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Open Source

Submission + - LTSI Linux Kernel 3.4 Released (

hypnosec writes: The Linux Foundation has announced the release of Linux 3.4 under its Long Term Support Initiative (LTSI) that will be maintained for next two years with back-ported features from newer Linux kernels. Based on Linux 3.4.25, the LTSI 3.4 is equipped with features such as Contiguous Memory Allocator (CMA) which is helpful for embedded devices with limited hardware resource availability; AF_BUS – a kernel-based implementation of the D-Bus protocol; CoDel (controlled delay) – a transmission algorithm meant for optimization of TCP/IP network buffer control. The LTSI is backed by the likes of Hitachi, LG Electronics, NEC.
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - WotC releases old Dungeons and Dragons catalog as PDFs (

jjohn writes: "Wizards of the Coasts, holders of the TSR catalog, has released rulebooks and modules for most editions of Dungeons and Dragons through a partnership with The web site,, may be a little overloaded right now. Most module PDFs are $4.99 USD."

Submission + - Microsoft Surface Pro Arrives Feb. 9

adeelarshad82 writes: According to Microsoft, the Surface Windows 8 Pro will be available for purchase on Feb. 9 in the U.S. and Canada. As anticipated, the Surface Pro will be slightly thicker than the Surface with Windows RT, and will weigh about two pounds. The tablet is powered with an Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of memory. It also includes an 802.11 a/b/g/n dual band Wi-Fi, a stylus for pressure-sensitive input, dual 720p HD webcams, a full-sized USB 3.0 port, microSDXC slot, and mini DisplayPort. Since the Surface Pro runs Windows 8 Pro, it will work with your corporate infrastructure, as well as any older apps that you used on Windows XP to 7. In terms of pricing, the 64GB version will cost $899 while the 128GB will set you back by $999.

Submission + - Former Microsoft VP: Steve Ballmer Bullies And Ousts Rivals ( 1

redletterdave writes: "Former Microsoft executive Joachim Kempin opened up about his experience working with current CEO Steve Ballmer on Tuesday, criticizing his former boss for the dubious way in which he protected his CEO seat, by continually and intentionally ousting any rising managers or executives that had potential to unseat him. Kempin cited Ballmer behind the departures of several prominent Microsoft employees including Richard Belluzzo, Kevin Johnson, Stephen Elop, Ray Ozzie, and most recently, Steven Sinofsky."

Submission + - Getting back into programming. What language(s) / best approach to get hired?

travelrider writes: I am strongly considering getting BACK into programming and would like some advice on what to hone my skills on and how to actually land a job doing what I know I would love after so many years away from it. Here's the background...

I have a BS Computer Science from 1997. I started in programming and programmed in quite a few languages including C, Javascript, VBScript, Korn Shell, Sed, Awk, some SQL, etc. However, because I worked for a large consulting firm (Accenture), I didn't stay with programming for more than 4 years. I ended up in a low level management role that I hated and ultimately left the company to start my own thing (outside IT). When that didn't work out quite so well as planned, I joined another large consulting firm, did some tech work for them that didn't involve coding, but it did require quite a bit of client/server/middleware knowledge.

After doing that for two years and thinking the pastures were greener elsewhere, I found myself basically doing software installations, configurations, and onsite customer training. I'm fairly extroverted (especially for a tech guy), and so while I enjoyed training the customers, the tech side wasn't technical enough for me. Not to mention, after several years on the road, I had tired of the travel. I got caught up in a corporate layoff in this particular case or I'd probably still be tolerating the travel and doing this job.

But, I haven't been able to bring myself to apply for any "easy fit" positions for me (more traveling in management consulting). I'm tired of it.

I really think I'd enjoy being a programmer again — probably at the "team lead" level where I am actively programming, managing developers, interacting with management, but not really IN management where all the politics starts and where the programming ends.

My barrier is that my programming skills are out-dated and rusty. I can dust that rust off very quickly if I apply myself. Here's my questions.

(a) what language(s) would you study?
(b) would certifications help get me back in the door?
(c) what do I need on my resume to get past the interviews in order to be given a shot at such a role again? (I was a programmer team lead back around 1999-2001. Unfortunately, I got "promoted" past that point and haven't been as happy since).

Your thoughts are appreciated! -Thanks!

Comment Re:Astroturfing on Slashdot (Score 1) 353

Here's my biggest problem with Apple ca. 2010:

Apple is the (surprising) intersection of technology and the liberal arts, and that is deeply offending to insecure geeks, to whom technology needs to be complicated, obtuse, highly technical and impenetrable. To them, making something usable is a travesty.

This was a correct statement for Apple during their dark ages in the 90s and up until the iPod. These days, while bringing more attention to form factors such as tablets and smartphones is laudable, what they've done an about face on is the liberal/creative art community: the same community that kept them going for a decade. (I'm not even going to go into the hacker community that gave Apple its start: that's a completely different ball game.)

Sadly, today that's no longer the case: Apple has increasingly been dictating how you should use their devices (i.e. the iOS walled-garden app store), failing to communicate or work with companies that provide that core community (i.e. illustrators, designers, artists of all varieties) their core software (i.e. Adobe), and insisting on the elimination of certain technologies which the entire community has rallied behind as a useful tool and interaction paradigm for their craft (i.e. pen-based tablets). It is for these reasons (and one other*) that I have severe misgivings and issues with present-day Apple.

I commend Apple on their inroads at making computing accessible, but I abhor their behaviour regarding their original demographic. There was a time where if you were going into the arts, in any way, you only did it with a Mac; to install and use Photoshop on a Windows system was appalling, not to mention unstable.

*: I have significant, personal issues with their switch from a POWER Architecture platform to an Intel-based platform; POWER was, and is, a far superior system architecture, as evidenced by the significant use of POWER-based architectures in common computing appliances found in most households (i.e. any current generation video game console).

Comment Re:How about "Alice"? (Score 1) 172

I would recommend against using Alice right off the bat: it's way too focused on storytelling, and not actual game development. If you want to teach gameplay (as you should), use Microsoft Labs' Kodu available here. It's brilliant, and completely graphical, and anybody can pick it up quickly. I taught it this summer to children aged eight to 14 in a week, and they were capable of building their own games just fine by the end of the week.

The only real way to confirm exactly what you should use in your course is to actually use each package for about a week: know it, learn it, and always be several steps ahead of your class.

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