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Media

+ - Ask Slashdot: What Stories Would You Like to See Investigated? 8

Submitted by
JoshJPhilipp
JoshJPhilipp writes "I work as a journalist. Yes, at a newspaper. My theory is that investigative journalism and good feature stories are key points for newspapers to stay relevant these days, but unfortunately I think the art of journalism has fallen too much into well-written nonsense. I’m curious what types of stories you would like to see. Are there any issues you know of that should be investigated or that you’d like to see covered? And on that note, are there any topics you think aren’t getting enough coverage or that you would like to see journalists giving more weight to?"
Data Storage

+ - How do I De-Dup a system with 4.2 million files? 2

Submitted by jamiedolan
jamiedolan (1743242) writes "I've managed to consolidate most of my old data from the last decade onto drives attached to my main Windows 7 PC. Lots of files of all types from digital photos & scans to HD video files (also web site backup's mixed in which are the cause of such a high number of files). In more recent times I've organized files in a reasonable folder system and have an active / automated backup system. The problem is that I know that I have many old files that have been duplicated multiple times across my drives (many from doing quick backups of important data to an external drive that later got consolidate onto a single larger drive), chewing up space. I tried running a free de-dup program, but it ran for a week straight and was still "processing" when I finally gave up on it. I have a fast system, i7 2.8Ghz with 16GB of ram, but currently have 4.9TB of data with a total of 4.2 million files. Manual sorting is out of the question due to the number of files and my old sloppy filing (folder) system. I do need to keep the data, nuking it is not a viable option. Thanks. Jamie Dolan"
Graphics

+ - Computer Simulated Knitting ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "Simulating cloth is big business — how else can CGI characters get to wear any clothes? Now, as well as simple fabrics, graphics designers can have knitwear on their virtual clothes racks.
Cem Yuksel of the University of Utah, Jonathan Kaldor of Facebook, and Steve Marschner and Doug James of Cornell have tackled the problem of rendering knitted material. Rather than trying to create a full 3D model of the knitted surface the approach is to use a model of a single stitch, render it and then use it to tile the surface. The 3D model has an extra stitch mesh added to it and a pattern of stitches is built up for each of the appropriate tiles to fill.The process of rendering the final knitted surface has to be done off-line and it is slow. This means that, at the moment at least, it can't be easily used for real-time games, but for CGI movies it is just another batch rendering process to add to the mix. paper.pdf"

Link to Original Source
Cellphones

+ - VoIP phone blamed in Calgary, Ab tragedy->

Submitted by
bulliver
bulliver writes "An 18-month-old child has died because the ambulance dispatched to save him was sent to a stale address halfway accross the country. After the 911 call was cut short the dispatcher directed paramedics to a previous Mississauga address that was linked to the Calgary family's VoIP phone. VoIP provider Comwave spokeswoman Alison George says:

Because your phone service is not linked to a geographic address, it really is critically important when speaking to 911 that your address is fully delivered and fully understood and you're transferred to the EMS service provider in your area.


You should also make damn sure they have your current address. There is aditional coverage from CTV , The National Post, and Canada.com"

Link to Original Source
The Internet

MA Proposes Two Year Jail Term for Online Gambling 248

Posted by Zonk
from the little-harsh-for-some-blackjack dept.
tessaiga writes "The Boston Globe reports that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is trying to sneak a provision to criminalize online gambling. The bill, if passed, would make online gambling punishable by up to 2 years in prison and $25k in fines. Ironically, the provision is buried deep within a bill to allow the construction of three new casinos in Massachusetts to bring more gambling revenue into the state. 'If you were cynical about it, you'd think that they're trying to set up a monopoly for the casinos,' said David G. Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Democratic House representative Barney Frank, who earlier this year introduced federal legislation to legalize regulated online gambling, also criticized the move as 'giving opponents an argument against him.' Indeed, groups such as the Poker Player's Alliance, who were previously supportive of Patrick's plans to open the new casinos, have already announced opposition to the bill because of the online gambling clause."
Media

