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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 55 declined, 7 accepted (62 total, 11.29% accepted)

Idle

+ - Buy Your Own Quantum Computer->

Submitted by
VincenzoRomano
VincenzoRomano writes "A Canadian company in Burnaby, BC is now selling a quantum computer that you can buy, for a mere USD 10M, for your lab, or even your home if you have the resources and needs of Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark.
Ther manufacturer of the marvel, the "One", is D-Wave Systems and is not releasing a lot of information about the product.
Just that's built around a 128-qubit processor (and not the weird 129-qubit reported by Tom's hardware) called "Rainier".
The final selling price can be found in another article published by Engadget.
The computer itself is not a general purpose one. It can only solve optimization problems using Quantum Annealing approach.
So, as stated by TH,

No, it cannot play Crysis.

and I'd also add that you cannot use it to update your tweets as well."
Link to Original Source

Debian

+ - Linux Mint Debian 201012: available

Submitted by VincenzoRomano
VincenzoRomano (881055) writes "The latest Linux Mint Debian is available for download since a few days now for both 32 and 64 bit Intel-like architectures.
From the announcement feature list:

All Mint 10 features
64-bit support
Performance boost (using cgroup, the notorious “4 lines of code better than 200 in user-space)
Installer improvements (multiple HDDs, grub install on partitions, swap allocation, btrfs support)
Better fonts (Using Ubuntu’s libcairo, fontconfig and Ubuntu Font Family) and language support (ttf-wqy-microhei, ttf-sazanami-mincho, ttf-sazanami-gothic installed by default)
Better connectivity and hardware support (pppoe, pppoeconf, gnome-ppp, pppconfig, libgl1-mesa-dri, libgl1-mesa-glx, libgl1-mesa-dev, mesa-utils installed by default)
Better sound support (addressing conflicts between Pulse Audio and Flash)
Updated software and packages

Back to September 7th we saw the very first release, rather beta indeed, of this project, the first step to switch the distribution base from Ubuntu to Debian and to a rolling release policy.
Linux Mint is scoring place #2 at Distrowatch Popularity Ranking (well, kind of), just behind Ubuntu and before Fedora, OpenSUSE and Debian itself, .
Only time will tell whether this is a winning move or not for Linux Mint. But why not giving it a run?"

Firefox

+ - Unfinished vs new technology: 12 years later

Submitted by VincenzoRomano
VincenzoRomano (881055) writes "Back in September 1998 bug #915 got filed at the Netscape (good ol' days!) bug tracking system. Nothing special, "just" the wrong rendering of table column alignment. Something a lot of web developers has had to work around so far.
Interestingly, this bug affected and still affects almost all web browsers. All but Internet Explorer, though.
In August 2010, far from being fixed, the very same bug got marked as "INVALID" as "this feature is no longer present in HTML5, and has not been implemented in browsers other than IE". In other words "don't bother us as this is not even a bug any more: we are working on the next forthcoming standard, whenever will it come".
Or "none else but IE has it, so we don't mind, even if everyone else is just me"
A tsunami of angry comments flooded bug #915 entry until a couple of days later the bug got turned back to "NEW" (yes, 12 years new).
This seems to follow a trend in the technology development policies for a number of projects, not just open source software.
As soon as the development steering board decides something new (like HTML5 or the next Ubuntu release) requires the focus, suddenly unfinished or unfixed old stuff (HTML4 compliance or the current official) goes to the attic to be forgotten as outdated or uninteresting.
Apart of the humoristic implications for this very case, I'd like to ask slashdotters about their point of view and possible suggestions."
Youtube

+ - The rising of video manuals. Evil or boon?

Submitted by VincenzoRomano
VincenzoRomano (881055) writes "I'm encountering a growing number of cases when you find some kind of (technical) documentation and manuals as online videos.
From listing the features of some new electronic equipment to procedures on how to root it (:-), from programming examples to troubleshooting guides to software.
I personally find this trend quite annoying when not actually evil.
First of all, the perusal of a video needs to follow a defined pace. The one chosen by the person who shot the video, which could not be your very own. Instead you can read text the way you want.
Second, you need to stick to the actual quality of images and speech/sound recorded. Which tends to be very poor as a number of them is shoot with a mobile phone. Text can be shown and printed to the quality you need.
Third, you cannot copy/past any piece of information (like command strings) shown there. You have to carefully read and type. With text this is trivial.
Fourth, you need to stay online with some equipment in order to peruse the document. I know there's a way to "fix" this issue, though, but with text is a trivial task again.
Fifth, If the audio is not in a language/lingo/accent you can understand well, then you are in troubles. With text you can always read more carefully or try some translation.
Sixth, shooting a video is considered somehow easier than writing a text. Which could not be really true if you want to decently document something like CLI or even GUI stuff.

