edmicman (830206) writes "Tim Ferriss' blog features an article titled "How to Build an App Empire: Can You Create The Next Instagram?" by serial mobile app creator Chad Mureta. Essentially the secret is not creating a brand new innovative idea — it's taking what's topping the charts already in the App Store and mimicking those apps, sometimes adding your own twist. Sign me up for a 7-figure income!" Link to Original Source top
edmicman writes "From the article: "Facebook is opening up the specifications and design documents that went into creating their customized servers and datacenters. According to Facebook, these are much more efficient than the industry standards out there right now — especially if you’re specifically building social applications. In fact, Facebook says their servers are 38 percent more efficient than the off-the-shelf ones they were buying previously. And that has meant a 24 percent cost savings."" Link to Original Source top
edmicman writes "The Inquirer is reporting on recent denial-of-service attacks on Register.com. Our business website domain is registered under register.com, and hosted ourselves. Yesterday afternoon, we started getting reports of problems resolving to our mail server, also self-hosted. A Twitter search returned a flurry of posts pointing to Register.com being hit. The same thing happened this afternoon — and this time it was all DNS servers for our domain, not just the MX records.
What bothers me, is that Twitter has been the only place to find any info about this. Nothing on the main news sites, and nothing on the tech sites. Register.com's site, if will come up, has nothing.
A student government leader at Michigan State University could be facing suspension for sending a mass e-mail to professors about a proposed change to the school calendar — an e-mail that the university is labeling spam.
The article contains links to a copy of the original email, the allegations against the student, as well as the university's Email Acceptable Use Policy." Link to Original Source
edmicman writes "InfoWorld has an in-depth look at the bandwidth problems facing the Internet as we know it. Video and other digital media is creating a perfect storm that the ISPs are trying to head off by introducing bandwidth caps and tiered pricing. In my opinion, this is a losing battle as content companies provide more and more digitally. The only real solution is to provide truly unlimited bandwidth." Link to Original Source top
edmicman writes "What can I do to try and improve the broadband options available to me in my local community? I live in the mid-Michigan, about 20 miles away from the capital and a major university, but the entire area is a technological pit. Mine is a smaller town, but it's not *that* small, and we are right along a major interstate highway. I've found out that AT&T's U-Verse is available in the Detroit area,
I am currently paying ~$50 for 4Mb cable internet, bundled with cable service, and started looking at AT&T DSL as another option. However, I found out that the best (and only) DSL option I could get was their basic service, at 768k down. My address is less than two miles from the center of town and the local CO. Essentially my broadband options are expensive cable, cheap slow DSL, or a variety of satellite internet which is even more expensive (and slower) than cable.
What can I do to get better broadband options available to my community? Should I contact the city government? My local state representatives? Is there such a thing as a local community taking the initiative to bring in real high speed broadband options? How do you improve the technology infrastructure of a city? Or am I stuck?" top
The tracks will be offered in MP3 format, without DRM (digital rights management), from Jan. 15 in the U.S. and from late January in Canada.
The move is far from the all-digital service offered by its rivals, though. To obtain the Sony-BMG tracks, would-be listeners will first have to go to a retail store to buy a Platinum MusicPass, a card containing a secret code, for a suggested retail price of $12.99. Once they have scratched off the card's covering to expose the code, they will be able to download one of just 37 albums available through the service, including Britney Spears' "Blackout" and Barry Manilow's "The Greatest Songs of the Seventies."
Senator Daniel Inouye, a Hawaii Democrat and chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, introduced the Broadband Data Improvement Act Thursday along with five Democratic cosponsors. The bill would require the FCC to re-evaluate whether 200Kbps is sufficient bandwidth to justify being called broadband, and it would require the agency to create a new measurement, known as second-generation broadband, to identify networks' capability of transmitting high-definition video.
The bill would also require broadband providers to report availability of broadband and second-generation broadband connections within smaller geography areas than the postal zip codes the FCC now uses to measure the availability of such services.
edmicman writes "Gaim has posted an update that explains in part why the 2.0.0 version has been in beta for such a long time:
Many years ago when this project was first started, it was called "GTK+ AOL Instant Messenger." AOL naturally complained, and Mark Spencer changed the name to "Gaim." AOL was appeased, and no one really ever heard of it because there were very few users back then.
A few years later AOL trademarked "AIM," and started referring to their IM services using that name. They complained. The issue was brought up on Slashdot, and the Gaim developers at the time got some legal support. That legal support advised that the ongoing discussions with AOL be kept confidential until fully settled, and so it remained. The public thought the issue had gone away then. It sorta did, in that AOL stopped responding to Gaim's legal support for a while.
