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Communications

+ - Pidgin adds Google Talk Voice and Video support!

Submitted by ottothecow
ottothecow (600101) writes "While various attempts at video and voice support have been in the pipeline since long before GAIM became Pidgin, fully functioning support over XMPP is on its way. Lifehacker reports that Pidgin 2.6 adds voice and video support for GChat (and presumably any other xmpp network) for Mac and Linux. Windows still has a few bugs but they are being worked on. Pidgin 2.6.1 is only available as source at the moment (but precompiled versions are available at getdeb."
Space

Soyuz With Richard Garriott Successfully Launched 56

Posted by Soulskill
from the lord-british-in-space dept.
Toren Altair writes "Soyuz TMA-13 with ISS Expedition Crew 18 and Richard Garriott successfully launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome at 7:01 UT (3:01 EDT). The Soyuz capsule will dock to the ISS in two days. Garriott will return to Earth with Expedition 17 crew members, Commander Sergei Volkov and Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko on October 23." With the extra attention on this launch, the Russians have gone out of their way to say that the return of the Soyuz vehicle will be safe, after a couple of different malfunctions in the past year. Garriott is in space partly for recreation, and partly as a promotion for his latest MMO, Tabula Rasa. He took with him a hard drive filled with information about humanity, as well as DNA sequences from Tabula Rasa players and various celebrities (including Stephen Colbert and Stephen Hawking) to 'preserve' that data in case of a disaster on Earth. Garriott will also spend time running and participating in experiments. Coverage of the Soyuz mission is ongoing at NASATV.

Comment: Buggy Stuff (Score 1) 305

by Bodysurf (#23986161) Attached to: What Happened To Palm?
Treos are notorious for being buggy, unstable, and spontaneously rebooting or requiring frequent reboots.

I had a Treo 600 from Cingular and I can speak for that firsthand. During the course of the day, it must have rebooted at least 5 times -- many times in the middle of a call.

I won't speak for others, but I won't tolerate a smartphone that behaves like Windows 2.0. A smartphone must be stable -- like an alarm clock, TV, etc.

I sent it back to Palm and went to a Blackberry. No stability problems and it just flat out worked.
Software

+ - Tackling The Astroturfing Problem

Submitted by Dalton Georgia
Dalton Georgia (321706) writes "After a reporter at Forbes.com wrote a negative review of Iolo System Mechanic 7, someone pretending to be a random user posted numerous comments on the blog post. They said they had just tried the software, loved it, and accused the reporter of being paid off by Iolo's competitors. But a little digging revealed that the comments actually came from an IP address at Iolo headquarters. This practice of faking grassroots support has its own term, astroturfing, and is increasingly common in the tech business. Can we ever trust user reviews again?"
Role Playing (Games)

+ - WoW Gold paid for real sex

Submitted by
Shohat
Shohat writes "A woman posted an ad on Craigslist, offering a certain something for some quick cash in her game of choice, WoW.The offer was very specific, and And she got what she wanted — enough money an epic flying mount - Screenshots of the postings prior to removal .
First of all, is this prostitution? Sure seems like it, although MMO money isn't entirely established as legally worth real money yet, even if people buy and sell it all the time on multiple online and offline markets."
Spam

Is There Any Reason to Report Spammers to ISP's?

Posted by Cliff
from the does-it-do-any-good dept.
marko_ramius asks: "For years I've been a good netizen and reported spam that I get to the appropriate contacts at varois ISPs. In the entire time that I've done this I've gotten (maybe) 5 or 6 responses from those ISPs informing me that they have taken action against the spammer. In recent years however, I haven't gotten any responses. Are the ISP's so overwhelmed with abuse reports that they aren't able to respond to the spam reports? Do they even bother acting on said reports? Is there any real reason to report spammers?"
Privacy

+ - Explaining the Dangers of Privacy Intrusion

Submitted by thehorse
thehorse (899389) writes "I'm the typical /. nut, and get angry whenever there is a news story about governments reducing their citizens' privacy rights. My wife, however, doesn't understand why it's such a big deal that the government could read our emails or bank accounts, track our movements in our cars, capture us on public video cameras, etc. I've tried to explain to her the slippery slope involved, and try to illustrate how losing our personal privacy can turn us into the societies like ones depicted in 1984, or a slew of other sci-fi literature/movies, but she still doesn't get it. And probably because I'm not the best story-teller.

Since my wife isn't a /. geek, and doesn't like sci-fi, can anyone help me explain to her why she should be concerned about government intrusion into her private life?"
The Internet

+ - Blocking Cyber Squattors

Submitted by Noishe
Noishe (829350) writes "What do people on slashdot do to block cyber squattors? I've noticed that almost every cybersquatted page I've ever had any interest in is registered with godaddy, and its dns is always hosted at parkN.secureserver.net, where N is some number. Shouldn't it be really easy to block any dns entries hosted by this site? This type of blocking should be built into firefox by default."
Privacy

+ - Did her MySpace photo derail teacher's career?

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "This is one of those disturbing stories because really, it could happen to way too many people. According to the Smoking Gun site a woman in Pennsylvania is suing Millersville University claiming that her teaching career has been derailed by college administrators who unfairly disciplined her over a MySpace photo that shows her wearing a pirate hat and drinking from a plastic cup. The Photo was captioned: Drunken Pirate. Frankly the picture's description is worse than the picture if you ask me. http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1458 4"
Privacy

+ - Justice Department Says FBI Misused Patriot Act

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "In a report just released by the Justice Department, as predicted by many including those on Slashdot, the FBI has misused and abused the PATRIOT Act to illegally gain access to information about people living in the United States.

From the article:
FBI agents sometimes demanded the data without proper authorization, according to a 126-page audit by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine. At other times, the audit found, the FBI improperly obtained telephone records in non-emergency circumstances.

..."we believe the improper or illegal uses we found involve serious misuses of national security letter authorities," the audit concludes.
"
The Internet

Wikipedia May Require Proof of Credentials 317

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yeah-good-luck-with-that dept.
narramissic writes "According to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, a new policy is currently under discussion by the community of users who regularly write and maintain Wikipedia that would require contributors to the site who claim certain credentials to prove they really have them. The new policy comes after one of Wikipedia's most prolific and respected editors, who went by the pseudonym 'Essjay,' was found not to be the 'tenured professor of theology' he claimed to be but a run-of-the-mill 24 year-old from Kentucky. Said Wales, 'To discover that someone had been deceiving the community for a long time really was a bit of a blow to our trust. Wikipedia is built on the idea of trusting other people and people being honest and we find that in the most part everyone is, so it was a real disappointment.'"

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