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How To Keep Rats From Eating My Cables? 1032

An anonymous reader writes "I am curious to know what vermin prevention/eradication methods are used in other locations. I am working at a dealership and we have an exterminator man who puts out glue traps and bait stations, but they still come and eat my cable. The latest was a couple of fiber runs — very expensive. I have threatened my boss with a cat for the server room (my office), going so far as to cruise the local Humane Society's website and eye-balling a nice Ragdoll-Siamese mix. Even if I do feel like dealing with a litter box, cat hair in the equipment and pouncings on my keyboards (and I'm not sure I do), that only covers the server room. We have multiple buildings on the campus which get locked up to prevent theft, but it isn't secure enough to keep out the critters and the latest chew spot was in the ceiling. Any ideas?"

Amateurs Are Trying Genetic Engineering At Home 245

the_kanzure points out this AP story on amateur genetic engineering, excerpting: "The Apple computer was invented in a garage. Same with the Google search engine. Now, tinkerers are working at home with the basic building blocks of life itself. Using homemade lab equipment and the wealth of scientific knowledge available online, these hobbyists are trying to create new life forms through genetic engineering a field long dominated by Ph.D.s toiling in university and corporate laboratories." Reader resistant has a few ideas about how to use this sort of lab: "Personally, I'd like to whip up a reasonably long-lasting and durable paint made with dye based on squid genes that glows brightly enough to allow 'guide lines' to be daubed along hallway baseboards, powered by a very low trickle of electricity. Plus, a harmless glowing yogurt would make for a cool prank."

Comment Re:Its the monopoly stupid (Score 1) 605

It is NEVER a good time to have the government intervene and split up a company. Ever watch what happened to AT&T? 20 (or so) years ago, our brilliant government decided to split them into a bunch of pieces. Now, look, they have bought back all of their subsidiaries and are now as they were 20 years ago. They, like Microsoft, succeeded in their trade. They are back now to what they were 20 years ago. Splitting Microsoft is the worst possible thing that could happen. You may not like them, but the government only messes things up. Intervention NOT needed.

Google Turns On User-Tweakable Search Wiki 161

Barence writes "Google has launched a new service that allows users to tailor to their own search results. Called SearchWiki, the service allows Google account holders to move results up or off the rankings, or even add their own choice of site to the top of the search results. Google claims that any changes a user makes will only affect their results, and not those of fellow surfers, although it's difficult to believe that some of the feedback generated from the SearchWiki won't be used to fine tune the Google search algorithm. Is this a cunning way to encourage people to sign in while they search, thus providing Google with a richer set of data that can be mapped to specific user accounts?"

Spammers Targeting Microsoft's Revised CAPTCHA 303

toomuchtoomuchspam writes "According to Websense, Microsoft's CAPTCHA has been busted again. CAPTCHA was surely a logical move for different service providers to fight against spammers, but it seems to be melting down. 'Realizing the potential for massive abuse from spammers with anti-CAPTCHA capabilities, who could use the clean IP reputation to carry out various attacks over Email and Web space, Microsoft attempted to increase the complexity of their CAPTCHA system. The CAPTCHA system was revised in an attempt to both prevent automatic registrations from computer programs or automated bots, and preserve CAPTCHA's usability and reliability. As this attack shows, those efforts have failed,' says Websense security researcher Prasad. Could there be any better CAPTCHA? A better solution?"

Iron Man Released 301

Slashdot reader stoolpigeon wrote about the start of summer blockbuster season, and the latest comic book to make it to the big screen. He says "Iron Man is an entertaining movie, as they go. I never was really into comic books — so I have no knowledge or concerns as it relates to following the original story line. I can't address that. The film has good action and some very humorous moments. The serious side of the film is not its strong suit. It's not horrible, but it really doesn't make too much sense. It was interesting to see how they tried to set up an anti-war message without being critical of the US military. It's really a comic book put to film. Not high art or anything, but a whole lot of fun. The film keeps up a fast pace throughout and never bogs down. Some of the product placements were so blatant that they kind of jarred me out of being into the film. The special effects were phenomenal. It was awesome in that regard. Like any movie, it is not everyone's cup of tea If you do go see it in the theater, and you are a big comic books fan, do not leave until after all the credits have run. And I mean all of them." I gotta get a sitter. Man I'm old.
Your Rights Online

