Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

ThePhilips Re:This could be really good for Debian (547 comments)

That's a feature, not a defect.

If you want a distro that develops, there's always Ubuntu or Fedora.

My point wasn't that Debian is being developed too slow. QA has never been fast.

My point is that Debian nearly always distances itself from the development and the developer community.

In other comment I also mentioned the APT. If Debian was today debating a packaging system, they would never ever opt to *develop* the APT like they did in the past, but they would take the RPM and try to live with it.

Otherwise, just look at two good examples of distros evolving: SUSE Studio and Ubuntu Launchpad. Lots of things which happen there rarely see the daylight - but they allow distro to play proactive role in bringing together the developers and users. (But of course, SUSE Studio and Launchpad are targeted at two different kinds of "developers" - first is for developers of distros and second is for the developers of the software.) That might seem superficial, but it allows distro to actually learn about the new trends and things people are doing with the software. They need much less guessing what/how to do in the next release. OTOH Debian, beside the heavily unreliable popcon, is very very much closed and unto itself.

That distance also plays role in how Debian's decisions are made. You can't roll-out something new and experimental in Debian and expect later it being adopted in Debian main. No. Because Debian wants to have a project with proven track record. And you can't get the "proven track record" *in* Debian - because the project will not be accepted without "proven track record". That is why the development happens in the Fedora, Ubuntu and SUSE. Rarely in Debian.

And why is this on-topic? Because Debian with migration to systemd would in some aspects become Red Hat, which is not something I'm particularly happy about. Because, though RH doesn't develop much of the systemd itself, it does quite a lot of work on systemd integration. Because they played role in its development. They gave the project fighting chance. And all it took for them was to say the developers: OK. At the same time, if you check history of attempts to bring upstart into Debian (which is much longer than the vs systemd discussion), Debian wasted literally years discussing, and mostly dismissing upstart because it was used by only one distribution, despite Canonical's pledge. Result? Red Hat has nurtured the systemd - and Debian has strangled the upstart.

2 days ago
top

Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

ThePhilips Re:That's all we need ... (547 comments)

That has nothing to do with the init system. That performance largely depends on the performance of the applications, and to some extent on the performance of the DE. The init system, after start-up, is mostly idle. The "biggest" job it has then is the reaping of the zombie processes.

2 days ago
top

Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

ThePhilips Re:That's all we need ... (547 comments)

Yes and no. Mostly no.

Ubuntu uses upstart only to manage the early boot sequence. Majority of everything is still started by the traditional /etc/init.d scripts, with runlevels and whatnot. There are some services which have upstart jobs - but out-of-box they are minority.

2 days ago
top

Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

ThePhilips Re:That's all we need ... (547 comments)

I had an installation of vanilla Fedora 20 for couple of weeks. The release where it was said that systemd is properly and fully integrated.

On the same hardware, it did NOT boot or work faster compared to the vanilla Ubuntu.

On average, Fedora was 50-100% slower. Which was kind of surprising, because I thought nothing can beat the Unity desktop in poor interactivity. And that shell-scripted boot can't be faster than the systemd' C boot sequence. And yet...

2 days ago
top

GNU Emacs 24.4 Released Today

ThePhilips Re:Emacs OS (153 comments)

It is perilously close to an operating system - in stark contrast to the usual unix philosophy of small tools to do single jobs well.

GNU is not Unix. :)

Emacs is not based on the UNIX.

It is based on the lisp machines.

The lisp machine have died, but Emacs still lives on.

2 days ago
top

GNU Emacs 24.4 Released Today

ThePhilips Re:Emacs OS (153 comments)

But systemd is written in C. I gather we would have to start by implementing C in elisp.

2 days ago
top

GNU Emacs 24.4 Released Today

ThePhilips Emacs OS (153 comments)

Emacs OS - I know it is missing a text editor - but does it support systemd?

2 days ago
top

Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

ThePhilips Re:This could be really good for Debian (547 comments)

Compare that to the Fedora. The immaturity of systemd hasn't prevented them from actually giving the users a chance to try the new init system. It actually helped to step up its development. And Red Hat isn't even the top contributor to systemd.

