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Tracking Down How Many (Or How Few) People Actively Use Google+

TemporalBeing Re:Google+ has better communities... (209 comments)

I find the "communities" better on Google+, but all my friends post there normal stuff on facebook. I find the technical forums (the few that I am a member of) are asking a newbie question (nothing really interesting) like how do I print a number..... when it is facebook, but much more interesting communitie tech posts on google+.

Agreed. I'm on G+ daily, post occassionally (both public and privately), and almost never go on Facebook. G+ just developed better communities and people tend to use the communities instead of blasting everything out to everyone; perhaps because G+ has a higher technical userbase than others, but nonetheless it works well.

Though, thinking about it more, G+ by design is community oriented. Blasting out to the everyone doesn't really stuff very far; while sending it to one or more communities does - that is, unless you're a big celeb and have lots and lots of followers, but that's just not typical in G+.

about two weeks ago
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FBI Seeks To Legally Hack You If You're Connected To TOR Or a VPN

TemporalBeing Re:Bad idea (382 comments)

I imagine corporations will fight back legally if/when their employees start getting hacked by the FBI.

Why would a corporation care?

One word: Liability.

Corporations would very much care because of liability concerns - both domestically to the US and foreign to other countries. It's already becoming enough of an issue that companies are taking to hosting data regionally instead of centrally just from a legal liability perspective.

For instance, suppose there was conversation going on regarding what to disclose to the US government over the operations of a foreign subsidiary between the execs and their lawyers? Regardless of the topic, matter-at-hand, or end result that is protected conversation regardless of medium, and the existence of the VPN would mean they expected it to be carried out in private.

And you can certainly bet the lawfirms will fight it too.

about two weeks ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

TemporalBeing Re:my vote: (648 comments)

Java. It has the broadest popularity in industry, isn't tied to any one company (e.g. Microsoft), can be developed using a wide variety of host operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux), lends itself well to teaching O.O. design and has a wealth of free tools. It's also what the majority of universities use in their intro level courses. (Though that's changing.)

Java is a bad language to teach programming with. It's a good language to show off some theory with, but that's really about it.

It's also one of the reasons why Android doesn't have as good of performance as it could have.

A decade ago, I would have used JavaScript or VBScript to start teaching - in part because of Windows Scripting Host; but now, I'd use Python as an intro to get students going; then transition them to C and C++, Pascal/Delphi, and others.

about two weeks ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

TemporalBeing Re:This guy hasn't done his research. (648 comments)

The VB compiler is written in VB. C compilers are written in C. Why isn't Python written in Python? But maybe you know more than the people who know it the best, the core developers!

The VB Compiler is most likely written in C, C++, or C#, and not VB. In part, because there are many things that one must actually drop to a lower level language like C/C++ to do in order to even implement some of the functionality of VB. So it's a mix - some portions are definitely written in VB, but the majority and certainly the core are not. This, of course, applies to VB and not BASIC in general since those lower levels would have been written in other languages (namely Assembly) and would have changed over time; where as VB came after the advent of C; even then its lower levels may still have been written in Assembly for some time due to performance needs.

Likewise, Python is written in a mixed-mode, with C covering some of the core functionalities to "bootstrap" the language and provide high performance in certain areas; with most everything else written in Python itself.

about two weeks ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

TemporalBeing Re:instant disqualification (648 comments)

"...VB is MS only." No it's not.

http://www.mono-project.com/do...

Sure you want to get sued by Microsoft over the use of some of the keywords and their related patent filings.

Even the agreement that MS signed with Novell didn't cover VB, only C# and what they published to EMCA and ISO. Everything else was still open for lawsuit. Of course, even that agreement has now expired, and Miguel's new company doesn't have a new agreement either.

So good luck there.

about two weeks ago
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Scientists Discover Compound In Baby Diapers Can Enlarge Brain Cells

TemporalBeing Re:discovered by accident (75 comments)

How does one get diaper mixed in with their brain cells by accident?

One of the team members forgot to wash their hands after changing their kiddo's diaper.

Inadvertently, they might have spread Hand-Foot-Mouth to the entire team...

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

TemporalBeing Re:Qualifications (479 comments)

They're CANDIDATES. No "at the expense of".

The problem is that there are a lot of people that are like "well, you had 20% more candidates of group X, so why are you not hiring 20% more people from that group"? Failing to realize that just because you have 20% more candidates from that group doesn't necessarily mean that they are (a) qualified, or (b) would fit in.

