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As the Web Turns 25, Sir Tim Berners-Lee Calls For A Web Magna Carta

Rydia Magna Carta? (80 comments)

So what he's saying is that we should all grab our botnets and assault Al Gore (the king of the internet), forcing him to give rights to those of us who own servers?

. . . I'm OK with this.

about a year ago

Canonical Targets Ubuntu Privacy Critic

Rydia Re:Dickish move... (259 comments)

A markholder attempting to avoid dilution/abandonment only has an obligation to combat infringement of their mark. Legitimate uses of the mark, including the fair use associated with criticism in this case, do not affect the markholder's rights in any way.

about a year ago

Why Can't Big Government Launch a Website?

Rydia Not Remotely Similar (786 comments)

Beyond the fact that they were both directives from the government, there are no similarities

Moonshot:ACA Exchange

Whatever NASA thought was a good idea:Three extremely technical laws, plus various state laws

Everything done in-house by NASA:Interacting with dozens of different providers using different systems that don't talk to each other, plus data verification from a few more agencies

Public Support:
Viewed as way to get one up on those darned ruskies:Extremely bitter partisan divide, was a major contentious issue in two elections

Government Support:
Willing to throw money at NASA to get it done:Part of the House of Representatives shut down the government and threatened default in order to build anti-ACA support for the next election

Actual Work Done:
Mostly in-house NASA work:Lots of contractors

Not that the exchange's launch hasn't been a complete disaster, but comparing the two is extremely tenuous.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't There More Public Outrage About NSA Revelations?

Rydia Misdirection (610 comments)

Because the prima donnas at the heart of the story (Snowden and Greenwald) made and continue to make the story about themselves, rather than the material. A story about a reporter and his whistleblowing buddy on the lam, both making crazy statements that greatly overshadow the series but drier material they are disclosing, always played better and therefore was covered better.

At this point, everyone's tired of them, and has forgotten what the whole fuss was about.

about a year ago

How Unity3D Became a Game-Development Beast

Rydia Frameworks are great, but ... (115 comments)

Allowing more open development is fantastic. However, the summary (and really a ton of people) have the relationship at play with games backwards:

"This has helped developers focus less on creating a video game's underlying technology and more on the artistic and creative processes that actually make games fun to play."

The underlying technology, however, is the essence of the game. It's what tells us how mario moves compared to sonic or y metroid cant crawl. The artistic and creative process, while quite important, largely affect how a game is presented visually and thematically. The rise of one-size-fits-all platforms, designed to be broadly used not only between titles but between genres and platforms, has led to a massive homogenization of gameplay. Gameplay, of course, is what makes a game fun to actually play. Setting is not gameplay. Writing is not gameplay, and graphics aren't gameplay.

Yes, these platforms are customizable, but the distinctness that came with each game or class of games has largely been lost as games increasingly rely on generalized engines. Unity and Unreal (and various other engines) are great, but they're not responsible for freeing developers to make experimental games. To the extent that is happening, it is despite of, not because of, those engines.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: New To Linux; Which Distro?

Rydia SuSE (573 comments)

SuSE has the best installation and configuration utility and has a ton of helpful user-run repos for packages. It also has builds for basically every windowing system, so you can pick your preference without any hacking, and when you do want to get down to brass tacks, the system will get out of your way (now that suseconfig is gone) and let you tinker as much as you please.

And when you screw everything up (half the fun, right?), it ships with a fantastic system repair tool to get you back on your feet. You can also use SuSE Studio to make a custom image if you have weird hardware.

It's a really great linux experience.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What Is Your New Years Eve Tradition?

Rydia Food! (256 comments)

Particularly rumaki.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: The Search For the Ultimate Engineer's Pen

Rydia Uniball Vision Micro (712 comments)

While I prefer the larger tipped version, I've used the micro before and it has a nice, clean small line. Great line of pens in either size.

more than 2 years ago

How To Watch Internet TV Across International Borders

Rydia What? (206 comments)

Wait, there is a slashdot article on the front page detailing how to violate various broadcasters copyrights? I mean, I know it's preaching to the choir, but I'm astounded this is an actual article.

IPlayer in particular isn't region-locked because the BBC hates foreigners; the service is paid for by television licenses, which people outside of England (obviously) aren't paying. It's much more than just defeating a region-locking scheme, it's basically piracy. Seeing it front and center is crazy.

more than 2 years ago

'Legitimized' Cyberwar Opens Pandora's Box of Dirty Tricks

Rydia Wha? (134 comments)

This is the most incoherent summary I've seen on slashdot yet. Maybe because it's so far in tinfoil hat territory, but still, wow.

more than 2 years ago

Anonymous, People's Liberation Front Build Anonymous Data-Sharing Site

Rydia Oh yeah? (137 comments)

Well, Anonymous is going to start their OWN pastebin! With hookers! And blackjack!

more than 2 years ago

Chief Replicant Dev On Building a Truly Free Android

Rydia Redundancy (113 comments)

While I appreciate the thought that all software should be open-source, I can't shake the feeling that FOSS advocates are wasting their time and talent attempting to endlessly reinvent the wheel. I'm sure that avoiding proprietary blobs would be great, but it is worth all this effort with so little gain? You'll have a (very) small audience that will download it and put up with the inevitable incompatibilities, but why is so much effort being thrown at projects like this and nouveau; projects whose ideal result is something that perfectly mimics something that has already been made and is already in widespread use. Since ideal results are never possible, you are inevitably left making the excuse "sure, it's not as good, but it's more ideologically pure!" which is only really convincing for the most hardline ideologues.