The Debian does lots of good things - but it fails at letting people to help them.

New things are always going to lack "tangible code and some track record". And the Debian is the wrong place for a project to try to get one. And that is the biggest problem of the project, IMO.

2 days ago
top

Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

ThePhilips Re:That's all we need ... (547 comments)

However, it is undesired by a vocal minority of users and sysadmins

FTFY.

It is not a minority. It would become a overwhelming majority when the systemd would actually be installed on the majority of the systems. But it would be too late then, of course.

I probably shouldn't care at all. Systemd would never appear on the systems I work with. For the simple virtue that it is, with the dozens of other "supervision" frameworks, is simply redundant, primitive junk, which is only capable of starting and restarting the Apache server (a.k.a. "hello world" type of service, with no real (distributed networked) dependencies and one bit of state (running/not running)).

2 days ago
top

Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

ThePhilips Re:This could be really good for Debian (547 comments)

I am beginning to be wary of systemd, but no. I am talking about anal-retentive policy wonks who believe they only make the distribution for themselves and have (perhaps without intending to) systematically marginalized Debiian and made the project a whore to Ubuntu.

The Ubuntu LTS releases, are pretty much what I always expected from the Debian.

The difference is that Ubuntu isn't afraid to put time of developers into the release.

While Debian insists on simple repackaging.

I'm sorry to say it, but Debian has already been a "whore" to lots and lots of other distros, even before Ubuntu hit it big. For the fact of having no distinctive technology of their own.

Recall the time when the APT was ruling. Back then, the Debian ruled. APT had set the bar for other package management systems. People followed the Debian. Now? Not so much. Debian is following and has been following for many many years now. They are not distro per se - they are the distro factory, other distros build up on. I gather that makes it a "whore" distro.

Blaming Ubuntu misses the point. Because Ubuntu does much more than just repackage the Debian. The bigger question is: why Debian hasn't evolved into something like Ubuntu is? Where's Debian's launchpad with the PPAs? where anybody can develop new things? where from users can easily access the new things?

2 days ago
top

Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

ThePhilips Re:This could be really good for Debian (547 comments)

To me the most enlightening - and saddest - moment of the init system selection discussion was when Debian leadership quite clearly stated that they are not interested in something being developed in-house, they are just distro which packages somebody's else work.

After so many years, I have finally understood why Debian is constantly rises, hits the plateau, freezes for few years in shock and tumbles back down. They want to be just a distro. They do not lead - they follow. They do not create standards - they adopt them. They do not develop stuff - they just repackage someone else's stuff.

That again was one of the driving factor in picking the systemd over the rest. With systemd, somebody else is doing all the work, while Debian just repackages it.

Is fork a good idea? There is no fork, really. Debian is nothing but an organization, a community. One can clone the repo - but one can't clone the community.

Take out from all of this? There are no reasons to worry. Nothing really changed. Debian is simply following the rest of the distros. I'm simply hopeful that they would manage to integrate the systemd nicely. If not... It's not like it would be the first time Debian released something broken and unusable. (Oh, yes, there might no RC bugs - but the (too old/too new) versions of the software, or their configuration, simply make it useless. And trying to change it - breaks it.) That's why we have the Ubuntu, after all: it's like Debian, but not striving for some committee set goal - instead striving to be just useful.

2 days ago
top

Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

ThePhilips Re:IN OTHER WORDS? (774 comments)

It's tons of new code, tons of attack surface, tons of bullshit.

I take it then you are not admin - or a lowly paid one.

"new code" + "tons of bullshit" = reasons to ask management for more training, more hardware, larger IT budget. Then learn some the new obscure POS and become literally irreplaceable. Every new release - another new obscure POS - and people get a chance at a nice career.

And most importantly, since RH rewrites all the stuff every time, you do not actually need the Linux experience per se. Sometimes it is even counterproductive, since RH likes to patch stuff in some freaky way. It was for quite some time now with solutions where RH products were used: "People with extensive Linux experience don't need to apply."

Just like it was in the good ol' UNIX times.

about two weeks ago
top

Google Takes the Fight With Oracle To the Supreme Court

ThePhilips Re:Let us consult the Constitution (146 comments)

THE PROGRESS of science and useful arts

This fails the promoting progress requirement.

