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Christmas Cheer

Submission Good moods prevent colds?

duguk writes: "As most of you will probably end up ill over the winter season, it might be best to keep happy over Christmas. A new scientific study suggests that people who have a positive outlook are less likely to catch colds. Psychologist Sheldon Cohen and his colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University exposed more than 300 healthy adults to a cold virus and interviewed them about their emotional state. Those with "generally positive outlooks... reported fewer cold symptoms than were detected in medical exams.

From Science News:
"We need to take more seriously the possibility that a positive emotional style is a major player in disease risk," Cohen says.

Those who displayed generally positive outlooks, including feelings of liveliness, cheerfulness, and being at ease, were least likely to develop cold symptoms. Unlike the negatively inclined participants, they reported fewer cold symptoms than were detected in medical exams.

The new study, which appears in the November/December Psychosomatic Medicine, replicates those results and rules out the possibility that psychological traits related to a positive emotional style, rather than the emotions themselves, guard against cold symptoms. Those traits include high self-esteem, extroversion, optimism, and a feeling of mastery over one's life."

Keep happy and you might not get ill?"

Submission Flying Spaghetti Monster is a neutron star ...

Thee Maun writes: "It seems that Physicists have been working Har'd on the FSM...
Physicists explore Strange Matter Hypothesis
From the Article: A neutron star has a complicated multilayered surface. According to a description by M. Coleman Miller, Ph.D., of the University of Maryland, the deeper portions of the crust has voids that can be likened to Swiss cheese, overlaid by regions with sheets like lasagna, rods like spaghetti, and finally blobs like sprinklings of meatballs on the outside."
Internet Explorer

Submission Help make the new year IE free

iefree writes: "This is more of an appeal to sites such as slashdot that show some hint of social consciousness. The new year is coming and I am suggesting a new year's resolution for web developers to commit to. Please help make 2007 IE-FREE, this is really easy to do if websites would only be courageous enough to remove IE hacks from their sites. It might be scary to remove IE hacks from your sites considering IE's market share but jumping over a bridge just because everyone else is doing so isn't cool. So please slashdot, commit to this new year's resolution and try to recruit other sites to follow suit. More information can be found at:"
The Almighty Buck

Submission Christmas Behind an EB Cash Register

amitlu writes: The Escapist is running a holiday-themed feature written by a guy who went through video game retail hell and lived to tell the tale. From the article: ""Where are the foot massagers?" "This is Electronics Boutique," I explain, naively possessed of the illusion that this will be information enough. An uncomfortable moment passes. I wait for him to cogitate. He waits for me to sell him a foot massager. Eventually I add, "We sell videogames.""

Submission WarGames Sequel Now Filming

iluvcapra writes: "This news is a little late, but on November 20th WarGames 2: The Dead Code began filming in Montreal, produced and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (distributor of the original WarGames) and directed by Stewart Gillard (apparently the director of such gems as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3.) Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes, the team behind the original film, are not involved, and the plot revolves around a hacker breaking into a terrorism-simulation computer.

I only became aware of the new production when I read MGM was suing the rightful owner of for his domain name."
Internet Explorer

Submission IE7 Anti-Phishing To Hurt Small Businesses?

hobo sapiens writes: "Looks like IE7's Anti-Phishing feature will have some unintended consequences for small online businesses. The problem is that IE7 will visually indicate, via a green address bar, which web sites are certified as legitimate. Sole proprietorships are currently not elgible for such certification.

Of course, just because a website is not certified doesn't mean it is not legitimate, but will people tend to stay with "certified" sites? From the article, "'Yes, they will,' says Avivah Litan, an analyst at Gartner Inc. and an expert on online payments and fraud. 'All the business is going to go to the greens, it's kind of obvious.'"

Is this an attempt to steer consumers to large businesses, or is this merely an unintended consequence of a well intentioned feature?"

