By Soulskill from Slashdot's because-hollywood-says-copying-is-wrong department
writes "Will the computers of the future be tools for freedom or for censorship? An insightful Ars editorial examines this question in depth, concluding that Apple's walled garden approach to iOS is fundamentally flawed and thus Microsoft should reconsider their plans to apply the same model to WinRT. The authors are careful to present a nuanced analysis that adequately weighs the competing interests of security, convenience, and user freedom, ultimately concluding that Mac OS X and Android offer better models because while their walled gardens are on by default, they offer supported mechanisms to opt-out if desired, thereby offering users the same security and convenience benefits without sacrificing user freedom in the process."
A similar article by software engineer Casey Muratori looks at the effect Windows 8's closed distribution system will have on game development
. The restrictions involved in getting approval for the Windows Store would preclude 2011's game of the year, Skyrim
, from appearing there, as well as 2012's top candidates. The requirements contain clauses that would cut out huge swathes of the video game industry, like this one: "Your app must not contain content or functionality that encourages, facilitates, or glamorizes illegal activity."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's hat-tip-to-you-sir department
Back in 2006, we discussed
Jonathan Coulton's 'Code Monkey,' a song about the plight of under-appreciated developers. In the years since, Coulton's efforts to produce geek-oriented songs have propelled him to a successful music career. To mark Slashdot's 15th anniversary, he was kind enough to do a brand new recording of 'Code Monkey' for us
. The video is embedded below, and here's a description from the email he sent to CmdrTaco:"It seemed fitting to do a new version of that song. I have all these gadgets that I buy and barely learn how to play, and when I heard you guys were looking for videos and things, it inspired me to sit down and actually try to get some of them working. What you see is me doing a version of Code Monkey performed live on electric guitar and laptop. The grid with lights is a monome running Pages, Polygomé and mlrv on my mac. You’re also hearing some loops and noises from Ableton Live, controlled by footswitches, the monome, and the little keyboard, which is an OP-1. Back in 2006 I didn’t know what I was doing, and with all these gizmos, I still don’t. So that’s a relief."
Thanks, Jonathan.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's flatten-and-rebuild department
Trailrunner7 writes "Attacks against SCADA and industrial-control systems have become a major concern for private companies as well as government agencies, with executives and officials worried about the potential effects of a major compromise. Security experts in some circles have been warning about the possible ramifications of such an attack for some time now, and researchers have found scores of vulnerabilities in SCADA and ICS systems in the last couple of years. Now, engineers at Kaspersky Lab have begun work on new operating system designed to be a secure-by-design environment for the operation of SCADA and ICS systems. 'Well, re-designing ICS applications is not really an option. Again, too long, too pricey and no guarantees it will fit the process without any surprises. At the same time, the crux of the problem can be solved in a different way. OK, here is a vulnerable ICS but it does its job pretty well in controlling the process. We can leave the ICS as is but instead run it in a special environment developed with security in mind! Yes, I'm talking about a highly-tailored secure operating system dedicated to critical infrastructure,' Eugene Kaspersky said in an interview."Read Replies (0)
By Roblimo from Slashdot's making-a-good-living-by-giving-software-away department
While attending ITEXPO West in Austin, TX
, Slashdot editor Timothy Lord met Ivan Kohler, the "President, Founder and Head Geek" of a company called Freeside Internet Services
that is 100% open source (no dual-licensing) and makes its living supporting software Ivan says is used to manage some of the very unsexy backend tasks that ISPs and VoIP providers need to do, like track usage and send bills to customers. Freeside uses the AGPL
license, which Ivan calls "a GPL variant for web applications" that, he says, "prevents people from taking our software, modifying it, and selling it in a hosted capacity as proprietary software."Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's what-won't-americans-buy-on-credit department
:Hugh Pickens writes
writes "The Washington Post reports that a new vehicle could soon be zooming out of James Bond's garage — or pond — as the Quadski, a one-person all-terrain vehicle that doubles as a personal watercraft, is being billed by its makers as the first high-speed, commercially available amphibious vehicle. Scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. by the end of this year for around $40,000, the four-cylinder, BMW-supplied engine, can drive up to 45 miles per hour on land and do a brisk 45 miles per hour in the water (video). 'You just drive straight into the water, quite fast, and keep on going. It's sort of magic,' says Alan Gibbs, the founder of Gibbs Sports Amphibians. The company is also preparing to introduce the Phibian, a 30-foot long, 6.5-ton model, and the Humdinga, a 22-foot, 3.5-ton model, which are both intended for the military and first responders. The company plans to produce 20 Quadskis per day with 150 employees when the plant is in full operation and expects to sell around 1,000 Quadskis in the first year 'We'll respond to how the market develops,' says Gibbs. 'We wouldn't be doing it without being very confident people will love them.'"Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's more-power-for-more-power department
New submitter arun84h writes "An update to an energy law, which will apply in the European Union, has the power to limit sale of discrete components deemed 'energy inefficient.' GPU maker AMD is worried this will affect future technology as it becomes available, as well as some current offerings. From TFA: 'According to data NordicHardware has seen from a high level employee at AMD, current graphics cards are unable to meet with these requirements. This includes "GPUs like Cape Verde and Tahiti", that is used in the HD 7700 and HD 7900 series, and can't meet with the new guidelines, the same goes for the older "Caicos" that is used in the HD 6500/6600 and HD 7500/7600 series. Also "Oland" is mentioned, which is a future performance circuit from AMD, that according to rumors will be used in the future HD 8800 series. What worries AMD the most is how this will affect future graphics cards since the changes in Lot 3 will go into effect soon. The changes will of course affect Nvidia as much as it will AMD.' Is this the beginning of the end for high-end GPU sales in the EU?"
The report in question
. Each performance category of hardware has a power draw ceiling; in this case, regulators are increasing the minimum bus bandwidth for the highest performance category, bumping all hardware on the market into the next lowest. Unfortunately, no current hardware or planned hardware on the high end will come under the power draw ceiling for that category.Read Replies (0)