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Submission + - Text Messaging in the U.S. Declines for the First Time in 2012 (

Franker65 writes: In times of Whatsapp, Facebook and other IP-based messaging services, the good old text message appears to have its best days behind it. In 2012, the number of SMS sent by Americans declined for the first time since its meteoric rise in the early 2000s.

According to the CTIA, a wireless industry trade association, the total number of sent messages fell 5 percent to 2.19 trillion in the past year. That equals about one message per person per day less than a year ago, when Americans on average sent 20 messages per day. Telecommunications research firm Informa had just recently published a research note stating that the number of IP-based messages had overtaken traditional text messages worldwide for the first time last year. Text messages had long been a major cash cow for wireless carriers who often used to charge 10 cents or more for messages that cost them a fraction of a cent to send.

Interestingly the use of voice calls in the United States has been virtually unchanged in the past five years. On average, Americans spend 20 minutes a day talking on their mobile phones.

Submission + - Kaspersky Antivirus Use Linux To Rescue Windows (

dgharmon writes: What you see in the above image is a Gentoo based live cd with KDE, that Kaspersky calls Rescue Disk. This tool is dedicated to the restoration of Windows operating systems by scanning and removing viruses, Trojan and malware from infected PCs.

Submission + - Oracle shuts older servers out of Solaris 11 (

PCM2 writes: The Register is reporting that Oracle has decided not to allow Solaris 11 to install on older Sparc hardware, including UltraSparc-I, UltraSparc-II, UltraSparc-IIe, UltraSparc-III, UltraSparc-III+, UltraSparc-IIIi, UltraSparc-IV, and UltraSparc-IV+ processors. The Solaris 11 Express development version released in November did not have this restriction, which suggests that the OS would likely run on these models. Unfortunately, the installer won't. All generations of Sparc T series processors and Sparc Enterprise M machines will be able to install and run Solaris 11, however.

Submission + - Bill Gates considers Skype 'a great purchase' for (

An anonymous reader writes: The aftermath of Microsoft’s announcement that it’ll buy Skype for $8.5 billion was filled with speculation about why the price was so high, who Microsoft was bidding against, and who inside Redmond was the driving force behind such a large expenditure. At least one of those queries has been demystified today, thanks to Bill Gates asserting himself as “a strong proponent at the board level for the deal being done.”
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - What Geeky Things Must Be Done? 2

John writes: A few weeks ago, my friends were discussing "The Princess Bride", and most of the references went completely over my head — I've not seen it all the way through, nor read the book. Naturally, revealing this fact made these people look at me as if I'd just moved into town from under some rock. This led into a discussion of the things that most general geeks should be expected to know; for example, reciting the inscription on the One Ring, or (apparently) quoting "Princess Bride" on-demand. The suggestions we came up with ranged from personal things, like having one's movie/game library in an online database, to big, world-scoped things like contributing to an open-source project of your choosing. I'm curious to know what the general consensus is on the most obvious or biggest geek/nerd things that should be seen, done, or read/watched/heard.

Submission + - The AIDS of Computer Malware?

An anonymous reader writes: There is obviously a striking similarity between biological infections and computer malware — as the host builds immunity to a certain attacker, the attacker mutates and develops ways to counteract or bypass the host's defenses. With the growing penetration (and power) of anti-spyware, anti-virus, and ad-blocking tools, how long will it be until the equivalent of AIDS comes along in the computer world?

Submission + - Allowed to listen to music while coding? 3

hbean writes: "Hi everyone out there in the /. world. A while ago (almost 6 years now) my company stopped allowing us to listen to music while we programmed, saying it was a distraction and kept us from being productive. Recently we've been undertaking efforts trying to get them to allow us to again. We've found a few studies on the topic of programming and the benefits of listening to music on concentration and ability to stay on task. We presented this to our supervisor and now he's asking for more evidence that other large companies allow their programmers to listen to music while working. We're looking for any help we can get, and maybe some documentation to back it up. Thanks!"

