I've been telling people to fork off the internet for years
Yeah, I suspected that too after reading the linked article that said just that.
Thanks for the link but shouldn't you be concentrating on landing the probe instead of surfing Slashdot?
antipeon alerts us to a presidential preference survey, done in late February and early March, indicating that Obama and McCain lead among IT workers with 29% each. Clinton follows with 13%, just ahead of Huckabee (11%) and Ron Paul (9%). The Computing Technology Industry Association commissioned the poll, and the article notes that this trade group claims the population of IT workers is four times as large as the Bureau of Labor Statistics thinks it is — the better to make a voting block whose views must be attended to.
At least one university liberal enough to accept the deeply flawed and mostly rejected Vista OS is recommending faculty and students stay away from SP1. "University of Pennsylvania tech staffers are advising faculty and students not to upgrade their computers to the new service pack for Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system. The school's Information Systems & Computing department said it will support Vista SP1 on new systems where it's pre-installed, but added that it 'strongly recommends that all other users adopt a "wait and see" attitude,' according to a newly published department bulletin." And CIO magazine doesn't quite go so far as to call on Microsoft to throw away Vista, but it does ask its readers to weigh in on that topic.
The God Plays Dice blog has an entertaining post on how the date of Easter is calculated. Wikipedia has all the messy details of course, but the blog makes a good introduction to the topic. "Easter is the date of the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after March 21... [T]he cycle of Easter dates repeat themselves every 5,700,000 years. The cycle of epacts (which encode the date of the full moon) in the Julian calendar repeat every nineteen years. There are two corrections made to the epact, each of which depend[s] only on the century; one repeats (modulo 30, which is what matters) every 120 centuries, the other every 375 centuries, so the [p]air of them repeat every 300,000 years. The days of the week are on a 400-year cycle, which doesn't matter because that's a factor of 300,000. So the Easter cycle has length the least common multiple of 19 and 300,000, which is 5,700,000 [years]."
mmtux writes: "As technology becomes more advanced, I am increasingly worried about privacy in all aspects of my life. Unfortunately, whenever I attempt to discuss the matter with my friends, they show little understanding and write me off as a hyper-neurotic IT student. They say they simply don't care that the data they share on social networks may be accessible by others, that some laws passed by governments today might be privacy-infringing and dangerous, or that they shouldn't use on-line banking without a virus scanner and a firewall. Have you ever attempted to discuss data security and privacy concerns with a friend who isn't tech-savvy? How do you convince the average modern user that they should think about their privacy and the privacy of others when turning on their computer?"
_Hellfire_ sends us over to Baseline Magazine for a longish article entitled After 20 Years, Critics Question the BSA's Real Motives, which paints the Business Software Alliance in the same colors as the RIAA. "A recent Associated Press story highlighted the fact that 90 percent of the $13 million collected by the BSA in 2006 came from small businesses. Since 1993 the group has collected an estimated $89 million in damages from businesses on behalf of its members, every penny of which it keeps. 'I don't know of a business where you can get away with raiding a customer with armed marshals and expect them to continue to do business with you...' said [Sterling] Ball, who shifted his company to open source software after the raid."
I am a new graduate student in Computer Engineering. I would like to get my MS and possibly my Ph.D. I have learned that 90% of my department is from India and many others are from China. All the students come here to study and there are only 7 US citizens in the engineering program this year. Why is that? I have heard that many of the smarter Americans go into medicine or the law and that is why there are so few Americans in engineering. Is this true?
jamie sends us to a blog post about the worthlessness of some download sites' "5-star" awards. Andy Brice, a UK-based software developer, packaged up a little text file full of the words "This software does nothing" as an EXE and named it "awardmestars." So far his self-proclaiming useless program has garnered sixteen 5-star awards from download sites he submitted it to. Brice concludes that many of the download sites are "just electronic dung heaps, using fake awards, dubious SEO and content misappropriated from PAD files in a pathetic attempt to make a few dollars from Google Adwords."
An anonymous reader writes "ZDNet reports : "Microsoft has demanded that a London-based Windows developer withdraws a version of his free debugging tool from distribution, and is claiming that the tool breaches its licensing conditions.""
mrcaseyj writes "A post on the IE blog criticizes some banks for no longer using secure connections for entire login pages and only encrypting the password as it goes back to the bank. This prevents simple password sniffing but doesn't prevent a man in the middle attack from replacing the unsecured login page with one that has disabled encryption. This is especially a problem if you are using an unencrypted wireless connection such as at a coffee shop, because hackers can easily use the airpwn package to intercept the login page and steal your password. An easy remedy for when a secure page isn't available is to enter a bad username and password which usually brings up a secure page telling you to try again. But can you really trust your money to a bank that doesn't even offer the option of a secure login page?"
tomsHH writes to mention OSWeekly author Brandon Watts claims that really it is end users who should be blamed for many OS flaws. "Believe it or not, as users, we also have a large role to play in the evolution of an operating system. We use what's been created, and this means that we're the best people to turn to for judging what works and what doesn't. Passionate communities that are supportive aid development, and when users join their efforts to make their voices heard, this benefits everyone. Have you ever thought that if you wanted something to be improved, then maybe you should just speak up and offer a solution instead of quietly or publicly venting without offering any input? Nothing changes by staying the same. Companies are listening, and as taboo as it may seem, most of them want to make their users happy, so if you shout loud enough, you're bound to be heard. If you need proof of this, then just look at how Linux has progressed in its development."
Reader gbulmash sends us to his essay on the fallacy of those who would abolish copyright. The argument is that without copyright granting an author the right to set licensing terms for his/her work, the GPL could not be enforced. The essay concludes that if you support the GPL or any open source license (other than public domain), your fight should be not about how to abolish copyright, but how to reform copyright.
An anonymous reader writes "A Microsoft exec has turned attack dog, lashing out at Apple's iPhone by saying the device isn't good for business. Why? Because the iPhone is 'a closed device that you cannot install applications on.' Specifically, he's talking about Microsoft Office. 'While the entry of the iPhone (with its cut-down version of Mac OS X) into this market offers new options for consumers, Sorenson believes user familiarity with the Windows Mobile interface — and the ease with which companies can buy and develop applications for the platform — will sustain its increasing popularity and help keep the iPhone out of the lucrative corporate market.'"