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Comment Re:The are cashes FOR hard drives (Score 1) 100

Intel dabbled in this (as did others) years ago when SSDs were too small for most people. As far as I know, it was kinda shitty and only kinda worked and everyone abandoned it because hybrid drives were simpler (even though they too sucked) and SSDs kept getting bigger, faster, and cheaper. They called it "Smart Response Technology" when it launched. Maybe it's back? Maybe it never went away? Maybe Windows ReadyBoost has risen from the grave? (I've NEVER seen ReadyBoost in actual use.)

It's the same as far as I understand, just optimized for a lower latency high performance SSD. But to be honest, except for gamers I think almost everyone has space enough on the SSD these days. And even most gamers could if Steam only offered them two storage areas so they could put 1GB on the SSD and the other 29GB with all the media files on a HDD. I've gone all SSD anyway even though it's a waste.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 281

if you look at shows like M*A*S*H or The Honeymooners or Star Trek or The Odd Couple you find most episodes are self-contained, and that it's fairly rare for most stories to directly span more than one episode. (...) Sometime in the nineties this shifted, and TV became serialized (...) I prefer the episodic model, as I don't feel compelled to watch if I don't want to, and I don't worry if I miss an episode or if I watch them out of original order.

Because VCRs became affordable and common. About the episodic format though, I think you're one of the few that don't enjoy any character development or long story arcs but would rather have a series spinning its wheels in one place. It's okay to be on season two when the show is at season five, unless you're the kind of person who can't put a book down. Even if the show is mostly the same like Big Bang Theory it's much better with a glacial drift, major big boobs Houlihan and i-want-out Klinger were pretty much cardboard characters. Yes, you can totally pick up on any episode in the series and not hate it, but eh... these days my standards are a little higher than not getting bored.

Comment Was anything different ever expected? (Score 1) 77

Were we ever expecting Samsung to actually just toss all these things into the grinder? They had a fairly high end SoC, bunch of RAM and Flash, nice screens, etc. no reason to suspect that the PMIC itself was executing batteries. Why would you scrap something like that?

For 'brand' reasons, it wouldn't be a surprise to see them shunted off to some less-loved market; or even 'de-branded' and sold in more generic livery; but scrapped?

Comment Re: Mint (Score 1) 461

I agree that grovelling for solutions to oddball problems is annoying; but my experience has been that any OS puts you in that place from time to time.

If, say, Windows Update is throwing cryptic errors, it doesn't take too long to be instructed to 'Reset the BITS service to the default security descriptor'. Just open an elevated CMD shell and run "sc.exe sdset bits D:(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;SY)(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;BA)(A;;CCLCSWLOCRRC;;;AU)(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;PU)", n00b.

OSX has the virtue of changing at least a few of the command line options that aren't pulled straight from BSD every version bump(changes related to user/directory structure seem to be particularly popular); and not all advice is clear on which versions it pertains to; which can be really annoying.

I don't disagree with the fact that, if a Linux system does something...unexpected...you may well deeply fail to enjoy finding the answer; but any time the automagic fails, regardless of OS, you are usually in for some pain(since, if the answer were trivial and unambigious, the automagic would probably still be working); and a trip to the command line, registry, PLists, or some combination is likely in your future.

If anything, it's the scary, hostile-looking OSes that are least risky in this regard because they never pretended to have automagic to help you in the first place; and so are simpler; and designed so that an unaided human can grind through everything themselves. That's a huge nuisance, which is why most OSes aren't like that; but fallible automatic failing is never pretty.

Comment Re: Mint (Score 2) 461

What is with this obsession of Linux users to want everyone to be "advanced users"? It's precisely because of that, that Linux doesn't have a bigger marketshare

Same reason we don't teach primary school pupils and university degree math in the same classroom or why NFL teams don't want to train against high school freshmen or Michelin chefs aren't interested in advice from their colleagues at McDonald's. You're not contributing anything useful at this level, you're just in the way. It's open source, people don't get paid per copy they sell. Most aren't trying to win a popularity contest. They're looking for a professional community/tool to support them and don't want it dumbed down to be newbie friendly.

And some of them aren't exactly going to apologize for it either, in their minds you're the one butting in on a place you don't belong, like trying to get advice at a doctor's conference instead of scheduling an appointment. It doesn't help that some users act like you're their support staff and expect them to drop whatever they're doing to help you. It's very tempting to basically say we don't give a shit. Of course there are some will also immediately jump to the conclusion that any problem you have is because you're an idiot, just like all the other idiots.

Most software try to separate newbies from experts, developers from users with varying degrees of success since they're not exactly crystal clear definitions or mutually exclusive categories. And without one bishop in the cathedral to swing the ban hammer, it's not so easy getting rid of destructive elements. It usually takes some rather extremely obnoxious behavior to make a whole community throw you out. But if this is approaching TL;DR, well they don't want you there and market share isn't an important metric for them. Why should it be?