And honestly, no company should compromise its hiring standards just to try to fit a certain percentage. Some may like it, but it's not good for the company - both in terms of performance, and employee moral. People that get hired because the company needs to fit a certain profile (racial, etc) quickly get known for that, and that one thing ends up getting attributed to them as why they were hired in the first place.

Simply put - you have to find the right people (regardless of race, sex, etc) for the position, and hold them all to the same standards.

about two weeks ago
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Google Releases More Windows Bugs

TemporalBeing Re:Isn't this the point of what Google is doing? (263 comments)

Microsoft says there's no evidence these flaws have been successfully exploited.

I mean the whole point of doing these types of investigations is to try and prevent exploits from getting out into the wild.

Exactly; which is contrary to Microsoft's position that they don't fix something unless there is an exploit in the wild...

about two weeks ago
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Google Releases More Windows Bugs

TemporalBeing Re:Playing with fire... (263 comments)

MS still holds a lot of Android patents. They can easily do an Apple and forbid use of them, which will completely paralyze Android.

What you mean all those patents that the Chinese outted and nearly the entire tech world found to be not relevant save about as many as you can count on your hands? Yeah, that's really going to stop Android...

about two weeks ago
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Systemd's Lennart Poettering: 'We Do Listen To Users'

TemporalBeing Re:Just keep it away from Gentoo and I'm good (551 comments)

He says it does not break the UNIX philosophy because everything is in the same code base purposely ignoring that it does not do one thing and do it well. He was creating a strawman.

The problem is that by putting things in the same code base, it encourages them to be inter-dependent to the exclusion of all else - which is exactly what everyone that doesn't like systemd complains about.

Separate repositories encourage being stable APIs that everyone has to work against; thus encouraging more things that can be switched out with each other, as well as standards, etc.

There's a reason behind it.

about two weeks ago
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Systemd's Lennart Poettering: 'We Do Listen To Users'

TemporalBeing Re:How do things need to change to live with syste (551 comments)

Well in this case, get some education before you post in ignorance. No it doesn't require a lot of code changes for applications to work. Why would you say that? Did you even bother to read the interview? Daemons don't require any changes either, though you can compile your daemon to use libsystemd to do backwards-compatible socket registration. In other words a daemon can be configured to use socket registration if it runs under systemd, but it will fall back to normal sockets without. So no backwards compatibility is lost.

Systemd requires only 3 parts to run: the init process, udev, and journald (which can write to syslog still) for early boot debugging. NOTHING else is required. And none of this pushes *any* special requirements on applications. Pottering himself says he has no idea where this notion that Gnome depends on systemd comes from. It should work fine on ConsoleKit. The problem could be that the Gnome devs haven't been maintaining the ConsoleKit code.

Yes ConsoleKit stopped being "maintained". This is why project like Devuan have put their weight behind people doing things like ConsoleKit2.

about two weeks ago
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Systemd's Lennart Poettering: 'We Do Listen To Users'

TemporalBeing Re:How do things need to change to live with syste (551 comments)

* Samba, yes, because it's a daemon.

There's no reason why Samba would benefit from being dependent on systemd. OpenRC provides the same functionality as systemd's init process, and smbd and nmbd are already long-running daemons, additional instances of which are managed by the initial daemon. Tools like daemontools (or, you know, init) already exist to start (and if necessary, restart) long-running daemons.

SaMBa is used in far too many places to really want to take on systemd as a dependency. It's used on everything from traditional Unix systems (HP-UX, AIX, Solaris) to Apple's MacOS, Linux, and embedded devices running Linux or a BSD. It would make zero sense for them to require systemd as a result.

This is also one of the issues that many, including myself, take with systemd since it now makes it harder to write portable software - one of the reasons many devs went to Linux from Windows.

about two weeks ago
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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

TemporalBeing Re:Any experienced teacher already deals with this (388 comments)

"they" is plural. Using it to refer to a single person is grammatically wrong.

And using it to cover the singular is never written in the singuar - it's still written in the plural thereby grammatically correct.

about two weeks ago
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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

TemporalBeing Re:Any experienced teacher already deals with this (388 comments)

"He or she" is proper English for referring to one person of unknown gender. It's much better than "they", because "they" is plural. It's only sloppiness that has allowed that to become acceptable usage.

