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Comments

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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

ThePhilips Re: Boom in the EU = Boom in Redmond (245 comments)

We heard this argument many times before.

The problem with it is that with Windows you are pretty much forced to buy such solution, either from MS or from 3rd parties.

With Linux, it is really an option, a "nice to have".

For example, a small engineering company in Germany. They actually bought it for 12 desktops in their office. (One desktop is actually server.) Not because they had to, but because it basically freed them up from having a full time admin. (They have admin, but he wanted to go into the CAD/design, and the Ubuntu managed solution simply allowed him to.) (Why Ubuntu? They have tried it - it worked for them well and they have stayed with it.)

about a week ago
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GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

ThePhilips Re: Er? (314 comments)

LANG=Japanese appname in the terminal makes so much more sense.

The problem with that, is that very few applications are now isolated these days. You typically have a DB back-end, data export/import and RPC to other system services. Setting a different locale is error prone since some data might be simply misinterpreted and end up corrupted. And that is real problem, since lots of user data are actually stored in textual form (even in DB!).

IME, the per-application locale has its uses, but in real world it causes more problems than it solves. In fact, since most Linux distros support quick account switching, the cheapest solution right now is to use two accounts with different locales.

Forcing systemwide language settings is a broken concept. The fact my Japanese wife has to set her whole iphone to English to get google maps to say street names in the US while driving is a great real world example.

There is no sane way to solve that problem on the level of OS. (Even "primary language; secondary language" is not enough, since for example I have to deal daily with three languages (Russian, English, German).) Most of the time this ends up being in the responsibility of the application developers: if they care enough, they offer a possibility to use a language different from the system one.

Think of the flip-side: you might accidentally force all Japanese and all English iPhones to download both English and Japanese locale data. And this is pretty large amount of the data to just sit around idly, just in case when user might once decide to hear the street names in different language.

about two weeks ago
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GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

ThePhilips Re:Needed by who? (314 comments)

Wait, who actually needs to do those things?

Desktop applications.

For example, you change time zone or locale in system settings and your organizer app automatically picks up the changes.

And if the services do not depend on systemd, why are they part of the package?

Pottering is maintainer of all of them. So he brought it under the systemd umbrella.

Sounds like a made-up scenario and some bad packaging. Not a real-world need.

Applications "need" the services. They do not care who provides the services. As was said many times, the daemons - with few irrelevant changes to the source code to remove hardcoded systemd depedency - run fine without systemd.

Certainly fits the systemd reputation for taking over already-solved problems without any reason, though.

Yes.

Pottering also enjoys the confusion he has seeded with the organization of the systemd. He claims simultaneously (depending on the context; and to his advantage) that systemd is modular and monolithic. While in fact systemd has monolithic architecture and modular design. Pretty much the worst combination possible - prominently featured in the MSWindows, why comparison with Windows is highly relevant. (Ideally you want modular architecture, while design could be either monolithic (e.g. Linux kernel, optimized for performance) or modular (e.g. GIMP with the tons of the plug-ins, geared toward extensibility). But monolithic architecture is pretty much the worst thing you could ever do to a software project.)

about two weeks ago
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GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

ThePhilips Re:Er? (314 comments)

The three services are actually needed.

For what? If you say "to bring more windowsisms to linux" then I can believe it. Otherwise, not so much.

For applications. To handle properly when user changes the system settings.

These daemons are primitive at best. There were more comments written about them then there is source code lines in them.

Note, I'm in no favor of systemd itself. Debian in the past exemplified that you can actually use GNOME on a system without systemd, with only slightly patched up systemd-*d daemons. Which makes a lot of sense to me. But their maintainer is Poeterring, and he merged that all into the systemd, and there is no replacement for the daemons, so...

The usefulness of logind can be argued, but centralized management of date/time and locale changes were long overdue. Linux is pretty much the only OS remaining, where application, if needed, can't really know if/when date/time or locale has changed.

Unix (not so much linux) has for a really long time been a multi-user system, where multiple users can use different locales and different time zones.

Nobody dismisses the multi-user-ness of the *NIX. In fact, the services should improve that by allowing a user to easily change his own locale/time zone without the need for log-out/log-in cycle.

The blank the services are filling is allowing application to perform application-specific tasks *when* user changes the locale or time zone. Editing a text config, and then restarting everything is, sorry, but horribly outdated. (We can update kernel on the fly - but not locale!? WTF?)

about two weeks ago
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GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

ThePhilips Re:ntp is the line in the sand (314 comments)

See previous reply to my comment.

The systemd-timedated is harmless - the systemd-timesyncd is a different story.

about two weeks ago
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GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

ThePhilips Re:ntp is the line in the sand (314 comments)

So the rumors were true that in V2.0 systemd would finally offer integration with ntoskrnl.exe, along with rewrite to take full advantages of the CLR.

about two weeks ago
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GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

ThePhilips Re:Er? (314 comments)

The three services are actually needed.