+ - Dan Rather uncovers flaws in touchscreen voting

Submitted by goombah99
goombah99 (560566) writes "Dan Rather Reports has posted a lengthy YouTube teaser of their upcoming touchscreen voting expose (to air tuesday at 8 or 11pm ET) This is sort of a "60-minutes" style investigation of touchscreen voting. It's apparently not a rehash either. Rather turns up some new evidence such as tracking down the dilapidated plant where the ES&S ivotronic touchscreens were assembled. There they were having a 30 to 40% rejection rate on the screen themselves. Apparently the issue here was a rush to market to meet the election schedule. They needed lots of machines, fast. So plant workers say the rejects got shipped too. The "rush to market" aspect demonstrates an often overlooked strength of the use of open source software with commodity hardware and a multiple vendor business model like open voting consortium. This should be much less subject to single source point failures and has a built-in adversarial oversight nature that might lend some quality control. I just hope their conclusion is not "we need perfect machines and perfectly trained operators" and instead is we need a different approach that is transparent, robust and self correcting in the face of errors."
Editorial

+ - Development in Open Source

Submitted by
Liran Tal
Liran Tal writes "Development in Open Source

Open Source projects have gained in the past few years an entirely different reputation in the public eye, in a good sense.
Now-days we are seeing things happening in the Open Source arena, beautiful things, that most of us didn't expect to take
place so fast and so intense. Among these, are the huge amount of endorsement in terms of project sponsorship coming from
Fortune 500 companies as well as funds that keep pouring on either existing Open Source projects to support them or even
more intensively the acquisition of these projects that later become commercial companies with Free Software concept roots.

The adaptation and awareness of Open Source software by the general public keeps growing rapidly.
Government offices and major firms are taking active roles and exhibit participation in forums, mailing-lists, patches submission
and code contribution, not to mention the attendance of these firms in seminars, exhibitions and conferences all around the
world just to be kept in-the-loop and updated with all the new technologies that has surfaced out.
It is all happening for a reason — the benefit of the widely accepted development methodology of sharing knowledge through
collaboration is simply priceless, and it seems that everyone realize it sooner or later.

The effect of all the buzz around GNU/Linux and Open Source drives one of the most basic needs in each of us, as
a human-being. That is, to be a part of a whole. We long to be a part of a community, of a bigger good and as a consequence
we are witnessing more and more involvement in projects of all kinds of development, whether it's language translations,
code contributions and documentation writing. Each involvement, as small contribution as it may be is causing a butter-fly
effect that triggers others to contribute and participate in this beautiful, open world of technology and knowledge sharing.

X-WRT is such a project that is reflecting all of the above concepts that we discussed.
Some may be familiar with the OpenWRT project which aims to provide an alternative firmware to the one that is shipped
with (wifi) routers, like the popular Linksys WRT-54G model and others.
The X-WRT project was born in order to bring a more powerful and professional web interface to the OpenWRT firmware,
and indeed the project proved a great success. In short time, it received an enormous feedback from users who wanted
more features to be presented as well as users who wanted to get involved in the development of X-WRT.

X-WRT is taking all the goods of Open Source and Free Software concepts and put them to show.
The participation is widely welcome and all that is needed to join as a developer is a registered berlios account
and an email to the project admin (thepeople). Approximately 6 hours later you are given access to the svn
repository and you may start with active development on both branches of the project. There are no committees
to question your skills or examine your CV background. Everyone are treated equal and given equal voice to be heard.
I'm an active developer of X-WRT and I enjoy every bit of involvement. The team is sharpened-skilled, open minded
and most of all, good people.

To summarize, projects of Open Source nature will continue to revolutionize the technology industry and take us
further into new grounds of socialism with recognition that knowledge sharing produces good things. If most of
these projects will take the form of X-WRT's great qualities then the future looks like a good place to be a
developer.

Liran Tal,
active developer of X-WRT."
The Internet

Monday is Wiretap the Internet Day 264

Posted by Zonk
from the i-had-other-plans-but-okay dept.
Alien54 wrote with a link to a Wired blog entry noting that May 14th is the official deadline for internet service providers to modify their networks, and meet the FBI and FCC's new regulations. The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act requires that everyone from cable services to Universities give them access, within certain parameters, to the usage habits of customers. "So, if you're a broadband provider (separately, some VOIP companies are covered too) ... Hurry! The deadline has already passed to file an FCC form 445, certifying that you're on schedule, or explaining why you're not. You can also find the 68-page official industry spec for internet surveillance here. It'll cost you $164.00 to download, but then you'll know exactly what format to use when delivering customer packets to federal or local law enforcement, including 'e-mail, instant messaging records, web-browsing information and other information sent or received through a user's broadband connection, including on-line banking activity.'"
Patents

+ - Meeting with a Digital Rights Management proponent

Submitted by
JoeLinux
JoeLinux writes "I just had what I thought was going to be a boring meeting with a friend of the family.

