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Comment Re:What is Mandriva? (Score 1) 97

As a former Mandriva user, I can attest that it just used to work. The distribution overall was very well organized, and would work out of the box without much tweaking, which is not the case for some other distributions. It had an intuitive interface (MCC) for tweaking things, as well. Plus the power of CLI as is the case for all Iinux distributions. In summary, it used to be a very user-friendly and well-polished distribution in its better days.

Comment kudos to all developers (Score 1) 195

It is open source, it is free (both as in speech and beer), it has a fairly high quality both under the hood and on skin. I have been using it for more than 2 years now and it has not failed me like some android phones did. Very easy to use, quite stable. Heartfelt kudos to the developers, maintainers and the whole community.
"Look like you are or be like you look"

Submission + - Selling Used MP3s Found Legal In America ( 1

bs0d3 writes: After some litigation; ReDigi, a site where people can sell used MP3's has been found legal in America. One of the key decisions the judge had to make was whether MP3's were material objects or not. 'Material objects' are not subject to the distribution right stipulated in "17 USC 106(3)" which protects the sale of intellectual property copies. If MP3's are material objects than the resale of them is guaranteed legal under the first sale' exception in 17 USC 109. Capitol Records tried
to argue that they were material objects under one law and not under the other. Today the judge has sided with the first-sale doctrine, which means he is seeing these as material objects.


Submission + - Surveillance Drones over U.S. get OK by Congress (

suraj.sun writes: Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s a drone, and it’s watching you. That’s what privacy advocates fear from a bill Congress passed this week to make it easier for the government to fly unmanned spy planes in U.S. airspace.

The FAA Reauthorization Act, which President Obama is expected to sign, also orders the Federal Aviation Administration to develop regulations for the testing and licensing of commercial drones by 2015.

Privacy advocates say the measure will lead to widespread use of drones for electronic surveillance by police agencies across the country and eventually by private companies as well.

Comment NAS (Score 1) 355

May I suggest setting up a NAS? Wherever you like (garage, or wherever). You can set it up with RAID, and use it as a backup server too if you would like. This way, you don't need to get rid of your current system but just add up. There are a few of them now with plenty of HDD space and flexible RAID configuration, so that you don't have to get all HDDs with same capacity, specifications, etc. Therefore, you can even upgrade HDDs as you go. I personally have Synology DS1511 in my wishlist, although it is not a cheap toy. I don't feel I know enough to recommend any other file system. ext3,ext4, NTFS are what I use currently and I am naive if I am missing anything. Similarly, I don't know much about the differences between various linux flavors and BSD, therefore I think whichever you are most comfortable with should serve you well. x264/mkv is the format I use too, even for my blueray backups. It serves me well, and I personally don't plan to change it any time soon.

Comment gkrellm (Score 1) 357

I don't have a strong feeling about any window manager these days, although KDE4 is more stable than ever, and TDE is very fast, stable and nostalgic. I prefer gkrellm somewhere on my desktop as a habit more than anything else. It helps me to keep an eye on the network and CPU usage (boinc runs continuously in the background, and sometimes a virtual machine too), as well as temperature readings.

Submission + - Linux Mint 12 Is Released Today

An anonymous reader writes: Linux Mint 12 is released today. It includes the new "MGSE" (Mint Gnome Shell Extensions), a desktop layer on top of Gnome 3 that makes it possible for you to use Gnome 3 in a traditional way. MGSE's Gnome-2-Like experience includes features such as The bottom panel, The application menu, The window list, A task-centric desktop and Visible system tray icons. MGSE is a 180 degree turn from the desktop experience the Gnome Team is developing with Gnome-Shell. At the heart of the Gnome-Shell is a feature called 'the Overview' :

The Shell is designed in order to minimise distraction and interuption and to enable users to focus on the task at hand. A persistent window list or dock would interfere with this goal, serving as a constant temptation to switch focus. The separation of window switching functionality into the overview means that an effective solution to switching is provided when it is desired by the user, but that it is hidden from view when it is not necessary.

The popularity of Mint 12 with MGSE may be an excellent barometer as to weather users prefer a Task Centric or Application Centric desktop.


