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[#] Thu Mar 26 2009 16:00:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Sun Puts Data Center Through 6.7 Earthquake

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An anonymous reader sent in a video clip showing Sun experimenting with shoving a data center through a simulated 6.7 Earthquake. Everything stays running, but some power cords came out, some screws worked loose, but it's still kind of neat to see a bunch of racks shake like a polaroid.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/lI8qAN4u1tg/article.pl

[#] Thu Mar 26 2009 15:18:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Mythbusters Accidentally Bust Windows In Nearby Town

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Thelasko writes "In an effort to knock Buster's socks off, the Mythbusters accidentally created an explosion so large it shattered windows in a small town over a mile from the blast site. The Mythbusters had the broken windows replaced the very same day. The Esparto, California fire chief says that several firefighters were on hand for the blast, but he didn't notify residents because, 'Mythbusters is supposed to be a really popular show. Everybody would have been out there. We would have had to cancel it because it would have been too dangerous.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/2hlKJ3ExuVY/article.pl

[#] Thu Mar 26 2009 05:10:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Cotton Swabs are the Prime Suspect In 8-Year Phantom Chase

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matt4077 writes "For eight years, several hundred police officers across multiple European countries have been chasing a phantom woman whose DNA had been found in almost 20 crimes (including two murders) across central Europe. It now turns out that contaminated cotton swabs might be responsible for this highly unusual investigation. After being puzzled by the apparent randomness of the crimes, investigators noticed that all cotton swabs had been sourced from the same company. They also noted that the DNA was never found in crimes in Bavaria, a German state located at the center of the crimes' locations. It turns out that Bavaria buys its swabs from a different supplier."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/ncESLb7fQoI/article.pl

[#] Thu Mar 26 2009 16:42:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Stardock, Microsoft Unveil Their Own New Anti-Piracy Methods

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Island Dog sends news that shortly after Valve showed off their new anti-piracy methods in Steamworks, Microsoft and Stardock were quick to demonstrate their new, similar technologies as well. All three companies are bending over backwards to say that this is not traditional DRM. Stardock (the company behind the Gamer's Bill of Rights) calls their system Game Object Obfuscation (Goo), "a tool that allows developers to encapsulate their game executable into a container that includes the original executable plus Impulse Reactor, Stardock's virtual platform, into a single encrypted file. When a player runs the game for the first time, the Goo'd program lets the user enter in their email address and serial number which associates their game to that person as opposed to a piece of hardware like most activation systems do. Once validated, the game never needs to connect to the Internet again." Microsoft's update to Games for Windows Live has similar protections. "You can sign in and play your game on as many systems as possible, but you have to have a license attached to your account. Of course, this only works for online games."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/zh-U7DsgdPA/article.pl

[#] Thu Mar 26 2009 17:23:00 EDT from rss

Subject: MIT To Make All Faculty Publications Open Access

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Death Metal writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica: "If there were any doubt that open access publishing was setting off a bit of a power struggle, a decision made last week by the MIT faculty should put it to rest. Although most commercial academic publishers require that the authors of the works they publish sign all copyrights over to the journal, Congress recently mandated that all researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health retain the right to freely distribute their works one year after publication (several foundations have similar requirements). Since then, some publishers started fighting the trend, and a few members of Congress are reconsidering the mandate. Now, in a move that will undoubtedly redraw the battle lines, the faculty of MIT have unanimously voted to make any publications they produce open access."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/TX7WzIg57b0/article.pl

[#] Thu Mar 26 2009 18:11:00 EDT from rss

Subject: 10 OSes We Left Behind

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CWmike writes "As the tech community gears up to celebrate Unix's 40th birthday this summer, one thing is clear: People do love operating systems. They rely on them, get exasperated by them and live with their little foibles. So now that we're more than 30 years into the era of the personal computer, Computerworld writers and editors, like all technology aficionados, find ourselves with lots of memories and reactions to the OSes of yesteryear (pics galore). We have said goodbye to some of them with regret. (So long, AmigaOS!) Some of them we tossed carelessly aside. (Adios, Windows Me!) Some, we threw out with great force. (Don't let the door hit you on the way out, MS-DOS 4.0!) Today we honor a handful of the most memorable operating systems and interfaces that have graced our desktops over the years. Plus: We take a look back at 40 years since Unix was introduced."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/17tbn1kccrI/article.pl

[#] Thu Mar 26 2009 19:00:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Want a PC With 192 GB of RAM?

