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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Home IT Rack 1

jawtheshark writes: "I'm building a house, and obviously I want a modest network built-in. Nothing fancy, two RJ-45 per room, four in the living room, and that's basically it. I already got myself a rack mountable Cisco Small Business switch and I have a self-built 4U server (low-power, won't make much heat) which can be rack mounted (505mm deep).

Now, the construction company suggests a wall mounted rack (6U: 340mm x 600mm x 480mm — 6U definitely won't be enough, but a 12U model exists). It's not expensive, but I have never worked on a rack where the backside is unreachable. (For work, I get to work in a data center with huge racks that are accessible from both sides). Now obviously, I don't need a data center-grade rack, but these wall-mounted racks scream "switch-only" racks to me. What are your experiences? Is it possible to put servers in racks like these, or should I find a "both-side-accessible" rack instead?"

Submission + - Linux distro dissatisfaction trends plotted (alphagfx.com) 3

tomhudson writes: "Earlier this month, slashdot ran a story using Google Insight to track linux distribution popularity. This showed that Ubuntu was more popular in search queries. Now, by extending the same methodology, we can see that Ubuntu also has the highest rate of user dissatisfaction — more than all the top distros combined. This year's trend is not complete, but it's a safe bet that it will continue to lead the pack."

Facebook, Zynga Sign Long-Term Virtual Currency Deal 124

Despite recent rumors that Facebook and FarmVille developer Zynga were gearing up for a legal battle, the two announced yesterday that they have signed a five-year agreement over how virtual currency will be used. Quoting: "The source of the conflict ... comes down to Facebook's decision to introduce Facebook Credits, an over-arching currency system to be used in all games on its platform. This allows users to purchase just one type of currency for use in Facebook games, rather than buying directly from individual developers — a lack of direct control over its monetization that became a major point of contention for Zynga. Also likely an issue is Facebook's decision to take 30 percent of revenues gathered from credits, with 70 percent allocated to the developers."

Exchange Rates Spell High Prices for Windows 7 In the EU 548

CWmike writes "European customers will pay up to twice as much for Windows 7 compared with US users, even though the new operating system will ship without a browser in Europe. Some of the money Microsoft stands to make on the European editions of Windows 7 comes from the weak dollar. Last week, for instance, the dollar fell against the euro the most in a month, hitting $1.41 per euro. For example, Windows 7 Professional, the key retail edition for businesses, will sport a price tag of 285 euros, or $400.60, and £189.99, or $313.84, at Saturday's exchange rate. In other words, EU customers will pay twice the $199.99 U.S. price; U.K. buyers will pay 57% more. And depending on your view on bundling IE, Europe's customers will be paying more for less, with Microsoft's decision to yank IE8 from Windows 7 in an effort to head off EU antitrust regulators, who may still force the company to take more drastic measures."

Reliable Male Contraceptive In the Works 519

Hugh Pickens writes "The BBC reports that recent tests in China indicate a monthly injection of testosterone, which works by temporarily blocking sperm production, could be as effective at preventing pregnancies as the female pill or condoms. In trials in China only one man in 100 fathered a child while on the injections, and six months after stopping the injections the mens' sperm counts returned to normal. The lead researcher said that if further tests proved successful, the treatment could become widely available in five years' time. Previous attempts to develop an effective and convenient male contraceptive have encountered problems over reliability and side effects, such as mood swings and a lowered sex drive. However, despite the injection having no serious side effects, almost a third of the 1,045 men in the two-and-a-half year study did not complete the trials; no reason was given for this."

Submission + - Magic Jack: Uninstallable Spyware? (blogspot.com)

JadedApprentice writes: "As part of an ongoing series on the heavily-marketed "Magic Jack" VoIP product and service, BroadBand Nation takes a look at the Terms of Service (TOS) and EULA delivered with Magic Jack and discovers that by installing and accepting the TOS, customers agree to enabling uninstallable spyware functionality included with the product. In short, users that install the product agree that everything in their computer is fair game for YMAX to know about, including all web sites visited, email sent, and numbers called--all of which may be resold to third parties. While none of this should be shocking to slashdotters who already use better and cheaper alternatives like Skype, the reality is that thousands of people who should know better are signing up for this service unaware of the risks they're taking."

Submission + - First Earth-Size Exoplanet Already Found? (blogspot.com)

Adam Korbitz writes: "

New Scientist is reporting the extrasolar planet MOA-2007-BLG-192Lb — whose discovery was announced just last summer — may actually be the first truly Earth-sized exoplanet to be identified.

