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The Internet

+ - Citizendium after one year

Submitted by
Larry Sanger
Larry Sanger writes "Citizendium, "the Citizens' Compendium" — a free, non-profit, ad-free, wiki encyclopedia with real names and a role for experts — has just announced that it's celebrating the one year anniversary of its wiki, an occasion for which I wrote a project report. Make up your own mind about whether "we've made a very strong start and an amazing future likely lies ahead of us." We have been the subject of a lot of misunderstanding, but we've still proven a lot, such as that a public-expert hybrid wiki is consistent with accelerating growth and leads to high quality, or that eliminating anonymity helps remove vandalism. We've got lots of initiatives and plans, and signs are good that we are starting into a serious growth spurt. Might the Web 2.0 umbrella be expanded to include real name requirements and roles for experts? It's looking that way."
Robotics

STriDER, a Three-Legged Walking Robot 105

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the they-call-him-tripod dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "In a short article, New Scientist reports that researchers at Virginia Tech University have developed a tripedal experimental robot. With its three legs, this robot, named STriDER — short for 'Self-excited Tripedal Dynamic Experimental Robot' — is actually more stable than 2- or 4-legged robots. As said another researcher, 'It's like a biped with a walking stick.' This robot is intended to deploy sensors and cameras in difficult-to-access areas."
The Internet

Senate Discusses Third Pipe Using 700MHz Spectrum 78

Posted by Zonk
from the stevens-confused-between-pipes-and-tubes dept.
Freebird writes "The US Senate Commerce Committee held hearings on the upcoming 700MHz spectrum auction today, and much of the discussion centered around Frontline Wireless' proposal to create a commercial wireless broadband network that would also be used for public safety. 'Under Frontline's proposal, the FCC would auction off 10 MHz from the commercially available spectrum and offer that to the highest bidder. The winner would also be given (free) 12 MHz out of the 24 MHz currently allotted to public safety.' Some senators were skeptical, especially Ted Stevens of Alaska who had a 'long and testy interchange' with Frontline CEO James Barksdale. 'He seemed to be zeroing on criticisms that the Frontline proposal was simply a way for a new company to get a huge discount on a prime chunk of spectrum by playing the "public safety" card.'"
Programming

How to Keep Your Code From Destroying You 486

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the i-have-been-sent-here-to-destroy-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "IBM DeveloperWorks has a few quick tips on how to write maintainable code that won't leech your most valuable resource — time. These six tips on how to write maintainable code are guaranteed to save you time and frustration: one minute spent writing comments can save you an hour of anguish. Bad code gets written all the time. But it doesn't have to be that way. Its time to ask yourself if its time for you to convert to the clean code religion."
Communications

Texting Teens Generating OMG Phone Bills 888

Posted by kdawson
from the time-for-the-unlimited-plan dept.
theodp writes "Last month, Washington high school junior Sofia Rubenstein used 6,807 text messages, which, at a rate of 15 cents apiece for most of them, pushed her family's Verizon Wireless bill over $1,100. She and other teens are finding themselves in hot water after their families get blindsided with huge phone bills thanks to hefty a la carte text messaging charges." Use of SMS in the US doubled from 2005 to 2006.
Networking

Broadband isn't Broadband Unless its 2Mbps? 351

Posted by Zonk
from the time-for-a-bit-of-clarity dept.
quanticle writes "According to House Democrats, broadband isn't broadband unless its at least 2Mbps. The view of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications is that the FCC's data collection standards are hopelessly outdated, and is proposing a number of updates to their criteria. For one, they want 'broadband' reclassified to at least 2mbs, up from 200kbps. Another requirement will change the FCC's outlook on broadband availability. Just because one household in a zip code has broadband access, that will not longer mean everyone in the zip code does. 'The plan went over well with the consumer advocates who appeared before the subcommittee. Larry Cohen, president of the Communication Workers of America, said that the US is "stuck with a twentieth century Internet" and that he would support increasing the "broadband" definition to 2Mbps. Ben Scott of Free Press echoed that sentiment, suggesting that the definition needs to be an evolving standard that increases over time, which is in contrast to the current FCC definition; it has not changed in nine years. "We have always been limited by the FCC's inadequate and flawed data," he said.'"
Operating Systems

Performance Evaluation of Xen Vs. OpenVZ 116

Posted by kdawson
from the price-to-pay dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Compared to an operating-system-level virtualization technology like OpenVZ, Xen — a hypervisor-level virtualization technology that allows multiple operating systems to be run with and without para-virtualization — trades off performance for much better isolation and security. OpenVZ's performance advantage due to running virtual containers in a single operating system kernel can be significant. A performance evaluation study (PDF) done by researchers at the University of Michigan and HP labs provides insight into how big a performance penalty Zen pays and what causes the overheads (primarily L2 cache misses)." From the report: "We compare both technologies with a base system in terms of application performance, resource consumption, scalability, low-level system metrics like cache misses and virtualization-specific metrics like Domain-0 consumption in Xen. Our experiments indicate that the average response time can increase by over 400% in Xen and only a modest 100% in OpenVZ as the number of application instances grows from one to four... A similar trend is observed in CPU consumptions of virtual containers."
The Internet

