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top

Dispute Damages Would Exceed Android Revenues

a.ameri Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (166 comments)

Yeah, I think we have moved on. Sad truth is that Slashdot is not the place it used to be.

For real news about stuff that matters, I now mostly rely on Ars Technica, Anandtech, LWN and The H. They pretty much cover most things I'm interested in between them.

And if Google Reader stats that I see are any indication, in terms of users and traffic, Slashdot is just a shadow of itself these days.

more than 3 years ago
top

Ubuntu Unity: The Great Divider

a.ameri So much change resistance (729 comments)

Am I the only one here who actually likes Unity?

I've tried multiple graphical environments through the years, from Windows 3.1 and NeXT, to BeOS and XP and KDE (2, 3, 4) and Gnome 2. Every one of them introduced new concepts, some of which worked, some didn't, but I don't understand what the big deal is adapting to a new interface. For a long time, the the Windows 95 start menu concept was thought of as a solid, and KDE 2 and 3 and Gnome 2 to a certain extend, adapted it and enhanced it, but basically followed it. Usability studies are however showing that the whole layer under layer of options isn't the best way of organising things, which is the reason behind KDE 4's menue, Ribbon interface in Office, as well as launchers such as Launchy and Gnome-Do.

The other thing that power users are deriding is lack of options and customisability. Sure, options are good and power users like making their desktiop their own, but we have to realise that for a general purpose system, evey option has a cost. Cost in terms of support, cost in terms of number of things that can go wrong, or that the user can mess up. Now, I am not saying that we should remove all options and preferences, and sometimes systems go too far (for example Gnome 3 has gone too far in my opinion) but these things take time to settle down. Sometimes the bendulum swings too far one way, then the other, until a balance is found with which most users are happy. Give it time.

For a bunch of tech-savvy intelligent people, I find the slashdot crowd's utter resistance towards any UI change baffling. Rarely, even in corporate environments have I seen so much change resistance. It seems like some of us formed our UI habits in early 90s, and are so attached to them, we just can't think of anything different. It's just a new UI people! And it's a bit different, and it's not perfect, but surely, like everything Linux, it will get better overtime. Like it or not, trying new things is a sign of innovation, which is the sign of a healthy eco system.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Outlines Feature Set For Android 2.2

a.ameri Re:Anonymous Cow (305 comments)

Try NewsRob. It syncs with Google Reader and is just a pleasure to use.

more than 4 years ago
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Slashdot Turns 100,000

a.ameri Re:lowest account number? (443 comments)

I know you were trying to be funny, but GT3 RS with a sound system? Seriously?! It's like setting emacs with vi key bindings. Or setting bash as the default shell in NetBSD. It's travesty!

You pay $40,000 more than the normal GT3 for Porsche to rip out everything from the car to make it light, including the engine noise filters, GPS, adjustable seats, and the sound system. The engine and the chassis aren't that different between a normal GT3 and a GT3 RS. It's mostly the weight.

I assure you, that after you look at your bank balance and realise that it's $40,000 short cause you wanted to get rid of every last extra gram on your car, you will not be adding any weight to it. In fact, you'll soon be joining your local gym when you notice that you are not getting the claimed 0-60 times.

Oh well, I guess after 100,000 posts I still don't know that I shouldn't talk about cars here.

more than 4 years ago
top

Try Out Chrome OS In a Virtual Machine

a.ameri ChromeOS is a Good Thing! (289 comments)

ChromeOS is a very good move for everyone involved. Remember, this OS and the devices it will run on are not targeting average slashdotters. I can personally vouch that I come across daily contact with people, business people not just teenagers, who don't use anything other than their browser. The worst aspect of a computer for them, is upgrading, updating all applications, viruses, malware, and general maintenance of the system. They nearly all fail in these, and after a year, they think their laptop is not usable anymore and go and buy a new one. They would LOVE this OS, and are they primary targets of it. Also, synchronisation between multiple computers is a bitch, that even they most fail at. And they hate leaving their documents here and there. Files and directories don't work for them, it's a broken metaphor for most people, and as much as love to organise my files in hierarchical directories, they simply don't care. They just want access to their information, when they need, as conveniently as possible.

