aunt edna writes: Please air your views on how 3D Printing might affect commerce, consumers, getting technology items to 3rd world places, warfare, just about anything.... How will UPS etc be affected, too?
aunt edna writes: Here's one for your management to get their teeth into. I say 'your' because it's not proving an appetizing dish here where I am, not at all. My proposal is to increase productivity through shortening the working day. I'm arguing that 10 to 4, with a half-hour for lunch, will actually boost productivity: the boost happens for various reasons, such as the condition the employee finds his or herself in on arriving to and departing from work: more relaxed (and a relaxed person works better) and positively looking forward to work because the slog has been removed. Having just 5.5 hours to work means a clearer vision & evaluation of what's important: prioritizing efficiently could be automatic. Less stress, less illness, more loyalty, better work — what more could they want? Well, it seems 'management' might just be a little stretched here — they just don't get it. Don't or won't. I think they are stuck with the idea that time = productivity, whereas anyone knows it's work = productivity. Come on — what's the way forward with this?
aunt edna writes: There are 2 GUIs available for Linux: KDE & Gnome. I know of no other operating system (widely adopted) that suffers from such riches. 'Suffers'? — yes, because I think it's a bad idea, in that it introduces confusion for the end user & divides coding effort. I've not understood why there are 2 GUIs; presumably it's from some idealistic split. I don't even know the difference between them & I care less. Having 2 GUIs puts a brake on the up-take of Linux. I've used Gnome & I don't think it's anything to write home about. If Linux is going to become popular, as things stand there needs to ba a major uplift in the GUI quality. Why 2 and not 1 good one? Do you see a good GUI as key to Linux uptake? Do you think, as I do, that the present offering is below par? Lets hope for no flame wars.
aunt edna writes: The Register reports today that "Cambridge University researchers are saying secondary credit card security systems for online transactions such as Verified by Visa are all about shifting blame rather then curtailing fraud." Verified-by-Visa & MasterCard Secure Code are thought open to exploit by an abuser re-setting the user's password, if they're armed with the customer's card number & date of birth. Just what are the cardcos up to here? Customer security or their own? Hmm, that's a tough one.
aunt edna writes: The Register reports that: "Mozilla director of community development Asa Dotzler — co-founder of the original Firefox project — has encouraged Firefox users to switch their search engine from Google to Microsoft Bing in the wake of Eric Schmidt's now infamous words on net privacy.In an interview aired by CNBC on Sunday, the Google boss insisted that anyone who worries about Mountain View retaining personal data must be guilty of improper behavior. "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place," he said.
"If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines — including Google — do retain this information for some time and it's important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities."
In a post to his personal blog Thursday morning, ten-year Mozilla vet Asa Dotzler quoted Schmidt in full before indicating that he's not too happy with the Googler's haughty take on data retention."
aunt edna writes: The Register has: "The Pirate Bayâ(TM)s homepage and seven other pages relating to the BitTorrent tracker website have been removed from Googleâ(TM)s search engine, following a DMCA complaint.
Anyone attempting to locate thepiratebay.org via Google will be greeted with some results to access the website, but none that point directly at its homepage.
Weâ(TM)ve asked Google if it could tell us more about removing some of the siteâ(TM)s pages from its search engine, but at the time of writing it hadnâ(TM)t got back to us with comment.
The Pirate Bay mouthpiece, Peter Sunde — who actually quit his position as the websiteâ(TM)s main spokesman a few months back — asked on his Twitter account this morning âoewhy is 'thepiratebay.org' (the frontpage) removed from your [Googleâ(TM)s] index?â
A DMCA notice at the bottom of a âoethepiratebay.orgâ search query via Google reveals that Mountain View has simply reacted to a takedown request.
âoeIn response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 8 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at ChillingEffects.org,â reads a notice.
Interestingly, Microsoftâ(TM)s Bing returns the correct result on its search engine, so itâ(TM)s clearly not been slapped with a similar DMCA notice yet.
