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Submission + - Don Knuth announces iTex (

yowlanku writes: Christoper Adams tweeted live from TUG 2010 Conference that "Donald Knuth's TeX successor will be named iTeX." Sir Donald Knuth stated that he will make ``An Earthshaking Announcement'' at TeX's 32nd Anniversary Celebration on 30 June, apparently which turned out to be a joke. Satirically he also stated that this successor of TeX will have features like 3-D printing, animation, stereographic sound.

Submission + - Google collected email passwords and more (

bibekpaudel writes: The BBC is reporting that the French data protection agency CNIL, having begun looking into the exact data that Google’s Street View cars captured, has found that the “sensitive data” included email passwords and “”data that are normally covered by banking and medical privacy rules”.

Earlier, it was reported that Street View cars had been “mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open (i.e. non-password-protected) WiFi networks” since 2006, although many didn’t see it as a major privacy issue, stating that it wasn’t likely that Google grabbed enough data about many individuals to make it a real concern. Google, of course, said pretty much the same thing. Now it seems that they (and we) were wrong.

Submission + - Is Slashcode Dead ?

bibekpaudel writes: I don't know how this post would be taken by Slashdot editors, but I feel this is a very timely question. A lot of developments have happened on the web ever since slashdot started a revolution of sorts in user-generated content. There was no web 2.0 or social media when slashdot was born. I consider slashdot a kind of a important innovation on the world wide web. Even after all these years, slashdot remains popular. Just have a look at the number of comments and their quality. There are many users reading it, posting on it, and moderating the comments so that it continues to be a very valuable resource to all the rest of us. It has been able to adapt with the changing times, as you can see with the ajax-ified interface, firehose and so on. Above all, slashdot is based on a free/open source code base of slashcode.

What are the options for someone who wishes to start a discussion forum and a broad news site like slashdot? I assume there are alternatives, like mambo, geeklog, phpnuke, reddit and a lot of CMS'es like Drupal and Plone. With different web application frameworks becoming popular, I am sure there would be comments to this post suggesting a "write-from-the-scratch" option. There are clones for Digg and so on.

A look at the website of slashcode shows that it hasn't been updated for long. The mailing lists are pretty silent, and updates to slashcode are rare, if ever. The last updates were made months or years ago, in some cases. There are no clear install instructions (most of them say that this guide is outdated). There is no clear direction about which is the latest and stable version available and what are the latest development updates. There used to be a Debian package for slash, which has long been discontinued. Slash doesn't work with Apache 2 and the manual suggests installation from source for all the components. Now, if you're a masochist with not much else to do, that would be fairly ok, but given that most applications these days have clear install instructions, packages, scripts or at least an active IRC channel or mailing list, I don't see any reason why slashcode can't have something like that. Besides, most people wouldn't want slashcode just to run it on their test machines, they want it to run on a live production server.

I have been thinking of a website (for non-tech purposes) that would involve a lot of user participation and content-submission. Slashcode was on the top of my choices. I had tried installing it more than a year ago, but with a couple of hours of hair-pulling, I gave up. I was left with a lot of unnecessary installations of which I had lost track of, and I never wanted to try it again.

So, does it mean that slashcode is no more relevant and usable? Do its developers want to abandon it? As noone has shown interest to start a fork or continue development, I assume there is no interest or the level of effort required is higher than many volunteers would want to devote. Keeping with the spirit of free-softwares, what will happen to slashdot once the current group of people stop working (or lost interest) ? The web would continue to evolve, and slashdot would have too make adjustments, would it be sustainable? As a fellow slashdotter wrote some time ago, is slashcode dead [0]? If there is considerable interest in continuing the project, I'd love to know from other users and it sufficient documentation and help from existing maintainers is available, I'd be happy to join too.

If slashcode is dead and not recommended for use, could you please suggest me some good alternatives? The main features would be user generated content (and its management), user interaction (through user;'s profiles, journals, firehose etc) and active content-moderation (ajax-based).

Any pointers for help would be appreciated too.


Comment Practice what you do not preach ? (Score 1) 103

Lets be honest. How many more advertisement, apps, data mining opportunities would Facebook earn by making its privacy options really ensure privacy? Facebook would be out of business that way. But what is ridiculous is the owner of the company writing an open letter (with apology) stating that he will work to ensure greater privacy, while disabling even the existing measures that controlled several information (esp activity) of users. This is outright dishonesty and needs to be challenged. I prefer the honesty of some other companies that don't falsely claim to be respective of user's freedom and privacy rather than those whose rhetoric is high on values and action reminds of thugs. If they have to sell products with the aid of values, they'd better choose more 'practical' values. Practice what you do not preach ?

