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Comment: Re:Another thousand page book of examples (Score 3, Insightful) 33

by chicagotypewriter (#37147026) Attached to: Book Review: The Python Standard Library By Example

The Python library documentation isn't bad, as such things go.

True, the documentation isn't bad. However, example code is almost entirely missing in most cases, which is where this book comes in. It's not a documentation replacement, it's a supplement.

Google

Nexus One Name Irks Philip K. Dick's Estate 506

Posted by samzenpus
from the acting-like-a-dick dept.
RevWaldo writes "According to the Wall Street Journal, the estate of Philip K. Dick says the name of Google's new smartphone infringes on the famous character name from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Isa Dick Hackett, a daughter of Mr. Dick, states Google has its 'Android system, and now they are naming a phone "Nexus One." It's not lost on the people who are somewhat familiar with this novel... Our legal team is dealing head-on with this.'"
The Internet

At Current Rates, Only a Few More Years' Worth of IPv4 Addresses 460

Posted by timothy
from the so-last-decade dept.
An anonymous reader excerpts from an interesting article at Ars Technica, which begins "There are 3,706,650,624 usable IPv4 addresses. On January 1, 2000, approximately 1,615 million (44 percent) were in use and 2,092 million were still available. Today, ten years later, 2,985 million addresses (81 percent) are in use, and 722 million are still free. In that time, the number of addresses used per year increased from 79 million in 2000 to 203 million in 2009. So it's a near certainty that before Barack Obama vacates the White House, we'll be out of IPv4 address[es]. (Even if he doesn't get re-elected.)"
Communications

Cursive Writing Is a Fading Skill — Does It Matter? 857

Posted by kdawson
from the something's-gained-and-something's-lost dept.
antdude sends along an AP piece on the decline of the teaching of cursive writing in schools — ramifications of which we've discussed a few times before. "The decline of cursive is happening as students are doing more and more work on computers, including writing. In 2011, the writing test of the National Assessment of Educational Progress will require 8th and 11th graders to compose on computers, with 4th graders following in 2019. ... Handwriting is increasingly something people do only when they need to make a note to themselves rather than communicate with others, [an educator] said. Students accustomed to using computers to write at home have a hard time seeing the relevance of hours of practicing cursive handwriting. 'I am not sure students have a sense of any reason why they should vest their time and effort in writing a message out manually when it can be sent electronically in seconds.'"
Books

The Best and Worst Tech-Book Publishers? 271

Posted by timothy
from the little-pots-of-red-ink dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I am an author working on a technical book about an open-source software package. I am looking for a publisher, and I would like to hear experiences from any Slashdot authors. Who are the best publishers to work with and why are they great? Who are the worst publishers in the tech book business, and what nightmare/horror stories can you tell us about them? Any publishing company in particular you recommend avoiding? Any gems of advice (rights reversion, etc.) you can provide for first-time tech book authors?"
Security

How Can I Tell If My Computer Is Part of a Botnet? 491

Posted by timothy
from the check-if-you-are-running-windows dept.
ashraya writes "My father (not too computer literate) has a desktop and a laptop both running Windows in his network back in Hyderabad, India. I set up a Linksys router for him to use with his broadband service. For some reason, he reset the config on the Linksys, and connected it up without wireless security, and also with the default admin password for some time. As you would expect, both of the Windows computers got 'slow,' and the desktop stopped connecting to the internet completely for some reason. As I logged in remotely to 'fix' things, I noticed on the Linksys' log that the laptop was making seemingly random connections to high-numbered ports on various IPs. I did an nslookup on the IPs to see that they were all either in Canada or US, with Comcast and other ISP addresses. Is that a sign that the computers were in a botnet? Are the other hosts part of the botnet too? (I have since rebuilt the Windows hosts, and these connections are not happening now. I have also secured the Linksys.)"
Social Networks

Where Does a Geek Find a Social Life? 1354

Posted by kdawson
from the meet-space dept.
JustShootMe writes "I have a question for my fellow Slashdotters, and yes, I realize I am entering the lion's den covered in tasty meat-flavored sauce. I have never been a very social person, preferring to throw myself into technology; therefore, I've been spectacularly unsuccessful in developing any meaningful interpersonal relationships. Lately I have begun to feel that this situation is not tenable, and I would like to fix it. But I really don't know how and haven't the faintest idea where to start. I know that I am in the minority and that there are many different kinds of Slashdot readers, most of whom have more experience in this realm than I do. So please tell me: how, and more importantly, where do you meet fellow geeks — preferably including some of the opposite gender — in meatspace?"
Programming

