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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 15 declined, 5 accepted (20 total, 25.00% accepted)

Microsoft

+ - Microsoft laptop recipient auctioning laptop

Submitted by
Salvance
Salvance writes "While most bloggers who received the controversial Vista powered Acer from Microsoft are keeping them, Laughing Squid has decided to auction off his free laptop from Microsoft and donate all proceeds to the The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). He saw this as a great opportunity to support a worthy cause, and some other bloggers are following suit.

What's both ironic and funny is that Microsoft is now backpedaling and telling bloggers to send back the laptops. Do they even have a legal right to do so?"
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft sued for adding language support

Submitted by
Salvance
Salvance writes "In an odd twist to the never ending stream of Microsoft lawsuits, a tribe in Chile is trying to sue Microsoft because the Redmond based company added support for the Chilean tribe's language. The Mapuche' tribe contends that Microsoft did not own the language, and did not receive permission from the 400,000 member strong tribe's leaders to release the language pack in their native tongue.

If the lawsuit is successful (which is possible given the Mapuche's strong influence in Chile), what does the future of localization and language support look like for Microsoft and other software vendors?"
Editorial

+ - What will our lives be like in 50 years?

Submitted by
Salvance
Salvance writes "New Scientist has asked 50 "brilliant minds" to forecast what breakthroughs to expect over the next 50 years. Each of the 50 forecasts are from experts in their fields, including many nobel prize winners.

Their responses range from the bizarre (Daniel Pauly predicts we'll be able to understand an animal's emotions) to the probable (Nobel Prize winner Frank Wilczek predicts we'll create machines with superhuman intelligence) to the realm of wishful thinking (Paul Davies predicts we may find alien life).

These responses, while interesting, were lacking predictions on what products and services would impact everyday life, which is why I was hoping slashdot readers could provide their own opinions to this question: What human accomplishments, breakthroughs, and technologies do you see occurring over the next 50 years?"
Privacy

+ - New phone uses GPS to locate your contacts

Submitted by
Salvance
Salvance writes "Palo Alto-based Loopt Inc. has announced an agreement with Sprint Nextel to immediately begin offering their cell phone mapping service to all 3.8 Million Sprint Boost subscribers (Sprint Boost is a service specifically targeting the under 25 market). This service will notify users when another subscriber in their contact list is within 25 miles, providing a real time map displaying their contacts' locations. According to the article, the only apparent privacy safeguard is to provide users the option to "temporarily cut out from being 'spotted' by their friends".

Given a retailer's propensity to package together extra services, and the average user's lack of knowledge regarding their phone's capabilities, this new service seems ripe for abuse."

+ - Technology to reduce taxes/regulations?

Submitted by
Salvance
Salvance writes "Slashdotters often express strong opinions regarding U.S. policy decisions, particularly that we need less taxation and fewer regulations. Some would argue that this is pure wishful thinking (or Science Fiction), and that history would show that all governments trend towards tighter controls and higher taxes.

I believe (perhaps foolishly) that we must now have the ability to leverage technology to begin bestowing America's benefits on a far larger portion of the population, with lower taxes and less regulatory control, than we ever have in the past. My question to all of you though, is: how do we do this? What actions should the U.S. take to ensure we can maintain/improve our standard of living while reducing the role of government in our lives? Or is this vision simply not possible outside the pages of a Sci-Fi book?"
Microsoft

+ - M$'s releases Blue Screen of Death screensaver

Submitted by
Salvance
Salvance writes "It's interesting to note that less than 1 month prior to Vista launching, Microsoft released a new Blue Screen of Death Screensaver. From the article:
One of the most feared colors in the NT world is blue. The infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) will pop up on an NT system whenever something has gone terribly wrong. Bluescreen is a screen saver that not only authentically mimics a BSOD, but will simulate startup screens seen during a system boot ... Use Bluescreen to amaze your friends and scare your enemies!
Was this a ploy to reduce corporate users' trust in XP just in time to buy Vista, or simply a coincidentally timed sense of humor by Microsoft's TechNet group?"
Linux Business

+ - Open source software wins battle to remain free

Submitted by
Salvance
Salvance writes "Open source software providers have just won a significant legal victory allowing them to continue offering software for free. IBM, Novell, and Red Hat were sued under antitrust laws that were created to ensure that large companies could not create monopolies by offering their software at unbeatable prices (in this case, for free).

