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


Forgot your password?
Back for a limited time - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×
The Courts

Submission + - Motley Fool:"RIAA's Day in Court Nearly Over&#

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The Motley Fool investment web site claims that"the music industry's lawsuit crusade against defenseless college students and housewives appears to have hit the skids". It says "Some lawsuits have proven ridiculous from the outset, targeting computer-illiterates and dead people, or accusing grandmothers of downloading gangsta rap. Others have been dismissed for a lack of evidence against the purported file-sharers. Nearly every standard weapon in the recording industry's legal arsenal has been proven ineffectual at best, and unconstitutional at worst." At least one commentator noted with interest that these observations emanate not from a socially conscious blog but "a hard-core commercial web site discussing stocks, investing, and personal finance"."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - Where are all the classic Western games?

mr_sifter writes: "The recent release of 3:10 to Yuma and Seraphim Falls has put the Western back in the public eye. In a column on Custom PC, one gamer points out that Westerns had the key plot elements of computer games sorted out long before the first games even appeared: the hero is good with a gun, looks mean and moody and doesn't say a lot. Then he shoots loads of baddies and when it's over, he rides off into the sunset. Given this, you'd think the Wild West and games would be a perfect match. But that's not the case. The article wonders why, when the Wild West has inpsired so many classic movies, there aren't any decent Western computer games."

Submission + - Adobe dumps HD-DVD for Blu-Ray

Miti writes: "The media wars have taken a sharp turn as Adobe's latest software Premiere Elements package; version 6 will only support export options for Blu-ray rather than HD DVD. Adobe spokesman says that he is not sure why the company wont support the next gen format. However industry sources say that Adobe has cracked under pressure from Sony a close partner who ships all its Vaio PC's with Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements."

Submission + - Success in getting a Dell Windows 'tax' refund.

Jeffrey Harmison writes: "I bought a laptop (Inspiron 1501) from the Dell Outlet store a few days ago. I wanted it exclusively for Ubuntu (for my studies at Ohio University as a Masters Student) and had no choice but to get one with Windows (they don't offer other choices currently in this area). Tonight, I successfully obtained a $70 refund from Dell because I informed them (prior to delivery) that I was going to decline the EULA. I was pleasantly surprised and would recommend this straight forward approach to anyone considering running only Linux on any systems purchased from the Outlet store (which btw is a good deal).

8:46:04 PM System An agent will be with you shortly.
8:57:18 PM System Supreet Chahal has joined this session!
8:57:18 PM System Connected with Supreet Chahal
8:57:29 PM Supreet Chahal Thank you for contacting Dell Customer Service Chat.
                                        My name is Supreet. How may I help you?
8:57:43 PM Supreet Chahal Hi, Jeffrey.
8:57:47 PM Jeffrey Harmison hello
8:58:33 PM Supreet Chahal How are you doing today?
8:59:03 PM Jeffrey Harmison my laptop should be delivered tomorrow and I would like to start a case file now on the subject of getting a refund on the windows xp home part of the my order as I will not be agreeing to the eula...and will not be using windows at all
8:59:39 PM Supreet Chahal I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you. I am glad to assist you.
9:00:58 PM Jeffrey Harmison what is process for this request? should I send back the windows media once it arrives?
9:02:09 PM Supreet Chahal Jeffrey, Please allow 1-2 mins
                                        while I check the details of the account.
9:02:13 PM Jeffrey Harmison ok
9:03:03 PM Jeffrey Harmison I was not given the option of getting a system without windows in this case....the outlet store did not offer non-os or ubuntu systems....only xp and vista were choices....neither of which I want
9:04:34 PM Supreet Chahal Jeffrey, I have checked your account details and see that the order has been shipped out of dell and is estimated to be delivered to you on the 09/25/2007
9:05:12 PM Jeffrey Harmison that sounds right according to the emails I have received
9:05:14 PM Supreet Chahal As I understand you correctly, you are not satisfied with the Operating system of the system. I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.
9:06:18 PM Jeffrey Harmison when I turn it on for the first time, I will decline the eula and leave the media unopened....what is the next step here then?
9:06:49 PM Supreet Chahal This concern needs technical assistance. I apologize, being in customer care, I do not have technical expertise. I suggest you speak with our Dell Consumer Hardware Warranty Support as they would be able to assist you better with this.
9:07:43 PM Jeffrey Harmison this is not tech is a return /credit question......
                                        not technical in nature.......the eula says I am supposed
                                        to contact OEM for refund if I decline the eula
9:08:04 PM Jeffrey Harmison I so request a refund
9:08:12 PM Jeffrey Harmison don't need tech support help
9:09:29 PM Supreet Chahal Jeffrey, operating system swap is not possible,
                                        however as a customer care gesture
                                        I can offer you a credit of $70.00.
9:09:38 PM Jeffrey Harmison I'll take it
9:10:39 PM Supreet Chahal I understand that you have accepted the offer for $70.00
                                        hence I am processing the request for you.
9:10:52 PM Jeffrey Harmison Thanks...I will wait
9:11:09 PM Supreet Chahal Please allow me 2-3 minutes as I process the request for you.
9:11:55 PM Jeffrey Harmison Ok
9:12:37 PM Supreet Chahal Jeffrey, May i have the complete name on the account?
9:12:41 PM Jeffrey Harmison Jeffrey Harmison
9:12:58 PM Supreet Chahal Also,Could you please confirm if your e-mail address is
9:13:05 PM Jeffrey Harmison it is
9:14:09 PM Supreet Chahal Thank you for the confirmation.
9:16:39 PM Supreet Chahal Thank you for your patience.
9:18:07 PM Supreet Chahal For your convenience I have processed the request for the credit
                                        of $70.00 in your account and the money
                                        will be credited in approximately 8 business days.
9:18:23 PM Supreet Chahal Your reference number is xxxxxxxxxxxx.
                                        This is for your convenience. I assure you that I will follow up
                                        on the credit status and keep you informed.
9:18:52 PM Jeffrey Harmison Will this credit be refunded to my credit card
                                        used for the purchase?
9:20:19 PM Supreet Chahal Yes Jeffrey, the credit will be posted to your Visa account.
9:20:37 PM Supreet Chahal Is there anything else I may assist you with?
9:21:29 PM Jeffrey Harmison Thank you very much for your assistance....
                                        you have been very helpful. Please inform your supervisors
                                        that I will be destroying the windows media
                                        so it will not be used elsewhere.
9:21:39 PM Jeffrey Harmison Thanks again. Jeffrey
9:21:55 PM Supreet Chahal Are you satisfied with the level of services
                                        provided during the chat session?
9:22:08 PM Jeffrey Harmison very much so....have a nice evening
9:22:10 PM Supreet Chahal Thank you for using Dell Customer Service chat
                                        to resolve your issue today."

