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Dropbox's New Policy of Scanning Files For DMCA Issues

Pausanias Re:Later Dropbox! (243 comments)

Yes! Hand over your files to a convicted criminal! That will be better.

Is the sync client open source, so that I can check it's not snooping?

about three weeks ago

Canonical Ports Chromium To The Mir Display Server

Pausanias Re:Shuttleworth is a lunatic. (63 comments)

If "fixing toolkits" is all that is needed, why hasn't anybody done it? How about yourself?

As far as I can tell, everyone who has tried to speed up X over the network has taken a different route. Maybe once you actually look at the toolkit code, it's not that easy---otherwise it would have been done ages ago.

[quote]But yes, you need a fast network with todays bloated desktops.
"Bloated desktop"? Hardly. Try putting up a 10-year old tcl/tk based GUI which allows you to manipulate 2D graphics by live-changing brightness/contrast. Try doing this over a 12Mbps down connection. This is my use case. And it is ridiculously slow---unusable.

about a month and a half ago

Canonical Ports Chromium To The Mir Display Server

Pausanias Re:Shuttleworth is a lunatic. (63 comments)

Change is not bad. X11 needs change. Perhaps they should have worked with X11, but from what I hear the X11 authors themselves didn't want to keep it.

X11 is broken in one serious way. X11 window forwarding over network is slow. Pathetically slow. Maybe some people who only ever forward terminals from X11 and whose entire computer use case involves manipulating ASCII characters might be fine with this, but those of us who work with graphics of any kinds that third-party hacks are required to make X work over a network. Witness the abomination that is NoMachine NX, where they had to basically rewrite X11 so that it would work fast over a slow network connection.

X11 may have many plusses, but this inability to do fast networking is just stupid and needs to change---whether via updating X11, Wayland, Mir, or what have you.

about a month and a half ago

Canonical Ports Chromium To The Mir Display Server

Pausanias Re:Shuttleworth is a lunatic. (63 comments)

You sound like someone who's gotten burnt by installing non-long-term-support Ubuntu in a production environment. That was your error, really; the non-LTS releases get minimal support, so installing them in an infrastructure-critical environment is pure silliness.

I've never had an issue with LTS releases... I have a machine that's been continuously updated since Ubuntu 8.10 (non-LTS), and the thing has miraculously upgraded with zero hitches via 8.10->9.10->10.04->12.04 and soon to be 14.04. This was a 2008 Mac Pro, to boot, so I've enjoyed incredible support in terms of mac-specific drivers and even the Broadcom wifi working out of the box.

Shuttleworth has inspired many people, and while he's made mistakes he's not afraid to push the boundaries and make disruptive changes because that's what keeps things going. The formula of disrputive changes in non-LTS with stability in LTS works great. Just stick to 0.1 releases of LTS Ubuntu and you'll have a stable system.

about a month and a half ago

Interview: Ask Richard Stallman What You Will

Pausanias Re:Question seems to be already answered. (480 comments)

If Stallman thinks that it is a "reasonable" proposition to force companies to put their source code in escrow, he is further removed from reality than I thought. It is more reasonable to leave things the way they are.

He also proposes a reasonable fix:

So I proposed that the Pirate Party platform require proprietary software's source code to be put in escrow when the binaries are released. The escrowed source code would then be released in the public domain after 5 years. Rather than making free software an official exception to the 5-year copyright rule, this would eliminate proprietary software's unofficial exception. Either way, the result is fair.

about 2 months ago

Interview: Ask Richard Stallman What You Will

Pausanias Re:Shorter copyright (480 comments)

I meant "closed source," not "sells a source"

about 2 months ago

Interview: Ask Richard Stallman What You Will

Pausanias Re:Shorter copyright (480 comments)

Mod this one up everyone... the ONLY question out of all of these that we can't guess Stallman's answer to.

about 2 months ago

Interview: Ask Richard Stallman What You Will

Pausanias Re:Shorter copyright (480 comments)

If the source code is never published, then the source never needs to go into the public domain at all. Once the GPL becomes unenforceable, then there is nothing there to force you to publish your source code. So:

1) Emacs vXX is released in 2014.
2) Copyright expires in 2019 and it goes into public domain.
3) Company downloads vXX as public domain code and makes a sells a source program based on it.
4) In 2024, the Company's binaries become public domain, but since it never released source, its improvements never do.

So, in summary, while the binaries will eventually be public domain, this does not replace the GPL's current function of forcing the sharing of source.... the Company's source code improvements to emacs can be kept private forever.

about 2 months ago

FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

Pausanias Re:It's really simple... (1098 comments)

Come on, you need to add a couple of digits to your UID if you're making this type of argument.

It's been said over and over again for a decade on slashdot: no one's saying you can't profit from free software, especially RMS. He would love it if everyone could profit from free software.

"Stallman's community" (I presume you mean the FSF) is about one thing and one thing only: the idea that when you create something that is free for everyone, you have a tool to ensure that as it evolves, it remains free for everyone for ever. Pure and simple, that is all.

It's about saying one thing and one thing only: "this thing that I have created is a seed., free for everyone to use. Whatever fruit it gives, and whatever other ideas it gives rise to, should also remain free for everyone to use."

