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Ubuntu's Mark Shuttleworth Wins Austria's Big Brother Award

Enderandrew Re:Freedom isn't free (116 comments)

I recall a few years back that they had a LTS release with a beta version of Firefox that was broken, broken Pulse Audio, and even worse, a bad binary blob in the Intel gigabit NIC drivers that would permanently brick your NIC if you loaded the driver.

LTS releases are supported longer, but that doesn't make them more stable on day one. Nor does it change the fact that the packages get the same polish the other fairly bleeding edge Ubuntu releases get.

Red Hat and Debian Stable seem to be overly cautious with sticking with old packages forever for "stability", even if known bugs exist in old packages. Ubuntu is very bleeding edge sometimes at the cost of stability.

I think there needs to be a fairly sane middle ground where each package gets reasonable polish, but you also get newer packages out somewhat quickly. But that takes a lot of package maintainers.

about a year ago

Ubuntu's Mark Shuttleworth Wins Austria's Big Brother Award

Enderandrew Re:Freedom isn't free (116 comments)

I haven't checked it out recently, but Ubuntu doesn't necessarily have a reputation for solid bug-free packages that never crash. Ubuntu doesn't have as many engineers, developers or package maintainers as Novell or Red Hat.

Ubuntu's KDE packages were so famously awful that it soured a lot of people who assumed KDE must be buggy and unstable on its own (when openSUSE and Fedora KDE packages are rock solid).

about a year ago

Ubuntu's Mark Shuttleworth Wins Austria's Big Brother Award

Enderandrew Re:Freedom isn't free (116 comments)

FWIW, I don't think Unity has done much to improve the desktop experience, though that is somewhat a matter of taste.

Canonical marketed Linux to the extent that Ubuntu was tracking higher as a keyword in searches than Linux.

I'd like to thank the KDE devs however for making Linux usable on the desktop.

about a year ago

British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care

Enderandrew Re:Rose-tinted view indeed (634 comments)

> Ah, the chutzpa of the American winger. Call bullshit, then spout off a bunch of nonsense that's nothing but bullshit.

Ad hominem attacks. I'm not a right winger. I'm a Libertarian.

> Bullshit. If that were the case, you'd be rattling off how this single payer country doesn't cover cancer treatments, and that one doesn't cover organ transplants. You don't because you can't.

You'll note that in Canada and Mexico people are opting for private insurance precisely because the government run single-payer system is frequently not covering these costs.

> Bullshit. They only have to get you healthy long enough to get out the door. And their bill collectors will hound you as long as they are legally allowed to and quite possibly past that as well.

They save your life and then you go bankrupt, precisely as I said. You're the one who is lying. And they don't harass you forever. Once you declare bankruptcy, the bill is absolved. And we have legislation precisely for this. Part of the cost of health care in this country is the hospitals getting tax writeoffs for these unpaid bills, which is why hospitals list bullshit, artificial costs for their services. Ibuprofen doesn't cost $200, but it is listed that way on a hospital bill to pad their tax write offs.

> Which Democrats are those? Certainly not the ones in the White House or in Congress, since they are the right wingers who first killed the possibility of single payer, then traded away the public option to the hospital lobby, and finally passed the Heritage Foundation plan/Romneycare.

You mean like the President, who repeatedly said he wants a single-payer system. What he describes exists in Canada and Mexico, where only the rich get the best care.

about a year ago

British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care

Enderandrew Re:Rose-tinted view indeed (634 comments)

Military spending is 650 billion dollars, not 1.5 trillion dollars. It helps if you don't lie.

Current Medicare/Medicaid spending is 752 billion dollars.

Someone honesty tried telling me this week it would only cost 2 billion to give free healthcare to every American that covered everything, and that it was a tiny drop compared to military spending. I put in capitals because I think most people honestly don't realize that private health care is over 2 trillion. Add that to our existing 752 billion dollars and you end up with 3 trillion annually for health care. Adding an additional 2 trillion in debt every year would literally destroy the fucking country.

about a year ago

British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care

Enderandrew Re:Rose-tinted view indeed (634 comments)

I read it first hand while visiting relatives in Edmonton. The government was laying off doctors and nurses 4 years ago despite a surplus in the province from oil.

about a year ago

British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care

Enderandrew Re:Rose-tinted view indeed (634 comments)

That is nothing short of a lie. As it stands today, federal law requires life saving care for everyone whether they can pay for it or not. And people say the system is "let poor people die on the street".

