Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

91degrees It's not a kernel problem (297 comments)

Successful desktop operating systems have been based on various kernels. Apple used a pretty crummy one before switching to a BSD derived one. The Atari ST and Commodore Amiga each used their own, and they had certain success in their niches.

The problem is the GUI. People don't like X, and Linux people have no desire to give us anything else. Engineers and enthusiasts may well argue that it's better from various objective reasons but the end user doesn't care. They use it and they think it sucks. Perhaps the problem is that it still pretty much needs the shell. Perhaps it's large, slow and clunky. Perhaps it's the poor support for games.

Android doesn't have these problems because the developers didn't cripple themselves with X. TiVos and Tomtoms (before switching to Android) used Linux without X and people were quite happy with them.

Give us a nice, simple, standard GUI without a bazillion customisations, and with the ability to to just install an app from the GUI and run it from the GUI, and Linux might actually work on the desktop.

4 hours ago
top

WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

91degrees Re:Diplomatic pouch? (289 comments)

Not really related, but apparently an embassy isn't considered the representative state's soil. There are all sorts of treaty agreements that provide a lot of liitation on the hot country, but if I go to the Chinese Embassy in London, and shoot someone, I will be tried under English law.

Now, as for the car shaped container, there would probably be a diplomatic incident if they searched it and found that there was no Assange. On the flipside, if it turned out that Ecuador was smuggling out fugitives in the guise of diplomaic baggage, that too would cause an incident.

yesterday
top

T-Mobile To Throttle Customers Who Use Unlimited LTE Data For Torrents/P2P

91degrees Re:Question: (147 comments)

Does that use less bandwidth than piracy? Surely their concern is that it uses a lot of data. Not that it's not "legit"

about a week ago
top

Hack an Oscilloscope, Get a DMCA Take-Down Notice From Tektronix

91degrees Re:Perhaps they can ask Google to forget that page (273 comments)

I don't think so, because it's not obvious that this is a mechanism to prevent access, but if they put a lock there (no matter how weak) to prevent you from adding the fuse then it possibly would be. At least that's the analogy. If we're talking about a real car then obviously it wouldn't be.

about two weeks ago
top

Hack an Oscilloscope, Get a DMCA Take-Down Notice From Tektronix

91degrees Re:Perhaps they can ask Google to forget that page (273 comments)

Yes. You may be able to guess the password, but based on the "reasonable man" test, I think most people would assume that you weren't meant to guess it. I don't have a problem with this in principle. I do have a problem that it seems to allow companies to extend the reach of copyright.

My way of seeing it is that anyone who buys the oscilloscope has a legally acquired copy of the software. They just can't access it. Actually accessing legally acquired software should not be illegal. It's not like there's a business model that would be unsustainable without the protection. If they don't want people to use the software, then don't give them the software. If they pay extra then provide the software.

I agree with your desscription of it being "crippled". This is essentially a law criminalising repair. In the physical world, if I were to sell off faulty stock (which is legitimate as long as I was honest about the fact that it was faulty), I would not be able to use the law to prevent them from repairing it, even if the buyer was competing with my repair business.

about two weeks ago
top

Hack an Oscilloscope, Get a DMCA Take-Down Notice From Tektronix

91degrees Re:Perhaps they can ask Google to forget that page (273 comments)

Also, for it to be a DCMA, doesn't the requested takedown have to have something to do with DRM?

The DMCA doesn't mention DRM. It mentions somethign along the lines of mechanisms that prevent access to protected works (software can be a mechanism for the purposes of the act).

Personally I don't think this should qualify as infringement since it prevents use - which should not be a copyright violation - rather than duplication, but that's my opinion on what the law should be rather than what it would be when interpreted by the courts.

about two weeks ago
top

Sony Tosses the Sony Reader On the Scrap Heap

91degrees Why is Sony doing so badly (172 comments)

Look at that thing. It's smart, stylish, with a convenient touch screen interface and comes in a range of colours, and a recognised brand. It should do at least as well as the other ebook readers at the same price.

There's somethign really really wrong in Sony that the company is failing to address. Without their video games division I'd be surprised if the company remained afloat at all.

about two weeks ago
top

Unesco Probing Star Wars Filming In Ireland

91degrees Re:Not filming in America anymore? (181 comments)

Aside from special effects, they really didn't do much shooting in the US. The studio work was mostly in the UK, and planets were represented by Tunisia , Italy, Spain, and a few others.

about three weeks ago
top

Airbnb Partners With Cities For Disaster Preparedness

91degrees Re:Third Amendment Violations, dead ahead (55 comments)

Armies are quite capable of supporting themselves these days. They don't need to requisition houses, especially not those in the US, where they have huge military basis.

about three weeks ago
top

Airbnb Partners With Cities For Disaster Preparedness

91degrees Re:Third Amendment Violations, dead ahead (55 comments)

Well, this is not about quartering soldiers, nor is it without the consent of the owner.

about three weeks ago
top

Ridley Scott to Produce Philip K Dick's The Man In the High Castle

91degrees Re:Considering his history... (144 comments)

I don't think it's that controversial a view. There are some nice ideas in the book, but Dick was a bit of a hack, more keen on getting the book out than perfection, and it shows.

about three weeks ago
top

A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

91degrees Any idea how they caught the guy? (419 comments)

Was he using cards with his own name, or should he simply have called it quits the 41st time?

about three weeks ago
top

London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites

91degrees Re:Police sponsoring piracy now? (160 comments)

I get the impression that this is a voluntary agreement with the advertisers. They don't want to sponsor anything that might arnish their valuable brands. It's not all that clear though. Seems there are 5 parties here including the police (the advertisers, the website, the banner ad wholesaler and "sunblock") but I don't know exactly who's in the group making this agreement and who gets paid.

about three weeks ago
top

Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM

91degrees Is there an anti-virus type tool for this? (234 comments)

I have no way of knowing what DRM software is on my PC, with the exception of the three I explicitly agreed to (Kindle, audible, and Steam).

