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Comment: My ex the writer (Score 1) 391

by figa (#33861456) Attached to: Word Processors — One Writer's Further Retreat

My ex wrote a novel that was published by Viking a few years ago and got a fair amount of critical acclaim.

When she first started working on it, in '99, I gave her my old laptop with Debian and Gedit. She did 50 or so pages, and then decided to move to Word to print it out. All the line-breaks were messed up, and she never forgave me. I did eventually set her up with a nice netbook and Openoffice, but it was too late, and now we're divorced.

She went from Gedit, which she hated to Word, which she hated, to OpenOffice, which she admires for its ability to reproduce all the defects in Word. On a good day, it's a tool, and like any tool, if you use it regularly, at some point you're going to hurt yourself with it.

If anything is a distraction, it's not the editor, cursor, or background color, it's wifi. Get a laptop with a Broadcom chipset, and you'll be incredibly productive.

I still get half the royalties from the book, so buy it and help me pay for my child support.

The Internet

Web Singletons? 254

Posted by timothy
from the magrathea-dot-com dept.
tcmb writes "There are an uncounted number of web mail and picture sharing services, there are more than enough web sites for online bookmark management and friend-finding, but as far as I know there is only one Internet Archive. Which are the true web singletons, services that exist only once in this form?" And does anything approach the singular time-wasting abilities of IMDB or Wikipedia?
Space

Esther Dyson To Train For Space Flight 38

Posted by timothy
from the dyson-vacuum-of-space dept.
DynaSoar writes "Esther Dyson, known to many as a founding and consistently guiding member of ICANN, and for working with the startups of Flickr, del.icio.us, Medscape and others, is now expanding her interests upwards. She recently announced that she will be heading to Moscow to train as backup astronaut for Charles Simonyi, who plans to fly aboard Soyuz TMA-14 next year. The US$3 million price tag won't be her first cash contribution towards personal space flight. She's already an investor in Space Adventures, the company that arranges the space tourist flights on Soyuz."
Biotech

Geneticist Claims Human Evolution Is Over 857

Posted by samzenpus
from the flame-on dept.
GogglesPisano writes "UK geneticist Steve Jones gave a presentation entitled Human Evolution Is Over. He asserts that human beings have stopped evolving because modern social customs have lowered the age at which human males have offspring, which results in fewer of the mutations necessary to drive evolutionary change. Apparently the fate of our species now depends upon older guys hooking up with younger woman. I, for one, welcome this development."
Portables

Researchers Re-Examine Second Law of Thermodynamics 125

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the in-this-house-we-obey-the-laws-of-thermodynamics dept.
Many readers have written to tell us that researchers are examining the possibility of using Brownian ratchets to help combat the problem of heat dissipation in miniaturized electronics. "Currently, devices are engineered to operate near thermal equilibrium, in accordance with the Second Law of Thermodynamics which states that heat tends to transfer from a hotter unit to a cooler one. However, using the concept of Brownian ratchets, which are systems that convert non-equilibrium energy to do useful work, the researchers hope to allow computers to operate at low power levels, and harness power dissipated by other functions. 'The main quest we have is to see if by departing from near-equilibrium operation, we can perform computation more efficiently,' Ghosh told iTnews. 'We aren't breaking the Second Law — that's not what we are claiming,' he said. 'We are simply re-examining its implications, as much of the established understanding of power dissipation is based on near-equilibrium operation.'"
Security

Hackers Clone Elvis' Passport 164

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-mess-with-the-king dept.
Barence writes "Hackers have released source code that allows the 'backup' of RFID-protected passports, although the tool can potentially be used to create fake or cloned documents. The Hacker's Choice, a non-commercial group of computer security experts, has released a video showing a cloned passport being approved by a security scanner at a Dutch airport. When the reader scans the passport, it is revealed to belong to one Elvis Aaron Presley, complete with picture. Reports of the hackers serenading security staff with 'Are You Clonesome Tonight' are unconfirmed."
Bug

Alarm Raised For "Clickjacking" Browser Exploit 308

Posted by timothy
Shipment Date writes "ZDNet's Zero Day blog has some new information on what looks like a scary new browser exploit/threat affecting all the major desktop platforms — Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera and Adobe Flash. The threat, called Clickjacking, was to be discussed at the OWASP conference but was nixed at the last minute at hte request of affected vendors. From the article: 'In a nutshell, it's when you visit a malicious website and the attacker is able to take control of the links that your browser visits. The problem affects all of the different browsers except something like lynx. The issue has nothing to do with JavaScript so turning JavaScript off in your browser will not help you.'"
Science

