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What percentage of the software you use regularly is open source?

YurB Re:GIVE ME A PHOTOSHOP ALTERNATIVE; PLEASE! (222 comments)

The recipe is simple: instead of buying photoshop/CS licenses, invest in development of Gimp (possibly in your "garage" by hiring a programmer). Let other people do the same for better effect.

1 year,19 days
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What percentage of the software you use regularly is open source?

YurB Free/Libre/Open-Source Software (222 comments)

Is it open-source-like-in-free-software? If so, then its 95% of software I run on my machine. But if it may also mean anything with its source code open somewhere on the Net (e.g. github without a license or some other proprietary "you-use-the-code-only-this-way" stuff like unrar), then I must specifically say that these 95% consist of "free software as defined by the Gnu project" instead of just "open source". P.S. I call FLOSS ÂÐÑ-ÐÑOEнÐÐ ÑоÑÑ in my native language (Ukrainian), where ÂÐÑ-ÐÑOEнÐРmeans "free as in freedom" and ÂÑоÑÑ means "software". If I wanted to say "open source [software]" in Ukrainian, I'd need 4 words: "ÑоÑÑ Ð ÐÑ-ÐÐÑÐÑÐм ÐоÐом". It's fun that in English it takes less words to say this fancy "open source" thing than simply "free [as in freedom] software".

1 year,20 days
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Using Laptop To Take Notes Lowers Grades

YurB Re:YMMV (313 comments)

Fully agree with you. If I was provided with a LibreOffice (or Word) screen and told to take notes on it, it would have been a torture for me. But with Org-mode and a Dvorak keyboard I feel much more comfortable than with pen and paper. I also wrote my masters in Org-mode. The ability to use Git also helped me a lot to control how my text evolved.

about a year ago
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Using Laptop To Take Notes Lowers Grades

YurB The tool matters (313 comments)

I don't see any information on how the students were taking notes on their machines. Just "taking notes on laptops" may mean anything.

I wouldn't be able to take any notes in Microsoft Word or LibreOffice. But in Org-mode I actually take notes more efficiently than I can do than on paper.

about a year ago
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Using Laptop To Take Notes Lowers Grades

YurB Ability to extend, reogranize and search (313 comments)

To me the greatest advantage of digital notes over pen and paper is that I can extend a topic when I acquire additional information on it (whereas on paper there's usually no physical space to do that), reorganize them by merging related notes into a single unit and also search through them.

Also, I type much faster than I write and I can shape and transform my notes very easily with Org-mode.

But actually I'd prefer if there was some collaborative note-taking going on instead of the huge duplication of work as it is now. Something like wiki-notes, where the purpose of taking notes would be not to recreate them each time but to make them better over time and update them.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Software For Med-School Note-Taking?

YurB Re:Org mode in Emacs (217 comments)

I use Org all the time. I even wrote my masters in it (exported to LaTeX and PDF).

about a year ago
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MIT Project Reveals What PRISM Knows About You

YurB And yet they suggest Chrome (221 comments)

If you visit the page using Firefox with JavaScript disabled, they suggest you to download Google's Chrome, i.e. to give even more of your data to NSA. We should at least recommend Chromium (the open-source part of Chrome) in such cases instead of the binary distribution from Google.

about a year ago
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Book Review: MODx Revolution - Building the Web Your Way

YurB Re:Criticism from a past MODx user (70 comments)

I'm sorry, I misused the term 'backend'. I meant their so-called 'manager' interface, i.e. the admin panel. It uses ExtJS.

about a year and a half ago
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Book Review: MODx Revolution - Building the Web Your Way

YurB Re:Criticism from a past MODx user (70 comments)

I'm using Wordpress on a few personal blog-like projects but I think I'll stick at Drupal as my main platform, because my main requirement is flexibility and modularity. I'm currenly trying to build a blank html5boilerplate-based theme in drupal to see how it goes. And what do you use?

about a year and a half ago
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Book Review: MODx Revolution - Building the Web Your Way

YurB Criticism from a past MODx user (70 comments)

I was using MODx Revolution for around two years, and it has many good sides, about which you can read on their website, in the books they published and in their wiki. But there are also some issues that led me to seeking an alternative now. MODx developers, please take this as an attempt of constructive criticism (and sorry for my imperfect English).

  • Too much is stored in the db, and that makes it very hard to work with git. Even with the 'static elements' functionallity one must have the actual 'element' in the database even if the code is stored in a file.
  • Poor performance of the backend. The backend is implemented entirely on ExtJS and is slow. Despite it's ExtJS it still requires to reload the page too often.
  • Very hard to develop own stuff on top of it. Just take a look at the tutorial on creating an extension (called 'extra'). I've developed different 'extras' to implement custom functionality in my projects, and I constantly had the feeling that they just made simple things much overcomplicated.
  • Poor documentation. Just take a look on their API docs. For example, the documentation for the modX::addExtensionPackage() function just says: "Add an extension package to MODX", and no information on the arguments besides what types they are.
  • Some serious problems in the core. For example, the widely used function modX::getChunk() has a performance bottleneck and can't be used in anything like, for instance, displaying a big list of products on a page, despite that this is exactly what it's for. If one instead reuses a same chunk object to iterate through a set of DB records (using $chunk->process()), the performance is dramatically increased. This issue has been reported on the forums, but didn't catch much attention (I can't even find the thread now.) The getChunk() function is widely used in some very important modx extensions, and yet the performance bottleneck doesn't seem to bother to the MODx community.

