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Microsoft Finally Allows Customers To Legally Download Windows 7 ISOs

Slashdot.org - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 10:56md
MojoKid writes: It's long been a pet peeve of many end users that Microsoft has made it such a challenge to procure a legitimate ISO image of its various operating systems. It seems like the company should have no problem offering them in an easy-to-find spot on its website, because after all, it's not like they can be taken utilized without a legal key. Sometimes, people simply lose the disc or ISO they had, and so it shouldn't be such a challenge to get a replacement. Fortunately, with a new feature on the Microsoft site, you are now able to get that replacement Windows 7 ISO. However, it's behind a bit of protection. You'll need to provide your legal product code, and then the language, in order to go through to the download page. If you've somehow lost your key but are still using the OS that it's tied to, you can retrieve it through a few different third party tools. However, it does seem like not all valid keys work properly just yet, since some users are reporting valid keys throwing errors or not enabling a download for some reason.

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Simple IT Security Tactics for Small Businesses (Video)

Slashdot.org - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 10:14md
Adam Kujawa is the lead person on the Malwarebytes Malware Intelligence Team, but he's not here to sell software. In fact, he says that buying this or that software package is not a magic bullet that will stop all attacks on your systems. Instead, he stresses coworker education. Repeatedly. Adam says phishing and other social engineering schemes are now the main way attackers get access to your company's information goodies. Hacking your firewall? Far less likely than it used to be, not only because firewalls are more sophisticated than ever, but also because even the least computer-hip managers know they should have one.

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Shane Fagan: Interesting discussion and a potential suggestion from Blizzard

Planet UBUNTU - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 9:35md

Last week's post got a lot of interesting discussion on reddit and phoronix which is pretty cool. The reception was mixed but the thing that I felt a lot stronger about was risk and reward and the idea came up in a different way yesterday on a change.org petition for Blizzard to port their games. Here is the quote for the interesting part:

https://www.change.org/p/blizzard-entertainment-support-please-release-n...

"Rachel has taken the time to check out this petition and is putting in a request for others high up at Blizzard to also check out the petition. They may also look in to using Kickstarter as a means to help cover the cost of creating native Linux clients for us."

The prospect interested me, so I went to reddit and asked what they thought about it but the main issue people were talking about was not trusting Kickstarter projects in general because they lack the assurances that you will get what you paid for. But the thing that struck me more about the entire situation was I started off by thinking sure id throw 50 euro into the pot and get all my games that I already paid for ported but the thing I was left thinking going to bed later that night was why not poll their users about how many actually use Linux? If I already paid for the games and other people have paid for the games too you are setting kind of a bad precedent.

What I felt the best way of doing the Kickstarter would be this, aim much lower than the cost of the port intentionally because they already have sales even if they don't count them because we use either Windows in a dual boot or WINE to play the games. It would be fair to do it this way. And secondly the Kickstarter would be just to pay for the Linux devs not for buying any particular games. In that way you would be just donating to get all your games ported. Lastly it would have to be a 1 off thing IMO I wouldn't want this happening every few months and I wouldn't want every developer coming to us looking to Kickstart their ports. The only exceptions I'd put to that rule though would be the biggest of the AAA titles, so like this post is about Blizzard games, Ubisoft, EA...etc.

I wonder if they would send it to a porting company as well. They have the devs for Mac obviously and they could port it but I wonder would a revenue share for the Linux versions of their games along with the Kickstarter and a little bit on top to account for potential previous users like me. To put some context I've spent 400 Euro ish on Blizzard games since 2000 and given the outcry from people banned from D3's launch on Linux I'm definitely not the only Linux user they aren't supporting with their games. So they definitely should seriously consider every option to port the game even if it isn't lucrative.

