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Comment Re:Relevant Experience (Score 1) 374

how would one go about contributing to such a project?

The exact details depend on the project, but in general:

(1) Visit the project's website.
(2) Download the source code. There should be links on the site for this.
(3) Study the code, start tinkering with it, learn how it works.
(4) Possibly subscribe to the developer's mailing list. Find out what the hot topics are for the project.
(5) Also, study the issue tracker to find out what bugs need fixing.
(6) When you feel comfortable with the workings of the code, start thinking about how you can improve it. Think small to start with. See if you can fix a few bugs.
(7) Submit your fixes using the instructions on the site. This will usually be via a code repository system like SVN.
(8) Hopefully your fixes will be accepted by the project leadership. If not, don't panic -- maybe you missed something? Maybe you didn't stick to their coding style? Whatever, talk it through with them, find out the problem, and try again. (and if you do get accepted first time, don't let it go to your head!)
(9) Congratulations you have now contributed to an OSS project.

Comment Relevant Experience (Score 1) 374

You've hit the nail on the head with the question about relevant experience -- it's the first thing people look for when hiring; it's way more important than qualifications.

I see two ways to get in:

(a) Contribute to some OSS projects that are relevant to the sort of coding you want to get into. Bear in mind that it will take you some time to build up enough experience doing this for it to really count for anything.

(b) Look for coding jobs in the industry you were previously in -- ie a cross-over job. For example, if you were previously a sales person for widgets, and you know loads about the various types of widgets and how they work, etc, you might find that a widget manufacturer or sales company might be willing to hire you as a coder based on your expertise in widgets rather than in coding. You'll still need to know how to write code of course, but I'm guessing you know enough already to be able to get through an interview once you've managed to get one.

Comment Re:Competition driven market, it works (Score 1) 662

This whole market thingy seems to work.

You say that, but it took five years of market stagnation after MS cornered the market for anyone else to rise to challenge them.

So yes, the competition is good, and it does seem to have stung MS back into life developing new code, but it's hardly a ringing endorsement of the free market.

Comment What about callerID spoofing? (Score 2, Interesting) 399

It's one thing to block your callerID from being presented to the end user - in that case, the intermediary telcos will still be able to see the callerID; they pass it between themselves, but just don't pass it to the final end user. That's how this system works -- because they're a telco, they get to see the callerID, but unlike other telcos, they've decided to pass the information on regardless.

But what about spoofed callerIDs? They're the ones that I feel would be genuinely useful to unmask. But sadly, this system won't work in these cases. If the callerID is tampered with at source, that tampered value is what gets passed between the telcos, so there's nothing useful that can be unmasked.

Classic Games (Games)

The Return of (Old) PC Graphic Adventures 93

KingofGnG writes "Though they belong to a genre already considered defunct and inadequate for the mainstream video game market, adventure games have a glorious past, a past that deserves to be remembered, and, of course, replayed. At the center of a good part of this effort of collective memory, there is ScummVM, the virtual machine which acts like an interface between the feelings and the puzzles from the good old times and the modern operating systems. As already highlighted before, the ScummVM target has grown immensely over time, going from the simple support of the 'classic' adventure games par excellence published by Lucasfilm/Lucasarts, to a range that includes virtually any single puzzle-solving game developed from the beginning of time up to the advent of the (Windows) NT platform. The last video game engine added to ScummVM within the past few days is Groovie, created by the software house Trilobyte for its first title released in 1993, The 7th Guest ."
The Internet

Submission + - Linux and Mac to get BBC iPlayer downloads (

Jonas writes: It may have taken them forever, but the Beeb is officially bringing BBC iPlayer downloads to Linux and Macs. The technology will be powered by Adobe's AIR platform, though will still be wrapped in the DRM present in Windows downloads. The iPlayer has seen massive improvements since its initial launch, including the move to Flash instead of streaming Windows Media Video, and the utilisation of the H.264 codec to make streaming a more attractive option. Downloads are also now available specifically for portable devices, including Nokia phones and Archos handhelds, and there's talk of the entire back catalogues of current shows becoming permanently available for download.

Comment Suggestion (Score 1) 2

Try asking this same question in a more newbie friendly environment, such as

The folk on slashdot are generally very clued up, but if this gets onto the main /. site you'll get all sorts of discussion about why Gimp is good afterall, and the actual useful answers to your question will get lost in the fuzz.

I know that there are programs that do exactly what you need because I've seen them, but I don't know them by name, nor well enough to make a recommendation.

Anyway, just a suggestion. I hope you get your question answered, but I do feel that /. is probably the wrong place to ask. :-)

All the best!