Not, if you measure "the progress" by the revenue/profit.

about two weeks ago
top

Google Takes the Fight With Oracle To the Supreme Court

ThePhilips Re:You can copyright maps and manuals (146 comments)

Copyrighting APIs makes no techinical sense, while copyrighting maps and manuals does.

The only thing remotely plausible is patenting APIs. And even that I'm not sure technically feasible.

I've witnessed probably man/centuries of wasted efforts due to crappy APIs - and I've seen single-person projects springing to life and seamingly leveling mountains when the available APIs were good.

Some APIs fit the puzzle of any applications - some force projects as a whole back to the drawing board.

about two weeks ago
top

What's Been the Best Linux Distro of 2014?

ThePhilips Re:FreeBSD (303 comments)

No idea. But the sound works real real good!!!

No PulseAudio, no "committee design" ALSA - the proper OSS.

Low/no jitter - clarity and definition of sound you can't experience under Linux.

If you have hi-fi/better connected to the PC, and your sounds card is supported, you owe it to yourself.

about two weeks ago
top

Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

ThePhilips Re:Just fucking leave it alone! (774 comments)

Also you do not name any particular reasons why not to change it.

Only technically-illiterate can ask such question.

System console is there because on (almost) totally broken system, it is pretty much the only thing working.

Throwing more software into the system console is pretty much guaranteed to be detrimental to the rate one would be able to get the console working on a broken system to repair it.

Especially nowadays, when systemd, which is very actively developed, breaks systems often enough (by refusing to boot) to require people to drop into the system console and repair system to make the systemd working again.

Just beeing aggressive and name calling does not bring us further.

Ignorance is bliss?

It is not the first time systemd tries to break stuff they have no frigging idea about.

about two weeks ago
top

Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

ThePhilips Re:IN OTHER WORDS? (774 comments)

like it or suck it users!

I have impression that only I recognize the trend: the Linux is slowly transforming into the UNIX.

The same crappy attitude. The same crappy unusable bundled software you can't unbundle or replace. Admins are overjoyed with the new shiny toys - users are making teeth screeching sounds.

All symptoms support the diagnosis: it's UNIX.

about two weeks ago
top

Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

ThePhilips A bug in systemd (774 comments)

So a bug in systemd now (or botched update) would be a totally unresolvable, because Linux box wouldn't even have proper console then?

Very very sane plan. Kudos, systemd. /s

about two weeks ago
top

Lennart Poettering: Open Source Community "Quite a Sick Place To Be In"

ThePhilips Re:Less static hardware. (993 comments)

they would eventually lose customers if systemd causes all the machines to fail regularly - so they would be shooting themselves in the foot. now do the arithmetic if they lose customers

RHEL is a golden boy of modern corporate Linux.

You can't replace them because corporate accountants know only the RHEL and RHEL corporate talk the same language as them. And just like the UNIX, you better not touch the RHEL, because RH might simply say (and often do) they do not support the configuration and you are on your onw.

I feel like I'm reliving the piece of the UNIX history. The only difference only is that nobody yet wrote the "RHEL Haters Handbook".

about two weeks ago
top

Hackers Compromised Yahoo Servers Using Shellshock Bug

ThePhilips Re:Can someone explain... (69 comments)

Because /bin/sh almost always is /bin/bash on Linux [...]

On most systems - number-wise - which are Debian-based - it is not.

But on the RHEL, the golden boy of corporate uni-culture, it is. The UNIX reborn.

Let that be a moment of the appreciation for all the work Debian and Ubuntu people do behind the scenes. (Yes, Ubuntu too: the transition to dash was actively supported by Canonical since they wanted Ubuntu to boot faster and Debian folks were in agreement with the goal.)

