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Submission + - Is KDE Dying? 2

fwells writes: I have to confess that I've been a loyal KDE user and fan from day one. I've always felt that it was the more complete and integrated of the many Linux desktop environments and generally the most familiar to the broader user base. Thus having the most potential to win over new Linux converts. For whatever reason, that clearly hasn't happened. Nonetheless, lately I'm really starting to feel that KDE has become rather stale and stagnant. While the underling KDE technologies may (?or may not?) be advancing, as a user I just don't feel it the way I once did., once a fairly vibrant and active contributory site, has become a virtual ghost town. Perhaps the same might be said for its counterpart, which I honestly don't know since, as a KDE user, I rarely have the need visit GNOME anything. Perhaps that will change.

Various core KDE components and features are quite broken and have been so for some time. One simple and frustrating example is Recent Items (aka Application Launcher History), which works only on occasion with no clear rhyme or reason as to why. KDEPIM/KMail frankly seems targeted specifically at the poweruser, maintaining over many years its rather plain and arguably retro interface. The Konqueror web browser has been a virtual carcus for several years, yet it mysteriously remains an integral component. I honestly wonder if even a single KDE user uses it over any of the other popular browsers. The KDE theming engine seems disjoint and rather non-intuitive. The default Application Launcher and Task Manager widgets are also starting to feel quite old and stale as well.

Now, having said all that, I confess that I continue to use KDE exclusively and have no major functional issues with it. It does serve my needs from a practical perspective. But I can't help but feel like I do when I'm cruising accross town in my 12 year old Chevy truck, feature rich for its time, which I keep for similarly practical reasons. Solid and reliable, but definitely starting to fade and certainly lacking some modern creature comforts.

I do recognize that Desktop development has largely been sidelined by the more sexy and lucrative mobile platform development. However, the Desktop is certainly here to stay for the foreseeable future and users really are paying attention to its evolution — as seemingly evidenced by the gleeful adoption of Windows 10, which arguably has quite an impressively polished user interface (finally). And I say that as a religiously staunch and loyal opponent to virtualy anything coming out of Redmond (rationality notwithstanding).

I've thought for many years that what the Linux desktop (and for that matter open source in general) fundamentally lacks is basic curb appeal. Developers must be willing to accept that the larger user community actually does prefer form over function and then develop accordingly. We're drawn to what looks and smells good. Substance is secondary as unfortunate as that may seem. Ignoring this, however technically principled, I feel has innevitably led to the questionable demise I'm rasing here.

So, back to my opening question... Is KDE Dying? Has innovation and development evaporated in a development world dominated by the mobile device? And, if so, can it be reinvogorated? Will the pendulum ever swing back? Can it? Should it?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Can some of us get together and rebuild this community? 21

wbr1 writes: It seems abundantly clear now that Dice and the SlashBeta designers do not care one whit about the community here. They do not care about rolling in crapware into sourceforge installers. In short, the only thing that talks to them is money and stupid ideas.

Granted, it takes cash to run sites like these, but they were fine before. The question is, do some of you here want to band together, get whatever is available of slashcode and rebuild this community somewhere else? We can try to make it as it once was, a haven of geeky knowledge and frosty piss, delivered free of charge in a clean community moderated format.

Microsoft Windows 3.0 Is 20 Years Today 307

siliconbits writes "Some say that the Windows 3.0 GUI (remember, it needed MS-DOS or DR-DOS to work) was the single most important version, as it allowed Microsoft to get its day. The first truly successful Windows operating system is 20 years old today; Windows 3.0 was launched on 22 May 1990 and was the successor to Windows 2.1x."

Rings From Woman's Amputated Arm Go Missing Screenshot-sm 11

After suffering horrific injuries in a car accident, 65-year-old Doris Smith had to have her left arm amputated. As if that weren't bad enough, three rings she was wearing on her left hand have now gone missing. Police, ambulance, and hospital staff are investigating the incident, but so far nobody has found a trace of the missing jewelry. Mrs. Smith's son said, "You'd like to think nobody would have stolen them with the state my mum was in. It's not so much the financial value of them — it's the sentimental value."

Fighting Parkinson's Disease With Rap Screenshot-sm 6

A former vice president of the University of Arizona, Sharon Kha, is fighting her Parkinson's disease in an unusual way — she's rapping. Even though there is no cure, some experts believe that the disease can be slowed with mental and physical exercises. For Kha that means writing, memorizing, and performing rap songs. She raps faster than she would normally speak, saying she has to "push myself verbally." From the article: "She's been rapping for the past three years. Each morning she walks a mile to her favorite midtown coffee shop ... often composing and reciting her rap songs as she walks. The songs, with names like 'Shake It!' and 'Tremor,' are sprinkled with insider information about Parkinson's, such as erratic sleep patterns, a fear of falling, and the frustration of putting on a sock."

Mexico Will Shut Down 25.9 Million Cell Phones 370

Several months ago, as a way to prevent the use of cellular phones in criminal activities, the government of Mexico started a program to require all phone owners to register cell phones in their own names. The registry associates each phone with the listed owner's Clave Unica de Registro de Poblacion (CURP) [CURP, in English], which is supposed to be a unique ID for every Mexican citizen. Now, as nanahuatzin writes, Yesterday the timeline to register the cell phones expired, and there are [approx 26] million cell phones yet unregistered (English translation of the Spanish original). While the procedure is simple, sending a text message with the CURP to a special number, most people do not want to register: some are wary of the uses to which the government will put the data; others did not understand or did not know the procedure. So far, only 69% have registered, most of them in the last few days, while the system to register has been oversaturated. So in an unprecedented move for any country, the Mexican government is announcing the shutdown of 25.9 million cell phone lines. Meanwhile, as a measure of protest, hundreds of people have registered their cell phones in the name of the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, to show how pointless is the registry."

