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


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale Extended! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 20% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY20". ×
Operating Systems

Submission + - A Visual Expedition Inside the Linux File Systems (

RazvanM writes: "This is an attempt to visualize the relations between the Linux File Systems through the eyes of the external symbols their kernel modules use. An initial plot was presented before but this time the scope is much broader. The analysis is done on 1377 kernel modules from 2.6.0 to 2.6.29 but there is also a small dip in the BSD world. The most thorough analysis is done on Daniel Phillips's tree which contains the latest two disk-based file systems for Linux: tux3 and btrfs. The main techniques used to established relations between file systems are hierarchical clustering and phylogenetic trees. Some other things that are presented include a set of rankings based on various properties related to the evolution of the external symbols from one release to another and complete timelines of the kernel releases for Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD. In total there are 78 figures and 10 animations. Happy viewing and commenting!"

Submission + - How do you authenticate to Google Apps? (

Saqib writes: "Recently, I was discussing the NIST's draft Presentation on Effectively and Securely Using the Cloud Computing Paradigm with my colleagues. The discussion ultimately evolved into a discussion about authentication and access control methods employed by various organization to access their Google Apps Standard/Premier/Education accounts. We started talking and comparing Multi-factor authentication, SAML based SSO, OpenId, native Google Authentication etc. I would like to query slashdot readers who use Google Apps about the authentication method their organization currently employees and why. Also please take 2 minutes to answer a brief survey. The result summary of the survey is available here"
The Internet

Submission + - Does Microsoft's Bing have Google running scared? (

suraj.sun writes: Microsoft may have developed a contender that threatens Google's Web search dominance.

In a story headlined "Fear grips Google," the New York Post reports ( ) that the launch of Microsoft's Bing search engine has so upset Google co-founder Sergey Brin that he has top engineers working on "urgent upgrades" to Google's service. Brin is said to be leading a team to determine how Microsoft's search algorithm differs from the closely guarded one Google employs. The tabloid also notes that it's rare for Google's co-founders to have such a hands-on involvement in the company's daily operations.

"New search engines have come and gone in the past 10 years, but Bing seems to be of particular interest to Sergey," an anonymous source described as an "insider" to the newspaper.

A Google spokesperson declined to comment on the level of Brin's involvement but did tell the newspaper that the company always has a team working on improving search.

While Microsoft has a long way to go before it makes a dent in Google's business, Bing may end up being the only true alternative to Google if Yahoo decides not to compete in the search market ( ) over the next few years.

NYPost :

CNET News :


Submission + - Ocean currents proposed as cause of magnetic field (

pjt33 writes: The Institute of Physics reports a recently published paper which proposes that ocean currents could account for Earth's magnetic field. The currently predominant theory is that the cause is molten iron flowing in the Earth's outer core. There is at present no direct evidence for either theory.

Submission + - Iran Moves to End 'Facebook Revolution'

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Times reports that the Iranian government is mounting a campaign to disrupt independent media organisations and websites that air doubts about the validity of the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the nation's president. Reports from Tehran say that social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter were taken down after Mr Ahmadinejad claimed victory. SMS text messaging, a preferred medium of communication for young Iranians, has also been disabled. This is widely suspected to be the result of government interference, but could equally be caused by the poor quality of the network and the heavy demand it is experiencing. "The blocking of access to foreign news media has been stepped up. In addition to the blocking of the BBC's website, the Farsi-language satellite broadcasts of the Voice of America and BBC — which are very popular in Iran — have been partially jammed," says Reporters Without Borders, the media organisation that campaigns for a free press around the world. "The Internet is now very slow, like the mobile phone network. YouTube and Facebook are hard to access and pro-reform sites. . . are completely inaccessible." Mir Hussein Moussavi, the presidential challenger whom President Ahmedinejad claims to have defeated with 63.4 per cent of the vote and fellow presidential candidate Mehdi Karoubi have urged the population not to accept the "rigged results." There have been violent clashes between opposition supporters and security forces, with at least one death in the capital."
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA Case, Capitol v. Thomas #2, Starts Monday (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The RIAA's first trial verdict having been tossed out last year, the RIAA is coming back for a second bite at the apple starting Monday. This time the trial will be in Minneapolis, rather than Duluth, and this time the defendant will have a team of pro bono lawyers on her side. But perhaps the most important new development is that this time the 'technical' evidence garnered by MediaSentry and 'explained' by the RIAA's expert witness Doug Jacobson, will not get the free pass it got the first time around. In the 2007 trial in Capitol Records v. Thomas, no objection was made by defendant's lawyer to the MediaSentry/Doug Jacobson 'evidence' upon which the RIAA relied, and the evidence was admitted without objection. This time there will be no free ride, as defendant's tech-savvy lawyers have already filed a list of objections to the RIAA's proposed exhibits. Most notably they attack the 'technical' materials submitted by MediaSentry and Dr. Doug Jacobson under Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, which requires evidence based on 'scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge' to be based on sufficient facts or data, to be the product of reliable principles and methods, and to be the result of those principles and methods having been applied reliably to the facts of the case. If the evidence fails to meet those standards, it is inadmissible. This judge has already evidenced acute awareness of these principles, in deciding which subjects defendant's expert could and could not address. So this should be interesting."

SCCS, the source motel! Programs check in and never check out! -- Ken Thompson