ISS

Video Urthecast Brings You Earth Images and Videos from the ISS (Video) 16

Most of us probably won't ever visit the International Space Station (ISS) and look down at the Earth (motto: "The only planet we know has beer, so let's not ruin it"). Looking at pictures and videos made by cameras mounted on the ISS is about as close as we're going to get. There's already an ISS HD Earth Viewing Experiment on Ustream, but Urthecast is putting out higher-definition images than what you see on Ustream, and has plans to put out even clearer images and video before long. While Urthecast is likely to accumulate plenty of "oohs" and "aahhs" as it rolls along, according to CEO Scott Larson their real objective is to sell imagery -- and not necessarily just from the visible light band of the overall spectrum -- to industrial and government users. People like us are still invited to look at (and marvel at) lovely images of our planetary home.

NOTE: Today's video is about 4:30 long. If you want to watch and listen to more of Mr. Larson, we have a second "bonus" (Flash) video for you. Or you can read the transcript, which covers both videos.
Security

Thousands of SCADA Devices Discovered On the Open Internet 141

Trailrunner7 writes with news of the continuing poor state of security for industrial control systems. From the article: "Never underestimate what you can do with a healthy list of advanced operator search terms and a beer budget. That's mostly what comprises the arsenal of two critical infrastructure protection specialists who have spent close to nine months trying to paint a picture of the number of Internet-facing devices linked to critical infrastructure in the United States. It's not a pretty picture. The duo ... have with some help from the Department of Homeland Security (PDF) pared down an initial list of 500,000 devices to 7,200, many of which contain online login interfaces with little more than a default password standing between an attacker and potential havoc. DHS has done outreach to the affected asset owners, yet these tides turn slowly and progress has been slow in remedying many of those weaknesses. ...The pair found not only devices used for critical infrastructure such as energy, water and other utilities, but also SCADA devices for HVAC systems, building automation control systems, large mining trucks, traffic control systems, red-light cameras and even crematoriums."
Beer

Man Intends To Live On Beer Alone For Lent 5

tetrahedrassface writes "An Iowanian is living on nothing but beer for the 46 days of Lent. J.Wilson, a blogger, and editor of the weekly Adams County Free Press modeled this Lent exercise on 17'th century German Monks who practiced liquid fasts. Using a custom made grog that has high caloric values is key as Wilson says because ordinary light beer just doesn't have enough nutritional value. He has already lost 11 pounds while following his weekday four a day and weekend 5 a day beer scheme."
Image

Verizon Asks Court To Affirm 'Most Reliable' Claim Screenshot-sm 111

suraj.sun writes "Verizon has asked a court to affirm its claim to be 'America's Most Reliable 3G Network.' From the article, 'Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon and Vodafone Group PLC, asked a US court for a judgment that its advertising claims to be "America's Most Reliable 3G Network" were truthful, which rival AT&T called "misleading" on Monday. In papers filed in US District Court in Manhattan, Verizon said assertions on July 1 by AT&T Mobility LLC, a unit of AT&T, that its advertising was false could not be supported. AT&T, which has its principal business in Atlanta, had filed the challenge with the National Advertising Division of the Council for Better Business Bureaus. Verizon Wireless said its claims of having "America's Most Reliable 3G Network" and "America's Best 3G Network" and "America's Most Reliable Wireless Network" are "truthful, accurate and substantiated" and do not violate the trademark law known as the Lanham Act. It said that AT&T's challenge "relies on the incorrect premise that speed is an essential element of the standard for measuring network reliability.'" I can only hope that at some future date a court will decide which light beer truly is the best tasting.
Privacy