According to New Scientist, a new analysis suggests the planet weighs less than half the original estimate of 3.3 Earth masses. The new estimate — which scientists hope to confirm with more observations in the near future — peg the planet's size at 1.4 Earth masses.

The new estimate is the result of recent observations suggesting the planet's host star is more massive than originally thought, meaning the planet must be smaller than scientists originally estimated. Astronomers first thought the host star was a tiny brown dwarf , but now realize it is actually a red dwarf.

The planet orbits a small red dwarf star some 3,000 light-years distant and orbits its host star at a distance of 0.62 astronomical units (an astronomical unit is the distance from the Earth to the Sun, or about 93 million miles) — about the same distance as Venus from our Sun. One significance of the planet's discovery is that it points to the probable ubiquity of smaller terrestrial planets in somewhat Earth-like orbits — at least when it comes to red dwarf stars, the oldest and most numerous stars in the galaxy. Scientists don't think MOA-2007-BLG-192Lb is likely to harbor life but concede it may be habitable due to a probably thick atmosphere and possible oceans.

Astronomers first discovered the planet using a technique called gravitational microlensing, a technique that may be sensitive enough to detect planets with masses one-tenth that of Earth.



At Atlantic Records, Digital Sales Surpass CDs 273

The NYTimes reports that Atlantic is the first major label to report getting a majority of its revenue from digital sales, not CDs. Analysts say that Atlantic is out in front — the industry as a whole isn't expected to hit the 50% mark until 2011. By 2013, music industry revenues will be 37% down from their 1999 levels (when Napster arrived on the scene), according to Forrester. "'It's not at all clear that digital economics can make up for the drop in physical,' said John Rose, a former executive at EMI ... Instead, the music industry is now hoping to find growth from a variety of other revenue streams it has not always had access to, like concert ticket sales and merchandise from artist tours. ... In virtually all... corners of the media world, executives are fighting to hold onto as much of their old business as possible while transitioning to digital — a difficult process that NBC Universal's chief executive ... has described as 'trading analog dollars for digital pennies.'"
The Media

90% of Gaming Addiction Patients Not Addicted 333

phorm writes "BBC is carrying an article which states that 90% of visitors to Europe's 'video game addiction clinic' are not, in fact, addicted. The problem is a social one rather than a psychological issue. In other words, the patients have turned to heavy gaming because they felt they didn't fit in elsewhere, or that they fit in better 'in the game' than elsewhere in 'the real world.' This has been discussed before, with arguments ranging from gaming being a good way to socialize, the clinical definition of gaming addiction, and claims than males are wired for video-game addiction."
Hardware Hacking

Hacks Allowing Disabled Gamers To Play Guitar Hero 94

angrymilkman writes "Here are two interesting new approaches where researchers modified the popular Guitar Hero game so it can be played by gamers with disabilities. Air Guitar Hero modifies the Guitar Hero controller so someone without limbs can play it by using electrodes attached to the user's residual arm. Blind Hero is a mod for Frets on Fire that uses a haptic glove that can turn visual feedback into haptic feedback, allowing blind gamers to play Guitar Hero songs." There have been a variety of Guitar Hero hacks in the past, including a custom drum pad for playing the guitar part, using the plastic guitar as a real instrument, and rocking out with your bike, but it's nice to see some more serious modifications showing up.

Submission + - AVG 8.0 Free thinks ZoneAlarm 7.0 is a trojan... 1

BUL2294 writes: AVG Free 8.0's latest update sees ZoneAlarm 7.0 as trojan horse "Agent_r.CX". It's also being discussed here, here, here, and here (with less than stellar help from the AVG free forum moderators)... This destroyed my ZoneAlarm installation--I was unable to go out to the Internet until I uninstalled ZoneAlarm, so now I have to choose between running Windows without antivirus or a firewall...

Once this is resolved, if you are looking for an older version of ZoneAlarm (i.e. for Windows 2000, which is not supported by ZoneAlarm 8.0), the link to v7.0.483.000 can be found here...

Submission + - Windows 7 to be called Windows 7... for no reason.

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft's Mike Nash came forward today in a blog post on the Windows Vista Blog and revealed the official name for Windows Code Name "7" as simply "Windows 7". The reasoning, by Mr. Nash, is that Windows 7 is "the seventh release of Windows." As much wonderful sense as this makes on first glance, it seems as if Microsoft's marketing teams pulled this number out of thin air: the Windows 7 kernel is version 6.1, and there's no way Windows 7 adds up as the seventh release of Windows anyway.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!