We'll update this story if Google offers us any further insight. Its policy on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is here. Â®"
aunt edna writes: El Reg reports: "The judge in The Pirate Bay trial has been accused of bias, after Sweden's national radio station revealed that Thomas Norström was a member of the same pro-copyright groups as several of the main entertainment industry reps in the case."
aunt edna writes: How about some sharing of direct, first hand reporting of projects that have been out-sourced? There's plenty of experience in the/. community — what have you seen? What successes? What failures? Is it cheaper? Is it overall better? Come on — say it, please! Troublesome, amazing, a joke or purgatory... the floor is open.
aunt edna writes: The Register's reporter, Gavin Clarke, writes: "Sun Microsystems' rocky relationship with open source over Java is again in the spotlight, after it lost support of two influential groups for the latest update to enterprise Java." The article continues: "The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has voted against Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) 6.0 to register its protest in a long-running dispute over licensing of test compatibility kits (TCKs) with spec-lead Sun. It's the first time Apache has voted against a pending Java spec, having voted for both Java EE 5.0 and Standard Edition (SE) 6.0 in the past.
Abstaining from the Java EE 6.0 vote was SpringSource, home of the ever-popular Spring open-source Java framework. SpringSource blamed a process of "design by committee" that it said had led to the inclusion of new and untested features that risked introducing breaking changes to enterprise Java.
Other, closed-source companies taking part in the Java Community Process (JCP) vote who said "yes" qualified their support. Enterprise giant SAP called for more work on a "single consolidated and extensible" component model instead of the current three: EJB, JSF and JSR 299." For the remainder, here's the link: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/03/05/sun_enterprise_java_opensource/
aunt edna writes: At least the Times Of India has picked this up: Pres. Obama has indicated that businesses that outsource might lose tax cuts. Could be good for home-grown talent? Is this another indicator of a move to protectionism (a bad move in recessive times)?
aunt edna writes: Claudine Beaumont of the UK's Daily Telegraph reports:
"Google has been ordered to hand over the personal details of everyone who has ever watched a YouTube video, potentially threatening the privacy of tens of millions of internet users.
The US court judgment is part of an ongoing legal battle between Google, which owns YouTube, and the content provider Viacom, which accuses Google of hosting copyright material on its popular video-sharing site."
Here's the link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=/connected/2008/07/03/dlgoogle103.xml
aunt edna writes: Having been advised by a friend that DVDs (and CD-RWs, come to that) are not the best choices for back-up medium, I had a look around the web and came across this site: http://www.backupcritic.com/backup-media/dvd/durability.html
To quote, "The bottom line is that DVD durability can be quite good, but can never be counted on. Store your recordable DVDs vertically, protected from sunlight, in a room that avoids wide variability in temperature and humidity. Do not label the actual surface or write on it if you can avoid it (if you do write on it, write on the inner hub where there is no data, and use a pen specifically sold for writing on CDs or DVDs).
With proper care, your recordable DVDs should easily be able to last a decade. However, there is absolutely no way to guarantee that an individual disc does not have a defect that will cause it to fail earlier. Thus, as with all backup media, the safest course is to always have crucial data stored in more than one place, and have a regular program for checking the data integrity of your backups."
All I personally care about is securing my (small-sized as far as data goes) Ubuntu system.
Do you have any thoughts or experiences to relate with respect to DVDs (preferably RW) as a good/bad medium for the home-user to back-up their less-than-critical data?
aunt edna writes: Steve Gibson of SpinRite fame has a nice description of the effect of sub-pixel rendering — LCDs only — that promises significantly better quality viewing in the horizontal plane (no effect in the vertical).
The article can be found here: http://www.grc.com/ct/ctwhat.htm
Extracted from this article: "By 'borrowing' sub-pixels from adjacent whole pixels, we can fine-tune the placement and width of typeface features with three times more horizontal accuracy then ever before!"
One of those pleasing innovations, but: how long before it's implemented? The article doesn't say.
However, you can see it in action:
Steve, having shown how graphics can be improved, goes on:
"Useful as those diamond-shaped graphics are as proof of concept, sub-pixel rendering really comes into its own when it's used to render text. And since it's the sort of thing that I'd imagine you might want to mess around with on your own machine, I've turned the sub-pixel concepts and technologies into reality with a lightweight (35k byte) 32-bit Windows FREEWARE demonstration program.."
aunt edna writes: The Register has: "ISPs are calling on the record industry to put its money where its mouth is on illegal file-sharing, by underwriting the cost of lawsuits brought by people who are wrongly accused of downloading or uploading music."