Submission + - Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones ( 1

jitendraharlalka writes: Militants in Iraq have used $26 off-the-shelf software to intercept live video feeds from U.S. Predator drones, potentially providing them with information they need to evade or monitor U.S. military operations.
Senior defense and intelligence officials said Iranian-backed insurgents intercepted the video feeds by taking advantage of an unprotected communications link in some of the remotely flown planes' systems. Shiite fighters in Iraq used software programs such as SkyGrabber — available for as little as $25.95 on the Internet — to regularly capture drone video feeds, according to a person familiar with reports on the matter.

Comment Re:Trac + SVN (Score 1) 428

We use Trac+SVN too. But apart from that, we use a pastebin (for temporary text), an IRC server (ircd-hybrid) with a bot (gozerbot) for logging and other tasks. We use Trac with a lot of useful plugins like Calendar, blog, autocomplete, etc. Apart from that, I've worked (just tested and got a feel of) with OpenExchange, Open Atrium etc and think that they might prove to be useful tools in increasing productivity. I've been reading a lot about Redmine, and want to test it sometime soon. Same with Scrum techniques.

Comment What has happened to Slashdot? (Score 0, Redundant) 496

C'mon how is this some "stuffs for nerds, news that matter?" I think next post on ./ will read, "Fedora, openSUSE and Ubuntu Linux desktops may look alike, but they've got some important distinctions, like the fact that Fedora is a Redhat derivative and Ubuntu is a Debian derivative, while openSUSE is a Suse derivative from Novell. Not only that, Fedora and Ubuntu use GNOME, which is a desktop environment. Opensuse uses KDE, which is yet another Desktop environment, short for K Desktop Environment. On the other hand, though Debian also uses GNOME, the version it ships is rather older than that in Ubuntu or Fedora. The designers of Debian have assumed that its users are less caring of latest softwares, and might even be older than general run of users."

Submission + - GNOME not splitting from the GNU, as reported (

Bibek Paudel writes: "This mail[0] in the GNOME mailing list confused a lot of people. In reply to the news of GNOME splitting from the GNU, Johannes Schmid wrote, "there simply never was a plan about splitting up from GNU other than Philip has raised his as last consequence in a (quite useless, personal, etc.) discussion with RMS."

The rumor started from a OSNews story [1] that reported, "it started with complaints received about the content on Planet GNOME, and ended with people proposing and organising a vote to split GNOME from the GNU Project." The real origin point of this is a thread [2] in the GNOME mailing list titled "Code of Conduct and Foundation membership." This long discussion was participated by Richard Stallman. He wrote [3], ".. they (developers of non-free software certainly shouldn't promote them (non-free softwares) on Planet GNOME." In another thread, he wrote [4], "GNOME should not provide proprietary software developers with a platform to
present non-free software as a good or legitimate thing.... It should not invite people to talk about their proprietary software projects just because they are also GNOME contributors" and [5] "GNOME is part of the GNU Project, and it ought to support the free software movement. The most minimal support for the free software movement is to refrain from going directly against it; that is, to avoid presenting proprietary software as legitimate." In reply to RMS, Philip Van Hoof wrote [6], "I propose to have a vote on GNOME's membership to the GNU project." Things were getting more complex, as is evident from this post [7] by Lefty "If muzzling people is a condition of being "part of the GNU project", then maybe we should rethink _that_ aspect of things. Maybe the FSF should start its own planet and set its own rules there rather than attempting to impose its various litmus tests on the contributors to Planet GNOME.""


Submission + - Debian is now Sweet Sixteen (

Bibek Paudel writes: "The Universal Operating System Debian is now sweet sixteen. Lets wish her a very happy birthday and congratulate all the developers, sponsors, users and the community. It all started with this discussion [0]. One of the oldest GNU/Linux distros, Debian among the most preferred choice for a Linux server. With Debian-derivative Ubuntu being among the most popular choice for Linux desktops, Debian is surely a universal OS.

For those who don't know, the name comes [1] from the names of the creator of Debian, Ian Murdock, and his wife, Debra.


Comment Re:Ask China (Score 1) 151

I'd love to read/see/listen any evidences to prove that. Otherwise that's a totally false statement. The popular opinion in Nepal is that the string-puller is India and eventually Uncle Sam. I don't buy popular opinion, but your take on China story is untrue. It's largely been a non-interfering neighbor except in cases of Free-Tibet activists.

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