It turns out this person is a Senior VP in charge of Rights and Title Administration for Sony Pictures. (Translation: She is in charge of preventing piracy).

Over the course of a half hour, we had a conversation discussing the best way to combat online piracy. This person has obviously been seeing things from the point of view of the movie industry. (I.E. the movie industry exists on a 4-5% profit margin, Canada is to blame for most of the movie piracy, etc.)

They were surprised to learn about some of the indiscriminate lawyering practices of the RI- and MP-AA., but then quickly rallied with, "Well, if the ISPs have the logs, doesn't that prove they were downloading?" They also had no clue as to what DRM is, or its implications (I.E. they are not very geek-oriented).

While I could have argued with them for a good long time, the particulars of the evening did not allow for me to hash it out.

What I am asking for is a concise, non-trollish, "Joe Six-Pack-friendly" explanation of DRM, piracy, with plenty of numbers to back up the claims (No brown numbers please). This is our chance to educate someone in the upper ranks of Sony Pictures with our concerns regarding DRM, why we think its a bad idea, and, most importantly, propose an alternate solution.

Any geek references will have to be explained thoroughly. We are talking to someone of a more upper-management point of view. However, knowing their personally, this person does listen.

Once again, this is for someone who is willing to hear us out. Please do not troll, grief, etc."
Security

Journal: Damn....breakin attempt foiled by $2 hardware screw 12

Journal by nizo

Someone tried to break into my house; it looks like they shot a hole in the window with a pellet gun and tried to undo the latch. Thanks bastards for cracking my window, but little did you know that short of a crowbar, you will never move the little $2 screw thingy that keeps the windows shut. Luckily it was one of the windows I wanted to replace anyway, but still damn....

Intel

+ - Paul Murphy: "Intel Macs Are Killing the Plane

Submitted by Leeenux
Leeenux (891519) writes "According to LinuxInsider's Paul Murphy, Apple's migration from PowerPC to Intel processors resulted in a massive spike in power consumption that has hurt economic diversity of the US and devastated the environment. Even worse, he suggests, it involves scandal on the part of Apple board member Al Gore. RDM disagrees: Paul Murphy's 'Intel Macs Are Killing the Planet' Myth."
Operating Systems

+ - Are .tmp files necessary or just bad programming?

Submitted by planckscale
planckscale (579258) writes "After spending another hour deleting .tmp files from a bloated XP machine I started to wonder, is the .tmp file necessary when coding an application on the MS platform? Why do so many apps produce .tmp files and is it just because of bad coding or does the use of them dramatically speed up an app? Don't coders use dev/null to reduce them in linux? I can understand the use of them in case an app crashes for recovery purposes, but why don't more apps have the capacity to delete their own .tmp files once they are done with them? Is it too much to ask to at least have the option when closing an app to delete your temp files?"
Security

+ - The Pirate Bay Gets Hacked

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "A group of hackers has stolen a list of all 1.6 million usernames and passwords for registered users of file-sharing site The Pirate Bay. Computer Sweden reports that the sensitive information was accessed by a group calling itself Angry Young Hackers (Arga Unga Hackare — AUH). Source: http://www.thelocal.se/7280/20070511/"
Microsoft

Why Doesn't Microsoft Have A Cult Religion? 535

Posted by Zonk
from the hats-would-be-really-weird-looking dept.
rs232 writes "'Apple has one. So does the Java community, Oracle, IBM, and Google. Lord knows anyone who uses Linux or free and open source software is dedicated to spreading the gospel of St. Linus Torvalds and St. Richard Stallman. But does anyone really worship the Gods of Redmond?' While many Microsoft employees are pumped to work there, article author Michael Singer explores why even enthusiastic Microsoft-watchers acknowledge that customers and product developers are unenthusiastic about the software giant. He theorizes that it comes down to passion: Microsoft lost that a long time ago, he says, and so passionate people gravitate to other projects and products."

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