Perhaps people should just stay inside all day.
Pneuma ROCKS writes "Google has just released the Google Browser Sync extension for Firefox. This extension allows you to save your bookmarks, history and passwords on Google servers, effectively giving you a 'roaming profile,' which you can sync on any computer running Firefox (and the extension, of course)."
gitana writes "The New York Times is reporting that American trade negotiators may demand the shutdown of AllofMP3.com as a condition of Russia joining the World Trade Organization." From the article: "Music industry officials say AllofMP3, which first came to their attention in 2004, is a large-scale commercial piracy site, and they dismiss its claims of legality. "It is totally unprecedented to have a pirate site operating so openly for so long," said Neil Turkewitz, executive vice president of the Recording Industry Association of America, who is based in Washington ... AllofMP3.com says on the site that it can legally sell to any user based in Russia and warns foreign users to verify the legality within their countries for themselves. The site features a wide selection of Russian music, but is written in English with prices listed in United States dollars."
Many people have submitted this story of a broken laptop purchased on e-bay. The buyer gives a little lesson on why you should always clean your hard drive before you sell a computer.
mrogers writes "USA Today has a story describing how the NSA looks for suspicious calling patterns in the huge volumes of traffic data it collects. "Templates" such as a call from overseas followed by a flurry of domestic calls are used to identify leads, which are forwarded to the FBI for investigation. There have been complaints that low-quality leads are drawing agents away from other cases, and similar pattern-matching approaches have been found wanting in the past. Can data mining identify terrorists?"
The winner of the contest is Alex Bendiken. He will receive a new laptop as well as bragging rights as the creator of the new look of Slashdot. You can see his winning design in a near complete form now. Feel free to comment on any compatibility issues. We plan to take this live in the next few days. There will undoubtedly be a few minor glitches, but please submit bug reports and we'll sort it out as fast as possible. Also congratulations to Peter Lada, our runner up. He gets $250 credit at ThinkGeek. Thanks to everyone who participated- it was a lot of fun.
fragmer writes "New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested a plan on Wednesday that would establish a DNA or fingerprint database to track and verify all legal U.S. workers. The mayor said DNA and fingerprint technology could be used to create a worker ID database that will 'uniquely identify the person' applying for a job, ensuring that cards are not illegally transferred or forged. Bloomberg compared his proposed federal identification database to the Social Security card, insisting that such a system would not violate citizens' privacy and was not a civil liberties issue."
galactic_grub writes "Researchers at Stanford have developed a robot that mimics the extraordinary climbing skills of the Gecko. These creatures can climb sheer surfaces thanks to the intermolecular forces exerted by millions of tiny hairs their feet, called setae. The robot, Stickybot, has polymer pads on its feed with synthetic setae. Check out the video of it climbing up a sheet of glass."
Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "Mark Golden, a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires, tried to switch from Windows to Linux, and found it too complex for his liking. He writes: 'For me, though, using the Linux systems didn't make sense. I often send documents and spreadsheets between my home PC and the one at work, which uses Microsoft Office. And the files are sometimes complex. Meanwhile, for both personal and professional computer use, I want access to all multimedia functions. While solutions may exist to almost every problem I encountered, I was willing to invest only a limited amount of time as a system administrator. Claims by some Linux publishers that anybody can easily switch to Linux from Windows seem totally oversold.'"
FearTheFrail writes "Reuters reports that Wal-Mart is preparing to put "build your own computer counters" in 1200 of its 3200 stores, with plans to do so in at least 1400 by the end of the year. Maybe this will bring on an influx of new hardware enthusiasts, along with plenty of horror stories about attempted computer assembly. Do you think this will have an effect on the OEM parts market? And what about the operating systems to be offered? Will Wal-Mart shoppers migrate to Linux in order to save a hundred bucks or more, or will they even have the chance?"
JordanL writes "Hot on the heels of the beta rollouts of IE 7, comes an editorial from John Dvorak declaring IE the biggest mistake Microsoft has ever made. From the article: 'All the work that has to go into keeping the browser afloat is time that could have been better spent on making Vista work as first advertised [...] If you were to put together a comprehensive profit-and-loss statement for IE, there would be a zero in the profits column and billions in the losses column--billions.'"