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Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

Jim Hall Start with the applications (450 comments)

"Since I am the only guy with Linux experience I would have to support the Linux installations. Now the problem is what works perfectly fine for me may be a horrible experience for some of my coworkers, and even if they would only be using Firefox, Thunderbird and LibreOffice I don't know if I could seriously recommend using Linux as a desktop OS in a business. Instead I want to set up one test machine for users to try it and ask THEM if they like it. The test machine should be as easy and painless to use as possible and not look too different compared to Windows. Which distro and what configuration should I choose for this demo box?"

What you are describing is an impromptu usability test. And that's a good thing to do, especially if you are planning to recommend a particular desktop environment.

But what you need to start with is applications. Running Linux on the desktop is great (I do it at work and at home) but if you have users who need to run Photoshop, or a Windows IDE, or some particular finance application, it's going to be awfully hard to do that on Linux. But let's say your organization has all your applications in the Cloud or on an internally-hosted web application server, and these web applications run fine in Chrome or Firefox. That's a different story. But my guess is that you'll have at least a few programs that require running on the desktop.

My recommendation would be to find interested groups who'd like to try Linux on the desktop, and start there. Make it a pilot project. Take it slow, and meet with someone from that group daily to make sure you're addressing any pain points that come up. Things you'll want to watch out for are shared storage (like on a file server) and printing.

about a week ago
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Got Malware? The FBI Wants It

Jim Hall Re:Slashdot Beta = Windows Shitsta! (93 comments)

I've been part of Slashdot for a little longer than that. I for one can't wait for Slashdot Beta to go live this month! I'll save so much time in my day by not going to Slashdot anymore.

Beta is unusable. Once Beta goes live, I quit. I'm moving on.

about 2 months ago
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What Sci-Fi Movies Teach Us About Project Management Skills

Jim Hall leadership lessons from unusual places (186 comments)

I like to find leadership lessons from unusual places too. I occasionally write about them on my blog. This year, that included IT leadership lessons from Zombies, and leadership lessons from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic! Coaching Buttons blog :-)

about 4 months ago
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NYT: Healthcare.gov Project Chaos Due Partly To Unorthodox Database Choice

Jim Hall Re:NIH syndrome (334 comments)

Sad thing is, much of the behavior one sees out of federal contracts is due to taxpayer groups demanding anti-corruption measures. A great deal of the bureaucracy comes directly from people complaining about waste and demanding a complex audible process.

*auditable

I'm going to assume that was an autocorrect error on your post.

about 5 months ago
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How Blockbuster Could Have Owned Netflix

Jim Hall Re:Best Buy (385 comments)

Man, I hope they don't close Best Buy. That's where I try out stuff before I go buy it on Amazon.

Sure, Best Buy has been close on price for a few items, but I really don't like getting my bag searched on the way out. I'll try out the stuff that's there, but I won't spend my money there.

about 5 months ago
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Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

Jim Hall Re:Images (1191 comments)

2 things:

1. I have a 3G phone, but my service area only offers 2G. After loading your new site on slooooooooooooooooooow 2G, I'm not feeling very motivated to find a menu item to turn off images. I'll likely go to Google News - Technology section instead.

2. Your beta site clearly is detecting that I'm using a mobile phone, because it gives me a different top-banner than my desktop browser. But that icon that you pointed us to does not exist on mobile.

about 6 months ago
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Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

Jim Hall Re:Awful (1191 comments)

It's 2013. Supporting mobile devices at the same time as the high-resolution desktops should be a no-brainer. But the beta site looks pretty bad on mobile. On my phone, the new site design does quite a lot of scrolling to the right, mostly thanks to a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge ad at the top. Also, the site pops up a message box that disappears off the left side of my screen, rendering half the message unreadable.

jh

about 6 months ago
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Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

Jim Hall Re:Use 100% width please (1191 comments)

This layout does not auto-adjust to the width of the browser. It is responsive for smaller screens, but for large ones, it wastes space.

The beta site may scale down well for desktop browsers, but not for phones. On my phone, the new site design does quite a lot of scrolling to the right, mostly thanks to a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge ad at the top. Also, the site pops up a message box that disappears off the left side of my screen, rendering half the message unreadable.