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ericatcw writes "Do you love the smooth, silky performance of a multi-core PC loaded to the gills with the fastest RAM? Take a look at Dell's new Precision T7500 desktop. According to Computerworld, the T7500 will come with 12 memory slots that can accommodate 16 GB of PC-106000 (1333 MHz) DDR3 RAM for a total of 192 GB. Dell's not the only one — Lenovo, Cisco (with blade servers reportedly up to 384 GB in memory) and Apple are all bringing out computers that leverage Intel's new Nehalem architecture to enable unprecedented amounts of RAM. But beware! Despite the depressed DRAM market, loading up on memory could see the cost of RAM eclipse the cost of the rest of your PC by 20-fold or more."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/qrYX0f5gNDs/article.pl

[#] Thu Mar 26 2009 19:42:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Google Engineers Say IPv6 Is Easy, Not Expensive

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alphadogg writes "Google engineers say it was not expensive and required only a small team of developers to enable all of the company's applications to support IPv6, a long-anticipated upgrade to the Internet's main communications protocol. 'We can provide all Google services over IPv6,' said Google network engineer Lorenzo Colitti during a panel discussion held in San Francisco Tuesday at a meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Colitti said a 'small, core team' spent 18 months enabling IPv6, from the initial network architecture and software engineering work, through a pilot phase, until Google over IPv6 was made publicly available. Google engineers worked on the IPv6 effort as a 20% project — meaning it was in addition to their regular work — from July 2007 until January 2009."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/9qN1TkATLWU/article.pl

[#] Thu Mar 26 2009 20:30:00 EDT from rss

Subject: What an IBM-Sun Merger Might Mean For Java, MySQL, Developers

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An IBM-Sun merger is a tantalyzing possibility; snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister suggests that an IBM/Sun merger could crown Big Blue king of enterprise software development. 'Acquiring Sun would make IBM the clear leader in Java, as it would become the caretaker of the open source reference implementation of the JRE,' which, along with GlassFish, would become entry-level gateways to IBM's WebSphere stack. Moreover, MySQL would give IBM's database division a significant entry-level hook, and NetBeans/Eclipse would unify IBM's front against Visual Studio. 'All in all, this move would solidify IBM's role as "the developer company,"' McAllister writes. 'In other words, if this merger goes through and you're an enterprise developer and you're not an IBM customer now, get ready — because you soon will be. Better bring your wallet.'" And blackbearnh writes with a short interview with Brian Aker (who came to Sun as MySQL's director of architecture, and is now the lead for MySQL fork Drizzle) about what life would be like under Big Blue's control.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/So5dh0sD56Y/article.pl

[#] Thu Mar 26 2009 19:17:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Hungry Crustaceans Eat Climate Change Experiment

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Earlier this month, an expedition fertilized 300 square kilometers of the Atlantic Ocean with six metric tons of dissolved iron. This triggered a bloom of phytoplankton, which doubled their biomass within two weeks by taking in carbon dioxide from the seawater. The dead phytoplankton were then expected to sink to the ocean bed, dragging carbon along with them. Instead they experiment turned into an example of how the food chain works as the bloom was eaten by a swarm of hungry copepods. The huge swarm of copepods were in turn eaten by larger crustaceans called amphipods, which are often eaten by squid and whales. "I think we are seeing the last gasps of ocean iron fertilization as a carbon storage strategy," says Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution at Stanford University. While the experiment failed to show ocean fertilization as a viable carbon storage strategy, it has pushed the old "My dog ate my homework" excuse to an unprecedented level.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/wf5Y5qH4YL0/article.pl

[#] Thu Mar 26 2009 13:41:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Why Fear the End of the R-Rated Superhero Movie?

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brumgrunt writes "Last year, Marvel said that R-rated comic book superhero movies weren't in its future plans. Now, in the light of Watchmen's box office performance, Warner Bros is going the same way, meaning high-profile comic book superhero films will be restricted to the PG-13 rating at most. But is this a bad thing, and should we fear the end of the R-rated superhero movie?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/dndtgHHCiag/article.pl

[#] Thu Mar 26 2009 21:22:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Laser Sniffing Captures Typed Keystrokes From 50-100 Feet

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Death Metal writes "Chief Security Engineer Andrea Barisani and hardware hacker Daniele Bianco used handmade laser microphone device and a photo diode to measure the vibrations, software for analyzing the spectrograms of frequencies from different keystrokes, as well as technology to apply the data to a dictionary to try to guess the words. They used a technique called dynamic time warping that's typically used for speech recognition applications, to measure the similarity of signals. Line-of-sight on the laptop is needed, but it works through a glass window, they said. Using an infrared laser would prevent a victim from knowing they were being spied on." (This is the same team that was able to pick up the electromagnetic signals emitted by PS/2 keyboards.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/sPFyLpC51og/article.pl

[#] Thu Mar 26 2009 22:11:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Old-School Keyboard Makes Comeback of Sorts