P.S. Why RHEL hasn't picked up all the work Debian/Ubuntu has done for them? The usual - NIH - I suspect.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

top

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ThePhilips (752041) writes "Interesting C|Net piece How GPL fits in with the future of antitrust regulation about case which wanted to challenge GPL on anti-trust grounds. Quotes:

The plaintiff in the case, Daniel Wallace, has wanted to compete with Linux by offering a derivative work or by writing an operating system from the ground up. He argued that he has been barred from doing so, while Linux and its derivatives can be obtained at no charge. He asserted that IBM, Red Hat and Novell have conspired to eliminate competition in the operating-system market by making Linux available at an "unbeatable" price: free.

The court found Wallace's theory to be "faulty substantively." The decision pointed out that "the goal of antitrust law is to use rivalry to keep prices low for consumers' benefit." Here, the court concluded that Wallace sought to employ "antitrust law to drive prices up," which would "turn (antitrust law) on its head."

Common sense prevailed.

"
top

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ThePhilips (752041) writes "OpenDocument Fellowship has done some interoperability testing. Sadly, no ODF suit/application has as of yet received "5 out of 5 stars" conformance/interoperability mark.

KOffice and OO.o are noted as having problems with each other documents - specifically images. Or to put it bluntly, goal of interoperability is more than just far away. But at moment it is clear that price is major driving force behind the office suits so interoperability apparently had been lowered to second priority.

I wonder how would OASIS.org handle interoperability of ODF suits in future. Apparently interoperability with M$Office is still higher in list of OO.o priorities - compared to fellow ODF suits / standalone applications.

P.S.

Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop
No scoops, just botherdom of real world."
top

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  about 8 years ago

ThePhilips (752041) writes "I recently tried to make simple QuickRef document for GNU/Arch. QuickRef in theory is simple document which encompass list of often used commands of specific tool. I wanted to create such one in ODT using OpenOffice.org 2.0 under (sorry) Windows.

It's all started Okay. But after typing few lines, I got tired of OO.o2 bug: one-two minute freezE when opening fonts dialog (It happens sometime when you have several documents open in OO.o for long period of time.)

I bravely decided that KOffice 1.5 would do better job, so I fired up VMware Player (we are not allowed to have Linux in office - free VMware is Ok) with Debian. First problem appeared - fonts. Windows and Linux do not have same fonts. Document with Times New Roman and Courier New looked ugly, until I replaced M$Windows fonts with native Linux ones - Bitstream Serif/Sans/Mono.

Then second problem surfaced: KOffice 1.5 apparently doesn't support character styles, but only paragraph styles. I used such style in comments intermixed in meta-code I were adding to QuickRef.

Okay. KOffice is really more pleasant to work with, compared to OO.o1/2. And bit later job was done. Now I was going to enjoy the results. "Print" > "Print to PDF" ... Oops. That looks ugly. Apparently GhostScript didn't like fonts I have used and all labels in PDFed QuickRef were misrendered: readable, but ugly. Nevermind - let's try another fonts. No luck: the same ugly result.

Okay. Nevermind. Let's bring my QuickRef back to Windows and OO.o2 - if it's inconvenient to edit document, printing/exporting framework of OO.o is definitely more stable compared to KOffice one.

FTP, copy document, fire up OO.o2 ... Holy crap. Fonts - OO.o seems used some randomization algorithm picking font substitution. Font sizes - some paragraphs or parts of them displayed with font size two times (or so) smaller than standard (and no apparent problem is visible in paragraph style dialog - all sizes globally set to 11pt, reapplying style didn't help). Italic I have used for comments got partially removed... Needless to say that next-to-perfect PDF export function of OO.o have produced exact replica of the ugly mess I have had on screen.

No matter how raw and unstable KOffice 1.x, OO.o2 dumbly breaks on document created in alternative application. The only way I have come up to fix the observed in OO.o weirdnesses - reimport thru plain text file (select all, copy to notepad, reselect in notepad and then back from notepad into OO.o) what is bogus. Does anybody ever tested OO.o with ODF generated by other tools, me wonders.

I wonder if I am only one who is trying interoperability of ODF suits. Have anybody else tryed to move ODF documents around between ODF capable suits (OO.o and KOffice are the only I know and have) with positive results? Moving documents from Windows to Linux and back?

