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Submission + - Google OS Announced 12

shystershep writes: "Rumors have been floating around for years that Google was planning an OS to compete with Window. As of Tuesday night, it is official: "So today, we're announcing a new project that's a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It's our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be. Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010." It is separate from the Android mobile OS, will run on both x86 and ARM processors, and is aimed primarily at web use. Other than that, details are scarce."

Submission + - 'Hacker' loses extradition appeal (bbc.co.uk)

clickclickdrone writes: "Yet another example of laws designed to fight terrorism being used elsewhere, British hacker Gary McKinnon has lost his Law Lords appeal against being extradited to stand trial in the US. Gary McKinnon, 42, could face a life sentence if found guilty of gaining access to 97 American military and Nasa computers from his London home. Glasgow-born Mr McKinnon admits breaking into the computers but says he was trying to find information on UFOs. He lost his case at the High Court in 2006 before taking it to the Lords. He is being extradited using the asymetric agreeements put in place between the US and UK designed to help with fighting terrorism but as is so often the case, the US has yet to hold up its side of the deal when it comes to shipping its own citizens abroad for trials."

Submission + - Beating Comcast (now without iptables!) (uwaterloo.ca)

The author writes: "A number of solutions exist to Comcast's spurious reset message attack on bittorrent. However, these solutions demand iptable wizardry and super-user permissions. I have a simple way of circumventing TCP reset flag censorship: a TCP-over-UDP tunnel with user-level TCP stacks. Importantly, it only needs end-users to upgrade their torrent client. Unfortunately, it can't be finished now because I'm swamped finishing my Thesis instead. I've prepared a short document outlining the solution, and I have the hardest part already implemented as a library. All that's left is a Bittorrent developer (or perhaps Comcast subscriber) to read this and decide whether its worth lending a hand.

For the record, I don't use Comcast, but I object to violating the venerable TCP Protocol:
"As a general rule, reset (RST) must be sent whenever a segment arrives which apparently is not intended for the current connection. A reset must not be sent if it is not clear that this is the case." Using resets to censor connections deemed unfit by an ISP is not a specified use."

PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Microtransactions coming to Spore?

Goldberg's Pants writes: In a conference call, the CEO of Electronic Arts has indicated if Spore is a success then in a year or so they may "monetize body parts, plant parts, car parts, planets — as a way to generate incremental revenue off an install base of several million active users." Couple this with the inevitably copy protection debacle that will ensue around release time, and Spore is looking less attractive with each passing week.
The Internet

Submission + - What's in your RSS Feeds? 2

oncehour writes: I'm looking to broaden my horizons in terms of news, industry information, and just generally good to know stuff. I've found a lot of great blogs and websites over the years but I'm wondering what Slashdotters read regularly? What's in your RSS feeds?

Submission + - improve developer workstations in corporate env

An anonymous reader writes: I'm a software consultant in a medium-sized company, where we are are a minority of the rest of the company's business. This means that the IT department's primary focus is to use heavyweight governance software to keep their non-techie users' machines running smoothly. e.g. Altiris inventory/management software for stuff we can just as easily manage ourselves, full hard-drive encryption, and slow anti-virus software as the standard operating system image.

All this corporate management software really slows down our development build and test cycles, so I'm wondering if others have solved this problem in a way that doesn't make life risky or painful for either the IT staff or us. e.g. Any experience with the following ideas?

- Put the software team on a VLAN, where we can have more relaxed security requirements. When we need to get at internal systems, we'd VPN in.
- Some kind of a Hypervisor setup with only VMs and no hosts?


Submission + - Where are all the girly TV torrents?

An anonymous reader writes: No, no, I'm not talking about pr0n here.
I tried introducing my wife to automatic TV torrent services the other day, such as TED and TV RSS. Her response was "Cool! So can I use this to see What Not To Wear?" Well...no. You see, that's not really a geek-friendly show.

Torrents are available for many categories of films and TV shows. The more geek-friendly they are, the more likely they are to be available. The more generally popular they are, the more likely they are to be available. But if you were asked to name one subject where geeks are famously ignorant, wouldn't it be What Not To Wear? And it's not just that show. There are plenty of others that you wouldn't expect to attract a geeky fanbase that are typically absent from most torrent sites, and certainly from the RSS feeds.

