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Comment Re:First instance? (Score 5, Funny) 90

They trendsourced it.

As MrEricSir once wrote: (

Def. trendsource
-verb: to solve problems using popular buzzwords

("The water utility trendsourced the cyberhack by integrating crowdsourcing with Agile methodologies automated with a SOAP communication layer.")


Submission + - Netflix Prize Comes To A Buzzer-Beater, Nailbiting->

suraj.sun writes: Netflix Prize Comes To A Buzzer-Beater, Nailbiting Finish

Since we reported ( ) on the contest last night, two teams in the Netflix Prize have spent the last few hours jumping back and forth on the Netflix leaderboard ( ) as the three-year-long competition ticked into its final moments, with last minute sniping submissions coming from both sides.

Finally, the results are in: The Ensemble has managed to come from behind to upset BellKor's Pragmatic Chaos with a top submission of 10.10% — an improvement of .01% — only 4 minutes before the contest closed.

Last night, a team called The Ensemble managed to one-up team BelKor with a score of 10.09%, less than 24 hours before the close of the competition. BellKor was clearly still hard at work — it managed to tie the Ensemble with a score of 10.09% with only around 24 minutes remaining in the competition.

But they were to be foiled once more: with only four minutes left, The Ensemble struck back with a score of 10.10% to regain the top spot on the Netflix leaderboard. Soon thereafter a notice ( ) went up on the Netflix homepage stating that there were to be no more submissions.

Update: Yehuda Koren of BellKor's Pragmatic Chaos has posted ( ) on the contest's forums that BellKor came out with the lowest Test score, though it appears that Netflix has yet to confirm this.

Techcrunch :

NetflixPrize :

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Knuth Requests Math & Algorithms Not Be Patent->

eldavojohn writes: Donald Knuth is reaching out to the EU Patent Office in an effort to avoid making algorithms patentable--he feels this has been a mistake in America. He recently sent the EU Patent Office Commissioner a 1994 letter he had originally sent to the United States Patent Office about patenting software. His argument is simple: (1) math cannot be patented (2) all algorithms are math (3) all software is one or more algorithms and so follows that software cannot be patentable. The USPTO replied by defining non-mathematical software to be patentable while purely mathematical software is not. Knuth sums himself up nicely: 'Basically I remain convinced that the patent policy most fair and most suitable for the world will regard mathematical ideas (such as algorithms) to be not subject to proprietary patent rights. For example, it would be terrible if somebody were to have a patent on an integer, like say 1009, so that nobody would be able to use that number "with further technical effect" without paying for a license. Although many software patents have unfortunately already been granted in the past, I hope that this practice will not continue in future. If Europe leads the way in this, I expect many Americans would want to emigrate so that they could continue to innovate in peace.' Will the EPO listen? Personally I'm more concerned about someone starting to patent software patterns like model-view-controller--boy that would make my job difficult!
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Could a meteor have brought down Air France 447? 1

niktemadur writes: In light of an Air Comet pilot's report to Air France, Airbus and the Spanish civil aviation authority that, during a Monday flight from Lima to Lisbon "Suddenly, we saw in the distance a strong and intense flash of white light, which followed a descending and vertical trajectory and which broke up in six seconds", the Cosmic Variance blog team on the Discover Magazine website muses on the question "What is the probability that, for all flights in history, one or more could have been downed by a meteor?". Taking into account total flight hours and the rate of meteoric activity with the requisite mass to impact on Earth (approximately 3,000 a day), some quick math suggests there may be one in twenty odds of a plane being brought down in the period from 1989 to 2009. Intriguingly, in the aftermath of TWA flight 800's crash in 1996, the New York Times published a letter by Columbia professors Charles Hailey (physics) and David Helfand (astronomy), in which they stated the odds of a meteor-airplane collision for aviation history up to that point: one in ten.

Submission + - Norwegian court rules: Indexing sites not legal 1

geirendre writes: The court of Norways capitol "Oslo Tingrett" have ruled that indexing internet sites without prior consent from the owner to be illegal. Link to original article (in Norwegian) The court states that "indexing a site is copying content" and thus violates copyright laws. In other words, what Google (and other search engines) does when it indexes sites, is illegal.

Submission + - Best MP3 player for Linux?