"

Journals

top

Debian as a "working" model for democracy

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Fun to watch "democracy" at work at Debian. Now 2+ years old social bug Please decide on Python interpreter packages maintainership opened by Python DDs, complaining about poor communication skills of the Python maintainer and request for his replacement, is still open. After two years, lots of emotions, personal involvement of the DPL and total silence from the actual Python maintainer being discussed, the CTTE seems to be reaching consensus that maintainer shouldn't be changed: because situation somewhat eased over the two years, but mostly because he is good guy, esp when talking to important Debian people, e.g. CTTE members. And he's also maintainer of many other important packages in Debian so pissing him off is quite dangerous. The most ironic part, is the last message (last as of writing) mentioning that the Python maintainer is again at it.

top

More choice is less? PC market, I'm looking at you!

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Interview with Barry Schwartz on Colbert Report, where he "explains why people are paralyzed with indecision when they're offered too many choices."

In a way, an eye opener. I started scratching my back trying to recall when/why that happened to me. Because I had immediately the feeling that it had been happening to me more than often. And then I have recalled.

Buying the computers and PC parts.

Why I bought an Apple MacBook? Because I spent too much time trying to configure a perfect notebook for myself from HP and Lenovo. Way too many choices. Impossible to pick one. Went to the online Apple store: two product lines (plain v. pro) further differentiated by a screen size. Input screen size, input amount of money one's ready to spend - and you get the deal.

Building a desktop was similar experience. Went with cheapest (of recently released) dual-core AMD because figuring out best deal on more expensive Intel CPUs started slowly driving me nuts.

top

EULAs reaches new low

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  about 6 years ago

As was posted on BoingBoing (originally on BoingBoing Gadgets by John Brownlee):

[...] watching Sleeping Beauty on Blu-Ray requires that you accede to over 120 pages of legal garbage in various EULAs before you can start the movie.

And Cory Doctorow has a bit more to add on other EULA abuses from Disney:

Disney has a sickness when it comes to abusive EULAs and contracts. I once had to cancel a speech at Imagineering because the legal department wanted me to sign something saying that I'd never use the word "Disney" in print again without permission. The Laugh Factory attraction at Disney World's Tomorrowland had a ridiculous EULA on a sign (you agreed to the terms by passing under the sign) (!) in which you promised that any jokes you suggested were your own and that you would indemnify Disney from any copyright suits arising from the telling of the jokes (the sign was not a joke). As though eight year olds can form contracts (they can't), by standing under signs (they can't), and as though most jokes people tell are original (they aren't).

What's next? Jokes with EULAs requiring you to laugh? And hearing the joke means that you agreed to EULA automatically?

top

Six Nations "Just Say No" to ISO/IEC

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Fresh very informative entry ConsortiumInfo.org blog:

The latest blowback from the OOXML adoption process emerged last Friday in Brasilia, Brazil. This newest challenge to the continued relevance of ISO and IEC was thrown when major IT agencies of six nations - Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Paraguay, South Africa and Venezuela - signed a declaration that deploring the refusal of ISO and IEC to further review the appeals submitted by the National Bodies of four nations.

Seems, the saga isn't yet over. Andy also linked to the new initiatives Civil ICT Rights and The Hague Declaration aimed to protect privacy and free speech rights in digital age.

Main question is: might ISO be an organization governments can trust on sensitive standards? Or new body, vendor neutral, dedicated to IT standards, should be established?

top

Are Linux File Systems poor performers?

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Found fancy article which is lambasting Linux File Systems as being unsuitable for servers and big loads. It is even hard to debunk article which starts like:

And what was Linux's initial target market? A Microsoft desktop replacement, of course.

and then goes into some theoretical technical problems - theoretical because no real world task is given as an example of what is affected by the problems. Since article is presented as being written by "industry consultant with 27 years experience in high-performance computing and storage" and contains unproven load of facts, it is pretty hard to swallow. Especially after many I/O intensive tasks I have accomplished on Linux. What will be /. judgment of the article?

top

The 2007 International Privacy Ranking

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 6 years ago Fresh report from Privacy International is in. From key findings:

The 2007 rankings indicate an overall worsening of privacy protection across the world, reflecting an increase in surveillance and a declining performance o privacy safeguards. Surveillance initiatives initiated by Brussels have caused a substantial decline in privacy across Europe, eroding protections even in those countries that have shown a traditionally high regard for privacy. The lowest ranking countries in the survey continue to be Malaysia, Russia and China. The highest-ranking countries in 2007 are Greece, Romania and Canada. The 2006 leader, Germany, slipped significantly in the 2007 rankings, dropping from 1st to 7th place behind Portugal and Slovenia. The worst ranking EU country is the United Kingdom, which again fell into the "black" category along with Russia and Singapore. However for the first time Scotland has been given its own ranking score and performed significantly better than England & Wales. Despite political shifts in the US Congress, surveillance initiatives in the US continue to expand, affecting visitors and citizens alike.

top

10 illegal job interview questions

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Interesting (and rather old story) on Tech Republic: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/10things/?p=229:

Although HR departments should be aware of questions that are illegal to ask prospective employees, some hiring managers aren't so savvy. Many illegal questions are easy for just about anyone with elementary social graces to avoid, but others might surprise you. In general, you should not ask interviewees about their age, race, national origin, marital or parental status, or disabilities.

List of innocent questions and small talk stuff is in the article. Enlightening read.

top

Open source video editing still has a long way to go

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Here is Roblimo's take on Linux video editing state of affairs:

Kino captures video (although not high-definition video) competently through a FireWire port, and Cinelerra can do most video editing tasks if you are willing to spend three to ten times as long doing them as you would with Vegas or Final Cut.

I do not have a high opinion of Cinelerra. If you are accustomed to Sony Vegas, Final Cut, Avid or other high-end video editing packages, you will find Cinelerra painfully clunky. Of course, once you've gotten used to really good video editing software, you won't like most proprietary consumer-level video editing products, either, not even MainActor (for Linux or Windows), which costs more than three times as much as the much more capable Magix Movie Edit Pro (for Windows only).

I have had no luck using Jahshaka, and although I have downloaded GStreamer-based PiTiVi from the Ubuntu archives, so far I have not gotten it to start up successfully, let along do anything useful with it.

Bugs. Crashes. Clunkiness and over complication. We've seen it before.

"It's OK to spend money to make money":

I did my first "video" edits with film and razor blades, so I am often amazed at how easy it has gotten -- with high-level proprietary software -- to turn out professional-quality video work, and I am especially amazed that it now can be done on an inexpensive desktop computer instead of requiring a special, high-powered workstation. Beyond those miracles, asking for my video editing software to be free (in either sense) almost seems like too much.

Linux's state of muiltimedia support seems to be always on catch up - with three-four years lag compared to Mac/Windows solutions. Now authoring became a hot topic - and Linux development community again is seen as bunch of amateurs. What is kind of true in the context.

RTFA worth reading - if like to know that you are not alone with your video editing problems under Linux.

top

eBay security conspiracy catches on with readers

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Interesting RTFA - in comments from readers section - posted on ElReg.

One of the quotes:

It looks like the hacker gained VPN access to the internal eBay network. That, along with the fact that they don't stored hashed passwords but plain text ones is a very likely explanation of what is happening. So it's just plain old fashioned hacking which leads to disastrous results because eBay's bad security design.

Seems like eBay got itself compromised. I doubt that so much of eBayer computers' got 0wned. And the fact that crackers started immediately posting scam/auctions seem to point into direction of organized criminals who penetrate eBay's intranet or buy client accounts from its employees - to sell fitting account information to scammers. Original ElReg's story here is also worth reading. Quote:

A month later, Auction Guild was back, this time with evidence that a Romanian hacker going by the name Vladuz had developed and was circulating a sophisticated tool that reads confidential information residing on eBay's internal network, allowing attackers free reign of virtually any account and a trove of information that could be used in phishing attacks.

In short: stay away from such lucrative scam target as eBay.

P.S. Screen shots of the aforementioned tool from Vladuz.

top

Korea: EA "started giving away the game" FIFA Online

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Interesting report on IHT:

"FIFA 07," a video game for soccer fans, costs around 50 in Europe. In South Korea, five million players have downloaded the online version free -- yet Electronic Arts, the publisher, is cheering them on.

