Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


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 To Be Fair, Licking Consoles Isn't New (Score 4, Informative) 117

In all fairness to the, uh, interesting people doing this, they're not completely off their rockers. Licking consoles was a thing before social media even existed.

A then-unknown Jessica Chobot (who these days hosts shows for Nerdist) basically started the whole thing by licking a PSP as a gag photo in 2005. Since then, someone, somewhere (usually Chobot, it feels like) licks a launch console.

The only novel change here is people licking the cartridge instead of the console, and that's due to the aforementioned use of a bittering agent. Maybe Nintendo got it wrong here and needs to go into licking controls instead of motion controls...

Comment Re:Uber Hit Squad (Score 2) 218

But people are also paying attention to Uber right now. If you're Google now is a good time to take a shot at Uber, when they're too distracted to fight back. And if you're a reporter your Uber story is going to get a lot more traction, so it's time to start digging.

You're not wrong; there's definitely a bit of blood in the water.

However Uber is unique in that they're managing to find new and exciting ways to fuck up, from the way they treat their drivers to how they interact with governments.

To use the GP's example, at least Oracle is consistently evil: you know what they're going to do from the start. But with Uber it's a new surprise each week!

Comment Re:Overboard, Sad! (Score 5, Insightful) 358

If it truly was an accident and everyone was acting in good faith

It wasn't in good faith, hence the reason he was found guilty of reckless endangerment. Negligence is the charge for "good faith". Reckless means that the accused knew it was dangerous to others and did it anyhow, thereby disregarding the safety of others.

Comment Re:No discounts (Score 1) 71

Looks like FAN company/corporate discounts will no longer be applied to these new plans. This was the only thing keeping them competitive w/ T-Mobile pricing.

Bear in mind that AT&T isn't trying to be competitive with T-Mobile. They're trying to be competitive with Verizon. T-Mo stings in the cities, but it's Verizon that can threaten AT&T's national footprint.

Comment Re:Admin? (Score 2) 238

But perhaps creating two accounts, one in wheel and the other not, and doing work other than software installation as the user not in wheel would make it harder to social-engineer users into elevating.

I've read TFA twice now and I still can't figure out if that's what the authors are trying to suggest, or something else entirely.

The entire point of UAC/sudo is to allow users to run in a standard context for day-to-day activities, and to quickly elevate certain applications/actions when it's required. Unless something has gone terribly wrong here, applications running un-elevated under an admin-capable UAC account have no more rights than an application running on a non-admin-capable account in the first place. Until elevation takes place, it's for all practical purposes a non-admin account.

So what is TFA trying to suggest, and what is their metric? Are they saying UAC is broken and applications are trivially executing privilege escalation attacks? (And if so, how are standard accounts not affected?) Or are they just saying that since users can escalate applications, the OS automatically counts as vulnerable to the attack? In other words, is the argument that we should be doing away with UAC/sudo?

Comment Re:Holding Back Progress (Score 1) 77

It's nice to have competition in the marketplace; I don't think things would be nearly as good with just HTC or Oculus.

However the Rift and Vive are not perfect substitutes. The Vive Lighthouse system is fantastic for room-scale, but (relatively speaking) a pain in the ass to install if all you want to do is sit in a chair. And the lenses HTC uses induce a lot of chromatic aberration, which really does a number on text. So having either the Rift or the Vive pulled off the market would be a notable loss.

Comment Re:Not me (Score 4, Insightful) 131

My grand total of app expenditures for all of 2016 was ZERO.
I haven't even spent a dime on Pokemon Go and I play it daily.

Is that really something to be proud of, though? You spent $500+ on an iPhone, and then rejoice in not paying anything for the software you use daily?

This current environment of ad-supported nonsense is why smartphone games are such poor games (and such good Skinner boxes). And I fear studies like this just further adds to the stereotype that smartphone owners are cheap bastards.

Comment Re:A Painful But Necessary Transition (Score 1) 225

So please tell me what is the point of Firefox even existing at that point?

Because we need someone who isn't an OS vendor or an advertiser making an open source browser and to champion open standards. But that does us no good if it results in an inferior browser.

Apple is indifferent, Microsoft would rather we go back to IE6, and Google would just as well take over the whole web and track your every move (and then they'd pull an IE6 on us just to be extra evil). Firefox is the outsider, the rebel.

There exists a suitable balance between customization and performance somewhere. But right now Firefox is increasingly intolerable because if you use add-ons, one tab slows the whole thing down. NoScript, Ghostery, uBlock, Anti-Adblock Killer, etc are all great. But all that work they do comes at a cost of further bogging down the single process. e10k means multiple processes, and that means we can layer on these things and have them going on in multiple tabs without grinding away on a single core in the age of 8-core workstations.

Comment A Painful But Necessary Transition (Score 3, Insightful) 225

I know this must've been a hard decision to make at Mozilla but I feel it's not the right one.

