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The Media

Al Jazeera Gets a US Voice 444

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that Al Jazeera plans to start an English-language channel available in more than 40 million U.S. homes, with newscasts emanating from both New York and Doha, Qatar. They announced a deal to take over Current TV, the low-rated cable channel that was founded by Al Gore seven years ago. But the challenge will be persuading Americans to watch the award winning network with 71 bureaus around the world — an extremely tough proposition given the crowded television marketplace and the stereotypes about the channel that persist to this day. 'There are still people who will not watch it, who will say that it's a "terrorist network,"' says Philip Seib. 'Al Jazeera has to override that by providing quality news.' With a handful of exceptions, American cable and satellite distributors have mostly refused to carry Al Jazeera English since its inception in 2006. While the television sets of White House officials and lawmakers were tuned to the channel during the Arab Spring in 2011, ordinary Americans who wanted to watch had to find a live stream on the Internet. Al Jazeera's Robert Wheelock said, We offer an alternative. It's a broader coverage of news. It's a broader spectrum into countries that aren't traditionally covered.'"
Data Storage

Ask Slashdot: Keeping Your Media Library Safe From Kids? 307

Serenissima writes "I've spent many hours building my Media Library in XBMC and scraping all the DVD Covers and Fanart. And I love it, I can pull up movies on any computer or device in the house. I played a movie for my son the other day so I could get some cleaning done without him being underfoot. I noticed shortly after that the sound coming from the other room was from a different movie than I played for him. I snuck up and watched for a few minutes and saw him use a trackpad to navigate to the stop and play buttons of different movies in his folder. I know it's only a matter of time before he realizes he can see all of the movies. I don't want him to have nightmares because he saw the T-1000 stab someone in the face. The quickest solution I can think is a screen saver with a password. It's mildly inconvenient to me, but would stop him from accessing anything. However, I remember how much more I knew about computers than my parents when I was a kid, and I have a feeling he's going to surprise me one day. There's a lot of ways out there to stop it, the way we do it now is to not let him watch anything unless we're there (but there are only so many times I can watch the same kid's movie). How do YOU guys find yourself dealing with the convenience of running your own server while keeping your media safe from prying eyes?"

Comment Re:Hehehehe, joking? (Score 2) 225

it really depends. the czechs and slovaks used to be under a totalitarian russian regime and they have a very intelligent and subtle sense of humor and they pick up small humorous nuances, that lots of people from other countries wouldn't even get.

then there's the germans who, though having been free people for quite some time, basically have absolutely no subtleness in their humor. everything is outspoken and nothing is left unsaid. austria is directly next to germany and austrians have an extremely playful and ironic sense of humor but the overall mentality of the country is completely different to germany.

i think, that the regime plays a big role, but IMO the social environment is at least as important. people who are very organized and devoted to their leaders or their work tend not to develop a sense of humor, where irony and unsaid things are understood.

Comment Re:Has to be bash (Score 4, Insightful) 477

Because they just copied another script and actually have no idea how that first line works?

wrong. the reason is that by using #!/bin/sh you signalize, that the shell script should be runnable under any standard shell (i.e. that it doesn't use any bashisms).

also bash starts up much faster if it is invoked as sh. see the bash manpage about its invocation.

Comment Re:The rest of the world does not care (Score 3, Insightful) 696

it's really sad to see what capitalism is doing to a country that had such high goals when i was first created. now it seems mostly you will get incarcerated, sued, beaten up or criminalized for things that are perfectly normal in the rest of the free world.

i think it's really cynical of american polititians to even use the word "freedom" in their campaigns since it has basically lost all meaning due to the entanglement of business, military and politics.

Comment wtf? (Score 1) 663

nvidia graphics cards under linux are a dream. anyone who ever had the misfortune of being forced to use an ati card under linux will agree. i don't agree with their binary-only policy, but my experience with their linux drivers over the last 12 years has been 100% good.

Comment same situation here ;) (Score 1) 234


i have been in almost exactky the same situation as you are, only that i am in my early thirties and that i am already decided to go into management, after i get my degree. here's what my motivations were.

first, i have been a java/j2ee/oracle coder for 10 years now and being a very inquisitive guy i learned a lot of the tech stuff on my own. while i think i could of course benefit from CS i think the benefit of learning something that is connected to and extends my current knowledge is greater, than just to deepen what i already know.

i talked to quite a few people inside and outside my company and asked them for their opinions and the responses were also very much towards business informatics. one of the reasons is, that if you have a degree and your company does any partner-projects with other companies, they can send you in there and charge more money for your time. another reason is, that there are many business informatics types out there who have the theoretical knowledge, but have never even seen a database schema from the inside, so your tech background will give you extra credibility with both your own company and other companies. another thing is IMO, that after so many years of programming, eventually you might lose interest in least this is happening to me. your choices then are to switch companies and start basically with a high wage, but few chances of advancing, or to switch jobs and start as a total noob at something, where you don't have any expertise. i thought that IT management is the most useful, seamless and natural way to go. you can get into something new, that you haven't been doing for the last 10 years AND you don't start from zero.

of course my personal story won't be the same for everyone...people who love getting into tons of details and remember millions of LOC will prolly get CS degree, but for me i think getting a business informatics degree makes sense. ask yourself if you want to write code when you're 50 or if you'd rather design application architecture or guide a team of young gifted devs and help them profit from your experience. as for the bullshit bingo...i think this is rather fun...especially if you are one of those people who actually know what the words mean because you have the background :D


Oracle and the End of Programming As We Know It 577

An anonymous reader writes "An article at Dr. Dobb's looks into the consequences of a dangerous idea from Oracle during their legal battle with Google: 'that Google had violated Oracle's Java copyrights by reimplementing Java APIs in Android.' The issue is very much unsettled in the courts, but the judge in this case instructed the jury to assume the APIs were copyrightable. 'In a nutshell, if the jury sides with Oracle that the copyrights in the headers of every file of the Java source base apply specifically to the syntax of the APIs, then Oracle can extract payment and penalties from Google for having implemented those APIs without Oracle's blessing (or, in more specific terms, without a license). Should this come to pass, numerous products will suddenly find themselves on an uncertain legal standing in which the previously benign but now newly empowered copyright holders might assert punitive copyright claims. Chief among these would be any re-implementation of an existing language. So, Jython, IronPython, and PyPy for Python; JRuby, IronRuby, and Rubinius for Ruby; Mono for C# and VB; possibly C++ for C, GCC for C and C++ and Objective-C; and so forth. And of course, all the various browsers that use JavaScript might owe royalties to the acquirers of Netscape's intellectual property.'"

UK ISPs Ordered To Block Pirate Bay 188

Barence writes "Five of Britain's biggest ISPs have been ordered to block access to The Pirate Bay. Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media have been told to block access to the site. Britain's biggest ISP, BT, has been given a few further weeks to 'consider its position.' Music lobby group, the BPI, welcomed the move, saying music creators 'deserve to be paid for their work just like everyone else' and calling for those who use The Pirate Bay to illegally download content to 'explore the many digital music services operating ethically and legally in the UK.'"

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