Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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:"As PC sales collapse" (Score 3, Insightful) 232

I keep hearing this phrase repeated in almost every article about tablets. So people have stopped doing work on computers? Technology journalism has really confused the computing industry with glitzy consumer trends. So long as people need to actually produce something there will always been a need for general-purpose computers. Tablets are, in every sense, devices for consuming, not creating. They are damned good at delivering content in a compelling way, and are a great way to store a technical library if you actually want to reference it while you are at work. But that work is being done on a computer. I would argue that those who say that a tablet can give them as much or more functionality than a tradition laptop or desktop were never really making use of the computer in the first place. You might add that you can just get a keyboard for your tablet. I would not disagree. I am just curious why you would buy an underpowered laptop that cannot even be used on your lap when there are conventional PC models that are a better value.

Comment Re:Slackware on floppies (Score 1) 867

Mine has gone Fedora... then more Fedora... then more Fedora. I am young enough for this to have been possible. I tried Ubuntu from the Live CD at first to see what all the noise was about, but they put the close window button on the wrong side... if I wanted a Mac, I would have just stuck with it. Never looked back.

Comment Re:The perfect guy (Score 1, Troll) 132

If by "enemy" you mean that the U.S. entertainment industry produces the vast majority of all the content that Kim Dotcom pilfered for his own pecuniary gain, then yes, the U.S. is the enemy when it comes to copyright laws. Most movies are not released under a GPL-style, if you would like some that are, I can direct you to an awesome CGI movie about a bunny. Alternatively, I could suggest that those who take issue with current media distribution methods try to create something worthwhile themselves to share under such a license, or that they propose an alternative distribution method that respects the rights of those who generate content. Free as in free software and free media are about the rights of the end user... they are not about "free"-loaders.

Comment Re:Translation: (Score 2) 132

Who did they bribe? The judge himself? If a judge in a criminal case (which this is) for any other crime calls the prosecutor "the enemy" in public speech, he or she will have to step down. To do otherwise would make a mockery of the judicial system they allegedly represent. The judiciary might have encouraged this, but only to avoid embarrassing themselves. It was his call essentially to announce public that he had already made up his mind about the case. The judge often makes this sort of decision publicly, but it tends to be called a verdict.

Comment Microsoft can capitalize on this. (Score 5, Interesting) 132

With corporate backers of CISPA including Facebook, there is room for tech giants to secure some quick PR gains in the tech community with this. I think many people found the Windows 8 developer/consumer preview underwhelming, if not annoying. Seriously, Windows without a Start menu? I'm starting to believe the Mayans about what's supposed to happen in December. What was more alarming about this Windows 8 business, is how closed Microsoft was to popular opinion. The Windows 7 RC generated massive contributions. (It actually did... I am not just citing the "Windows 7 wsa my idea" ad campaign.) It seems that Windows 8 was entirely Microsoft's idea. If they want to be numb to the complaints of their own fanbase and turn Windows 8 into the bastard child of a currently non-existent Windows tablet and a Windows 7 PC, that is cool... I run Linux anyway. I was only responding to the developer preview to help them out. I do not think political PR stunts like this can change the fact that Microsoft is turning into a corporation more and more out of touch with their own customer base. Seriously, try to explain to corporate America why a clusterfuck start screen of different apps helps productivity. Windows 8 may be the greatest giveaway to RHEL ever, and not even appealing to populist disgust with CISPA is going to change that.

Comment Re:notice the "when overclocked" caveat (Score 5, Interesting) 182

Completely agree. The overclocking community is somewhat overrepresented in reviews of computer hardware. Overclockers are, in general, very knowledgable, so I am not saying that their voices as part of the reception are a problem--it is, after all, often overclockers who push the limits of current generation architectures and empower consumers. It is important to note, however, that thermal issues when overclocked are secondary to efficiency and power consumption for well over 99% of all computing applications. I work in HPC and obviously care about eeking out performance from my platforms, but I have never overclocked a CPU. A modest performance increase is completely secondary to jeopardizing the reliability of a computer system. As far as I am concerned, this particular critique is irrelevant, and I think that many other lay people and professionals would feel the same way. I am much more interested in knowing if the logevity of the new chips is commensurate with that of the previous generation.

