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Submission + - SPAM: Did Egypt warn U.S. months before September 11?

kathrina lewis writes: Prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., Egypt warned the Bush administration several times about an imminent large-scale attack to be carried out by Al-Qaeda operatives on U.S. soil, according to former Egyptian Interior Minister Habib Al-Adly.
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Submission + - How Microsoft dragged its development practices into the 21st century (

nerdyalien writes: As a web developer who joined the industry few years back, I had to practice Agile from day one. Despite the years of expereince and what I heard/learned in Agile related events (i.e. workshops, conferences), I always maintained a firm opinion that Agile would not scale in large projects. For me, it was the simple fact that there weren't enough strong case studies to explain how a large organization or a project successfully adopted Agile in their daily business. It seems tide has changed, and the Redmond giant has embraced Agile to deliver one of its flagship products. Is this the turning point for large scale Agile ?

Submission + - Steve Wozniak visits Israel, experiences rocket attack, "likes the action"... (

An anonymous reader writes: Steve Wozniak, Apple's co-founder visits Israel for an education conference, a topic which he says "had a profound impact on his life". He also visits the Israeli border town of Sderot, experiences a Hamas rocket attack, and says he likes to be "close to the action". There is also a 5 minute video interview.

Submission + - Nuclear power plant was shut down at Busan, South Korea due to heavy rain

rtoz writes: Heavy rain hit the southern part of the south Korea, causing flash floods, landslides, and suspension of subway service in some areas.

The massive rain also halted the operation of a nuclear reactor in Busan.

The Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP) manually stopped operation of the Gori-2 nuclear power plant in Busan for safety reason due to excessive water in the area.

There were no signs of a radiation leak or of any immediate risk, the KHNP said. It was the first time in history that a Korean nuclear reactor had been shut down because of rain. The Gori-2 reactor has been in operation since July 1983.

Submission + - City of Munich is considering to switch back from Linux to Windows ( writes: The vice-mayor of Munich Josef Schmid wants a group of experts to analyse the use of Linux in the municipality. According to Schmid, there have been multiple complaints about the lack of interoperability with other city and government administrations. There have also been doubts that the city is lowering costs by using FOSS. Munichs project Limux was started ten years ago. The city wanted to reduce its budget by switching to Linux and FOSS intead of upgrading to newer versions of Microsoft's Windows and Office products. At the end of last year almost all of the 15000 workstations in the municipality were using OSS.

Submission + - Daimler's solution for annoying out-of-office email: delete it

AmiMoJo writes: Sure, you can set an out-of-office auto-reply to let others know they shouldn't email you, but that doesn't usually stop the messages; you may still have to handle those urgent-but-not-really requests while you're on vacation. That's not a problem if you work at Daimler, though. The German automaker recently installed software that not only auto-replies to email sent while staff is away, but deletes it outright.

Submission + - A New Thermodynamics Theory of the Origins of Life

SpankiMonki writes: Natalie Wolchover at Quanta Magazine has written an article about how Jeremy England, a MIT professor, may have found a theory of the origin of life grounded in physics. In a paper published last August by The Journal of Chemical Physics, England describes his theory, the "Statistical physics of self-replication".

Wolchover writes:"England['s]...formula...indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life."

England says his ideas pose no threat to Darwinian evolution: "On the contrary, I am just saying that from the perspective of the physics, you might call Darwinian evolution a special case of a more general phenomenon.”

Submission + - Modder proves SimCity can run offline indefinitely (

An anonymous reader writes: Ever since SimCity launched, there has been a suspicion that the need for the game to always be connected to a server was mainly a form of DRM, not for social game features and multiplayer. Then a Maxis developer came forward to confirm the game doesn’t actually need a server to function, suggesting the information coming out of EA wasn’t the whole truth. Now EA and Maxis have some explaining to do as a modder has managed to get the game running offline indefinitely.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Is the bar being lowered in Universities? 2

An anonymous reader writes: I am in my late 20s, live in the US, work in the IT industry, and am going to school to upgrade from an associate's degree to a bachelor's degree. One of my classes is a web based course that requires students to write blogs. I am not attending one of those questionable for profit schools. This is a state funded, large, public university. In this course I have noticed poor writing skills are the norm rather than the exception. It is a 3rd year course, so students should have successfully completed some sort of writing course prior to this one. Blog posts, which students are graded on, tend to be very poorly written. They are not organized into paragraphs, have multiple run-on sentences, and sometimes don't make sense. I do not know what grades they are receiving for these posts. Slashdot, is what I am seeing the exception, or the norm? Is the bar being lowered for university students, or am I just expecting too much?

Submission + - Indie dev says that she can't afford to stay indie. (

Gallefray writes: "Sophie houlden recently posted on her blog that she can't afford to stay indie, and released swift*stitch for free, stating that:
"Leaper, and a commissioned game (that I can’t talk about yet) may be my last games as a full time indie."
"I just can’t afford to keep going like this, I haven’t been able to afford the past three years really. Sales have paid for food but I’ve just racked up debt when it comes to everything else. It has gotten to the point where I try to spend time working on short projects as an attempt to make enough money to pay for the stuff I really care about making, but it doesn’t work and it’s making my games worse as a result."

Below is a link to her shop, where you can give support by buying her games:"

Submission + - Bird Flu Hits Southwest China, Two in Critical Condition with H5N1 Virus

An anonymous reader writes: Two human cases of bird flu have been reported this Sunday in the southwestern city of Guiyang, China. Both patients are in critical condition, according to the official Xinhua news agency. A 21-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus on Sunday after developing symptoms as early as February 2 and 3.

Submission + - 15-year-old schoolgirl beats Einstein's, Stephen Hawking's IQ! (

An anonymous reader writes: Fabiola Mann, a schoolgirl from UK, was accepted into Mensa, after she was proved to be smarter than Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking! The Schoolgirl with an IQ score of 162, has beaten Einstein and Hawking who have an IQ sore of 160.

Not only that, Mann's IQ score of 162 has now put her in the top one percent of the smartest people in the world.


Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Dedicating Code?

The_Buse writes: This week I lost my grandmother and after returning to work (as a web developer) I find myself looking for some way to dedicate something to her memory. Unfortunately, I'm no author so I can't dedicate a book to her, and I can't carry a tune so penning a song in her honor is out of the question. What I can do is write one hell of a web app, and after nearly a year of development my (small) team and I are nearing the release date of our next product. My question is, have you ever dedicated a project/app/code in honor of someone? What's the best way to do it: comment blocks in the header, tongue-in-cheek file names, easter eggs? Or is this a horrible idea all together?

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