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Networking

A Web App For Real-Time Collaborative Writing 157 157

adamengst writes in with good news for anyone who needs to collaborate remotely on a writing or editing project — coding too. It's especially good news for those using Windows and Linux. Mac users have had SubEthaEdit for a few years now. With EtherPad, two or more people can edit a document and see all the edits simultaneously. EtherPad's main differences from SubEthaEdit: it's a Web application that de facto supports many platforms without the need for a central Mac OS X host; and it's free. Here is a comparison of EtherPad and SubEthaEdit.
Mozilla

Firefox To Get a Nag Screen For Upgrades 565 565

ruphus13 writes "Firefox has been pushing version 3.0 very aggressively, and firmly believes that it is a solid product. The Download Day was just one of their ways to drum up user support for the new release. Now, Firefox is going to 'gently nudge' users of Firefox 2.0 to upgrade. Some users may have been waiting for their add-ons to get upgraded, but now Mozilla is planning to apply a little nudge. Sometime within the next week, people using Firefox 2.0.0.16 will see a request to upgrade and though you'll have the option to decline, it's likely Firefox will ask again anyway. Users will most likely be offered a second chance to upgrade after several weeks. (Mozilla will stop supporting version 2 in December.) It will be interesting to see if this speeds up the rate of upgrade by users, as well as upgrades of the add-ons."
Music

RIAA Wants Songwriter Royalty Lowered 343 343

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Lest there be anyone left who believes the RIAA's propaganda that its litigation campaign is intended to benefit the 'creators' of the music, Hollywood Reporter reports that the RIAA is asking the Copyright Royalty Board to lower songwriter royalties on song file downloads, from the present rate of 9 cents per song — about 13% of the wholesale price — down to 8% of wholesale. Meanwhile, the big digital music companies, such as Apple, want the royalty rate lowered even more, to something like 4% of wholesale. So any representations by any of these companies that they are concerned for the 'creators' of the music must henceforth be taken with a boxcar-load of salt."
Communications

Stress-Testing the Verizon G'zOne Cellphone 112 112

abkaiser writes "You can dunk it under water. Put it in the oven and crank up the heat. Drop it, smack it, treat it like the hunk of plastic that it is. And yet this is a cellphone. I got my hands on the Verizon G'zOne (pronounced 'G-Z-One'), a phone designed for high-abuse environments. Come for the test methodology, stay for the photo of a cellphone cooking in an oven."
Windows

+ - Vista crippled by content protection

Anonymous Coward writes: "PC users around the globe may find driver software is stopped from working by Vista if it detects unauthorised content access. Peter Guttman, a security engineering researcher at New Zealand's university of Auckland, has written A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection. He reckons Vista is trying to achieve the impossible by protecting access to premium content. Users will find their PCs' compromised by the persistent and continuous content access checks carried out by Vista. http://www.techworld.com/opsys/news/index.cfm?news id=7675"
Technology (Apple)

+ - A New Prescription For Watching iPod Video

laytoncy writes: This week, we tested one of the geekiest gadgets we've seen in a long time: the $300 Myvu by MicroOptical Corp., www.myvu.com, which looks like a pair of futuristic sunglasses with built-in earbuds. Myvu attaches to your iPod, and when you look through its lenses, it displays your iPod's videos on a built-in screen with optics that create the illusion of watching a television set from across the room; the earbuds provide accompanying audio. It also comes in a universal version that works with other gadgets, rather than just with the iPod.
Microsoft

Get on the 'Gates for President' Bandwagon 654 654

netbuzz writes "Dilbert's Scott Adams kicked off the idea in his November 19th blog post, saying there isn't anything wrong with this country that President Bill Gates couldn't cure in less time than it takes to get a new operating system out the door. Today, the idea is moving forward with a brand-new 'Bill Gates for President' Web site. Adams is also back on the campaign trail, flogging the site and Gates' candidacy." A blog post at Network World includes a lot of eye-rolling about this idea, but neither Adams nor the folks at the 'Gates for President' website seem to be taking this lightly.

Physicists Promise Wireless Power 411 411

StrongGlad writes "The tangle of cables and plugs needed to recharge today's electronic gadgets could soon be a thing of the past. Researchers at MIT have outlined a relatively simple system that could deliver power wirelessly to devices such as laptop computers or MP3 players. In a nutshell, their solution entails installing special 'non-radiative' antennae with identical resonant frequencies on both the power transmitter and the receiving device. Any energy not diverted into a gadget or appliance is simply reabsorbed. The system currently under development is designed to operate at distances of 3 to 5 meters, but the researchers claim that it could be adapted to factory-scale applications, or miniaturized for use in the 'microscopic world.'"

Slashdot Posting Bug Infuriates Haggard Admins 262 262

Last night we crossed over 16,777,216 comments in the database. The wise amongst you might note that this number is 2^24, or in MySQLese an unsigned mediumint. Unfortunately, like 5 years ago we changed our primary keys in the comment table to unsigned int (32 bits, or 4.1 billion) but neglected to change the index that handles parents. We're awesome! Fixing is a simple ALTER TABLE statement... but on a table that is 16 million rows long, our system will take 3+ hours to do it, during which time there can be no posting. So today, we're disabling threading and will enable it again later tonight. Sorry for the inconvenience. We shall flog ourselves appropriately. Update: 11/10 12:52 GMT by J : It's fixed.

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