The systemd-localed is simple: it provides the user with capability to change the locale on the fly (and applications with the ability to react on the locale change).

The systemd-timedated does almost the same for the date and time.

And the systemd-logind is basically a dbus wrapper to provide access to log-out/shutdown/etc functions.

The usefulness of logind can be argued, but centralized management of date/time and locale changes were long overdue. Linux is pretty much the only OS remaining, where application, if needed, can't really know if/when date/time or locale has changed.

In no way the services itself depend on the systemd - they are simply part of the systemd package. Nothing more.

about two weeks ago
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GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

ThePhilips Re:ntp is the line in the sand (314 comments)

What any of that has to do with the network time protocol?

FreeBSD folks do the same thing Debian did for some time before adopting the systemd: instead of the systemd, provide the teeny-tiny services, applications actually depend on.

about two weeks ago
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Willow Garage Founder Scott Hassan Aims To Build a Startup Village

ThePhilips Re:So .. it's a college? (62 comments)

[...] comes from the tried and true cycle of hypothesis --> test --> evaluate.

Ah. The science. The scientific process. But science is precisely the example of the branch with closed environment, discrimination and elitism, which abhors and rejects any innovation or change. Unless it comes from a prof with a fat grant, of course.

That's why, for example, computer science, effectively branched off and doesn't use the scientific process. Likewise, most of the industries: the scientific process is way too expensive and way too wasteful when applied to tangible things. Some areas do it because all low hanging fruits are already gone and there is simply no alternative. But again, due to the costs, it is applied in a very very limited fashion.

In the end, in this particular context, it is OK to ignore science because your definition of innovation is simply different. Heck, you measure "innovation" in number of published papers.

about two weeks ago
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Willow Garage Founder Scott Hassan Aims To Build a Startup Village

ThePhilips Re:So .. it's a college? (62 comments)

That's an appealing idea, but I don't think it's true. I've read before that innovation generally comes from the experts in a field and the "happy accident" type of innovation from naive newcomers is more myth than reality.

Not in my experience, though.

But of course professional pride kicks in even before the first round of applause fades, and after that it is "of course it was very very hard work!!!"

Then again, I probably define innovation very differently than someone focused on an incubator village and start-ups. I'm thinking more along the lines of Bell Labs [...]

That's precisely the type of innovation I was talking about. (Facebook thingies happen by throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks. When lots of people do it simultaneously, there is a chance that some of it sticks.)

The thing about big R&D centers is that nobody really sees what's going on behind the closed doors. Behind the closed doors in the most "productive" labs you would find chaos and disorder - precisely the environment where errors and accidents occur. But it certainly takes dedication (to field or problem) to actually make out of that a "Eureka!" moment.

Otherwise, if innovation was that easy to achieve by simply good planning, then it would have been done a long time ago.

about two weeks ago
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Willow Garage Founder Scott Hassan Aims To Build a Startup Village

ThePhilips Re:So .. it's a college? (62 comments)

Except that you would rarely see new people.

More innovation happens by accidents, mistakes and misunderstandings. Or the ever silly questions of the newcomers.

Without inflow of new people, the "village" would suffer mental rot pretty quickly.

In a sense, a maker fairs are already better "startup villages", IMO.

about two weeks ago
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Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

ThePhilips Re:The far reaches (826 comments)

I'm clearly a beardy type despite cutting my teeth on Unix well after 1988. Apparently I did get the message where so many others did not.

I started seriously with Linux in 1999, after 5 years of WinNT4. And I do not like the systemd.

SystemD is a reinvention of Windows for Linux. It's even made the same way as the Windows: modular design with monolitic architecture. Just like a card house: pull one card, and the whole thing comes down.

That's why Linux back then was like a breath of fresh air to me. Coming from NT4 (which was hard to keep working) to Linux (which I could bring back from a fatal failure in under 15 minutes) pretty much exemplified to me how *NOT* to design the software.

SystemD is indeed the "second system effect" which (unknowingly?) implements many errors of the Windows. The errors which still hunt MS to this day!. (E.g. all embedded Windows attempts failed. Now they have a dedicated embedded system - WinPho - because porting the "card house" to another device built around different paradigms is hard and costly and error prone. It works like crap in the end, while providing no benefits to developers (making portable applications proved to be futile; with WinPho MS stopped promising it) and consequently users.)

about three weeks ago
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Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

ThePhilips Re:Bingo! (826 comments)

... I come down on the systemd side when I want my laptop to correctly connect to the appropriate WiFi network (but only if not connected to a wired network).

The NetworkManager is written by literally the same people who work on the SystemD.

