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Submission + - What Do You Do With Your Over-the-Hill Computers? 3

theodp writes: When it comes time to get rid of an old computer, Nicholas Morgan gets all sentimental. And even though he's now the proud owner of a shiny MacBook Pro, Morgan couldn't bear to part with his over-the-hill Dell, with which he learned PHP, CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. 'The memories I have on this machine are worth more than the $200 or so I would get from selling it,' he writes of the laptop that now sits in his closet. In fact, Morgan still regrets trashing his first computer, an old Windows 95 Packard Bell machine with its top of the line Pentium processor and a software suite that included lots of educational games, Sierra's '3D Ultra Pinball', and 'The Incredible Toon Machine'. Nice. So, when it comes time to put down your aging computer like Ol' Yeller, do you trash it, sell it, give it away, or hoard it?

Submission + - The importance of community input (

GeekyBodhi writes: "Recently I interacted with members of the Linux Mint distro to understand the reasons behind the distribution's meteoric rise. As they explained the brain storming that takes place before every release, I was struck by the importance the developers give to the demands of their users. "Users love having their input actually acted upon. It gives them a sense of ownership and value. This motivates those with the right skills to begin contributing as well.""
Open Source

Submission + - Type safety coming to DB queries

An anonymous reader writes: A new type-safe query language for the popular full-text search platform Solr, called Slashem (a Rogue-like), hash just been released. Slashem is implemented as a DSL in Scala providing compile time type-safety, allowing you do things like date range queries against date fields but keeping you from trying to do a date range query against a string field. Hopefully this trend catches on, resulting in less invalid queries exploding at runtime.

Submission + - Toward a Developer 'Maturity Manifesto' (

snydeq writes: "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister proposes a new manifesto for those developers who are tired of the partisan squabbling, flame wars, name-calling, and finger-pointing: the Maturity Manifesto. 'Why are developers so quick to call each other idiots, anyway? Why are they so pigheaded in their beliefs, so quick to take sides and reduce everything to fallacious black-and-white arguments? Check out any developer forum or message board: It won't take long before you'll find some seemingly innocuous thread that has erupted into a full-blown flame war,' McAllister writes. 'When decisions about tools and practices become polarized and zealotry takes the place of rational discussion, it not only wastes time, but lowers morale, causes communication breakdowns in other areas, and at its worst threatens the successful completion of critical objectives.'"

Submission + - World's Largest Visualization Analytics Display ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: An 80-foot wide visualization screen at California ISO graphically displays sensor readings from thousands of smart meters as well as provides predictive analytics. By analyzing the grid and environmental inputs like where the wild fires are burning, Space-Time Insights claims its algorithms head off power outages before they can materialize, turning California ISO operators into forecasters instead of damage controllers. If it keeps the lights on and the air conditioners running, I'm all for it!

Submission + - Mind controls body in extreme experiments (

GillBates0 writes: "I chanced upon this interesting study by Harvard Professor Dr. Herbert Benson, a prominent cardiologist, founder of the Mind/Body Medical Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of several publications and books. Benson and his team studied monks living in the Himalayan Mountains in Sikkim, India, who could, by practicing a form of meditation, raise the temperatures of their fingers and toes by as much as 17 degrees. The researchers were astonished to find that these monks could lower their metabolism by 64 percent. "It was an astounding, breathtaking [no pun intended] result," Benson exclaims. To put that decrease in perspective, metabolism, or oxygen consumption, drops only 10-15 percent in sleep and about 17 percent during simple meditation. Benson believes that such a capability could be useful for space travel. Travelers might use meditation to ease stress and oxygen consumption on long flights to other planets. In his research, Dr. Benson concludes that mind and body are one system, in which meditation can play a significant role in reducing stress responses."

Submission + - Asus netbook run Ubuntu only in Italy (

doperative writes: The Asus product page touts only Windows 7 (in Premium, Basic, or Starter editions), but it appears the device is also available with Linux, in Europe at least. It's offered with Ubuntu by the Italian retailer Monclick, and has also been officially listed as certified on the Ubuntu website.