Yet they're asking to emulate countries where that does happen, such as Mexico. It has single-payer universal health care and it is absolutely terrible, and they routinely turn people away for no good reason. The only decent health care in the country is for private rich hospitals that the poor have zero access to in Mexico.

Do you really want that system?

about a year ago

British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care

Enderandrew Re:Rose-tinted view indeed (634 comments)

That's bull shit. What they want is a system like Canada and Mexico where it is a single player system. And free government health care ends up not covering many expensive treatments, so only the rich get care.

In the United States, federal law requires hospitals to provide everyone life saving care whether or not you can afford it.

So what Democrats are pushing for would lead to only the rich getting care. Our current system is fucked up and can use reform, but worst case scenario is a bankruptcy, but your life is saved. I'll take that over dying.

about a year ago

British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care

Enderandrew Re:Rose-tinted view indeed (634 comments)

Like England, which can't afford it?

Like France which is arguing can't afford to cover immigrants?

Like Canada where the government is laying off doctors and nurses and people are starting to get private insurance because the government isn't covering everything?

Like Mexico where single-payer health care is truly awful and the only real health care is for the rich?

Like Greece where the country is bankrupt?

Like Iceland where the country is bankrupt?

The health care you receive in these countries is not the same as what Americans expect today. Americans wouldn't put up with lottery systems or lengthy waiting lists for life saving surgery. Heck, in the United States we have prescription drugs for getting thicker eyelashes.

There is a reason why people travel from all over the world come here for the best care. And we're already spending $732 billion a year on government programs for free health care (not counting the $75 billion a year we're adding in unfunded additional costs from the ACA).

Private health care in the United States is over 2 TRILLION DOLLARS annually. When people suggest the US can simply must make all health care free because someone else does, it is ill informed, ridiculous and irresponsible. The additional 2 TRILLION DOLLARS doesn't just magically appear out of thin blue air because you wish it to.

about a year ago

Myst Creators Announce Obduction

Enderandrew Re:For PC? (103 comments)

Licensing the Unreal engine means Linux ports are less likely, and the game is much more expensive.

For what they're trying to do, why not go Unity like so many other Kickstarter games?

about a year ago

NVIDIA Demos "Digital Ira" With Faceworks On Next-Gen SoC, Under Ubuntu

Enderandrew Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (45 comments)

I think it has more to do with the fact that ATI/AMD locked up the console market for the next gen with Wii U, XBox One and PS4 contracts. Nvidia had to find a new market to shift to, which meant Android devices and Steam boxes. Both meant improving Linux Nvidia drivers.

about a year ago

Kickstarter For Open Source GPU

Enderandrew Re:Dubious Market? (108 comments)

Why would embedded manufacturers prefer buying a GPU from someone who isn't established over the usual players? I don't think they care about having a 100% open source GPU driver.

I applaud this in principle, I just don't think there is a massive audience for this project, especially with Nvidia's recent mea culpa to the Linux community and their new promise to help deliver solid open source drivers for their cards. Given that Nvidia wants to be the heart of every Steam box (as well as every Android gaming device) there may be some truth to Nvidia loving Linux now.

about a year ago

Microsoft Shows Off Its Vision For Gesture-Controlled PCs

Enderandrew Worse than touch on desktops (139 comments)

Do you know why touch is ultimately bad for desktops? Because it isn't very precise. And now they want to add a system that is even less precise.

This looks cool, but once the wow factor wears off, will anyone want to use this interface for any length of time?

about a year ago

Valve Announces Linux-Based SteamOS

Enderandrew Re:Licensing perhaps? (510 comments)

Eve Online shipped a Wine wrapper for their Mac and Linux "ports" back in the day. They just shipped a compiled Wine (with the LGPL license and source) and a script that called Wine calling Eve Online's client.

about a year ago

Nvidia Unveils Its Own 7" Tegra Note Tablet

Enderandrew Re:Yes, but... (56 comments)

Given that it is an Android tablet, yes.

about a year ago

Google Joins Open edX

Enderandrew Re:*sigh* (29 comments)

They've documented 2.
3 is right fucking here -
4 is documented in their court battle
5 was documented
6 was documented
7 was documented,0,3652913.story

All are verifiable and you're full of shit.

1 year,3 days

Google Joins Open edX

Enderandrew Re:*sigh* (29 comments)

More backdoors implied they already created backdoors in the first place. Currently there is no evidence they created any in the first place.