Submission + - How eBay doesnt collapse. Scientific American

David Greenspan writes: Ever wonder why sellers on eBay aren't more dishonest? Scientific American did. In an article titled "Is Greed Good?" they discuses how it is possible for eBay to function since many scientists believe in the concept of "Homo economicus (economic man)" that a man is "a rational, selfish person who single-mindedly strives for maximum profit." According to that concept every seller should simply flee with the buyers' money yet this is clearly not the case, Scientific American discusses why. Scientific American

Submission + - To EE or not to EE? (Master's is the question)

iEverything writes: I got my Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science in 2001, and have since been employed as a Software Engineer. I've just been accepted into a Master's program in Computer Science. (It's a distance program, so I still stay employed full time). Given my undergrad and professional experience, am I better off switching to Electrical Engineering? On one hand, it seems foolish to get *another* CS degree when I already have one, plus 6 years of programming experience. Although EE is not light years away from CS (as opposed to, say, English Lit), it at least provides a bit of diversity, and complements my mostly high-level (Perl/C++) programming experience. On the other hand, my career interests lie pretty firmly in the software realm. Perhaps it makes more sense to stick with my original intention (I DID apply to the CS program after all) and dive more deeply into CS.

Has anyone else faced a similar sort of crossroads between their grad and undergrad, and have any advice, or care to relate why they chose what they chose, and how it worked out?

Are there any other questions I should be asking myself in order to determine if an MS in EE (as opposed to CS) will best suit my desired career?

Submission + - What were you most important/valuable CS courses?

An anonymous reader writes: Looking back now, which CS courses did you take in college are the most valuable/important? I'm going to major in math or science or engineering, and I wanted to construct my own "minor" in CS from just the really important classes. I can program okay and can self-study alot of things, but I was wondering which classes you think were key. Or, was there not anything that important that you could not pick it up yourself? And, in a similar vein, was a lot gained from having your work graded?

Submission + - SunRocket is gone? (

whitwo writes: A few days ago I saw the article Internet Phone Start-up Goes Belly-Up regarding the rumors that SunRocket was going out of business. As a SunRocket customer I took some interest and then today received an email stating that SunRocket was discontinuing their service. I checked out the SunRocket website and saw this:

"After significant effort by the Company to avoid this result, SunRocket is in the process of discontinuing its operations as you know it. Therefore SunRocket will no longer be able to provide its customers with the phone service that its customers have been accustomed to."

Great. Now what? They are "partnering" with packet8 and teleblend (anyone heard of them??) to transition service. What are fellow SunRocket customers doing? I have pretty much concluded that I have lost my number and am looking at something like Skype....Any thoughts?

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - /. and geek stock

ArcadeX writes: "Been playing the stock market recently based solely on /., and curious if anyone else has done anything similar. I know the few months that I've been playing are by no means a decent picture of what to expect, and for the most part I actually expect my good fortunes to crater like most imerging tech stocks, but so far I've gotten about a 50% return on my investments... course I haven't exactly invested much, I work helpdesk after all. One example would be GBRC (disclaimer: google finance is in beta for a REASON) mentioned a few weeks back on /. which has had a really decent short term return (yeah, yeah, doesn't mean anything for long term). Just curious if anyone has any long term input about what I've seen the last few months."

Submission + - Are laptops OK on bicycles? (

bshell writes: I commute to work by bicycle and I've been strapping my PowerBook to the bike rack carrier on the back of my bike. It's enclosed in a typical computer carry bag, and strapped down by bungie cords, but it gets all the road vibrations on there. After years, there seems to be no adverse effects. Do other Slashdot readers concur? Does anyone think that subjecting a laptop computer to the daily bumps and bangs of a bicycle commute is harmful to the machine, or are laptop computers fundamentally constructed to handle this sort of treatment? Your experiences might be instructive to other readers.

Drilling for oil is boring.