It's 2013, we must support mobile devices at the same time as the high-resolution desktops.

about 6 months ago
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Fedora 19 Released

Jim Hall Re:Moving to Fedora 19 Xfce (202 comments)

Actually, Nautilus and the other GNOME applications listed do have a menu. At the top bar in the left corner next to the "Activities" is a little image of the currently focused application. If you right click on it, it brings up the normal menu that you're used to. It's not very intuitive at first...

That's an interesting UI decision. I would argue it fails the Obviousness criteria.

Here's an example: I use a laptop, with a 22" desktop flat-panel monitor as my second display. For me, it works well to run Chrome, GIMP, and other "large real estate" programs on the desktop monitor. (I run "small real estate" programs on the laptop display, such as Nautilus and Terminal.) GNOME presents the "Activities" action (hot-corner) on my laptop display.

So if my program is running on the 2nd display, there's no connection between the "menu" you describe and the program.

about 9 months ago
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Fedora 19 Released

Jim Hall Re:Moving to Fedora 19 Xfce (202 comments)

The reason for the inconsistencies you identify is very simple and I know for a fact it has been explained to you *multiple* times before, so I conclude that you are acting in bad faith by posting as if you had no idea about it

No, but I can only comment on the state of things today.

[...] for the sake of the rest of the audience, I'll explain it again: the GNOME applications are in the process of being revised to meet new design guidelines. This process is not complete yet; until it is, you'll see inconsistencies between apps which have been fully converted, apps which have not yet been fully converted, and apps which haven't been converted at all.

(emphasis mine)

And I look forward to trying GNOME again when things are more consistent between all the applications. Until then, I consider Xfce to have much better usability than GNOME.

about 9 months ago
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Fedora 19 Released

Jim Hall Moving to Fedora 19 Xfce (202 comments)

I've said it before, and I'll said it again: Fedora's GNOME has really lost me. I've been a longtime Fedora user, and I still like the distro, but I'm giving GNOME a pass in Fedora 19 and going back to Xfce.

Fedora 19 includes GNOME 3.8 as the graphical desktop, and I've previously noted that GNOME 3 has poor usability. The GNOME developers have continued this poor usability trend in GNOME 3, which fails to meet two of the four themes of successful usability: Consistency and Menus. Where are the menus? There is no "File" menu that allows me to do operations on files. There is no "Help" menu that I can use when I get stuck. The updated file manager (Nautilus) doesn't have a menu, but other programs in GNOME 3 do (Gedit has menus, and is part of GNOME). Also: when you maximize a Nautilus window, either to the full screen or to half of the screen, the title bar disappears. I don't understand why. The programs do not act consistently.

I will give a positive comment that the updated GNOME file manager now makes it easier to connect to a remote server. This used to be an obvious action under the "File" menu, but in GNOME 3 it is an action directly inside the navigation area. So that's a step in the right direction.

The updated GNOME desktop environment seems to avoid familiar "desktop" conventions, tending towards a "tablet-like" interface. This further removes the obviousness of the new desktop, and it's familiarity.

So it's not really that "Fedora has lost me," but the GNOME desktop. I consider Xfce to have much better usability than GNOME. While I haven't done a formal usability study of Xfce, my heuristic usability evaluation is that Xfce meets all four of the key themes: Familiarity, Consistency, Menus, and Obviousness. The menus are there, and everything is consistent. The default Xfce uses a theme that is familiar to most users, and actions are obvious. Sure, a few areas still need some polish (like the Applications menu, and some icons) but Xfce already seems better than GNOME.

Additionally, if you are technically capable, you can dramatically modify the appearance of Xfce to make it look and act according to your preferences. At home, I've modified my Xfce desktop to something similar to Google's Chromebook (see example and instructions). It works really well and I find it is even easier to use than the default Xfce desktop.

about 9 months ago
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Seeking Fifth Amendment Defenders

Jim Hall Re:FAIL! (768 comments)

The OP is an absurdly long and wordy essay/rant, and I didn't read all of it. Don't expect me to. (At 3,730 words after the "Read on," that's just into 5 pages if I load it into LibreOffice at 10pt Times New Roman.) But I can give Bennett one example where the 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination is a good idea:

Q: "Where were you when you witnessed the murder?"

In this case, let's say the witness happened to be hotwiring a Mercedes-Benz on a dark and empty street - and saw one person rush out from an alley, shoot the victim right in the head, and run off. The whole thing happened less than 10 feet from where he was sitting inside the car. A perfectly valid witness, he definitely saw the murder (and murderer) even though no one saw him. After witnessing the murder, he called 911 from a nearby pay phone, then drove off in the now-stolen MB.

