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Internet Traffic In Libya Goes Dark Amid Upheaval

alain94040 more jokes (36 comments) is still up... It puts in perspective the most recent annoucement on Libya's (.ly) registrar: " FREE DNS Management Only with Libyan Spider". ( - which still works fine too, go register .ly domain names now before it's too late!)

Founder Conference - join 500 entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley

more than 3 years ago

Look Forward To Per-Service, Per-Page Fees

alain94040 scary for net neutrality (400 comments)

One wireless carrier alone like Verizon couldn't implement such a net-killing feature: their customers would abandon them cold. And if all the US carriers adopted that together, that would be the best case to start an antitrust investigation and shake the wireless landscape once and for all.

That being said, you got to look a slide #6: it's one of the best expression of greed I have ever seen.

-- have you signed up your co-founders yet?

more than 3 years ago

Take This GUI and Shove It

alain94040 Bad GUI and no CLI: way too common (617 comments)

Here is a Link to the print version of the article (that convenientily fits on 1 page instead of 3).

Providing a great GUI for complex routers or Linux admin is hard. Of course there has to be a CLI, that's how pros get the job done. But a great GUI is one that teaches a new user to eventually graduate to using CLI.

A bad GUI with no CLI is the worst of both worlds, the author of the article got that right. The 80/20 rule applies: 80% of the work is common to everyone, and should be offered with a GUI. And the 20% that is custom to each sysadmin, well use the CLI.
dead simple alternative to incorporating for web startups

more than 3 years ago

Is the Web Heading Toward Redirect Hell?

alain94040 How do you get offenders to stop? (321 comments)

Funny just this morning I noticed that it took at least 5 redirects or more for Google to let me login to Analytics. It felt like my browser had a life of its own!

The real problem though are the link shorteners. I'd like to vote with my feet and never click on them, but for many, they are like drugs, because they let you track your influence (how many people clicked) in real-time. It's especially bad on slower connections such as smartphones. Not everyone has 1MB/s.

Any ideas on how to convince people to stop?

Don't work on your startup project without a safety net

more than 3 years ago

Safari Privacy Bug May Be Leaking Your Data

alain94040 But not Firefox... (152 comments)

It seems that the bug is due to Safari allowing keyboard events to be generated from Javascript, so a malicious script can pretend to interact as if it were the user, whereas Firefox doesn't get fooled.

The Founder Conference is coming August 17

more than 3 years ago

iPhone 4's "Retina Display" Claims Challenged

alain94040 Real Ratina Display (476 comments)

According to Wikipedia:

For a human eye with excellent acuity, the maximum theoretical resolution is 50 CPD (Cycles Per Degree). A rat can resolve only about 1 to 2 CPD.

I guess "rat-ina display" didn't sound as good to Apple marketing :-)

But really, so it may be 18 inches for "true" retina display versus 12 inches. Ok... Big deal.

Join Guy Kawasaki and 250+ founders at the Founder Conference'2010

more than 4 years ago

How a Virginia Law Firm Outpaces the MPAA at Suing Over Movie Downloads

alain94040 worth a read (237 comments)

I found this on the topic: the actual settlement form. Read it all at

Payment. You shall pay to the Company the total, lump sum of Two Thousand Five Dollars (US $2,500) by cashier’s check or credit card with no charge back or check cancellation.

Confidentiality. You agree that the terms of this Agreement shall remain STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL and MAY NOT be disclosed to any other party including but not limited to internet or on-line forums.

So don't go post this on slashdot or you'll owe this lawfirm $15,000!

The Founder Conference'2010

more than 4 years ago

iPad Isn't "Killing" Netbook Sales, According To Paul Thurrott

alain94040 Re:Watch the facts (457 comments)

The overlap is for grandma, who needed some kind of web device, and wasn't going to spend much at all on it. Until now, she would have gotten the cheapest laptop possible: a netbook. As of today, her geeky grandson is getting her an iPad. That's where the overlap is.

more than 4 years ago

Metasploit As Case Study In Selling a FOSS Project

alain94040 Sustainable open source? (50 comments)

The challenge for open source is that, while it's a fun hobby, how can we make it sustainable?"

sustainable is the key word for me here. If selling to a private corporation is the only sustainable way, that's too bad. That's why I like hybrid software licenses that combine open collaboration with some guarantee of revenue-sharing. Can we find a way to work together on a piece of code but still sell it for a reasonable price to end-users and sustain the developers? I sure hope so.

Because in the case of Metasploit, what do you think happens when all the developers now have a paying job? Even though the code is open, if it doesn't get maintained, it will die. So in practice, the project is basically at the mercy of the acquirer.

more than 4 years ago

Blippy Exposes Credit Card Numbers Through Simple Google Search

alain94040 Looks bad... for 4 people (95 comments)

As of this submission, the issue still hasn't been resolved

Not true. If I read the explanation carefully, what really happened is that some credit card companies sometimes add the CC number to the description of the purchased item. Bad! Which also means that on your printed statement for instance, your full CC number will appear. During beta testing of Blippy, they were not aware of that "feature", so they let through the full CC number of 4 beta testers. Once they figured it out, they easily added a filter.