Splash, Splatter, Sploosh, and Bloop! 100

Posted by samzenpus
from the wouold-you-like-some-ottamottapia-with-that dept.
Acoustic Bubble writes "Researchers at Cornell University have developed the first algorithm for synthesizing familiar bubble-based fluid sounds automatically from 3D fluid simulations, e.g, for future virtual environments. The research (entitled 'Harmonic Fluids') will appear at ACM SIGGRAPH 2009 in New Orleans in August 2009. Check out some videos of falling, pouring, splashing and babbling water simulations (computed on a Linux cluster)."
Christmas Cheer

What To Do With 78 USB Drives Next Christmas? 381

Posted by timothy
from the channel-the-mind-of-a-giftee dept.
ArfBrookwood writes "Every year, I write a Christmas Letter and send it to about 50 people, and every year, it's different. One year it was just the word blah blah blah over and over with keywords, one year I made papercraft wallets with full color cards and money in them, another year I created a Christmas Letter writing contest that instructed the recipients to create our Christmas Letter for us and we awarded prizes to winners, last year, I took a fake retro photo of my family, Inkscaped/GIMPed in a chemistry set and some wall art, printed it onto CD covers, and burned retro Christmas songs onto digital vinyl and sent everyone in the family what looked like a miniature Christmas album. Last week, I came into the possession of 78 2GB USB drives. I have already taken the time to wipe them clean and reflash the memory so they are blank slates." Now, Arf's looking for suggestions for how to best use all these drives; read on for more.
Businesses

Greenpeace Slams Apple For Environmental Record 271

Posted by Soulskill
from the green-apple-get-it dept.
nandemoari writes "According to a recent advertisement airing on American TV, Apple's new Macbooks (well-received by most technology critics) are 'the world's greenest family of notebooks.' It seems an indication that the Cupertino-based company is increasingly aware of a consumer base that demands green electronics. However, Greenpeace is less than enthused with Apple's overall green performance. In their report (PDF), the environmentalists argue that Apple 'needs to commit to phasing out additional substances with timelines, improve its policy on chemicals and its reporting on chemicals management.'" Ars Technica points out that Greenpeace's research isn't quite up-to-snuff, and it's also worth noting that Greenpeace admitted to targeting Apple for the publicity in the past.

IE 8 To Include New Security Tools 177

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the hopefully-half-of-them-work dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "Internet Explorer has been a security punching bag for years, and rightfully so. IE 6 was arguably the least secure browser of all time. But Microsoft has been trying to get their act together on security, and the new beta of IE 8, due in August, will have a slew of new security features, including protection against Type-1 cross-site scripting attacks, a better phishing filter and better security for ActiveX controls."
Transportation

NASA Tests Hypersonic Blackswift 487

Posted by timothy
from the for-a-romantic-honeymoon-cruise dept.
dijkstra writes "Blackswift was previously rumored to be a super secret hypersonic scramjet-based aircraft co-named HTV-3X, essentially a 21st century version of the SR-71. Today NASA has unveiled the real Blackswift (video link), which uses pulse detonation engines (PDEs). A PDE is essentially a modern version of the old V-1 buzz bomb engine. This engine requires significantly fewer moving parts and achieves much higher efficiency than a turbofan, and is technically able to go hypersonic without any kind of 'dual-stage' engine."
Businesses

Non-Compete Pacts Called Bad For Tech Innovation 190

Posted by kdawson
from the we-know-we-know dept.
carusoj writes in with NetworkWorld reporting from a panel at Harvard last week. It concluded that employee non-compete agreements have stifled tech startup development in Massachusetts, where the pacts are aggressively enforced, but failed to hold back the tech industry boom in states like California, where they are mostly unenforceable. We've discussed non-competes often here in the past; Techdirt made much the same point a year and a half back.
Social Networks

A Cautionary Tale of Open Source Social Technologies 330

Posted by kdawson
from the careful-what-you-let-go-viral dept.
eweekhickins writes "The 'country' drop-down menu on one organization's donations pages omits Israel as a country and includes 'Palestine.' Among other things, this means that Israelis can't donate to the organization from these pages; it also presents the risk of a PR nightmare for the organization. This EWeek story cautions that while basic Web 2.0 technologies combined with open source can be incredibly powerful and productive, they can also lead to disastrous results for an organization that isn't paying close enough attention."

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