Without the 5th Amendment, the witness would be compelled to admit to committing an unrelated crime, so would self-incriminate himself.

about 10 months ago
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How Did You Learn How To Program?

Jim Hall AppleSoft BASIC (623 comments)

In 1982, our dad bought a Franklin ACE 1000 computer (an Apple II clone) for us when we were in elementary school. My brother and I experimented with AppleSoft BASIC programming on that, and our parents also bought a book about BASIC. We mostly skipped the tutorials in the book, and jumped right to the reference section, figuring out things on our own by looking them up in the reference then trying them out on our own.

It didn't take very long to "get" programming. I think after a year of writing programs in AppleSoft BASIC, I was writing pretty advanced stuff. The SIN and COS functions were pretty hard to grasp until I had the math classes (years later) to understand them, but otherwise I "got" it right away. I remember writing several small programs, such as a number-guessing game ("too high" or "too low" until you got it right).

I figured it would be interesting to write computer programs that mimicked the computer displays from television and movies. So whenever I watched a movie or TV program that featured computers (and it was the 1980s, almost everything featured a computer) I tried to mock up a similar display on our computer at home. It didn't take long to realize that a special effects person was doing the same behind the scenes, rather than the movie or show using an actual program, but that didn't take the fun out of it.

In 1983, the movie War Games came out, and I decided I wanted to write the nuclear war simulator featured in the movie. It took me all summer, but I eventually wrote something that would draw maps of both the US and Russia, then let you select a few targets and launch missiles. The opposing side would return with a few missiles of their own. It even drew the missile tracks like in the movie. At the end, the program would tally the damage to determine the winner. (I think the "nuclear war is bad" message was lost on me at the time.) It was all in AppleSoft BASIC.

I used different versions of BASIC until college, when I learned my first compiled language. As a physics student, we needed to write our own data acquisition and analysis programs, so we learned FORTRAN77. It was pretty easy to pick up in class, since it wasn't worlds apart from BASIC. In the summer between my junior and senior year, I interned at a research lab. For half the summer, I took data. By the second half, they realized I was pretty good at FORTRAN, so they asked me to update a FORTRAN-IV program that analyzed ellipsometry data (precise optical measurements using a laser). I didn't expect this during my internship. I enjoyed it a lot, but learned to hate FORTRAN's computed GOTO.

After FORTRAN, my brother (a computer science student) introduced me to C, and I took to that right away. It was more powerful than FORTRAN, but still easy to write code. My brother taught me the basics of C, then I picked up the rest on my own through books, including Kernighan and Ritchie's book. And C really put me on the path to computing as a career.

about a year ago
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Fedora 19 Beta Released: Alive, Dead, or Neither?

Jim Hall Re:Fedora 19 and Xfce (171 comments)

In my experience, "Familiar" doesn't have to mean "Same." Using your example, iOS shares a lot of familiarity with MacOSX. The two environments aren't the same, but they aren't worlds apart either.

I think those two points are somewhat linked. You can lose a little bit of obviousness if it looks like something that already exists (Familiarity) ... or you can lose a bit of familiarity if the system is dead simple to use (Obviousness). Gmail is one example that successfully balanced the tradeoff between Familiarity and Obviousness.

In one of my usability tests, I observed typical Windows/Mac users with average knowledge quickly figure out how to use most of GNOME 3.4 (Fedora 17) because GNOME 3.4 seemed familiar enough to Windows/Mac, programs acted consistently within GNOME 3.4, they could find actions in menus, and (most) application functions were obvious and had obvious effects.

about a year ago
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Fedora 19 Beta Released: Alive, Dead, or Neither?

Jim Hall Fedora 19 and Xfce (171 comments)

I know it's bad form to reply to my own comment, but I figured it was better to make a separate comment about Xfce.

I consider Xfce to have much better usability than GNOME. After I installed Fedora 19alpha GNOME, I installed Fedora 19alpha Xfce, and it is much better!

From my open source software usability test last year, the four themes of successful usability were:

  1. Familiarity
  2. Consistency
  3. Menus
  4. Obviousness

While I haven't done a formal usability study of Xfce, my heuristic usability evaluation of Xfce is that it meets all four of these themes. The menus are there, everything is consistent. The default Xfce uses a theme that is familiar to most users, and actions are obvious. Sure, a few areas still need some polish (like the menus) but Xfce already seems better than GNOME.