You do a great job of outlining the pros and cons. That said, I do have to disagree that this isn't the right move. I would argue that it is in fact the right move; it's just that the right move is the most painful move.

Firefox is a wonderful browser. But I fear we're losing sight of just how limited its legacy core is. Legacy Firefox offers no threading, no privilege separation, and no meaningful isolation between tabs or windows.

The browser-as-an-OS concept is no longer a gag, but the actual reality of how browsers work. Browsers are expected to do everything from executing code (JS) to graphics (WebGL) to video (HTML5, etc). Furthermore they are being treated as a multitasking operating system - via multiple tabs - with those tabs all competing for resources. Worse, some of those tabs may be hostile to the system or to other tabs.

This is something Legacy Firefox is ill prepared for, and in doing so it's the odd man out among the major browsers. Legacy Firefox is the MacOS Classic of browsers; a time-tested piece of software with parts going back to the earliest days of the Web. But like OSes 15 to 20 years ago, the world has moved on; it's akin to MacOS Classic going up against MacOS X/WinXP/Linux. The lack of real, preemptive multitasking and security has become a major liability, and becomes downright embarrassing when you realize that Microsoft of all companies was doing things like putting their browser in a low-privilege context a decade ago. Similarly embarrassing is the fact that a single runaway tab can take out the whole browser!

But all is not lost. Firefox can and is being upgraded with electrolysis (e10k). e10k Firefox has taken far too long to be developed - Mozilla should have been working in earnest on this a decade ago - but at long last it's here. And it finally brings with it all of the threading and isolation features that will make the browser safer and more reliable. Or more to the point, it will make the browser competitive in these respects with Edge/Safari/Chrome.

However just like giving up MacOS Classic meant giving up the OS's legacy applications, there is a price to pay for giving up Legacy Firefox: XUL and legacy add-ons. XUL is incredibly powerful, but the Moz devs have laid out a very good case for why it (and the rest of the legacy add-on system) can't be used with e10k Firefox. There's no concept of threading or safety; it's an API that has an unsafe level of access to the browser and can't handle being split up among threads. Its power is why we power users love it so much, but that power is dangerous. Worse, maintaining that power ultimately gets in the way of operating the browser with a safer multi-threaded environment.

And I won't dance around the issue: losing XUL and the legacy add-on system is going to be painful. Just losing the Classic Theme Restorer alone is going to be complete and total hell for this crowd. Never mind the other add-ons that enhance privacy, block ads, and do so many other nifty things. And not all of those add-ons can be remade for e10k Firefox, since they rely on a level of power that will no longer exist.

But you know what? It has to happen. Just like with MacOS Classic, at some point we have to stop using an archaic, unsafe environment origially designed around unitasking in order to move on to something better that can actually fulfill our needs. Even if we were to explicitly design/limit Firefox to Slashdot-level power users - and I would argue that doing so would ultimately be the end of the browser - it's still not in our interest to be using a browser that, at the end of the day, relies on cooperative multitasking. It's a crappy (if not horrific) execution paradigm for the real world. And while I admire the Pale Moon devs for what they're doing, Pale Moon just prolongs the problem. We still have to face this demon some day, if not today.

Is it going to suck giving up Legacy Firefox? Hell yes. But what other option is there? To continue using a browser core that can't handle a single rogue tab? No. We're going to have to grin and bear it, and then after the transition to e10k we as a community are going to do what we do best: make it better. And we'll do so by developing new add-ons for e10k, leveraging the strength of open source software development, and ultimately pushing Mozilla to better serve our needs. Without this change Firefox has no future, and even with e10k it may still have no future. But with e10k at least there's a chance.

Which is not to say that the Mozilla devs are saints. Far from it in fact. We wouldn't need Classic Theme Restorer if they didn't screw with the UI in the first place. But despite their painful inability to see why cloning Chrome is the wrong way to go, they're not wrong in this case. We need e10k, and to have e10k XUL has got to go. After that's done, then we can get back to beating some sense into the UI team...

Comment Re:Compares to Old Unlimited Plan how? (Score 3, Insightful) 62

I have to wonder how this compares to the old unlimited data plan (which I'm still on)

It's exactly the same plan, with exactly the same limitations, at exactly the same price.

Which wouldn't be so bad, except that everyone else is cheaper, and everyone else offers some amount of tethering. Which is damned useful to have in a pinch.

Comment Good, It Just Wasn't the Same (Score 1) 259

Good, I'm glad to hear they're putting back the Playmates.

Even though it's primarily a men's magazine, I still pick up an issue on occasion. It just hasn't been the same over the last year; the faux high-culture style of the magazine lost something essential when it lost the nudes. They aren't the only reason to read the magazine, but it makes for this interesting mix of wit, beauty, and far too many ads for liquor.

Slashdot Top Deals

Wishing without work is like fishing without bait. -- Frank Tyger