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Lenovo Saying Goodbye To Bloatware

Slashdot.org - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 9:30md
An anonymous reader writes: "Lenovo today announced that it has had enough of bloatware. The world's largest PC vendor says that by the time Windows 10 comes out, it will get rid of bloatware from its computer lineups. The announcement comes a week after the company was caught for shipping Superfish adware with its computers. The Chinese PC manufacturer has since released a public apology, Superfish removal tool, and instructions to help out users. At the sidelines, the company also announced that it is giving away 6-month free subscription to all Superfish-affected users.

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Ronnie Tucker: Full Circle #94

Planet UBUNTU - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 9:21md

This month:
* Command & Conquer
* How-To : Block Calls, LibreOffice, and Using i2P
* Graphics : Inkscape.
* Linux Labs: BTRFS
* Book Review: Practical Data Science Cookbook
* Ubuntu Games: War Thunder
plus: News, Arduino, Q&A, and soooo much more.

Get it while it’s hot!

http://fullcirclemagazine.org/issue-94/

Can the Guitar Games Market Be Resurrected?

Slashdot.org - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 8:48md
donniebaseball23 writes: Thanks to a glut of titles, hardware and precious little innovation, the Guitar Hero and Rock Band craze all but died out by 2010. Now, however, strong rumors are swirling that one if not both franchises will be making a return on the new consoles. But will players care? And will the market once again support these games? Charles Huang, co-creator of Guitar Hero, weighed in, outlining some of the challenges. "First, the music genre attracts a more casual and female audience versus other genres. But the casual gamer has moved from console to mobile," he warned. "Second, the high price point of a big peripheral bundle might be challenging. Casual gamers have a lot of free-to-play options." That said, there could be room for a much smaller guitar games market now, analyst Michael Pachter noted: "It was a $2 billion market in 2008, so probably a $200 million market now. The games are old enough that they might be ready for a re-fresh, and I would imagine there is room for both to succeed if they don't oversaturate the way they did last time."

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Adjusting To a Martian Day More Difficult Than Expected

Slashdot.org - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 8:06md
schwit1 writes: Research and actual experience have found that adjusting to the slightly longer Martian day is not as easy as you would think. "If you're on Mars, or at least work by a Mars clock, you have to figure out how to put up with the exhausting challenge of those extra 40 minutes. To be exact, the Martian day is 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35 seconds long, a length of day that doesn't coincide with the human body's natural rhythms. Scientists, Mars rover drivers, and everyone else in the space community call the Martian day a "sol" to differentiate it from an Earth day. While it doesn't seem like a big difference, that extra time adds up pretty quickly. It's like heading west by two time zones every three days. Call it 'rocket lag.'"

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VLC Gets First Major Cross-Platform Release

Slashdot.org - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 7:24md
An anonymous reader writes VideoLAN today launched what is arguably the biggest release of VLC to date: an update for the desktop coordinated with new versions across all major mobile platforms. The world's most-used media player just got a massive cross-platform push. The organization says the releases are the result of more than a year of volunteer work on the VLC engine and the libVLC library. As a result, VLC has gained numerous new features, has seen more than 1,000 bugs fixed, and has significantly increased its scope of supported formats.

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Randall Ross: Watch Jono's "Ubuntu: The Past, Present, and Future."

Planet UBUNTU - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 7:12md

I just watched Jono's talk from SCALE [1] entitled "Ubuntu: The Past, Present, and Future."

It's really quite an interesting talk, so I'm recommending it to you, my dear readers. I think he did a great job describing the key moments in Ubuntu's history. (Click image to view.)

Towards the end of the talk, Jono makes some startling predictions. Do you agree with them?

--

[1] Just why people insist on naming a conference after a kernel still baffles and disappoints me. Do we name car shows after carburetors? Didn't think so. ;)

Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

Slashdot.org - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 6:34md
Esther Schindler writes: According to the NY Times, Leonard Nimoy died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83 years old. He was, and always shall be, our friend. From the article: His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Mr. Nimoy announced last year that he had the disease, which he attributed to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week. His artistic pursuits — poetry, photography and music in addition to acting — ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: “Live long and prosper” (from the Vulcan “Dif-tor heh smusma”).

