×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Glibc Is Finally Free Software

Red Alastor Re:Sleepycat (337 comments)

You aren't supposed to read the GPL, only its preamble. The rest of meant for lawyers and is as long as it takes to be bulletproof.

more than 4 years ago
top

SarBox Lawsuit Could Rewrite IT Compliance Rules

Red Alastor Re:Budgest re-adjustment... (124 comments)

What about realizing that it's impossible to define security for the vast diversity of setups we all use and forget about compliance but instead draft a list of bad stuff that shouldn't happen (leaking customer info for instance) and make a law that says that companies have to do whatever they have to to avoid the things on that list. Incident would be interpreted as negligence and heavily fined.

about 5 years ago
top

Marge Simpson Poses For Playboy

Red Alastor Re:Seems odd . . . (413 comments)

I think the main issue is that The Simpsons is not considered edgy anymore.

more than 5 years ago
top

HTML 5 Canvas Experiment Hints At Things To Come

Red Alastor Re:No audio here thank god (321 comments)

Websites that (successfully) make noise at me are one of my pet hates.

That's why I think it's awesome that HTML5 includes sound. You can't block the sound from a plugin that's executable code that does whatever it wants, however browser makers (and extension writers) can put settings options to let you opt-out for the sounds. Or prevent things from playing until you switch to the tab that wants to play them.

more than 5 years ago
top

Windows 7 RTM Reviewed & Benchmarked

Red Alastor Re:The competition is OSX (792 comments)

The CLI is there to stay because we like it. You don't have to use it but it is much more convenient than GUIs for many tasks. For instance, what is more convenient?:

1: Open Gimp (or Photoshop), File -> Open -> foo.tiff -> File -> save as -> foo.png
2: Open a Terminal -> "convert foo.tiff foo.png"

Sure we *could* do without the CLI, but it makes your life so much easier when you use it.

Beside, Microsoft did work on its own CLI, they called it Powershell and you can download it for XP or Vista. Not as elegant as the ones we have but at least, they aliased all the unix commands that are equivalent to their own.

more than 5 years ago
top

20 Years of MS Word and Why It Should Die a Swift Death

Red Alastor Re:PDFs? (843 comments)

*maybe* it's worth giving a try again.. I kept up with Word Perfect post 5.1 since I truly loved it (and still truly miss reveal codes)

That feature would not be possible in Word. Wordperfect documents are a stream of text and tags (just like html) which makes reveal code trivial, Word has objects inside objects inside other objects until you reach turtles.

There's also "Make it fit" that others never managed to copy.

I'm not sure which mistakes you speak (I used word back then) and only switched to WordPerfect at version 13. Then I switched to Linux and Open Office but I miss Wordperfect. In any case, the reason why I like WordPerfect is because I don't fight against it like I do in the others. And it's not because I'm more used to it, I used the others for a larger amount of time.

more than 5 years ago
top

20 Years of MS Word and Why It Should Die a Swift Death

Red Alastor Re:PDFs? (843 comments)

Word Perfect is still the best Word Processor and reveal code is still there. It's at version 14 now and supports the open document format.

more than 5 years ago
top

How Wolfram Alpha's Copyright Claims Could Change Software

Red Alastor Re:The key word... (258 comments)

Don't know when or why they stopped claiming that (legal or PR reasons?)

Maybe they realized their position would mean the people making their compiler own their software?

more than 5 years ago
top

Opera CTO Thinks IE Will Be Forced To Support SVG

Red Alastor Re:Ballots and ballets (411 comments)

Unless they have to write "Google Chrome", people will use "The Google".

more than 5 years ago
top

Microsoft Agrees To EU Browser Ballot Screen

Red Alastor Re:In before the morons (438 comments)

KDE is not, it's just a desktop environment. Kubuntu would be.

more than 5 years ago
top

Computerized Election Results With No Election

Red Alastor Re:No, that's bullshit, ever heard of De Gaulle? (433 comments)

The ~referendum that Zelaya was planning might well have been unconstitutionnal, but he didn't get to do it. Hence he did not break the constitution. Therefore the coup cannot begin to be justified by this stupid talking point.

Yes he did. If you read their constitution, you'll see that there's a section that cannot be changed or amended about the president serving only one term (too many dictator presidents clinging to power) and that it's even illegal for a government official to talk about changing it. According to the constitution, that person would lose his position and be barred from the government altogether for a period of 10 years.

Therefore, he did break the constitution and the moment he did so, wasn't president anymore.

more than 5 years ago
top

Does Bing Have Google Running Scared?

Red Alastor Re:Microsoft is a great engineering company. (560 comments)

> Right off the wheel, I would say that if Microsoft is so terrible, why is no one in the FOSS movement able to come up with an IDE consistently as good as Visual Studio?

We tend not to like IDEs very much.

> Why is it that the state of the art in FOSS Office applications still has less features than Office 2000?

