For the last 10 years, I have been asking people more knowledgeable than I, "How big should my swap be?" and the answer has always been "Just set it to twice your RAM and forget about it." In the old days, it wasn't much to think about — 128 megs of RAM means 256 megs of swap. Now that I have 4 gigs of RAM in my laptop, I find myself wondering, "Is 8 gigs of swap really necessary?" How much swap does the average desktop user really need? Does the whole "twice your RAM" rule still apply? If so, for how much longer will it likely apply? Or will it always apply? Or have I been consistently misinformed over the last 10 years?
An anonymous reader writes "If you have 10 minutes to spare, take a look at an archive that Google has posted to mark the company's 10th anniversary. The search engine and its results are based on data from 2001, but it's interesting to see what turns up when popular 2008 terms are entered. For instance, iPod generates a reference to Image Proof of Deposit Document Processing System, and the 771 Barack Obama results centered around his duties as an Illinois State Senator."
Ian Lamont writes "The recent news that China will run out of IPv4 addresses in a few years points to slow adoption of IPv6 in some developed countries. Now it turns out that the largest number of networks displaying new IPv6 address blocks are registered through AfriNIC, which services networks in Africa and the Indian Ocean. While AfriNIC has a smaller installed base than other regions, many countries in Africa are showing rapid growth in terms of online connectivity."
cgjherr writes "If the recent financial meltdown has left you wondering, 'When does exponential decay function stop?' then I have the book for you. Advanced Excel for Scientific Data Analysis is the kind of book that only comes along every twenty years. A tome so densely packed with scientific and mathematical formulas that it almost dares you to try and understand it all. A "For Dummies" book starts with a gentle introduction to the technology. This is more like a "for Mentats" book. It assumes that you know Excel very well. The first chapter alone will have you in awe as you see the author turn the lowly Excel into something that rivals Mathematica using VBA, brains, and a heaping helping of fortitude." Read on for the rest of Jack's review.
Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes "The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that the state's anti-spam law, which prohibits the sending of bulk e-mail using falsified or forged headers, violates the First Amendment because it also applies to non-commercial political or religious speech. I agree that an anti-spam law should not outlaw anonymous non-commercial speech. But the decision contains statements about IP addresses, domain names, and anonymity that are rather basically wrong, and which may enable the state to win on appeal. The two basic errors are: concluding that anonymous speech on the Internet requires forged headers or other falsified information (and therefore that a ban on forged headers is an unconstitutional ban on anonymous speech), and assuming that use of forged headers actually does conceal the IP address that the message was sent from, which it does not." Click that magical little link below to read the rest of his story.
Khemisty writes "Earth may be trapped in an abnormal bubble of space-time that is particularly void of matter. Scientists say this condition could account for the apparent acceleration of the universe's expansion, for which dark energy currently is the leading explanation. Until now, there has been no good way to choose between dark energy or the void explanation, but a new study outlines a potential test of the bubble scenario. If we were in an unusually sparse area of the universe, then things could look farther away than they really are and there would be no need to rely on dark energy as an explanation for certain astronomical observations. 'If we lived in a very large under-density, then the space-time itself wouldn't be accelerating,' said researcher Timothy Clifton of Oxford University in England. 'It would just be that the observations, if interpreted in the usual way, would look like they were.'"
ancientribe writes "Hacker RSnake blogs about a newly discovered and deadly denial-of-service attack that could well be the next big threat to the Internet as a whole. It goes after a broadband Internet connection and KOs machines on the other end such that they stay offline even after the attack is over. It spans various systems, too: the pair of Swedish researchers who found it have already contacted firewall, operating system, and Web-enabled device vendors whose products are vulnerable to this attack." Listen to the interview (MP3) — English starts a few minutes in — and you might find yourself convinced that we have a problem. The researchers claim that they have been able to take down every system with a TCP/IP stack that they have attempted; and they know of no fix or workaround.
Croakyvoice writes "Finally, months after the official announcement, 3,000 lucky people can now pre-order Pandora, possibly the world's fastest handheld console. It boasts a processor capable of up to 900 MHZ, PowerVR 3D graphics, a large 800x480 LCD touchscreen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, dual SD card slots, TV out, dual analogue and digital controls, a clamshell DS Lite-style shape, and a 43-button mini keyboard. The console already boasts an amazing amount of ready-for-release software such as Ubuntu and many full-speed emulators for systems such as Snes, Amiga, Megadrive, and many more that are not publicly announced yet. The console is as powerful as the original Xbox and on a par with the Nintendo Wii. Those interested should visit OpenPandora.Org. For the full history of Pandora from inception until the present, check out the Pandora Homebrew Site."
Canadian scientists have created a device that efficiently removes CO2 from the atmosphere. "The proposed air capture system differs from existing carbon capture and storage technology ... while CCS involves installing equipment at, say, a coal-fired power plant to capture CO2 produced during the coal-burning process, ... air capture machines will be able to literally remove the CO2 present in ambient air everywhere. [The team used] ... a custom-built tower to capture CO2 directly from the air while requiring less than 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity per tonne of carbon dioxide."
pgn674 writes "While the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 failed to pass in the House of Representatives, two other bills of interest to this community are currently moving through the US lawmaking process. One is the Broadband Data Improvement Act, which Communications Workers of America claims will help us towards bringing high-speed Internet access to all Americans. It will have the FCC increase their granularity in reporting the Internet accessibility of an area in the US, and redefine broadband measurements. It has passed through the House and the Senate, and differences in the passed versions are currently being resolved. The other bill is the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008. Pandora is excited for this one as it will give them time to negotiate with SoundExchange (i.e. the RIAA) for new, more affordable royalty rates. The bill is currently in the Senate, and is expected to pass with ease."
gravis777 sends us to BoingBoing for news that the International Olympic Committee has trademarked a line from the Canadian National Anthem and is threatening to sue anyone who uses it. The line in question is "with glowing hearts." "The committee is so serious about protecting the Olympic brand it managed to get a landmark piece of legislation passed in the House of Commons last year that made using certain phrases related to the Games a violation of law. The list includes the number 2010 and the word 'winter,' phrases that normally couldn't be trademarked because they are so general."