Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
United Kingdom

The Last of the Punch Card Programmers 149

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-to-basics dept.
Peter Cus writes "Cluny Lace, an English lacemaking manufacturer, has reverted to 19th-Century Leavers machines in order to stay competitive. These 19th-Century machines use Jacquard punch cards. Ian Elm, thought to be the last of the card punchers, says young people don't want factory work: 'Younger people coming into a trade want a guarantee of a career out of it, and this is so uncertain.'"
Books

Judge Chin Says He Will Cut the Google Book Settlement 38

Posted by timothy
from the why-not-horizontally dept.
Miracle Jones writes "In a move that has shocked the publishing world, Judge Denny Chin has filed a brief saying that he has decided to cut the Google Book Settlement in half, letting Google host the first half of every book the company has scanned, and letting other interested stakeholders fight for the rights to the rest. 'We think this is a hard decision, but a fair one,' said John Peter Franks for Google. 'We would like to be able to host and control whole books, but at least we get the front half.'"
Idle

Air Sex *NSFW* 1 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
samzenpus writes "Just when I think it can't get any stranger the Japanese come up with the idea of air sex. It's for people who really like air guitar and have never touched another person. At least it looks safe, except for your dignity of course."
Security

+ - The cause of Skype outage

Submitted by
Van Cutter Romney
Van Cutter Romney writes "A post on Skype's website has detailed the cause of last Thursday's outage. It seems that a Windows Update trigged a large number of computers to reboot within a short timeframe resulting in a flood of login requests. This combined with a lack to P2P network resources caused the disruption. The outage brings to question the reliability of VoIP and its ability to replace POTS."
United States

+ - Taxing you for getting healthy

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Earlier this month you read about "Charging the Unhealthy More For Insurance". Well now the state of Michigan, one of the most obese states, and a state that contains one of the most obese cities in the United States is considering changing residents for getting healthy. In a state ranked with a 60.4% obesity rate, due to the budget shortfall this year, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is considering proposing an expansion of the sales tax to include health club services. The expansion would also likely include other items such as sport, concert and movie tickets, and golfing and bowling fees. Healthclubs.com is taking up the issue and working to try to get people to mail their congressman, to oppose this "proposed expansion" Some more information can be found at http://www.nohealthclubtax.com/"
The Courts

Class Action Initiated Against RIAA 315

Posted by kdawson
from the bandwagon-starting-to-roll dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Ever since the RIAA's litigation campaign began in 2003, many people have been suggesting a class action against the RIAA. Tanya Andersen, in Oregon, has taken them up on it. The RIAA's case against this disabled single mother, Atlantic v. Andersen, has received attention in the past, for her counterclaims against the RIAA including claims under Oregon's RICO statute, the RIAA's hounding of her young daughter for a face-to-face deposition, the RIAA's eventual dropping of the case 'with prejudice,' and her lawsuit against the RIAA for malicious prosecution, captioned Andersen v. Atlantic. Now she's turned that lawsuit into a class action. The amended complaint seeking class action status (PDF) sues for negligence, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, federal and state RICO, abuse of process, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, trespass, invasion of privacy, libel and slander, deceptive business practices, misuse of copyright law, and civil conspiracy."
The Internet

How Much Are Ad Servers Slowing the Web? 363

Posted by kdawson
from the but-not-for-firefox dept.
vipermac writes "Most of the times I have a problem with a Web page loading slow or freezing temporarily, I look down at the status bar and see that it's waiting on an ad server, Google Analytics, or the like. It seems to me that on popular Web sites the bottleneck is overwhelmingly on the ad servers now and not on the servers of the site itself. In my opinion we need a better model for serving ads — or else these services need to add more servers/bandwidth. Are there any studies on the delay that 3rd-party ad servers are introducing, or any new models that are being introduced to serve ads?"
The Internet

