Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Comment Re:Well, the cable industry should know. (Score 1) 442

Huh, I had no idea this episode had the shooters turning into blackface in it. Growing up, all the channels that played this episode ended it after bugs sang the first line to that song. This was in the '80s, on New York Metro TV stations. Looks like PC censorship of the old cartoons goes back a lot further.
The Internet

New Science Books To Be Available Free Online 95

fm6 writes "Bloomsbury Publishing, best known for the Harry Potter books, has announced a new series of science books that will be available for free online. Bloomsbury thinks they can make enough money off of hard-copy sales to turn a 'small profit.' The online version will be covered by a Creative Commons license which allows free non-commercial use. They've already had some success with the one book they've published this way, Larry Lessig's 'Remix: Making Art and Commerce thrive in the Hybrid Economy.' The series, 'Science, Ethics and Innovation,' will be edited by Sir John Sulston, Nobel prize winner and one of the architects of the Human Genome Project."

Alienware Refusing Customers As Thieves 665

ChrisPaget writes "Thinking about buying Alienware (now owned by Dell)? Think again. After buying an almost-new Alienware laptop on eBay, I've spent the last week trying to get hold of a Smart Bay caddy to connect a second hard drive (about $150 for $5 of bent metal). Four different Alienware teams have refused to even give me a price on this accessory, instead accusing me of stealing the machine since I didn't buy it directly from their eBay store. They want me to persuade the eBay seller I did buy it from to add me as an authorized user of his Alienware account — they have no concept of 'ownership transfer' and instead assume that if you're not in their system, you must be a thief."

Comment Re:I want to hear more... (Score 5, Insightful) 565

My take is slightly different: I believe they were afraid to fail. Given what little we do know about the endless delays -- that they switched the basic engine from Quake II to Unreal to Unreal Tournament to Quake III to one being built solely in-house, and had to restart level work every time, I believe that this was driven by the fear that the game would be a failure. Duke 3D was a smash it. It put them on the map. And they promised to themselves and their fans that DNF would be even better. So, they couldn't stand the thought of it possibly being a flop; it had to be a #1 bestseller, and every game reviewer had to be able to rant and rave at how much more amazing it was over D3D or any other FPS for that matter. And every year that passed, and every time they got more and more ridiculed at its "vaporware" status, it hardened their resolve that the game must not be a failure, or even mediocre, under any circumstance whatsoever. And that mentality paralyzed them, and caused them to essentially re-write and re-write the game, until the weight of it all finally caused them to collapse

Slashdot's Disagree Mail Screenshot-sm 206

Being in a relationship is not easy, more than half of all first marriages fail in this country. That statistic doesn't improve if you spend most of your time reading your favorite website and not tending to the needs of your family. Instead of asking me to help fix your relationship maybe you should try playing with your kids, talking to your wife, and not staring at a computer screen all day. You should realize that the help link doesn't provide help with your life. It's mostly for getting passwords and stuff. Below you'll find a collection of people that should have reached out to Dr. Phil and not Dr. Sam.

Hardy Heron Making Linux Ready for the Masses? 1100

desmondhaynes writes "Is Linux ready for the masses? Is Linux really being targeted towards the 'casual computer user'? Computerworld thinks we're getting there, talking of Linux 'going mainstream 'with Ubuntu. 'If there is a single complaint that is laid at the feet of Linux time and time again, it's that the operating system is too complicated and arcane for casual computer users to tolerate. You can't ask newbies to install device drivers or recompile the kernel, naysayers argue. Of course, many of those criticisms date back to the bad old days, but Ubuntu, the user-friendly distribution sponsored by Mark Shuttleworth's Canonical Ltd., has made a mission out of dispelling such complaints entirely.'"

New Rules Created For OOXML Vote 66

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "There are new rules to follow for any NB that wishes to change their vote on OOXML after the lack of resolution at the recent Ballot Resolution Meeting. After comparing it to previous instructions, it seems that they only have until March 29th, they need to email several specific people, that email must be sent by certain people, and they need to confirm it in writing as well, most likely via registered mail. Even Groklaw's PJ, who made sense of many of SCO's filings, finds all the requirements a little confusing. But anyone who wants to disapprove of OOXML had better dot every 'i' and cross every 't' if they want their vote to count, if past behavior is any indication."

Time To Abolish Software Patents? 259

gnujoshua writes "Has the time come to abolish software patents? Fortune columnist Roger Parloff reports on a new campaign called End Software Patents, which he views as 'attempting to ride a wave of corporate and judicial disenchantment with aspects of the current patent system.' Ryan Paul of Ars Technica writes that the purpose of the campaign is to 'educate the public and encourage grass-roots patent reform activism in order to promote effective legislative solutions to the software patent problem.' The campaign site is informative and targets many types of readers, and it includes a scholarship contest with a top prize of $10,000.00. We've recently discussed the potential legal re-examination of software patents."
Data Storage

Making Use of Terabytes of Unused Storage 448

kernspaltung writes "I manage a network of roughly a hundred Windows boxes, all of them with hard drives of at least 40GB — many have 80GB drives and larger. Other than what's used by the OS, a few applications, and a smattering of small documents, this space is idle. What would be a productive use for these terabytes of wasted space? Does any software exist that would enable pooling this extra space into one or more large virtual networked drives? Something that could offer the fault-tolerance and ease-of-use of ZFS across a network of PCs would be great for small-to-medium organizations."
The Courts

LANCOR v. OLPC Case Continues In Nigerian Court 281

drewmoney writes "According to an article on Groklaw: It's begun in a Nigerian court. LANCOR has actually done it. Guess what the Nigerian keyboard makers want from the One Laptop Per Child charitable organization trying to make the world a better place? $20 million dollars in 'damages,' and an injunction blocking OLPC from distribution in Nigeria."

How Best Buy Tried To Whip The Geek Squad Into Shape 476

The Consumerist site is featuring a follow-up to their Geek Squad porn collectors story, a feature we discussed back in July. According to Consumerist, Best Buy set up their own rigorous internal investigation to catch the culprits soon after these revelations became public. At that point, of course, employee morale went out the window. Draconian interrogation methods were apparently used, and innocent employees lost their jobs. "There were three Geek Squad members fired from my store including myself. The first two were fired for burning a non-copyrighted CD for another employee on a non company issued blank CD-R. I admitted in my interrogation that I was aware of this, and that I stopped these events after that occurrence. I was fired for being aware of this non copyrighted CD being copied. To quote, I did not provide the proper example of leadership. Keep in my mind I removed over 100 illegal tools and pirated discs upon my arrival as supervisor, as well as some remnants of an internal porn scandal."

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. -- Pablo Picasso