10 Percent of Colleges Check Applicants' Social Profiles 398

theodp writes "Confirming paranoid high-schoolers' fears, a new Kaplan survey reveals that 10% of admissions officers from prestigious schools said they had peeked at sites like Facebook and MySpace to evaluate college-bound seniors. Of those using the profiles, 38% said it had a 'negative impact' on the applicant. 'Today's application is not just what you send ... but whatever they can Google about you,' said Kaplan's Jeff Olson. At Notre Dame, assistant provost for enrollment Dan Saracino said he and his staff sometimes come across candidates portraying themselves in a less-than-flattering light. 'It's typically inappropriate photos — like holding up a can of beer at a party,' Saracino said. On the other hand, using the Internet to vet someone's character seems overly intrusive to Northwestern's Christopher Watson. 'We consider Facebook and MySpace their personal space,' the dean of undergraduate admissions said. 'It would feel somewhat like an invasion of privacy.'" We recently discussed similar practices from prospective employers.
Image

Slashdot's Disagree Mail Screenshot-sm 264

In this week's Disagree Mail, I try to show the range of messages I get. It's not all angry or insane, sometimes it's sent to us for no apparent reason. We start off a little mad, slip into a whole bunch of crazy and finish with someone who has a complaint about racism at his favorite restaurant. Read below to get started.

Oregon Senate Candidate Steve Novick Answers Your Questions 393

Wow. More politicians (of all parties) need to be as open and thorough as Steve Novick is here. We selected 10 of the questions you submitted and sent them to him by email, and his responses... let's just say that if every candidate spoke out like Steve, we'd have a much clearer view of our choices and would be able to cast our votes a lot more rationally.

Biotech

Budweiser Vetos Genetically Modified Rice 142

fishdan writes "Anheuser-Busch the makers of Budweiser and other beers, has stated that they will not buy rice from Missouri if genetically modified crops are allowed in the state. Budweiser is claimed to be the best selling beer in the world Bud Light is the second best selling. I wonder about the stats of Tsing Tao I'm not sure what they're afraid of from genetically modified rice. Do they think their beer could get any worse?"

The Product Marketing Handbook for Software, 4th Edition 135

Daniel Shefer writes "If you want to make money by selling your software, it has to be marketed, promoted and then sold to the customer. Doing this is not as easy as it may sound. The Product Marketing Handbook, 4th Edition details the ins and outs of the aspects of software product marketing needed to make this happen." According to Shefer, "this is a great book if you want to market your product and get it sold"; read on for the rest of his review. Even if your software is free (as in speech, or as in beer), this book may offer insights in persuading people to try it out.
The Internet

BudNet Tracks Your Suds 712

An anonymous reader writes "CNN is carrying a story about Budweiser's national internal sales tracking network called BudNET. It allows Anheuser-Busch to instantly track sales across the country, and 'If Anheuser-Busch loses shelf space in a store in Clarksville, Tennessee, they know it right away.' It brings up some interesting privacy issues, because according to the article 'The last time you bought a six-pack of Bud Light at the Piggly Wiggly, Anheuser servers most likely recorded what you paid, when that beer was brewed, whether you purchased it warm or chilled, and whether you could have gotten a better deal down the street.' Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Dave Barry Answers Alert Slashdot Readers' Questions 355

Here you go, direct from the keyboard of Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Dave Barry. You asked, he answered. Why, we do not know. We didn't pay him $127,000 to do this, no matter what anyone says. It must be a slow news week in Miami. Or worse -- and this is a scary thought -- maybe Dave likes Slashdot readers and wants you all to like him, too.
Science

Digital Biology 137

Peter Wayner writes: "Metaphors drawn from biology have always fascinated computer scientists. No one speaks of subroutines that cp themselves through undocumented remote procedure calls because talk of 'computer viruses' carries all of the portent and weight of polio, anthrax, German Measles and tuberculosis. Invoking these mysterious and deadly images is more colorful than tech speak, even if most of the so-called viruses are closer to the common cold than the black plague. Why use a three-letter acronym when a biological metaphor is available?" Wayner wrote the following review of Peter J. Bentley's book Digital Biology, which may just answer that question.
Graphics

The Blender Book 64

Craig Maloney wrote this review of a book intended to remove some of the confusion from the powerful, free 3D modelling program Blender. Blender is fun to play with, and has been used to create some amazing 3D graphics, but it's not exactly intuitive. Just figuring out what some of the major buttons do was a triumph for me, but I haven't touched it in a few years -- I'd like to try Blender again, but with a book like this one at the ready to supplement the user interface.

