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Programming

+ - Online Poker Pwned

Submitted by sanimalp
sanimalp (965638) writes "I just came across a fairly old article (cir. 1999) that details the breaking down of an online poker site's shuffling algorithm. The article details how an off-by-one error combined with an algorithm which doesn't return an even distribution of shuffled decks allows the authors to determine the ordering of the cards. For the nostalgic among us, the article provides a time capsule in which the carefree days of online gambling were unaffected by morality laws."
Data Storage

+ - Hard Disk Drive Myths Debunked

Submitted by babyshiori
babyshiori (1091815) writes "This guide got down to basics and examined some of the common hard disks related fallacies or myths and debunked them. Although many articles have covered these topics, it is apparent that hard disk urban legends are still more popular than the simple truth such as 'formatting a hard drive too many times will cause it to fail' or 'If your hard drive has bad sectors, formatting will cause more bad sectors to appear' and many more. Read on and find out about these myths and most probably you'll get a laugh out of them."
The Almighty Buck

+ - Casino Bans MS Word Author For Video Poker Win->

Submitted by
mbstone
mbstone writes "Richard Brodie, the original author of MS Word and a poker pro, has been banned from Caesars Palace and all other casinos owned by Harrah's Entertainment Corp. — including a ban on his participating in the 2007 World Series of Poker — because, get this, he got lucky and won three royal flushes on video poker for $240,000 each. Not for cheating, or even for card counting, just for being lucky. Harrah's management has obviously never heard of the law of averages!"
Link to Original Source
Linux Business

+ - Extended Warranties on Ubuntu Systems Back Soon

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Dell replies to extended warranty claims on Ubuntu systems. "Recently, folks like Slashdot and others reported that we are no longer offering extended warranties or CompleteCare on Ubuntu-based systems. User johnnyk submitted an idea on IdeaStorm asking us to bring back warranty options for these systems. The short answer — we will soon.""
Power

+ - Scientists develop 40% efficient solar cells

Submitted by gtada
gtada (191158) writes "A story published on Physorg.com states 'Scientists from Spectrolab, Inc., a subsidiary of Boeing, have recently published their research on the fabrication of solar cells that surpass the 40% efficiency milestone — the highest efficiency achieved for any photovoltaic device. Their results appear in a recent edition of Applied Physics Letters.' How much longer until we all have paneled roofs?"
Software

+ - Burrito FTP to POP3 translator

Submitted by sanimalp
sanimalp (965638) writes "With Burrito you can read and manage your e-mails with any FTP client. It acts as a POP3/FTP protocol translator — it's actually an FTP server that translates FTP commands to POP3 commands and serves your e-mail messages as individual files. You can view, delete and copy your e-mail messages as if they were files on an FTP server. It's a pretty interesting solution to a problem no one knew existed."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Happy 10th Birthday, Duke Nukem Forever

Submitted by GotWookiee
GotWookiee (1089695) writes "That's right, ten years ago today on Sunday, April 27tn, 1997, 3D Realms formally announced the development of Duke Nukem Forever, the sequel to Duke Nukem 3D. Ten years later, it is still in development.

Major development milestones:
April '97: 3D Realms announces the development of the game.
August '97: PC Gamer magazine publishes the first screen shots.
November '97: Scott Miller states that the intended release date is in 1998.
December '97: 3D Realms gets the Quake II engine source code.
May '98: 3D Realms unveils a first demo footage at E3.
June '98: 3D Realms switches to the Unreal engine. George Broussard states that DNF will be out in 1999. Lots of content is scrapped.
'99: DNF upgrades to the Unreal Tournament engine.
December '99: More DNF screenshots. DNF releases a Christmas card implying it will be out soon.
'00: DNF gets 2nd place in Wired magazines Vaporware Award.
December '00: Another Christmas card.
'01: DNF wins 1st place in the Wired Vaporware Awards.
May '01: Another demo video at E3. The last to date.
'02: DNF wins the Vaporware award again.
'02: New programmers are hired and the game engine is retooled. 95% of previous content is scrapped according to Broussard.
'03: Wired gives DNF the Vaporware Lifetime Achievement Award, created solely for DNF.
September '04: Karma physics engine replaced with Meqon engine.
'05 and '06: DNF wins the Vaporware Award two years in a row, again.
January, '07: In-game screen shot released.