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Invented-Here Syndrome

Slashdot.org - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 5:45md
edA-qa writes: Are you afraid to write code? Does the thought linger in your brain that somewhere out there somebody has already done this? Do you find yourself trapped in an analysis cycle where nothing is getting done? Is your product mutating to accommodate third party components? If yes, then perhaps you are suffering from invented-here syndrome. Most of use are aware of not-invented-here syndrome, but the opposite problem is perhaps equally troublesome. We can get stuck in the mindset that there must be a product, library, or code sample, that already does what we want. Instead of just writing the code we need a lot of effort is spent testing out modules and trying to accommodate our own code. At some point we need to just say, 'stop!', and write the code ourselves.

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Banned Weight-loss Drug Could Combat Liver Disease, Diabetes

Slashdot.org - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 5:03md
sciencehabit writes: A drug the U.S. government once branded "extremely dangerous and not fit for human consumption" deserves a second chance, a study of rats suggests. Researchers report (abstract) that a slow-release version of the compound reverses diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), an untreatable condition that can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Richard Hartmann: Release Critical Bug report for Week 09

Planet Debian - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 4:40md

The UDD bugs interface currently knows about the following release critical bugs:

  • In Total: 1072 (Including 181 bugs affecting key packages)
    • Affecting Jessie: 152 (key packages: 117) That's the number we need to get down to zero before the release. They can be split in two big categories:
      • Affecting Jessie and unstable: 101 (key packages: 80) Those need someone to find a fix, or to finish the work to upload a fix to unstable:
        • 23 bugs are tagged 'patch'. (key packages: 17) Please help by reviewing the patches, and (if you are a DD) by uploading them.
        • 6 bugs are marked as done, but still affect unstable. (key packages: 4) This can happen due to missing builds on some architectures, for example. Help investigate!
        • 72 bugs are neither tagged patch, nor marked done. (key packages: 59) Help make a first step towards resolution!
      • Affecting Jessie only: 51 (key packages: 37) Those are already fixed in unstable, but the fix still needs to migrate to Jessie. You can help by submitting unblock requests for fixed packages, by investigating why packages do not migrate, or by reviewing submitted unblock requests.
        • 35 bugs are in packages that are unblocked by the release team. (key packages: 27)
        • 16 bugs are in packages that are not unblocked. (key packages: 10)

How do we compare to the Squeeze and Wheezy release cycles?

Week Squeeze Wheezy Jessie 43 284 (213+71) 468 (332+136) 319 (240+79) 44 261 (201+60) 408 (265+143) 274 (224+50) 45 261 (205+56) 425 (291+134) 295 (229+66) 46 271 (200+71) 401 (258+143) 427 (313+114) 47 283 (209+74) 366 (221+145) 342 (260+82) 48 256 (177+79) 378 (230+148) 274 (189+85) 49 256 (180+76) 360 (216+155) 226 (147+79) 50 204 (148+56) 339 (195+144) ??? 51 178 (124+54) 323 (190+133) 189 (134+55) 52 115 (78+37) 289 (190+99) 147 (112+35) 1 93 (60+33) 287 (171+116) 140 (104+36) 2 82 (46+36) 271 (162+109) 157 (124+33) 3 25 (15+10) 249 (165+84) 172 (128+44) 4 14 (8+6) 244 (176+68) 187 (132+55) 5 2 (0+2) 224 (132+92) 175 (124+51) 6 release! 212 (129+83) 161 (109+52) 7 release+1 194 (128+66) 147 (106+41) 8 release+2 206 (144+62) 147 (96+51) 9 release+3 174 (105+69) 152 (101+51) 10 release+4 120 (72+48) 11 release+5 115 (74+41) 12 release+6 93 (47+46) 13 release+7 50 (24+26) 14 release+8 51 (32+19) 15 release+9 39 (32+7) 16 release+10 20 (12+8) 17 release+11 24 (19+5) 18 release+12 2 (2+0)

