IAB Urges People To Stop "Mozilla From Hijacking the Internet"
First paragraph of the actual ad:
Oh, I think I can stop reading here.
British Foreign Secretary on Surveillance Worries: '"Law Abiding Citizens Have Nothing To Fear"
Interestingly, this statement could just as well come from Teheran, Damascus, or Tripoli before the regime fell.
I guess the interesting point is the definition of "law abiding citizen", now and in the future.
Dao, a New Programming Language Supporting Advanced Features With Small Runtime
Tried D 1.0? I reasoned the same way, and spent a lot of time coding D. In the end, I had to admit that a staggering percentage of bugs in my code came from just this. Deleting objects where a reference had leaked somewhere, deleting objects from the GC-called destructor of an object, mixing manage and non-managed objects a bit too freely ...
For D 2.0 I think most of that is rewritten, but I haven't bothered due to some sour experiences in D 1.0, and a slight dislike for some Phobos API:s and project management.
Basically IMHO for non-GC, simple memory management, I think language features for tracking ownership and the mindset that comes with it is necessary. For example, just like you have argument-modifiers for immutable arguments in some languages (C++ const), so I think you should have an argument modifier saying "you do not own this referenced object, and you are obliged to not remember the reference after return;".
Rust seems to have some interesting ideas regarding this, but I haven't really tried it for anything non-trivial.
In the end, I do most of my systems-level coding in C++ again. It's far from ideal, but it works, and with the smart-ptr classes available now, it's lack of GC is mostly a non-issue.
An interesting side-effect of the C++ helpers for deterministic object lifetimes, is the ability to tie resources (more scare than RAM) to the lifetimes of the objects. For example, keeping a file-struct as a member in a class will hold the file open for the lifetime of the class, but automatically ensure it is closed when the class is. In for example Java, you may very well run out of file-handles before the GC even kicks in and looks for objects to kill.
In Nothing We Trust
I have a long time wanted to see a democratic system built on "focus groups", instead of the more general systems that are now dominating most (all?) of the democratic world. I'm not sure exactly how such a system would be built, but in essence, it would put emphasis on the unique competences of each voting citizen, rather than blindly forcing citizens to block party politics.
For example; I would expect most Slashdotters to be more than averagely informed in technology topics, while on average much less skilled in, say, childcare. In the kind of system I envision, each citizen would only be allowed to vote for representatives for one (or a few) "focus groups". (Economy, technology, military, environmental, judicial, infrastructure...) Which focus groups to vote for, I guess would be up to each citizen.
Of course there are things to be resolved, for example which focus-group would balance the budget etc. Perhaps overall governance would be a focus-group of it's own.
The point of it all would be to make people vote in areas they actually KNOW something about, rather than being encouraged/forced to vote for some person/party who you happen to agree with in one or a few points, and above that has a nice image, but you really know nothing about, or even disagree with in many other questions.
Scientists Say People Aren't Smart Enough For Democracy To Flourish
I've long advocated a form of governement still controlled by the citizens BUT with the limitation that the citizens can only vote in a self-chosen limited amount of topics. For example, a citizen could apply one "expert" position at a time, and only elect a representative for those topics.
I guess most Slashdotters feel most related to IT, so Slashdotters would probably be the ones electing the IT-representatives of government. If you're a health-worker, the health-minister is probably the post you care most about assigning, and so on and so forth.
Let people have their voice heard in the questions they think care about and think they now, without simultaneously endorsing aspects of a political party they don't have a chance to educate themselves enough about.
LibreOffice 3.5 Released
Try http://www.lucidchart.com/. Yeah, it's a webapp, but I've found it highly usable, and solves my diagramming needs. (In some cases much quicker and easier than Visio)
Mozilla Releases Rust 0.1
I would consider null-pointers/seg-faults an existing, and important problem. If someone wants to research a solution, I think it's a worthy cause. (Though the language is enough similar to Go for the duplicated effort to be a concern)
Leaked Memo Says Apple Provides Backdoor To Governments
Depends on where you live. (And might be a matter of time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUEvRyemKSg)
Leaked Memo Says Apple Provides Backdoor To Governments
I bought the OS. I bought the machine.
Technically, while you bought the hardware, you did not buy the OS.
With the machine, you've got the right to do whatever you please with. (Modify, lease ...) Not so with the OS you believe you purchased.
Typically with proprietary software, you only buy a license to use it as-is, and you are not even entitled to study how it works, or even look for backdoors.
