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Comment: Clearing up a few things... (Score 1) 125

by Da_Big_G (#37363022) Attached to: Aussie Blogger Hit With DDoS Death Threats

I know Michael personally, have read his blog for a couple years, and am familiar with his meta-parking service.

He's definitely one of the parking industry's most stand up guys. He's not a domain scammer, nor anything close to that. Advertisers love his service because he cuts off anyone with bad traffic. Now he's exposing the seedy underbelly of the parking industry... which of course seems to have pissed off some people.

The scammers make money by pounding advertisers' PPC links on parked pages and getting paid, then moving on to different accounts before Google or Yahoo can charge back against the first set of accounts. The middleman (parking co or Michael's co) gets burned in the process.

+ - Police Can Search Cell Phones Without Warrant

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the California Supreme Court has ruled 5 to 2 to allow police to search arrestees' cell phones without a warrant, saying defendants lose their privacy rights for any items they're carrying when taken into custody. Under US Supreme Court precedents, "this loss of privacy allows police not only to seize anything of importance they find on the arrestee's body ... but also to open and examine what they find," the state court said. The dissenting justices said those rulings shouldn't be extended to modern cell phones that can store huge amounts of data and that the decision allows police "to rummage at leisure through the wealth of personal and business information that can be carried on a mobile phone or handheld computer merely because the device was taken from an arrestee's person." Interestingly enough the Ohio Supreme Court reached an opposite conclusion in a December 2009 ruling that police had violated drug defendants' rights by searching their cell phones after their arrests. The Ohio-California split could prompt the US Supreme Court to take up the issue, says California Deputy Attorney General Victoria Wilson, who represented the prosecution in the case. "This has an impact on the day-to-day jobs of police officers, what kind of searches they can conduct without a warrant when they arrest someone," says Wilson. "It takes it into the realm of new technology.""
Power

+ - Simpler Wind Turbine Design Could Be More Durable->

Submitted by TechRev_AL
TechRev_AL (1662923) writes "A startup in Canada has developed a novel, and surprisingly simple, wind turbine design that does away with the gearbox and promises to be much more durable and cheaper to maintain. The drive shaft inside CWind's wind turbines connect directly to a large metal flywheel. Hugging this flywheel are eight smaller flywheels, each connected to a 250-kilowatt generator and each lined with specially designed tires that grip the surface of the main flywheel. As the flywheel spins, it engages the generators by turning these tire-lined shafts. "We're using friction. It's not mechanically hard-coupled," says Na'al Nayef, a CWind engineer. The tires are designed to temporarily slip if a wind gust causes the flywheel to suddenly speed up, which eases the impact on the generators."
Link to Original Source

+ - UltraDefrag 3.3.0 has been finally released!->

Submitted by SF:dmitriar
SF:dmitriar (1406445) writes "UltraDefrag is a powerful disk defragmentation tool for Windows NT/Vista/XP/Server2003. Extremely fast and useful. Some of the unique features of UD are ability to defragment system files at boot time and single file or directory defragmentation. The new release contains the following great improvements: 1. User Mode Driver - much more reliable and fully compatible with Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7. 2. New multi-pass volume optimization algorithm which is much more effective. 3. Fragments threshold filter parameter which allows to exclude from defragmentation files with number of fragments less than specified. 4. Time limit option which allows to break defragmentation automatically when specified time interval elapses. 5. Windows Safe Mode compatibility. 6. New portable application which is much more compatible with portable application standards. For more information visit please our website: http://ultradefrag.sourceforge.net/"
Link to Original Source

+ - Internet uprising in Spain against proposed change->

Submitted by [rvr]
[rvr] (93881) writes "Last Monday, the Spanish Goverment published the latest draft for the Sustainable Economy Act, which would enable a Commission dependent of the Ministry of Culture to take down websites without a court order, in cases of Intellectual Property piracy. On Wednesday, using Google Wave, a group journalists, bloggers, professionals and creators composed and issued a Manifesto in Defense of Fundamental Rights on the Internet, stating that "Copyright should not be placed above citizens' fundamental rights to privacy, security, presumption of innocence, effective judicial protection and freedom of expression". Quickly, more than 50,000 blogs and sites re-published the manifesto. On Thursday morning, the Ministry of Culture Ángeles González Sinde (former president of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) organized a meeting with a group of Internet experts and signers of the Manifesto. The meeting was narrated in real time via Twitter and concluded without any agreement. On Thursday afternoon, the Prime Minister's staff had a private meeting with the Ministry of Culture and some party members (who also expressed their oposition to the draft). Finally, Spain Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero announced in a press meeting that the text will be changed and court order will continue to be a requirement, but still will search for ways to fight Internet piracy. However, many activists remain skeptic about this announcement."
Link to Original Source

+ - Facebook Grows to 30,000 Servers

Submitted by 1sockchuck
1sockchuck (826398) writes "With its user base soaring past 300 million, Facebook is now running more than 30,000 servers in its data centers. In early 2008 the company said it had "more than 10,000," suggesting that Facebook has added nearly 20,000 servers in the past 18 months. That explains why Facebook execs have blasted server vendors for not making their gear cheaper and more energy efficient. In a presentation last week, Facebook's Jeff Rothschild shared details of the company's operations and use of open source software (espeically memcached and Hadoop). In addition to the big numbers, Rothschild noted that Facebook has 230 engineers supporting more than 300 million active users. ""We believe engineers at Facebook have a dramatic impact," he said."
XBox (Games)

+ - What to do with a free XBox 360 Pro? 1

Submitted by OzPeter
OzPeter (195038) writes "Last week I won an XBox 360 Pro, however I am not a gamer and after looking at the current MS offerings I am not tempted to become one.

