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News

Boy Scouts Bully Hacker Scouts Into Submission 289

Posted by Soulskill
from the is-there-a-badge-for-being-obnoxious dept.
b1tbkt writes "Youth-focused Maker organization 'Hacker Scouts' has announced their decision to surrender their name due to bullying by the Boy Scouts of America. It appears that BSA has interpreted their federal charter to include a claim on any and all use of the term 'Scout' in an organization's name. The litmus test for such a claim, so far as I'm aware, is the likelihood of causing confusion. The term 'Scout' is sufficiently generic, though, and by this reasoning most every airline in the world would need to eliminate 'Airlines' from their name."
Windows

Ask Slashdot: What Should a Unix Fan Look For In a Windows Expert? 454

Posted by timothy
from the everyone-always-says-sense-of-humour dept.
andy5555 writes "I am hardcore Unix (and recently storage) fan responsible for our server department. Most of the servers run (you guessed it) different types of Unix. For quite a long time, Windows servers played very little role, but sometimes we get applications from our business departments which run only under Windows. So it seems that we have to take it seriously and hire a few Windows fans who would be able to take care of the (still small but growing) number of Windows servers. Since I am Unix fan, I have very little knowledge of Windows (some of my teammates may have more, but we are not experts). If I have to hire such a person I would like to find someone who is passionate about Windows. It is easy for me to recognize a Windows fan, but I don't know how to test his/her knowledge. There are some sites with typical Windows interview questions, but everybody can read them and prepare. How would you recommend the hiring process to proceed? What should I ask?"
NASA

NASA Uncovers Millions of New Black Holes 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the enough-for-everybody-so-please-share dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA today said its Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer satellite has unearthed a 'bonanza of new-found supermassive black holes and extreme galaxies called hot DOGs, or dust-obscured galaxies.' NASA said the latest discoveries help astronomers better understand how galaxies and the behemoth black holes at their centers grow and evolve together." The news was released in a press conference, and io9 has a comprehensive write-up about everything that was covered, including the Q&A session. Pretty pictures here.
Google

Is Google+ a Cathedral Or a Bazaar? 200

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the either-way-the-garden-is-walled dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With its recent mass suspension of accounts, Google has highlighted its desire to create a social network that is very different to the way many (including those whose accounts were suspended) would want to see it. The metaphor of the Cathedral and the Bazaar used for software development can be applied to the two types of social networks being proposed by Google on the one hand and the pseudonym supporters on the other. Google's Cathedral model emphasizes order and control whilst the bazaar model supports users who can be anonymous, have multiple identities, interact with anyone they please, and remain unobserved."
Earth

Volcano Erupts In Iceland 191

Posted by Soulskill
from the end-of-times-underway dept.
Reports are coming in that a volcano in Iceland called Grimsvotn has erupted, sending plumes of smoke 15km into the air. It was accompanied by a series of earthquakes, but all of them have been minor so far, and scientists don't believe the eruption will cause problems for air travel like 2010's Eyjafjallajokull event. Local coverage in Icelandic is available, as well as early pictures of the eruption.
Wireless Networking

Ma Bell Stifled Innovation, AT&T May Do the Same 354

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that's-crazy-talk dept.
An anonymous reader writes "AT&T recently announced it plans to acquire T-Mobile to create the largest wireless network in the US. If the deal is allowed to complete, it will create only three major players in the industry with Verizon being a close second and Sprint being a distant third. Sprint, along with consumer rights groups, have already cried foul. They argue that AT&T's proposed acquisition will stifle competition and innovation."
Movies

How Watchmen Killed 'R'-rated Fantasy Movies 771

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the oh-the-irony dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Of all the Hollywood properties consigned to development hell in the reductionist policy of the last 3-4 years of bad economy, the very last to have a prospect of a green light are expensive fantasy and SF projects that fall outside the 'family' remit. Not even the addition of James Cameron to David Fincher's Heavy Metal remake has stopped its begging-bowl passage from studio to studio; Robert Rodriguez's propriety of the Barbarella remake likewise toured the world in vain, apparently unmindful of the very unusual set of cultural and demographic circumstances that caused a major studio to back an 'erotic space opera' in 1968 — and to the fact that these circumstances are not likely to reoccur. David Fincher lamented in 2008 that the creation of dazzling artificial movie worlds is limited to family-friendly output — but in the long wake of the box-office disappointment of the 'R'-rated Watchmen movie, there seems no current prospect that the adults will ever get to play with the kids' toys again." The most frustrating part of this is that Watchmen was actually *good*.
Facebook

How Facebook Responded To Tunisian Hacks 227

Posted by Soulskill
from the occupying-the-town-of-zuckerberg dept.
jamie writes "Facebook's security team opens up, shedding light on a revolution that could become a parable for Internet activism. Quoting: 'After more than ten days of intensive investigation and study, Facebook's security team realized something very, very bad was going on. The country's Internet service providers were running a malicious piece of code that was recording users' login information when they went to sites like Facebook. By January 5, it was clear that an entire country's worth of passwords were in the process of being stolen right in the midst of the greatest political upheaval in two decades. Sullivan and his team decided they needed a country-level solution — and fast. Though Sullivan said Facebook has encountered a wide variety of security problems and been involved in various political situations, they'd never seen anything like what was happening in Tunisia.'"
IT

Disempowering the Singular Sysadmin? 433

Posted by kdawson
from the trust-but-verify dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Practically every computer system appears to be at the mercy of at least one individual who holds root (or whatever other superuser identity can destroy or subvert that system). However, making a system require multiple individuals for any root operation (think of the classic two-key process to launch a nuke) has shortcomings: simple operations sometimes require root, and would be enormously cumbersome if they needed a consensus of administrators to execute. There is the idea of a Distributed Administration Network, which is like a cluster of independently administered servers, but this is a limited case for deployment of certain applications. And besides, DAN appears still to be vaporware. Are there more sweeping yet practical solutions out there for avoiding the weakness of a singular empowered superuser?"
Handhelds

When Should I Buy an Android Tablet? 396

Posted by Soulskill
from the definitely-prior-to-the-apocalypse dept.
jpyeck writes "I've deliberately avoided the smartphone craze, due to the fact I've never utilized any phone (landline or otherwise) enough to justify the monthly fees. But the geek in me craves the 'smart' part of the equation, especially since I got a bonus this year-end that is burning a hole in my pocket. The iPad is out of the question because I need a bit more hack-ability in my gadgets. I am drooling over the Android Honeycomb demo from the CES. I've had my eye on the Galaxy Tab, though it sounds like it won't support Honeycomb. The Xoom looks great, but who knows when it will come out? The consensus seems to be 'wait a few months for Honeycomb.' If you were me, with limited patience, would you buy an Android tablet now? If so, which?"

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