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Games

Non-Violent, Cooperative Games? 329

Posted by Soulskill
from the play-that-myspace-game-to-befriend-monsters dept.
jandersen writes "While I generally don't play computer games, I do occasionally play games like Crossfire or The Mana World, because they have more of a story line and allow you to go at your own pace. What I don't care much about, though, is that they are still focused on killing monsters and amassing wealth, and it gets very tedious after a while. Are there really no games where the goal isn't so much about increasing your own power and defeating others, but where you instead grow by doing things that benefit others, where enemies shouldn't be killed out of hand, but befriended; where learning, teaching, research and social skills are more important than killing and conquering? Would people be interested in a game of that nature?"
Data Storage

Researcher Warns of "Digital Dark Age" 367

Posted by Soulskill
from the evaporating-digital-culture dept.
alphadogg writes "A assistant professor from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is sounding a warning that companies, the government and researchers need to come up with a plan for preserving our increasingly digitized data in light of shifting document management and other software platforms (think WordPerfect and floppy disks). Jerome P. McDonough, who teaches at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says there exists about 369 exabytes worth of data, and that includes some pretty hard to replace stuff, including tax files, email and photos. Open standards could play a key role in any preservation effort, he says. 'If we can't keep today's information alive for future generations, we will lose a lot of our culture,' McDonough said. Even over the course of 10 years, you can have a rapid enough evolution in the ways people store digital information and the programs they use to access it that file formats can fall out of date.'"
Image

Slashdot's Disagree Mail 100 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the good-things-come-in-small-packages dept.
Ernest Hemingway's micro-story, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn," is one of my favorite examples of how less is sometimes more. Sometimes a few sentences say it all; you don't always need a hundred pages to convey an idea. Most of the mail I get is brief and to the point. Others are just brief. To be honest, I appreciate the short, crazy email more than the long rants, and they can be just as funny. Read below for this week's mail snippets.
The Internet

Wikimedia Simplifies By Moving To Ubuntu 215

Posted by kdawson
from the all-eggs-one-basket dept.
David Gerard writes "Wikimedia, the organization that runs Wikipedia and associated sites, has moved its server infrastructure entirely to Ubuntu 8.04 from a hodge-podge of Ubuntu, Red Hat, and various Fedora versions. 400 servers were involved and the project has been going on for 2 years. (There's also a small amount of OpenSolaris on the backend. All open source!)"
GUI

Sony, Microsoft Begin Battle of Virtual Worlds 180

Posted by timothy
from the who's-your-hiro dept.
Slatterz writes "Sony and Microsoft are poised to do battle in virtual worlds. The console kids both announced Second Life-style virtual environments at the Tokyo Game Show today. Both games show striking similarities to Linden Lab's creation. Players are represented by avatars which live a virtual life — engaging in relationships, going about day-to-day business."
Data Storage

Tips For Taking Your Laptop Into and Out of the US? 940

Posted by timothy
from the hug-a-tsa-agent-with-fervor-and-passion dept.
casualsax3 writes "I'm going to be taking a week long round trip from NYC to Puerto Vallarta Mexico sometime next month, and I was planning on taking my laptop with me. I'll probably want to rip a few movies and albums to the drive in order to keep busy on the flight. More important though, is that I'm also going to be taking pictures while I'm there, and storing them on the laptop. With everything in the news, I'm concerned that I'll have to show someone around the internals of my laptop coming back into the US. The pictures are potentially what upsets me the most, as I feel it's an incredible violation of my privacy. Do I actually need to worry about this? If so, should I go about hiding everything? I've heard good things about Truecrypt. Is it worth looking into or am I being overly paranoid?"
Books