Venezuela Bans Hostile Videogames and Toys 335

An anonymous reader writes "In an effort to 'help improve child education and prevent misconduct,' the Venezuelan government began enforcing a law on March 3rd banning war videogames and toys, imposing a fine and 2.5 years in prison on the production, distribution, sale, hiring and use of video games and toys inciting violent behavior. Alberto Federico Ravell, former director of opposing news network Globovision, has already come on twitter denouncing the authorities for seizing imported Gameboy, Wii and PlayStation 3 consoles, due to considering them violent."

City Council Sues Itself, Seeks Costs for Frivolous Lawsuit Screenshot-sm 5

The Islington Council issued a parking ticket to itself, then decided to pursue itself at the Parking Adjudicator and asked for costs against itself. From the article: "In 2007, an Islington officer ticketed an Islington vehicle, but the department that got the ticket appealed. Because the department is not a different entity, in legal terms the council was appealing a ticket it got from the council, and under the rules above, the council was hearing its own appeal. After the council rejected its appeal, it then appealed again to the Parking Adjudicator. But having appealed, it then presented no evidence, and the Adjudicator voided the ticket. Feeling its appeal had been an outrageous waste of time, the council asked for costs, thus accusing itself of having acted frivolously, vexatiously and/or wholly unreasonably toward itself. The Adjudicator declined to award costs, pointing out that '[t]he legal status of the two parties in this appeal amounted to one and the same.'"

Corned Beef Sandwich Smuggled Into Space Screenshot-sm 11

astroengine writes "In 1965, the first manned Gemini mission launched, carrying Gus Grissom and John Young into space. Obviously unimpressed with the NASA rations they had in the spaceship, Young whipped out a fresh deli-bought corned beef sandwich while in orbit. Although surprised, Commander Grissom had a bite of the sandwich and both astronauts commented on how strong it smelled. This high-jinx landed Young in some hot water however, annoying NASA, Congress and the media. But the pair did learn something valuable from the experience: deli sandwiches fall apart in the absence of gravity."

Following In Bing's Footsteps, Yahoo! and Flickr Censor Porn In India 167

bhagwad writes "Following recent news on how Bing decided sex was too sensitive for India, Yahoo! and its associated site Flickr have decided to do the same. While it's true that this is because of India passing laws that prohibit the publication of porn, no complaint was ever launched (and never will be), and glorious Google still continues to return accurate and unbiased results. So why is Yahoo! doing this? Is it because of its tie-up with Bing? I assume this is the case. Indian ISPs have already told the government and the courts that it's not their job to restrict porn and it's technologically infeasible too. In the absence of a complaint, I can only assume that Yahoo! has decided to do this of their own volition. Given that the 'sex' search term is searched more in India than in any other country, isn't it the duty of Yahoo! to provide accurate results to its customers? It can always plausibly deny control of its results and claim that filtering porn is infeasible. Since Yahoo! already has a low search market share in India, this will drive it even lower."

Angry AT&T Customers May Disrupt Service 572

g0dsp33d writes "Fake Steve Jobs, the alter-alias of Newsweek's Dan Lyons, is calling disgruntled AT&T users to protest comments from AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega that smart phone (specifically iPhone) usage is responsible for their network issues and his plan to end unlimited data plans. The post, dubbed 'Operation Chokehold,' wants AT&T customers to use as much data service as they can on Friday, December 18th at noon. While Fake Steve Jobs is notable for its satire, many Twitter and Facebook users seem to be rallying to its cry. It is unclear if there will be enough support to cause a DDOS."

Secret Copyright Treaty Timeline Shows Global DMCA 184

An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist, a leading critic of the ACTA secret copyright treaty, has produced a new interactive timeline that traces its development. The timeline includes links to leaked documents, videos, and public interest group letters that should generate increasing concern with a deal that could lead to a global three-strikes and you're out policy."

Chefs Unveil Viagra-Laced Dessert Screenshot-sm 2

A group of Colombian culinary students have come up with a dish that combines the two things they like best, prescription drugs and dessert. Their creation mixes a slightly sweet passion fruit preparation with some Viagra for texture. "We got the idea four months ago when we were dealing with a nutrition project for older people. It occurred to us that we could use passion fruit, with all its connotations.. and Viagra, and we came up with this dessert," aspiring chef Juan Sebastian Gomez said at an international gastronomy fair.

Hollywood Backs Swedish Movie Streaming Site 156

paulraps writes "Forget Spotify and Skype: the latest strangely-named-but-hey-it's-free service from Sweden offers users streamed on-demand movies free of charge, has deals with two major Hollywood studios, and is called Voddler. Since its launch two weeks ago, the service has signed up a quarter of a million users and has almost the same number queuing for an invitation. After signing deals with Disney and Paramount, the company provides access to thousands of films, which are shown uninterrupted after a barrage of ads. The target is the file-sharing generation: 'Our customers can be sure that Voddler is totally legal, secure, and that there are no risks of computer viruses infecting their machines from downloaded files,' says executive vice president Zoran Slavic."

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