NSN A392-99-964-5927 writes "My handwriting abilities have deteriorated over the years. Putting a real pen to paper, I get frustrated over how to spell correctly, as I am so accustomed to using a keyboard and knowing where the letters are. Having spoken to a few friends, I've found that this has become apparent to them, too. I've noticed that my grammar is also affected; maybe this is because I spent too much time on IRC and lowered my standards. Hand-written words are now becoming obsolete. There is often no need to think about writing anymore, or about how something is spelled. Are other Slashdotters having the same problem? (I'm used to Telex machines, which should give you an indication of how old I am.)"
Some sort of symbiotic virus that can give me superpower.
Piranhaa writes "At the major corporation I work for, there is currently a single person who decides what software to approve and disapprove within the organization. I've noticed that requests from users for open source Windows programs get denied, nearly instantaneously, on a regular basis. Anything from Gimp, to Firefox, even to Vim don't make the cut due to the simple fact that they are open source. Closed source programs from unknown vendors have a much better chance at approval than Firefox does. The whole mentality here is that anybody can change the source of a project, submit it, and you never know what kind of compiled binary you're going to get. I'm a firm believer in open source code, but I also know closed source has its place. So what would be the best way for me to argue, with all the facts, to allow these people to come to their own conclusion that open source is actually good? Would presenting examples of other big companies moving to open source work, and if so what are some good examples? Or can you suggest any other good approaches?"
ruphus13 writes: With the upcoming release of Windows Mobile 7, the speculation that Microsoft will also be launching an App Store has been growing. Microsoft has also made some bold steps in that direction. From the article, "Microsoft has reposted a July 30, 2008 job posting for a Product Manager under Marketing for Windows Mobile. More specifically, the new job posting details a Windows Mobile marketplace "for developers wishing to distribute and monetize their Windows Mobile applications" that will have an initial launch "to the developer community this fall" and a commercial one together "with the launch of WM 7."..."The really juicy part is that the updated second job posting also notes "integration of the marketplace offering into broader Microsoft services, offerings or discussions." Furthermore, a third job posting for a Product Unit Manager says that the following responsibility is critical: "You will also work closely with the SkyLine, SkyMarket and SkyBox teams, as well as with the Office Live team to ensure that we are leveraging all the resources across Microsoft.""
Link to Original Source
Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes "Google is reportedly looking into investing in or buying a company called Space Data, which provides wireless voice and data services to remote areas with a fleet of weather balloons fitted with transceivers." My mind is sorta tripping over how something like this could work, but I gotta admit that the idea is really cool.
The Register is reporting that Mozilla's handling of a recent security exploit that affected both browsers has drawn an unhappy response from the Opera team. "Claudio Santambrogio, an Opera desktop developer, said the Mozilla team notified it of a security issue only a day before publishing an advisory. This gave the Norwegian software developers insufficient time to make an evaluation. [...] Santambrogio goes on to attack Mozilla's handling of the issue, arguing that it places Opera users at unnecessary risk."
eldavojohn writes "Weighing in at a mere 20 billion trillion watts per square centimeter and containing a measly 300 terawatts of power, the University of Michigan has broken a record with a 1.3-micron speck wide laser. It's about two orders of magnitude higher than any other laser in the world and can perform for 30 femtoseconds once every ten seconds — some of the researchers speculate it is the most powerful laser in the universe. 'If you could hold a giant magnifying glass in space and focus all the sunlight shining toward Earth onto one grain of sand, that concentrated ray would approach the intensity of a new laser beam made in a University of Michigan laboratory ... To achieve this beam, the research team added another amplifier to the HERCULES laser system, which previously operated at 50 terawatts. HERCULES is a titanium-sapphire laser that takes up several rooms at U-M's Center for Ultrafast Optical Science. Light fed into it bounces like a pinball off a series of mirrors and other optical elements. It gets stretched, energized, squeezed and focused along the way.'" And ... cue the evil chortling.