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CharlotteShma writes "Some old writer once said that in order to keep going, he needed to hear the scratch of the pen on the page. Some self-proclaimed keyboard aficionados would make the same argument for computer keyboards. Is it possible that the old "clicky" keyboards are making a comeback? Now that we've replaced the old buckling springs with rubber domes, our keyboards are only getting quieter and quieter. According to the people at Unicomp Inc., all keyboards made since the early 1990s are, frankly, no good. They still use and produce vintage IBM Model M keyboards in their small factory in Lexington, Kentucky. The IBM Model M keyboards are ugly, built like tanks, and, most importantly, with a spring under each key which clicks when you press it." Not sure what's ugly about them most other keyboards are ugly, when you shut your eyes.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/hR9mI9B237U/article.pl

[#] Thu Mar 26 2009 14:26:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Gmail Adds 5 Second Send Rule

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theatrecade was one of a few folks to note that Google Labs has added the five-second rule to email. Once upon a time this rule only applied to delicious foodstuffs dropped on the floor, but at long last you can change your mind on that email to your boss or ex. We shall see peace in our lifetimes.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/3rEOx5k4bDQ/article.pl

[#] Thu Mar 26 2009 21:37:00 EDT from rss

Subject: California May Reduce Carbon Emissions By Banning Black Cars

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Legislation may by 2016 restrict the paint color options for California residents looking for a new car. Black and all dark hues are currently on the banned list. The California Air Resources Board says that the climate control systems of dark-colored cars need to work harder than their lighter siblings — especially after sitting in the sun for a few hours.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/bOMkrYjFG5E/article.pl

[#] Thu Mar 26 2009 23:00:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Is Your IM Buddy Really a Computer?

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audiovideodisco writes "Every year the Loebner Prize goes to the chatbot (and the corresponding human companion) that fares best on a Turing test administered by a panel of judges. Discover talked to Kevin Warwick, the professor who runs the competition, to get pointers on how one would go about detecting a bot. While there are some general approaches you can use, nothing is foolproof — and asking about Sarah Palin can be downright deceptive. One judge concluded an interlocutor was a bot because it didn't recognize Palin's name ... but it turned out the chatter was a French librarian who'd simply never heard of her." The chat transcripts show how difficult picking bot from non-bot is getting.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/_x_q7qpEx1g/article.pl

[#] Thu Mar 26 2009 23:48:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Researchers Can ID Anonymous Twitterers

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narramissic writes "In a paper set to be delivered at an upcoming security conference, University of Texas at Austin researchers showed how they were able to identify people who were on public social networks such as Twitter and Flickr by mapping out the connections surrounding their network of friends. From the ITworld article: 'Web site operators often share data about users with partners and advertisers after stripping it of any personally identifiable information such as names, addresses or birth dates. Arvind Narayanan and fellow researcher Vitaly Shmatikov found that by analyzing these 'anonymized' data sets, they could identify Flickr users who were also on Twitter about two-thirds of the time, depending on how much information they have to work with.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/jtsNy_jzPHM/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 27 2009 00:37:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Huge Supernova Baffles Scientists

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Iddo Genuth writes "Scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and San Diego State University have observed an explosion of a star 50 times larger than the sun. In what they call a 'first observation of its kind' the scientists were able to notice that most of the star's mass collapsed in on itself, resulting in a creation of a large black hole. While exploding stars, or 'supernovae,' aren't unprecedented, this star, which lay about 200 million light years away from earth and was million times brighter than the Sun, has exploded as a supernova at a much earlier date than the one predicted by astronomers."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/GfHQfSm7EtA/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 27 2009 03:35:00 EDT from rss

Subject: With a Computer Science Degree, An Old Man At 35?

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GrApHiX42 writes "I pissed away my 20s and now I want to go to school and get a bachelor's degree in computer science. The thing is, I'll be 35 when I get out of school, and I've read on numerous sites that there seems to be some ageism going on in the IT industry when it comes to older geeks. What have some of the 'older' Slashdot readers experienced as far as being replaced or just plain not getting hired because IT is a 'young mans game'?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/W9hiEOMpZEc/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 27 2009 03:35:00 EDT from rss

Subject: With a Computer Science Degree, an Old Man At 35?

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GrApHiX42 writes "I pissed away my 20s and now I want to go to school and get a bachelor's degree in computer science. The thing is, I'll be 35 when I get out of school, and I've read on numerous sites that there seems to be some ageism going on in the IT industry when it comes to older geeks. What have some of the 'older' Slashdot readers experienced as far as being replaced or just plain not getting hired because IT is a 'young man's game'?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/W9hiEOMpZEc/article.pl

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