I hate Web apps as much as the next guy on this forum, and even use my trusty IMAP client for fetching my emails from Gmail. But I can't deny that web apps are the future, specially when HTML 5 comes off age and becomes widespread. If you look back at what the Web looked like 5 years ago and compare it to now, you'll see that it will be irresistible in 5 years time. Have a look at http://www.chromeexperiments.com/ to get a taste of what we are looking at.

On a more general note, anyone who is comparing this to old failed projects based on thin clients, X terminals or net pcs, is missing the point. Yes, the technology behind this might be similar to those, but times are changing. On the one hand, people are getting used to ever-present always-available services. On the other hand, 3G is now widespread, affordable, and provides great utility for many. Laptops and phones are converging. 2007 was the year of netbooks, 2010 might be the year of smartbooks (running ARM processors). Smartphones are morphing into Internet tablets (e.g,, N900). These are very different, and interesting times.

Yes, this is cloud computing, and yes, it raises huge privacy issues. It is up to us the tech savvy crown to raise these issues and address them.

Slashdotters can always run their trusty Debian or Fedora or FreeBSD or on their computer. And they remain great choices. But Google is pushing applications to go online and cross browser. They are pushing for open source drivers. They are pushing for open standards and cooperation with upstream and downstream projects. This is a Good Thing (TM) for all of us, even if we are not the target consumers of this OS.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Brings Chrome Renderer, Speedy Javascript To IE

a.ameri Re:Makes you wonder... (239 comments)

Well my user agent string right now is: (Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US) AppleWebKit/532.0 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/4.0.212.0 Safari/532.0), which says I'm running the latest Chrome very nicely on my Linux box.

If you are using Ubuntu, I suggest you give this PPA a try: https://launchpad.net/~chromium-daily/+archive/ppa

It's daily builds of Chromium. I've been running it now for a week, and it has not crashed on me a single time. There is a x86 version, as well as a AMD64 version, and the 64-bit version is now true 64 bit, i.e., it does not depend on 32 bit libs.

It's stable and nearly feature complete. Supports all plugins (including Flash) out of the box, if they are installed on your machine. It imported all my settings and profile from Firefox. I like its original look, but it can now also use native Gtk themes of your system, so that it meshes really well with the rest of your system. It implements the one-process-per-tab architecture, and uses a *lot* less memory than Firefox. In fact, it is astonishingly more responsive and less memory-hungry than FF.

There are a few things left, for example printing doesn't work on it yet. Once they implement printing, I'm sure they will roll out the Beta.

Google is also working on an extension framework, so things as AdBlock will become a reality soon.

Give it a try, it's very impressive.

about 5 years ago
top

Obama Transition Team Examining Space Solar Power

a.ameri Re:From The Economist (275 comments)

Excellent read. Full of information, with lots of insightful details. The Economist never disappoints, it's an awesome publication.

The fact that it publishes the content of its print edition online, one day BEFORE the print edition is delivered, and it has still been able to massively increase its subscriber numbers (doubled in the past 3 years), just shows to prove that even in this age of Internet, when everyone else in the newspaper industry is complaining about falling revenues, good journalism has its place, and will always be valued.

more than 5 years ago
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Aussie Censorship "Live Trials" Won't Be Live

a.ameri Move! Take Action Now! (148 comments)

Taking part in the protests is the first (and very important step). Here is the list of places where protests will be held:

Melbourne:
Saturday 13 December
State Library
12pm-5pm

Sydney:
Saturday 13 December
Town Hall
11am-4pm

Brisbane:
Saturday 13 December
Brisbane Square
11am-3pm

Adelaide:
Saturday 13 December
Parliament
12pm-4pm

Hobart:
Saturday 13 December
Parliament Lawns
11am-1:30pm

Canberra:
Saturday 13 December
Garema Place, Civic
12pm-2pm


Please also consider taking the following actions:

1) Call Senator Conroy's office on 03 9650 1188. Do not be rude, do not swear, just in a very reasoned and rational voice, express your disapproval, and in a few short sentences, say why you disagree. It matters a lot.

