i_ate_god writes "I download a lot of 720/1080p videos, and I also produce a lot of raw uncompressed video. I have run out of slots to put in hard drives across two computers. I need (read: want) access to my files at all times (over a network is fine), especially since I maintain a library of what I've got on the TV computer. I don't want to have swappable USB drives, I want all hard drives available all the time on my network. I'm assuming that, since it's on a network, I won't need 16,000 RPM drives and thus I'm hoping a solution exists that can be moderately quiet and/or hidden away somewhere and still keep somewhat cool. So Slashdot, what have you done?"
Verizon recently (end of December) had a deal to get a free Droid Eris with the purchase of a Droid. Perhaps those polled were aware of that deal.
lbalbalba writes "Electronic Arts is shutting down its Westwood-based game developer Pandemic Studios just two years after acquiring it, putting nearly 200 people out of work. 'The struggling video game publisher informed employees Tuesday morning that it was closing the studio as part of a recently announced plan to eliminate 1,500 jobs, or 16% of its global workforce. Pandemic has about 220 employees, but an EA spokesman said that a core team, estimated by two people close to the studio to be about 25, will be integrated into the publisher's other Los Angeles studio, in Playa Vista.' An ex-developer for Pandemic attributed the studio's struggles to poor decisions from the management."
jeffb (2.718) writes "As the LA Times reports, 206 patients receiving CT scans at Cedar Sinai hospital received up to eight times the X-ray exposure doctors intended. (The FDA alert gives details about the doses involved.) A misunderstanding over an 'embedded default setting' appears to have led to the error, which occurred when the hospital 'began using a new protocol for a specialized type of scan used to diagnose strokes. Doctors believed it would provide them more useful data to analyze disruptions in the flow of blood to brain tissue.' Human-computer interaction classes from the late 1980s onward have pounded home the lesson of the Therac-25, the usability issues of which led to multiple deaths. Will we ever learn enough to make these errors truly uncommittable?"
An anonymous reader notes the announcement by Sean Moss-Pultz (Openmoko, Inc.) of a new geek device: The $99 WikiReader. All of Wikipedia in your pocket with no Internet connection required. Works in bright sunlight. 3-button interface. You can update the information in the WikiReader either by mail (they ship a microSD card) or by downloading a 4+ GB file.
theodp writes "They can ban the Marlboros, tax the Cokes, and zone the Whoppers, says Slate's William Saletan on the subject of today's morality cops. But it's time to put the brakes on the paternalistic overreaching of the food police, Saletan argues, when they come after his editor's beloved Fresca ('there are concerns that diet beverages may increase calorie consumption by justifying consumption of other caloric foods'), which will have to be pried from his cold, dead hands. '40 states have enacted special taxes on soda or junk food. And the soda taxers are becoming ever bolder. Their latest manifesto is an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, co-authored by the health commissioner of New York City, the surgeon general of Arkansas, and several others. It declares soda fair game for government intervention (PDF) on the grounds that "market failures" in this area are causing "less-than-optimal production and consumption."' Where do we draw the line?"
Some technical info and photos: http://www.geobacter.org/publications/19487117/
davidwr writes "A state appeals court in Kentucky ruled that the state courts cannot seize domain names as 'gambling devices.' The court ruled that 'it's up to the General Assembly — not the courts nor the state Justice Cabinet — to bring domain names into the definition of illegal gambling devices.'"
JagsLive notes a patent application filed in the US by Nokia for a way to 'scribble on the back' of digital photos. Nokia's approach is similar to the iPod's Cover Flow, except that Nokia users will be able to flip through their snaps, select one, and then turn it over and annotate the back just using SMS-like text entry. The scribble becomes an integral part of the saved photo.
coondoggie brings news that NASA has announced it will team with Machine-to-Machine Intelligence Corp. to produce small satellites, called 'nanosats,' weighing between 11 and 110 pounds. The satellites will work together in 'constellations' and facilitate networking in space. According to NASA's press release, it will 'develop a fifth generation telecommunications and networking system for Internet protocol-based and related services.' We've discussed miniature satellites in the past.
An anonymous reader writes "Sony CEO Ryoji Chubachi knows something we don't. At a press conference, he announced Sony's plan to increase Blu-ray market share to 50% of all movie discs by the end of the year. 'DVD and BD currently account for about 80% and 20%, respectively, of global demand for movie discs, Chubachi indicated. The new BD devices to be offered by Sony include models integrating an HD LCD TV with BD recording functionality, Chubachi pointed out. Sony has relied mainly on the PlayStation 3 (PS3) to promote BD, and sales of the game console will increase along with the offering by top Hollywood studios of new BD movies, Chubachi noted. However, Sony will extend its BD promotion from the current focus on the PS3 and BD players/recorders to IT devices, Chubachi pointed out.'"
djasbestos writes "NASA is planning to smash a spacecraft into the Moon in order to look for hydrogen deposits in the poles. More notably, it will impact with significantly greater force (100x, per the article) than previous Moon collisions, such as by the Lunar Prospector and Smart-1 probes. Admiral Ackbar was unreachable for comment as to the exact location and size of the Moon's thermal exhaust port."
An anonymous reader writes "As part of his 1680-page book Mac OS X Internals: A Systems Approach, Amit Singh of kernelthread.com wrote a very detailed technical history of Apple's operating systems. Since he had to cut down on the history chapter because of the book's already too-large size, most of this chapter didn't make it to the printed book. Singh has made available the history chapter as a free PDF. The file is 140 pages long, and is generously filled with figures and screenshots. It starts with the internals of the original Apple I and goes through a tour of all operating systems Apple dabbled with, including internals of A/UX, Lisa OS, and such. It even covers details of outside influences like the Xerox Alto, STAR System, Smalltalk, and Sketchpad, and closer to home things like Mach, NeXTStep, and OpenStep."
whoever57 writes "eBay has added Google Checkout to the list of payment options banned on eBay. A recent update to the Accepted Payments Policy includes Google Checkout (click on 'Show' next to 'Some Examples' to reveal the list). More comments on this action can be found at the eBay Strategies Blog."
travellerjohn asks: "I work in a small company (200 people in 7 offices), where the staff uses Microsoft Access to create various databases. Most of the time they lose interest before the databases become complex or important enough to warrant the IT department getting involved. However, from time to time, someone turns up at our door looking for help with their pet project, often starting with statements like 'it should work over the intranet' or questions like 'why can't it store documents and pictures?' or 'how do I control user access?' When we sit them down and explain how much it will cost to rewrite their database in PHP/VB/JSP, or whatever we sound unhelpful and expensive. What database tool does Slashdot recommend I provide our staff? It has got to be easy to use, web enabled, capable of storing documents and pictures and offer user level security. We have tried Sharepoint with some success but that is pretty limited, too, and I have looked at Oracle Application Express. Open source would be good, but I would pay for the right product. Any suggestions?"