Cuba Lifts Ban on Home Computers 290

ianare writes "The first legalized home computers have gone on sale in Cuba, the latest in a series of restrictions on daily life which President Raul Castro has lifted in recent weeks. The desktop computers cost almost $800, in a country where the average wage is under $20 a month, but some Cubans do have access to extra income. Internet access remains restricted to certain workplaces, schools and universities on the island which the government claims is due to low bandwidth availability. Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is laying a new cable under the Caribbean, but it remains unclear whether once the connection is completed, the authorities will allow unrestricted access to the internet."
The Military

Submission Talking to the Taliban-> 1

europa universalis writes: At the Globe and Mail(1) website, Canadian journalist Graeme Smith is presenting a video report in which members of the Taliban fighting Canadian troops in Kandahar province were asked 20 specific questions from a survey, on camera, by a long-time source and associate of his. The translations were double-checked by a third party; the interviews and report were circulated amongst prominent Afghanis near Kandahar, including members of the Taliban, for commentary and feedback before the report was published.

(1)A major Canadian newspaper, widely viewed as somewhat conservative by Canadians.

Link to Original Source

Americans Don't Care About Domestic Spying ? 485

S1mmo+61 writes "Salon is analyzing a Time Magazine article today, a piece that essentially claims Americans do not care about the domestic spying. The analysis of the Time magazine piece (which is longer than the article itself) is interesting, if only as a quick history of domestic spying in the last eight years. 'Time claims that "nobody cares" about the Government's increased spying powers and that "polling consistently supports that conclusion." They don't cite a single poll because that assertion is blatantly false. Just this weekend, a new poll released by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University proves that exactly the opposite is true. That poll shows that the percentage of Americans who believe the Federal Government is "very secretive" has doubled in the last two years alone (to 44%)'"

Firefox 3 May Be More Memory Efficient Than Either IE or Opera 370

Edy52285 writes "Ars Technica has an article showing benchmarks pitting Firefox 3 Beta 4 against other browsers. Contenders include IE7, Firefox 2, Opera 9.5 Beta, and Safari 3.0.4 Beta. The piece includes a graph depicting FF3's memory usage well below that of the other browsers. The in-testing browser even trumps Opera, which has long been regarded as the fastest browser around."

If IP Is Property, Where Is the Property Tax? 691

nweaver writes "In a response to the LA Times editorial on copyright which we discussed a week ago, the paper published a response arguing: 'If Intellectual Property is actually property, why isn't it covered by a property tax?' If copyright maintenance involved paying a fee and registration, this would keep Mickey Mouse safely protected by copyright, while ensuring that works that are no longer economically relevant to the copyright holder pass into the public domain, where the residual social value can serve the real purpose of copyright: to enhance the progress of science and useful arts. Disclaimer: the author is my father."

Spirit Outlasts Viking 2 Lander 137

ScottMaxwell writes "Spirit, the Mars rover designed for a 90-day mission, has now outlasted the Viking 2 lander. Viking 2 survived until its 1281st sol (Martian day); Spirit is now on sol 1282 and counting. Assuming both rovers continue to weather the ongoing dust storms, Spirit's sister, Opportunity, will reach the same age in a few weeks. They aren't breathing down the neck of the all-time record just yet, though — the Viking 1 lander lasted 2245 sols on the surface of Mars; Spirit and Opportunity won't break that record for another 2.7 Earth years."
Linux Business

Too Many Linux Distros Make For Open Source Mess 554

AlexGr writes "Remember the 1980s worries about how the "forking" of Unix could hurt that operating system's chances for adoption? That was nothing compared to the mess we've got today with Linux, where upwards of 300 distributions vie for the attention of computer users seeking an alternative to Windows."

Submission Is Your Printer Spying on You?

gnujoshua writes: "In 2005, the EFF alerted the world to how laser printers are spying their users by providing tracking information in the form of a unique smattering of barely detectable yellow dots that appear on every printout. Revitalizing this issue, the Computing Counter Culture Group at the MIT Media Labs has launched Seeing Yellow. They provide instructions to see the tracking dots, as well as provide you with a list of clever questions, and appropriate contact information so that you can confront your laser printer manufacturer. Let's act before this issue slips through the cracks again and send the message that manufacturers' must respect our privacy and our right to anonymous free speech."

I'm always looking for a new idea that will be more productive than its cost. -- David Rockefeller