But I am in the market for a Media Center PC that I can use for streaming TV shows off the 'net as well as general web browsing and displaying the video through the HDMI port. With that in mind I again looked at MS and saw that they seemed to have positioned the XBox as an adjunct to a separate Windows Media Center PC and not as a stand alone unit (which is not what I want). So once again I did some more research into the XBox homebrew scene and discovered things like Xbox Linux. But after reading that site it is apparent that MS is trying to beat down the homebrewers and I am left wondering how much hassle it would be to go down that path.

So my question is how should I re-purpose my XBox? is it worthwhile doing the Homebrew/Linux option (and can anyone share any experiences)? Are there other ways of re-purposing the device that I haven't considered? Or should I just keep it boxed up as a Christmas present for a favourite nephew?"
NASA

NASA Downgrades Asteroid-Earth Collision Risk 244

Posted by timothy
from the elephant-detector-working-fine dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA scientists have recalculated the path of a large asteroid known as Apophis and now say it has only a very slim chance of banging into Earth.. The Apophis asteroid is approximately the size of two-and-a-half football fields, and updated computational techniques and newly available data indicate the probability of an Earth encounter on April 13, 2036 for Apophis has dropped from one-in-45,000 to about four-in-a million, NASA stated."

Comment: Take the money if its good (Score 5, Insightful) 412

by Da_Big_G (#27885543) Attached to: What To Do When a Megacorp Wants To Buy You?

I was in the same situation about 10 years ago (yeah, pre-1.0-burst) so I think I have some insight for you...

First, this is a business question you are asking in a techie forum, bad idea. You are running a business, possibly selling a business, go get yourself some business advisers, at a minimum that means an accountant and a lawyer who know (or at least "get") your industry, and preferably some people who have sold companies in your industry, extra points if they sold to the same megacorp and aren't involved with megacorp any more (they can tell you how it all went, but if they're still there, there's a conflict).

Second, and read carefully: TAKE THE MONEY. There's an old expression: No one ever went broke making a profit.

Caveat: after taxes it should be more money than you'd make in 10 years of working the same "job" at average pay. (e.g. if you're an engineer who could easily pull in $125k/yr, make sure you're landing at least $1.25mm cash after taxes, don't take an all-stock deal - bubbles burst) You need enough money to be able to screw around for a few years if megacorp really does turn you lazy.

BUT don't get sucked into a long term contract working for megacorp. A year or two is ok, and if you're stuck with an earnout, make sure you really can see your company meeting those numbers. After a year you could be itching to leave the megacorp lifestyle (no company is perfect) and its best to know you can part on good terms, pick up and travel for a few months, then start your next awesome company.

Third, can I repeat #1? Find a better place than slashdot to get this sort of advice. If you're really strapped, try your college's career center network, or SCORE (.org)

Comment: We did it for less... (Score 1) 414

by Da_Big_G (#24798683) Attached to: Cost-Effective Server Room Air Conditioning?

We had a similar problem... the computer room is in the middle of our 6-room 1200 sq ft office, no windows, one ac duct on with the rest of the office. That rooms 8.5' by 12' (about 100 sq ft) with 9.5' ceilings. We now have 15 servers (mostly mid-range pc's but a few 8-core xeon boxes) running full time in there.

The solution came in several parts... first was to move any critical/primary stuff to our offsite servers and use the in-house boxes for backup and local-only stuff. We already had a cab at internap with some spare room.

Next we got a couple ceiling panels (its a false ceiling like in most office bldgs) that have a plastic grid for airflow instead of the usual cardboard foamy stuff.

We got rid of the nice locked, enclosed cabinets and got breadracks to increase airflow, and put two cheapy ($15) home depot oscillating fans in there.

If things get warm in the summer (i.e. today) we leave the door open for a bit and it cools down quickly. We're considering adding an exhaust fan/vent in the wall or ceiling, but since there's no exterior wall it's a pain, plus we'd have to deal with the landlord.

We probably only spent $100 and a day of labor, and it's "good enough."

It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - What a dumb a year it's been!

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Fortune's "101 Dumbest Moments in Business" is out for 2007. And what a banner year it has been! Everything from CEO excesses (playing *LOTS* of golf while Merrill Lynch posts the first quarterly loss ever), fancy restaurants with expensive desserts (then the restaurant fails health inspection), sleazy business practices (e.g., Best Buy setting up an in-store web server with higher priced specials), and loads of hilariously defective or just plain unlucky technological stuff (e.g., 365 Main's 3-backup power failure). Apparently you can't be charged with DUI in New Jersey if you are driving a Zamboni (who knew?). Oh, and of course, there's Comcast's surprise porn."

How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else. -- R. Buckminster Fuller

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