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+ - Ask Slashdot : Management software for small independant ISP?

Submitted by Vorknkx
Vorknkx (929512) writes "I work in a small ISP. Most of our customers have cable modems but some of them are using Canopy or Ubiquity products. To manage all that, we're using a number of programs and solutions not necessarily made for such a task that are kept up to date simply using copy and paste. We have an Access database for all our internet customers, an Excel document for our wireless users, The Dude to monitor every user and a custom-made web application to monitor traffic. Needless to say, we're starting to hit the limit and juggling between all these programs is a complete pain. Is there some kind of all-in-one solution that would allow us to eliminate all the copy and paste while keeping the same functionality?"
Programming

PayPal To Open App Store For Developers 63

Posted by samzenpus
from the if-you-build-it-they-will-pay dept.
angry tapir writes "PayPal will open an applications store this year where developers can offer their wares, the latest step in the company's multi-pronged strategy to deepen its relationship with external programmers. Developers have a big opportunity to offer applications for merchants and consumers that PayPal doesn't have the interest or resources to build itself, according to a PayPal official."
Debian

Debian Gets FreeBSD Kernel Support 425

Posted by timothy
from the types-like-this-kept-me-out-of-good-schools dept.
mu22le writes "Today Debian gets one step closer to really becoming 'the universal operating system' by adding two architectures based on the FreeBSD kernel to the unstable archive. This does not mean that the Debian project is ditching the Linux kernel; Debian users will be able to choose which kernel they want to install (at least on on the i386 and amd64 architectures) and get more or less the same Debian operating system they are used to. This makes Debian the first distribution, and probably the first large OS, to support two completely different kernels at the same time."
Books

Tools & Surprises For a Tech Book Author? 325

Posted by kdawson
from the chisel-and-clay-tablet dept.
Fubari writes "I have questions for those of you who have written books: what writing tools have you found helpful? I want to start my book off right (so I'm pretty sure I don't want to write it in MS Word). What has and has not worked well for you? So far I have thought of needs like chapter/section management, easy references to figures (charts, diagrams, source code), version control (check in/check out parts like chapters, figures, etc.), and index generation. I would also welcome advice about what I don't know enough to ask about. Did you encounter any surprises that you wish you had known about back when you started out?"
Software

Is Open Source Software a Race To Zero? 729

Posted by Soulskill
from the at-least-i'll-beat-zeno dept.
gozunda writes "My company is an open source software vendor/developer. We maintain a popular open source project and keep ourselves afloat by producing commercial products derived from or extending the value of the core project. Over time we've seen our business model eroding as other open source projects produce free versions of the same extensions and utilities that are our bread and butter. Something that was worth $5K last year is suddenly worth $0 because the free version is just as good as the paid. This same cycle is obviously having an impact on pure-play commercial software vendors. Is open source ultimately a race to zero? In ten years will there be any cost associated with commodity (non-custom) software? If not, will there still be a 'software industry' as it exists today, or will software simply be a by-product of the operation of other industries? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? As a professional developer, do I need to fear this or feed it?"
Databases

Setting Up a Home Dev/Testing Environment? 136

Posted by timothy
from the just-live-at-work dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I'm a Project Manager (hold the remarks) who recently decided that I want/need to get my dev skills more up-to-date, as more projects are looking for their PM's to be hands-on with the development. Looking around my house, I have quite the collection of older (read: real old — it's been a while) PCs — it's pretty much a PC graveyard. Nothing that would really help me set up a nice dev infrastructure for developing web/database apps. So, my question is as follows: Should I buy a number of cheaper PC's, or should I buy one monster machine and leverage (pick your favorite) virtual machine technology?"
Transportation

Honda Makes Motorcycle Talk To Oncoming Cars 146

Posted by timothy
from the ground-traffic-control dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The system generates warnings to riders and drivers of other vehicles by continuous exchange of positioning data from satellite GPS sources. This is particularly relevant as road users approach intersections, alerting them to other vehicles that are potentially on a collision course, allowing avoidance manoeuvres."
Supercomputing

eBay Makes Huge Gains In Parallel Efficiency 47

Posted by kdawson
from the free-servers-and-a-pony dept.
CurtMonash writes "Parallel Efficiency is a simple metric that divides the actual work your parallel CPUs do by the sum of their total capacity. If you can get your parallel efficiency up, it's like getting free servers, free floor space, and some free power as well. eBay reports that it amazed even itself by increasing overall PE from 50% to 80% in about 6 months — across tens of thousands of servers. The secret sauce was data warehouse-based analytics. I.e., eBay instrumented its own network to do minute-by-minute status checks, then crunched the resulting data to find bottlenecks that needed removing. Obviously, savings are in the many millions of dollars. eBay has been offering some glimpses into its analytic efforts this year, and the PE savings are one of the most concrete examples they're offering to validate all this analytic cleverness."
AMD

AMD To Spin Off Fabrication From Design Work 153

Posted by timothy
from the splitarama dept.
I.M.O.G. was one of many readers to write with the news that "Advanced Micro Devices plans to announce Tuesday that it will split into two companies — one focused on designing microprocessors and the other on the costly business of manufacturing them — in a drastic effort to maintain its position as the only real rival to Intel. 'This is the biggest announcement in our history,' said AMD's chief executive, Dirk Meyer. 'This will make us a financially stronger company, both in the near term and in the long term, as a result of being out from the capital expense burden we have had to bear.'"
Communications

Instant Messaging For Introverts 311

Posted by kdawson
from the jung-nailed-it-before-meyers-and-briggs dept.
adamengst tips an article up on TidBITS that explores the persistent reluctance of many nerds to embrace fully new communications media such as IM and Twitter. In this thoughtful article Joe Kissell explores, from the inside, the mind of the introvert and how this personality style often struggles with new "always-on" media. The result is a sometimes exasperated incomprehension on the part of the more extroverted. Well worth a read.
Medicine

VR Study Says 40% of Us Are Paranoid 221

Posted by Zonk
from the other-sixty-percent-are-out-to-get-us dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "UK researchers have recently used virtual reality to check if people had paranoid thoughts when using public transportation. Their VR tube ride experiment revealed that 40% of the participants experienced exaggerated fears about threats from others. Until now, researchers were relying on somewhat unreliable questionnaires to study paranoid thoughts which are often triggered by ambiguous events such as someone laughing behind their back. With the use of VR, psychiatrists and psychologists have a new tool which can reliably recreate social interactions. As the lead researcher said, VR 'is a uniquely powerful method to detect those liable to misinterpret other people.'."

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