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Comment Re:Disappointing (Score 4, Interesting) 115

Most people who care seem to share your opinion. I'm a little upset about it too, but remember that the original Maemo system wasn't "quite" Debian based -- you couldn't just apt-get whatever you wanted. There were some incompatibilities with the standard Debian repos. That's why they had the easy-debian-chroot package, and that was what I really loved about Maemo. To be honest, I don't care a whole lot whether the Application Manager is a frontend to apt or yum. As long as I have my easy-deb-chroot, I'll be happy :)

Nokia is the biggest hardware company out there that I think really "gets it". So I'm still taking a position of cautious optimism.


Comment Re:No (Score 2, Interesting) 162

Speaking as a nerd on /., I have to say that whether Maemo itself is Debian-based is not as important as it seems. The Maemo repo isn't really compatible with the "true" Debian repos; if you want to apt-get install your pretty little heart out, what you do is install the package "easy-deb-chroot". In other words: getting access to the Debian software catalogue is orthogonal to the packaging system Maemo apps use. I hope that MeeGo still offers an easy-deb-chroot package, but it's fine if it's packaged as an RPM :)


Comment Re:Why? (Score 2, Insightful) 124

My hope is that the lawyers and representatives involved simply don't realize the magnitude of the number of people who think ACTA and unbalanced copyright in general is a bad idea, and that if a few thousand people write anything at all, they'll take notice. Wishful thinking? Probably..


Comment My message (Score 5, Informative) 124

[Also see the EFF's page about this if you're having a hard time coming up with a letter.]

This is my comment about the '2010 Special 301 Review' for the United States Trade Representatives. I would like to complain about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, also known as ACTA. As a firm believer in transparency of government and democracy, I would like to strongly object to the outright secrecy displayed around these negotiations. In a modern age, this simply isn't an appropriate forum for creation of new law.

Furthermore, what I have seen in leaked versions of the ACTA is deeply upsetting, on many levels:

- The "Border Measures" provisions are unconstitutional, as well as extremely alarming -- search and seizure without probable cause, on no grounds more severe than suspicion.

- The ISP regulation is also extremely alarming, unduly allowing enforcement agents to remove the privacy and anonymity of citizens without a warrant.

- "Graduated response" programs, such as those required by the ACTA, threaten to deprive citizens of Internet access without probable cause. As Internet access becomes more and more central to civic and daily life, this becomes increasingly threatening.

- In general, the criminalization of copyright infringement, which has always been a civil crime, is a huge provision for what is presumably a "trade agreement" and is frankly arbitrary and despotic.

The creation of ACTA is wholly inappropriate given the existence of another intellectual property organization, WIPO. As a citizen of the United States, I demand that my government cease participation in this mockery of democracy at once.

Thank you for your time.


Comment Re:A non-story. (Score 1) 210

Oh. And the article seems to make out that the labels are hurting. They're not, amazingly. Trying to solicit sympathy for the poor corporations that exist to exploit your creative works ... why are you doing this? In other words, my comment to OK Go, tell your label that their restrictions on embedding are costing you performance revenue. And stop defending a multi-billion dollar industry that cannot seem to adapt to change.

Out of curiosity, do you (or anyone else) have any numbers on the current recording industry financials? I can't find any clear analysis that says that yes, the RIAA member labels are still making money hand over fist. I see lots of muddled research that don't combine physical and digital sales, or that report revenues instead of profits (which seems stupid, since digital sales provide greater profits than physical sales). That said, all the numbers I see don't really look great for the record industry..


Comment Re:Your question is too broad. (Score 1) 1021

I would argue that you need to not go old. Science fiction is too focused on the past, with negative effects for its present. Excellent reading in this vein is Science Fiction Without the Future, an essay by Judith Berman.

I'd recommend new, fresh, and exciting work in science fiction. My favorite authors in this vein are Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow, but YMMV.

Depending on what your goal is, I think you should be looking for works that make the students look up and say "Wow! I never thought about that!"

Comment Re:99% of the answers are going to be Eclipse (Score 2, Insightful) 1055

In modern computing, its not acceptable that you have to go out of your way to figure out how to do something that trivial.

Completely false. In modern computing, specialized, learner-unfriendly interfaces designed for experts to get the job done fast are completely acceptable. Whether you feel emacs is this or not is probably a matter of personal preference. But I've certainly been overwhelmed by Eclipse's dialogs-within-dialogs, so I disagree that it's as user-friendly as you say.


Comment Re:Disappointing (Score 1) 471

The other modules are named "Destiny", "Columbus", "Hope", "Star", and "Dawn". This one is meant to house life support functions. I would suggest names like:

  • Snow, after notable epidemiologist John Snow -- also has pleasant overtones of peacefulness, water, precipitation
  • Pneuma, or vital heat, from ancient medical theories about life and health
  • Loam, a kind of soil considered ideal for gardening and agriculture

I'm sure anyone could do much better if they tried, and I'm even willing to bet some did, but they were shouted down by Colbert, MyYearbook, Socialvibe, etc.

Comment Disappointing (Score 1) 471

To be honest, I find this extremely disappointing. Next time around when nobody at NASA can think of a name, they'll convene some committee of poets and writers, and Slashdot will whine, "What about transparency, accountability, etc.? Why can't we have a direct Internet vote or something?" And NASA will (rightly) say, "We tried that. Sorry, Internet; you're too immature to handle that responsibility."

Colbert should be ashamed of himself. If some elected official put his name on some NASA component, we'd be relentlessly critical. What ever happened to "Colbert-chan is not your personal army"?

And frankly I think Serenity is a pretty boring name too, just another paean to pop culture. The Internet had an opportunity here to really demonstrate the value of volunteerism and free collaboration, and instead it told a boob joke.

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