Additionally, if you are technically capable, you can dramatically modify the appearance of Xfce to make it look and act according to your preferences. At home, I've modified my Xfce desktop to something similar to the Aura window manager used in Google's Chromebook. It works really well and I find it is even easier to use than the default Xfce desktop.

And of course, Xfce uses fewer system resources, so it runs very fast.

about a year ago
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Fedora 19 Beta Released: Alive, Dead, or Neither?

Jim Hall Fedora 19 and GNOME (171 comments)

I installed Fedora 19alpha on my laptop the other day, and I have to say that Fedora's GNOME desktop has really lost me. I don't expect things to change in Fedora 19beta. In my opinion, the last usable version of GNOME was version 3.4 in Fedora 17. And that's barely usable, but things get better if you use some of the plugins.

Fedora 19 will include GNOME 3.8 as the graphical desktop, and I've noted elsewhere that GNOME 3 has poor usability. (My graduate thesis is on the usability of open source software.) The developers at GNOME have continued their downward usability trend, so Fedora 19 isn't getting any better. GNOME 3 fails to meet two of the four themes of successful usability: "Consistency" and "Menus". Where are the menus? There is no "File" menu that allows me to do operations on files. There is no "Help" menu that I can use when I get stuck. The updated file manager (Nautilus) doesn't have a menu, but other programs in GNOME 3 do. The Gedit text editor (which is also part of GNOME) still has menus, but the file manager does not. When you maximize a Nautilus window, either to the full screen or to half of the screen, the title bar disappears. I don't understand why. The programs do not act consistently.

I will give a positive comment that the updated file manager now makes it easier to connect to a remote server. This used to be an obvious action under the "File" menu, but in GNOME 3 it is an action directly inside the navigation area. So that's a step in the right direction.

I've only discussed the file manager here, but I'm sad to say that this is just one example of poor usability throughout GNOME 3.8 in Fedora 19alpha. While some areas of the Fedora 19alpha desktop seem familiar, the environment contains many areas where I was left confused. Programs act differently; there's very little consistency. And the updated desktop environment seems to avoid familiar "desktop" conventions, tending towards a "tablet-like" interface. This further removes the obviousness of the new desktop, and it's familiarity.

The worst offender is the Fedora 19alpha installer itself. Maybe they fix this in Fedora 19beta, but I doubt it. Fedora used to have a very simple, easy-to-use installer. You answered a few simple questions using point-and-click or drop-down menus, then the installer did everything else for you. For example, let's say your computer was set up to "dual boot" both Fedora Linux and Microsoft Windows. Previous versions of the Fedora installer would give you the option to install over your previous Linux installation, or set up the install disk configuration yourself. The latter phrase may be more meaningful to someone with more technical knowledge, but the former is easily recognized by users of all skill levels to mean the same thing.

In the Fedora 19alpha installer, everything has changed. (Actually, I believe this changed in the Fedora 18 installer.) The installer now presents a yellow warning label that the disk doesn't have enough room. When I clicked into the disk setup tool, I was given the option to "reclaim" space, but I really didn't understand what that meant. There was no button or other option to "install over my previous Linux installation," despite the fact that this laptop only had Linux on it (an older Fedora 17 install). If I were a user with "typical" knowledge and "average" skill, I would likely be afraid to use this installer, lest it do the wrong thing.

The installer's progress bar is equally confusing. Usually, when a program displays a progress bar and a message to indicate the percent complete (such as, "Installing 50%") you might expect the progress bar to indicate the same "percent complete" as the text message. Not so during the Fedora 19alpha installation. The installer (Anaconda) displayed a message that it was installing system software, and it was "50%" complete, yet the progress bar displayed something like two-thirds complete. I quickly decided not to trust the progress bar. And it's a bad sign when your users decide not to trust your software.

about a year ago
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My primary, active (vs. backup) local disk space is ...

Jim Hall I don't store much (163 comments)

I don't store much stuff locally. Sure, I have a few things I need on my hard drive, including source files for my open source software projects. But my (few) documents and email are in Google. (Yes, I know ... but it's so easy.) On a 25GB /home partition, I'm using 6.7GB (29%). That would be less than 20% if you don't count the Fedora XFCE liveCD install image in my Downloads folder.