No it's not. It only came into the English language through those trying to be "politically correct" in order to try to be "gender inclusive" instead of using the masculine encapsulation, and even then it was because they wanted to emphasize gender in the process - showing off their "inclusivity" by including both genders. The proper way to do that is to use "they".

Before that the term was never used to refer to an unknown person. Go study your grammar and English language history.

about two weeks ago
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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

TemporalBeing Re:Any experienced teacher already deals with this (388 comments)

You can't use one method in one sentence and another method in the next sentence while referring to the same unknown person. Consistency is key.

Sure you can. People do it all the time. We've rejected the patriarchal view that "he" is always the way to refer to someone when you don't know their gender, and "it" objectifies people and is insulting.

People do so because they were not taught correctly because of the whole PC movement and their grammatical incorrectness. Keep in mind, this is not for referring to any specific person - it is for referring to an unknown person or group people. If you are referring to a specific person then yes you must use the correct gender.

Also, see my other posts in this thread - if you want to use the feminine to encapsulate that's fine too. Just be consistent. You have choices; but none of them are "he or she" if you want proper English grammar.

Just because people do, doesn't make it correct or right.

Honestly, if your (or anyone) tried to publish or reviewing that kind of grammar under something I was editing, I'd call it out and make you correct it.

about two weeks ago
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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

TemporalBeing Re:Any experienced teacher already deals with this (388 comments)

or know that "he or she" is not grammatically correct when trying to be "gender neutral" which should use the neutral gender (it for singular or they for plural).

I would hope you would be aware that referring to someone as an "it" (for example, when not clear from the name what gender the person is, or the person is trans) can be pretty insulting, right?

Which is why it is normal to use "they" instead. It's up to the writer.

about two weeks ago
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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

TemporalBeing Re:Any experienced teacher already deals with this (388 comments)

That may be. However, "he or she" is still a very awkward expression, and still grammatically incorrect however socially acceptable it may have become. It is a construct defined by people that do not understand grammar, and foisted on others.

The grammatically correct method is to use "it" or "they", though more typically "they" for both singular and plural as it contains both "he and she" and is the proper way to refer to an unknown person.

Historically the English language, like many languages, used the masculine to encapsulate both genders as well, and that too is grammatically correct. You could also use the feminine that way if you like, but there's not much history in that. Either of these are still better grammar than using "he or she".

So choose your method of proper grammar:

  • it or they
  • masculine encapsulation
  • feminine encapsulation

and then be consistent in what you are writing. You can't use one method in one sentence and another method in the next sentence while referring to the same unknown person. Consistency is key.

about two weeks ago
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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

TemporalBeing Re:You know? The ass long time in summer? (388 comments)

That's not supposed to mean you get 20 weeks of vacation each year.

That's a myth. Teachers will often have to be working several weeks after students are no longer in the classroom, as well as return several weeks before students do. Further, depending on the school those teachers may have to find seasonal work for the summer in order to keep their income high enough to pay the bills over the summer break.

Just saying, summer vacation is not necessarily very much of a vacation for teachers.

Several weeks ? Try one week after and one week before .. My mother was a teacher for 35 years .. She was off pretty much all summer.

I've known a few teachers that had to start 4 weeks before students did; while others that only had to 1 week before. So it varies.

about two weeks ago
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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

TemporalBeing Re:Any experienced teacher already deals with this (388 comments)

in about the same time frame where English classes should be less about grammar and more about comprehension of literary works

Why should English classes be more about works of fiction and theatre by dead white European males and less about communicating your own ideas to other people?

Who said what materials? Does it really matter whether it is a translation of Homer's Ilyiad, Shakespear, or Godfrey Mutiso Gorry? The point is that you're looking at larger works to understand how language works in bigger and bigger pieces instead of small, isolated samples so you can learn about the bigger picture of writing instead of remaining in an isolated box.

And often covering such materials will lead to improvements in your own writing. That's not to say that writing would not be included, just that it would be more writing papers instead of diagraming sentences. So you will certainly be using your grammar and writing skills.

(FYI - this is coming from someone that is a relatively slow reader too.)

about three weeks ago
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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

TemporalBeing Re:You know? The ass long time in summer? (388 comments)

That's not supposed to mean you get 20 weeks of vacation each year.

