Why Aren't People Abandoning Windows For Linux? https://linux.slashdot.org/story/19/04/07/2111218/why-arent-people-abandoning-windows-for-linux This weekend SlashGear published "Reasons to Abandon Windows For Linux," making their case to "Windows users who are curious about the state of Linux for mainstream computing." It tries to enumerate specific reasons why Linux might be the better choice, arguing among other things that: Updates on Linux are fast and "rarely call for a restart" -- and are also more complete. "Updates are typically downloaded through a 'Software Updater' application that not only checks for operating system patches, but also includes updates for the programs that you've installed from the repository." Windows "tries to serve a variety of markets...cramming in a scattered array of features" -- and along those lines, that Microsoft "has gradually implemented monetization schemes and methods for extracting user data." And yet you're still paying for that operating system, while Linux is less bloated and "free forever." "Because less people use Linux, the platform is less targeted by malware and tends to be more secure than Windows" The article also touches on a few other points (including battery life), and predicts that problems with Windows are "bound to get worse over time and will only present more of a case for making the switch to Linux." Long-time Slashdot reader shanen shared the article, along with some new thoughts on why people really stay with Windows: I think the main "excuse" is the perception of reliability, which is really laughable if you've actually read the EULA. Microsoft certainly doesn't have to help anyone at all. I would argue that Windows support is neither a bug nor a feature, but just a marketing ploy. Their original submission suggests that maybe Linux needs to buttress the perception of its reliability with a better financial model -- possibly through a new kind of crowd funding which could also be extended to all open source software, or even to journalism). #technology #news #windows #linux #software
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New Male Birth Control Pill Succeeds In Preliminary Testing https://science.slashdot.org/story/19/04/01/0342212/new-male-birth-control-pill-succeeds-in-preliminary-testing "A second male birth control pill succeeded in preliminary testing, suggesting that a new form of contraception may eventually exist," reports Time: The new pill, which works similarly to female contraception, passed initial safety tests and produced hormone responses consistent with effective birth control in 30 men, according to research presented by the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute and the University of Washington at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting. (The study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.) It's early days for the drug -- which has not yet been submitted for approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -- but co-principal investigator Dr. Christina Wang, lead researcher at LA BioMed, says it's an important step toward effective, reversible male hormonal contraception.... Unlike a 2016 male birth control trial that famously stopped enrolling volunteers early because so many men complained of side effects, none of the men experienced serious problems, and no one stopped taking the drug because of side effects. #science #news #technology #sex #health
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Saudis Gained Access to Amazon CEO's Phone, Says Bezos' Security Chief https://news.slashdot.org/story/19/03/31/0316213/saudis-gained-access-to-amazon-ceos-phone-says-bezos-security-chief "The security chief for Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos said on Saturday that the Saudi government had access to Bezos' phone and gained private information from it," Reuters reports. But in addition, the National Enquirer's lawyer "tried to get me to say there was no hacking," writes security specialist Gavin de Becker. I've recently seen things that have surprised even me, such as National Enquirer's parent company, AMI, being in league with a foreign nation that's been actively trying to harm American citizens and companies, including the owner of the Washington Post. You know him as Jeff Bezos; I know him as my client of 22 years... Why did AMI's people work so hard to identify a source, and insist to the New York Times and others that he was their sole source for everything? My best answer is contained in what happened next: AMI threatened to publish embarrassing photos of Jeff Bezos unless certain conditions were met. (These were photos that, for some reason, they had held back and not published in their first story on the Bezos affair, or any subsequent story.) While a brief summary of those terms has been made public before, others that I'm sharing are new -- and they reveal a great deal about what was motivating AMI. An eight-page contract AMI sent for me and Bezos to sign would have required that I make a public statement, composed by them and then widely disseminated, saying that my investigation had concluded they hadn't relied upon "any form of electronic eavesdropping or hacking in their news-gathering process." Note here that I'd never publicly said anything about electronic eavesdropping or hacking -- and they wanted to be sure I couldn't.... An earlier set of their proposed terms included AMI making a statement "affirming that it undertook no electronic eavesdropping in connection with its reporting and has no knowledge of such conduct" -- but now they wanted me to say that for them. The contract further held that if Bezos or I were ever in our lives to "state, suggest or allude to" anything contrary to what AMI wanted said about electronic eavesdropping and hacking, then they could publish the embarrassing photos. I'm writing this today because it's exactly what the Enquirer scheme was intended to prevent me from doing. Their contract also contained terms that would have inhibited both me and Bezos from initiating a report to law enforcement. Things didn't work out as they hoped. De Becker instead turned over his investigation's results to U.S. federal officials, then published today's essay warning the National Enquirer and its chairman have "evolved into trying to strong-arm an American citizen whom that country's leadership wanted harmed, compromised, and silenced." He also suggests it's in response to the "relentless" coverage by the Washington Post (which Bezos owns) of the murder of Saudi Arabian journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi. "Experts with whom we consulted confirmed New York Times reports on the Saudi capability to 'collect vast amounts of previously inaccessible data from smartphones in the air without leaving a trace -- including phone calls, texts, emails.'" #amazon #hacking #news #technology #politics
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