Submission + - Constant Charging Solar 'Sponge' Battery (

LesterMoore writes: A team from MIT is on the cusp of creating a solar battery made from carbon nanotubes that can be recharged constantly via exposure to the sun. The device absorbs the sun’s heat in a chemical form – instead of instantly converting it to energy, like a solar cell, it stores the heat in a heavily insulated container.

Submission + - New Solaris community: We Sun Solve! (

An anonymous reader writes: When the merge of Sun and Oracle has been made, we lost a lot of tools that were present on the famous SunSolve. Like the ability to search efficiently for patches, bugids, sun alerts and so on. We Sun Solve is the proof that a community could be built upon what users need instead of what business drives. A lot of information has been collected on this website to ease the job of all the solaris sysadmins out there. Check it out ;)

Submission + - App Uses Facial Profiling to Identify Perps

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Emily Steel writes that a new iPhone accessory that uses a picture of the person's face or iris to identify them will help police units identify suspects and look up their criminal record. To scan a person’s iris, police officers can hold the special iris-scanning camera on device, called MORIS, about 5 to 6 inches away from an individual’s irises. After snapping a high resolution photo, the MORIS system analyzes 235 unique features in each iris and uses an algorithm to match that person with their identity if they are in the database. To use the facial recognition system an officer takes a photo of a person at a distance of about 2 feet to 5 feet that analyzes about 130 distinguishing points on the face (video), such as the distance between a person’s eye and nose, then scans the database for likely matches. Bernard Melekian says challenges remain in developing guidelines for the proper use of the mobile recognition technology for police work. “If the purpose is to determine instantly an individual’s identity and determine whether they are wanted or have serious criminal history, that is not only a desirable use, it is an important use,” says Melekian. “To simply collect information on individuals to add to the database would not in my opinion be a desirable use of the technology.”"

Submission + - McCain Asks For Committee on Wikileaks, Anonymous (

Trailrunner7 writes: In the face of continued attacks on federal agencies and contractors such as Booz Allen Hamilton and IRC Federal that do highly sensitive security work for the U.S. government, Sen. John McCain has asked Senate leaders to appoint a select committee to look into the attacks and data leaks that have plagued Washington throughout 2011.

In a letter to Republican leader Harry Reid and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, McCain (R-Ariz.) said that a temporary Senate committee is necessary in order to get a handle on all of the disparate cybersecurity legislation proposals and to address the threat posed by groups such as Anonymous, LulzSec and Wikileaks.

Submission + - Google+: Tools, Names, and Facebook 1

Unknown Lamer writes: Several readers submitted stories about Google+ today. CWMike writes in with an article about the lack of developer APIs from Computerworld Currently, external developers don't have any Google+ APIs or tools to tinker with. A Google spokeswoman said, 'We definitely plan to involve developers and publishers in the Google+ project, but we don't have specific details to share just yet. Please stay tuned.' The spokeswoman declined to say specifically if Google+ will be compatible with the company's OpenSocial set of common APIs for social networking applications. An anonymous reader notes that Google is requiring real names for profiles, and may have suspended some users. Anita Khanna writes "Facebook is trying real hard to block users migrating to google+. Although the recently announced Google+ social platform is still in private beta, it has generated enough excitement to have Facebook making some preemptive measures. Shortly after the announcement, Facebook made a peculiar change to their TOS that resulted in the . Over the weekend, another personal data migration tool, Open-Xchange, has also been deactivated."

Submission + - Google Chairman To Testify At Antitrust Hearing (

bonch writes: Following a threat of subpoena, Google chairman Eric Schmidt will be testifying at a Senate antitrust subcommittee in September. Google has denied acting anticompetitively and cites its success as the cause of the increased scrutiny. The Federal Trade Commission and European Commission have both launched antitrust investigations into the company, and the Justice Department is also conducting a criminal probe into their acceptance of ads from rogue web pharmacies, an investigation Google has set aside $500 million to settle.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato