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Censorship

City Sues To Prevent Linking To Its Website 429

Posted by kdawson
from the nolo-mi-tangere dept.
Mike writes "In what appears to be a first-of-its-kind case, the Sheboygan city attorney ordered Jennifer Reisinger to remove a link to the city's police department from her Web site. The city went further, she claims, launching a criminal investigation of her for linking to the department on one of her sites, and in response she's suing the mayor and the city. 'The mayor decided to use his office to get back at Jennifer for her efforts in the recall and picked this to do it,' said her attorney, Paul Bucher. It appears this will go to court, and the question will be can a city (or any business or Web property) stop people from posting a link to its site?"
Networking

Hacker Conventions Ranked By Bandwidth-Per-Visitor 55

Posted by timothy
from the elbowroom-is-too-hard-to-quantify dept.
An Anonymous Coward writes "Ever wondered how much bandwidth you will get at a hacker con? This web page tells you how much. It shows the total bandwidth and bandwidth for each visitor for all the recent hacker cons." It looks like Defcon attendees get the short end of the stick, while those at metarheinmain chaosdays are practically swimming in bandwidth. There are a lot of other cons (a few examples listed here) which I'd like to see added to this list.
Space

Liquid Lakes On Saturn's Moon Confirmed 188

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the time-for-a-saturn-icon dept.
Riding with Robots writes "Scientists have been using the robotic spacecraft Cassini to explore what looked to be large lakes of hydrocarbons on the surface of Saturn's planet-sized moon Titan. But they couldn't be entirely sure that the features were actually liquid lakes, and not simply very smooth, solid material. Now, new findings seem to confirm that the observations really do show extensive seas of liquid ethane and other hydrocarbons. In fact, Titan seems to have an entire 'water' cycle of ethane evaporation, rain and rivers."
The Military

US To Launch Military Orbital Spaceplane 270

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-have-been-recruited-by-the-star-league-to-defend-the-frontier-from-Xur dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Not only is the US readying its first 100% military spaceplane for a November launch, but it's going to push NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission til 2009: 'The USAF and Boeing will launch the X-38B — the first military orbital space plane if you discount the secret military shuttle — on top of an Atlas V rocket in November. They want to test its flying features in space and during atmospheric reentry. And probably its anti-matter rays and nuclear bays and hyperspace engines too (but of course, they are never going to tell you that). However, there seems to be a conflict with the civilian space program which may push one of the Moon exploration missions to 2009.' Screw the moon. We have to defend ourselves against all those alien extremists from Mars!"
OS X

Apple Climbs Into Third Place In U.S. PC Market 1019

Posted by timothy
from the your-only-possible-choices-are-vista-and-os-x dept.
Tibor the Hun writes "According to Gartner and IDC, Apple now has between 7.8 and 8.5% of market share. While those numbers are not astonishing, they are not insignificant, and their growth does not seem to be slowing down. Will the pearly gates of acceptance open up for them once they reach the magic 10%, and will that have a positive effect on desktop Linux adoption? Hard to tell, but it's good to see that normal people (not just us geeks) are choosing to go with a different OS, rather than staying with the headache-inducing Windows."
Communications

A DIYer's Quick Guide To Cheap Wireless Extension 148

Posted by timothy
from the use-genuine-zip-loc-bags dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This piece is described in one of the comments on it as 'a little piece of genius'... and I have to agree! Although Peter Cochrane seems a bit of a crack pot, the ways that he comes up with to get connected when he's out of range in the sticks are pure genius and he makes them appear really simple! Think old satellite dishes, USB dongles and plastic bags and you'd be on the right tracks to upping wi-fi signal by 4 bars." A perfect excuse to link to one of my favorite sites, if you want more details and photos on similar jury-rigged long-distance connections. However, your meterage may vary — I've found USB Wi-Fi devices to be pretty fickle under Linux, with some distros working way better than others.
Mars

Mars Lander's Robot Arm Shuts Down To Save Itself 214

Posted by kdawson
from the doctor-it-hurts-when-i-do-dat dept.
Cowards Anonymous passes along a PCWorld article that begins, "The robotic arm on the Mars Lander found itself in a tough position over the weekend. After receiving instructions for a movement that would have damaged its wrist, the robotic arm recognized the problem, tried to rectify it and then shut down before it could damage itself, according to Ray Arvidson, a co-investigator for the Mars Lander's robotic arm team and a professor at Washington University in St. Louis."
Patents

