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Comment Thanks for Everything! (Score 1) 1521

I've been reading Slashdot prettymuch since day 1. I was one of the resistors of the (then new) login system, and when I finally capitulated, several thousand people were onboard. That's when I really understood how many (and diverse) people viewed this site daily. Recently, I've not been around as much. Mostly reading, almost no commenting, but /. has always had a place in my heart.

I remember going to one of the first Linuxconfs in NYC, where /. had their hangout area. Hemos had logged into the /. back-end on one of the floating laptops, then left the area. I happened to pick up the laptop, and saw /. from "the other side". It was like seeing the code stream in The Matrix (although many years prior to the film). (I logged him out immediately). When he eventually came back, I informed him what had happened, and we chatted for a brief time. Rob and Jeff fostered a community, and while the community has changed, it's still strong.

Rob, /. will miss you, but it'll keep going strong, thanks to your help. May your Karma always be Excellent!

Comment Re:I agree with that (Score 1) 441

Your premise is wrong. You assume that the entrance essay is "graded". It's not. It's meant to give the admissions board more information about your character as a student, and insight into how you express yourself in the day-to-day.

While the essay isn't graded, it is *judged*. It is judged based upon your ability to convey your thoughts and ideas (along with your test scores, 2ndary school grades, extra-curricular activities, etc), and whether that type of expression fits into MIT society.


Fraud Threat Halts Knuth's Hexadecimal-Dollar Checks 323

Barence writes "You may be aware of Donald Knuth, the creator of TeX and author of The Art of Computer Programming, who used to post checks to anyone who spotted an error in one of his books — one hexadecimal dollar, or $2.56. No one cashed them though. This blogger has two of them proudly on his wall, but the sad news is that modern day bank fraud has put a stop to Knuth's much-loved way of keeping his books free of errors." (Here's Knuth's own post about the sad change.)

How To Tell If Your Cell Phone Is Bugged 338

Lauren Weinstein writes to point us to his essay on the realities of using an idle cell phone as a bug, as a recent story indicated the FBI may have done in a Mafia case. From the essay: "There is no magic in cell phones. From a transmitting standpoint, they are either on or off... It is also true that some phones can be remotely programmed by the carrier to mask or otherwise change their display and other behaviors in ways that could be used to fool the unwary user. However, this level of remote programmability is another feature that is not universal... But remember — no magic! When cell phones are transmitting — even as bugs — certain things are going to happen every time that the alert phone user can often notice."

Wii Internet Connection Reverse Engineered 166

AlexTheBeast writes "By packet sniffing his Wi-Fi connection, this hacker has already begun to dig into the internet interactions of the new Nintendo Wii. Basically, by using Firefox and after setting the user agent correctly, anybody can easily browse many WiiShop pages including the WiiShop main page and startup manual. More advanced connections including binary and virtual console downloads are currently in the works. Come join the project."

Some Back Compat Problems For PS3 138

Via Opposable Thumbs at Ars Technica, the news at IGN that there are some annoying backwards compatibility issues with the PS3 and the PS2. Specifically, there are about 196 games that are experiencing issues. From the article: "In response to these issues, Sony's PR department pointed out that it, from the start, expected backwards compatibility to be less than 100%. It was also good enough to point out that some people can put up with playing games that lack sound. Regardless of this somewhat arrogant response, an official statement issued at the site states that Sony will fix the problems with a future system update, and may even resort to individual patches for certain titles. When this will happen has yet to be specified." has a list of some of the problem games, with their specific issues. It sounds bad, but to put this in perspective I believe there are still far more PS2 games playable on the PS3 than there are Xbox games playable on the 360.

YouTube Removal Highlights Media Self-Censorship 488

jamie writes "On 'Larry King Live' Wednesday night, Bill Maher said many of 'the people who really run the underpinnings of the Republican Party are gay... Ken Mehlman, OK, there's one I think people have talked about. I don't think he's denied it.' When CNN re-aired the interview, the mention of Mehlman was edited out with no indication anything was missing. When a minute-long video of the original vs. censored clips was posted on YouTube, a DMCA takedown removed it (the original poster plans to resubmit a shorter clip he hopes will qualify as fair use — good luck, since the DMCA doesn't recognize fair use). Relatedly, the Washington Post today was caught silently editing its published stories to make them less informative. Unnamed GOP officials are also saying that Mehlman will step down from his post when his term ends in January."

New MacBook Dual Core 2 Benchmarks 229

ApolloX writes "New Macbook Pro Benchmarks are now available. From the article: 'Like the iMac before it, Apple's MacBook Pro underwent an upgrade highlighted by a chip swap — the Core Duo processor that used to power Apple's pro laptop is gone, replaced by the next-generation Core 2 Duo. And as with our iMac benchmarks, these updated Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro models show a modest performance gain when compared to older systems running on Core Duo chips with the same clock speeds.' As expected, the new 15-inch Intel Dual Core 2 (2.33Ghz/2GB RAM) is the new king of Apple portables, with results for the 17-inch model still pending."

System going down in 5 minutes.