I strongly suspect that other apps may have added unwanted crap but how do I find out?

about three weeks ago
top

Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

91degrees Re:What?!? (928 comments)

If this is all there is to it, then the company screwed up big time. They could have ignored the tweet. They could have apologised and said they were going to look into it. Instead, somehow between receiving the tweet, and going through the various layers, someone decided that threatening to call the police was a good idea. While this may have been a decision made by the PR person, that seems unlikely.

Of course the other possibility is that there's something that wasn't mentioned that changes things a lot.

about a month ago
top

Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

91degrees Re:Maybe I'm unclear how twitter works (928 comments)

PR departments follow their company twitter feed. If your feed is mentioned (i.e. someone types @SWA) it triggers an email or a notification depending on your settings.

about a month ago
top

Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

91degrees Re:Is there an SWA Twitter police? (928 comments)

Companies do follow their twitter feed, for mentions of their company and direct tags. I once got retweeted by Schipol airport because I mentioned how awesome it was that they had a library. A friend tweeted that she was being intimidated at a store car park and the store responded directly.

about a month ago
top

UK Users Overwhelmingly Spurn Broadband Filters

91degrees Re:Seems fairly popular (115 comments)

The problem is the amount of power it gives censors

It doesn't. It's voluntary and privately run. The government has no control over it. Cleanfeed is a much bigger concern, but nobody actually seems to care about that.

Also social pressure gets applied so that anybody who does not wish to be told what they may or may not view by the government is considered "deviant"

This clearly isn't happening.

I still think there's a strong possibility that this was intended to satisfy the vocal minority who wanted some sort of ISP level filtering, under the pretence of being a means to satisfy the vocal minority that wanted some sort of ISP level filtering. Anything else increasingly seems like tin-foil hat stuff.

about a month ago
top

UK Users Overwhelmingly Spurn Broadband Filters

91degrees Seems fairly popular (115 comments)

4% of Virgin's customers is a pretty hefty number of people. We must be talking 10's or hundreds of thousands.

So those who want filters have filters. Those who don't want filters don't have filters.

I seriously don't see a problem here. Far too many slashdotters are so scared of any form of filtering that they object even to entirely voluntary filters, that are demonstrably nowhere near as hard to switch off as they originally claimed.

about a month ago

Submissions

91degrees hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

top

Of course it's a troll

91degrees 91degrees writes  |  more than 10 years ago Well, probably, but there's usually a germ of truth in what I say.

Either that or I'm not trolling, but felt like ranting. Or making a joke.

top

Why computers need driving licences

91degrees 91degrees writes  |  more than 12 years ago I was recently sent an email by a friend about stupid computer users. One of these people had broken his CD-ROM drive trying to use it as a cup holder. One of them had tried to use the mouse (The plastic device that you use to move the pointer around the screen) as a foot pedal.

My friend seemed to find this funny. I found it disturbing. We have people spending several thousand dollars on a piece of sophisticated equipment, that they have no idea how to use. It's not just this though. The shear volume of unmitigated dross on the Interent is screaming for us to regulate it, if only to make it possible to find something useful.

I think people should have to take a driving test for their computers.

This may seem like a strange suggestion, but this is simply because you aren't used to the idea. When the driving licence was first proposed for cars, people were horrified at the prospect. Now, if you even consider suggesting the abolision of the driving test, people with react with equal or greater horror.

A computer can after all be every bit as dangerous as a car. Used incorrectly, it can be used to attack commercial and government websites that are essential to the running of the free nations of the world. Even those who don't have any illegal intentions could unwillingly be allowing criminals to hack into their machines, and the evil hackers could use them as a springboard to get into other computers, making the owner of the computer an unwitting acomplace to a criminal act.

It is illegal to export powerful computers to over 100 countries. Yet these same countries do have low power computers. These can be used to hack into more powerful computers, that can be used to hack into the powerful computers that we have in the democratic world, and these can be used to hack into the extremely powerful servers that run our nation. People need to be taught to prevent this sort of attack from happening. We should not allow people to put these at risk simply because they don't know how to secure their computers.

We should expand this into restrictions of the types of computers that should be used on the internet. Now, many people here believe that Microsoft Windows should be the only operating system that people shuld use, but I feel that as long as they could ensure basic security was implemented, other operating systems should also be considered. Obviosuly we should make sure that these are rigourously tested, and at a cost to the manufdacturers. We insist on basic crash tests for cars after all. Once again, I'm sinmply suggesting that we apply the same rigourous standards to computers

This would have several benefits.

Old operating systyems such as the MS-DOS found on the early pre-Pentium machines can be decertified after they reach a certain age. This will keep the slower machines off the net, speeding up the internet for the rest of us.

After all, surely people should not be entitled to modify their computers in dangerous ways. Some people have REMOVED the Windows operating system that came with their PC, and replaced it with a free operating system in order to avoid having to pay for their software. I'm surpirised that this is still allowed. Nobody allows us to put spikes on the front of our cars, or replace the wheels with sawblades. Why should we be allowed to do the same to our computers?

Finally it will reduce the cost of our computers. Part of the cost is the cost of technical support. If they didn't have to train qualified people to answer so many questions, the cost of Windows would plummet.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>