Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


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:Really? (Score 1) 125

The better analogy is letting the USPS read our postcards and use information from that to create better advertisements to help pay for the service. You have a legitimate right to privacy with a sealed envelope (according to the law) and you have that same right to privacy if you seal your packets (i.e. encrypt them). In fact, your ability to protect your private packets is much stronger than your ability to protect your private mail.

Now, my personal opinion on the matter is that a decent company shouldn't use DPI in such ways, but it is my responsibility to protect information I want to keep private and to educate others to do the same.

Comment Re:This is College (Score 1) 664

My guess is that the attendance is taken to given them factual numbers to point to when the student fails out of a class. When a kid's parent calls the department to complain that little Timmy is too smart to be failing out of algebra and Professor Tweed should be fired, he can say that Timmy never showed up to class.

I agree that it is ridiculous that professors take attendance, but I don't think that is the problem. It's the parents who can't let their kid deal with consequences (and to be fair, more often than not I think the parent's $30,000 is paying the tuition bill).

Comment Re:use openvpn ? (Score 1) 497

My users have complained about that before. Especially with respect to SVN over SSH, because SVN has a nasty habit of creating a few connections and if they are quickly browsing the repository with `svn ls` of looking at log messages with different ranges the connections add up very quickly. This led to frustrated users yelling at me. I dialed back the numbers a bit to minimize the impact, but the invalid attempts started scaling back up.

Comment Re:why is it so unreasonable? (Score 1) 388

I think the major complaint here is that there are so many updating systems for a Windows machine. On Linux, yeah I update every day, but it is all done through the same interface. I'm not saying this is perfect. But, it beats running the Windows Update, then the Office Update, then the Adobe Update, then the Apple Update, then the * Update, ad nauseum.

Comment Re:sucks to be support (Score 1) 388

I'm not often a Windows user, but I had just the opposite experience recently and it *really* pissed me off. Windows was doing its auto-updates in the background and I had already gone through a patch-reboot cycle, then it pops up a message saying that it will automatically restart in 10 minutes.

The first time I saw the message, I clicked remind me again in 10 minutes (the other options were 30 minutes, 1 hour, or 2 hours). 20 minutes later all my programs close and I'm looking at an "Installing Updates" screen. I didn't even get a chance to save my work. The "restarting in 10 minutes" window popped up behind the active window, so I didn't see it.

This was Windows 7 and there was no "I'll restart the computer myself" option on the interface. I did a bit of searching and the fix involved going through a *.msi file and toggling some setting.

I assume I must have done something wrong somewhere, because if that is the way Microsoft designed this functionality by default I am glad I don't have to deal with that.


Submission + - SPAM: Write a Windows EXE program

mtm_king writes: Here is the deal – I want to write a little Windows (form) program that will search and display some data from a small (50 MB) database (5 search/filter-able fields, 50 fields total, 5 tables). I need the “solution” to be self-contained. I want to end up with an executable (exe) file that is not dot-net dependent. I want the database driver to either compile into the exe or at least be a DLL file that does not have to be “installed”. I want this to run from a hard disk, CD or flash drive – the data will be read only. The program will not touch the “system registry” and will not know that the internet exists.

I have several programs like this used by dozens of end users. OK – I wrote them 10+ years ago with Delphi 5 (gift from God) using Advantage Database Server (loved it, bought by Sybase).

One of the programs needs a complete rewrite.

I make a few thousand dollars a year updating the data. Supporting dot-net and SQL Server Express and keeping them updated is not what I want or can afford to do for a bunch of end users, most of whom I have never met.

(I am not saying dot-net is evil. For “work” I use Visual Studio every day, not that I enjoy it. And I like Microsoft SQL Server.)

I just need to write a simple program that takes search criteria and does something like a “select”statement on a database. It used to be easy. Now it is hard. I feel old.

(Apologies to parentheses haters.)

Submission + - Dell Defect Turns 2.2GHz CPU into 100MHz CPU (

jtavares2 writes: In what is being dubbed as Throttlegate, scours of users on many message boards have been complaining about inexplicably aggressive throttling policies on their Dell Latitude E6500 and E6400 laptops which cause its CPUs to be throttled to less than 5% of its theoretical maximum even while in room temperatures! In many cases, the issue can triggered just by playing a video or performing some other trivial, but CPU intensive, task. After being banned from the Dell Forums for revealing "non-public information", one user went so far as to write and publish a 59-page report explaining and diagnosing the throttling problem in incredible detail. Dell seems to be silent on the issue, but many users are hoping for a formal recall.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 3, Interesting) 387

I realize that most websites run some version or another of "adverts", but generally speaking, most of those sites are marginal value to start. The sites I frequent usually use text ads, and not the flash (pun intended) graphical ads on some of the more questionable sites.

That actually reminded me of a short study I did in my English class a number of years ago. I wanted to know if you could get a quick feeling for the quality of a magazine based only on the number of advertisements/glossiness of the publication. Given the limited time and amount of money I was willing to spend I chose "Popular Science" and "Scientific American." PopSci had many more adverts than SciAm and, IMO, this means that SciAm is the better magazine. Yeah, it was a little subjective, but it was only a 5 page paper for an English class.

It's nice to see that the same thinking still applies to websites.

Comment Re:It's obvious (Score 2, Interesting) 502

Honest question: Do RPM files have a way of distinguishing between system- and user-level software? It seems like a fairly obvious thing to have/check, then users could install safe applications (i.e. those that don't have programs in /sbin or /usr/sbin), for their own uses.

Moreover, why can't RPMs just let users install in a private fakeroot directory (like there home directory). That way they don't have to touch the root file system and can easily install packages without needing a password. (Like if I wanted Eclipse, I could just find the RPM and double click to install it, no password, no fuss.)

I think Fedora could make this right if they wanted to.


Submission + - Firefox 3.6 locks out rogue add-ons (

CWmike writes: Mozilla will add a new lockdown feature to Firefox 3.6 that will prevent developers from sneaking add-ons into the program, the company said. Dubbed "component directory lockdown," the feature will bar access to Firefox's "components" directory, where most of the browser's own code is stored. Mozilla has billed the move as a way to boost the stability of its browser. "We're doing this for stability and user control [reasons]," said Johnathan Nightingale, manager of the Firefox front-end development team. "Dropping raw components in this way was never an officially supported way of doing things, which means it lacks things like a way to specify compatibility. When a new version of Firefox comes out that these components aren't compatible with, the result can be a real pain for our shared users ... Now that those components will be packaged like regular add-ons, they will specify the versions they are compatible with, and Firefox can disable any that it knows are likely to cause problems."

Slashdot Top Deals

"We shall reach greater and greater platitudes of achievement." -- Richard J. Daley