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Google's Mapping Contest Draws Ire From Indian Government

westlake Bad Analogy Time Again. (94 comments)

Have you never heard of the Streisand Effect?

The Streisand Effect works only if you know and care about Barbara Streisand --- and only in a time and place where Geek Rules override every other consideration.

The geek has a one-size-fits-all cultural mindset that has never served him particularly well.


Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Get (or Share) News About Open Source Projects?

westlake Re:irc:// (85 comments)

For those of us still refusing to join modern networks, IRC is vibrant as ever.

would it kill the geek to bring the IRC and USENET client into the 21st century?

3 days ago

Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Get (or Share) News About Open Source Projects?

westlake Re:Google? (85 comments)

What's wrong with just googling for stuff


Ideally, what you want is a list of projects which are simply and accurately described, not dormant or defunct, and generally regarded as useful or promising in their present state.

3 days ago

The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

westlake Demented. (140 comments)

Cannot be used for weapon manufacturing or mass surveillance... or anything defined as 'evil' by a FSF committee.

Unpredictable and self-righteous. It would utterly destroy GPLv4 as a viable open source license and the ripple effect would be devastating,

4 days ago

Internet Explorer Vulnerabilities Increase 100%

westlake Bromide. (137 comments)

(!) This article appears to be written like an advertisement. Please help improve it by rewriting promotional content from a neutral point of view and removing any inappropriate external links.


5 days ago

Firefox 33 Integrates Cisco's OpenH264

westlake In an imperfect world... (194 comments)

Yes, some websites wanted to use H.264 for video encoding, but Mozilla shouldn't have abetted them.

H.264 is here.

HEVC not far down the road.

The geek sees everything in terms of the "open" web.

But there is more to digital video than video distribution through the web.

Which is why the mainstream commercial codecs dominate here.

Why hardware and software support for these codecs are baked into the smartphone, tablet, PC, graphics card, HDTV, video game console, Blu-ray player. The prosumer HD camcorder, medical and industrial video systems and so on, endlessly.

about a week ago

The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

westlake Re:Pft (960 comments)

Why is this moderated troll?
The very first paragraph of the article says she got a death threat and that they know where she lives. Do people even read the articles before moderating anymore?

Consider how predictably the Slashdot geek responds to stories like this. Embarrassing, isn't it?

There are other words that come to mind.

about a week ago

Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

westlake Re:"the market" = biz managers (192 comments)

The big money is in mediocre crap. Always has been.

You might try telling that to HBO or Disney Animation.

about two weeks ago

Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

westlake Re:No Advertising does not power the Internet. (394 comments)

The Internet was vastly better then by any measure. It wasn't used to commit financial crimes, to dupe people, to invade privacy, or to spy on whole populations. It especially didn't destroy more jobs than it's created and eliminate whole industries

AOL introduced flat-rate monthly billing in the mid nineties - coincidental with flat-rate regional calling plans.

Going on-line had become affordable.

The typical Internet suite of that era had its arcane clients for e-mail, IRC chat, USENET, FTP, Gopher, Archie, Veronica, and maybe a primitive web browser, along with zip file compression and a graphics editor.

The AOL client pushed all the geek's beloved tech far into the background, and put an easy to use GUI up-front.

At that point, the only way the geek could have kept the" old Internet" as his private playground would have been by crippling the evolution of the "open" web browse - and praying there wouldn't be too many defections to the commercial online services.

about two weeks ago

New York State Proposes Sweeping Bitcoin Regulations

westlake Bitcoin Brought Down To Earth. (121 comments)

Why don't they just change their state flag to the swastika?

The one true faith.

The geek's emotional investment in Bitcoin can be frightening.

Bitcoins, which lost 45 percent of their value after skyrocketing to more than $1,100 last year, are poised to tumble further, according to the latest Bloomberg Global Poll of financial professionals.

Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said the virtual currency trades at unsustainable, bubble-like prices, according to the quarterly poll of 562 investors, analysts and traders who are Bloomberg subscribers. Another 14 percent said it's on the verge of a bubble. Only 6 percent of respondents said a bubble isn't forming. The remaining 25 percent were unsure.

Merchants including Expedia Inc., Dish Network Corp. and Inc. have decided to accept bitcoins. A total of 63,000 businesses now take the virtual currency, and people have set up more than 5 million wallets to keep their digital holdings, according to CoinDesk, which tracks its use.