During DNF's record 10 years of development, many things have transpired. Also, many historical events have taken less time than DNF's development. Here are some things that have happened in less time than DNF's development:

1) The production and release of all 3 Star Wars prequels, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, along with every Pixar movie except Toy Story.
2) It took less time for NASA and its contractor's to put a man on the moon and return him to the Earth, from Kennedy's pledge before congress to Armstrong's historic "small step."
3) The career's of Britney Spears and Collin Farrel.
4) The two Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity were proposed, authorized, announced, designed, launched and successfully landed upon Mars where they have been exploring the surface for over 2.5 years.
5) The U.S.S. Ronald Reagan (the largest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the world) was in contract, built, launched, comissioned, and began active duty.
6) The Wright brothers designed and flew the first airplane.
7) The American Revolutionary War, Civil War, World Wars I and II, the development of the Atomic Bomb, and the US involvement in Vietnam each took less time than DNF's development.

For a more complete list, check out The Duke Nukem Forever List.

In 2008, George Broussard will make you his bitch!"
First Person Shooters (Games)

+ - EA Server trouble

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Electronic Arts seems to have trouble with their servers. It started more than 24 hours ago with the Account Server for Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 2142. The Account Server handles players' login before they can join any game server. However at the moment most players only see an error message saying "The server has refused the connection". According to the EA BF2 forum the trouble is mainly with EU and Asian servers, however no other information have been given. Links to posts from angry players and some terse info from EA officials are not available at the moment, because both EA forum sites http://forums.easports.com/ (USA) and http://forum.eagames.co.uk/ (UK) are also down."
Linux Business

+ - Central User Management w/Linux desktop and server

Submitted by
mvip
mvip writes "With the Desktop improvements of the latest releases of Ubuntu Desktop I'm seriously considering migrating one of the offices I administrate entirely over to Linux. All the software that is not available for Linux will run under Wine, so no problems as far as that is concerned.

My thoughts is to install a server with some Linux distribution (Ubuntu Server or Gentoo), and then Ubuntu Desktop on the clients (a handful of them). The only thing I really need from the server is to share files, but I would also like to have central user management.

Now, as far as I know there are two ways to go when it comes to central user authentication; Kerberos or Samba w/ PDC. Kerberos seems to be the 'Unix'-way to do it (recommended in FreeBSD's handbook) , while Samba PDC is more like a mixed-environment solution. Both of these solutions can use OpenLDAP as a back-end, which I need. As for the file-sharing, I guess NFS goes with Kerberos, while obviously Samba takes care of the Samba file-sharing.

What I really want to know is what kind of experience people have when it comes to this. Which is the most 'optimal' way to go, and what would work with the least amount of tweaking/hacking?

I posted on both Ubuntu and Gentoo's forum, but received little feedback."
Security

+ - U.S. leading the world in malware creation?

Submitted by
PetManimal
PetManimal writes "China, Russia, and the other developing countries usually blamed for the increasing amount of malware are not the biggest culprits, according to Symantec. The security software company just released a report which claims that the U.S. leads the world in a number of malware categories, ranging from the "amount of malicious activity originating from their networks" to "underground economy servers". Preston Gralla says the U.S. lead should come as no surprise, considering the capitalist way of life and the high level of technical knowledge. He also suggests that the some of the "criminals" may actually be Internet entrepreneurs who crossed over to the dark side:

It's an inevitable result of a thriving free market and tech expertise. An underground economy often mirrors the legal, above-ground one. Scratch a criminal, and sometimes you find a misguided entrepreneur, looking to get rich a little too quick.
"
PHP

+ - PHP5 and adding XSLT to the DOM and SimpleXML

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "PHP5 offers the developer a lot more muscle to work with XML. New and modified extensions such as the DOM, SimpleXML, and XSL make working with XML less code intensive. This article looks at input and output options, and you will learn how to use the Yahoo Web Services REST protocol interface to provide a more sophisticated showcase for the functionality of the DOM and SimpleXML extensions and concludes with the XSL extension."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Steve Balmer is just like a chimpanzee.

Submitted by raydulany
raydulany (892228) writes "The Washington Post has an article discussing the role that evolution may have played in the development of human behavior. The first paragraph is my favorite. From the article, "When Emory University primatologist Frans de Waal read a news story that said Microsoft's chief executive, Steve Ballmer, had hurled a chair across the room on hearing an employee was going to work for rival Google, the scientist immediately made a connection with his own research: 'When I see such behavior, I think of a chimpanzee.'" The article goes on to discuss two particular instances of birds showing seemingly human behavior, the "wingman" phenomenon and extortion."
Space

+ - SpaceX to make second launch attempt today.

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "SpaceX is set to launch the second demonstration flight of the Falcon 1 at 4pm California time (11pm GMT) today. The webcast will start at T-60 minutes (I assume more than hour before launch due to built in holds).

In the first attempt a year ago this month, the vehicle was destroyed 34 seconds into flight (burning fuel leak). Odd that all pictures and press releases of that launch seem to have dissapeared from the site. Only two videos of the initial liftof, and a small bit in the company Q&A, remain."

I like work; it fascinates me; I can sit and look at it for hours.

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