Comment Re:Don't remake, release the source. (Score 1) 154

I'd be surprised to see Blizzard do either; but he did specify 'the source' rather than 'the IP'; and the two are (relatively) easily separable.

Given that, even at the time, most of the enthusiasm for Starcraft was for a combination of its play balance(having 3 actually-different sides without being horribly lopsided was pretty big news when the standard was two, often basically reskins of each other with a couple of flavor units) and overall style/art direction; I'm not sure who would be interested in just the engine; but Blizzard certainly could release it without giving up any control over the parts of the Starcraft 'IP' that are of actual value. Given the number of people who actually want to look at the code vs. the number of people who just want to play Starcraft, it would be a lot of trouble for not a lot of interest, but it needn't threaten the stuff that is actually worth something.

Comment Depends on the car analogy (Score 1) 461

I've been lurking here for years and seen many recommendations for a Linux flavor that works. What I'm really looking for is Linux that works without constant under-the-hood tweaking

I think the question really requires taking a step back and looking at what a distro is and does. Because if you're coming in from another OS I'd say there's three levels of changes and the distro-level is probably the least important.

1. Applications: Do your applications run under Linux or do they have functional equivalents like web services you'd be happy with. If you've heard about WINE, then stop because Windows emulation is full of quirks. It's a tool for users that really, really don't want to run Windows even if it has 10x the issues of running Windows software on Windows. No distro is going to help you if after banging your head on GIMP and Krita you realize that no, I really need Photoshop or anything else with less than a platinum rating on WINE. And even then it can break in the next update.

2. Desktop environment (DE), this is pretty much how the OS part of the interface will look like for you. No matter which one you pick it won't be like Windows or OS X. If a distro ships a DE, it'll probably look and feel pretty much the same across distros. If you don't like Gnome or KDE on Ubuntu there's not much point trying them again on SuSE, Mint or Debian. Granted, a few of these are almost like picking distros as I'd take Mint for Cinnamon and Ubuntu for Unity but far from all.

3. Quality of packaging, testing, support, upgrades, security patches, availability of backports and third party repositories, release schedule etc. basically a lot of the boring housekeeping and problem solving. For the most part, this is what distros do - they take what developers have made and wrap it up in packages for you. But if the developers haven't made the apps you want, you'll be tweaking your work process a lot. If they haven't made the DE the way you want, you'll be tweaking your OS interaction a lot. A good distro doesn't create fuss for you, but it doesn't really mean it'll work for you.

I'd just start with Ubuntu with Unity (the default) only because it's super common and see if you get past #1. If you do and don't like Unity I'd try Cinnamon, KDE, Gnome and XFCE, as far as I know they're all available as packages on Ubuntu. If you find something that looks right for you I'd move on to #3 and ask "What distro is the best to run [Cinnamon/Gnome/KDE/Unity/XFCE]?" Though I suspect that the answer will probably be one of the Mint or Ubuntu spins in most cases. There's not much point in going outside the beaten path if you just want to get started.

Comment Re:It will not happen (Score 3, Informative) 106

How the hell do you re-write something like that? An "if" statement keys on the value of a single variable and conditionally executes a function. There are some things for which there is only one solution. Someone might suggest "just cold-room it!" But how are they supposed to do that?

You mean cleanroom. Copyright protects one particular expression (implementation) not the underlying idea (functionality), so the point is not necessarily to come up with a different solution but to document that it has been done independently. Yes, that means they must find an "untainted" developer to write the new code but you can in great detail describe the functionality as long as you don't impose a particular implementation. It's even been done "after the fact" as evidence:

The court relied heavily on evidence NEC presented that compared a "clean room'' program with both the V20/30 and Intel 8086/88 microcode. NEC hired an independent engineer (Gary Davidian) to develop a set of microcode for the V20/30 without access to any other microcode. Because Davidian's version of the microcode was similar in many regards to both the Intel and NEC microcodes, the court found it likely that those similarities were dictated not by copying of Intel's microcode, but rather by functional constraints of the hardware, the architecture, and the need for 8086/88 compatibility.

The documentation is a pain in the butt, but the legal reasoning around it isn't so bad.

Comment Re:What was the old license model? (Score 2) 106

No issues linking to OpenSSL so long as you obey the terms of the OpenSSL license in the binary distribution of OpenSSL, and the GPL in the terms of the distribution of the software linking to openssl.

Doesn't work that way... then you could say that your "licensed for non-commercial use" code is distributed for $0, I'm just charging for my code and your restriction can't extend to my code. You'd get rid of all license restrictions by "librarifying" it. Distribution is not the only exclusive right in copyright, so is preparing derived works and running something as one program in the same memory space is definitively that.

Granted you've moved the primary violation over to the end user, who may or may not be able to claim fair use but as an organized means of license circumvention I'd say you'd get in legal trouble for vicarious copyright infringement. That's the legal theory they've used to go after centralized P2P and torrent sites, even though the torrent sites themselves don't commit primary violations they just benefit from them.