MSM Noticing That Patent Gridlock Stunts Innovation 233

Posted by kdawson
from the we-could-have-told-you-and-did dept.
trichard tips a column on the editorial page at that most traditional of mainstream media, the Wall Street Journal, arguing the point (obvious to this community for a decade) that the US patent system costs more than the value it delivers. The columnist is L. Gordon Crovitz and here is an excerpt: "New drugs require great specificity to earn a patent, whereas patents are often granted to broad, thus vague, innovations in software, communications, and other technologies. Ironically, the aggregate value of these technology patents is then wiped out through litigation costs. Our patent system [is] a disincentive at a time when we expect software and other technology companies to be the growth engine of the economy. Imagine how much more productive our information-driven economy would be if the patent system lived up to the intention of the Founders, by encouraging progress instead of suppressing it."
Communications

Alternative Uses For an Old Satellite Dish? 552

Posted by kdawson
from the birdbath-for-condors dept.
ya really writes "My family has one of those BUDs (Big Ugly Dishes) sitting in their back yard still. The other day they asked me if I would take it apart for them. Aside from simply recycling it, I was wondering if there are any alternatives for its use. It was one of the last made before DirectTV and Dish took over satellite broadcasting, and even has a digital receiver. I'd say it was made around 1996."
Security

Fallout From the Fall of CAPTCHAs 413

Posted by kdawson
from the script-kiddie-fodder dept.
An anonymous reader recommends Computerworld's look at the rise and fall of CAPTCHAs, and at some of the ways bad guys are leveraging broken CAPTCHAs to ply their evil trade. "CAPTCHA used to be an easy and useful way for Web administrators to authenticate users. Now it's an easy and useful way for malware authors and spammers to do their dirty work. By January 2008, Yahoo Mail's CAPTCHA had been cracked. Gmail was ripped open soon thereafter. Hotmail's top got popped in April. And then things got bad. There are now programs available online (no, we will not tell you where) that automate CAPTCHA attacks. You don't need to have any cracking skills. All you need is a desire to spread spam, make anonymous online attacks against your enemies, propagate malware or, in general, be an online jerk. And it's not just free e-mail sites that can be made to suffer..."
NASA

NASA Engineers Work On Alternative Moon Rocket 340

Posted by timothy
from the doesn't-even-have-a-hybrid-engine dept.
Gibson writes "A team of 57 engineers at NASA's Marshall Spaceflight center feel that the Ares rocket is not the best solution for launching the new CEV. They are currently working on their own time developing an alternative launch system known as Jupiter. The 131 page proposal, along with other information, is available on the project website. Proponents of the project say that it is 'simpler, safer, and sooner' than the Ares project, predicting the ability for a return to the moon in 2017, two years before the current goal. Ares management has so far dismissed the proposal as a 'napkin drawing.'"
Bug

Dell Colludes With RIAA, Disables Stereo Mix 377

Posted by timothy
from the please-test-for-crazy-conspiracy dept.
RCTrucker7 writes with a link to a Maximum PC story, which begins: "Details of Dell's surreptitious collusion with RIAA (Record Industry Association of America) have emerged. Apparently, the computer manufacturer disabled the Stereo Mix/Mono Mix/Wave Out sound recording function on certain notebooks to assuage RIAA. The hardware functionality is being disabled without any prior notice and one blogger has even alleged that he was asked by Dell's customer support staff to [shell] out $99 if he desired the stereo mix option. Gateway and Pac Bell are the other two manufacturers to have bowed to RIAA at the expense of their customers' satisfaction and disabled stereo mix without warning." (There are some workarounds posted in the comments of the linked article.)
Windows

The Very Worst Uses of Windows 816

Posted by timothy
from the you-seem-to-be-attaching-an-iron-lung dept.
bigplrbear writes "I found an interesting article revealing the many places that Microsoft products reside, and what they're used for, ranging from elevators to ticket scanners." From the article: "Thanks to VMWare Windows is spreading throughout the datacenter. And, of course, there is only one operating system to use if you are dependent on Microsoft apps like Outlook, Word, and Excel. While I have joined the chorus of security folks who rail against the Microsoft Monoculture I still cannot believe some of the uses for Windows. Some of them are just downright silly, some you may claim are criminally negligent." Note: I'm making no claim of criminal negligence!

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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