1 year,7 days
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Ask Slashdot: Protecting Home Computers From Guests?

Jim Hall Buy a Chromebook (572 comments)

We've thought about buying an iPad for guests to use, but decided it wasn't right to knowingly let others use a computing platform that may have been compromised.

If you're willing to buy a $499 iPad just for guests to use, then you'd probably be willing to buy a $249 Chromebook instead. It's a great second laptop, and perfect for guests to use. There's even a "Guest" account they can use, and it clears the data when they are done using it. And it's secure - which you want if your guests have "high risk computing habits."

1 year,12 days
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Activision, Raven Release 2 Star Wars Games Under GPL

Jim Hall Please add to summary (105 comments)

Hi. Can you add that note to the article summary? That should head off a lot of comments.

1 year,12 days
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Are Lenovo's ThinkPads Getting Worse?

Jim Hall Re:X1 Carbon (271 comments)

I really like my X1 Carbon (it runs Linux just fine!) - and from the photos, the new T431 looks to be of a similar design. Basically the same keyboard, similar form factor, same hinge. The T431 trackpad is different of course, but the lack of buttons isn't a problem. I also have a Samsung Chromebook (the ARM one) and the Chromebook has a trackpad with no buttons. And I don't miss them. Neither does my wife. You can click the trackpad to select something, and use another finger to complete the selection. Think of starting the click with your thumb, and using your forefinger to make the selection. It makes a lot of sense.

So to answer the question: No, I don't think Lenovo is going downhill. If anything, I'd say starting with the X1 Carbon, Lenovo moved from making "sturdy and functional" laptops to "sturdy and functional and sexy" laptops. Even my Mac-fan friends really like my X1 Carbon.

I think ReadWriteWeb is just trolling a negative review in an attempt to garner page-views and comments from readers. The author admits he hasn't even tried the new laptop ("Fair warning: I haven't laid hands on the new ThinkPad") so this is a pretty meaningless article. Ignore.

1 year,28 days

Submissions

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Target's data breach started with an HVAC account

Jim Hall Jim Hall writes  |  about 2 months ago

Jim Hall (2985) writes "Security blogger Krebs reports that Target's data breach started with a stolen HVAC account. Last week, Target said the initial intrusion into its systems was traced back to network credentials that were stolen from a third party vendor. Sources now claim that the vendor in question was a refrigeration, heating and air conditioning subcontractor that has worked at a number of locations at Target and other top retailers. Attackers stole network credentials from Fazio Mechanical Services, then used that to gain access to Target's network. It’s not immediately clear why Target would have given an HVAC company external network access, or why that access would not be cordoned off from Target’s payment system network."
Link to Original Source
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What open source programs have good usability?

Jim Hall Jim Hall writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Jim Hall writes "I'd like Slashdot's help in a study I'm working on, about software usability — specifically, the usability of open source software. My history in writing and contributing to Free and open source software goes back to 1993 (including FreeDOS, etc) so I know most open source developers put functionality and features first, and the user interface is "form follows function." That means a lot of open source programs can be difficult for "average" folks to use — and sometimes, even for other developers to use. My study will include a usability test, and the output will be an analysis of open source software, identifying features that make for successful usability so other open source programmers can use that for their own programs. You can find more information at my blog. My question for Slashdot is this: What open source programs have good usability? What open source programs would you recommend for this study?"
Link to Original Source
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Software patent reform happening now

Jim Hall Jim Hall writes  |  about 2 years ago

Jim Hall writes "Many of us in IT recognize that software patents are a bad idea — you can patent just about anything if you put "on a computer" at the end of it. But now we can finally do something about it. Congress is considering the America Invents Act — your Representatives are very interested in hearing from you. Also, the USPTO is inviting public comments to change the system (you need to file by June 29, 2011.) I've written a blog post about software patents with more, starting with a primer of copyright and patents."
Link to Original Source
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Insomniac Games and EA Partners

Jim Hall Jim Hall writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Jim Hall (2985) writes "Insomniac Games has long been an exclusive PlayStation developer: Disruptor on PS1, Spyro the Dragon on PS1, Ratchet & Clank on PS2 and PS3, Resistance on PS3. That's changed. This week, Ted Price announced a partnership with EA Partners to work on a new game together, supporting both the PlayStation 3 and XBox 360. No details yet on what the new game series is supposed to be."
Link to Original Source
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Asteroid to make close pass to Earth