If it hadn't worked before, why you think it would work afterwards?

about three weeks ago
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Munich Council Say Talk of LiMux Demise Is Greatly Exaggerated

ThePhilips Re:NT is best (190 comments)

Not so rare if (A) you have full assortment of the .Net run-times installed and (B) skip some monthly update.

At the worst, on my Win7 I had about 5 .Net run-times installed. It happened more than once that after one dot-point update, there was another dot-point update immediately available.

(Plus, there were two "uninstallable" .net updates: they would silently fail to install and after reboot you would be asked to update again to the same version. I see that shit because I have auto-updates disabled. But for normal people with auto-updates on, that would be a prompt to reboot ~30 min after previous reboot.)

The only solution is to uninstall the application which requires the uncommon .net version and uninstall the redundant .net run-times.

about three weeks ago
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Munich Council Say Talk of LiMux Demise Is Greatly Exaggerated

ThePhilips Re:NT is best (190 comments)

On Debian based systems this was never a problem.

Debian IIRC would ask you ~3 times (displaying big scary warnings that you better know what you are doing and Debian isn't responsible for the consequences of your actions) before it would let you uninstall a core OS package like glibc or text-tools or perl.

That is also reason why Debian rebuilds the initrd so often, seemingly redundantly, during the update. To make sure that even if system went down during the update, and there are updated kernel modules, chances are great that your system would remain in a bootable state.

The traditional problems of the RedHat systems where RPM lets you screw your system (or screws it on its own automatically; or refuses to do a trivial thing, you force it and it conveniently screws it for you) at least to me are long over.

about three weeks ago
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F-Secure: Xiaomi Smartphones Do Secretly Steal Your Data

ThePhilips Re:So a non-denial denial (164 comments)

Mi Cloud is turned off, [...]

Oops! (Though I'm still doubtful, frankly.)

Your Android handset certainly does not do this,

Well, actually, it does. Because Android to be useable requires Google account. And when you create a Google account, Google conveniently activate the "Sync", IOW, sending your contacts, appointments, messages, etc - for archive purposed - to the Google servers.

and not without permission and it is *not* acceptable.

Buried in the EULA is not the same as giving an explicit permission. Having a crippled brick instead of the phone serves is a good incentive to "give the permission" to be spied on.

As others have said: do not put any sensitive information on the phone. IMO, with the current business around private information, masquerading as the "social" networking, I wouldn't even put the encrypted files on the smartphones.

about a month ago
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F-Secure: Xiaomi Smartphones Do Secretly Steal Your Data

ThePhilips Re:So a non-denial denial (164 comments)

"We saw that on startup, the phone sent the telco name to the server api.account.xiaomi.com. It also sent IMEI and phone number to the same server," F-Secure said.

When my Android phone starts, I'm pretty sure it sends the same shit to api.account.google.com or some such. And probably to api.account.samsung.com. Because I have Google and Samsung accounts and I'm logged in by default.

Has the F-Secure tried to, as article mentions, disable the Mi Cloud account? Probably not. Because it wouldn't have been in the news then.

When news comes from "security" consultancies, I frankly often side with the manufacturers. The ensuing hype only promotes the "consultancies" - and does nothing positive for the manufacturers. Why would they (manufacturers) add something to the phone to help promote the "consultancies"?!

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

ThePhilips Re:The canonical best household router is (427 comments)

When asking around for my WRT54G, not once I got advise that the only router matching the stability is the Apple AirPort.

Then you need to change the people you are asking or at least enlarge it to people beyond those who's biggest joy is hacking access points.

I had to exclude this category of people, because to many of them router reboots is a daily routine.

Just like that I had almost purchased the brand new Asus AC66U(?). A person on forums praised every feature, general performance and stability. But in later comments just casually dropped that if you use wi-fi for longer than two hours continuously, wireless dies and router autoreboots. But that's totally OK, because he uses it for movie streaming and a rare movie is two hours long! Bonus: the router is freshly started!! (No, I'm not making it up.)

When all is equal, I'd rather pick the device that Just Works(tm) than the one I can tweak to no end, but it fails periodically.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

ThePhilips Re:DD-WRT's information (427 comments)

That's only half of it. And lesser at that.

WRT54G is well known for its stability and reliability.

I bet half of the routers on the "supported devices" lists wouldn't even manage the wi-fi ping test: simply ping the router for several hours. The junk hardware would overheat and reboot. The "better" would only reset the wireless, killing other connections in the process.

Only few devices actually manage to survive pretty normal traffic pattern of power users: whole day of streaming movies and music over wireless plus some P2P traffic over wired, some of it potentially wrapped up in some VPN. The quest is to find the devices, which are (1) proven to work and (2) still sold.

about a month 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."
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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  |  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.

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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  |  about 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?

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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?

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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  |  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.

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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.

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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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