Instead of endless FOSS projects just trying to replicate things we already have, I'd like to see these supremely generous and talented people work on new projects. Why spend time on nouveau when you could work on, say, a new cross-platform graphics API? I just don't think FOSS will ever gain significant mindshare as long as it is continuously trying to emulate functional applications that people are already using.

more than 2 years ago

FOIA Request Shows Which Printer Companies Cooperated With US Government

Rydia What? (355 comments)

Really? This is cause for outrage? The insane idea that the government might look at something you wrote and hunt you down using a printer serial number and some possible registration information? This isn't a "the innocent have nothing to hide" argument, this is a "any government agency that actually used this for anything other than the stated purpose is insane" argument. There are hundreds of far more efficient, reliable and accurate ways to figure out who you are and what you have been up to.

Reading through the comments, about how your printer is going to betray you when the fascist power grab comes, it is abundantly clear that a sizable portion of slashdotters enjoy nothing more than working themselves up by finding whatever scant excuse to go on hyperbolic rants about how the government is just waiting to come and take them away to gitmo, and that the only way to avoid this is to compete to see who is the most paranoid.

The sad thing is when the government DOES overstep its bounds and quash our freedoms, these people will have negative credibility because everyone else know that, to them, everything is a sinister government plot.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Inform a Non-Techie About Proposed Copyright Laws

Rydia Eagerly Anticipating (254 comments)

I'm looking forward to the next edition of Ask Slashdot: "How to Inform a Non-Auto Mechanic about Multiple-Bypass Surgery."

more than 2 years ago

Google Deal Allegedly Lets UMG Wipe YouTube Videos It Doesn't Own

Rydia Yes? (392 comments)

I'm astounded that people are, uh, astounded by this possibility. Do you seriously think posting things on YouTube is a right? The site is a service provided by a corporation and is almost certainly awash with "secret" agreements, just because of the subject matter of the site and how popular it is. I use sarcasm quotes for secret because Google has no obligation to disclose its contractual relationships with third parties because you, the user, aren't party to them.

Don't get me wrong, this is a pretty skeezy agreement, but let's not fool ourselves into thinking that YouTube is different from any other business asset. Its operation is governed by a load of inter-party contracts, it is controlled with no external oversight, and it exists to make money. The only difference is that we are now both the resource and the consumer, and I don't think people have quite internalized the logical conclusion of that relationship. Google doesn't owe you anything or exist to safeguard some specious rights. Everything between you and them is business, nothing more and nothing less.

more than 3 years ago

Earth May Once Have Had Two Moons

Rydia Duh. (139 comments)

They could've just asked me. I was there when the second moon left, after all!

more than 3 years ago

Sony Suffers Yet More Security Breaches

Rydia Re:Has anything been accomplished? (288 comments)

A bunch of crackers got a hold of boatloads of personal information that they can sell for cash money.

That is what it's done. There may be some sort of vendetta, and there definitely is the feeling that Sony is a personal information pinata, but that's really what it is at its core.

more than 3 years ago

PSN Up, And Then Down Again

Rydia Re:That's some fine police work, boys (282 comments)

That would be an interesting move, to try to crack Nintendo's network, seeing as Nintendo ... doesn't have a network. Or store CC info. Or really any personal info in general.

more than 3 years ago

Does Syfy Really Love Sci-Fi?

Rydia Re:Bills to Pay (742 comments)

You win this thread, just for the TV Tropes link. Excelsior!

more than 3 years ago



Ask Slashdot: Life After N900

Rydia Rydia writes  |  1 year,4 days

Rydia (556444) writes "Since it first released, I have been in love with my Nokia N900, and it has satisfied all my needs for a mobile with a high degree of control and utility. Sadly, the little guy is showing his age, both in battery life (even with the powersaving kernel options enabled), and performing in general has been left far, far in the dust by phones that are now considered quite old. The time has come to find its successor, but after a thorough search of smartphone options, I can't find any handset that offers everything for the power user that the N900 did (much less a hardware keyboard). I'd like to avoid supporting Google/Android, but there don't seem to be many options. Have any other techies found a replacement for their N900?"