That's a myth. Teachers will often have to be working several weeks after students are no longer in the classroom, as well as return several weeks before students do. Further, depending on the school those teachers may have to find seasonal work for the summer in order to keep their income high enough to pay the bills over the summer break.

Just saying, summer vacation is not necessarily very much of a vacation for teachers.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Linux-based GPS Units?

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TemporalBeing (803363) writes "I'm looking to a GPS unit, in-car windshield mount, for my wife. I know there are some units on the market already that run Linux, and I'd like to lend them my supports over their non-Linux brethren. However, I am quite new to looking at them and looking over TomTom's and Garmin's website does not provide any info on what OS they run. Android or another custom Linux is okay; and I need maps for the U.S.A. So, what do you recommend?"
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The evils of CVSNT

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TemporalBeing (803363) writes "CVSNT was originally a port of CVS to Windows, as well as some enhancements for the Windows environment. It is the backbone of projects like TortoiseCVS. This last spring, officially announced in late June, the current maintainers of CVSNT decided make the project a for-pay only as they migrate from being just CVS to their EVS system, which purports to integrate Subversion and other systems as well. In the process of doing so they have (i) closed down all mailing lists, even those they advertise on their website, (ii) no longer provide binaries except through back-end channels to open source projects like TortoiseCVS for distribution so those projects can continue, (iii) cut-off access to their source repositories, and (iv) done this all by saying they were advised to do so by the FSF, pointing only to a few web pages on the FSF's site. While the FSF does endorse that the GPL, LGPL, and open source projects can charge for the project, I find it highly suspicious that the FSF would endorse such a move by an open source project — one that essentially makes the project a proprietary project. What makes matters worse is that there is no tool available to move from CVSNT to a standard CVS or to any other revision control system as there are numerous "enhancements" to the RCS data backend that are specific to CVSNT which tools like cvs2svn don't understand, and without access to the source won't be able to understand. Additionally, since CVSNT became a more active project than the CVS project it was derived from it has essentially become the de facto CVS version used, stranding many in CVS and subject to the whims of March-Hare. Hopefully by brining this to the attention of Slashdot, the situation can be rectified."
Link to Original Source
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OpenMoko Freerunner dead?

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TemporalBeing (803363) writes "I've been looking to get an OpenMoko FreeRunner for a few months now; however, I wanted to get the A7 model as it has the Buzz Fix already applied. Sadly, The A7 model isn't available from OpenMoko with the 850MHZ radio. I recently e-mailed OpenMoko through their contact e-mail/support about this, asking when the 850MHZ will be available, only to get the following response:

There will not have A7 for GSM850 because we had stopped the phone development. Now we are focusing on our new product called WikiReader.

This after the last September's announcement of No More OpenMoko Phone and Openmoko Phone Not Dead After All. Looks like they are really just trying to clear the stock.

Submitter's note: Original Source is an e-mail I have. Please be kind with the original source I quote — it's the best I could do with slashdot's story submission form."

Link to Original Source

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Scientists report others fake data...

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 5 years ago

TemporalBeing (803363) writes "Scientists, at least according to the Times of London, are doing science a great injustice as One in Seven Scientists Say Colleagues Fake Data, stating:

Around 46 percent say that they have observed fellow scientists engage in "questionable practices", such as presenting data selectively or changing the conclusions of a study in response to pressure from a funding source.

And people wonder why the science is so fought nowadays. It's interesting that only 2 percent reported having engaged in such practices though...but then, is the study author trying to justify their study? Or are they presenting the facts?"

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Science and Religion...

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 5 years ago

TemporalBeing (803363) writes "In a recent essay published by The New Republic Jerry A. Coyne provides some insight into funding of science and the public groups that provide it — even those professing to be of "Christian" leaning. Regis Nicoll writes a summary for Breakpoint (an on-line and radio broadcast originally lead by Charles Colson in which we find:

Contrary to modern criticism, the scientist who approaches the world as a product of intelligence, rather than of matter and motion, is less likely to stop short of discovery. Instead of dismissing a feature that, at first glance, appears inert, unnecessary or just plain mystifying, he is more inclined to push the envelope of investigation to unravel its function and purpose.

Comments by Breakpoint readers can be found here. (Please be kind if posting to comments there; they are moderated and they don't get the volume normally does.)"