Submission + - Disk library solutions? 1

fikx writes: How do slashdotters manage large collections of disks? I'm hoping for a way to manage a large collection of movies that would give me menu type access to the content and the only consumer device left seems to be the Sony disk changer that is discontinued. I would have thought that handling disks would have been a solved problem and on sale in many forms, but I guess not....have slashdotters found or built solutions? or has this problem gone the way of the typewriter?

Submission + - The Science of Humor 2

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The sense of humor is a ubiquitous human trait, yet rare or non-existent in the rest of the animal kingdom. But why do humans have a sense of humor in the first place? Cognitive scientist (and former programmer) Matthew Hurley says that humor (or mirth, in research speak) is intimately linked to thinking and is a critical task in human cognition because a sense of humor keeps our brains alert for the gaps between our quick-fire assumptions and reality. "We think the pleasure of humor, the emotion of mirth, is the brain’s reward for discovering its mistaken inferences," says Hurley, co-author of "Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind," adding that with humor, the brain doesn’t just discover a false inference, it almost simultaneously recovers and corrects itself. For example, read the gag that's been voted the funniest joke in the world by American men. So why is this joke funny? Because it is misleading. Humor is "when you catch yourself in an error, like looking for the glasses that happen to be on the top of your head. You’ve made an assumption about the state of the world, and you’re behaving based on that assumption, but that assumption doesn’t hold at all, and you get a little chuckle.""

Submission + - 15 years in jail for clicking "Like" ( 2

patiwat writes: "Thailand has warned Facebook users that they could face 3 to 15 years in jail for if they press ''share'' or ''like'' on images or articles considered unflattering to the Thai monarchy. And it doesn't just apply to Thai subjects: a US citizen was arrested and convicted while visiting Thailand for posting a link to an unauthorized biography of King Bhumibol on his blog. Convictions for virtual lese majeste have sky-rocketed in recent years as efforts to defend the widely revered royal family from criticism have ramped up."

Submission + - New Oil Slick Appears in Gulf of Mexico by BP Well ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: A new oil slick on the Gulf of Mexico is making waves, with all eyes focusing in on BP as the culprit. The slick was spotted floating near the Green Canyon Block of the Gulf of Mexico, close to BP’s Macondo well — which ruptured last year. Although they have denied that they are the cause, BP has sent in boats and mini submarines to investigate the supposedly sealed well.

Submission + - Why 2011 is the Year of Open Source (

deadeyefred writes: While this year marks the 20th anniversary of Linux, its contribution as a model of open-source development is now everywhere: Android, OpenStack, desktops, super computers. While Apple, Google, Microsoft and others are slugging it out over patent rights and proprietary technology, the open source model continues to drive critical innovation everywhere.

Submission + - GMail Accidentally Resets 150 000 Accounts ( 2

tsj5j writes: Many users have reported loss of their GMail accounts, as they signed in to find their email accounts reset — losing years of email history. This appears to be a result of a bug which treats existing owners as new users. For those affected, Google is currently trying to resolve the problem. For the rest of us, perhaps this is a timely reminder to backup our data and be less trusting of the cloud.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Home network backups?

marcsherman writes: I'm interested in setting up centralized backups for a small home network. We've got a shared linux server (running Ubuntu 10.10), and a couple windows desktops.

My current thoughts are to set up Bacula on the linux server, and buy a pair of USB or eSATA hard disks for the backup media. I'd write the backups to one disk at a time, swapping them out on a weekly basis, and keep the second disk at my office for off-site storage.

Any suggestions for improvements or fatal flaws in my plans from the hive mind? Bacula seems to be targeted at larger networks with tape-based backups. Is there other software I should look at that's better suited to my use case? Should I think about getting a removable disk enclosure system, and if so, any hardware suggestions?

Links to any existing howtos that specifically address my usecase are greatly appreciated. Even snarky ones via

Unsecured IP Cameras Accessible To Everyone 146

Orome1 writes "In the last couple of decades, we have become so accustomed to the idea that the public portion of our everyday life is watched and recorded — in stores, on the street, in institutions — that we often don't even notice the cameras anymore. Analog surveillance systems were difficult to hack into by people who lacked the adequate knowledge, but IP cameras — having their own IPs — can be quite easily physically located and their stream watched in real-time by anyone who has a modicum of computer knowledge and knows what to search for on Google."

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