By timothy from Slashdot's almost-beta-level department
jeditobe was one of several readers to point out the newest major release of Windows NT-inspired ReactOS, which has just hit version 0.4, brings open source Windows compatibility a little bit closer. The new release includes out-of-the-box support for ext2, ext3, and ext4, as well as (remember, it is NT based) read-only support for NTFS. What else? Support was generally improved for third-party device drivers, making it substantially easier to install and use real hardware, as opposed to just virtual machines like VirtualBox. The internal WINE library was updated to improve support for Win32 programs. Support for Python 2.7 was added, making it possible to use python scripts in ReactOS. A substantial number of visual changes were added, with a vastly improved shell and file explorer, newer icons throughout ReactOS, improved support for fonts, and customizable visual themes. Even with these improvements, ReactOS 0.4 is still generally considered alpha-level software, though Alexander Rechitskiy, the innovation manager for ReactOS, notes that 0.4.1 may be almost beta-level software.Read Replies (0)
By yaelk from Slashdot's programming-the-world department
snydeq writes: Stuffing bits in databases is boring, InfoWorld's Peter Wayner writes, so why not program everything around you? "The barrier between bits and atoms is disappearing, with programmers no longer confined to the virtual realm, in part thanks to the Internet of things becoming more real. Now we can do more than write ones and zeros to a disk: We can actually write code that tells a machine how to extrude, cut, bend, or morph atoms," Wayner writes in a survey of programming languages. "Rapidly developing domains such as autonomous cars, smart homes, intelligent office spaces, and mass customization require programmers to be savvy about how changes in data structures can lead to changes in objects. If the term "object-oriented programming" weren't already taken, it would be perfect."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's best-kind-of-angels department
blottsie writes: Over her career, Shari Steel has taken on United States Department of Justice, the National Security Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She built the Electronic Frontier Foundation into an international powerhouse for protecting online rights. Today, she has a new mission, perhaps her heaviest challenge yet: Take the Internet's most powerful privacy tool mainstream. From the Daily Dot article linked, a hint of one reason that bringing Tor mainstream isn't straightforward:
At the heart of Tor's image problems are what's known as "hidden services" -- sites that are only accessible through the Tor network. Hidden services have been home to drug and gun marketplaces, child pornography forums, fraud and hacking sites, and sites where you can place bets on when a high-profile target may be assassinated. While the media tends to focus on the nefarious elements Tor enables, hidden services make up only about 1 percent of the Tor network, according to Steele, and are in no way operated by the Tor Project.
"I'm trying to teach everyone that we need to recognize that we are doing the work of the angels," Steele says. "What we are providing is really important and really great, and there happen to be uses that are residual that aren't what we're doing. We're not creating this for [illegal activity]. And OK, maybe it's being used for that, but that's not what we're about!"Read Replies (0)