2) Write a letter to Senator Conroy, make sure it's between half a page to one page (no more than 400 words). Again, in a polite tone (that doesn't have to be formal, and doesn't have to have letterhead, etc., just your name and address) let him know why you disagree with him. His address is:
Senator Stephen Conroy
Level 4, 4 Treasury Place
Melbourne Vic 3002

3) Write a letter to your local MP. It doesn't matter what party he/she is from, Liberals will use your letter to back up their claims in Question Time, which gives publicity to the whole issue and will bring it to mainstream media's attention. Labor members will also express their criticism, privately, to him. This specially matters if your local MP is a Minister and serves in the Cabinet. To find out who your local MP is click here.

4) Write a letter to Prime Minister Rudd. Let him know that when the Australian people voted him in office last year, they didn't know "Education Revolution" means censorship. Rudd's address is:
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

5) Donate or become a member of Electronic Frontiers Australia . Right now the EFA is the sole organisation fighting this. They need all the help they can get.

6) Write a letter to your ISP. It doesn't matter if it's the Evil Telstra; on this, we're all together. They are fighting the battle for us right now, but it would help them to know that what they are doing is a good business practice, that you expect them to fight this to the end.

Don't just sit around and do nothing and then complain about how evil governments are. We, the citizens are the ones who allow governments to become evil, by our political apathy. Move! Take Action! Now!

more than 5 years ago
top

In AU, Dodgy Dell Deal Faces Consumer Backlash

a.ameri Re:Too good to be true? (173 comments)

The equivalent in Australia would be the Boxing Day (the day after Christmas). Especially the boxing day morning. There are long queues outside any retail shop in all major cities. Usually everything is sold out by midday. I lived in UK for a while and it's even bigger than the sale they have over there. Reading the Wikipedia page, it seems like the same phenomenon exists in Canada and South Africa as well, so it must have been a British Empire thing.

more than 5 years ago
top

How To Build a Web 2.0 Government?

a.ameri Re:The death of the sound bite (249 comments)

Very insightful argument. What is more and more pronounced everyday is the opportunity that Obama has to follow on FDR's footpath. FDR did exactly what you describe, getting around the reporting of his policies by newspapers, by his weekly radio broadcasts. Obama is reading a lot about former presidential transitions, he said on 60 minutes that he's reading a book on FDR's first 100 days in office, and I'm sure this wouldn't escape him.

A New Yorker reporter described the challenge of converting his huge online following during the campaign to be part of his government, to converting a population that had been mobilized for warfare to going back to civil industrial activity. It's not gonna be easy, and I think many people especially the youth who were part of the campaign and were energized and motivated by his campaign will switch off from politics again, simply because governing is more tedious and boring that campaigning.

But we don't know that yet, and this remains one of Obama's biggest challenges, how to keep people, and especially youngsters, engaged with him. That will be the major challenge of kicking the government, any government, into the 21st century, making it more open and transparent and eventually, more 'democratic'.

more than 5 years ago
top

Lego Loses Its Unique Right To Make Lego Blocks

a.ameri Re:Lego can't compete (576 comments)

Dude, what's with the attitude? Calm down, it's Lego we are talking about.

Who is talking about "government keeping them in business" and "government forcing them to exist"? Which government are you talking about? They are a family owned business, and they've been profitable in the past two decades. Yes, they are facing rising competition from copy-cats, but they understand that that's their business. What's all this government nonsense you are talking about? Did you somehow think that everyone in Europe lives off government subsidies?

Fuck the town? Why? It's a small town, it's where Grandpa the Founder was born and grew up in. The town has grown with Lego. What's wrong with that?

I had been lucky to have observed Lego first hand for a couple of weeks, while I was working as a research assistant studying their IS project development methodologies. I thought since the discussion was about Lego, I'd share some of my stories here.