Opus the Penguin Retired 218

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yet-garfield-lives-on dept.
garylian writes "Berkeley Breathed has announced that he has drawn the final comic containing the greatest penguin ever, Opus. The author is now going to write children's books. For those of you in your mid-30s and older, you remember Bloom County as a staple of the comic pages in a similar time frame as Calvin & Hobbes, and that time was probably the greatest the daily/Sunday comics have ever known. From running for the vice presidency to impersonating Michael Jackson, from gracing a ton of t-shirts to being one of the weirdest stuffed animals ever, from rocking in a heavy metal band 'Billy and the Boingers' to cleaning up Bill's hair balls, Opus was perfect for that time. And Bloom County would have been perfect during the Bush 2 years. Now, I'm going to pull out all my old Bloom County books and read them. After I dig through some boxes and find my old Opus dolls. I wonder what my kids are going to think of them."
Software

An Open Source Legal Breakthrough 292

Posted by kdawson
from the gpl-means-what-it-says dept.
jammag writes "Open source advocate Bruce Perens writes in Datamation about a major court victory for open source: 'An appeals court has erased most of the doubt around Open Source licensing, permanently, in a decision that was extremely favorable toward projects like GNU, Creative Commons, Wikipedia, and Linux.' The case, Jacobsen v. Katzer, revolved around free software coded by Bob Jacobsen that Katzer used in a proprietary application and then patented. When Katzer started sending invoices to Jacobsen (for what was essentially Jacobsen's own work), Jacobsen took the case to court and scored a victory that — for the first time — lays down a legal foundation for the protection of open source developers. The case hasn't generated as many headlines as it should."
Windows

MS Reportedly Adds 6 Months of Vista Downgrade 244

Posted by kdawson
from the charting-a-course-to-windows-7 dept.
LiteralKa sends in a poorly sourced Reg story claiming that Microsoft has granted OEMs six more months to sell PCs using Windows Vista with the support to downgrade to Windows XP. OEMs can now offer such arrangements until July 31, 2009 — the previous deadline was January 31, 2009. The article claims as source "a Reg reader" without further details. Neither Microsoft nor any OEM has confirmed the rumor, and only a few scattered bloggers have picked it up.
Censorship

IOC Trademarks Part of Canadian National Anthem 412

Posted by kdawson
from the can't-say-that-eh dept.
gravis777 sends us to BoingBoing for news that the International Olympic Committee has trademarked a line from the Canadian National Anthem and is threatening to sue anyone who uses it. The line in question is "with glowing hearts." "The committee is so serious about protecting the Olympic brand it managed to get a landmark piece of legislation passed in the House of Commons last year that made using certain phrases related to the Games a violation of law. The list includes the number 2010 and the word 'winter,' phrases that normally couldn't be trademarked because they are so general."
Security

"Back Door" Cheating Scandal Rocks Online Poker 427

Posted by kdawson
from the know-when-to-hold-'em dept.
AcidAUS sends us the story of an online poker cheating ring that netted an estimated $10M for its perpetrators over almost 4 years. The article spotlights the role of an Australian player who first performed the statistical analyses that demonstrated that cheating had to be going on. "In two separate cases, Michael Josem, from Chatswood, analyzed detailed hand history data from Absolute Poker and UltimateBet and uncovered that certain player accounts won money at a rate too fast to be legitimate. His findings led to an internal investigation by the parent company that owns both sites. It found rogue employees had defrauded players over three years via a security hole that allowed the cheats to see other player's secret (or hole) cards." The (Mohawk) Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which licenses the two poker companies, has released its preliminary report. MSNBC reporting from a couple of weeks back gives deep background on the scandal.

Good Email For Kids? 489

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the think-of-the-children dept.
mgessner writes "My kids are starting to want email accounts of their own. Even though gmail does a pretty good job of filtering spam, it's not perfect. Searching the web the other day for kid-safe email, I found a few sites that say they can do the job. What do others do for their kids' email? Pay for it? Just use a free service like gmail or yahoo? I don't pay for email accounts out of my own pocket, so I don't really see the need, but if the cost was a few bucks a month, I'd do it."

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.

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