Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Christmas Cheer

Ask Slashdot: Most Efficient, Worthwhile Charity? 570

Posted by timothy
from the cato-institute-of-course dept.
New submitter yanom writes "I'm thinking about making a holiday donation to a charity, but I'm not sure where to give it. I've looked at organizations such as the Red Cross and Village Reach that promote disaster relief and health in the developing world. I want my money to have the biggest possible impact, so where should I send it?"
Unix

The Decline and Fall of System Administration 500

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hail-the-fallen-heros dept.
snydeq writes "Deep End's Paul Venezia questions whether server virtualization technologies are contributing to the decline of real server administration skills, as more and more sysadmins argue in favor of re-imaging as a solution to Unix server woes. 'This has always been the (many times undeserved) joke about clueless Windows admins: They have a small arsenal of possible fixes, and once they've exhausted the supply, they punt and rebuild the server from scratch rather than dig deeper. On the Unix side of the house, that concept has been met with derision since the dawn of time, but as Linux has moved into the mainstream — and the number of marginal Linux admins has grown — those ideas are suddenly somehow rational.'"
Biotech

Scientists Turn Skin Into Blood 229

Posted by samzenpus
from the horror-movie dept.
Breakthru writes "In an important breakthrough, scientists at McMaster University have discovered how to make human blood from adult human skin. The discovery, published in the prestigious science journal Nature today, could mean that in the foreseeable future people needing blood for surgery, cancer treatment or treatment of other blood conditions like anemia will be able to have blood created from a patch of their own skin to provide transfusions. Clinical trials could begin as soon as 2012."
Censorship

TV Tropes Self-Censoring Under Google Pressure 393

Posted by samzenpus
from the think-of-the-children dept.
mvdwege writes "The popular wiki TV Tropes, a site dedicated to the discussion of various tropes, clichés and other common devices in fiction has suddenly decided to put various of its pages behind a 'possibly family-unsafe' content warning, apparently due to pressure by Google withdrawing its ads. What puzzles me most is the content that is put behind this warning. TV Tropes features no explicit sexual content, and no explicit violence. It does of course discuss these things, as is its remit, but without actual explicit depictions. In fact, something as relatively innocuous as children being raised by two females, whatever the reason are put behind the content warning, even if the page itself doesn't take a stand on the issue, merely satisfying itself by describing the occurence of this in fiction."
Social Networks

Top Reason for Facebook Unfriending Is Too Many Useless Posts 300

Posted by samzenpus
from the if-you-don't-have-any-thing-say dept.
alphadogg writes "The No. 1 reason why friends dump friends on Facebook is when they get fed up seeing too many useless posts, according to new research out of the University of Colorado Denver Business School. Posts about polarizing subjects such as politics and religion as well as inappropriate and racist comments also sever many Facebook relationships, according to Christopher Sibona, a PhD student in the Computer and Science and Information Systems program. 'Researchers spend a lot of time examining how people form friendships online but little is known on how those relationships end,' said Sibona, whose research will be published in January by the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. 'Perhaps this will help us develop a theory of the entire cycle of friending and unfriending.' Sibona surveyed more than 1,500 Facebook users to get to the bottom of why people dump each other. Not surprisingly, people who flood others with posts are at great risk of being unfriended. 'The 100th post about your favorite band is no longer interesting,' he said." Samzenpus likes this.
Businesses

Respected Developers Begin Fleeing the App Store 485

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-known-as-the-french-rush dept.
wiedzmin writes "Facebook's Joe Hewitt, Second Gear's Justin Williams, the long-time Mac software developer known as 'Rogue Amoeba' and other respected App Store developers have recently decided to discontinue their work on the platform, citing their frustration with Apple's opaque approval process. Continued issues with erroneous and snap rejections of applications and APIs are prompting more and more developers to shun the platform entirely. Though there are tens of thousands of other developers who have pumped out over 100,000 apps for the platform, continued migration away from iPhone development will most likely result in lower quality software."
Security

Hackers (Or Pen-Testers) Hit Credit Unions With Malware On CD 205

Posted by timothy
from the please-avoid-mine dept.
redsoxh8r writes "Online criminals have taken to a decidedly low-tech method for distributing the latest batch of targeted malware: mailing infected CDs to credit unions. The discs have been showing up at credit unions around the country recently, a throwback to the days when viruses and Trojans were distributed via floppy disk. The scam is elegant in its simplicity. The potential thieves are mailing letters that purport to come from the National Credit Union Administration, the federal agency that charters and insures credit unions, and including two CDs in the package. The letter is a fake fraud alert from the NCUA, instructing recipients to review the training materials contained on the discs. However, the CDs are loaded with malware rather than training programs." According to the linked article, the infected CDs were (or at least may have been) part of a penetration test, rather than an actual attack.
Bug

Bug Means High School Students' Schedule Errors May Last Days 443

Posted by timothy
from the ok-computer-meeting-people-is-easy dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that thousands of high school students in Prince George's County missed a third day of classes Wednesday, and school officials said it could take more than a week to sort out the chaos caused by a computerized class-scheduling system as students were placed in gyms, auditoriums, cafeterias, libraries and classes they didn't want or need at high schools across the county and their parents' fury over the logistical nightmare rose. 'The school year comes up the same time every year,' said Carolyn Oliver, the mother of a 16-year-old senior who spent Wednesday in the senior lounge at Bowie High School. 'When I heard they didn't have schedules, I was like, "What have they been doing all summer?"' When school opened Monday, about 8,000 high school students had no class schedules and were sent to wait in holding spaces while administrators tried to sort things out." (More below.)
Businesses

Recourse For Poor Customer Service? 593

Posted by kdawson
from the in-harm's-way-a-long-way-from-home dept.
eleventypie writes "I am in the Army and currently stationed in Afghanistan. Recently I found myself without a laptop so I decided to build a studio 17 from Dell. I designed/customized my laptop on 2008-09-17 and placed my order, which totaled approximately $1,700. The laptop was built and apparently shipped on 2008-09-28. Given my APO address, I know mail can sometimes take a little while to get here, though 7-10 days is normal. Dell said to give my laptop 6-8 business days and occasionally, it might take as much as 4-6 weeks. So on 2008-11-12 I sent another email to Dell informing them I still had not received my laptop. One person said to give it more time, while another person responded to my message telling me to send my address again and they would send me a replacement. So I sent my address immediately and never got a response. It is now the 30th of November and I still have no laptop and Dell seems to have quit responding to my emails. This is very frustrating being out $1,700 and not having a laptop to talk to my friends and family and do school work. Phone calls aren't easy so calling them is pretty much out of the question. Any advice on what I can or should do at this point to get the computer I ordered or get my money back?"

I don't have any use for bodyguards, but I do have a specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants. -- Elvis Presley

Working...