Consider it a bit this way, many things can be created from legal chemicals. That doesn't mean you can create one-click "meth lab kits" and act like you're just selling bits and pieces that by themselves are legal. Not even you split them into "Meth lab part 1" and "Meth lab part 2". It would be the same with OpenSSL and GPL code, legally you can distribute one or the other. But once it becomes a DIY copyright violation kit, you get in trouble.

Comment Re:It's time for Microsoft to give up (Score 1) 97

It really depends, they don't need to be cool. They just need to be X86 compatible! Their phones have been decent but poorly supported app wise, give me compatibility with X86 and I would get one tomorrow instead of my planned Galaxy S8 purchase.

And we know Intel cancelled the last iteration of that project, probably because Microsoft wouldn't commit to buying enough processors to make it worth it. So unless there's some supersecret project that's not on any roadmap it's not going to happen.

Comment Re: Not everyone is happy... (Score 1) 106

I used to think the same before I talked to some legal people -- you might be surprised.

It's the sort of thing legal people can blabber on and on about, but when you consider that anyone distributing this project can be sued in 100+ jurisdictions with different laws and legal systems most of them will get very quiet. And at least in the US there are statutory damages, who ever is "hurt" doesn't have to prove that, they just have to prove infringement and they can cash in which could be tempting for a greedy heir. And not necessarily just liability either, fraudulent removal or alteration of a copyright license is a criminal act under USC 17506(d) and possibly many other nations.

Basically it's the kind of thing they can bill lots of hours for but try asking them if they'll put their money where their mouth is and take the bill if their legal interpretation is wrong and I think you'll find them disappear in a puff of smoke. Get permission from those you can get permission from, rewrite the rest. Maybe even document a cleanroom implementation if you know some are militantly opposed to the re-licensing. My guess is the formulation is a legally meaningless taunt, it didn't say they would re-license without your permission. It just implied it so they'd provoke a response.

Comment Re:Since when (Score 1) 356

The bigger question is why aren't the British (and the Americans for that matter) insisting that new citizens (including their children) become CITIZENS of that country in heart and soul

And how would you define what being "British in heart and soul" is? I think a lot of people that feel pretty genuinely British even though they don't eat pork because they're vegetarians or vegans or don't drink or don't go to church or... And how would you test if people actually live "British" enough for you? And what would you do with a child born and raised in Britain that's too "un-British" but isn't a citizen of any other country? Imprison them? Send them to "reeducation camps"? Deport them? India for Hinduism, Thailand for Buddhism, Japan for Shinto? You can't force people on other nations, you know.

I think it would get rather hilarious to try this in America, ask all the people who aren't "real" Americans to go home. I think you'll get a lot of funny debates on who exactly that is... Mexicans? Africans? Non-Christians? Everybody but the native Americans?

Comment Re:Machines replacing bank tellers? (Score 1) 269

Here in Europe it usually means skipping cash altogether with online banking and payment cards. Usually it's because of a national debit card standard organized by the banks, like BankAxept here in Norway or EC-card in Germany. This is the price list of one our banks via Google Translate, prices converted to USD:

One time installation/terminal fees, fixed/mobile: $489/241
Monthly payment fees, fixed/mobile: $61/$83
Transaction fees, per transaction $0.026 flat

Use your card for a Big Mac? McDonald's is happy. Use it to buy a $1000 TV? The store is happy. Say you have a sale every 5 minutes, 10 hours a day, 6 days a week = ~25 days/month = 3000 sales total. That's $78 in processing fees + $61/83 = ~$150 total in operating costs for the whole month. Compare that to the expenses securing cash, transporting cash, keeping enough change and so on that they don't want and here it's yes please, use cards. And if the cash flows electronically, what do you need the local bank teller for? I just checked the stats for my purely online bank, 380k customers with 325 employees and 90% of the population do it online now.

Even the banks that do have branch offices now mostly train people to use the machines rather than process their deposits/bills and it's almost all retirees. Some banks have even started to put fees on the ATMs, because even maintaining and stocking them costs money even if there's no bank teller. With mobile pay now it's even BYOD, they don't even have to issue cards anymore. They're moving closer and closer to becoming a purely virtual organization that doesn't deal in anything but 0s and 1s. But that's okay, it's not like I really miss the days you were waiting in line at the counter.

Comment Re:What videos exactly? (Score 1) 290

People rarely have a lot of love for the party in the position to charge them more; but the fact that a 'search company' apparently can't make any useful promises regarding where your ads will end up is probably not helping their position on this one.

Even in situations where everything is pretty banal; advertisers generally want some targeting of the impressions they are paying for to the audience they are trying to reach. If Google can't demonstrate an ability to avoid certain contexts on request, why would an advertiser believe that they are any more accurate or honest when it comes to targeting certain audiences?

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