Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:First thing they need to do (Score 1) 511

I have a MacBook Pro, And I think it has Leopard on it. I'd have to check to be sure though. I think the Release after Leopard was Snow Leopard, but thats only because Leopard->Snow Leopard kinda makes sense. I have no idea what the current release is or what the release before Leopard was. I think Panther was the first version of Mac OSX. Until the GP post I never even heard of "Kodiak", "Cheetah", or "Puma". And isn't Kodiak a bear and not a cat?

Honestly no one outside the IT people give a shit about releases and such. Hey I'm and IT person that has a MacBook Pro and I don't give a shit. I haven't bothered upgrading MacOS because I only use it to watch DVDs. The way I use my computer is Windows for games, MacOS for multimedia stuff and Linux for work. I'm still on Windows XP, MacOS Leopard (I think), and Ubuntu Lucid. everything seems to work fine so why bother spending hours (maybe days given how fucked up the partitioning is on a Macbook) upgrading OS's?

Comment Re:I remember one eposide of Duck Tales (Score 1) 343

Kudos for the Duck Tales reference, but I think it would be illegal for the cops to do so. As mentioned by other posters it is illegal to conduct these checkpoints (searching without probable cause). The only way around the illegality of it is to inform the public that they are conducting a checkpoint in a certain area. That way _technically_ people are voluntarily getting stopped and checked for alcohol levels, because they drove through an area where they they had been previously been informed there would be DUI checks being done.

Of course they inform the public in a way that most of the public doesn't notice. This app is simply doing a better job of informing the public on where the checkpoints are. So if someone doesn't want to be stopped for a DUI check, they are better informed as to how to avoid it.

The checkpoint are only possible because the police make use of a loophole in the law. The spirit of the law is actually on the side of those using the app.

The police actually putting out false information on where the checkpoints are would break the whole fragile loophole that they use to make the checkpoints possible in the first place.

Comment Re:GPL is the problem (Score 1) 1075

well there's more than one player here. Apple has less liberty yes, but the GPL isn't about protecting the liberty of the distributors of software its designed to protect the liberty of the users of software. The idea is the users of software should be allowed to make changes to the software. Apple doesn't want to give their users the liberty of changing the software on Apple devices.

Bad analogy time: the constitution tries to guarantee citizens liberties. But the police are citizens too, right? Should the police have the liberty to listen on your phone conversations anytime they want? No because that takes away your liberty. So the constitution limits what the police and military can do to protect the liberties of civilian citizens.

The GPL limits what software distributors are allowed to do to protect the liberties of software users.

Comment Re:GPL is not the problem. (Score 1) 1075

Well the update of the GPL from version 2 to version 3 was to close the hardware loophole that device makers could use to circumvent the spirit of the GPL while still complying with the letter of the agreement. Say my company builds a device and we load it with some GPL software. I can make modifications to the source so that it will take advantage of hardware that my device has. I then lock down the device so that the user can't update the software on it. Now I give the source back to the project that I got it from. I'm complying with the GPL because I did release my modified source code, but this source code is ultimately useless to the project, as they have no way to make changes and test those changes on my device. In effect there is no difference between me handing over the source and keeping the source close within my company.

The GPLv3 requires that if I distribute a binary compiled from GPLv3 source on a device that I have to also give other developers the ability to update that binary so that they can make further changes to the source and test it on my device.

The philosophy behind the GPL is that anyone should be able to look at the source and make modifications to it. Sure we can look at the source of the Samba that Apple uses, but if we make changes to it and compile a new binary with our changes, we can't actually run that binary on Apple hardware because Apple likes to keep its stuff locked down.

I haven't bought windows in a while, but it used to be you could get the cheaper Home Edition or the more expensive Professional Edition. The only difference between the two is that the Professional Edition allowed you to log on to a domain, but the Home Edition didn't. Apple could come up with a similar scheme, just make a modification to the Samba source to not allow domain logins and charge $10 more to enable that feature. The source for both crippled version and the fully functioning version would be available for free, but since the hardware is locked down so that you can't install the binary, you have to pay for the update.

If you look at the Samba source and make a change that adds a cool new feature, you aren't going to be able to use that awesome new feature on an Apple product because they don't allow you to change the binaries. Maybe someday they decide to add that feature to on their next update, but then maybe they don't. The point is Apple has control over the software and not the user. And that goes against the spirit of the GPL.

It all comes down to a philosophical difference between the GPL and how Apple operates. The GPL is about being open and free, while Apple likes to keep things locked down. Not making any judgement about either philosophy, they both have merits. Some people like their hardware locked down because then they don't have to worry about doing something wrong and screwing it up. Some people like to tinker with things and add new features and capabilities.

So Apple doesn't use GPLv3 code and RMS doesn't own an iPhone. Its not about one being right and the other wrong, its about each having a different philosophy. Keeping things locked down works for Apple. Updating the GPL to prevent companies from locking down GPL code works for the Samba team. So they each go their separate ways.

Comment Re:It's just ARM heads (Score 1) 235

funny you mention Master of Orion II: it works flawlessly on Ubuntu. Just double-click on Orion95.exe and "it just works".

Because of all the great work done on wine, it getting so that Linux is more backwards compatible with old Windows programs than Windows itself is.