This is what we do know:

1. Google is required by law to hand over data when they get a request, such as through a NSL.
2. Google said their process for handling this request is to FTP data over to the government. The government never gets direct access to any of their systems.
3. Google publishes a transparency report on what government requests they receive.
4. Google is fighting the US government on the NSL process and suing to make that more transparent.
5. When Bush asked for all search data on all users, Google was the only search engine to refuse.
6. Google went so far as to discuss creating off-shore datacenters to place user data outside the reach of the government.
7. They're encrypting data sent from one Google data center to another to make sure the government can't attempt to intercept it in the middle. And they anonymize user data sooner.

This is the only company we've seen actively fight to protect your data from the government. So why are people creating fiction that Google is the one that is evil here, and not the US government?

1 year,3 days

Google Patents "Scroogling"

Enderandrew Re:I miss Scroogle :( (135 comments)

You may not realize this, but Microsoft does the same still, but to a lesser extent because their contextual ad scanning failed. So now they just do contextual ads based on subject.

1 year,17 days

New, Canon-Faithful Star Trek Series Is In Pre-Production

Enderandrew Re: How? (401 comments)

Critics don't give high scores to films for explosions. Again, you'll note that critics gave higher ratings to Abram's Star Trek than Wrath of Khan.

1 year,22 days



Humble Indie Bundle 2 Launches

Enderandrew Enderandrew writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Enderandrew writes "The Humble Indie Bundle returns. Name your price for a bundle of 5 games that are DRM free and run on Windows, Mac and Linux. You decide how to split up funds as well (to the game devs, the EFF and Child's Play Charity). Two of the most common trends on Slashdot is people complaining they can't get games without DRM, or that they can't get Linux/Mac-native games. Isn't it time for Slashdot posters to put their money where their mouth is and support some good causes? How many people will pirate the bundle despite the fact that you can purchase it for as little as a penny?"
Link to Original Source

Creating a Security Test Evironment

Enderandrew Enderandrew writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Enderandrew writes "Our IT department has been tasked with creating a list of authorized software, and only allowing software to be added to such a list after it has been thoroughly tested. On principle that sounds like a great idea. I wonder why he haven't done that already. The practical side of me then immediately wonders how we should test apps to make sure they are secure. We have tools to scan internal websites, and we use MBSA for our Windows servers. However, I'm turning to Slashdot wondering what are the best methods for creating a test environment where I can analyze apps for security vulnerabilities. We're a multi-platform shop, but my main concern lies with Windows apps."

Does GPLv3 violate GPLv2?

Enderandrew Enderandrew writes  |  about 7 years ago

Enderandrew writes "I'm not a lawyer, but the following question just crossed my mind. The GPL does clearly state that there may be future versions of the license, however clause number 6 jumps out at me. "You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein." Given that the GPLv3 imposes new restrictions, does this violate the above clause?"



Taking the Free Desktop to the next level

Enderandrew Enderandrew writes  |  more than 7 years ago

As many of you are aware, the project aims at bringing together some common aspects of the free desktop. However, when developing applications, one is still forced to focus either on GTK or QT and in doing so direct their product at one audience predominantly. QT apps can run in Gnome (or Xfce) and GTK apps in KDE, however they don't look fully integrated. Furthermore, because of the fundamental coding differences between GTK and QT, we often have redundant efforts into relatively mirror software programs, one aimed at each major desktop.

I'm certainly not the first to suggest this, but isn't now specifically a good time to consider more fully merging the two technologies? With the major refactoring of KDE 4 and QT 4, there are some major new core technologies that any developer should be excited about. KDE is also embracing Tango, DBus, and many of the concepts.

Furthermore, one of the major arguments for keeping GTK and QT separate technologies has been C vs C++, however both now have diverse language bindings. Developers should be able to develop in any language they choose, and not have the language be mandated by the toolkit. Honestly, the only good reason to keep them separate is in design. People who prefer GTK styles or widgets opt to develop with GTK, and vice versa. Couldn't there be a universal library that is capable of operating in appearance and usability like both GTK and QT when it comes to widgets and visuals? In fact merging the two might extend both and not only enable developers to reach a broader audience easier, but unlock more power and potential for everyone.

Choice is important, and one should never lose the ability to run their desktop how they see fit. Neither Gnome nor KDE should lose all their efforts into developing their vision of the desktop, however further merging core technologies and libraries means opening up these powerful tools to developers for all free desktops.

