Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
User Journal

Journal: Skeptic Revamps $1M Psychic Prize 11

Journal by robi2106

Amusing and interesting all in one! Go read the article at the source but if you don't want to give Wired any page hits (or are lazy), I'll quote it below. The gist is that a magician, a practicer of slight of hand not the paranormal, got fed up with psychics and their tricks and ploys bilking the unsuspecting public so he offered up a cash prize to anyone that can prove their claim of supernatural abilities.

Operating Systems

+ - Why are free-desktop developers wedded to Linux?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We have been hearing promising predictions like "This year will be the year of Linux on the desktop" for the last decade. But Linux today seems to be as far away as ever from realizing the explectations of mass adoption we once had for it, without significant growth in home usage since the late 90s. Clearly, if Linux is unable to reproduce a third of Firefox's end user uptake over a much longer timeframe, there are deficiencies with the direction the GNU/Linux/X/Gnome/KDE system has taken. But almost all free software and desktop efforts and development remain unquestioningly oriented around Linux. Other free-desktop operating system projects which take different and innovative approaches like ReactOS, AROS, Mona and Syllable remain comparitively starved of developers and interest. An often cited reason for using a non-Microsoft OS is to avoid a monoculture, but free-desktop efforts have created a total monoculture around developing and promoting Linux, despite a decade of failure in supplanting Microsoft's properterial OSes with it. Why are free-desktop developers neglecting to consider an alternative to the penguin?"
Education

+ - OpenCourseWare program at MIT

Submitted by Kent Simon
Kent Simon (666) writes "Many people may not know that MIT has initiated OpenCourseWare, an initiative to share all of their educational resources with the public. This act of philanthropy is intended (in classical MIT style) to make knowledge free, open, and available. This is a great resource for people looking to improve their knowledge of our world, which is exceptionally beneficial to those who may not be able to afford the quality of education offered at a school like MIT. You can access all currently available courses here. It is expected that by the end of the year every course offered at MIT will be available on the OpenCourseWare site. This includes lecture notes, homework assignments, and exams. This is not something offered to replace collegiate education, but rather to spread knowledge freely."
Math

+ - First version of FooPlot released

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Vector graphics technologies have given rise to a multitude of applications that run entirely within a web browser. The first version of FooPlot has been released, featuring live scrolling of 2-D function graphs, 3-D graphs generated entirely on the client side, and an easy-to-use URL: All one has to do is type:
http://fooplot.com/x^2+2x
for example. More promised features include connectivity to Google Spreadsheets, a multi-lingual interface, and online curve fitting."

Paul Allen's Microsoft Experience 515

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the looking-in-from-outside dept.
theodp writes "Just in case Microsoft bashers don't have enough ammo, Robert X. Cringely has a couple of interesting tales in this week's column. The first explains how Bill Gates used Paul Allen's moonlighting at MITS to justify awarding himself 64% of Microsoft's stock vs. Allen's 36% (and Gates' failure to adjust the shares after he accepted a $10/hour part-time MITS job). The second heart-warming tale concerns a conversation Allen reportedly overheard late one night (as he was finishing up DOS 2.0) between Gates and Steve Ballmer discussing how to get Allen's Microsoft stock back if the Hodgkins disease Allen was battling killed him. Yikes."

The Real Purpose of DRM 235

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the man-keeping-us-down dept.
Roberto writes "Gorgeous nerd Annalee Newitz hacked a political interpretation to recent vacuum cleaner cockfights at O'Reilly's ETech: 'Hollywood corporations have finally admitted that the real reason they built digital restriction management (DRM) software into PVRs and DVD players was to stop geeks from turning their recording devices into back-alley combat machines. You haven't seen ugly until you've watched what a DVD player without DRM can do to a TiVo.' Don't try to even think of this at home."

Invest in physics -- own a piece of Dirac!

Working...