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LVM Disk Mirroring - to USB or not to USB

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TemporalBeing writes "I recently had a hard drive fail on me, and now working my way through the recovery process. Fortunately I didn't lose much data as it seems the hard drive mostly had stuff I didn't care too much about on it...things easily recoverable by re-install. Thankfully, it was a Linux system using LVM2.

As I work through this process I am also thinking about how to keep from losing data in the future, and have decided to setup a basic mirror RAID on the system, which is relatively new — e.g. circa 2005 — and supports USB2.0 without a problem. I am also thinking of doing the same on my home server — circa 1997/1998 — that only has USB1.1, and is in a fully operational state — though it doesn't have LVM installed yet.

So I looked in the adds this week, and noticed a Western Digital MyBook Essential 500GB drive on sale this week for $89, which leads me to my question for SlashDot:

I know USB is slower than internal drives for performance. But is it slow enough that it would not be good to use for mirroring the internal drives as part of a software drive mirror implemented via LVM2? Or should I try to go with internal hard drives for the task?

My goal is to try to keep the budget down, and right now get a mirror in place so that next time a hard disk failure won't even stand a question on whether data is lost — I just pop in a new disk to mirror to."
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CowboyNeal for President!

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TemporalBeing writes "Given the poor choice of candidates for the President of the USA this election season, we here at Slashdot should organize our own campaign and put forth one of our own as a Candidate. I propose CowboyNeal for President. (Think we can get him to run?)

Let's have some fun and really enjoy the season."
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Visualizing the Body...

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  about 7 years ago

TemporalBeing (803363) writes "IEEE provides a pretty nice article on how IBM is playing with technology like that of Google's GoogleEarth, only for medical, electronic health records instead. From the article:

"The 3-D coordinates in the model are mapped to anatomical concepts, which serve as an index onto the electronic health record. This means that you can retrieve the information by just clicking on the relevant anatomical part. It's both 3-D navigation and a 3-D indexed map," explains Elisseeff..."You can think of it as being like Google Earth for the body," is how Elisseeff frames the mapper engine. "We see this as a way to manage the increasing complexity that will come in using computers in medicine.""
"

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Microsoft's Real Plan?

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 7 years ago What's Microsoft's real plan? With the advent of .Net, the Microsoft/Novell deal, the splitting of Microsoft into three major groups internally, and the impossibility of Windows being developed the same way that Vista was for the the generation of Windows it becomes quite possible that Windows as we know it - with an NT Kernel and all - is no longer the future of Windows. Just how might Microsoft surive? Check out my full blog describing Microsoft's Real Plan.

From the blog:

It has been my speculation that .Net was the start of Microsoft's plan for how they will survive in a post Windows world.

...

Imagine (for a moment) Microsoft releasing a new version of Windows - Windows NG (for Next Generation) - that does not provide any backwards compatibility whatsoever. If Microsoft did this, they would need to be able to quickly push a lot of people to support their new system; or they could ride on the shoulders of giants - existing OS's that are already out there that have a lot of software

...

then how could Microsoft use an existing OS? What would there be for them to use? Well, there is always the BSD's, but then Microsoft would have to fork and support their own - kind of like Apple did; which could be costly. Or, Microsoft could chose a Linux Distribution (Novell's SuSE?) and make it its primary back end; add on the extra tools to move their infrastructure over (Vista's User Mode Sound and Video drivers, and .Net) and a user interface to make it look like Windows

A possibility? Sure. Likely? Only time will tell.

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Programming vs. Software Engineering & Why Software Is Hard

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 7 years ago I noticed the Slashdot Article on Why Software Is Hard and wrote a response in my Blog. Should be a good read for any techy. The blog entrie primary talks about Software Engineering vs. Programming. Needless to say, these go hand-in-hand with why software is hard. To quote from the Blog:

The key difference, however, is that the Software Engineer realizes that the "programming process" is just the implementation phase of creating software; and that there is a lot more to be done before the implementation phase can even begin. Comparitively, the programmer wants to just jump in and start writing code as soon as they have been handed a task, skipping the rest of the process, and possibly even ignoring any part of that process if anything from it was handed to him/her.

And FYI - the blog is more than just a link to the Slashdot article, and its related article. It also includes a link to few postings on OS News and its sister article, as well as some responses to a couple of the comments to that article. Needless to say, Slashdot (from what I could see) was a lot more forgiving of the original article.

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