Imagine any application being able to tap into the potential merged technologies of:

  • Cairo - A sophisticated 2D vector graphics library.
  • Pango - A library for laying out and rendering of text, with an emphasis on internationalization.
  • D-Bus - Interprocess communication system.
  • GStreamer - A multimedia framework.
  • HAL - A specification and an implementation of a hardware abstraction layer.
  • Poppler - A PDF rendering library.
  • Tango Desktop Project - Which aims to provide a common visual standard across different platforms.
  • Solid - Making a universal hardware layer is CRUCIAL. Given that both projects utilize Hal and DBus, taking it one step further isn't a huge stretch. Further developing Solid could tie into working with kernel developers to examine how to best handle hardware from the kernel into userspace, and reexaming exactly what portions belong in each space.
  • Phonon - I hate to sound like a dissenter, but audio on the FreeDesktop leaves much to be desired. Phonon aims to fix this.
  • Sonnet - An advanced dictionary that I believe will be the successor to ASpell
  • Decibel - Project providing a service architecture to make chat and phone communication universally available to desktop applications
  • Plasma - Plasma would have to be extended to support and operate like Gnome's deskbar and desktop, but it is a powerful tool to create widgets and plasmoids that would offer great flexibility to all parties.
  • Strigi - I know there are many search technologies, and I'm assuming the best aspects of each could hopefully be factored into Strigi
  • Semantic Desktop - I am familiar with NEOMUK, and perhaps there are other projects that could be brought to this table.
  • Gnome VFS - The Gnome virtual file system.
  • Gnome Keyring - For storing encryption keys and security information.
  • Bonobo/KParts - Again, merge the best features of these two technologies to create a powerful universal component model
  • LibXML - The XML library.
  • ORBit - The CORBA ORB for software componentry.
  • A merged composite technology for nifty eye-candy. Compiz and Beryl merged though many thought it wasn't possible. Now Kwin is being rewritten with many of the same features that Compiz would provide, but is duplicating efforts. No doubt Gnome, KDE, Xfce and all the rest will want to retain separate WM's, but a core unified underlying base for composite extensions should be established.
  • Translation - Obviously different desktop projects each have different apps, and a bunch of different text, but many of the core terms and documents could be brought together to simply translation on the free desktop.

I know KDE is developing an icon-caching system given that KDE 4 is going to heavily utilize SVG to better scale everything on the desktop. I'm not sure if Gnome has a similar system.

Integrating core technologies involves on getting people who currently see things differently to come together. Some may dismiss this as an impossible goal, however that isn't the case. Ideally these technologies should be flexible enough to achieve the results that everyone is looking for while providing a unified base to avoid duplication of efforts.

Lastly, what I'm proposing is no small task. I fully understand that it involves a great deal of work, and in doing so, it would temporarily pause/strain development of projects like Gnome and KDE from moving forward in their current separate ways. However, the initial work may be daunting but imagine how much time and effort would be saved in the long run when we drastically cut down on duplicating efforts.

In many ways this is a win-win, and really such an obviously beneficial move, it should at the very least be revisited and given considerable thought. The sooner such a merge of core technologies takes place, the more time you save in the long run, and the easier such a merge takes place. As duplication in code continues, the more time consuming it will be to examine all the duplicate code and agree on how to merge the two.

At the very least, I hope existing efforts can continue and the project should choose one or two new areas to focus on in bringing everyone together, like Strigi/Beagle or Solid. So please, before dismissing this out of hand, at the very least look over the above list and consider if any of those technologies could be or should be merged into a FreeDesktop standard library for everyone to use.


People-Ready Business

Enderandrew Enderandrew writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Recently Microsoft unveiled their new slogan, "People-ready business". They have asked bloggers to write about what exactly this means to them. As someone who has grown up on Microsoft technologies, not only in the home, but in the workplace as well, I feel that I am very qualified to write about what this means to me.

Not everyone is a computer genius, and ever for those with strong technical skills, information technology is ever changing. It is near impossible to keep up, and thusly it is vital to design technologies that are intuitive to the end user. Time shouldn't be wasted on fighting with the technology. The tools should be designed in a way so that users can easily take advantage of them. They should also feature-rich and powerful so that advanced users can maximize productivity. Microsoft's crown jewel in this regard is likely their Office Suite. Not many people may recall, but at one time Microsoft was the underdog in Word Processing and Office software. It had to wrestle control of the market away from such giants as WordPerfect and dBase IV. Microsoft Office has become the de facto standard for how most people work and communicate.