The OP probably tried Linux 10 years ago, had a bad experience, and just assumes that nothing has changed since he last used it. Nowadays I think I have more technical issues with windows that require me to go into the CLI or registry editor than I do on Linux. And when I do have a problem a quick google search almost always yields the answer within a couple of minutes, while a Windows problem I have to go through several pages of google results, wade through page after page of badly formatted forums full of those annoying ads that cover everything until I click the close button, and still only get half an answer and have to figure out the rest through trial and error. And if I can't find an answer on a linux problem I can go over to ubuntu forums and get a helpful and friendly answer from a fellow linux user within a few hours. Many windows issues I have I end up just having to ignore because a fix just can't be found.

We're now in a bizzaro world where linux is more user friendly than windows, has less need for a CLI than windows, linux users are more friendly than windows users when asking for help (and are still better informed).

Most older apps can be easily run via wine. For the few that can't, I find it nice to keep a windows install in a virtualbox and use that for those odd little apps (there are very few now).

Linux works great for the casual computer user. They can browse the Internet, listen to music (and keep their collection organised), watch movies, etc. There is no need for virus updates, or spyware scans. You plug in a USB device, you don't have to find the disk to install the driver for it, it just works. I had a dual boot setup on my mother's system because I don't like forcing people to use Linux, I just like giving them the option. I tried to boot to windowson her system to update things, and nothing was working. I asked her about it, she just shrugged and said "I don't know, I don't use that anymore".

I've said time and again the only group of people that hate Linux is the so-called Windows "Power User" type. An advanced user likes the stability and openness of Linux. We can go in and tinker with ever aspect of the OS if we so choose. A beginner likes Linux because there's a lot less work in maintaining the system (no virus scanner updates, spyware scans, and god forbid your windows gets infected with something... better call a tech). But the "Power Users"... they have a lot of time invested in learning all the registry tricks, knowing the best virus scannign software (what is it now? MS security essentials or something like that?) which software to use to scan for malware (is it still spyware S&D?). They've spent all this time to get all this OS specific knowledge they don't want to start on a new OS and have to learn things like a beginner user. And these are the people who are managing the IT departments. These are the people that the home user goes to when they have a problem with their PC. It doesn't matter that Linux has solved all the problems the OP mentioned. It doesn't matter how many problems Windows has. The Power User actually likes the problem that Windows has because they know how to fix them, and when they fix those problems for their friends their friends oooh and ahhh over how smart they are.

Oh well, at least my computer works the way it should.

Comment Re:US Navy have run this one a few times... (Score 1) 111

Actually that is true, coral does grow well on sunken ships. They strategically sink old ships in carefully selected areas in australia for this exact reason. Or maybe the Australian government and the scuba divers in Australia have been bought off by the US Navy to propagate your lie. Oh and not just Australia, other countries do this too.

Comment probably it has to do with legal loopholes (Score 1) 161

different countries have different censorship laws, different boards that have to give approval, etc. I'm sure if these things didn't exist then these games would be released at the same time everywhere.

Instead they focus on getting their rating from the ESRB first so they can get it out to the biggest market first. The Australian ratings board is more picky, it takes more time, and they may have to make some changed to the game before it can be approved. The UK has some very strange rules on what is unacceptable language for children (apparently the word "ninja" would make UK children too violent so they can't be call Teenage Mutant *Ninja* Turtles there). I know if its a WWII game they have to remove any swastikas from the artwork so that it can be released in Germany and maybe a few other countries in Europe.

So yeah its stupid it can't be released everywhere at the same time, but I don't think the blame should go on the publishers.

Comment Re:Latin American is not part of the world, clearl (Score 1) 161

I also heard a rumour that there were a few gamers in Asia as well.

But in all seriousness, I think the article was focusing on english speaking gamers. People in Latin America probably want the game in either spanish or portuguese and its understandable that it would take some extra time to get everything translated and dubbed.

Yeah people in South Africa speak english, also India too, but I don't think the article needs to be that exhaustive to make its point.

Comment Re:MAD (Score 2) 116

Well the thing is MS has been in the game a lot longer than Google, so they have a much larger patent portfolio. Also, I'd say that most of Google's patents have to do with search and web technologies, so Windows and Office would be safe, and thats MS's core business. Yeah Google could fuck the shit out of Bing, but does Bing make money anyway? They could cause some problems with MS's Cloud services, but probably not too much.

So its just a battle on the periphery. MS has its base (Windows and Office) and Google has its base (Search and Adsense) but the battlefields are the new areas each are trying to move into.

The idea of patents is to encourage innovation, but its getting obvious to everyone that the whole thing is broken. What would be really cool is if the companies that have been burned by MS and friends by patent bullshit would form a "patent alliance" to both defend against this shit and to lobby the government to fix the patent system. Think if IBM (remember the SCO debacle) and Google allied to end this shit once and for all. If this happened MS would be well and truly screwed. Even though MS, Oracle ad Apple have a lot of patents, none of them can touch IBM. And IBM does have patents that can be used to attack the MS base and cause a lot of problems for them.

Comment Re:Average hours of sunlight per day in Chi-town? (Score 1) 227

If you watched the video you'd see they make that exact point about aluminum. Their point was that recycling aluminum is profitable and because its profitable, companies will pay for things like used soda cans. Recycling things like plastic bottles and paper is not profitable so the government has to pay for it, and ultimately we have to pay taxes, therefore we are paying for this stuff to be recycled.

So recycling aluminum = good. Recycling anything else? Some people say its good some people say its bad.

I'm not sure about some of their arguments, and yeah its a show to entertain more than to inform. But if environmentalists were being completely honest, they would be doing research into whether or not recycling is actually good for the environment and getting hard data on it. It seems as though everyone simply accepts that recycling = good without any hard data to back it up.

Slashdot Top Deals

If you had better tools, you could more effectively demonstrate your total incompetence.