Because it doesn't?

> If Microsoft is such a shoddy company, where's the VB for Linux?

There: http://gambas.sourceforge.net/en/main.html. Or Python / Ruby with Qt / Gtk, depending what you mean by "VB". Or Mono.

> If I look around Linux, the only big thing that's innovative is KDE 4.

You didn't look very hard didn't you? The most innovative thing I saw recently is how perl 6 reinvented regexes, I can't wait for it to spread to other languages.

more than 5 years ago
top

Google Set To Tackle eBook Market

Red Alastor Re:Cost (170 comments)

Kindle doesn't work outside the US, period. We Canadians don't get it either(though I suspect that has something to do with our world-renowned awful telcos and monopolistic nationally propped up book broker Indigo more then anything else.)

This is not an excuse. They just have to deliver it via wifi and for those who can't use that, make a little sync app. If they are not in Canada, it's because they don't want to.

more than 5 years ago
top

Wine Project Frustration and Forking

Red Alastor Re:porting to WINE? (470 comments)

I already knew Picasa in Linux was just the Windows version in the wrapper, but Google Earth was always expressed as being a native Linux build.

It's shameful given that it's written with Qt which makes writing cross-platform apps much easier. I have no idea what they rely on that's Windows only.

Chromium entered alpha stage which is Google speak for actual beta (as beta is Google speak for release). It's quite stable, speedy and a great browser if you can live without flash and with ads. You should give it a try.

more than 5 years ago
top

Wine Project Frustration and Forking

Red Alastor Re:porting to WINE? (470 comments)

I wasn't criticizing people working on Wine or for CodeWeavers for the lack of support for Photoshop. The CW policy is to work on stuff people paid for first and get other programs working as a side effect. It makes plenty of sense and this is what enables them to continue their work.

I blame Adobe. The costs of paying to get that compatibility given the new market it would open to them is peanuts.

more than 5 years ago
top

Wine Project Frustration and Forking

Red Alastor Re:porting to WINE? (470 comments)

It exists. It's called libwine. It's among others how Picasa and Google Earth work on Linux.

Also, if Wine isn't very compatible with your app, you can pay CodeWeaver to make it compatible, they are very cheap. Given this, it's surprising that apps like for instance Photoshop aren't available for Linux already (Photoshop CS2 do work on Wine but only because Google paid CodeWeavers to make it compatible).

more than 5 years ago
top

What Can I Do About Book Pirates?

Red Alastor Re:Offer the Ebook for free. (987 comments)

Why is it that so many people feel the need to give people some kneejerk economics lesson. Nothing in the original post indicates the person doesn't understand basic economics.

The post I answered to was written by the OP and it indicates he does not in fact understand basic economics. He states he has to sell it at $50 because he can't sell as many as romance novels. This does not make any sense, the price you set your book as to be the one that maximizes the profit margin * books sold equation. The fact that the book took lots of resources to create or targets a niche is irrelevant to this equation.

Sure, writing the book was a sunk cost, but that doesn't make it completely unethical for others to be stealing the product of all the hours he put in writing that book.

I didn't consider the ethical implications, I just talked about how things work in reality: if you price is above people's threshold, they will pirate it.

And the prospect of working several hundred or a thousand hours writing a technical book in a subject where you are a highly educated expert, to make the equivalent of McDonalds wages, is probably not going to encourage people to write books.

If the writing of some books is not economically viable then there is not much we can do beside grants. I still believe that meeting pirates half-way by asking them to donate what they consider fair is a good compromise. After all, even if he wishes people to pay the full price, the money he'd get from pirates paying what they want is money he'd not get at all otherwise.

I didn't specifically make an argument for an economic position,

Well, I am.

more than 5 years ago
top

What Can I Do About Book Pirates?

Red Alastor Re:Offer the Ebook for free. (987 comments)

The real cost is in the time it takes to prepare the book. It's not fair to compare the cost of a data compression book with, say, a romance title. The size of the markets is vastly different. I would be happy to sell my data compression book at the price of a romance novel if I could sell as many copies.

The money and time it took to prepate the book is called a sunk cost. The market does not care one bit about sunk costs. Apparently, people will not buy it at the price you asked, they either have a choice of doing away with the information or pirate the book. Maybe you could invite people who do that to give you what they feel is fair? If I only need one or two chapters from your book and send you five bucks, it's five bucks you would never get if you stuck to $41 or nothing.

Oh and you should read this article about setting prices.

more than 5 years ago
top

Open Source Textbooks For California

Red Alastor Re:Hrm... so instead of getting involved in an edi (201 comments)

It wouldn't work, teachers hate Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is more than reliable enough for homework needs but it makes the information way to easy to reach for the teachers to be comfortable. They don't really care about what you learn or produce, they care about how much you worked for it. Wikipedia means you don't have to jump through as many hoops and they really hate that.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

Red Alastor hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

Red Alastor has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?