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Ask Slashdot: Actual Best-in-Show For Free Anti Virus? 515

First time accepted submitter paperclipman writes "I'm on the college student budget and want to make sure that my recent investment in an Acer laptop will last me a good long while. I like to think of myself as a reasonably competent CPU user so I'm no adventurous link-clicker, but I do download some music as a recent SoundCloud devotee. My Kaspersky antivirus will be expiring shortly and I don't particularly care to renew with that steep of a fee — any advice from fellow thrifts?"

Insects As Weapons 160

An anonymous reader writes "Timothy Paine, an entomologist at the University of California-Riverside, recently 'committed to the scientific record the idea that California's eucalyptus trees may have been biologically sabotaged, publishing an article [in the Journal of Economic Entomology] raising the possibility of bioterrorism.' Specifically, Paine argues that foreign insect pests have been deliberately introduced in the Golden State, in hopes of decimating the state's population of eucalyptus (especially the two species regarded as invasive, which 'are particularly susceptible to the pests.') In California's Bioterror Mystery, Paine (and scientists who are skeptical) make their arguments. What isn't in dispute is that the insect pests have already inflicted hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, making the story a cautionary tale about what might happen if a food or crop were intentionally targeted."

Comment Always hard to be the third option (Score 5, Insightful) 435

I sold audio equipment for a couple of years and one of the first things I got to learn was to always give the customer TWO options. Unless the customer seemed unhappy with both choices, introducing a third option would only make the buying decision harder often resulting in a "need to go home and think about it"-response. This of course combined with lazy salespersons who doesn't feel they need to learn anything more than they absolutely need to close a deal.

This isn't exactly news to people in sales. Anyone trying to enter as a "third option" will have an extemely tough time trying to break through in the market, even if their product is better in many aspects.

(And as with any golden "rule of thumb" within sales, there is of course a shitload of exceptions, but I doubt the smartphone market is one of them)

Comment Re:Do something local (Score 5, Interesting) 332

I agree on this. About a year ago I quit my job to try my luck as an independent web developer. Pretty naively I assumed that all I had to do was make sure I was visible online and people would find me. Nobody did. I started browsing various sites that offered contracts on a freelance-basis but just like the original poster, I was shocked to see pretty complex projects being sold for 1/10th of what I would have offered without even trying to make a profit! Would I have made a better job than them? Probably. Did they care? No. So what to do?

After a couple of months I gave up on trying to outbid the competition and started calling some local companies. Turns out a lot of them needed help either with web related projects or IT in general, such as networking, small office servers, etc. While web development was what I was going for when I started, I've noticed I really like the variation in the tasks I'm assigned now. And I still get to do web development.

So yeah, going local is good advice.

GNU is Not Unix

GPL, Copyleft Use Declining Fast 808

itwbennett writes "Use of the GPL, LGPL, and AGPL set of licenses is declining at an accelerating rate, according to new analysis by the 451 Group's Matthew Aslett. In fact, the 451 Group projects that GPL usage will hit 50% by September 2012. Instead, developers are licensing projects under permissive licenses such as the MIT, Apache (ASL), BSD, and Ms-PL. The shift started in 2007 and has been gathering momentum ever since. Blogger Brian Proffitt posits that 'the creation of the GPLv3 and the sometimes contentious discussion that led up to it' may be partly responsible for the move away from the GPL."

Comment Cathedral (Score 3, Interesting) 200

Not that I think the "Catherdral vs. Bazaar" comparison is really that appropriate as a tool for measuring social networks (and it wasn't intended for that either), but using Google+ will always be - no matter how you twist and turn it - on their rules and conditions. And this regardless of wheter anonymous accounts are allowed or not. The only way to have a truly "bazaar" social network model would be using decentralized nodes. I admit I don't know much about Diaspora, but wasn't that one of their selling points?

Is Google+ a Cathedral Or a Bazaar? 200

An anonymous reader writes "With its recent mass suspension of accounts, Google has highlighted its desire to create a social network that is very different to the way many (including those whose accounts were suspended) would want to see it. The metaphor of the Cathedral and the Bazaar used for software development can be applied to the two types of social networks being proposed by Google on the one hand and the pseudonym supporters on the other. Google's Cathedral model emphasizes order and control whilst the bazaar model supports users who can be anonymous, have multiple identities, interact with anyone they please, and remain unobserved."

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What ever you want is going to cost a little more than it is worth. -- The Second Law Of Thermodynamics