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Comment Re:Malaria treatments (Score 1) 311

I'll second that one, but I think you could go one better and say water purification technology. According to the WHO, 1 in 5 people don't have access to clean drinking water on a daily basis. You could not only stem the tide of a lot of diseases, you'd also positively impact infant mortality rates. By my thinking, this would probably have the single biggest impact on humanity's collective quality of life.

Comment Needs assessment? (Score 2) 319

How much time do you have to invest in this project, and how deep does their knowledge need to be?

I learned more from doing a slackware install (back in about '98 or so) then from all my experience with other Linux installs. I've heard people say similar things about Gentoo/Portage, so YMMV, but a distro that more or less forces people to do things by hand will both teach them, and teach them respect for, the system. You mention two systems that use apt, and one that uses rpm... Pick one architecture, your IT staff will thank you later.

You may simply want to give them an up-to-date Ubuntu (or Mint) that has several window manager/desktop environments installed, and let them experience the different UI flavors available... assuming that your company hasn't made the decision already. As someone else not-so-shallowly pointed out, you should have made a decision already, so train them on the distro your core dev team is using! Seriously, there are major support implications of allowing joe user to run off the flavor-of-the-month they just downloaded on a whim from distrowatch...

Comment film-making applications of this technology?!? (Score 1) 82

a bit prohibitively-expensive for the backyard amateur filmmaker, but I'd be curious to see what FX-guys like George Romero/Tom Savini/KNB group would do with this technology. i think old-school, in-camera analog effects are always more dramatic... how will the next Martin Scorcese or Sam Peckinpah make use of this?!?

Comment Also, bias in handedness (Score 1) 638

I was testing the original iBook (the toilet seat cover-looking one) at Apple computers many years ago, and I complained to a friend that the USB ports were on the left-hand side. The original hockey-puck mouse had a fifteen inch cable, so this was especially annoying. "Only one out of nine people are left-handed... this makes no sense!" I fumed...

There was an Apple engineer there who was listening intently, and chimed in, "You're absolutely right--but do you know how many *Mac* users are left-handed?" No.... "One in two."

Never got any confirmation on that one, but it has seemed to jibe with personal experience... as well as the "liberal Mac vs. conservative PC" thing, hardly surprising.

Comment Re:Seriously? Do your own job. (Score 1) 286

I think you're getting old and crotchety. In my day, you'd start doing your research and educating yourself through USENET groups. Then #freenode on IRC. Why do you deem Ask Slashdot an inappropriate place to begin a geek's self-education?

Where else, then, should one begin? Google is a corporate entity with advertiser influence and paid links (*cough* do no evil *cough*), and frequently the offerings on faqs.org are anemic or out-of-date.

Maybe some enterprising geeks could comb through the most commented Ask Slashdot postings, cull the best of the 5-scored postings and summarize them into a BBS-style Ask Slashdot FAQ. (This is a good place to learn; let's not flame those with questions beneath our current, personal level of knowledge, hmm?)

just my .02


A Flood of Stable Linux Kernels Released 105

Julie188 writes "Greg Kroah-Hartman has released five new stable Linux kernels, correcting minor errors of their predecessors and including improvements which are unlikely to generate new errors. As so often with kernel versions in the stable series, it remains undisclosed if the new versions contain changes which fix security vulnerabilities, although the number of changes and some of the descriptions of those changes certainly suggest that all the new versions contain security fixes."

Japanese Turning To "Therapeutic Ringtones" 75

indiavision writes "A host of young Japanese are drawn to the allure of 'therapeutic ringtones' — a genre of melodies that promises to ease a range of day-to-day gripes, from chronic insomnia to a rotten hangover. Developed by Matsumi Suzuki, the head of the Japan Ringing Tone Laboratory, an eight-year-old subsidiary of the Japan Acoustic Laboratory, the tones are a hit with housewives as well as teenagers."
Input Devices

Best Mouse For Programming? 569

LosManos writes "Which is the best programming mouse? Mandatory musts are wireless, and that it doesn't clog up like old mechanical mice. Present personal preferences are for: lots of buttons, since if I have moved my hand away from the keyboard I can at least do something more than move the pointer; sturdy feeling; not too light, so it doesn't move around by me accidentally looking at it." What would you recommend?

At Atlantic Records, Digital Sales Surpass CDs 273

The NYTimes reports that Atlantic is the first major label to report getting a majority of its revenue from digital sales, not CDs. Analysts say that Atlantic is out in front — the industry as a whole isn't expected to hit the 50% mark until 2011. By 2013, music industry revenues will be 37% down from their 1999 levels (when Napster arrived on the scene), according to Forrester. "'It's not at all clear that digital economics can make up for the drop in physical,' said John Rose, a former executive at EMI ... Instead, the music industry is now hoping to find growth from a variety of other revenue streams it has not always had access to, like concert ticket sales and merchandise from artist tours. ... In virtually all... corners of the media world, executives are fighting to hold onto as much of their old business as possible while transitioning to digital — a difficult process that NBC Universal's chief executive ... has described as 'trading analog dollars for digital pennies.'"

Bay Area To Install Electric Vehicle Grid 388

Mike writes "Recently San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland unveiled a massive concerted effort to become the electric vehicle capitol of the United States. The Bay Area will be partnering with Better Place to create an essential electric vehicle infrastructure, marking a huge step towards the acceptance of electric vehicles as a viable alternative to those that run on fossil fuels." Inhabitat.com has some conceptual illustrations and a map showing EV infrastructure, such as battery exchange stations, stretching from Sacramento to San Diego — though this is far more extensive than the Bay Area program actually announced, which alone is estimated to cost $1 billion.

Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky