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Comment Re:Unusual situation (Score 3, Informative) 67

I made one mistake, and bought one of their first generation trackers. That device was difficult to use and software was terrible in UX department. I dropped it to garbage can, after a while, due to small added value to my life versus lots of time and effort invested in usage. Then I have repeated mistake, this counts as stupidity, and bought one of later generation devices. That was working better, but difficult to use, software was better but with some inexplicable tendencies etc. So it was a mixed performance product. Later on device started to generate obviously incorrect data, which turned out to be a software problem, that can only be solved by erasing 1+ years worth data from their online only database. The clip on the device, which was problematic to begin with has broken, with no feasible customer service option available etc. So it is a very nicely designed piece of garbage.

Comment Re:Open source Picasa (Score 1) 86

AFAIK and IANAL... Charity expences has tax advantages so should be no problem. I have no idea on environmental activities' situation. Blood diamonds, and all other forms of conflict metals and/or materials are legally questionable to begin with, so not buying them can be defined as a responsible business practice. And acting responsibly is not just legal but a requirement and obligation in some jurisdictions...

Comment Re:Open source Picasa (Score 0) 86

They are obliged to protect share holders' profit. While it can be argued that open sourcing program will develop some goodwill towards Google, it is not a quantifiable and/or provable action. Also obligation to protect the share holders' rights are in several Civil Law regulations I had encountered with, so I assume it is codified in every "normal" legal system...

Comment Re:So what (Score 1) 91

It depends how paranoid you are while defining the "home". Last week Ubuntu modified lots of keys in CA. For me this is something critical enough.
You are right that repos are not exactly designed to keep track of user actions, in the general sense of "home to be called". But you need to populate them, even if they are air,glass and steel gapped from the Internet. And during that population, you are replacing software packages by new binaries (and source if you like) provided by distribution packager. So that you are maintaining a one direction connection, that can turn into two way whenever a new (if there is not an existing one already) piece of software triggers...

Submission + - Book torrent released before its release date: Linux C Programming 1

internet-redstar writes: Before its release date, the book "Linux C Programming" is available for download in its DRM-free format through bittorrent.
Author, Jasper Nuyens, a Linux veteran was asked about his feelings. "Well, this is a strange situation", he replied, "like the movie from Quentin Tarantino, it is occurring more and more that works are distributed online even before they are available for purchase through the normal sales channels".

The author, however indicated that he isn't that sad with this event. "I don't make my living from selling books. If more people attend our courses based upon the books, than that's great, if more learn to program in C on Linux, that's great too." Mr. Tarantino might not share his feelings, but in the music industry too, some artists shift away their focus from selling CDs to selling tickets for their performances.

"Maybe a similar model is possible for book distribution", Mr Nuyens continued. He added that he will not be taking steps against further distribution of his book. "The sharing through BitTorrent of the book actually helps its distribution, so I don't see it as a bad thing at all."

Here is the magnet link:

Submission + - Sweden's Cash-Free Future Looms - and Not Everyone is Happy About It writes: Liz Alderman writes in the NYT that bills and coins now represent just 2 percent of Sweden’s economy, compared with 7.7 percent in the United States and 10 percent in the euro area and this year only about 20 percent of all consumer payments in Sweden have been made in cash, compared with an average of 75 percent in the rest of the world. “Sweden has always been at the forefront of technology, so it’s easy to embrace this,” said Jacob de Geer, a founder of iZettle, which makes a mobile-powered card reader. In Sweden parishioners text tithes to their churches, homeless street vendors carry mobile credit-card readers, and even the Abba Museum, despite being a shrine to the 1970s pop group that wrote “Money, Money, Money,” considers cash so last-century that it does not accept bills and coins. "We don’t want to be behind the times by taking cash while cash is dying out,” says Bjorn Ulvaeus, a former Abba member who has leveraged the band’s legacy into a sprawling business empire, including the museum.

But not everyone is pleased with the process. Remember, Sweden is the place where, if you use too much cash, banks call the police because they think you might be a terrorist or a criminal. Swedish banks have started removing cash ATMs from rural areas, annoying old people and farmers. Credit Suisse says the rule of thumb in Scandinavia is: "If you have to pay in cash, something is wrong." Sweden’s embrace of electronic payments has alarmed consumer organizations and critics who warn of a rising threat to privacy and increased vulnerability to sophisticated Internet crimes. Last year, the number of electronic fraud cases surged to 140,000, more than double the amount a decade ago, according to Sweden’s Ministry of Justice. Older adults and refugees in Sweden who use cash may be marginalized, critics say, and young people who use apps to pay for everything or take out loans via their mobile phones risk falling into debt. “It might be trendy,” says Bjorn Eriksson, a former director of the Swedish police force and former president of Interpol. “But there are all sorts of risks when a society starts to go cashless.”

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: State-of-the-Art In Amateur Book Scanning?

An anonymous reader writes: I have a shelf full of books and other book-like things ranging from old to very old that I would like to turn into PDFs (or other similarly portable format), and have been on a slow-burn quest for the right hardware and method to do so on a budget. These are mostly sentimental — things handed down over generations, and they include family bibles, notebooks, and photo albums, as well as some conventional — published, bound — books from the late 19th and early 20th Century. None of them are especially valuable as antiques, as far as I know; my goals in preserving them are a) to make them available to other people in my family who are into geneology, and b) so I can read some of those old, interesting books (et cetera) without endangering them. I was intrigued by the (funded, but not yet available) scanner mentioned earlier this year on Slashdot; it seems to do a lot of things right, but like any crowdfunded project, the proof is in the pudding, and the pudding hasn't yet arrived. It's also cheap, and that fits my household budget. What methods and hardware are you using to scan old documents? Any tips you have from a similar project, with regard to hardware, treatment of the materials being scanned, light sources, file formats, clean-up and editing tools, file-size-vs-resolution tradeoffs? In the end, I'm likely to err toward high-resolution scans, since they can be knocked down to size later if need be, but I'd be interested in hearing about what tradeoffs you've found to work for you.

One big question that I'd like to have answered: Is there free software (I am mostly on Linux, by choice, but won't leap onto a sword to keep my Free Software purity) that makes for easy correction of the distortion introduced by camera-based imaging? If I could easily uncurl and keystone-correct pages, then a lot of input methods (even my phone) are suddenly much more attractive. My old Casio camera could do this 10 years ago, but I haven't found a free software desktop utility that lets me turn photos into nicely squared-up pages.

Submission + - Red Star: North Korea's operating system revelaed (

rippeltippel writes: Linux-based and with a stylish OSX-like interface, it tackles illegal file exchanges by watermarking your data and reboots itself when you try to tamper with the OS.

From the article:
"If a user makes any changes to core functions, like trying to disable its antivirus checker or firewall, the computer will display an error message or reboot itself. [...] Illegal media is usually passed person-to-person in North Korea using USB sticks and microSD cards, making it hard for the government to track where they come from. Red Star tackles this by tagging, or watermarking, every document or media file on a computer or on any USB stick connected to it"

Comment Re: 25+ years (Score 1) 620

In Y2K, I was forced to switch NetBEUI frames over a TCP/IP network, because some system managers could not be bothered to switch their transport... I believe it was Cisco DLSW that saved our life, because otherwise we would be forced to find Eicon or similar cards in order to connect E1s directly to NetBIOS servers... Those were fun times... Nowadays the oldest components I am using (apart from obvious pen and paper) are my fingers :)

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