Unfortunately, the judges used the relatively low market penetration of products like OpenOffice and the GIMP to defend free software, stating that they showed free software was no threat to established players. This argument creates a predicament for the future — what happens if/when Linux and other free software becomes the leading software? Will it then be subject to antitrust laws, forcing the companies that distribute and support these products to begin charging for it?"
Space

+ - Just discovered - a 5,000 mile wide hurricane

Submitted by
Salvance
Salvance writes "NASA just announced that they observed a 5,000 mile hurricane-like storm on the surface of Saturn, the first time such a storm has been observed on another planet. Unlike hurricanes on earth, this massive storm with 350 mph winds did not move or drift from a fixed location, and has allowed scientists to pear farther into the planet's atmosphere than ever before."
Security

+ - How to manage a security breach?

Submitted by
Salvance
Salvance writes "Recently, a friend of mine has been very stressed over a security breach at the company he consults for. The company maintains dozens of Windows 98 desktops to support legacy software that cannot be easily replaced. Due to the inherent lack of security in Windows 98, a worm was able to infiltrate almost every computer and send gigabytes of data (possibly including sensitive company data) to a 'redirector' in Eastern Europe.

My friend was working on other security projects at this company, and in the course of doing so found this massive hole. He quickly convinced the company executives to remove internet access from all Win98 machines, purchase better firewalls, and implement other data protection strategies. However, the sticking point was on client notification.

Due to the nature of the legacy systems, there was no way to know what data was transferred. For this reason, the company wanted to play it safe and disclose nothing. Of course, my friend is all for disclosure and preventing use of the potentially leaked data.

My friend doesn't know what to do, so I thought I'd see what others here thought?"
Linux Business

+ - Oracle and Red Hat begin battle for the Enterprise

Submitted by
Salvance
Salvance writes "Yahoo News (via ComputerWire) is reporting that Oracle and Red Hat are turning up the heat in the battle over Oracle's new enterprise Linux offering. While Oracle claims they'll be able to offer their 'Unbreakable' version of Red Hat's Linux offering for half the price, Red Hat asserts that all the important security and hardware certifications would be invalidated on Oracle's offering.

At this point, the only thing that's certain is that Red Hat needs to figure out how to keep their large Oracle Enterprise clients on board or risk becoming a takeover target (undoubtably, with Oracle leading the list of potentially bidders)."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Top 10 things not to do on Slashdot

Submitted by
Salvance
Salvance writes "With Halloween coming up, thought I'd send along something a little different, so here's a list of the Top 10 things not to do on slashdot:
  • 10. Don't bash Linux
  • 9. If you're going to bash Linux, bash Redhat.
  • 8. If you don't know what you're talking about, admit it (moderators will probably even flag your comment as Funny)
  • 6. Learn to spel and count
  • 5. Don't make fun of kdawson for continually using the Enlightenment icon on interesting posts. He probably would add you to his blacklist, and who knows what he does with that
  • 4. Don't angrily reply to a comment when someone flames you — just get even later when you get mod points
  • 3. Don't try to be funny if you're not ... just copy and paste someone else's funny comment from years ago
  • 2. If you are funny, say something insightful every once in a while to throw regular readers off ... some will probably try to figure out what's funny about your comment
  • 1. Did I mention not to bash Linux?
"
Communications

+ - Battle for podcast viewers

Submitted by
Salvance
Salvance writes "Techcrunch recently reported on the battle for viewers between Rocketboom and Ze Frank. What's interesting isn't the bickering between viewership numbers, but rather the difference in distribution channels utilized and the impact on advertising revenue and content control. While Rocketboom's viewership is undeniably higher than Ze Frank's, the article implies that Ze Frank should be attracting far higher advertising $ per viewer due to the content quality and greater viewer participation.

I'd be interested to hear what other Slashdot viewers thought on Rocketboom's 'viewership at any cost' vs. Ze Frank's 'Stay the course' approaches."

You can tell how far we have to go, when FORTRAN is the language of supercomputers. -- Steven Feiner

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