That enthusiasm contrasts with opinions expressed by finance-industry leaders. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, 58, has said bitcoins probably won't last as a currency after governments subject them to rules and standards akin to those for other payment systems. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, 83, has said he'll be surprised if bitcoins last 10 or 20 years.

A Bloomberg poll in January showed investor doubts in the virtual currency as well. Almost half of 477 international investors, analysts and traders who are Bloomberg subscribers were bearish on bitcoins and said they would sell them. At the time, bitcoins traded about 30 percent above current levels.

Bitcoins Can't Shake Bubble Image in Poll After 45% Drop [July 17]

about two weeks ago

Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

westlake Re:Wait for it... (752 comments)

Then again, a remarkable coincidence started WWI, so...

I don't know what is coincidental in the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne by Serbian nationalists armed and trained by Serbian military intelligence. Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

Given the political and military alliances forged in Europe before WWI, this was not going to end well.

about two weeks ago

Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

westlake Re:Slew of missing business applications (171 comments)

once one company creates a really good word processor, we don't need ten more to compete with them. The result is total market dominance for the one who does it first (or markets it the best

Word Perfect had the perfect character-oriented word processor---

which it ported to every OS known to man with customized print drivers for every printer known to man.

But it stumbled badly when small business oriented operating systems --- Mac and Windows ---- began moving towards higher levels of abstraction. The GUI. The printer API ---

and stumbled again when trying to keep pace with the new and rapidly evolving concept of the integrated office suite.

about two weeks ago

People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

westlake Re:Meh, Al Gore Proves It True. (710 comments)

He probably uses more energy in his mansions than 99.9999% of the people in the world, let alone the energy jetting around everywhere.

In the larger scheme of things, none of this matters.

He is one man among 7 billion men.

The billionaire's mansions are almost certainly not burning wood or coal or kerosene as their primary sources of light and heat. Their mechanical and thermodynamic efficiencies are probably quite good and the systems well-maintained.

about two weeks ago

Seat Detects When You're Drowsy, Can Control Your Car

westlake What you want no longer matters. (106 comments)

I don't want my car calling the police on me to "take further action."

Your choice? The ambulance or the hearse?

There will be other drivers and other systems monitoring your physical condition and behavior on the road.

The Triple Zero call --- 911 in the states --- will go out. The only questioning remaining is whether you will be responsive when help arrives.

about two weeks ago

The Least They Could Do: Amazon Charges 1 Cent To Meet French Free Shipping Ban

westlake It is not about you. (309 comments)

The real problem here is not Amazon or books or even Google, it's the French mindset that things should never change,
Fetishing bookshops doesn't have any emotional appeal to me - they're just buildings stacked with a small and limited selection of reading materials, which inefficiently deploy land and people. Given the rise of the e-book even large chain bookshops will likely disappear over the coming decades, and who will cry for them?

The geek as cultural imperialist.

What has no value for me has no value for you.

The French have all kinds of worthwhile ideas on larger matters. This occurred to me recently when I was strolling through my museum-like neighborhood in central Paris, and realized there were --- I kid you not --- seven bookstores within a 10-minute walk of my apartment. Granted, I live in a bookish area. But still: Do the French know something about the book business that we Americans don't?

For a few bucks off and the pleasure of shopping from bed, have we handed over a precious natural resource --- our nation's books --- to an ambitious billionaire with an engineering degree?

France, meanwhile, has just unanimously passed a so-called anti-Amazon law, which says online sellers can't offer free shipping on discounted books. The new measure is part of France's effort to promote "biblio-diversity" and help independent bookstores compete. Here, there's no big bookseller with the power to suddenly turn off the spigot. People in the industry estimate that Amazon has a 10 or 12 percent share of new book sales in France. Amazon reportedly handles 70 percent of the country's online book sales, but just 18 percent of books are sold online.

The French secret is deeply un-American: fixed book prices.

Fixing book prices may sound shocking to Americans, but it's common around the world, for the same reason. In Germany, retailers aren't allowed to discount most books at all. Six of the world's 10 biggest book-selling countries --- Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Spain and South Korea --- have versions of fixed book prices.

What underlies France's book laws isn't just an economic position --- it's also a worldview. Quite simply, the French treat books as special. Some 70 percent of French people said they read at least one book last year; the average among French readers was 15 books. Readers say they trust books far more than any other medium, including newspapers and TV. The French government classifies books as an "essential good," along with electricity, bread and water. A French friend of mine runs a charity, Libraries Without Borders, which brings books to survivors of natural disasters.

The French aren't being pretentious or fetishizing bookstores. They're giving voice to something we know in America, too. "When your computer dies, you throw it away," says Mr. Montagne of the publishers' association. "But you'll remember a book 20 years later. You've deeply entered into a story that's not your own. It's forged who you are. You'll only see later how much it has affected you. You don't keep all books, but it's not a market like others. The contents of a bookcase can define who you are."

The French Do Buy Books. Real Books.

about two weeks ago

FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

westlake Tea-Bagger Click Bait (199 comments)

Just tell them you are an illegal migrant operating the drone. Those people are allowed to break any laws and be upheld as the greatest citizens of the country...

There is long history --- back to the very beginning, really ---- of illegal immigrants being employed - or simply being used --- by the middle class ---- and there are few countries in the world who imprison more of their illegals and citizens both than we do.

about two weeks ago

FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

westlake Re:Dear Fed (199 comments)

Drone? It was a model airplane, a teleguided kiddie zeppelin, a weather balloon, a ...

If it is being used for commercial purposes, it is no longer a child's toy or an adult's R/C model aircraft.

about two weeks ago

What Happens When Gaming Auteurs Try To Go It Alone?

westlake Re:Daikatana failed because it was too Japanese. (86 comments)

Really? Have you SEEN western animation lately?

Japan has.

The remarkable 16-week run atop the box-office that ''Frozen'' has enjoyed in Japan has ended, and it took Angelina Jolieâs ''Maleficent'' to do it.
''Frozen'' is the highest-grossing Disney film ever in Japan, and ranks behind only ''Titanic'' as the biggest box-office hit ever in that country.

'Maleficent" Ends Incredible Box-Office Reign of 'Frozen' in Japan

PlayStation 4 ''Frozen'' Limited Edition PS 4 ''Frozen'' case mod. Available in Japan only.

about three weeks ago

Amazon Seeks US Exemption To Test Delivery Drones

westlake Anyone here order pizza? (155 comments)

10 runs a day? Where did you pull that out of? Your butt? If the delivery is 30 min or less they can do 24 runs in a day - MINIMUM.

You want that 5 pound canary yellow or blaze orange parcel drop on your front lawn while you're sleeping or away from home?

about three weeks ago



Kidnapped by an Uber Driver in DC

westlake westlake writes  |  about two weeks ago

westlake (615356) writes "The Tweet says it all:

Was just kidnapped by an @uber driver in DC, held against my will, and involved in a high speed chase across state lines with police


— Ryan W Simonetti

According to Simonetti, his Uber driver panicked and made a run for it when being tailed by a taxi inspector .

''It was like an episode of ‘Cops,'' Simonetti said. ''We’ve all seen the ‘Cops’ episode. This only ends two ways. Either the car crashes or the guy jumps out and runs. And he had plenty of opportunities to slow down and jump out and run, and he wasn’t doing that.''

“It was insane,” Simonetti said. ''I physically tried to force his leg to hit the brake. I ripped off his pant leg. I said, ‘Here's two options. You take this exit, or I’m going to knock the side of your head in. If we crash, we crash, but you’re gonna kill us anyway.''

The driver in question has been ''deactivated'' by Uber.

Man visiting D.C. says Uber driver took him on wild ride"


Ethanol runs out of gas.

westlake westlake writes  |  about 8 months ago

westlake (615356) writes "By pulling back on an effort to guarantee ethanol an ever-growing share of the nation’s gasoline supply, the Obama administration could be putting the bio-fuels industry into the deep freeze.
Corn-based biofuel has for years been untouchable politically — until now. Reasons for the change are many: The boom in domestic oil drilling. Demand for gasoline has slumped. And criticism of the environmental impacts of corn ethanol has taken hold nationally."

Link to Original Source

Google Patents Pay-Per-Gaze Add Technology

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year ago

westlake (615356) writes "The "focus" to no one's surprise is on Google Glass. For a look at the patent click here: Gaze tracking system

In particular, it outlines a method for billing advertisers based on the number of times users look at an advert – either online or offline, via a billboard, magazine or newspaper. While gaze tracking may sound a little creepy, it is merely an extension of the pay-per-click model commonly used to charge for online advertising, which measures how many users have engaged with a particular advert.

