Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


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:Why would anybody notify FB of that ? (Score 1) 80

I'm not so sure of that. I had an acquaintance die fairly recently (last year). I went to high school with him and lost touch when I moved away from that town, but despite it being more than a decade, everyone that was in our class went to his FB page to talk about him, even some people that I know for a fact never talked to him in school besides the passing hello.

His parents posted a bit on their own FB about his death, but nobody saw it except very close friends of the family. It would have been nice to see that info on his page rather than to be hidden on theirs. It's not just the close friends that care, especially when we're all so young (around 30). He touched many hearts, even if we weren't all his good friends, there was nobody that didn't like him.

One of his best friends and my old classmate started a donation page for flowers and a cash gift for the funeral. They discussed it and raised a respectable amount, through FB groups and messages. I understand that everyone hates on FB, and I usually do too, but to be fair, it makes communication very easy and convenient, and if there was a way to donate to his funeral or to buy flowers from his FB page, I know I a lot of people would have done it.

It's good for FB, and I'd argue that it's not bad for the deceased and their friends and family. The family can delete any embarrassing photos, update info about the death and funeral, and leave a touching eulogy for friends to see no matter how close they were. Sure, FB will try to monetize it, but that's the nature of a business. Profit off anything possible. At least they're not being completely disrespectful with the way they're doing it.

Comment Not sure what people are upset about... (Score 1) 475

I may not agree with this change, but I can understand it. If I understand this correctly, it doesn't actually make it illegal to unlock phones. It just makes it illegal to unlock phones while under contract (assuming the contract doesn't permit unlocking). You can still buy the phone outright and then unlock it, or even buy an already unlocked phone. So what's the big deal?

Comment Re:Re-opens? Those towns were never closed. (Score 1) 178

Well, my quick answer to this is that geiger counters are expensive, and when you have lost your job due to farming restrictions, lack of tourism, or physical damage to the buildings, it's hard to justify paying $400 for an accurate geiger counter (I know that there are cheaper geiger counters on the market, and I am no expert in geiger counters. This was just a guesstimate).

As for only eating stuff from the market, many people are doing just that, which is making it worse for the people here who rely on the sale of their crops for their own survival, which believe it or not, is a big portion of the residents of Fukushima.

Comment Re-opens? Those towns were never closed. (Score 5, Informative) 178

As someone living in Japan (about 50 miles away from the reactor), I can tell you that most of the "Voluntary Evacuation Areas" (the places that they are "reopening") were never actually evacuated. They saw the complications with what was happening to those from the mandatory evac areas, and decided against it. Having said that, almost everyone with children took of to Tokyo or further south.

I talk to a lot of people here, and everyone seems to say the same thing. "It sucks, but what can we do?" People don't know what is and isn't safe. Different government agencies give different, and more often than not, contradictory reports. People aren't necessarily afraid of the radiation. They're afraid because they don't know what to believe. They don't evac because one report says they're safe, but then they think they should because another one says they're not.

Talking to people here about the alternatives to nuclear power, and what is feasible, I find that they all seem to agree. They'd like to see it go away, but they understand that there's only one way to get rid of it right now, and that would put Japan back in the stone age. Having said that, it seems that the market for household solar panels has increased dramatically for those who have houses and can afford it, but the majority of people here live in apartment buildings or condos. With most people living in the cities, they know there's no way they're going to get rid of nuclear power anytime soon, unless some magical new energy source appears that can produce enough power for everyone while taking up very little land.

Comment Re:Well, duh? (Score 3, Interesting) 302

The thing is, at the moment, why would anyone want an Android experience except for diehard Android geeks?

There are a lot of non-Android geeks who prefer an Android tablet over an iPad, despite the bugs, and the lack of shipped features.

I bought a Xoom after it came out, and I am much happier with it than I was with the iPad. This is due to the fact that many of the websites that I visit have not been optimized for the mobile Safari, and either didn't look good, or simply didn't work at all.
One of the other things that really bothered me about the iPad was Apple's stranglehold over the App market. Yes, it is well organized and easy to use, but what if there's an app that's not there, wasn't accepted into the store for one of their many thousands of reasons they block useful apps, but the Dev is still willing to sell it? With Apple, there's no way to do this without jailbreaking your iDevice, installing Cydia, voiding your warranty, etc. With Android, you can get the app from anywhere, and easily install it without going through a store or having to break the warranty.