So my question to slashdotters: is my opinion shared among the majority of you or simply I'm getting too old to keep up with new technologies?
Or, in a different form, should we fight this trend or should we all embrace it?"
Ubuntu

+ - Next Ubuntu Linux to be a maverick

Submitted by VincenzoRomano
VincenzoRomano (881055) writes "While the latest version of Ubuntu is still smoking hot, the Ubuntu development community is already working on the next step.
Both the Wiki and the bug tracking system at Launchpad have been already set up..
The next version code name will be "Maverick Meerkat ", the same animal featured as Timon in Disney's Lion King, while the version number should be 10.10. This confirms the usual naming and numbering schema and the fact the the final release should be due sometime within the forthcoming October.
This next version, which obviously won't be Long Term Support (LTS), should sport a lighter and faster environment with GNOME 3.0, aka GNOME Shell, among the main advances. Everything has been explained by Mr. Shuttleworth in his own blog since the beginning of April.
It's important to say to the impatient thar the first alpha release is not due earlier than the end of the next June so maybe it'd be better to take advantage of the Lucid Lynx while the technical overview of the meerkat will start getting more details.
The Ubuntu Developer Summit for Maverick will take place from May 10th to 14th, 2010 at the Dolce La Hulpe Hotel and Resort in Brussels, Belgium (nice domain name, isn't it?)."

+ - No End of the World (TM) by law?

Submitted by VincenzoRomano
VincenzoRomano (881055) writes "There's an article on PhysicsWorld.COM (registration required), which I would define somewhere in between weird and interesting.
It's about a lawyer wondering whether judges should order a full stop to the LHC in the fear of an "end of the world" event.
It's an old story the one about the supposed ability of the LHC to trigger a real armageddon thanks to the creation of stable micro black holes, strangelets and other exotic particle physics stuff.
From the article:

Eric E Johnson, a lawyer at the University of North Dakota in the US, believes that such jurisdictional problems should not prevent justice from being done. Johnson has published a 90-page paper in the Tennessee Law Review arguing that the courts must use their power to halt hypothetically cataclysmic experiments such as the LHC if they are called upon to do so, and he puts forward the criteria by which the courts could pass meaningful judgements in such cases.

The point to that clever lawyer is that if you gather enough clues and proofs, you can ask a court to rule against the use of fossil fuel for engines and radioactive matter for power reactors!
What'd be your opinion?

The "End of the World" is a trade mark by Zarquon"

+ - Thousands of compromised websites found by chance

Submitted by VincenzoRomano
VincenzoRomano (881055) writes "While doing an overhaul to a website of a customer of mine I've found a strange piece of HTML code in its homepage. Something containing code like this:

<a href="crk/index.php">crack,keygen</a>

So I have entered a part of this string into Google just to find that there are 15k+ webpages containing the same code.
By clicking on any result link I've found rogue websites providing cracks, key generators and other funny stuff that would make happy (and actually does) a lot of people.
It seems to me that the code has been inoculated in those web sites with that fancy transitional home page that after a few seconds changes to the real home page.
The website I was checking is not listed as it prevents Google from crawling into it, so I presume the problem can be larger than seen on Google.
I'm posting this on Slashdot as I presume that a lot of people with the same job as mine is reading these webpages quite often and my proposition is to rise this warning to as many security advisors as possible."

+ - Control Your Apps Without Your Finger

Submitted by VincenzoRomano
VincenzoRomano (881055) writes "There's a nice article about a new approach to human interaction to your mobile phone (and maybe your other computers),
Basically you won't need to swipe your fingers over smallish touch screens.
You'll move your arms, hands and fingers (or whatever else applies) in the air or will shake the handset.
The phone camera(s), the G-sensor, the compass and so on will be used by a software to understand the gestures and to translate them into control commands.
This breakthrough comes from a company called GestureTek, a non-startup company in this field.
The idea seems to be brilliant, but a number of issues are just behind the corner, like privacy and politeness in crowded places."

+ - Can email carbon footprint be cut?

Submitted by VincenzoRomano
VincenzoRomano (881055) writes "Everyone is concerned with the carbon footprint, being that a buzz word or a real issue.
I am thinking mainly about the SPAM and the craze with graphics email signatures and "email disclaimers".
Despite a very popular belief, the Internet has a relevant carbon footprint, From the infrastructure deployment to the ongoing use.
A number of articles are available (on the Internet, thus rising the CO2 emissions) on the topic. But ...
Is there anyone taking into account the carbon footprint of a SPAM-free Internet?
SPAM is accounted for about 85% (yes, eighty-five!) of all the email traffic worldwide!
And what about those fancy colorful (and useless) signature? Those people never read the netiquette (page 5).
Despite the disclaimer phenomenon is decreasing (as far as my experience), it is still relevant in my mailbox with funny and clearly inapplicable pseudo-legal statements.
Would the would (and the Internet) be better with such a carbon cut?"

+ - First images from the Herschel telescope!

Submitted by Vincenzo Romano
Vincenzo Romano (881055) writes "Accordingly to the HSC Operations (B)Log, the operations centre for the Herschel Space Centre (HSC for friends), some 'First Light' images "seen" by the HSC will be released this friday on the web.