Realizing that it was impossible to sell "FIFA Online" in a country where piracy is rampant, Electronic Arts started giving away the game last spring. Once the players were hooked, the company offered for sale ways to gain an edge on opponents; extending the career of a star player, for instance, costs less than $1. Since May, Electronic Arts has sold 700,000 of these enhancements.

Not that EA can helps its margins with such numbers, but yet the practice - of competitive pricing - still seems more plausible one than misguided anti-piracy onslaughts. (*) I know that similar practice was used by several publishers to sell games in Russia: games were officially priced at 2-3 times what they cost on black market: $5-8 against fixed rate of $2.5 for CD/DVD of black market. It's stupid to expect people to pay they monthly income for a mere computer game.

(*) Misguided, because most of the "pirates" - consumers buying games on black market in 3rd world - are largely not affected by the anti-piracy measures: sellers are stripping them before pressing bootleg copies. It's only customers - honest ones - in main markets like US/EU/Japan struggle through the all copy-protection bumps.

top

EMI is in trouble

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Funny article on Bloomberg: EMI Ousts Top Music Executives, Forecasts Lower Sales. Quote:

EMI Group Plc, the U.K. record company that signed the Beatles, ousted its two top music executives and forecast lower revenue after disappointing holiday sales.

Alain Levy will leave after five years as chief executive officer of the recorded music division. David Munns, the unit's vice chairman, will also step down.

Key quote:

EMI's revenue has declined as downloads failed to make up for business lost to piracy.

Not that we beleived the crap before. But what's interesting - is the timing. The anouncement comes as follow up to another article discussed on Slashdot recently.

P.S.

Downloads accounted for 8.5 percent of EMI's revenue in the fiscal first half, up from 5.4 percent in the previous year. That wasn't enough to make up for losses to piracy.

Notice they quote percents - not raw money numbers. Nearly 60% rise of sales, what is not that bad. $0.70 from each song sold isn't making up for $10+ they made on every CD before. Does that surprise anyone?

top

Re: MySQL Quietly Drops Support For Debian Linux

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 7 years ago

From MySQL Quietly Drops Support For Debian Linux:

MySQL now supports only two Linux distributions -- Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Read between lines: MySQL had given up on vanilla Linux kernel and all its pesky VM bugs.

Well, at least that was my experience of MySQL on vanilla kernel: trying to rebuild index for table of size several times bigger than RAM brings system completely down. Though miraculously it did worked ok when booted into RH shipped kernel. Go figure.

Edit1. Well Okay they clarified the issue. There is no problems of supporting MySQL on other Linux system. Mea culpa for not waiting for official news.

top

Case GPL v. anti-trust regulations concluded.

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Interesting C|Net piece How GPL fits in with the future of antitrust regulation about case which wanted to challenge GPL on anti-trust grounds. Quotes:

The plaintiff in the case, Daniel Wallace, has wanted to compete with Linux by offering a derivative work or by writing an operating system from the ground up. He argued that he has been barred from doing so, while Linux and its derivatives can be obtained at no charge. He asserted that IBM, Red Hat and Novell have conspired to eliminate competition in the operating-system market by making Linux available at an "unbeatable" price: free.

The court found Wallace's theory to be "faulty substantively." The decision pointed out that "the goal of antitrust law is to use rivalry to keep prices low for consumers' benefit." Here, the court concluded that Wallace sought to employ "antitrust law to drive prices up," which would "turn (antitrust law) on its head."

Common sense prevailed.

top

ODF Interoperability

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 7 years ago

OpenDocument Fellowship has done some interoperability testing. Sadly, no ODF suit/application has as of yet received "5 out of 5 stars" conformance/interoperability mark.

KOffice and OO.o are noted as having problems with each other documents - specifically images. Or to put it bluntly, goal of interoperability is more than just far away. But at moment it is clear that price is major driving force behind the office suits so interoperability apparently had been lowered to second priority.

I wonder how would OASIS.org handle interoperability of ODF suits in future. Apparently interoperability with M$Office is still higher in list of OO.o priorities - compared to fellow ODF suits / standalone applications.

P.S.

Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

No scoops, just botherdom of real world.

top

OpenDocument Format - How portable it is?

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  about 8 years ago

I recently tried to make simple QuickRef document for GNU/Arch. QuickRef in theory is simple document which encompass list of often used commands of specific tool. I wanted to create such one in ODT using OpenOffice.org 2.0 under (sorry) Windows.

It's all started Okay. But after typing few lines, I got tired of OO.o2 bug: one-two minute freezE when opening fonts dialog (It happens sometime when you have several documents open in OO.o for long period of time.)

I bravely decided that KOffice 1.5 would do better job, so I fired up VMware Player (we are not allowed to have Linux in office - free VMware is Ok) with Debian. First problem appeared - fonts. Windows and Linux do not have same fonts. Document with Times New Roman and Courier New looked ugly, until I replaced M$Windows fonts with native Linux ones - Bitstream Serif/Sans/Mono.

Then second problem surfaced: KOffice 1.5 apparently doesn't support character styles, but only paragraph styles. I used such style in comments intermixed in meta-code I were adding to QuickRef.

Okay. KOffice is really more pleasant to work with, compared to OO.o1/2. And bit later job was done. Now I was going to enjoy the results. "Print" > "Print to PDF" ... Oops. That looks ugly. Apparently GhostScript didn't like fonts I have used and all labels in PDFed QuickRef were misrendered: readable, but ugly. Nevermind - let's try another fonts. No luck: the same ugly result.

Okay. Nevermind. Let's bring my QuickRef back to Windows and OO.o2 - if it's inconvenient to edit document, printing/exporting framework of OO.o is definitely more stable compared to KOffice one.

FTP, copy document, fire up OO.o2 ... Holy crap. Fonts - OO.o seems used some randomization algorithm picking font substitution. Font sizes - some paragraphs or parts of them displayed with font size two times (or so) smaller than standard (and no apparent problem is visible in paragraph style dialog - all sizes globally set to 11pt, reapplying style didn't help). Italic I have used for comments got partially removed... Needless to say that next-to-perfect PDF export function of OO.o have produced exact replica of the ugly mess I have had on screen.

No matter how raw and unstable KOffice 1.x, OO.o2 dumbly breaks on document created in alternative application. The only way I have come up to fix the observed in OO.o weirdnesses - reimport thru plain text file (select all, copy to notepad, reselect in notepad and then back from notepad into OO.o) what is bogus. Does anybody ever tested OO.o with ODF generated by other tools, me wonders.

I wonder if I am only one who is trying interoperability of ODF suits. Have anybody else tryed to move ODF documents around between ODF capable suits (OO.o and KOffice are the only I know and have) with positive results? Moving documents from Windows to Linux and back?

top

Nintendo DS Lite

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  about 8 years ago

Recently bought Nintendo DS Lite - just for fun and distraction from my usual heavy duty Unix programming. Two games we purchased: Tetris DS and Mario Carts DS.

I spent about 0.00 hours installing/updating Windows. I spent less than 0.00 hours installing fresh nVidia drivers. DS doesn't support (nor requires for proper functioning) apt-get, what was bit disappointing. ;)

And guess what? Regardless device is working great: plug cartridge, press 'A' key and here you go. I wish someday PeeCee software would reach that level of usability.

Games are fun. Tetris is real official Tetris (since that [bad guy] Pajitnov sold the Tetris game invented by his colleague to Nintendo) and well made. Carts are fun too: all tracks are made so that most of the races are about 3 minutes long - precisely time I need to make a break hacking sockets and pipes.

Overall, I'm impressed. It was hard to imagine that the appliance (which sadly doesn't run Linux) could be that well made and provide only good experience.

I think Nintendo might have sold much more of them, be they priced here in Europe more sanely. 140€ for DS Lite and 20-40€ per game is bit too much for something targeted at kids. Many games are rated "3+" - but I wonder how much parents would even think about spending that much for toy for their 3+ kids.

top

Good quotes on West

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Acceptance without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western religion, rejection without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western science.

-- Gary Zukav

P.S.

Reporter: What do you think of western civilization?
Mahatma Gandhi: I think it would be a good idea.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?