To me, the iPad was just an over-sized iPod Touch. It doesn't feel like a computing device at all. You can't even use it as a file storage device without downloading special apps. The Xoom feels much more like an actual computing device. I can navigate its files and folders easily. I can utilize its storage. I can use it the way I want to, and I don't have to worry about the way the manufacturer thinks I *SHOULD* be using it as is the case with the iDevices.

Having said all this, I've had an iPhone since the first one came out. I love it, but I don't consider it to be a computing device. It's just a phone with some extra features. So, consider that before you label me a diehard Android geek.

Comment The US isn't the first place to do this (Score 1) 253

They've been doing this in Japan for a while now. They use a pre paid service where you load cash onto your phone for use later. It's actually one of the reasons why smartphones haven't taken off like they have in the states, as most don't offer the option.
It's convenient, and as others have pointed out, it's a lot more secure than the current system.
When I saw this article, I wasn't afraid that my my purchase data would be sold to marketers (it already is... face it, there is little data in this world that's actually private anymore), but surprised it took this long to do it.

Comment Users are too impatient to read (Score 1) 951

People will never read their error messages. You can make the windows as irritating as possible by forcing them to wait 3 seconds before they can press OK, but they'll just sit there and rapidly click on the grayed out OK button until it becomes available. If you really want to see the text of an error message, force a screenshot when an error occurs. Then you can see not only what the error was, but also how much other crap they're doing that they're not supposed to be doing. Between that and the logs, you should be good.

Or you could have them enter a unique code before allowing the OK button to be pressed. That way they have to call TS to get the code. That would guarantee that you would get the message. The problem is that you would get so many extra calls that you wouldn't be able to do anything else.

Comment Apple certainly has attitude (Score 1) 1

It seems that Apple has made a lot of money off their attitude. They believe that they are the best, and it shows. For some, it's true, but when it shows up in arrogance like this, it's just irritating and offputting. If it had been me in the store, that sales kid in the blue t-shirt would have had an earfull afterwards as would his manager. Apple makes great products. I have an iphone, and have been planning on getting either a Mac Book Pro or iMac (still deciding). But I would not put up with his attitude. I would probably go online to find a different converter from a different manufacturer, probably at a lower price. In fact, a lot of the peripherals they sell in our Apple Store are actually from other Manufacturers, like Belkin. You can get that stuff on Newegg for a fraction of the price.

Submission + - Windows 7 stability fix breaks stability 2

Dave writes: Last week, Microsoft posted a slew of non-security updates for Windows 7, one of which was titled as follows: "An update is available to improve the stability and the reliability of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2." Unfortunately, according to a thread on Microsoft TechNet, the update (KB977074) is actually breaking the stability and reliability of the operating system.

Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - My first trip to the Apple Store (jimbomac.com) 1

MrJimbo writes: I made my first trip to the Apple Store in Brandon, Florida today. It was about 10:30 AM and already the store extremely busy. My purpose of the trip was to purchase a MiniDisplay-to-VGA adapter so that I may connect my Samsung SyncMaster 192N to my new MacBook Pro. I found the adapter, picked it out, and carried it over to one of the MacBook Pro’s on display so that I can make sure that I was getting the right item. I wanted to compare the connectors.

That is when I heard a bellowing from one of the blue-shirt Apple Store employees (the name was not visible on the badge on his lanyard): “Whoa Whoa Whoa, Chief! What are you doing there?” I felt belittled, inferior, out-of-place and unwelcome.

“I just wanted to make sure that I was getting the right adapter.”

“Leave the figuring out to the experts. When you are finished you can check out with me.”

Wow – I had never been treated with such rudeness and arrogance in my life. I had half a thought to place the adapter back on the rack, and thought about taking my business to the Apple Store in Tampa. Reason took over and I realized that the money from the purchase made was going to Apple either way, so I held onto the adapter and browsed around a little more, making sure not to cross paths with the Apple Nazi I came into contact with earlier.

When I was ready to check out, I found another blue t-shirt-clad Apple employee. The next fellow was a bit more pleasant, but the arrogance was still apparent. The name on the badge attached to his lanyard was not visible either.

I thought about asking to speak to a manager, but I can tell that they were extremely busy and I probably would not get his/hers complete attention, so I passed.

