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Comments

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Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

ThePhilips Re:So - who's in love with the government again? (365 comments)

OMFG. You frigging yankees can't even RTFA.

"OMG! ZOMG! gov't taking our freedoms!!! this must stop now!!!!!"

Let me help those of you who are not yet blind with rage, by quoting the RTFA:

The spent grain is hauled to dairy farms in the area, giving local cows a high-protein, high-fiber feed.

The proposal would classify companies that distribute spent grain to farms as animal feed manufacturers, possibly forcing them to dry and package the material before distribution.

It's not targeted on breweries specifically. It is targeted at diary farms. It is about accountability what the cows are fed with. Breweries inserted themselves into the market and, as suppliers, are subject to regulations.

yesterday
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Samsung's Position On Tizen May Hurt Developer Recruitment

ThePhilips Re:Worth noting (84 comments)

It's most likely that the three different platforms mentioned were developed and evangelized by three different teams at Samsung that never talked to each other. Each team probably thinks their solution is *the* solution.

It's much simpler, actually.

1. Samsung released Gear, based on Android. Major complain: miserable battery life.

2. Samsung released Gear 2, based on Tizen to address the major complains, battery life among them.

3. Google warms up to wearables while at the same time upset about Samsung diverging (and not only on werables). They approach Samsung and pressure them to go back to the official Android way of doing things. Thus, potentially, next Gear might be based on the Android again.

When I worked at Samsung, divisions were heavily siloed, and often the first time you heard about what they were doing was when you saw it on a news site. Even within the same platform, teams were heavily divided. Our software dev outreach teams didn't even have a way to talk to the hardware design teams.

Haven't worked for Samsung myself. From what I heard, your experience reflects most of the Samsung. But the Galaxy phones were so successful, that they treat them very differently. From the scarce accounts, as far as I can tell, the whole Galaxy development is vertically integrated to allow them quicker response to the competitive threats. (The problem, I heard, is that Samsung bosses, seeing Galaxy development being very successful, now throw all possible carp onto it, hoping that the business unit would also fix other broken products too.)

2 days ago
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Samsung's Position On Tizen May Hurt Developer Recruitment

ThePhilips Re:So ... (84 comments)

Samsung have managed to be successful with Android where other phone manufacturers have made losses on it. But it's having as little success with other Linux phone OSs as everyone else is.

They'd do best by sticking with Android. But maybe Google are making that increasingly difficult for them. It sucks not to be in control of your own OS.

I do think it's exaggeration.

If you look at the Android, more innovations comes from the Android OEMs than from the Google. Tablet support, advanced camera features, multitasking, multi-window, fingerprint sensor, wearable, in-vehicle infortainment - all first were done by EOMs. Google? Fancy UI gimmicks and G+ integration everywhere.

It is really hard to imagine how one can compete with Android right now due to market inertia.

But then, if you look at the reasons why Samsung went for Tizen with the current generation of the Gear devices - dramatic improvement in battery life - one can easily see that there is a niche for other OSs too.

And if you look what path Tizen has chosen to tackle the Android domination - native support for Android apps - you can easily see that the whole premise of the RTFA is flawed. Samsung doesn't want to fragment the market: they want to make Tizen compatible with Android to avoid the fragmentation. Developers shouldn't care what OS runs their apps, as long as it provides all the APIs necessary.

2 days ago
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The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

ThePhilips Re:Does this mean no more Gnome desktop? (689 comments)

For many years, Gnome was the most popular desktop environment.

That would have had a meaning, if GNOME was chosen based on technical merits.

GNOME became "default" desktop only because at the time it was GNU project and unlike KDE/Qt had F/LOSS license.

about a week ago
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The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

ThePhilips Re:Does this mean no more Gnome desktop? (689 comments)

The open source movement owes much to the Gnome foundation.

Care to elaborate?

I can only recall the libxml2 and it isn't the most popular xml library.

I had hopes for gstreamer too, but it turned out to be a dud, worth only writing helloworld^W Totem class applications. And GNOME has already wrote the Totem...

Rest of GNOME are just vast layers of layers of wrappers for layers of abstractions for wrappers for 3rd party libraries.

about a week ago
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Apple's Spotty Record of Giving Back To the Tech Industry

ThePhilips Hu? (267 comments)

Apache Foundation this days is mostly Java(TM)(R) Foundation.

Why would the Apple want to subsidize the Oracle?

about a week ago
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Civilization: Beyond Earth Announced

ThePhilips Re:I'm really excited to play this, because... (85 comments)

Last time I touched the VMware Player, full screen mode wasn't supported. Ditto VirtualBox.

Has that changed?

P.S. Fullscreen works in QEmu and DosBox.

about a week ago
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Civilization: Beyond Earth Announced

ThePhilips AC successor? Doubt it. (85 comments)

AC successor? Very much doubt it.

The Civ III/IV/V were indicatory of the direction they want to move the game: simplify, make it connected.

I'd say it is an achievement to have a Civ game play out in matter of hours. Marvel of game design. But that is also what made it shallow. When you start the game, you already know approximately how it is going to end. There are few surprises there.

AC to me was THE immersive game. You could play it short way - but that was boring. Or you could play it long way - and see your and game's limits. There are simply more possibilities in the AC, compared to the Civ. As time progresses, there are much more surprises in the game.