A Campaign to Block Firefox Users? 1154

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the bad-ideas dept.
rarwes writes "A website is aiming at blocking Firefox users. This because a fraction of the Firefox users installed an Ad Blocker and are therefor 'stealing money' from website owners that use ads. They recommend using IE, Opera or IE tab. From the site: 'Demographics have shown that not only are FireFox users a somewhat small percentage of the internet, they actually are even smaller in terms of online spending, therefore blocking FireFox seems to have only minimal financial drawbacks, whereas ending resource theft has tremendous financial rewards for honest, hard-working website owners and developers.' Be interesting to see where they are getting their numbers from.
The Internet

+ - Taking anti-evolution candidates to task

Submitted by hmccabe
hmccabe (465882) writes "Youtube is currently taking submissions for their next debate, in which the Republican candidates will answer the questions. This seems like a good opportunity to challenge those candidates who say they do not believe in evolution, but as I am not an expert in the subject, I would be interested in how the you all feel the question should be presented. For my own part, I think it is important to present the overwhelming body of evidence on the subject as incontrovertible fact, much the same way DNA evidence is during a criminal trial, and ask why the candidate feels they can pick-and-choose what facts they believe in. (Besides the fossil record and the entire study of genetics, I believe there were some experiments in forced speciation in lab environments, but IANA geneticist.) Moreover, I am wary of coming across like Christopher Hitchins, so vitriolic the candidate will defend themselves rather than answer the question. Perhaps the most important aspect of posing the question is to inform the viewers who watch the debate that this is really not a matter of opinion, but of science.

Maybe the question I'm asking is, "Hey geneticists, have you considered addressing evolution in the youtube debates? Can you do it in 30 seconds?""
Movies

BitTorrent Video Download Store Falls Flat 195

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the working-as-intended dept.
seriously writes "We've all heard about BitTorrent going legit this week with legal movie and TV show downloads. Ars Technica took a look at the service to see how usable it was and ran into a few snags, including not being able to download or even open the video files on some computers. However, the ones that they did manage to open varied a lot in quality. Overall, they blame DRM: 'Without knowing whether browser compatibility and dysfunctional video files are a rare occurrence or not, it's hard to say whether BitTorrent's service is a good one overall. Our initial experiences have been disappointing and frustrating, and guess what the culprit is once again? DRM. Why the DRM failed to work on 50% of our purchases is not clear, but whatever the cause, it's simply unacceptable.'"
Google

Google Responds to AdWords Accusations 149

Posted by Zonk
from the sorry-should-have-thought-of-that dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google has issued a statement on the Inside AdWords Blog. Based on the thoroughness of the statement and the use of the word 'precedent' in the second sentence, it appears that the Google PR team huddled with the legal team to get their point across." From the post: "Being rather proud of AdWords as a means to effectively advertise one's products or services, it seems natural to use it ourselves. Since it's a common practice across the industry for companies to promote their own products and services through their own web presence, there is much precedent to do this. It's important to note, however, that our ads are created and managed under the exact same guidelines, principles, practices and algorithms as the ads of any other advertiser. Likewise, we use the very same tools and account interface."
Education

Detecting Conflict-Of-Interest on the Semantic Web 34

Posted by Zonk
from the smoothing-things-out dept.
CexpTretical writes "At the 15th International WWW Conference in Edinburgh Scotland, Refereed Track on Semantic Web accepted many thorough and interesting academic papers on semantic web research on subjects related to where the Web is in the Semantic Web? One such paper nominated for Best Paper Award, Semantic Analytics on Social Networks: Experiences in Addressing the Problem of Conflict of Interest Detection hits on the whole subject of validation and/or verification in the brave world of so called "Web 3.0" topologies/frameworks/architectures. The paper describes a "Semantic Web application that detects Conflict of Interest (COI) relationships"."
Slashdot.org

Journal: slashdot moderation sucks

Journal by an_mo

This thread proves why slashdot moderation system sucks. I'll check again tomorrow, but the top comments moderated "insightful" (like this, or this) are totally off topic, and the posters failed to understand the meaning of the original, article (it is d

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

Working...