Studies Say Ideology Trumps Facts 784

Posted by samzenpus
from the water-still-wet dept.
Anti-Globalism writes "We like to think that people will be well informed before making important decisions, such as who to vote for, but the truth is that's not always the case. Being uninformed is one thing, but having a population that's actively misinformed presents problems when it comes to participating in the national debate, or the democratic process. If the findings of some political scientists are right, attempting to correct misinformation might do nothing more than reinforce the false belief."
Image

Slashdot's Disagree Mail 251 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the sell-outs dept.
There is no shortage of comments about us selling out or running advertisements as stories. As you might expect there is no shortage of mail with the same theme. What I enjoy most about them is all the different corporate entities and sometimes political parties, that we are supposedly working for. If even half of them were true, I would have a stack of W-2s as long as my arm every year for the tax man. The truth of the matter is, nobody here sits in their Microsoft smart chair, talking on their minion iPhone, while playing in the Google money pool. (If someone knows how to get into the Google money pool, please send me a mail.) Conspiracy theories have been around as long as man, so I guess it should come as no surprise that Slashdot has a few of it's own. Read below to find out who is pulling our strings.
Image

City Uses DNA To Sniff Out Dog Poop Offenders 252 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-a-bite-out-of-crime dept.
An Israeli city is using DNA analysis of dog droppings to reward pet owners who clean up after their pets and punish those who don't. A six-month trial program launched this week, in the city of Petah Tikva, to tackle the dog mess problem in a high tech way. The program asks dog owners to take their pets to a veterinarian, who then swabs its mouth and collects DNA. The city will use the DNA database it is building to match droppings to a dog and identify its owner. Owners who scoop up their dogs' droppings and place them in specially marked bins will be eligible for rewards of pet food coupons and dog toys. Those who leave the poo on the street face fines. I wonder what sin you had to commit in a previous life to find yourself the official dog poop examiner of Petah Tikva, Israel.
Businesses

Successful Moonlighting For Geeks? 448

Posted by kdawson
from the oh-and-it's-gotta-be-legal dept.
Lawksamussy writes "Having just bought a really old house that's on the verge of falling down, I'm now trying to find a way to pay to fix it up. I have a great job in software development that pays the bills, but I'm looking to earn some extra cash in my spare time. Whatever I end up doing has to be reasonably lucrative (or at least have the potential to be so), not require any specific time commitment, and be doable equally well from home or from a hotel room. I'm also keen that it should be sufficiently different to my day job to keep my interest up, so the most obvious things like bidding for programming projects on Rentacoder.com, or fixing up neighbors' PCs, aren't really on. Above all, it should appeal to my inner geek, otherwise my low boredom threshold will doom it to failure before I even start! So, I wonder if any of my fellow Slashdotters run little part-time ventures that they find more of an inspiration than a chore... and if they are willing to share what they do and perhaps even how much money they make doing it?"

Comment: Dear Slashdot (Score 2, Funny) 520

by figa (#24946069) Attached to: Environmental Cost of Hybrids' Battery Recycling?

I was thinking of buying a gas or diesel powered automobile, but I heard that they have batteries that contain lead and sulfuric acid. They have to be replaced frequently over the lifetime of a car, and if the batteries are improperly cared for, they can explode. This sounds like an environmental disaster to me. Can anyone explain the entire lifecycle of car batteries before I make the leap and purchase a car?

What's with all the anti-hybrid sentiment on Slashdot lately? I followed the comments to this article last Thursday, and there are a surprising number of people who go out of their way to make up reasons not to get better gas mileage. Hybrids are some of the geekiest and most technologically advanced cars on the road.

I'm all for questioning the environmental impact of manufacturing, but this topic really reads like a troll. Next week, are we going to see "I heard that Priuses kill blind people..."?

Earth

Environmental Cost of Hybrids' Battery Recycling? 520

Posted by timothy
from the they're-good-for-bludgeoning-seals dept.
LostMyBeaver writes "I have been considering the purchase of an electric or hybrid vehicle for some time. The biggest problem I have currently is that both technologies make use of rechargable batteries. The same tree-huggers telling me gasoline is bad are telling me that batteries are bad too. I'm only partially knowledgable in this area, but it appears the battery technologies are generally based at least on lithium ion, nickel metal hydride, lead acid and nickel-cadmium. I was hoping someone on Slashdot would be knowledgable enough to explain the environmental cost of recycling these batteries. If I understand correctly, after these chemicals are 'spent' so the cells no longer maintain a charge, they are not useful for producing new batteries. I can only imagine that the most common method of recycling the cells is to store the toxic chemicals of the batteries in barrels and refilling the cells with new chemicals. This sounds like an environmental disaster to me. Is there someone here that can help me sleep better at night by explaining what really happens?"

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