How Pay-Per-Gaze Advertising Could Work With Google Glass

Creepy, I can live with. Maybe. But a revenue stream based on how long you can keep your eyes focused on adds viewed through Google Glass is simply and plainly irresponsible."


The Big Story In PC Gaming That Slashdot Ignores.

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year ago

westlake (615356) writes "The Humble Origin Bundle has raised $6.8 million for charity. It has nine days and nineteen hours to break $10 million in sales.
The story has received broad coverage elsewhere. It's an impressive showing, but not a word, not a whisper of it has reached the front pages of Slashdot.
It is EA and it is Origin and Steam. It is Windows. It is AAA mass market titles like Dead Space, Battlefield 3 and The Sims. Eight games. 200 GB of prime download content. Yours for a $5 gift to the American Red Cross and others.
The Humble Bundle has been — and continues to be — a showcase for Indie gaming and the Linus port. But promotions on this scale could permanently alter the landscape."

The Humble Origin Bundle: Geek vs Gamer.

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year ago

westlake (615356) writes "In its first day and with four hours and thirteen days to go The Humble Origin Bundle has seen 760,000 sales and raised $3.6 million for charities like the American Red Cross, with all proceeds going to your charities of choice.

The games are mainstream AAA list titles:

Dead Island 1&3, Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box, Crysis 2, Mirror's Edge, Medal of Honor, Battlefield 3 and The Sims 3 Starter Pack. Distribution is through Origin and Steam. Steam keys are available for most, but not all games. The Sims 3 is available for the Mac. It's quite possible that one or two games could be added later.

It's been a tortuous day for the geek — gamer. It's EA and it is Origin. The promotion has totally eclipsed this week's hard-core, multi-platform, DRM free, indie Introversion Humble Bundle (Defcon, Uplink, Darwinia) which sold a respectable 55,000 units, with a return of $320 thousand."

Suspect in Boston Marathon Dead In Shppt-Out With Police

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year ago

westlake (615356) writes "The breaking story from Reuters:


About five hours after the FBI released the pictures of the bombing suspects, a police officer was shot and killed on the campus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Middlesex County District Attorney said in a statement.

A short time later, police received reports of a carjacking by two men who kept their victim inside the car for about half an hour.

Police pursued that car to Watertown, where explosives were thrown from the car at police and gunfire was exchanged.

''During the exchange of the gunfire, we believe that one of the suspects was struck and ultimately taken into custody. A second suspect was able to flee from that car and there is an active search going on at this point in time,'' Colonel Timothy Alben, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, told a news conference." a>One suspect in Boston bombing dead, manhunt underway for second suspect


Contract Dispute Grounds Steve Jobs' iYacht "Venus"

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year and a half ago

westlake (615356) writes "The BBC notes that the designer of Steve Jobs' 105 million euro mega-yacht "Venus" has had the boat impounded in Amsterdam over the non-payment of 3 million euros of his 9 million euro fee.
It's the familiar story of story of a handshake deal that was never fully spelled out in a written contract and may reflect as well a willful blindness on all sides to Jobs visibly failing health."

Link to Original Source

In The World of Big Stuff, the U.S. Still Rules

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year and a half ago

westlake (615356) writes "From Peoria and the WSJ a look at the giant trucks manufactured by Komatsu and Caterpillar.

" In certain areas — notably aircraft, industrial engines, excavators and railway and mining equipment — the U.S. exports far more than it imports. These industries produce relatively small numbers of very expensive goods, requiring specialized technology and labor. Their competitive advantage rests partly on expertise built by U.S. companies in making durable, high-tech weaponry and other equipment for the military — frequently applicable to other products."

It may surprise the geek to learn that Komatsu doesn't employee a single industrial robot. The quality of workmanship simply isn't there where it is needed,In World of Big Stuff, the U.S. Still Rules "

Link to Original Source

The all-TIME List of 100 Best In PC and Console Gaming

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year and a half ago

westlake (615356) writes "It's the season for lists and Time's Matt Peckham looks back on forty years PC and console gaming. There are some odd choices and missing pieces, of course. You can't hope to please everyone. Grim Fandango, for example, must stand for all the Lucas Arts games. The geek will find the inclusion of Net Hack cheering and a nod to the Indie gaming community.