Submission + - Transparent Cockpit Removes Car Blind Spots

Ponca City, We love you writes: "Solid features such as dashboard and doors can conceal road hazards such as other vehicles and pedestrians but now engineers have come up with a way to make the car's solid features disappear from the driver's point of view. A pair of stereo cameras mounted on the passenger-side wing mirror capture scenery usually hidden from the driver by the dashboard and the solid parts of doors while a headset worn by the driver projects the cameras' output onto the solid features, displaying a clear view of what hides behind them as if they were transparent. "These sort of systems have been talked about for years, but this the best example of its kind that I've seen so far," says Andrew Parkes, who performs behavoural studies on drivers at the Transport Research Laboratory in the UK. Letting the driver see usually hidden hazards is better than alarm systems that can be hard to interpret, says Parkes, "but there's a long way to go before deciding whether it would be beneficial in practice.""

Submission + - A Star That Bursts, Blinks and Disappears (

Matt_dk writes: "Astronomers are reporting on a strange case where one of the littlest of stars "twinkled" with gamma rays, X-rays, and light — and then vanished.

The story began on June 6, 2007. That's when a spike of gamma-rays lasting less than five seconds washed over NASA's Swift satellite. But this high-energy flash wasn't a gamma-ray burst — the birth cry of a black hole far across the universe. It was something much closer to home."

Internet Explorer

Submission + - SPAM: IE8's 'Porn Mode' Leaks Data

narramissic writes: "The InPrivate Browsing feature built into the second beta version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 is designed to delete a user's browsing history and other personal data that is gathered and stored during regular browsing sessions. The feature is commonly referred to as 'porn mode' for its ability to hide which websites have been visited from nosy spouses or employers. To prevent login details, online orders and other sensitive information from leaking out, the privacy feature prevents the browser from storing any cookies and refrains from storing the browsing history in the Windows registry. But don't depend on it to keep your secrets safe. 'The privacy option in this beta is mainly cosmetic,' says forensic IT expert Christian Prickaerts."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Company Sells Open-Source Software As Its Own ( 4

teknopurge writes: "After using the software for years I was shocked to find that one of my favorite open-source projects, Zabbix, had its code stolen, rebranded and sold for profit as Firescope. Touting thier product as "revolutionary", Firescope has apparently copied the Zabbix repository and themed the interface without adhering to the GPL that Zabbix is distributed with. Is this not the worst fear of every open source project?"

Vista's Security Rendered Completely Useless 415

scribbles89 sends in a story that originally ran in SearchSecurity; it sounds like it could be a game-changer. "While this may seem like any standard security hole, other researchers say that the work is a major breakthrough and there is very little that Microsoft can do to fix the problems. These attacks work differently than other security exploits, as they aren't based on any new Windows vulnerabilities, but instead take advantage of the way Microsoft chose to guard Vista's fundamental architecture. According to Dino Dai Zovi..., 'the genius of this is that it's completely reusable. They have attacks that let them load chosen content to a chosen location with chosen permissions. That's completely game over.'" Update: 08/08 14:23 GMT by KD : Changed the link, as the story first linked had been lifted without attribution.

Comment Re:Money (Score 5, Informative) 298

I'll give 10:1 odds that Futuremark simply compiled their benchmark with Intel's C++ compiler.

I wrote a detailed explanation back in 2005 about how the Intel C++ compiler generates separate code paths for memory operations to make AMD processors appear significantly slower, and how you can trick the compiled code into believing your AMD processor is an Intel one to see incredibly increased performance. See this article for additional details.

The Courts

Submission + - SPAM: Spam King pulls prison vanishing act

coondoggie writes: "Seems the Spam King is also an escape artist. Eddie Davidson this week just walked away from a federal prison camp in Colorado where he had been serving 21 months for his massive spamming activities. THE FBI is now looking for Davidson who was also to pay $714,139 in restitution to the IRS. As part of the restitution, Davidson agreed to forfeit property he purchased, including gold coins (which the IRS is selling today), with the ill gotten proceeds of his offense, the Department of Justice said. At the time of sentencing the judge ordered Davidson to report to a facility designated by the Bureau of Prisons on May 27, 2008. Davidson had made well over $3.5 million, court papers show. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source

Why Microsoft Is Chasing Yahoo 245

latif writes "Microsoft has been chasing Yahoo for quite a while now. Most people think that it all started with Microsoft's acquisition bid for Yahoo, but this is not so. It is well-known that Microsoft and Yahoo have been negotiating since at least May of 2006, and may have been negotiating since 2003. I have done a thorough analysis utilizing information made public over the past five years and my analysis suggests that most people are completely wrong about what Microsoft wants from Yahoo."

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"There is no statute of limitations on stupidity." -- Randomly produced by a computer program called Markov3.