You wanna go and by cheap Lego-like bricks? Fine, who is stopping you? Good luck with your spaceship dude, and don't overreact to everything you hear please, it helps the conversation.

more than 5 years ago
top

Lego Loses Its Unique Right To Make Lego Blocks

a.ameri Lego can't compete (576 comments)

The problem is, Lego might be a household name, indeed in some countries it is a generic name for building blocks, but it is still a family-owned business. It's CEO and Chairman is a cool-looking grandson of the founder, and it resides in a rural town in Denmark called Billund, with a population of about 27,000 where nearly 90% of its manufacturing still occurs. The town is almost entirely dependent on Lego.

Lego is among the world's best employers (if not outright best). Equal opportunity in action. Employees, including the CEO, do not have reserved parking spots at the HQ's carpark, offices mostly resemble community areas rather than walled rooms, free food and drinks are all over the place, not to mention some of the best sporting and health facilities provided to employees. Blue collar workers receive the same treatment, for most things from gym membership to access to the health clinic, there is no difference between the executives and simple manufacturing employee. People don't wear name tags, they nearly always wear casual, unless they have a meeting with an outside party.

Lego has Idea Labs where people just experiment with new toys. It employs scientist, from chemists to child psychologists just to carry out all sorts of experiments. It is such a fun place, you'd be forgiven if you thought you where in Wonderland. It has a museum full of toys that it invented but failed to manufacture, mostly due to safety concerns. I can understand why some of them might have been thought of as dangerous, but boy are they cool!

Of course, with all the above, with the cost of employing and manufacturing in Europe, it can't compete with the cheapest-of-the-cheap Chinese factory which just mass produces plastic blocks. I understand that in this case, IP laws do not really cover its business, and anyone is legally able to copy them, but IMO it's rather sad to see that such companies can't really exist in this world, that consumers don't value the history and the culture of a company. They just look at a price tag and make their decision solely based on that.

Everyone I met at Lego is aware of these issues. They have carried massive restructuring plans since 2005, but they know they can't compete against most rivals whose costs are simply lower; yet they really want to preserve the unique culture that has made Lego, Lego for the past generations. Short of outsourcing manufacturing to some place in China, closing its museum and laboratory and airport and with it the town and becoming just another plastic manufacturer, I can't think of a way for them to survive. As I said, it's rather sad.

more than 5 years ago
top

Largest Aussie ISP Agrees To "Ridiculous" Net-Filter Trial

a.ameri Take Action Now! (231 comments)

If you are an Australian, please take action:

1) Call Senator Conroy's office on 03 9650 1188. Do not be rude, do not swear, just in a very reasoned and rational voice, express your disapproval, and in a few short sentences, say why you disagree. It matters a lot.

2) Write a letter to Senator Conroy, make sure it's between half a page to one page (no more than 400 words). Again, in a polite tone (that doesn't have to be formal, and doesn't have to have letterhead, etc., just your name and address) let him know why you disagree with him. His address is:
Senator Stephen Conroy
Level 4, 4 Treasury Place
Melbourne Vic 3002

3) Write a letter to your local MP. It doesn't matter what party he/she is from, Liberals will use your letter to back up their claims in Question Time, which gives publicity to the whole issue and will bring it to mainstream media's attention. Labor members will also express their criticism, privately, to him. This specially matters if your local MP is a Minister and serves in the Cabinet. To find out who your local MP is click here [aph.gov.au]

4) Write a letter to Prime Minister Rudd. Let him know that when the Australian people voted him in office last year, they didn't know "Education Revolution" means censorship. Rudd's address is:
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

5) Donate or become a member of Electronic Frontiers Australia . Right now the EFA is the sole organisation fighting this. They need all the help they can get.

6) Write a letter to your ISP. It doesn't matter if it's the Evil Telstra; on this, we're all together. They are fighting the battle for us right now, but it would help them to know that what they are doing is a good business practice, that you expect them to fight this to the end.

