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Comment Re:As users, we're getting fucked over. That's why (Score 1) 807

How is chaging the version number at a different pace lying?

I understand your concern, but it is just a version number. If the perception of users is being taken away by your competitors, why not adapt?

Sure, it would be better to live in a world where companies did not resort to such misleading tricks, but it is not lying.

Numbers do not semantics have.

Comment Slashdot editorial garbage (Score 1) 154

Somethings are completely below acceptable standard. Like poor Slashdot editorial care.

It is completely different to "not predict a earthquake" to "predict that it will not happen".

These specialists PREDICTED that there would be no problem.

Can we get basic logic right, please?

This is a case of scientific hubris (belief in self-ability to predict things) that cost many lives. Now it has been joined by lack of basic logic and linguistics here in Slashdot.

What a dis-service to science.

Talking about proper science, may I suggest reading say, The Black Swan?


Apache Resigns From the JCP Executive Committee 136

iammichael writes "The Apache Software Foundation has resigned its seat on the Java SE/EE Executive Committee due to a long dispute over the licensing restrictions placed on the TCK (test kit validating third-party Java implementations are compatible with the specification)."
Social Networks

The Ethics of Social Games 75

Gamespot is running a story about the ethics and morality of the social games market, which in recent years has exploded to involve hundreds of millions of players. Between micro-transactions, getting players to recruit friends, and the thin line between compelling games and addictive games, there are plenty of opportunities for developers to stray into shady practices. Quoting: "The most successful social games to date have used very simple gameplay mechanics, encouraging neither strategy nor dexterity but regular interaction with the game ... Although undeniably successful, the existing social game framework has been the subject of much debate among game developers from every corner of the game industry, from the mainstream to the indie community. Some, like Super Meat Boy creator Edmund McMillen, are particularly strident in their assessment. 'Social games tend to have a really seedy and abusive means of manipulation that they use to rope people in and keep them in,' McMillen said. 'People are so tricked into that that they'll actually spend real money on something that does absolutely nothing, nothing at all.'

British Pizza Chain To Install Cones of Silence 122

itwbennett writes "British pizza chain Pizza Express is installing iPod docks and soundproof domes in booths of their new iPizzeria stores. 'The idea is that you can plug in your iPod and play whatever music you like without disturbing other diners,' says blogger Peter Smith. 'But I'm sure it'd work for talking about government secrets and other spy stuff, too.'"

Comment I am all for stupid (Score 2, Insightful) 385

If this is being stupid, then I want more.

You see, I am human being, with limited cognitive capacities, limited free time, limited resources.
Not having to deal with such "important" things as remembering phone numbers or massive amounts of data allows me to direct my time and memory for other things.
Ah, and I can leverage my freed time and freed cognitive abilities with the search powers of google to discover even more. I've now searched and read philosophers and historians. Something a few years ago this would have been less simple: more costly to get the info and less time to do such thing. This by the way, encouraged me to by their books.

Yes, I do not know the year that Nietzsche or Wagner were born, but I do have an idea that they were contemporary to each other. Guess what: having been exposed to their ideas and their music is much more important than knowing the details of their birth dates. Which by the way were [goes way and googles for 20 secs] 1844 and 1813.

I've gained a lot with my new found stupidity. And lost very little in return.

I may have lost the details, but I have more time and resources that allow me to see far away. And the details are really here, at my fingertips.

Comment Re:Dont't like the idea anyway... (Score 3, Interesting) 302

This is not a nationalistic/rationalistic thing. Have you tried to take Furmint grapes and plant them say, in Norway? [For the less knowledgeable, it is too far North for this plant]

I am being extreme but illustrating the main point: a wine is not only the grapes: it is the weather and the soil (and many other factors, actually). This is why most wine is also known by the year: "good" or "bad" years mostly influenced by that years's climate on a specific place.

Australia has lots of wine variety. It can stand on its own merits. There is no need to hijack names for other places, that actually mean (and taste) different.

The Internet

Adobe Founders On Flash and Internet Standards 515

An anonymous reader points out an 18-month-old interview with the founders of Adobe (and creators of PostScript) Charles Geschke and John Warnock, and highlights three interesting quotes from the book Masterminds of Programming that seem very timely now. "'It is so frustrating that this many years later we're still in an environment where someone says if you really want this to work you have to use Firefox. The whole point of the universality of the Web would be to not have those kind of distinctions, but we're still living with them. It's always fascinating to see how long it takes for certain pieces of historical antiquity to die away. The more you put them in the browsers you've codified them as eternal, and that's stupid. ... With Flash what we're trying to do is both beef it up and make it robust enough so that at least you can get one language that's platform-independent and will move from platform to platform without hitting you every time you turn around with different semantics. ... You can see why, to a certain extent, Apple and Microsoft view that as a challenge because they would like you to buy into their implementation of how the seamless integration with the Web goes. What we're saying is it really shouldn't matter. That cloud ought to be accessible by anybody's computer and through any sort of information sitting out on the Web."

High-Altitude Balloon Tweets Earth 49

celsomartinho writes "Spacebits is yet another low-cost High-Altitude Balloon (HAB) with a computer probe being launched to near space on 30 May, this time in Portugal. The twist with this project, besides the cool electronics, cameras, and sensors on board, is the fact that the team provided the online community with a real-time web dashboard so that everyone can follow the two-hour journey up to 100,000 feet and back to earth. Real-time data includes measurements from all its sensors, including temperature, pressure, humidity and air quality, altitude, acceleration, and GPS coordinates and a live Twitter feed. The team is also using a public GSM network to send SMS lat/lon/alt coordinates to anyone willing to go on launch site and participate in the probe hunt." The balloon goes off Memorial Day weekend, so bookmark the page if you're on call.
Open Source

Do Build Environments Give Companies an End Run Around the GPL? 374

Malvineous writes "I have two devices, from two different companies (who shall remain nameless, but both are very large and well-known) which run Linux-based firmware. The companies release all their source code to comply with the GPL, but neither includes a build environment or firmware utilities with the code. This means that if you want to alter the free software on the device, you can't — there is no way to build a firmware image or install it on the devices in question, effectively rendering the source code useless. I have approached the companies directly and while one of them acknowledges that it is not fully GPL-compliant, due to other license restrictions it cannot make the build environment public, and the company does not have the resources to rewrite it. I have approached the FSF but its limited resources are tied up pursuing more blatant violations (where no code at all is being released.) Meanwhile I am stuck with two devices that only work with Internet Explorer, and although I have the skills to rewrite each web interface, I have no way of getting my code running on the devices themselves. Have these companies found a convenient way to use GPL code, whilst preventing their customers from doing the same?"

Submission + - Minister says piracy is good for progress ( 1

mazevedo writes: Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and High Studies, Mariano Gago, says that "Piracy is a source of progress". Quoted by Spanish newspaper "El País", during a summit in Madrid, he says that the cultural industry should not look at piracy as an enemy, but as a source of progress and globalization. (In Portuguese) (in Spanish)

It's nice to see a politician with his eyes open!

Submission + - "Piracy as been a source of progress" ( 1

seasunset writes: Jose Mariano Gago, minister for Science and Technology of Portugal said that Piracy and been a source of progress and globalization (Google translation). This senior official of the south western EU country also suggested that value of cultural products might sometimes be increased by piracy.

Regarding downloads, Gago stated that the Portuguese government is studying regulation, but that it "must be sensible" and that "The Internet is a matter of adding freedoms, not restricting them.

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"I'm not a god, I was misquoted." -- Lister, Red Dwarf