At long last, I am pleased to announce that we have a signed settlement and can release our new version. There is one catch however: we have had to change the project's name.
After a long, and unfortunately secret debate (as we could not say why we were looking at a name change, we ended up just doing this ourselves), we settled on the name "Pidgin" for gaim itself, "libpurple" for libgaim (which, as of 2.0.0 beta6, exists), and "Finch" for gaim-text. Yes, the spelling of "Pidgin" is intentional, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pidgin.
Brian Tanner was sitting in his Acura Integra recently outside the Palmer Library playing online games when a Palmer police pulled up behind him. The officer asked him what he was doing. Tanner, 21, was using the library's wireless Internet connection. He was told that his activity constituted theft of services and was told to leave. The next day, Sunday, police spotted him there again.
And you know what? The NFL is right. According to US Code Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 110, 5,B, i, II which describes what isn't allowed under copyright code:
(II) if the performance or display is by audiovisual means, any visual portion of the performance or display is communicated by means of a total of not more than 4 audiovisual devices, of which not more than 1 audiovisual device is located in any 1 room, and no such audiovisual device has a diagonal screen size greater than 55 inches, and any audio portion of the performance or display is communicated by means of a total of not more than 6 loudspeakers, of which not more than 4 loudspeakers are located in any 1 room or adjoining outdoor space;
So that's the skinny: You can watch the Super Bowl at home on any size TV you like, but if you're watching it in a church or sports bar, any screen larger than 55-inches actually is in violation of the U.S. copyright code. It may be stupid, but according to my non-lawyerly interpretation, it isn't something the NFL pulled out of thin air.
Upgrade versions of Windows Vista Home Basic, Premium, and Starter Edition will not install on any PC unless Windows XP or Windows 2000 is already on the machine in question. In years previous, upgrade versions of Windows could be installed on any PC. If a PC did not have an older version of Windows installed, users could provide an older installation CD of Windows for verification. After dropping a qualifying CD in the CD-ROM drive, the installation routine would verify the disc and you'd be on your way. With this approach, one could use an "upgrade" copy of Windows to lay a new Windows install on a computer.
I was already waiting before trying out Vista, but as a computer enthusiast I've usually gone the way of buying the "upgrade" version, and doing the clean install from that. Now I'm expected to purchase the full version of Vista? How often has a standing upgrade from one version of Windows to another actually worked?" top
edmicman writes "We currently have a ton of web reports using Crystal 7. My employer wouldn't upgrade to later versions because of Crystal's steep licensing costs. We are now upgrading to the SQL Server 2005 platform from SQL Server 2000, and intend to phase out Crystal in favor of SQL's Reporting Services.
I was able to attend a small seminar put on by Microsoft showcasing the abilities of SSRS, and it looks very cool for what we want to do with it. Unfortunately, the seminar closed out with a presentation by the sponsoring partner as a sales pitch for their consulting services to convert our reports for us. With a hefty fee, for sure.
Looking into it some more, it seems there are a *lot* of 3rd parties selling expensive converters that will be run once, or consulting services with huge fees, all to do a one time conversion from Crystal to Reporting Services. Even Microsoft's webpage suggests a number of consulting firms. The seminar I attended showed the sponsors tool — a simple.NET application that you pointed out your existing reports, and it converted them as a batch. This makes me wonder — where is the open source utilities for something like this? I don't know how they do it, but I assume they are using the Crystal API that's included with Visual Studio.NET 2005. I'd love to make an open source app to do this, both to solve our problem and also to spite the big consulting firms out there essentially selling a "Y2K fix" that will be obsolete in a year or two. So are there any reasons why open source couldn't solve this problem?" top
With election season upon us, Wired News spoke with two of the top computer scientists in the field, UC Berkeley's David Wagner and Princeton's Ed Felten, and came up with a wish list of features we would include in a voting machine, if we were asked to create one.
These recommendations can't guarantee clean results on their own. Voting machines, no matter how secure, are no remedy for poor election procedures and ill-conceived election laws. So our system would include thorough auditing and verification capabilities and require faithful adherence to good election practices, as wells as topnotch usability and security features.
The article raises some interesting points. Why doesn't someone / some group create an open source voting machine software? The hardware could even be open, too. So what are we waiting for? Why doesn't someone do it? Who do we talk to to get started?"