A collection of 'First Light' images and spectra taken by the three instruments onboard Herschel during the days following the cryo-cover opening will be publicly made available this Friday 10 July. Watch out for the accompanying set of coordinated web releases by ESA and the different ICC consortia!

The Herschel Space Observatory is an infrared telescope that will examine the faint emissions from objects at the edge of the solar system as well as galaxies billions of light-years from Earth.
It was originally proposed back in 1982 by a consortium of European scientists and has been actually launched on last May 14th along with his brother, the Planck Observatory, designed to scan the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) in unprecedented detail."

Announcements

+ - Extra dimensions? Only if smaller than 3*10^-6 m!

Submitted by Vincenzo Romano
Vincenzo Romano (881055) writes "The website of the fortnightly scientific magazine Science News is reporting today an interesting article about the maximum size of any extra dimension, if any.
A team of theoretical physicists and astronomers has calculated that any hidden extra dimension beyond our familiar three-dimensional space, a world known in physics parlance as a 3-brane, must be less than 3 micrometers.
The study has been submitted online by Oleg Gnedin, Assistant Professor of Astronomy at the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts of the Univesrity of Michigan and is based on observations on one of the oldest black holes ever found in our universe, lurking deep inside the NGC 4472 galaxy.
Basically, that black hole has not evaporated yet by the Hawking radiation on the predicted "short" short timescale, thus posing an upper limit to the size of any extra dimensions to less thab 0.003 mm.
So what? String theorists must buy better magnifying lenses if they want to prove to be right."
Intel

+ - Why do companies forget about 64bit ports? 5

Submitted by Vincenzo "Enzo" Romano
Vincenzo "Enzo" Romano (881055) writes "It's clear that 64bit CPUs are here to stay.
When almost 25 years ago 32bit CPUs started being used into PCs, 32bit OSes were available only to academic and large corporate data centers.
It took years to get a fully working 32bit environment on the desk and on the laps.
Nowadays, instead, almost all closed and open source OSes have a 64bit port available. What's still lacking is full native 64bit port for applications.
Well, there's nothing wrong with 32bit applications in a 64bit OS!
Skype, Acrobat Reader and Google Gears are just few among famous and ubuquitous applications that do not directly support the 64bit architectures, thanks to the ability to be run in 32bit mode.
On the other hand, a number of other equally famous applications do support it, namely Mozilla Firefox and Flash Player.
My question to you all is: why on Earth?
Is it a matter of laziness or what? Are all those applications so tightly tied to the 32bit world that a port would be imprectical?
Or is it just an "I don't care yet" approach?"
Announcements

+ - The Jackalope gets its KDE3 way ... finally->

Submitted by VincenzoRomano
VincenzoRomano (881055) writes "The next forthcoming version of Ubuntu, in its KDE-oriented version is going to get its way with KDEv3.
Everything could have started from a couple of facts:

* The Intrepid Ibex (aka 8.10), the current stable version, doesn't support KDEv3;
* KDEv4 (v4.2.2 actually) is still showing too many issues for a usable desktop system.

What does this mean? For the non-technical, the inability to set-up the connectivity among other issues.
For the technical user ... the list is quite long to fit the margin of this web page!
But some of them can deserve some extra attention from new users.
On the other side, KDEv3 has proved to be much more stable with a higher number of core features being actually usable for every-day life, while being less fancy and "advanced" than v4."

Link to Original Source
Announcements

+ - Boing, Boom Krash! Florian leaves Krafwerk!

Submitted by
VincenzoRomano
VincenzoRomano writes "As reported on a number of news sites, Florian Schneider, one of the two co-founders of the pioneering German electronic group Kraftwerk has left.
The actual date of leaving seems quite uncertain, though.
The "well informed" Brazilian fan site Technopop has reported such a decision repeatedly in 2008.
The music news site Resident Advisor confirmed Florian missing from stages back in April 23th 2008 at the opening of their Amercan tour.
Almost anyone else is reporting the leaving on January 7th 2009.
The official website of the group, as well as their current German label, EMI, is not reporting about it, while Elektrodaten, Kraftwerk's discussion community, is very laconic.
Curiously the English language Wikipedia chapter (among other languages) has been updated, while the German one looks still outdated.
Sadly enough, all good things come to an end."
Announcements

+ - Boing, Boom Krash! Krafwerk disbanded!

Submitted by
VincenzoRomano
VincenzoRomano writes "As of 21 November 2008, Florian Schneider, one of the two original co-founders of the pioneering German electronic group Kraftwerk left, as reported on January 7th by the Side-Line online music magazine.
This in turn reported from the "well informed" Brazilian fan site Kraftwerk.TechnoPOP.COM.BR which dates the leaving back to April 27th 2008. The same (bad) piece of news has been very laconically reported by the German site Elekrtodaten documenting the group concert activity, as well as by a number of other news sites.
What's sure by now is that Florian was not showing up in live concerts since long time. No official announcement has been heard yet from either the Kraftwerk group or Herr Schneider himself or even by the EMI German music label publishing their works."

We will have solar energy as soon as the utility companies solve one technical problem -- how to run a sunbeam through a meter.

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