Comment Maybe we'll get another Xonotic out of this... (Score 1) 53

This could yield something amazing. Even if this round will comply with Richard Stallman's increasingly delusional understanding of free software, the results should be interesting to watch. This competition is unbiased enough also to merit the interest of the conventional video games industry and may be a way for new talent to make itself known. I think more importantly, though, this will again demonstrate the truly open source gaming is a very viable concept.

Comment Re:Sweet! (Score 2) 100

The difference is this: a rocket engine not only uses the oxygen/hyrdrogen mixture as the propellant (the steam that is being expelled from the rear) but also as a "fuel" i.e. that from which the whole process derives its energy. The ion engine is using an imposed electric field gradient to accelerate the charge particles (ions) of its propellant out into the vacuum of space and to move the probe foward. The energy for this is coming from a combination of solar panels and a battery. One other weird thing about these engines: the reason it takes six months is because it takes forever for these things to reach speed. 0 to 60 is something like a few days. If you leave them on for years (liike Deep Space 1), it will reach many tens of thousands of mph because these little particles have been contributing their momentum so consistently for such a long time. If Picard were at the helm of an ion-engine-powered vehicle there would be an awkward decade-long pause after he ordered the Enterprise to go to warp factor two...

Submission + - Apple CEO Cook Gives Fortune to Foxconn Workers

theodp writes: The real reason behind Apple CEO Tim Cook's visit to a Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou, China can now be revealed. Cook handed out the entire $140 million in proceeds from his March Apple stock sales to appreciative $1.50-an-hour plant workers, part of a bigger plan to give away his entire Apple fortune to Foxconn workers. 'This is just the beginning,' Cook told workers. 'There is a lot more where this came from.' Cook said the handouts were 'something I've been meaning to do ever since I caught Mike Daisey's The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs in NYC,' adding, 'I mean, how could I otherwise live with myself?' Cook said other Apple insiders are likely to follow suit: 'I've already spoken to Laurene [Powell Jobs] about doing the same with her billions, and she agrees it'll be good to put these ridiculous financial gains behind us. After all, who really wants to be remembered as Capt. Thomas Davies 2.0?' Cook was tight-lipped on whether he has similar plans for Apple's $100 billion cash hoard.

Submission + - Where Is The Competition for Google Earth?

stoicio writes: Google Earth has been around now for +7 years. To quote Wikipedia: "Google Earth is a virtual globe, map and geographical information program that was originally called EarthViewer 3D, and was created by Keyhole, Inc, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) funded company acquired by Google in 2004". End Quote.
        My question is, "Where is the competition?". GML is a network specification for serving geographic data, by request, to client applications (aka. browsers). The spec is available for public use.
        If we look at the history of web browsers NCSA Mosaic arrived in 1992 and met competition quickly my Netscape. By 1997 Netscape had already been purchased by AOL and Internet Explorer and Firefox had attained market share.
      That's a span of 5 years.
        Here we are greater than 7 years after the dawn of Publicly available Google Earth and the industry is yet to see a major competitor arrive that is compatible with the spec. There is the Microsoft Virtual Earth, but once again this is a proprietary system meant to lock everyone into buying server product, and controlling the flow and use of information, just like Google Earth.
        There doesn't appear to be an openly available server side specification for generating content. There are OGC specifications for WMS, WFS, et al. but those are bloated XML schema specifications that are not particularly efficient when compared to the way HTML is used.
          If technological development is accelerating how is it that the geographic web browser market has remained almost static for 7 years?
          There are so many ways the Google Earth application could be improved upon. To begin with, there is no API in Google Earth that allows GML mark up to be made dynamic and interactive in the same way as a web page. Sure, there are some kludges to allow people to put a floaty globe in a web page using a browser plug-in, there is a basic spec for KML, but when it comes to interactivity and programmability, G.E. is either broken or closed.
            The lack of private initiative shown in this market segment seems a bit odd.
        The public development of GML has also been stagnant. There is no body akin to the W3C to guide development and expansion of the GML specifications use, other than for strictly mapping.
        Surprisingly, no web browser vendors have made platform independent extensions to the web browser to simply include GML, in either 2D or 3D, as part of the HTML(6-7?) specification. Once again, there are vendor specific plug-ins but nothing that generally takes the geographic paradigm and places it where APIs can be readily applied and extended.
        So how do we get a 'Firefox' and/or Opera for GML?

Slashdot Top Deals

You cannot have a science without measurement. -- R. W. Hamming