Graphical overview of bug stats thanks to azhag:

Researchers Create World's First 3D-Printed Jet Engines

Slashdot.org - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 4:20md
Zothecula writes: Working with colleagues from Deakin University and CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization), researchers from Australia's Monash University have created the world's first 3D-printed jet engine. While they were at it, they created the world's second one, too. One of them is currently on display at the International Air Show in Avalon, Australia, while the other can be seen at the headquarters of French aerospace company Microturbo, in Toulouse.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Harrison Ford To Return In Blade Runner Sequel

Slashdot.org - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 3:39md
An anonymous reader sends news that Harrison Ford is now confirmed to be returning as Rick Deckard in the upcoming sequel to Blade Runner. Ridley Scott is now officially an executive producer for the film as well, and Denis Villeneuve will direct. It's set to begin production in the summer of 2016.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Kubuntu Wire: Very nice screenshot tour from softpedia

Planet UBUNTU - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 3:23md

Softpedia showcases Kubuntu Vivid Beta 1 with a screenshot tour.

Microsoft Closing Two Phone Factories In China

Slashdot.org - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 2:47md
randomErr writes: Microsoft is closing two factories in China by the end of March. About 9,000 people worked in these factories, and those jobs were cut a while back as part of the company's major restructuring after its Nokia purchase. Much of the equipment located in these factories from Beijing and the southeastern city of Dongguan is being shipped to Vietnam.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Surgeon: First Human Head Transplant May Be Just Two Years Away

Slashdot.org - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 2:05md
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Michelle Star writes at C/net that Surgeon Sergio Canavero, director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group in Italy, believes he has developed a technique to remove the head from a non-functioning body and transplant it onto the healthy body. According to Canavero's paper published in Surgical Neurology International, first, both the transplant head and the donor body need to be cooled in order to slow cell death. Then, the neck of both would be cut and the major blood vessels linked with tubes. Finally, the spinal cords would be severed, with as clean a cut as possible. Joining the spinal cords, with the tightly packed nerves inside, is key. The plan involves flushing the area with polyethylene glycol, followed by several hours of injections of the same, a chemical that encourages the fat in cell membranes to mesh. The blood vessels, muscles and skin would then be sutured and the patient would be induced into a coma for several weeks to keep them from moving around; meanwhile, electrodes would stimulate the spine with electricity in an attempt to strengthen the new nerve connections. Head transplants has been tried before. In 1970, Robert White led a team at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, US, that tried to transplant the head of one monkey on to the body of another. The surgeons stopped short of a full spinal cord transfer, so the monkey could not move its body. Despite Canavero's enthusiasm, many surgeons and neuroscientists believe massive technical hurdles push full body transplants into the distant future. The starkest problem is that no one knows how to reconnect spinal nerves and make them work again. "This is such an overwhelming project, the possibility of it happening is very unlikely," says Harry Goldsmith."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Murray Cumming: GTK+: Aligning / Justification in text widgets

Planet GNOME - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 12:51md

There are 3 GTK+ text widgets: GtkEntry, GtkTextView, and GtkLabel. I noticed recently that they are a little inconsistent in how they offer alignment of their text. This is highly unlikely to change, because that would be disruptive to existing code, but maybe this is helpful to people trying to use the API as it is now.

I’ve put some test_gtk_text_widgets_align.c example code in github. It shows two GtkLabels (single-line and multi-line) two GtkTextViews (single line and multi-line) and a GtkEntry (single-line only). I tried this with GTK+ 3.15.9. I’ve mostly ignored deprecated API, such as GtkAlignment, to simplify things.

Default

This is how it looks by default. It looks fine, though the GtkLabel, and only the GtkLabel, defaults to center alignment – not a very useful default.

Justification

Now, if you want to justify the text to the right, you might call gtk_label_set_justify() on the GtkLabels and call gtk_text_view_set_justification() on the GtkTextViews, though you’ll need to call gtk_text_view_set_wrap_mode() for that to take effect. Then you’d see something like the screenshot below.