Submission + - Mystery illness from meteor crash is solved. (

Technician writes: The meteor that crashed in Peru caused a mystery illnesses. The cause of the illness has been found. The meteor was not toxic. The ground water it contacted contains arsenic. The resulting steam cloud is what caused the mystery illness. "The meteorite created the gases when the object's hot surface met an underground water supply tainted with arsenic, the scientists said." There is a very good photo of the impact crater in the article. The rim of the crater is lined with people for a size comparison.

Submission + - Cops, trojans and censorship (

retrofuturist writes: "The Australian Financial Review has run front page story today about how that Australia's federal cops not only want the power to legally use trojans against suspects, they also want powers to be able to filter the Web. That has a LOT of people very concerned ... Trojans: Cybercrime bid to hack the hackers Censorship: Net censor plan raises hackles"
The Internet

Submission + - Too many productivity tips = complete lack thereof (

patrick24601 writes: "A jewel of mine from The human brain can only handle so much information in a short period of time. As I approach 40 I am learning this limit very well. So whenever I see an article, blog posting, email, etc. that says '98 tips to a more productive life' I instantly delete it. I can tell before even pulling up the list that this is a list of items that is impracticle for me to absorb in a single sitting. Or in a single week. Or in a single month. If you ever sit down and listen to a great music jam session (primarily Jazz/R&B IMO) you will find out that the silence in the music is just as important (if not more) as the actual notes that are being played. You cannot always have noise. Just a good guitar riff or kick drum every now and then in the hook can make for a great tune. So if I subscribe to several productivity RSS feeds, and at least once a week I see a post about ' The top 38423 ways to promote your blog' or '98432 ways you can have everything you want right now' I will be forever trying to keep up with all of the items. The end result is that I will be LESS productive than I was when I started. No thank you sir! My advice to you: Don't read these posts, or if you do just glaze over the first 10 to see if you see anything new. Otherwise delete it because it will just fry your brain trying to implement. Odds are anyways you've already read them in the past month."

Feed Engadget: OLPC announces $399 "Give 1 Get 1" holiday XO promo (

Filed under: Laptops

Starting November 12th you can finally fork over some cash for an XO and get one shipped to your door -- as long as you're willing pay double for some kid in a developing nation to get one as well. It'll cost you $399, which is hardly a bargain given the other cheap-as-free laptops making the rounds these days, but the XO is undoubtedly novel, and we imagine not a few nerds will want to get their hands on one this holiday season, or at least bestow the little green machine upon one of their nerdling progeny. Apparently this offer, which has been rumored for quite a while now, will only last for a limited time -- OLPC News has it on good authority the promo will go for two weeks, and the machines will ship to your door in time for Christmas -- but it's never to early or late to donate toward the project in general. $200 will build and ship a laptop to one of those millions of kids who totally needed to be playing Doom yesterday.

[Via OLPC News]

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!

Feed Science Daily: Vitamin E Trials 'Fatally Flawed' (

Generations of studies on vitamin E may be largely meaningless, scientists say, because new research has demonstrated that the levels of this micronutrient necessary to reduce oxidative stress are far higher than those that have been commonly used in clinical trials. Researchers recently concluded that the levels of vitamin E necessary to reduce oxidative stress are about 1,600 to 3,200 I.U. daily, or four to eight times higher than those used in almost all past clinical trials.

Submission + - Lisaac : The first prototype object compiler (

Ontologia writes: "Lisaac is a new prototype based object language. It stands as a Self and SmallTalk successor and takes some Eiffel ideas like genericity and contract programming. The goal of the project is to provide a high level language as fast as C.
In fact, with some benchmarks on an mpeg2 decoder rigorously translated from C, Lisaac is 17% faster to 44% slower than C, for 40 % less lines of code with lots of gcc optimizations.
Lisaac provides a lot of powerful features thanks to the prototype based object model : Absolutely all is object, contract programming, dynamic inheritance, block type which is a list of instruction giving functional programming facilities, and so on..

The 0.12 version, distributed in GPLv3, is the latest stable version for the 0.2 specification.
Lisaac was convincing enough for writing IsaacOS, a fully object operating system. IsaacOS runs on five different architectures."

You have a massage (from the Swedish prime minister).