The checkout process was pretty cool. He scanned it with his modified iPod, swiped my card, and put my purchase in a cool draw-string Apple bag. No cash registers. Very elegant.

My online experience with Apple has been wonderful. My first Apple Store experience at the Brandon Mall was far from it. I hope this arrogance is not present in all Apple Stores. Should further needs arise, I will probably just stick to Apple.com or other third party online retailers. I will now go into Apple Stores with the anxiety of going into my local Wal-Mart. I hope this is not a permanent thing.

Maybe I can start looking for independent retailers (and I don’t mean Best Buy) if they exist.

Comment Re:So basically, you lie to them (Score 1) 442

Actually, no. Most of the people to whom I would recommend Ubuntu, are those that do nothing more than browse the internet, check email, listen to music, and watch online videos.

full screen flash works fine. In many cases, I have found that it works better than on Windows.

Win32 apps are irrelevant to this crowd, and anyway, I always explain that it will do the same things, it just does them differently. Instead of using Windows Media Player, I recommend Rhythmbox or Amarok, FF or Chromium for IE, etc.

Heavy gamers generally know what they want, and thus don't necessarily ask for OS advice. If they are looking for advice, they ask how they can get more bang for their buck in the hardware realm.

Comment Re:Stigma to Linux (Score 1) 442

Linux CAN do anything that Windows can. It just does it differently. Yes, then Ubuntu needs work to use IE. Instead of using IE, try Firefox. It's just as good (better actually, in terms of security), and just like IE comes packaged with Windows, FF comes packaged with Ubuntu.

did you perhaps try hatari or steem for emulating Atari games?

Did you try to press alt to move screens?

Linux can connect to any broadband connection without the use of any extra software. In fact, from a fresh install, you don't even need to install ethernet drivers like you would in Windows.

you see, Ubuntu WILL do everything that Windows will. You just can't expect it to do it the same way. Now I'm not one of those people who screams, "LINUX FOR EVERYONE BECAUSE EVERYTHING ELSE SUCKS!!!!" People should get what works for them, but if you are going to try something different, then you should expect to have to do tasks differently.

You would never expect a mac to work exactly the same as a pc running Windows would you?

Comment Stigma to Linux (Score 4, Informative) 442

I think there is some stigma to the word Linux. When I am recommending "Linux" to people, they explain to me that they have heard that it is very difficult to use and would rather just continue to use Windows, and I have to go through the "No it's not hard to use, it's just not Windows" spiel. When I recommend Ubuntu for their desktop, they basically tell me (1)if they have heard of it, that they hear it's easy to use (2)if they haven't heard of it, "will it do everything that Windows will?" I explain that it will and if they switch then they generally like it better.

overall, I think that people still relate Linux to "Command Line" and "Nerdy basement hacker geeks who are fat and have too much facial hair"

People are really surprised when I show them my netbook running Ubuntu and all they have to do is click the firefox icon on the dock. They are always shocked when I explain that it's based on Linux.

Comment Re:$500 is way too much no matter how good it is (Score 1) 263

How is it crippled? It can view PDF's natively (the most common format). Sure it has it's own format, as I'm sure every other ebook reader does too.

Amazon already dominates the market. Most people who buy books online go to Amazon. If they are an avid reader, and can save $10 per book, then buying this is definitely worth it seeing as how it will just take 50 books or so (a few months of reading for my girlfriend) to save in books what you pay for the reader. And because Amazon dominates the internet book market, publishers can't afford to not work with them. If they say that they are making an ebook reader and want the publishers to cooperate, the publishers have more to lose by not cooperating than Amazon has to lose (since there are so many other publishers that will work with Amazon).

Yes, the price is a little steep for me, but that's because I don't read a lot. Sure, I enjoy the occasional book, but usually not more than a couple per month.

Now, I needed something like this a few years ago when I was in school. If this was available when I was a freshman, then I would have grabbed this up fast so long as it gave me an opportunity to save on $150 textbooks. Sometimes you can't even get used textbooks for a reasonable price. When you spend $500-$800 per semester on textbooks, and start to realize how much beer that is, stuff like this looks like a nice alternative (assuming the textbook industry does start publishing in ebook format).

Slashdot Top Deals

A university faculty is 500 egotists with a common parking problem.