However, being "People-ready" means the tool isn't as important as the people who use them. Our documents and databases, our emails and calendars, it is the data that we create that is so vital to us. In that regard, there has been growing concern over Microsoft's proprietary document standards. When creating a document in one version of Office, can you be assured that a user with another version of Office can open it? How sure are you that you'll be able to open your data 5 years from now, or 10? How useful is the tool, if we end losing access to everything we create with it? Shouldn't our content belong to us? Being "People-ready" means empowering the people to fully control their documents. In that regard, I recommend everyone to look into alternatives like OpenOffice and KOffice, which both utilize the Open Document Format.

Being "People-ready" also means being flexible and far-reaching. When working and communicating with others in a global environment, having open standards allows for people around the globe to connect together, even across different platforms and technologies. Again, technology should be a tool that allows us to collaborate, not intrinsically divides us. End-users don't care about hardware levels, or version-numbers. They just want to be able to connect with other people. If Microsoft were truly dedicated to being "People-ready" their products would focus more on open-standards. Their web-browser would be standards-compliant, so that people can more easily develop web-sites and know that everyone will be able to see and use them the same way. Microsoft would utilize open-standards for applications like Outlook, so they could handle contacts and appointments with anyone regardless of platform. They would open up their instant messaging network, and instead build on an open platform like Jabber so that we can simply to one address for messaging, and bring everyone together under one service and one protocol for the entire world rather than a collection of diverse networks again that divide us.

A while back Microsoft ran a campaign about believing in the people who use their products. The campaign suggested that Microsoft wanted to encourage us to innovate and be successful, when in truth, no major company has done more to stifle the growth and development of other companies. Honest competition is fine in a capitalistic society, but repeatedly Microsoft has been accused, and often been found guilty of anti-trust practices. They have bought out companies, strong-armed vendors into locking out the competition, breaking the law, and operating with hostile intent to destroy other businesses. "People-ready business" is not threating to "fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill Google".

In fact, the Halloween Documents, which are leaked internal Microsoft documents, detail exactly how they embrace, extend and extinguish the standards and ideas of other people. They go out of their way to destroy the means of bring people together. They also put workers and companies out of business. Not exactly "People-ready".

A quick Google search will bring up countless examples of how Microsoft is evil, and why. Recently, Microsoft confirmed again that they are not only evil, but they are they very opposite of "People-ready business". Open Source Software is in many ways the epitome of "People-read business". Community developed by the people, for the people. I understand businesses serve to make a profit. No one will fault a company for doing that so long as the abide by laws. And I'm not demanding they release products for free. There is a huge difference between Gratis and Libre that many people do not understand. Open Source Software allows people freedom to choose, to cater products to their needs, to utilize open-standards and bring people together. Once again, Microsoft is working very hard to destroy that.

Even better, most successful businesses give something back. Microsoft has massive wealth, and now Bill Gates has founded the Gates Foundation. Warren Buffet handed over the bulk of his personal wealth to this foundation, which has been receiving insane donations. What is Microsoft doing with all that wealth in the name of charity? Primarily sitting on it and making interest, but they have been making investments in companies notorious for polution, waste and human rights violations. When asked about it, the Gates Foundation replied they can't be bothered to investigate the companies they are investing their billions in. If that isn't the most socially irresponsible response, I don't know what is.

"Other companies in the Foundation's portfolio have been accused of transgressions including forcing thousands of people to lose their homes; supporting child labor; and defrauding and neglecting patients in need of medical care. Overall, the LA Times says nearly $9 billion in Gates Foundation money is tied up in companies whose practices run counter to the foundation's charitable goals and social mission. And that number may be understated - the Gates Foundation has not provided details on more than four billion dollars in investments it says are loans."

Bill Gates was Time's Man of the Year. So was Hitler. It has been suggested now that The Gates Foundation is also using their "charitable donations" as a negotiating tactic. You want polio vaccines? Well, your country better change your IP laws to better suit Microsoft's political goals. How "People-ready" is that? Microsoft is paying bloggers to spam people with BS propaganda about why they are a ""People-ready business". Please post this on forums. Post this on your blog. Post it everywhere. They are hoping to boost their Google PageRank by paying bloggers to spit out ads for them in the guise of sincere opinions. However, if people spread the message of what Microsoft really is, this will all backfire in their face.

Thank you for your time.

-- T. J. Brumfield

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