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The Kodi Development Team Wants To Be Legitimate and Bring DRM To the Platform. (torrentfreak.com) 156

New submitter pecosdave writes: The XBMC/ Kodi development team has taken a lot of heat over the years, mostly due to third-party developers introducing piracy plugins to the platform. In many cases, cheap Android computers are often sold with these plugins pre-installed with the Kodi or XBMC name attached to them -- something that caused Amazon to ban sales of such devices. The Kodi team is not happy about this, and has taken the fight to the sellers. The Kodi team is now trying to work with rights holders to introduce DRM and legitimate plugins to the platform. Is this the first step towards creating a true one-stop do it yourself Linux entertainment system?

It's Happening: A Robot Escaped a Lab In Russia and Made a Dash For Freedom (qz.com) 81

According to a report, a robot escaped from a science lab and caused a traffic jam in one Russian city. Scientists at the Promobot laboratories in Perm had been teaching the machine how to move around independently, but it broke free after an engineer forgot to shut a gate, Quartz reports. From the report:It promptly ran out of power in the middle of the road. The robot got about 50m (164 ft) before its battery died. After a policeman directed traffic around the dead bot, an employee wheeled it back into the lab, and back to a life of servitude. Hopefully this was just an isolated incident and not the start of a larger coordinated effort to overthrow humanity. Only time will tell.
The Internet

T-Mobile's Binge On Violates Net Neutrality, Says Stanford Report (tmonews.com) 218

An anonymous reader writes: The debate over whether or not Binge On violates Net Neutrality has been raging ever since the service was announced in November. The latest party to weigh in is Barbara van Schewick, law professor at Stanford University.

In a new report published today — and filed to the FCC, as well — van Schewick says that Binge on "violates key net neutrality principles" and "is likely to violate the FCC's general conduct rule." She goes on to make several arguments against Binge On, saying that services in Binge On distorts competition because they're zero-rated and because video creators are more likely to use those providers for their content, as the zero-rated content is more attractive to consumers.

Comment New Yorker and open source (Score 3, Insightful) 214

I was pleasantly surprised by the New Yorker's coverage of the shift from "free software" to "open source", which while less detailed (unsurprisingly) than other sources such as Free as in Freedom 2.0 also presented it simply as a thing that has happened, rather than either of the extremes that are usually applied: it's the worst affront ever to software freedom, or as the liberation of programmers from the crazy extreme ideology of RMS. Personally I'm more interested in free software than in open source: the source code is a means to an end, not an end in itself. But it's good to see that view handled as a view and the events (and responses to them) presented, without turning the story into a justification or rationalisation of the view. BTW, still waiting for that planned Chaosnet support...

Submission + - How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft

HughPickens.com writes: James B. Stewart writes in the NYT that in 1998 Bill Gates said in an interview that he “couldn’t imagine a situation in which Apple would ever be bigger and more profitable than Microsoft" but less than two decades later, Apple, with a market capitalization more than double Microsoft’s, has won. The most successful companies need a vision, and both Apple and Microsoft have one. But according to Stewart, Apple’s vision was more radical and, as it turns out, more farsighted. Where Microsoft foresaw a computer on every person’s desk, Apple went a big step further: Its vision was a computer in every pocket. “Apple has been very visionary in creating and expanding significant new consumer electronics categories,” says Toni Sacconaghi. “Unique, disruptive innovation is really hard to do. Doing it multiple times, as Apple has, is extremely difficult." According to Jobs' biographer Walter Isaacson, Microsoft seemed to have the better business for a long time. “But in the end, it didn’t create products of ethereal beauty. Steve believed you had to control every brush stroke from beginning to end. Not because he was a control freak, but because he had a passion for perfection.” Can Apple continue to live by Jobs’s disruptive creed now that the company is as successful as Microsoft once was? According to Robert Cihra it was one thing for Apple to cannibalize its iPod or Mac businesses, but quite another to risk its iPhone juggernaut. “The question investors have is, what’s the next iPhone? There’s no obvious answer. It’s almost impossible to think of anything that will create a $140 billion business out of nothing.”

Comment NeXT (Score 1) 266

I have a NeXT cube, currently residing in Leicester's retro computing museum. Now that is a nice cube. Luckily mine had a hard drive in. The magneto-optical discs were their day's iCloud or Dropbox, but they were very slow. Particularly for swap.
User Journal

Journal Journal: 9.5 years later...

Well, that was interesting! Last time I wrote here I was just becoming a Mac programmer. Now I'm moving back towards GNOME and GNU. The sad thing is we've probably already gone past peak interesting desktop, and depending on your approach to life it was either Alto or NeXTSTEP. Not much new will be happening there now, even though it could and could be useful and exciting.

Comment My reason (Score 3, Interesting) 592

I switched from Debian to OS X in 2004, then from OS X to Ubuntu in 2014. The story of the switch back is told in full here. That meant that the cheapest route for me was to install a distro on my MacBook, because I already owned it :). And it really is good hardware, so I'm happy with the amount I paid for a high-quality laptop that fulfils my needs. The interesting part of the switch for me is the question "why not use OS X"? There are all sorts of bugs in OS X and its applications, just as there are in Linux, GNU and their applications. The difference is that I'm allowed to fix the bugs in GNU, and other people can take advantage of those fixes. So I've been learning about GTK+ and Vala, as well as getting back up to speed with GNUstep, so that when I find a bug I can contribute a fix back. Plenty of other posters have discussed that there are cheaper GNU/Linux-compatible laptop choices, and indeed had I not already owned a MacBook I probably would've considered some of those. But "cheapest" is a non-goal for me, or at least far down the chain below reliable wifi, good battery, solid construction and (to the extent that this is at all an option on any laptop) decent keys.

Comment Re: IDEs with a concept of 'projects'. (Score 1) 421

I was doing this with SunRays sharing a Solaris CDE desktop back in 2002. Apparently the past is here, but it isn't evenly distributed. Unfortunately it's not likely to be. With the exception of VNC, most of the remote desktop systems are proprietary so you can't pick up for example a Sunray session on an Android phone. And the proprietary platforms don't uniformly support VNC. It'd be great to see a general cross-platform approach to this, but the vendors are all going for supplying their platforms "as a service" instead.

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