To me also it was the first game of the genre I could play on the highest difficulty level. All the info and numbers were there. Unlike the Civ where you have to guess and count number of the icons on the screen.

about a week ago
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Stephen Colbert To Be Letterman's Successor

ThePhilips Re:Which is it? (193 comments)

So, either Colbert is a sell-out,

I take you don't watch the Colbert Report?

Colbert is openly a total sell-out. But he manages to make it funny for everybody's involved.

about two weeks ago
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UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

ThePhilips Re:What debian lacks (341 comments)

I had a number of friends who used Wine to run MSO, because their universities demanded papers in WinWord, e-mail in Outlook and IE for the intranet. That was quite some time ago now. All of the stuff worked pretty well, including 3rd party ActiveX plug-ins. But that's because MSO/IE are *the* software many use Wine for.

The catch is that Wine occasionally breaks stuff. For popular apps that might be not a problem - but for some obscure corpoware is. AFAIU regression testing is very minimal and done by volunteers - due to proprietary nature of the software Wine is used to run. The important bit is to stay with the version which works for you. If upgrade is needed, test new version thoroughly in advance.

about two weeks ago
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UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

ThePhilips Virtualization? (341 comments)

800K PCs is a lot of stuff.

I wonder if anybody tried to calculate the costs of migrating that to a server farm with XP running in VMs?

If they use old hardware , then the RAM shouldn't be a problem.

If they use mostly the office software, then the CPU performance also shouldn't be a problem.

One can theoretically pack few dozens of those on a single blade.

about two weeks ago
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UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

ThePhilips Re:What debian lacks (341 comments)

Last time I checked, the MSO 2003/2007/etc (and old Windows software in general) runs very well under Wine.

Wine has problems with the newer software. But the old one runs fine.

about two weeks ago
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.NET Native Compilation Preview Released

ThePhilips Re:It produces performance like C++ (217 comments)

It can't use an `int` as a key or value - it operated on pointers to something abstract. Meaning that not only that something has to be dynamically allocated, but that if it is small - like `int` or even `long` - the overhead of dynamic memory would (typically) quadruple memory consumption. Which is clearly why things like glib aren't used in kernel space.

about two weeks ago
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.NET Native Compilation Preview Released

ThePhilips Re:It produces performance like C++ (217 comments)

For fuck's sake, *nix kernels have been implementing complex process and cycle allocation algorithms for four decades now, almost all of it written in C.

LOL. Thanks. As a system developer specializing on Linux, how could I have missed it!? /s

Seriously though, you might also note that it often took kernels also *decades* to get where they are.

Most algorithms are very very primitive - because you shouldn't put complex/unpredictable logic into the kernel.

Lion share of memory allocation is static. There are very few truly dynamic structures. Because kernel may not run out of memory (and kernel address space is often very limited).

Data structures are primitive - lists and hashes are the pillars - because everything else either has lower memory efficiency or has performance quirks.

It literally takes years to get it right.

Otherwise, if you are such a huge fan of C, please show me an implementation of binary tree in C which can be reused to store either `int` or `double` or `void *` data types in it. And no, crapload of preprocessor macros or type casts on every source code line do not cut it.

That's not even talking about various tools in userland that invoke fairly complex logic.

You seem to be either inexperienced or undereducated. Because you have missed the elephant in the room:

Complex logic != complex implementation.

And it's not like "complexity" has any formal definition.

Having seen and written plethora of C code in my life, I know well what C is capable of. But still, for any new development it is literally impossible to recommend C over C++.

about two weeks ago
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.NET Native Compilation Preview Released

ThePhilips Re:So when is MS Office going to be built with .NE (217 comments)

Microsoft were unable to use .NET to build their own applications, presumably because of poor performance.

Unlikely. MSO is very old. Very likely the source code is poorly documented and not completely understood. Porting that to anything is going to be a major and very risky undertaking.

.NET has clearly failed.

Still clearly better than VB.

about two weeks ago
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.NET Native Compilation Preview Released

ThePhilips Re:It produces performance like C++ (217 comments)

Raw C can be X-able.

It's just plain PITA to do it.

Otherwise, performance of the raw C is overrated. Or better: the developers who benefit most from C performance are the ones who can't algorithms. Also, developing reusable algorithms in C is a major PITA.

about two weeks ago
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.NET Native Compilation Preview Released

ThePhilips Re:Native Image Generator (217 comments)

That doesn't sound like a proper native compiler:

The Native Image Generator (Ngen.exe) is a tool that improves the performance of managed applications. Ngen.exe creates native images, which are files containing compiled processor-specific machine code, and installs them into the native image cache on the local computer. The runtime can use native images from the cache instead of using the just-in-time (JIT) compiler to compile the original assembly.

Yes, it does produce native code.

No, it doesn't produce an executable, ready for redistribution.

I do not disagree with the approach, but there is still the difference. If done right, it might be a blessing: code is optimized for the local CPU. If done poorly (as MS likes to do it sometimes) it might mean irreproducible bugs or performance regressions and outright no effect at all, if cache gets corrupted somehow.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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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.

"
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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  |  more than 7 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

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Debian as a "working" model for democracy

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  about 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.

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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.

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EULAs reaches new low

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 5 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?

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Six Nations "Just Say No" to ISO/IEC

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 5 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?

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Are Linux File Systems poor performers?

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 5 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?

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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.

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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.

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Open source video editing still has a long way to go

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  about 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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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  |  more than 7 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?

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Nintendo DS Lite

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 7 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.

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Good quotes on West

ThePhilips ThePhilips writes  |  more than 7 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.

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