If you were a beta tester for a service like Blippy, you can't be too shocked that this might happen. A better discussion would be what is Blippy really good for? I can see why I might like to browse other people's purchases once in a while, but why would I want to broadcast mine?

better than an internship in a startup: become a founder!

more than 4 years ago

2010 Salary Survey Highlights IT Woes

alain94040 You control your own destiny (332 comments)

career experts say you have to take a strategic approach to your job search and application process. The best candidates are always taking steps to manage their careers...

I fully agree. If you sit passively and wait for your next raise, you may be waiting for a while... But if you are proactive, good things eventually happen to you. Contribute to an open-source project. Become the co-founder of a cool iPad app or whatever cool idea people are trading nowdays...

It doesn't pay off instantly, but a year or two later, your resume stands out from the crowd, and more importantly, you may not even need a resume anymore to get a great job!

more than 4 years ago

Scary Smartphone Motion Control Patent Granted

alain94040 To hack a patent... (163 comments)

Here's how you hack a patent. From claim 1:

wherein the initial motion meets or exceeds an initial motion threshold; sensing a complementary motion of said computer device in a reverse direction to the initial direction

As long as the iPhone or Android do not use one threshold and are more generic than detecting reverse direction, they do not infringe on that patent. Whoever wrote that claim made it way too specific, and easy to work around it.

co-founders wanted.

more than 4 years ago

Google Tweaks Buzz To Tackle Privacy Concerns

alain94040 The real story (153 comments)

This blog shows what really happened:

I use my private Gmail account to email my boyfriend and my mother.
There’s a BIG drop-off between them and my other “most frequent” contacts.
You know who my third most frequent contact is?
My abusive ex-husband.
Which is why it’s SO EXCITING, Google, that you AUTOMATICALLY allowed all my most frequent contacts access to my Reader, including all the comments I’ve made on Reader items, usually shared with my boyfriend, who I had NO REASON to hide my current location or workplace from, and never did.

It shows more eloquently than any privacy advocate ever could why privacy is so important when "you don't have anything to hide."

find a co-founder

more than 4 years ago

How To Spread Word About My FOSS Project?

alain94040 Talk to your users (244 comments)

1. Developers are king. If you could attract one more developer, your project would stand a much higher chance of success.

2. Just because you open-sourced your project doesn't mean it's useful to anyone. No matter how much we geeks don't like marketing, you have to think hard about your users: where are they, what do they care about and what do they really need?

It's normal for all new projects to languish for a while. If you think twitter was an instant success, remember that it had 2 years of null traffic before taking off. Go out and ask users what they want. Think. Then implement. Your #1 potential mistake today: feature creep. Don't think that if only you added this one more feature, the crowds would come. If anything, try to simplify things :-) and start communicating (posting on slashdot is not ideal, you should post wherever your users are, not talk to developers).

more than 4 years ago

France Tells Its Citizens To Abandon IE, Others Disagree

alain94040 love the recommendation (406 comments)

The link to the official French recommendation is here: CERTA-2010-ALE-001

Quoting from it (rough translation): "while waiting for the editor [Microsoft] to correct this vulnerability, we recommend people use an alternate browser.

are you a startup founder looking for co-founders?

more than 4 years ago

IT Job Satisfaction Plummets To All-Time Low

alain94040 No more working for the man (453 comments)

IT employees in the category of "highly engaged" workers has fallen to 4%

That's why there is a growing movement toward mastering our own destiny, becoming entrepreneurs and working for ourselves. Putting together a cool app in your spare time is way more fun, and it you hit the jackpot, bingo! No more clueless boss!

more than 4 years ago

How Can I Contribute To Open Source?

alain94040 Pay for your free licenses (332 comments)

Buy support. Pay for your Linux licenses. Just because it's open source doesn't mean that you should pay $0.

By buying from a legitimate open source company, you help reinforce the open source eco-system.

And it's all legitimate: it's not a donation, so your boss shouldn't object. You are still saving a lot of money compared to buying a proprietary solution, but you are helping people who code full-time sustain themselves. Let's face it, developers are the critical resource for most open source projects.

PS: some cool startups are looking for extra developers/founders: help people go solar, build a better bug collector tool, or help build a music community that supports its bands.

more than 3 years ago

Microsoft Acknowledges Theft of Code From Plurk

alain94040 a world without copyright (215 comments)

"The Chinese vendor for our MSN China joint venture has now acknowledged that a portion of the code they provided was indeed copied," said Microsoft

This case gives us a great window into what a world without copyright protection would look like: everyone ripping off everyone else's code. There got to be a compromise that works for both the GPL and the RIAA, so end users (us) win.

