other than Windows is "wrong". I have yet to see a single Ubuntu user who gave it an honest try go crawling back to Windows.

Comment Re:Talk about bias! (Score 3, Interesting) 326

your bias is showing. ...I just wanted a powerful smartphone that would do what I (yes, I, the customer) want it to do, without having my options limited by a company I don't particularly trust.

Then you buy an iPhone and you jailbreak it.

Right. Rather than buy a phone that will do what he needs out of the box with no extra tinkering, he should buy the one that requires him to go download some software from some l33t hax0r unofficial dev team in order for the phone to satisfy his requirements. And are you supposed to just trust that redsn0w, yellowsn0w, etc. are all created equal and don't install anything else on your phone while they're freeing you from Apple's tyranny?

I own an iPhone 3G. Will I upgrade to the 3GS? Not on your life. Though jailbreaking did make the device much more useful to me, my next upgrade will whatever Android phone happens to be on the market at the time. Apple is once again planning their own funeral with the closed ecosystem they've built around their products.


Submission + - Pi calculated to record 2.5 trillion digits ( 6

Joshua writes: "Researchers from Japan have calculated Pi to over 2.5 trillion decimals using the T2K Open Supercomputer (which is currently ranked 47th in the world according to a June, 2009 report from This new number more than doubles the previous record of about 1.2 trillion decimals set in 2002 by another Japanese research team. Unfortunately, there still seems to be no pattern."

Submission + - The Press Releases of the Damned (

Harry writes: "Once upon a time, Microsoft said that Windows Vista would transform life as we knew it. Palm said its Foleo was a breakthrough. Circuit City said firing its most experienced salespeople would save the company. And Apple said that Web apps were all that iPhone owners needed. I've collected the original press releases for these and other ill-fated tech announcements, and annotated them with the facts as they played out in the real world."

Submission + - Australian Police database lacks root password ( 1

Concerned Citizen writes: The Australian Federal Police database has reportedly been hacked, although hacked might be too strong a word for what happens when someone gains access to a mysql database with no root password. Can you be charged with breaking and entering a house that has the door left wide open? Maybe digital trespassing is a better term for this situation.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - World's only diesel-electric Honda Insight ( 1

Jake Staub writes: "Just replaced the gasoline engine in a Honda Insight with a Diesel engine. On a 3,000 mile cross country shake down journey the car averaged 92mpg over 1,800 miles. Around a very hilly town in Northwest Washington the car is averaging 78mpg. These mileage averages are without the electric side of the vehicle fully functional. With a bit more tinkering on the electric side and through a slight gearing change through tire size it is anticipated that the car will likely average 100mpg. The build for the car has been documented on the web site and is as close to open source as my time allows. The car was built by two guys in a garage in Southern Maryland. If we can do it I don't see any reason why major auto manufacturers can't do it since we used their parts."

Slashdot Top Deals

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.