Ask Slashdot: OSS, Web-based Time Tracking and Invoicing

Rydia Rydia writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Rydia (556444) writes "I am the partner in charge of the IT for my small (3 partners) law firm. We have used ClearOS (formerly ClarkConnect) with great satisfaction for the past three years, but with the new version our current groupware solution (Horde) is deprecated in favor of a new mail stack centered around Zarafa. Horde (being php-based) upgrades through PEAR, but attempts to upgrade from the most current supported version (3) to a reasonably current version (4) breaks everything due to the modifications the ClearFoundation folks have made to the php system.

My roadmap was to install Horde 4, which includes a time tracking/invoicing platform (time tracking and invoicing being a huge part of our business), but that is clearly no longer in the cards. Zarafa is a fine groupware suite for everything but that. My question is: are there any good web-based solutions for time tracking and invoicing, preferably OSS, available? Do any of them integrate with standard address books so we wouldn't have to double-book client information? Does this thing even exist?"

Rydia Rydia writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Rydia (556444) writes "I have written a (somewhat lengthy) letter to EB Games regarding their $700 Wii preorder bundle. Personally, I believe this is a travesty and profiteering of the highest order, playing off our fears of being unable to secure a Wii to force us to buy things I, at least, simply do not want nor need. While the only pertinent email address available on ebgames.com is site feedback, I imagine that if enough people sent a letter (or even better, a paper letter to corporate) EB would take notice. I urge everyone who has an interest in this to make themselves heard. I have included mine below as an example.

To whom it may concern,

I woke up this morning and wandered over to your web site, still hoping for a shot at a preorder for Nintendo's Wii. Much to my dismay, I find that the only way to secure an online preorder is to drop $700 on a bundle mostly full of, to be perfectly blunt, garbage.

I understand that, as a corporation, you want to maximize sales. A $700 "bundle," however, for a $250 system, an extra $450 you are requiring consumers to pay, is beyond the pale. Were you simply asking the price for a console, you would have had a sale. You would have had more than a sale: I am planning on buying an extra controller, nunchuck, classic controller, Zelda, Madden and Red Steel. All of that sale would have gone directly to your company, as I would have simply preordered every one from your site while I was there.

But you will not receive any money from me regarding this new system. Instead of trusting consumers to come to you for selection, price and quantity, you are attempting to lock us into buying things that we do not want. There is no need at this stage to buy an SD card for the Wii, as the on-board memory is sufficient for our saves and virtual console games for the forseeable future. It is widely known that protection plans are simply ways of gaining pure profit, especially when the electronics are as sturdy and well-made as Nintendo's are. A magazine subscription, though billed as a "gift," is completely unrelated to what your customers want: a Nintendo Wii.

Of course, it seems that what customers want is not foremost in your mind. I know I speak for many when I say a big selling point for the Wii is the relative inexpense of buying one. Yet your company, with what can only be described as callous disregard for your customers, ignores this and attempts to force a minimum of $700 of sales out of us, apparently because of a combination the expectation of high cost for modern consoles and the theory that we are so desperate for a Wii that we will do anything to secure one.

Many people will. I, and I imagine many like me, shall not. I could have written the entire deal off as efficiency had the bundle been sane: perhaps $500 for a couple games and controllers. But your bundle is too expensive. It contains only one controller, and no extra attachments. The consumer is not allowed to choose which games to include. This is not designed to help the consumer. This is not designed to gain sales by beating the competition's selection and service. This entire scheme is purely designed to gaurantee sales at the expense of your customers.

I am sincerely disappointed. I had been a regular at the Cuyahoga Falls Gamestop for years when I lived in Ohio, and have spent some time at the Howard EB Games now that I live in Chicago. I am afraid that I will be frequenting neither any longer. Your company exists to serve us, the consumers. It is your purpose to secure sales by impressing, aiding, and helping us secure the things we want. This travesty of a "bundle" does none of these things. Of course, a corporation must think of profits and shareholders. The customer, however, must be equally as important. It is obvious that the people who buy from you are nothing more than a resource to dredge money out of with as little effort as possible.

I will therefore no longer be buying from your website or any of your stores. While I may just be one person, I imagine that there are others whom, perhaps less vocal, will respond in kind. As gamers, we look to your store to allow us access to the hardware and software we want. When you brazenly ignore our desires or subjugate them to yours, you do not deserve our business."

Rydia Rydia writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Rydia (556444) writes "The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has the scoop on Nintendo's afternoon (midnight in America) press conference, where all things Wii were discussed. The deal? $250 on November 19th for North and South America. Included with the system will be an expanded Wii Sports (with at least bowling as an addition), and Nintendo believes the games themselves will stay at the $50 gamecube-software level. The final numbers seem to be 25 games this year, and 4 million units worldwide.

Unsurprisingly, the Wii will come with a web browser (likely Opera, from the rumors), and virtual console games will be more expensive than expected ($5-$10). Somewhat new is the talk of "media channels." Examples given are weather and news (likely RSS feeds or similar), but also a "photo channel," which is apparently designed to display and share digital photos.

Nintendo will likely reveal more specifics at its conferences in the USA and England over the course of the next few days."


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