IMHO, this is the major problem with proprietary software, and an outrage that such agreements have any legal stance in a free-market society.
What Could Have Been In the Public Domain Today, But Isn't
I, like many here, is a systems developer, and my daily income comes from the worth of my intellectual work. The main 2 problems with current copyright law as I see it, are the facts that
A) It doesn't _really_ protect the author/inventor, since it allows (which is then more or less enforced by the industry in large) the copyright to be exclusively transferable. The core reason why middlemen get most of the money for most of the artists/inventors/creators is because they've managed to create a controllable chokepoint, and forces the creators to give away the right to their work for it to reach a large part of the market. If one could pass a law invalidating all contracts where an individual gives up their copyright (much like contracts about selling your body is invalid), I think the market would very quickly find ways around the middlemen, or at least let new middlemen compete fairly. If the law is really intended to protect the creator, make sure it protects them, not the middlemen.
B) It lasts practically forever. In many cases, it lasts longer than the original creator. In this case, the middlemen, and heirs of the creator keeps getting paid. Imagine the roofer getting a small tick for every roof he's put down, every time it rains for the next 70 years, and then the heirs, and the manager, etc. Completely ridiculous. Why should some intellectual work pay off in so completely different ways than other work? If your work didn't pay off in, say 3 years, maybe you should have been better at gauging the demand for it beforehand. There is no human right to create whatever you feel like, and force people to pay for it (through paying some other appreciated work you did 8 years ago and are still living from), and the law IMHO should not protect this lifestyle at the cost of other actual human rights.
Java Apps Have the Most Flaws, Cobol the Least
They sure aren't allowed up in the light of day, an arrangement that suits everybody.
Clothier Slammed For Using 'Perfect' Virtual Model
To be fair, the same apply for the male models. It's just perceived more unfair for women, since they seem to care more about not matching the body-ideal.
It was highlighted by a recent study, that while men on average are significantly more overweight, women on average are significantly more unhappy about their weight.
Domain Theft-for-Ransom Hits css-tricks.com and Others
Phone: +61 (Australia)
British Police Accused of Stealing Software
Didn't the UK adopt the infamous three-strikes policy?
Ask Slashdot: Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer?
Certainly, but it's close to impossible to cover all important know-how in documentation.
Monthly Ubuntu Releases Proposed
IMHO, Yearly releases would be ok, if it means they're actually stable. Above all, please keep developers working on fixing problems AFTER the release, or keep it longer in RC if necessary. Above all, don't uphold freezes, if it renders related components unusable or severely broken.
One of my personal examples was the QBzr package in Jaunty. The Bzr-package were upgraded since the previous release, but the QBzr package wasn't, leaving it at a broken API. When I noticed it, the freeze were already in place, and the end-result was that QBzr were mostly unusable during Jaunty. (Better having unusable packages than making an exception)
European Firms Assisted Gaddafi's Internet Monitoring Regime
http://www.youtube.com/user/GoogleTechTalks#p/search/0/SSYXw87BWXo Look especially 08:32 and a few minutes onwards.
For the impatient: Privacy International reflects on the point that these dictatorship-friendly features aren't originally ordered by dictators. From the beginning it was demanded by western governments, and once available, not explicitly disabled to the next customer. (In this case, Iran)
Wikileaks Reveals BitTorrent Lawsuit Background
Q: Why does a dog lick his balls?
A: Because they can
They need no reason other than that. Fix the legal system and they'd have to shape up, but as long as RIAA/MPAA is allowed to heavily influence the WTO, I think they'll prefer to adapt the legal systems rather than their business models.
Alloy Could Produce Hydrogen Fuel Using Sunlight
In the free market, the customer-base with the most money usually rule. Technological developments are usually targeted and priced for the wealthy, simply because there aren't much money in poor people.
Only after saturating the upper- and middle-class markets, there might be leftover-scrapes for the lower-class, either by lowering the price closer to manufacturing costs, or simply through resale of used devices. At that point though, the upper- and middle-classes are on the next cool thing, while the lower-class is left with 5-years-old technology.
The reality is sad.
Bing More Effective Than Google?
I wonder if there might, in addition to other contributing factors mentioned here, be a difference in user-segmentation and corresponding expectations.
I often see non-tech users searching for things like "facebook" in a search-engine instead of typing it in the location-bar, of course with great success. My prejudice tells me Bing might have a much larger share of those easy searches than other engines.