Jim Hall Jim Hall writes  |  about 4 years ago

Jim Hall (2985) writes "A freshly discovered asteroid, called 2010 GA6 and as long as a tennis court, will pass Earth at about the distance of the moon Thursday, according to NASA. GA6 was first observed Monday by the Catalina Sky Survey, a telescope project in Arizona that seeks out near-Earth asteroids and comets. It will make its closest approach to Earth, at a distance about 430,000 kilometers, at 10:06 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time."
Link to Original Source
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Snipers protect penguins in Australia

Jim Hall Jim Hall writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Jim Hall writes "A colony of Fairy Penguins (40cm tall, the world's smallest penguin species) near Sydney harbour has recently been attacked by an unknown predator. Professional snipers have been brought in with orders to "do what it takes" to guard the vulnerable colony. They join a legion of volunteers, who have also been guarding the birds during the hours of darkness when they are most at risk."
Link to Original Source
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FreeDOS turns 15 years old today

Jim Hall Jim Hall writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Jim Hall writes "The FreeDOS Project turns 15 years old today! PD-DOS (later, "FreeDOS") was announced to the world on June 28 1994 as a free replacement for MS-DOS, which Microsoft had announced would go away the following year, with the next release of Windows. There's more history available at the FreeDOS "About" page and my blog. Today, FreeDOS is used by people all around the world. You can find FreeDOS in many different places: emulators, playing old DOS games, business, ... even bundled with laptops and netbooks. FreeDOS is still under active development, and recently released a new version of its kernel. A "FreeDOS 1.1" distribution is planned."
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Court rules Artistic Licence enforceable

Jim Hall Jim Hall writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Jim Hall (2985) writes "According to an article on the BBC, a US federal appeals court overturned a lower court decision involving free software, saying conditions of the Artistic Licence were enforceable under copyright law. This distinction is important since under federal copyright law a plaintiff can seek statutory damages and can be more easily granted an injunction. "Copyright holders who engage in open source licensing have the right to control the modification and distribution of copyrighted materials," Judge Jeffrey White wrote in his 15-page decision. Said Stanford Law Professor Larry Lessig,"This is a very important victory ... In non-technical terms, the Court has held that free licences set conditions on the use of copyrighted work. When you violate the condition, the licence disappears, meaning you're simply a copyright infringer.""
Link to Original Source
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"Faked Nuke" TV hackers could get 3 years

Jim Hall Jim Hall writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Jim Hall (2985) writes "According to the BBC, a group of Czech artists who inserted a nuclear explosion into a national weather broadcast have been told by a prosecutor they could get 3 years. They are accused of tampering with a live panoramic TV shot of mountains last June. The video is still available on YouTube and is very convincing. "The fake broadcast was really very inadvisable and could have provoked panic among a wide group of people," said Martin Krafl, spokesman for the TV channel."
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Jim Hall Jim Hall writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Jim Hall (2985) writes "In the future, there will be robots! The US military is developing a robot with a teddy bear head to help carry injured soldiers out of combat. The "friendly appearance" of the robot is designed to put the wounded at ease. The 6ft tall Bear can cross bumpy ground without toppling thanks to a combination of gyroscopes and computer controlled motors to maintain balance. It is expected to be ready for testing within five years. Pretty cool."
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Jim Hall Jim Hall writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Jim Hall (2985) writes "The BBC writes that hundreds of episodes of BBC programmes will be made available on a file-sharing network (Azureus) for the first time. The agreement means that users of Azureus' Zudeo software in the US can download titles such as Dr Who, and Red Dwarf. Until now, most BBC programmes found on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks have been illegal copies. Maybe I can finally now watch 'Torchwood' that I've been hearing so much about."
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Jim Hall Jim Hall writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Jim Hall writes "According to an article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Minnesota will switch to electronic voting for the '06 election. This fall, voters in 83 of Minnesota's 87 counties will use electronic machines made by Election Systems & Software of Omaha. Four counties — Ramsey, Anoka, Dakota and Washington — will use machines made by Ohio-based Diebold Inc. We used to use paper "bubble sheet"-style voting that had a nice paper trail. The new system may also provide a paper trail, requiring "safeguards that include the retention of original paper ballots and a mandatory hand recount in random precincts." But critics point out that election officials "don't really understand how the machines work and couldn't possibly catch a sophisticated attempt to hack the election results.""

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