Plus it's ironic that Microsoft, the "king" of software development is having all those problems with subcontractors writing code for them.

you don't need to be in silicon valley to start a startup anymore

more than 4 years ago

Why Open Source Phones Still Fail

alain94040 Open their blinders with amazing apps (322 comments)

No carrier wants geeks. Geeks use up a lot of network resources, try to find ways around rules, and create problems for tech support.

Yes. But geeks also build new cool applications never before thought possible, that become next year's must-haves.

In a sense, the iPhone app ecosystem is proof to that, despite its less-than-open review process. Palm and the PC as well, if you want to go back in history.

How hard can it be for the base-station to monitor bandwidth and avoid taking the whole network down?

Meet co-founders for your startup

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Patents Sudo's Behavior

alain94040 Penalties (657 comments)

I don't condemn all software patents. Just because it's software doesn't mean that it can't be brilliant and stunningly innovative.

But sudo with a GUI? A quick fix I'd suggest to get rid of those bogus patents is to have a rule that says that if a patent is proven obvious later on, then the company (Microsoft in that case) would lose all their patents for the year. That would make them think twice before filing junk...

the Co-FoundersMeetup in Mountain View is next week

more than 4 years ago



New type of phishing attack on sophisticated users

alain94040 alain94040 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

alain94040 (785132) writes "People are reporting a new type of phishing attack that works on sophisticated users, depending on your web browser. Although the masses easily get fooled by any kind of attack, this is notable for targeting users that usually consider themselves immune to phishing."
Link to Original Source

Ask slashdot: is shark eating entrepreneur alive?

alain94040 alain94040 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

alain94040 (785132) writes "An investor has been pressing me to invest. He wants to put $xxK of his money into his developers in [third world country] to redo and significantly strengthen the site for rapid growth, in return for 10%.

He would not give me names of CEOs he's funded as references.

He went to [fancy school], and claims that once the site is done, he can then draw on all his connections and angel funders to help it grow rapidly.
I am attracted by the offer, since I do not have the time or money to do all the social media etc necessary to make this site grow rapidly.

My tech cofounder engineer (with whom the investor will not speak) is against the idea.

What should I do?"

Link to Original Source

Mozilla launches tip jar for add-ons

alain94040 alain94040 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

alain94040 writes "Mozilla has launched the online equivalent of a tip jar for developers of Firefox add-ons to make money from generous users. There is now an optional "contribution button" that they can put on their add-on pages so that users can donate via PayPal. A CNet poll is not very optimistic with 48% of the respondents saying they would never pay for add-ons."
Link to Original Source

Millions of French kids told to use Google tools

alain94040 alain94040 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

alain94040 writes "By sponsoring an online game for the French department of education, Google just made sure that millions of French kids are told to search using Google, but also to use Google Maps and Google Docs for all their needs. Where else to read the original article (in French) than by using Google Translate to get an English translation... Google denies any malicious intent but the pamphlet distributed to students sounds closer to a marketing brochure than an educational handout."
Link to Original Source

Twitter traffic shows Google quietly laying off

alain94040 alain94040 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

alain94040 writes "Twitter conversations detected by searchenginewatch reveal that Google is quietly laying-off engineers. It also points to a deepening malaise inside the googleplex and may confirm the rumor from valleywag two weeks ago about 1,000 layoffs at Google. For a company that used to be the place to work, do reports of 14-hour workdays and burnout signal the end of the honeymoon?"
Link to Original Source

Indie Games: Bedroom Coding is Back

alain94040 alain94040 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

alain94040 writes "The Guardian writes: The indie videogame publishing model works more like — for want of a better allusion — a terrorist network: independent cells working on their own projects with only the loosest direction from a higher authority. If one cell goes down, there are others to produce the goods.
Is bedroom coding really back, as the article claims, or are we just seeing another crowdsourcing fad? What makes a game great, the ideas of one genius author, or the incremental feedback of a community?"

Link to Original Source

Paying Android Apps in US first, Europe second

alain94040 alain94040 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

alain94040 writes "In an email to Android developers today (sorry, no URL on Google's blog yet), Google announced that the Android Market will support paying applications in early 2009 for the US. They'll then extend to most of Europe (Germany, Austria and Netherlands, followed later by France, Italy and Spain), also in Q1 2009. No expected date for the rest of the world yet. With the iPhone app store way ahead of Google for now, is this too little too late, or will Google's marketplace catch up and eventually pass Apple's?"

OpenCores for sale

alain94040 alain94040 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

alain94040 writes ", the equivalent of SourceForge for open source hardware chips (as opposed to software) seems to be for sale (ie, "looking for a strategic partnership" — the article really says the domain and site will be owned by the new partner).

What does this imply about the open source model and its financing? Can it scale and reach beyond software? When you think of it, hardware design is just software by another name. All the cores on are written in Verilog and VHDL, languages that are not that far from C++ and Java."


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