Jiminy K writes: My trusty iPod 5G looks like it's about to give up the ghost, so I'm in the market for something new that can do roughly the same things--hold 30GB and play MP3s and video files, basically. But as a Linux guy, I'm also fed up with booting into Windows whenever I want to put new songs or videos onto it (Amarok won't sync videos correctly), and anyone who's been reading Slashdot iPod threads knows that the newer models of iPod are even harder to get working with free software at all. So I figured I'd give you guys the opportunity to plug anyone who does get it right. Which non-Apple MP3 players on the market work best with Linux, and what software/firmware will I need? Or would sticking with Steve be less of a PITA overall?
Data Storage

How To Verify CD-R Data Retention Over Time? 303

Peter (Professor) Fo writes "I've recently had two CD-Rs reported to me as faulty which are just 3 years old. This is worrying — I suspect the failure rate for this batch could be 10%. When researching CD longevity there is old and unreliable information; pious 'how to cosset your discs so they last 100 years' blurb; and endless discussions of what sort of dye to use, don't use cheap media, burn slower (or don't), but not much by way of hard facts besides there's a lot of data loss going on. Does anyone know of a generic utility (win or *nix would suit me) that can map sector readability/error rates of CDs? I'd like to measure decay over time in my environment with my media and my other variables; and I expect others would too."

Comment Ok, seriously... enough with the Sept. 11 crap (Score 5, Insightful) 409

Yes, I'll probably get modded troll or something for this, but it needs saying.

There's many comments in here about "oh, what about Sept. 11... couldn't they pick a better day?" and the like.

NEWS FLASH: The rest of the world does NOT come to a screeching halt every Sept. 11th. All points of business are NOT put on hold on that one day of the year. The rest of the world has moved on, if they even stopped to begin with. GET OVER IT!

LHC isn't even located in the USA for christ sakes.

Yes, the Sept. 11 events were sad, but seriously... stop criticizing all events taking place somewhere on earth on or around that date.


Submission + - Why is Firehose so hostile? 15

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Can anyone explain to me why Slashdot's Firehose is made to be so unfriendly? It's a great idea, but in practice it's infuriating. If you see a submitted article, and click on one of the links, you can't go back to the story. You have to start all over again. If you set the filters to what you're interested in, you have to re-set them all over again. Even if you just RTFA you are punished by losing your settings. Why shouldn't Slashdot encourage people to participate in the Firehose. For a busy person, it's almost impossible to be involved. And this bizarre lack of 'stickiness' makes everything take 10 times as much times as it needs to."

Submission + - Who thinks Firehose software is working right? 6

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "I find the Firehose software to be infuriating. It seems to have no 'stickiness' but constantly reverts to other views and searches than what I was looking at. I'm about ready to give up on it unless they tell me they recognize it's dumb and are doing something to make it work right. Am I the only one who feels this way?"

Submission + - Facebook Widget Installs Zango Spyware ->

BaCa writes: A malicious Facebook Widget actively spreading on the social networking site ultimately prompts users to install the infamous "Zango" adware/spyware. The tremendous success and lightning fast expansion of Facebook empowered the social networking giant with an impressive user base. Needless to say, in a digital world where web traffic equals money, such a user base attracts spammers, virus/spyware seeders, and other ethic-less online marketers like honey would attract flies.
Link to Original Source
The Courts

Submission + - Atheists not allowed to adopt children-> 4

gollum123 writes: "From Time, After six years of childless marriage, John and Cynthia Burke of Newark decided to adopt a baby boy through a state agency (,9171,877155,00.html ) . John Burke, an atheist, and his wife, a pantheist, left the line for religious affiliation blank on the forms. Superior Court Judge William Camarata raised the religious issue. Inestimable Privilege. In an extraordinary decision, Judge Camarata denied the Burkes' right to the child because of their lack of belief in a Supreme Being. Despite the Burkes' "high moral and ethical standards," he said, the New Jersey state constitution declares that "no person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshiping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience." Despite Eleanor Katherine's tender years, he continued, "the child should have the freedom to worship as she sees fit, and not be influenced by prospective parents who do not believe in a Supreme Being." Two weeks ago, aided by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Burkes appealed directly to the New Jersey Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case. If they fail in their appeal, Eleanor Katherine may have to leave the only family she has ever known and await adoption by another couple whose religious convictions satisfy the State of New Jersey."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Spirit Rover 4 Years Old

Brandee07 writes: Designed for a 90 day mission, the Spirit Mars Rover is starting its 4th year of exploration. Opportunity will turn four on Jan 25. From the article: "We never thought we'd still be driving these robots all over Mars," said Mark Lemmon, a planetary scientist at Texas A&M University and member of the rover science team. "We joked about driving Opportunity into Victoria Crater, but now we're there, and we're looking at doing even more science. Each day they still work is an amazing one."

If you didn't have to work so hard, you'd have more time to be depressed.