An anonymous reader writes "AMD is set to launch what is considered its most important product against Intel's Core 2 Duo processors next week. TG Daily reports that the triple-core Phenoms — quad-core CPUs with one disabled core — will be launching on February 19. Oddly enough, the first company expected to announce systems with triple-core Phenoms will be Dell. Yes, that is the same company that was rumored to be dropping AMD just a few weeks ago. Now we are waiting for the hardware review sites to tell us whether three cores are actually better than two in real world applications and not just in marketing."
mikesd81 points out a Times Online article that discusses the legality of the Mosquito sound device, which is used to annoy and drive off younger people with sounds that are too high-pitched for most adults to hear. We discussed how annoying this device can be a couple years ago. From Times Online: "Sir Albert Aynsley-Green, the Children's Commissioner for England appointed to represent the views of the country's 11 million children, has set up a campaign — called Buzz Off — that is calling for the Mosquito to be banned on grounds that it infringes the rights of young people. 'These devices are indiscriminate and target all children and young people, including babies, regardless of whether they are behaving or misbehaving,' Sir Al told the BBC. 'The use of measures such as these are simply demonizing children and young people, creating a dangerous and widening divide between the young and the old.'"
eldavojohn writes "It's a common string you see at the start of an HTML document, a URI declaring the type of document, but that is often processed causing undue traffic to W3C's site. There's a somewhat humorous post today from W3.org that seems to be a cry for sanity and asking developers and people to stop building systems that automatically query this information. From their post, 'In particular, software does not usually need to fetch these resources, and certainly does not need to fetch the same one over and over! Yet we receive a surprisingly large number of requests for such resources: up to 130 million requests per day, with periods of sustained bandwidth usage of 350Mbps, for resources that haven't changed in years. The vast majority of these requests are from systems that are processing various types of markup (HTML, XML, XSLT, SVG) and in the process doing something like validating against a DTD or schema. Handling all these requests costs us considerably: servers, bandwidth and human time spent analyzing traffic patterns and devising methods to limit or block excessive new request patterns. We would much rather use these assets elsewhere, for example improving the software and services needed by W3C and the Web Community.' Stop the insanity!"
Lucas123 writes "According to a Reuters' story, Dutch inventors today took the wraps off a $110,000 car-fueling robot they say is the first of its kind. (It was inspired by a cow milking robot.) After registering the car as it pulls up to the pump, the machine matches your fuel cap design with those in a database and your car's fuel type, and then a robotic arm fitted with multiple sensors extends from a regular gas pump, 'opens the car's flap, unscrews the cap, picks up the fuel nozzle and directs it towards the tank opening, much as a human arm would, and as efficiently.' Wait till Hollywood gets hold of this scenario."
Philip Bailey writes "An article in this month's Discover Magazine claims that some of the fundamental organic molecules required for the development of life could have spontaneously arisen within ice. Scientist Stanley Miller was responsible for seminal experiments in the 1950s in this area. He used sparks and a mixture of inorganic chemicals to test his theories, but turned to low temperature experiments in later years. He was able to create the constituents of RNA and proteins from a mixture of cyanide, ammonia and ice in trials lasting up to 25 years. A process known as eutectic freezing is thought to be the basis of these results: small pockets of liquid water, in which foreign molecules are concentrated enormously, increases the reaction rates, and more than compensates for temperature-related slowing."
theodp writes "From 1977's lovable Xeroxing Monk to 2007's smug-and-rich SalesGenie pitch man, Valleywag has rounded up videos for its Top 10 most memorable tech-oriented Super Bowl commercials. The commercials are: Apple (1984), Monster (1999), CareerBuilder (2005), GoDaddy (2005), Xerox (1977), E*Trade (1999), Pets.com (2000), Computer.com (2000), SalesGenie.com (2007) and OurBeginning (2000). This year's ads are coming soon." I've always been a fan of the Outpost.com gerbil cannon spot.
Geoffrey.landis writes "The administration announced plans to withdraw its support from FutureGen. FutureGen was a project to develop a low CO2-emission electrical power plant, supported by an alliance of a dozen or so coal companies and utilities from around the world. The new plant would have captured carbon dioxide produced by combustion and pumped it deep underground, to avoid releasing greenhouse-gas into the atmosphere. It had been intended as a prototype for next generation clean-coal plants worldwide. Originally budgeted at about a billion dollars, the estimated cost had "ballooned" to $1.8 billion, according to U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman."
An anonymous reader points us to a story about how the problems with electronic voting mostly stem from one source: the lack of mandated standardization. The LinuxInsider article goes on to suggest that once the issue of a universal voting platform is solved, the way is paved for open-source software to address concerns over accuracy and transparency. Though the article states that "no open source program for voting machines yet exists," it should be noted that such software was successfully tested earlier this month. Quoting: "People debate the merits of e-voting for a variety of reasons, including suspicion of new technologies and a general distrust of politics, according to Jamie McKown, Wiggins professor of government and polity at the College of the Atlantic. 'Reports on e-voting security often de-contextualize the history of voter fraud in this country, as if boxes were somehow assumed to be better. You constantly hear calls for paper trails, and open and free inspection of voting machine source code. But it's a very thorny issue and one that has a lot of facets,' McKown told LinuxInsider."