Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Trust the World's Fastest VPN with Your Internet Security & Freedom - A Lifetime Subscription of PureVPN at 88% off. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Comment Re:Updated TOS (Score 1) 313

You know, I hate this rant. Look, you bought a computer, and windows was what you bought with it. If I buy a computer from Dell, I can't buy it with no RAM (at least not for most of their consumer products), or return the RAM saying I want a refund. I bought a computer system. Same as I can't buy a Nokia phone without the software that comes with it.

The problem is not with the return policy on windows, nor the "bundling" as you call it. The only way that this is a problem is if Microsoft is coercing the manufacturer's into using only Windows. Consider Microsoft an outsourced manufacturer of a part for the PC, like RAM or a HD. It's really not their problem if Dell or HP or whomever uses them as the single source vendor for that particular part.

Comment Win for Free or Win for Quebec (Score 1) 172

Does this decision allow for a bid from all competitors or just SFL? The translated story is not very clear on that matter.

Quebec courts have always been quick to rule in the favor of local interests. If anyone can submit a competitive bid then justice has been served, but if it's only the SFL then the corruption is on the side of the courts. Would this have been accepted if it was a french version of REL?


Woman Tells State Judiciary Committee, "DoD Implanted A Microchip Inside Me" 222

The Georgia House Judiciary Committee took up a bill that would "prohibit requiring a person to be implanted with a microchip," and would make violating the ban a misdemeanor. Things started to get weird at the hearing when a woman who described herself as a resident of DeKalb County told the committee, "I'm also one of the people in Georgia who has a microchip." Not sure of what she was trying to say, she was allowed to continue and added, "Microchips are like little beepers. Just imagine, if you will, having a beeper in your rectum or genital area, the most sensitive area of your body. And your beeper numbers displayed on billboards throughout the city. All done without your permission." Further prodding revealed that the woman's co-workers would torture her by activating the chips with their cell phones and that the chips were implanted by "researchers with the federal government." The committee thanked the woman for her input, and later approved the bill.

Professor Says UFO Studies Should Be Taught At Universities 311

New York anthropology professor Philip Haseley wants young people to get the best education possible, and part of that education, he says, should be about UFOs. Haseley thinks universities should offer classes on UFOs and other unexplained phenomena from space. "[A sighting] happens to millions of people [around the world]. It's about time we looked into this as a worthy area of study. It's important that the whole subject be brought out in the open and investigated," he said. I want to believe the truth is out there in 500 words or less.

Gamma Ray Mystery Reestablished By Fermi Telescope 95

eldavojohn writes "New observations from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope reveal that our assumptions about the 'fog' of gamma rays in our universe are not entirely explained by black hole-powered jets emanating from active galaxies — as we previously hypothesized. For now, the researchers are representing the source of unaccounted gamma rays with a dragon (as in 'here be') symbol. A researcher explained that they are certain about this, given Fermi's observations: 'Active galaxies can explain less than 30 percent of the extragalactic gamma-ray background Fermi sees. That leaves a lot of room for scientific discovery as we puzzle out what else may be responsible.' And so we reopen the chapter on background gamma-rays in the science textbooks and hope this eventually sheds even more light on other mysteries of space — like star formation and dark matter."
Social Networks

Game Distribution Platforms Becoming Annoyingly Common 349

The Escapist's Shamus Young recently posted an article complaining about the proliferation of distribution platforms and social networks for video games. None of the companies who make these are "quite sure how games will be sold and played ten years from now," he writes, "but they all know they want to be the ones running the community or selling the titles." Young continues, "Remember how these systems usually work: The program sets itself up to run when Windows starts, and it must be running if you want to play the game. If you follow this scheme to its logical conclusion, you'll see that the system tray of every gaming PC would eventually end up clogged with loaders, patchers, helpers, and monitors. Every publisher would have a program for serving up content, connecting players, managing digital licenses, performing patches, and (most importantly) selling stuff. Some people don't mind having 'just one more' program running in the background. But what happens when you have programs from Valve, Stardock, Activision, 2k Games, Take-Two, Codemasters, Microsoft, Eidos, and Ubisoft? Sure, you could disable them. But then when you fire the thing up to play a game, it will want to spend fifteen minutes patching itself and the game before it will let you in. And imagine how fun it would be juggling accounts for all of them."

App Store Piracy Losses Estimated At $459 Million 202

An anonymous reader passes along this quote from a report at 24/7 Wall St.: "There have been over 3 billion downloads since the inception of the App Store. Assuming the proportion of those that are paid apps falls in the middle of the Bernstein estimate, 17% or 510 million of these were paid applications. Based on our review of current information, paid applications have a piracy rate of around 75%. That supports the figure that for every paid download, there have been 3 pirated downloads. That puts the number of pirate downloads at 1.53 billion. If the average price of a paid application is $3, that is $4.59 billion dollars in losses split between Apple and the application developers. That is, of course, assuming that all of those pirates would have made purchases had the application not been available to them for free. This is almost certainly not the case. A fair estimate of the proportion of people who would have used the App Store if they did not use pirated applications is about 10%. This estimate yields about $459 million in lost revenue for Apple and application developers." A response posted at Mashable takes issue with some of the figures, particularly the 75% piracy rate. While such rates have been seen with game apps, it's unclear whether non-game apps suffer the same fate.

Square Enix Facing Class Action Suit Over FFXI "Hidden Fees" 76

A class action lawsuit has been initiated against Square Enix over the fees they charge for subscription-based MMO Final Fantasy XI. The court filing alleges "deceptive advertising, unfair practices, and fraudulent concealment" of information about the game's pricing model, essentially saying Square Enix doesn't clearly advertise that there is a monthly fee, and that failure to pay can result in late fees and account termination. The plaintiff is seeking a settlement in excess of $5,000,000 and including "all persons who purchased or played the online games four years prior to the filing of this lawsuit."

Comment Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 373

I think you misunderstand the original intention.

Bill Gates for everything else about the man, was about making things usable for the average person. Did this always work? Nope. Did they cut a lot of corners out of laziness? Yup. Did they do illegal things with their monopoly? Sure did. Was adding IE one of them? Not from their point of view.

From their point of view, they created software to fill a need their customers wanted. ActiveX, piece of trash? Yup. Made to destroy other browsers? Not likely. ActiveX was a lazy way of fixing a complex problem. They had a lot of that over the years.

People make it sound like they went out of their way to destroy Netscape. I don't think that was the case at all, because what would they gain from it? Windows was already dominant with no other competition in sight, and they didn't sell IE. The more likely answer is they went to make a better experience for their users, and Netscape being ruined was an unfortunate side effect that frankly, didn't matter one way or another to them.

Comment Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (Score 1) 218

I can honestly say that of the places I've contracted at, small to medium businesses are the more likely to want support contracts. See the big companies assume their covered. The little guys like the assurance of one less thing to worry about. You may think you've convinced them that they don't need that support contract, you haven't. If you start trying to convince the owner of a company that they don't need support, they start looking for a second opinion because the idea that you don't need support goes against common sence.

At to the point about firefox, firefox and open office are 2 rare apps amongst thousand of open source apps. 2 amongst thousands doesn't make a pattern that supports your arguement. I hope more open source apps reach the critical mass of those 2. I really do, but let's not take 2 fringe cases and make an arguement out of them.

P.S. It's always better to buy support contracts because support is cheap. Not buying support means that 1) you have an internal resource spending their time on something 2) the cost to the business of being down. I'm sorry, but when I buy from a vendor It's their job to know their software and someone who deals with it 100% of the time is likely going to be able to fix the problem faster than someone who spends 20% or less of their time with it.

Comment Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (Score 4, Interesting) 218

The problem to that is a matter of perception and money. It's not that there aren't other viable options, it's how people perceive those options. When you talk to a manager in a mid to large size business, every last one of them is aware of VMware, and every last one of them is aware of Hyper-V because MS was so vocal about it. You may see some Fortune 500 guys who are big Sun shops that may talk about OpenBox, but that's not the norm.

So when the higher ups go out for lunch, are they talking about the open source virtual server? Probably not. They're probably talking about VMware or Hyper-V because that's what their friends companies are running.

Also, when was the last time an open source vendor took a higher up to an expensive lunch or on a business trip?

The worst part about corporate IT purchases is that they rarely have anything to do with quality or return on investment. They're usually made on a recomendation of a friend of a higher up, or back room deals. How many times have you seen a CIO go on an expensive all paid "business trip" from a company and all of a sudden you have an exclusive deal with them?

Comment Re:What happens.... (Score 4, Interesting) 144

I doubt most people would notice. When people click on something like that and nothing happens, they just assume it can't be fixed, not that the tool itself is broken.

Think of how many times they've run across a fix button that does nothing in antivirus and antispyware software. People just shrug their shoulders and go on.

Mind you, not a good attitude to have but people have it anyways.

Slashdot Top Deals

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.