Music

Sheet Music to Napster: Music Distribution Tech 97

Musical styles evolve like biological species evolve, in response to their environment. Musical ideas flourish -- or die off -- depending on how well their human creators are rewarded. A big factor in the evolution of musical style is us, the listeners; the next sound is cool, some old sounds are lame, Artist X now gets our dollars while Artist Y goes back to working as a waitress. Style marches on. But dollars just help steer the evolution of the machine. It's technology that decides where it can go. And to understand what influence our music technology can have, it helps to know what influences it has had. (Part two of three; here's yesterday's part one if you missed it.)
Linux

Linux Word Processor Showdown 161

Matthew Mastracci has sent in the first in a series of features comparing the various productivity type apps under Linux. This week is an application I haven't used since college: Word Processors. Specifically he looks KOffice's KWord and Applixware's ApplixWords. Other word processors (including StarOffice Writer, Corel's WordPerfect 8, AbiWord and KLyX will follow).
Corel

Interview: Corel CEO Michael Cowpland Answers 146

This week, Michael Cowpland, CEO of Corel, gives CEO-ish answers to your questions. There was one important question that didn't get asked because, sadly, it wasn't moderated high enough by the Tuesday noon (EST) cutoff time to be included in the group of questions we mailed to Corel. But as you can see, other Slashdot readers helped answer it anyway, and the other questions and answers shed a lot of light on Corel's current and future Linux plans, which is the main thing we're interested in, right? (More below.)
It's funny.  Laugh.

The Geek Compound Prepares for Y2k 445

So with the end of the world less than 48 hours a way, it seemed necessary that CowboyNeal, Hemos, the Pope, and myself all pile into CowboyNeal's gigantic truck thing and trek over to the local mega grocery store to prepare for the upcoming apocolypse. Click the link below to read exciting excerpts from our shopping list... if enough of you do so, then we can officially declare our purchases as tax deductable! Now we'll just cross our fingers and hope that whatever regime seizes control of michigan on Jan. 2 honors deductions from the previous government.
Quickies

Quickie Fu 104

Let's get the serious stuff out of the way: chrisd put up a survey to track what trade shows Linux Coders think are a good idea to go to. With the proliferation of cons, its nice to know what ones matter. Oh, and if you're looking for beer, you should try Heineken's BarTrek. its a PDA proggie with maps to bars and reviews of beer. And if you have GPS, it'll even lead you to it. My guess is after a few beers, it better be a really user friendly app or you might wind up in a desert or something. k-rist sent us linkage to Pulp Simpsons! which I highly recommend. An anonymous reader pointed us to a 15 pound Millenium Falcon made of legos. CK-2 pointed us to what looks like the most impressive real life light saber money can buy. dave pointed us to the site worth it. notjenni, a parody of jennicam. An AC pointed us to a Swedish site has a photo of the Daytrading Yucca plant. This plant is wired up to a computer to trade on the Swedish stock market in response to its electrical activity. If it makes a profit it is rewarded with water and light, if it makes a loss it is unwatered and sits in the dark. The plant has made an 18 percent profit in the last three months! God I hope this is true ;) Effugas pointed us to a pretty good parody of the Matrix. regs pointed us to MonkeyBagel which outta win an award for something. I don't really know what tho. Random merchandising: at0m noted that Copyleft now has Slashdot polos in grey and green. Finally, what would quickies be without some porn? Tolath sent us something graphic... if you happen to be an electrical cord.
Quake

John Carmack Answers 327

A few days past, we solicited questions from you folks to ask QuakeLaird John Carmack [?] . We sent the questions over to him, and he answered. A lot. It's definitely one of the best interviews we've had yet - click below to read more.

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