The official Facebook app for Android is crap. It recently updated - you would think that updates would bring incremental improvements, but it seems like the FB app makes minimal progress and then leaps backwards time after time. The latest change? It appears that they have gone from a native app to embedding a web view in place of the news feed - for all intents and purposes the app's newsfeed now is identical to just browsing the mobile website. My list of complaints in off-the-top-of-my-head order:
Videos With this new version was supposedly video uploading support. However, I have yet to actually be able to play within the app videos that I'm pretty sure were posted via FB (as opposed to posting a YouTube link). Every time I've ever tried to watch a video someone else has posted I get the "incompatible format" error. Do I need Flash installed? Can we upload videos, we just can't play them?
Pure Coherent Native Experience This was a problem before, and now it's even more jumbled. For a long time the Android FB app would kick you to the mobile site for some functions. Digging further into a person's profile for instance. Some links. It disrupted the feel of the app before, and now it's even worse. The main menu is the same old style from before. You go to the newsfeed and it's the embedded mobile site. Then you click through to someone's profile and it's the old app style. Commenting and liking something on a profile wall is different than commenting and liking the same post if you did it through the newsfeed. Same function, but it's broken between the old and new app styles. Then you click on a friend's friend's profile, and it takes you to the mobile profile page for that person.
No (or limited?) Push notifications. As far as I know I won't get notified if someone comments on something of mine.
Newsfeed that is actually embedded web view I've already noted that I don't like it. It feels like a copout and feels laggy compared to the native listview controls in apps. I can't get "Recent News" to stick as a default - it always reverts back to "Top News". There actually doesn't seem to be a difference between the two at the moment, but that's not the case on the normal site so I would expect that to be a problem at some point, too. There's some stupid slot machine wheel functionality now to change between newsfeed views. Really? Where did that UI decision come from?
General slowness Granted, this has been a little better since moving to the web newsfeed. Actually, before I would have timeouts refreshing the newsfeed or pulling up images on a regular basis. I'd jump over to the mobile site and it would work fine. That seems a little better now, but lots of times the waiting symbol will just keep spinning trying to load an image. Loading album thumbnails is still very slow and cumbersome, on wifi or 3G.
Weird behaviors Many times I'll hit back and it goes back, but you're on the same page. It's like it loses where it was or something.
How can I encourage my employer to be more friendly to open-source software and standards compliance?
I work as a web developer for a small company that sells a software-as-a-service product. Or, at least, I did. We were recently bought by a much larger company, and I am finding their IT department ideals to be much different from my own.
Granted, we are a Microsoft shop, with the application being in classic ASP/VBScript and ASP.NET. But I developed with Firefox primarily, and we were using Bugzilla for issue tracking. I was even started to move from SourceSafe to Subversion. I didn't necessarily strictly validate against all standards, but our web application worked in all browsers across the board.
It's frustrating having used what I think are much better tools only to feel like I'm taking giant steps backwards with the new ones, just because the corporation mandates it. Is there anything I can do?
With 2008 kicking off, I'm looking over my list of projects I want to tackle in the next year. My company hosts our own mail server, a beige-box Linux PC running Debian, set up by an outside consultant many moons ago. We are a Microsoft shop, running a business based on VB6 and IIS software, but us in the tech department all encourage use of open source tools as much as possible. Mostly we just don't have a lot of Linux experience, although I'm picking up a lot, and have successfully set up some in-house LAMP servers for some specific purposes. The truth is, though, our mail server has been the most rock solid component of our network for a long time. The thing is, none of us really know anything about it; it's a black box!
So on my TODO list is to look into "replacing" our mail server. It's not broken....yet (although we have noticed some BIOS errors on a restart)....but I'd rather have a migration plan sooner than later. Plus, I think that if I were to look into rebuilding a mail server from scratch, I'd both understand it a lot better, plus gain a valuable experience.
There's been a push to use Exchange from a number of users, and it probably would be easy enough to set up a dedicated Exchange box that integrates into our current Active Directory setup. But that comes with a lot of costs, both hardware and software if we're looking at moving to a production system eventually. A Linux option, if I could find something that handles groupware well enough (and especially integrates with Outlook, which a number of the staff uses), I think the cost and stability are good selling points.
But what would I really want? A mail appliance by Google. They already have a search appliance for enterprises, why not mail? Advertising dollars in the emails? They already have the option to disable ads on the enterprise Google Apps, and how do they handle that with the search appliance? I think the Gmail web interface is the best out there. Labels rock. It can do IMAP and POP. I think it would just need some way for the shared calendaring to integrate into Outlook (does it use CalDEV?) and it'd be set.
Give me a box that I put in my rack with all this software. Have some built in drive space and allow it to connect to NAS or something, so my storage space can grow. Give me decent admin tools with metrics and backup tools, let Google do the spam filtering (maybe connect to their existing system for filtering?), and all the while the box with the actual emails are under my direct control.
edmicman writes | more than 6 years ago
I was checking something tonight, and it appears that gmail now allows you to download your gmail via IMAP! The option is available in the Forwarding and POP/IMAP section in the settings now. Woohoo!
