Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - 6 month subscription of Pandora One at 46% off. ×

Submission + - Good way to preserve rare CDs?

tlhIngan writes: "I have acquired over many years some really rare CDs. CDs that you might find on eBay once a year if you're lucky, but really, can't be found elsewhere. These include various promotional ones (e.g. I have an Oscar candidate CD), others have limited releases, and while not really rare, still are extremely hard to get. Naturally all are out of print. Heck, some are even in their original wrapping.

Getting a digital copy of them isn't too hard, for I have all the CDs as lossless rips on my fileserver. So listening to them is never an issue — they are trivially converted to MP3s for my iPod, or played losslessly through my home A/V setup. And they exist as images, too, so I can burn a CD if I need to.

What I want to know is how the precious originals should be saved. Finding another copy is quite difficult (or near impossible), so they are fairly irreplaceable. The digital files get all the handling, and the fileserver is amongst several so losing one doesn't mean I lose the digital copy (yay for backups). But protecting the atoms themselves is quite difficult. What's the best way to protect these originals against theft/disasters?"

Submission + - What are you're favorite intelligent podcasts?

jeremiahbell writes: "I live a fairly isolated life in the country, attend school full-time, work full-time, and have a family. When I'm studying I'd like to have an intelligent internet radio station to listen to, or even the occasional video, as background noise. The local radio station runs farm-talk and Rush Limbaugh so you can imagine that I'm going dying for something that would appeal to a geek.

What streams or podcasts, and where can I find them, do you listen too? Something about politics, economics, the world, technology, science, evolution, atheism, religion, heck, even the Singularity, just about any subject as long as it is aimed at a crowd that, for lack of a better description, actually reads."

Submission + - Valid HTML + Google? Yeah right! 2

xarium writes: "With all this hype about how good (or bad) various browsers are at passing the acid tests put forth by the W3C, many seem to be oblivious to the equally important "validation test" which ensures that compatible browsers have valid HTML to work with. We demand that Microsoft fix their browser to, at least seem to, make an attempt at compliance, but what about website compliance? Websites have an equal share of the responsibility.

Test Google's front page and laugh

Most websites, those which don't pass, usually have only a few fairly technical and nit-picky kind of mistakes; Google however is beyond ridiculous; the validator has to guess at numerous points because the pages are so badly constructed that it's amazing any browser renders anything at all. Not a single one of Google's various websites comes even remotely close to being valid (as any kind of HTML) — in fact, I can't even find one that is well-formed."

Submission + - Tenth Anniversary of First Commercial MP3 Player

Pickens writes: "The first commercially released personal music player capable of handling MP3 files was launched in March 1998 — the MPMan F10, manufactured by Korea's Saehan Information Systems with 32MB of Flash storage, enough for a handful of songs encoded at 128Kb/s. In the US, local supplier Eiger Labs wanted $250 for the F10, though the price fell to $200 the following year prompted by the release of the Diamond Multimedia Rio PMP300, which was priced at $200. The Rio was released in September 1998, but by 8 October had become the subject of a lawsuit from the RIAA which claimed the player violated the 1992 US Home Recordings Act although it was later ruled that the Rio had not infringed the Act because it was not responsible for the actions of its customers. Thanks to its lesser known name, the F10 avoided such legal entanglements, but at the cost of all the free publicity its rival gained through from the lawsuit. Apple's move to allow Windows PC owners to use the iPod, from April 2003, resulted in explosive growth and MPMan, Rio and other pioneers were left behind."

Submission + - Writers strike could be over! (

BlueshiftVFX writes: A deal has been struck between the major media companies and the Writers Guild of America to end the writers' strike, former Walt Disney chief executive Michael Eisner revealed on CNBC.

"It's over," Eisner said. "They made the deal, they shook hands on the deal. It's going on Saturday to the writers in general."

"A deal has been made, and they'll be back to work very soon," Eisner said, adding, "I know a deal's been made. I know it's over."

Now Battlestar Galactica can have it's proper finale.


Submission + - Open source DRM solutions? 2

Feint writes: I'm working on an business platform for inter-company collaboration based on an open source software stack. As part of that platform I would like to integrate some sort of digital rights management for the documents managed in the system. The vast majority of articles are focused how good or evil it is to apply DRM to digital music or video. I haven't seen many articles address the open source solutions around how to protect business data like CAD/MSOffice/PDF/etc documents, which is a real need in business today. Can the Slashdot readership suggest some open source DRM offerings other than the Sun DReaM initiative (which hasn't had a release since Jan 2007)?

Submission + - New Nerve Gas Antidotes ( 1

SoyChemist writes: Scientists from Korea and the Czech Republic have discovered new drugs that can counteract the chemical overload caused by nerve gas. All of the experimental medications belong to a family of chemicals called oximes. Those molecules reactivate the enzyme that is damaged by the chemical weapons. Last year, the FDA approved the first combined atropine and oxime auto-injector for use by emergency personnel. Israel has been providing them to their citizens since the first Gulf War.

Submission + - Version Control for Scientific Writing?

hweimer writes: "After having written a few papers with several co-authors each I have learned to enjoy the benefits of a version control system. Personally, I prefer Subversion for the job, however there are still annoyances like merging various BibTeX files with incompatible index styles. What are your solutions for making life easier? Do you use any custom code like hook scripts in Subversion?"

Submission + - Critical .mdb flaw Found - Microsoft may Never fix ( 4

SkiifGeek writes: "When independent security researcher cocoruder found a critical bug with the JET engine, via the .mdb (Access) file format, he reported it to Microsoft, but Microsoft's response came as a surprise to him — it appears that Microsoft are not inclined to fix a critical arbitrary code execution vulnerability with a data technology that is at the heart of a large number of essential business and hobby applications.

Where should vendors be required to draw the line when supporting deprecated file formats and technology? In this case, leaving a serious vulnerability active in a deprecated technology could have serious effects if an exploit were to target it, but it is a matter of finding the right balance of security and usability such that Microsoft's users are not exposed to too great a danger for continuing to use Microsoft products."


Submission + - Sun releases open source game server

An anonymous reader writes: Sun has just released Project Darkstar an open source (GPLv2) application server for developing networked multiplayer game server's in Java. The project is intended to simplify the task of developing a networked multiplayer game by providing libraries that simplify concurrency control and client-server communication. O'Reilly has also released an e-book in their "Short Cuts" series on the game server.

You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements. -- Norman Douglas