Don't just sit around and do nothing and then complain about how evil governments are. We, the citizens are the ones who allow governments to become evil, by our political apathy. Move! Take Action! Now!

more than 5 years ago
top

Australia's ISPs Speak Out Against Filtering

a.ameri Wake up! Take action! (262 comments)

The only reason a government can get away with this is if we, the citizens, don't act, and let our liberties gradually slip away.

If you are an Australian, please take action:

1) Call Senator Conroy's office on 03 9650 1188. Do not be rude, do not swear, just in a very reasoned and rational voice, express your disapproval, and in a few short sentences, say why you disagree. It matters a lot.

2) Write a letter to Senator Conroy, make sure it's between half a page to one page (no more than 400 words). Again, in a polite tone (that doesn't have to be formal, and doesn't have to have letterhead, etc., just your name and address) let him know why you disagree with him. His address is:
Senator Stephen Conroy
Level 4, 4 Treasury Place
Melbourne Vic 3002


3) Write a letter to your local MP. It doesn't matter what party he/she is from, Liberals will use your letter to back up their claims in Question Time, which gives publicity to the whole issue and will bring it to mainstream media's attention. Labor members will also express their criticism, privately, to him. This specially matters if your local MP is a Minister and serves in the Cabinet. To find out who your local MP is click here

4) Write a letter to Prime Minister Rudd. Let him know that when the Australian people voted him in office last year, they didn't know "Education Revolution" means censorship. Rudd's address is:
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600


5) Donate or become a member of Electronic Frontiers Australia . Right now the EFA is the sole organisation fighting this. They need all the help they can get.

6) Write a letter to your ISP. It doesn't matter if it's the Evil Telstra; on this, we're all together. They are fighting the battle for us right now, but it would help them to know that what they are doing is a good business practice, that you expect them to fight this to the end.

Don't just sit around and do nothing and then complain about how evil governments are. We, the citizens are the ones who allow governments to become evil, by our political apathy. Move! Take Action! Now!

more than 5 years ago
top

Australia Mulling a Nationwide Vehicle-Tracking System

a.ameri Re:Australia Card? (176 comments)

Mod parent up. The summary is (as usual) inflammatory and misinformed. There is no scheme, legislation or proposal in Australia or any of its states for a national ID card.

The closest it got to being implemented was in 1985 during the Hawke government's Australia Card bill. This was at the height of the Hawke Labor government's popularity, and it got the government into so much trouble and lost the government huge capital clout. Hawke dissolved the parliament and held new elections, but still was unable to pass the bill. Later on, a Royal Commission heavily criticised the idea and put the mater to rest. See this for more details.

ANPR is right now, a "scoping study". Australia is nowhere close to perfect, but it has strong civil institutions, and you can make sure that heads will roll and blood will spill if this gets anywhere close to being proposed as a bill. Since then the law has moved in the complete opposite direction. The Privacy Act (1988) specifically mentions that no unique identifier issued by a government agency or corporation can be used by another entity for the purpose of identification. In practice, this means things such as driver's license number, a Tax File Number (equivalent to U.S SSN), or the medicare number can not be used by any corporation or agency other than the one which issued it in the first place, for identification.

Right now, this is a classic example in Australia of the state vs. individual liberties, taught in any university course about identity and privacy. I've met many 'ordinary' (read: not politically active) people across all fields of society, from social workers to lawyers and IT managers, and even the newer generation who is too young to remember the debate first hand (like myself) is definitely acquainted with the subject and its implications. So, unless the poster somehow managed to time travel from 1985, "public support for national card in Australia is wanning" is like saying "public support for Hillary's health care bill is wanning" or "public support for president Nixon is wanning".

The issue did come to surface once again, after former Liberal (which here means Conservative) Prime Minister Howard made some comments about it in 2005 after the London bombings, but even then it was heavily frowned upon and both parties knew better than to include it into their agenda.

Australia is nowhere close to perfect, but it has strong civil institutions. This is a "scoping study". The moment the study is published, if it recommends anything remotely close to implementing CimTrack's ANPR, you can make sure that heads will roll and blood will spill in the electorate.

about 6 years ago

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