The fact that profit is associated with restricting the freedom to copy or modify is entirely tangential to the above basic point.

about 3 months ago

Apple Starts Blocking Unauthorized Lightning Cables With iOS 7

Pausanias Re:In other news (663 comments)

There's a flip side. I brought in an iPhone 5, almost out of warranty, with a broken sleep button, to the Genius Bar on my way to work. The guy said "yep," 5 minutes later I walked away with a fully functioning replacement, no questions asked; got to my office, and it was like having a brand new phone.

Then I was at an AT&T store. I saw a I guy with a Windows Phone; same thing---button issues, still under warranty. He got told to ship his phone somewhere. He needed his phone so he couldn't ship it off. So he got told to haul is ass somewhere thirty minutes away to a depot, and maybe after they looked at it there would get a replacement. The look of confused frustration on his face made me feel like I was taping an apple commercial.

Bottom line is: everyone says Apple is more expensive. Well, first of all, it's not. Same price for the top-tier Apple and Android phones. OK, so the cables are more expensive and proprietary. True that stinks, but maybe that pays for stuff like the Genius bar where they go out of their way to make life easier for you.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 7 Slow?

Pausanias Re:Dude, (488 comments)

No issues on an iPhone 5. It's been a joy to use and a breath of fresh air---the UI was 5 years old and getting really stale.

I'd been really getting bored of my iPhone and *gasp* using it only in a very utilitarian manner for quite some years. Now I actually turn it on again because all the fades and swimming bubbles and blurs are actually quite damned cool to look at. It's fun using it again.

about 7 months ago

First Looks At Windows 8.1, Complete With 'Start' Button

Pausanias Re:If you don't like metro... (800 comments)

The ones I found aren't OSS and cost $3-$5. Are we really crossing over to the OS X realm of finding paid tweaks to provide much needed system functionality?

Do these tweaks really restore the FULL start menu? Including the part of it that searches inside your documents and launches the appropriate software to read the documents when clicked on or hit return?

Oh wait, do I really want to trust some third party to search inside my documents? In Win7, it was Microsoft that searched inside the documents and despite all their faults I semi-trusted Microsoft to respect my privacy... but now whoever runs some random tweak is searching inside my files?

about a year ago

97% of Climate Science Papers Agree Global Warming Is Man-made

Pausanias Re:BUYING SLASHDOT ACCOUNTS (1105 comments)

You fail to understand many things.

Most importantly, you fail to understand the idea of "increased variance." The predictions of global warming period is not that it will get hotter all the time; or that it will get cooler all the time; but that there will be an increased frequency of oscillations between cooling and warming at rates not previously observed. It is this oscillation, this switching back and forth between heating and cooling too rapidly, that is the evidence for the global warming hypothesis (same goes for tornado strength). This is called "scatter."

Second, you fail to understand that "testable predictions" means reproducing past events. Global climate models cannot reproduce the temperature record for the past without including man-made heating during the industrial revolution. These same models, when run into the future, predict increased scatter and increasing mean temperature, with a scatter level that's high and a mean increase that's slow.

These two points continually have been mis-explained to the public, and the advocates for policy change to reverse climate change have failed miserably at getting these points through to the public---hence your post.

about a year ago

Interviews: Freeman Dyson Answers Your Questions

Pausanias Wise comments on FTL and space travel (141 comments)

I think his comments on FTL and all the hype about interstellar space exploration are totally spot-on. All the Alcubierre drive news that had NASA's name attached to it was traceable to one guy there who doesn't even really understand general relativity. What you have to understand about NASA is that they tend to write blank checks as far as exaggerations in press releases go; so while the work actually being done (building an interferometer) is valid, the hype attached to it about this and that could be extremely overblown (interferometer will be used to test FTL travel). The end result is "NASA working on warp drive" headlines where the real headline should be something much more humble and limited.

about a year ago

Haswell Integrated Graphics Promise 2-3X Performance Boost

Pausanias Re:Worst thing about this (133 comments)

Perhaps this will convince NVIDIA not to underclock their GPUs. Now that the baseline is much higher, they will have to deliver awesome performance to be relevant in the notebook scene.

about a year ago

Does Antimatter Fall Up?

Pausanias Re:Maybe our universe is a 'matter bubble' (255 comments)

Not sure you can rule out the possibility that the gravitational mass is negative. Sure, the inertial mass may still be positive (e.g. merely defined as the absolute value of the gravitational mass), but if the gravitational mass is negative, then you can build an antimatter Alcubierre drive with it---so you can propel something *else* (regular matter that has positive gravitational mass) at high speed.

Or am I mistaken? Can you make an argument based on GR that it should be positive?

about a year ago

Apple Near Deal For Radio Service

Pausanias Re:Radio? (143 comments)

Quite the opposite here. I haven't listened to most of the 200+ CDs I own for years now. The newness offered by the tweaked Pandora experience is just too irresistible.

1 year,5 days



Pausanias Pausanias writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Pausanias (681077) writes "The widespread availability of broadband has made Star Trek-style video conferencing a reality. However, for those who are trying to reach friends and relatives using different operating systems, getting things to work using free software can be a nightmare. I am about to go on a long trip with my Linux laptop; my wife's computer is a Mac, and my parents run Windows. I'd like to poll slashdot members on their own efforts to get this kind of conferencing working."


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