You’d notice

  • The justification had no effect on the single-line GtkLabel (as per the gtk_label_set_justify() documentation) but it did have an effect on the single-line GtkTreeView.
  • The text in the GtkLabel remains aligned in the center (the GtkLabel default) even though it’s justified within that central part.
  • We didn’t call any justification method on the GtkEntry, because it has none.
Justification and Alignment

To fix that center-alignment of the right-justified text in the GtkLabel, you could call gtk_widget_set_halign(). Then you’d see this:

But, strangely:

  • The center-aligned right-justified text in the multi-line GtkLabel is unchanged. It remains center-aligned. I have no fix for this. But see below about gtk_misc_set_alignment().
  • The single-line GtkLabel now appears to be justified/aligned to the right, which is nice. But see below.
  • The GtkTextViews have changed their word wrapping for some reason. I have no idea why.
  • The GtkTextViews and GtkEntry now use only just enough space at the right for their entire widgets, not just the text that they contain. This shows us that gtk_widget_set_halign() affects the whole widget (as per the halign documentation), not just the text,

That last point about gtk_widget_set_halign() is more obvious if we set a background color. Then we see that that’s why the single-line GtkLabel now looks justified – it’s really just the whole widget that has been aligned to the right:

Obviously, I don’t want this effect with the GtkTextViews, so in a real app I would only use gtk_widget_set_alignment() to achieve quasi-justification for a single-line GtkLabel, never for a multi-line GtkLabel, and never for a GtkTextView.

gtk_misc_set_alignment (deprecated)

Interestingly, calling the deprecated gtk_misc_set_alignment() function on GtkLabels does not have quite the same effect, though the gtk_misc_set_alignment() deprecation documentation tells you to use GtkWidget’s halign property instead. However,  you won’t notice unless you set a background color (ignore the GtkTextViews here – they don’t derive from GtkMisc). Also, calling (deprecated) gtk_misc_set_alignment() on the multi-line GtkLabel actually aligns the text to the right, instead of leaving it in center as gtk_widget_set_halign() does.

Maybe I’m missing something but it doesn’t seem like gtk_misc_set_alignment() has a true replacement. Still, I try to avoid using deprecated API because I cannot expect any help if I do.

Conclusion

So, if I wanted to justify my widget’s text, without changing the size of the widget itself, I’d decide what to do like this:

  • For a GtkLabel: Use both gtk_widget_set_halign() and gtk_label_set_justify().
  • For a GtkTextView: Use gtk_text_view_set_justification() with gtk_text_view_set_wrap_mode().
  • For a GtkEntry: You cant.

I could be wrong, so do please tell me how.

Enrico Zini: python-api-stability

Planet Debian - Pre, 27/02/2015 - 12:02md
Another day in the life of a poor developer try: # After Python 3.3 from collections.abc import Iterable except ImportError: # This has changed in Python 3.3 (why, oh why?), reinforcing the idea that # the best Python version ever is still 2.7, simply because upstream has # promised that they won't touch it (and break it) for at least 5 more # years. from collections import Iterable import shlex if hasattr(shlex, "quote"): # New in version 3.3. shell_quote = shlex.quote else: # Available since python 1.6 but deprecated since version 2.7: Prior to Python # 2.7, this function was not publicly documented. It is finally exposed # publicly in Python 3.3 as the quote function in the shlex module. # # Except everyone was using it, because it was the only way provided by the # python standard library to make a string safe for shell use # # See http://stackoverflow.com/questions/35817/how-to-escape-os-system-calls-in-python import pipes shell_quote = pipes.quote import shutil if hasattr(shutil, "which"): # New in version 3.3. shell_which = shutil.which else: # Available since python 1.6: # http://stackoverflow.com/questions/377017/test-if-executable-exists-in-python from distutils.spawn import find_executable shell_which = find_executable

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