For those who are finding the net a little slow this long holiday weekend, here is a dirrect link to the full list and Index page: All-TIME 100 greatest video games. [Index]"

Link to Original Source

Images from the banned Apple/Foxconn game

westlake westlake writes  |  about 2 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "Benjamin Poynter "In a Permanent Save State" imagines the afterlife of seven Foxconn workers who committed suicide, based on Buddhist traditions. It was pulled from the Apple App Store after narely an hour this weekend, but beautiful and haunting images and video from the game survive and have been posted to the web. In A Permanent Save State Fills You With Wonder And Sadness, Images from the banned Apple/Foxconn game"
Link to Original Source

Apple Retreats On EPEAT Environmental Standards

westlake westlake writes  |  about 2 years ago

westlake writes "Apple's Senior VP for Hardware Engineering, Bob Mansfield, has posted a brief announcement of Apple's return to the EPEAT "green hardware" program:

We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system. I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.

It’s important to know that our commitment to protecting the environment has never changed, and today it is as strong as ever. Apple makes the most environmentally responsible products in our industry. In fact, our engineering teams have worked incredibly hard over the years to make our products even more environmentally friendly, and much of our progress has come in areas not yet measured by EPEAT.

For more information on this breaking story: Apple moves products back on EPEAT environmental standard"
Link to Original Source


Apple Exits "Green Hardware" Program

westlake westlake writes  |  about 2 years ago

westlake writes "From CNETreports that Apple is turning its back on the EPA supported EPEAT hardware certification program.

One of the problems EPEAT sees are barriers to recycling. Batteries and screens glued into place. That sort of thing.

There is a price for Apple in this.

CIO Journal notes that the U.S. government requires that 95 percent of its electronics bear the EPEAT seal of approval; large companies such as Ford and Kaiser Permanente require their CIOs to buy from EPEAT-certified firms; and many of the largest universities in the U.S. prefer to buy EPEAT-friendly gear."

Link to Original Source

Encyclopedia Britannica Goes "Out of Print" After 244 Years of Production

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake writes "The Guardian is reporting that the 2010 edition of the Brittanica will be the last in print, The DVD edition and on-line subscription service will continue. The Brittanica's great strengh historically was in its signed contributions from men like Freud and Einstein. It was the quality of the writing as much as the content that made browsing these massive and often unweildy sets such a pleasure."
Link to Original Source

USS Enterprise Takes Its Final Voyage

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake writes "The AP is reporting that world's first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise is being retired after fifty years of active service — the longest of any warship in US naval history. The big ship had become notoriously difficult to keep in repair. The only ship in its age and class, breakdowns became frequent and replacement parts often had to be custom made. Despite its place in naval history and popular culture, Enterprise will meet its end at the scrap yard and not be preserved as a museum. Famed USS Enterprise Takes Its Final Voyage"
Link to Original Source

The elephant in the room

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 3 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "Microsoft posts a record first quarter and Slashdot studiously ignores it. No matter that news like this rates some comment on OS News, Ars Technica, and so on. Microsoft thanks Windows 7, Office 2010, Xbox for record first quarter But the bigger story here, I think, is the "death of Linux" as a consumer brand name — to borrow a theme from an earlier post — and perhaps something even more disturbing. Wherever the future of Android and Chrome may lie, they belong to Google and AdSense. The sale of the user, rather than the sale or service of a product. In no country or region of the world and in no market segment do the stats for the traditional "community oriented" Linux distribution look at all healthy. StatCounter Global Stats"

The Dark Tower Coming To Theaters Near You

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 3 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "Nothing quite like this has ever been tried before. But Reuter's, The L.A. Times and many others are reporting that Ron Howard will produce Stephen King's The Dark Tower, for Universal as a theatrical trilogy with the in-between stories told through two seasons of an NBC television series. No news as yet on casting — suggestions anyone?"
Link to Original Source

Tweet 911

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 3 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "A survey by the American Red Cross reveals that 3 out of 4 social media users expect help to arrive within one hour of their tweet or post to Facebook. More than 1 in 4 expect help to arrive in less than fifteen minutes.
Which is alarmingly naive.
In flat contraction to this, about half are unconvinced that the first responders are listening in at all.74% of Social Media Users Expect Cries for Help to Be Answered Within an Hour"

Link to Original Source

The Hotness of Windows 7

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 4 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "The success of Windows 7 can be seen in the second-quarter numbers. Profits up 60% from December 08. Operating profitability in the Windows and Windows Live Division 78% in the quarter. Operating profitability for the whole company: 44%. It's been a big story in the trade and financial press, but studiously ignored on Slashdot. The Hotness of Windows 7"
Link to Original Source


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