Interviews: Guido van Rossum Answers Your Questions
Lua is better than Python in every way.
Free Wi-Fi: the Movement To Give Away Your Internet For the Good of Humanity
I keep an open access point running on reduced power. I can't access it from the sidewalk with any of my mobile devices, and I suspect it's pretty weak at any of my neighbors. I did one time have someone get on; I blocked their mac address, and they never came back. I live in a fairly secluded low traffic suburb, and, while of course someone with a good antenna or who lurked near a window could get access, it just isn't a realistic concern.
Circumstances vary. For most people I would recommend keeping their wifi locked down, because they don't have the background or inclination to be aware of what's happening on their network. But I like my friends to find their phones and tablets automatically connected when they visit.
Ask Slashdot: Open Source Tax Software?
There are two issues more important than "free": 1) I would like tax software that runs natively on Linux, and 2) I would like tax software that isn't tainted by the smarmy lock-in mindset that infects quicken and turbotax. For example, one of the really annoying things about quicken is its proprietary data format. A widely accepted standard format for financial data would be a wonderful thing...
Julian Assange To Host Talk Show
It is truly frightening how effective the campaign against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange has been. You have to think twice before you say anything in favor of them, on *any* platform.
2011 Was the 9th Hottest Year On Record
Sorry, I should've linked to the actual paper of course.
High-Frequency Dynamics of Ocean pH: A Multi-Ecosystem Comparison
These biome-specific pH signatures disclose current levels of exposure to both high and low dissolved CO2, often demonstrating that resident organisms are already experiencing pH regimes that are not predicted until 2100
The paper doesn't say what you think it says. It shows that there are wide variations in ocean acidity in the short term. The issue of the effect of long term changes in average acidity is not addressed. After all, we have daily and yearly temperature cycles -- but the polar caps are melting and the glaciers are retreating as a result of longer term average changes.
Ask Slashdot: Best Camera For Getting Into Photography?
I would get the S100. I owned a Canon Rebel something or another, but I bought an s90 because I wanted something that would fit in a pocket. I take the s90 everywhere; my daughter now has the rebel. I recently bought a canon g12 that I use when I have a photographic agenda, but in fact the s90 is still in my pocket even then. It is simply a great little camera that takes great pictures.
(I didn't know the s100 was out -- I may have to look into it, though, since the s90 is a bit old now...)
Dennis Ritchie, Creator of C Programming Language, Passed Away
Somewhere I saw a line: "C is a language that respects the programmer".
Is There a Hearing Aid Price Bubble?
Hearing loss typically isn't uniform for all frequencies -- there can be ranges where you hear quite well, and other ranges where you can't detect anything. A good hearing aid doesn't amplify everything uniformly -- if it did, it would probably contribute to more hearing loss. Instead, they transfer information on the dead frequencies to bands where you hear better, and thus don't have to amplify very much. Of course, such hearing aids must be tuned to your exact pattern of loss, which requires a trained audiologist. Moreover, as another poster pointed out, they can adjust to the characteristics of the external noise, and they are highly miniaturized.
So that they should be expensive than mere amplifiers is not at all surprising.
Amazon's Android Tablet Expected This Fall
... in the e-reader space. From a recent B&N mailer:
"Among the new features, NOOK Color v1.3 now offers access to special edition NOOK Magazines(tm) with enhanced interactivity and bonus features." Even without these special features, some magazines work very well indeed on the nook color -- I subscribe to national geographic, for example, and it is really quite nicely done. (I have one each of the other B&N readers, BTW, and the experience on the color version is vastly different than on the eInk ones.)
There are also interactive childrens ebooks that the color nook supports. Things like this give an opening for publishers and B&N to monetize content in a different way, and I think they may just be on to something.
FSF Uses Android FUD To Push GPLv3
The article and the poster confuse "GPL violations in software developed for the Android platform" with "GPL violations in Android". The FSF press release doesn't say "GPL violations in Android".
Indeed, the press release does promote GPLv3, but it's merely the author expressing an opinion. It's not spreading "FUD".
ISPs Will Now Be Copyright Cops
If it's a free country, shouldn't the private company be free to do what they want, barring any agreement with you that precludes them from doing otherwise?
Or is your "free country" just free for YOU?
You are confusing "private company" with "private person". On of the principle problems with modern society is that corporations are being given many of the same rights as private persons. This is effectively creating a legally codified class structure with an enormous gap between the "upper class" (corporations) and the "lower class" (private persons). So, no. In my view a "private company" should *not* have the same rights as I, a private person, enjoy.
Slate: Amazon's Tax Stance Unfair and Unethical
Somalia is not an example of an anarchist society. Just because a government collapses doesn't mean that people respect the non-aggression principle any more than blowing up all the churches in a country turns everybody into atheists.
How does one enforce the "non-aggression principle" without violating it?
ICANN Approves .xxx Suffix For Porn Websites
I don't thank many sites will leave their precious .com's, but maybe they should be made to host all their material on .xxx so if a porn filter blocked .xxx on a child's computer no content could show up even if the user navigated to say, pornhub.com
This is precisely what the people behind .xxx are hoping, of course. That's why they have stayed in the game.
Passive-Aggressive Wi-Fi Hotspots
"TrojanVirus" is a name I have seen...
OLPC Unveils Plans For Tablets By 2012
He could have sold it to the first world, gotten the economies of scale on his side, and used the profits to subsidize the third world sales, possibly even bringing the price down to $100 each like originally planned.
What prevents some other organization/company from producing OLPC laptops? Suppose someone approached OLPC with a request to license the designs and manufacture them for sale, with perhaps some part of the profits going back to OLPC?
In fact, Negroponte's comment seems to indicate that he would be fine with someone else manufacturing the OLPC 3.
This might mean that you could actually buy one directly.
OLPC 1.5 Hardware Upgrades Include Java, Full-Screen Video
Perhaps another G1G1? I've always wondered, since the design was completely open source, why some clever person didn't just order a few thousand direct from the manufacturer, and sell them?
The Commodore 64 vs. the iPhone 3G S
Attached Physical Keyboard
California Sec. of State Wants Open Source E-Voting Systems
1. Take vote electronically.
2. Assign a randomly generated UUID.
3. Print UUID+vote on internal paper tape for backup.
4. Print UUID+vote on paper receipt for voter to keep.
5. Post UUID+vote on a public web site anyone can view.
Now, anybody can see the tally, do the math themselves, etc. And everyone who cares can look at their own UUID and see if the public tally is accurate.
I implemented this precise system several years ago at ICANN (www.icann.org), to support policy votes and elections to various positions in the organization. It's not perfect, but it works pretty well.
A later poster notes that it is susceptible to coercion.
That's true for any system that gives a verifiable record of the vote to the voter. It is very difficult to eliminate coercion entirely -- your evil boss could require you to take a picture of your signed ballot, bribe election workers to report on your ballot (or just say that he had), etc.
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