My point is not that torrent users need to get into these shows. It's that if RSS torrents are ever to become a mainstream commodity we need to get a broader user base. And that means a broader set of shows. So where are they?

Submission + - How to keep the Sales dept from selling vaporware?

An anonymous reader writes: My organization creates software for corporations and professionals. We have a set up establish products, i.e., we are absolutely not a consulting firm. However, the sales department is extremely aggressive. One of two things happens:
  1. Sales sells something that does not exist, or a "vision"
  2. Sales sells a proof of concept, experiment, alpha version, etc.
It's almost like internal espionage; somehow they find out what's new, then sign a contract to deliver it. This type of behavior is allowable in the organization, so there's no adequate business solution. I know I'm not the only one that lives in a world like this. So for those of you who share that world with me: how you protect research and development efforts? How do you encourage advancement and creativity without committing to productizing it? What type of positive reinforcement can one provide to engineers to discourage leaking R&D info?

The Curse of Knowledge Bogs Down Innovation 260

Secret of Raising Smart Kids writes ""I have a DVD remote control with 52 buttons on it, and every one of them is there because some engineer along the line knew how to use that button and believed I would want to use it, too," says David Heath, co-author of "Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die." The "curse of knowledge," is the paradox that as our knowledge and expertise increase, our creativity and ability to innovate tend to taper off because the walls of the box we think inside of thicken along with our experience. An article in the NY Times proposes a solution to the curse: bring outsiders with no experience onto teams to keep creativity and innovation on track. When experts have to slow down and go back to basics to bring an outsider up to speed, "it forces them to look at their world differently and, as a result, they come up with new solutions to old problems." Another solution is to force yourself to become a beginner again like making yourself shoot basketball left-handed."

Comment Re:well (Score 2, Insightful) 609

Personally, I'd avoid wikipedia math articles. They start out basic, but quickly get much deeper than he wants. Attempting to actually /learn/ the basics from them is doomed. When a person who is relearning math looks for the distance formula, they want the 2d formula, not it generalized to n dimensions.

Submission + - Linux Network Access per User 1

Anonymous Coward writes: "I'd like to offer shell access to my users, but have been surprised at the lack of restrictions that I can place on them. Disk space quotas are trivial. But what about bandwidth quotas? What about allowing listening but not outgoing sockets, or perhaps the other way around? Disallowing net access for certain groups? I've found no way to do these things, and the 'ports over 1024' restriction for regular users simply doesn't cut it these days.

I should think that my users could be allowed to run their own server programs if so desired without being allowed to run rampant. It seems that I can either block >1024 incoming at the firewall, or let it be abused.

What would you do?"

Submission + - Algorithm That Seemlesly Patches Holes in Images (cmu.edu)

Beetle B. writes: "From the site:

'What can you do with a million images? In this paper we present a new image completion algorithm powered by a huge database of photographs gathered from the Web. The algorithm patches up holes in images by finding similar image regions in the database that are not only seamless but also semantically valid. Our chief insight is that while the space of images is effectively infinite, the space of semantically differentiable scenes is actually not that large. For many image completion tasks we are able to find similar scenes which contain image fragments that will convincingly complete the image. Our algorithm is entirely data-driven, requiring no annotations or labelling by the user. Unlike existing image completion methods, our algorithm can generate a diverse set of image completions and we allow users to select among them. We demonstrate the superiority of our algorithm over existing image completion approaches.'

English translation: The algorithm replaces arbitrarily shaped blank areas in an image with portions of images from a huge catalog in a totally seamless manner."

United States

Submission + - Highway 35W Collapses into Mississippi (wcco.com)

dcapel writes: "In what has been called the worst engineering disaster in decades, a bridge of highway 35W, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has collapsed into the Mississippi. The collapse took place during late rush-hour traffic, so an estimated 50 cars were on the bridge at the time. There is no evidence for terrorist involvement, but an engineering or safety flaw of immense proportions must have been involved. As someone who was working only blocks away at the time, this happened entirely too close to home."

"Falling in love makes smoking pot all day look like the ultimate in restraint." -- Dave Sim, author of Cerebrus.