Human Sense of Smell Underestimated 278

Benjamin Long writes to note a study, by a team of neuroscientists and engineers, that demonstrated that humans can follow a scent trail — an ability that most had assumed only animals possessed. Furthermore, the study demonstrated for the first time that humans make use of differential information from the two nostrils. The researchers blindfolded college students who crawled through grass to sniff out a chocolate-scented trail. Here is the abstract of the paper in Nature Neuroscience. From the article: "The humans, however, still sniffed much more slowly than dogs, which may partially account for canines' greater efficiency at scent tracking. [A commentator] says that despite their relatively sluggish speed, the fact that subjects improved with training is noteworthy. 'I think that shows the effect of our distinctively different behavior in actually using this sense,' he says. 'The dog [has] been doing this its whole life, and humans [were] just asked to plunge in the first time they've ever done it.'"

Submission Yahoo search -- Moving towards paid search.

Gaurav writes: I recently searched for a Hindi movie Dhoom 2 on Yahoo. Here is the result page: Search results for Dhoom 2. If you observe first 5 results have a certain category (Movie Titles > Dhoom 2) attached to them. Click on that category and on the top of the page there is a link "Suggest a site". Clicking on that link takes you to a page wherein you have to pay $300 per annum to get your site included to that category. Personally, I am offended since before this change, my site was among the top 5 results for this particular keyword and got thrashed after they put in place this piece.
The Media

Submission Next-Gen Nominates Penny-Arcade

zyl0x writes: "Next-Gen just released the 2006 list of the top 25 contributers to the gaming industry, and it's no surprise to see Mike and Jerry pulling it at 23 for their work through Penny-Arcade. From the article:
It's part of the fabric of this business. The site has 3.5 million readers worldwide while the spin-off PAX live event attracted 20,000 people this year. Penny Arcade has partnered with the ESRB in creating an advertising campaign to increase awareness and the duo topped MTV's Most Influential Gamers list in June. It also launched the Penny Arcade Scholarship, a $10,000 annual grant to financially assist a future member of the game industry. Perhaps most importantly, its work for charity Child's Play has raised more than $495,000 worth of toys, games and books on the wish lists of more than 35 participating children's hospitals.
Am I the only one a bit hurt to see EA employee Mitch Lasky at spot 18?"

Submission Web programming development environment?

umdenken writes: "I'd like to know how other slashdotters do their server-side web programming: We have dozens of perl cgi scripts, and are currently doing development by editing these production scripts in place on the web server. (!!) Our sysadmins have finally installed the svn client on the server (Solaris), and have offered to create a new virtual host that we can use as the development server. I'd like to have an idea of what some best practices currently are, for organizing this kind of set up. Thanks!"

Submission Video Game Viral Videos of The Year

Larry C writes: "If you like baseball, you like Vin Scully and you played the Nintedo Entertainment System as a kid, this video may actually make you cry.

In our series of video game virals of the year this video tugs at my heart strings. As a young boy I watched the 1986 World Series with my brother, my best buddies and hung on the every word of the great Vin Scully's call. (If you haven't had the opportunity to listen to Vin Scully call a baseball game, please do it. You will not regret it)
This video is from earlier in the year and may be the best mashup of a video game and real life ever. Bold statement but to be sure, but this is a work of very, very high quality. Enjoy."

Submission When Vista Goes Bad

LifesABeach writes: "My job has come to a point where buying a laptop is needed; And the family finances can afford it. So during my web surfing, errrr product analysis, I discover that Microsoft XP/Vista will have the ability to shut my computer down, without my permission. I am beginning to think of the epic event in which Sony's idea of "protection" of their songs was deemed a "Root Kit." I do not have time to mess with some show off lawyer team chocking up the courts. When I buy my computer, Microsoft is NOT a part owner of it. My obvious concern is that I require the use of Linux along with the ability to test on that other OS. My question is, "is XP/Vista going to do something stupid by disabling MY computer in MY day to day normal use of MY Machine which is to multi-partition the hard drive for linux and give that other OS about 40 gig?""

"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge." -- Bakunin [ed. note - I would say: The urge to destroy may sometimes be a creative urge.]