This isn't the full list. This is just some random (but major) inconveniences I can recall right now. To me, MODx is a great idea which for some reason wasn't implemented well.

about a year and a half ago
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Why French Govt's Attempt to Censor Wikipedia Matters

YurB Similar case in Russia (104 comments)

France and Russia are very different states indeed, but it's interesting that Russian Wikipedia had a similar incident recently. The Russian Wikimedia received a request from the government to remove the 'Cannabis smoking' article from Russian Wikipedia (see google-translated version). The request in an ultimate manner states that if the article won't be removed during 24 hours then 'the hosting provider is obliged to limit access to such website' (haha, hosting provider from USA?) and if the hosting provider refuses to do that, then 'the IP address of the website will be listed in a database of addresses to whish ISP's will limit access'. The request PDF is here.

about a year and a half ago
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Chrome, Firefox, IE 10, Java, Win 8 All Hacked At Pwn2Own

YurB Re:You mean crack fest? (183 comments)

I agree. By (consciously) using the word "hacking" instead of "cracking" when refering to activity related to circumventing computer security we show our disrespect of those who contributed to the development of computing as we know it and who once asked us to differentiate the costructive "hacking" from the destructive "cracking". This is an example of constructive "cracking" though which is a special case.

about a year and a half ago
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Raytheon's Riot Program Mines Social Network Data For Intelligence Agencies

YurB Tough question (119 comments)

If we rephrase your question into "Why do people obey when they get ordered to do bad things?" then this TED talk by Philip Zimbardo may explain some of the core problems with that (although it obviously shows much more extreme cases, sometimes even hard to watch.)

about a year and a half ago
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Samsung Laptop Bug Is Not Linux Specific

YurB Re:48 vars, not 36, read the code (215 comments)

The summary is quoting the blog post. It seems that the code was updated after the blog post was written.

about a year and a half ago
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Samsung Laptop Bug Is Not Linux Specific

YurB Re:They didn't get the memo (215 comments)

The author of the blog post states that Microsoft required at least 64kb for Windows 8 machines.

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft Wants Computer Science Taught In UK Primary Schools

YurB Re:Microsoft's definition of Computer Science (168 comments)

You're right and I absolutely agree with you. The only thing which I didn't like is what you have already said: the closeness and Windows-only-ness of their visual programming language. I'd probably add that it would be best if there were 3 or more different kinds of free and open-source learning environments which the kids could try and play with so that they know that a program is only a realization of a concept and the concept is independent of the program, i.e. they could learn to adapt to different UIs and mechanisms and achieve their goals in different environments.

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft Wants Computer Science Taught In UK Primary Schools

YurB Re:Are they teaching real CS? (168 comments)

What they do is they train kids as monkeys to press font buttons in Word. This is in fact an example of anti-education. Instead of helping the kids to understand how computer thinks and how to talk to it, they're forcing them to do completely wrong things like changing font size to make headings, etc. I actually remember that a "teacher" in the school I finished once disallowed me to help a girl by enabling a frequently used toolbar in that stupid Word! The teacher decided that she is supposed to change the font size though menu + dialog box... So is this education? And that teacher still works there.

P.S. I hate word processors. They encourage people to do everything by hand. That is computer anti-usage. One has to let the computer do the dirty job of aligning headings, generating indexes, etc. But that's not what the default toolbars suggest. And if they wanted users to think semantically, then they should not have called the functionality "Styles". This is everything upside-down.

P.P.S. I hate when a program treats the user as a monkey. And that's the role they teach kids: to be a monkey in front of Microsoft Word.

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft Wants Computer Science Taught In UK Primary Schools

YurB Microsoft's definition of Computer Science (168 comments)

Microsoft said "a number of primary schools" already teach computer science using simple programmes like Microsoft’s Kodu, a visual programming language made specifically for creating games, although there is currently no formal programme of training for teachers, admitted Microsoft.

No comment.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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Samsung laptop bug is not Linux specific

YurB YurB writes  |  about a year and a half ago

YurB writes "Matthew Garret, a Linux kernel developer who was investigating the recent Linux-on-Samsung-in-UEFI-mode problem, has bricked a Samsung laptop using a test userspace program in Windows. The most fascinating part of the story is on what is actually causing the firmware boot failure:

Unfortunately, it turns out that some Samsung laptops will fail to boot if too much of the [UEFI] variable storage space is used. We don't know what "too much" is yet, but writing a bunch of variables from Windows is enough to trigger it. I put some sample code here — it writes out 36 variables each containing a kilobyte of random data. I ran this as an administrator under Windows and then rebooted the system. It never came back.

"

Link to Original Source
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The Software Wars: a WIP documentary about open source

YurB YurB writes  |  about a year and a half ago

YurB writes "There is a trailer and a struggling fundraising campaign for a to-be-finished 90-minute documentary "about the battle for our right to share technology and ideas." Among the people who appear in the trailer are Linus Torvalds, Bradley Kuhn, Greg Kroah-Hartman and others. A special case is RMS who can't be interviewed "because he is too demanding" (according to a comment by Keith Curtis, the author of the movie, posted at the trailer youtube page)."
Link to Original Source

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