Social Computing and Badger's Paws 123

Posted by kdawson
from the mushroom dept.
An anonymous reader writes "When Yahoo!'s Jeremy Zawodny recently asked What the heck is Web 2.0 anyway? he received a set of responses reminiscent of those garnered by The Register back in 2005, which famously concluded, based on its readers' responses, that Web 2.0 was made up of 12% badger's paws, 6% JavaScript worms, and 26% nothing. Nonetheless, as Social Computing (SoC) widens and deepens its footprint, another Jeremy — Jeremy Geelan — has asked if we are witnessing the death of 'Personal' Computing. SoC, Geelan notes, has already become an academic field of study. But perhaps Social Computing too is just badger's paws?"
Censorship

Student Arrested for Making Videogame Map of School 998

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the obviously-a-terrorist dept.
tanman writes "A student at the Houston-area Clements High School was arrested, sent to an "Alternative Education Center" and banned from graduation after school officials found he created a video game map of his school. School district police arrested the teen and searched his home where they confiscated a hammer as a 'potential weapon'. ' "They decided he was a terroristic threat," said one source close to the district's investigation.' With an upcoming May 12 school board election, this issue has quickly become political, with school board members involved in the appeal accusing each other of pandering to the Chinese community in an attempt to gain votes."
Google

Businesses Scramble To Stay Out of Google Hell 303

Posted by Zonk
from the argh-my-pancreas-the-demons-poke-it-so dept.
whoever57 writes "Forbes has up an article on the consequences of being dumped into a claimed 'supplemental index', also known as 'Google Hell'. It uses the example of Skyfacet, a site selling diamonds rings and other jewelery, which has dropped in Google's rankings and saw a $500,000 drop in revenue in only three months after the site owner paid a marketing consultant to improve the sites. The article claims that sites in the supposed 'supplemental index' may be visited by Google's spiders as infrequently as once per year. The problem? Google's cache shows that Google's spiders visited the site ss recently as late April. 'Google Hell is the worst fear of the untold numbers of companies that depend on search results to keep their business visible online. Getting stuck there means most users will never see the site, or at least many of the site's pages, when they enter certain keywords. And getting out can be next to impossible--because site operators often don't know what they did to get placed there.'"
Education

+ - MIT Dean of Admissions Resigns Over Faked Resume

Submitted by
theodp
theodp writes "Marilee Jones, who crusaded against the pressure on students to build resumes for elite colleges, resigned as dean of admissions at MIT after acknowledging she had faked her own academic credentials. Despite Jones' claims of having degrees from Union College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Albany Medical College, an MIT inquiry did not find that Jones had any undergraduate or graduate degree."
Linux

Beryl User Interface for Linux Reviewed 271

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yo-ho-ho-and-a-beryl-of-rum dept.
techie writes "OSWeekly.com has published a review of Beryl, a very cool looking UI for Linux. Matt Hartley writes, "This release, in my opinion, was the most over-hyped and bug-filled to date. You will have to really hit Technorati to see more of what I'm talking about, but Feisty is as buggy as the beta I tested a short time ago. After completely tossing into the wilds of the ubber-buggy "network-manager," anything running with Edgy supported RT2500 driver shows up, but it will not connect without a special script. Those of you who are on Feisty and need help with your RT2500 cards are welcome to e-mail me for the bash script."
Censorship

In Russia, 50% of News Must Be Happy 551

Posted by kdawson
from the ministry-of-truth dept.
Several readers sent us to the New York Times for disturbing news on Russia's vanishing press freedoms. The story tells of how one of the few remaining relatively independent radio outlets in Russia recently acquired new managers, reportedly loyal to Vladimir Putin. Quoting: "At their first meeting with journalists since taking over Russia's largest independent radio news network, the managers had startling news of their own: from now on, they said, at least 50 percent of the reports about Russia must be 'positive.' In addition, opposition leaders could not be mentioned on the air and the United States was to be portrayed as an enemy, journalists employed by the network, Russian News Service, say they were told by the new managers, who are allies of the Kremlin."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - BOFH

Submitted by nerdin
nerdin (1330) writes "I was teaching a couple of newbies what a Real Sysop must be, so I googled for BOFH. It was sad news for me to find this . At first I asked myself where in the Universe I had been that I didn't notice, so I made a search in /. to read his nerd peers eulogy, just to find nothing. So let's preserve his memory and -late better than never- recognize his role in IT industry, spanning a least 2 generations of sysadmins"

Ernest asks Frank how long he has been working for the company. "Ever since they threatened to fire me."

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