I've been using Thunderbird with the Lightning extension for quite awhile now. As an email client, especially with IMAP, I haven't found anything that beats Thunderbird. But as a calendaring/PIM/task list app, Thunderbird with Lightning sucks. I feel crippled with Lightning, not as productive as I could be, and actually *wishing* I used Outlook to try and organize my work life.
I've kept tabs on the Chandler Project here and there for awhile, too. When I've played with it, it seems to be developing into a very good Getting Things Done client. My biggest complaint is that my email is still a central part of my info work, and most of my generated things-to-do and meetings stem from email messages. But Chandler's email client sucks. I need integration between the two, but I don't want to have both Thunderbird and Chandler open at the same time. Email is still king for me, so Thunderbird wins, and I try and make do with Lightning.
So we have Thunderbird with it's strong email capabilities, and Chandler with it's strong PIM attributes. Why doesn't Mozilla scrap the Calendar/Lightning project and use the Chandler project, or why doesn't the Chandler project scrap rebuilding from scratch an email client and use an established *good* one? I don't foresee Tbird/Lightning ever coming close to the PIM abilities of Outlook anytime soon, nor do I see Chandler becoming a robust email client anytime soon. What am I missing? Why wouldn't this work?
Personally, I don't use either Facebook or MySpace, though I have friends that do. I host my own blog, and communicate with friends via email, IM, and forums. I run my own blog and pic hosting. I've just never really jumped on the social networking bandwagon. Yeah, I'm old school.
As for this article, I can see both sides. Part of the point of the Facebooks and MySpaces is so that *not just anyone* can view what you put online. Nevermind that I don't really get why you'd post something *private* online in the first place if you didn't expect the world to see it. But the private social networks foster and clique or group mentality where if you're not in the know, you don't know.
What the point of the article is, though, and which I tend to agree with, is there needs to be a better way to round up your online "identity". Why should I have to sign up for Facebook to keep in touch with some friends, and MySpace for others? Why should I have to be a member of multiple IM services to keep in touch with different people? I have multiple email addresses for different purposes. I have signed up for probably dozens of mailing lists and discussion forums, and have been an active member in more than a handful. Heck, I even signed registered on Slashdot so I can make posts and comments non-anonymously. Why should my online "identity" be fragmented so?
Of course, the flip side of that is is that due to the fragmentation of my online identity, I still maintain that air of anonymity. I think that actually may be at the root of a lot of the issues going on. By having different email addresses and aliases, I can appear to some audiences as one person, and to others as someone totally different. Even on Facebook and MySpace, would most of those users publish in a real life semi-public place the photos, musings, and thoughts that they write on those sites? Perhaps we would ideally like the convenience of having a central identity, but don't want the accountability of being tied to that central identity?
Open source has given us very competitive alternatives to some commercial powerhouses in software. Office suites (OpenOffice.org vs Microsoft Office), Image editing (GIMP vs Photoshop), web browsers (Firefox vs IE), instant messengers (Gaim/Pidgin, millions of others vs the standard clients), plus a ton of other apps, both standalone and web hosted. But where are the open source counterparts to popular commercial web apps? Specifically, I'm looking at email and image galleries.
Where is the blatant ripoff of Gmail that I can install on my own server that connects to an IMAP server? I want the Gmail interface and user experience, but with my own email server. I looked for something for the longest time that I could install on my host and use as a better webmail client than what they offered. Squirrelmail seems to be everywhere, but using it feels like the Internet circa 1997. Last time I looked, the closest thing was Roundcube, but even that felt simply like a rehash of a desktop email client in AJAX. Gmail's system works, why hasn't anyone copied it yet?
Recently I was looking to upgrade my web gallery from Gallery2 to something else. Gallery and Coppermine are nice, but again, they feel really dated compared to something like Flickr. So where is the the "Flickr" that I can install on my own server? There seems to be *nothing* out there. Why not?
edmicman writes | more than 7 years ago
I've submitted a number of stories, and most have been rejected. That's fine. But I've had two submissions that are still just sitting there, pending. One on 2007-02-26, the other recently on 2007-05-26. I'm OK with them being rejected, but the most recent concerned the bill introduced to the US Senate to redefine the broadband definition used in the US. I think it's a worthy story, and am surprised that it hasn't been covered at all by Slashdot yet. But mostly, why are my submissions still 'pending'? What should the expected turnaround be? Did my submissions just fall through the cracks?