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Software

Submission + - Ways People Screw Up AJAX

foo writes: "People are aware of the good that technologies such as AJAX have added to sites such as gmail, digg, and slashdot. The negative aspects and implementations of AJAX have mostly avoided by the media and are rarely spoken. CGISecurity has published a top 5 list of problems which can be encountered by implementing AJAX improperly."
OS X

Submission + - "It's not as intuitive as Vista, is it"

Jehoshaphat writes: "I bought my wife a shiny new Macbook yesterday. It's our first Mac, we've had pc's for years, and our main pc runs Vista. As she unpacks it, I'm rather excited at the brownie points I will earn for getting her such a "cool" machine, and I'm looking forward to her raving about an OS instead of cursing it.

Having set it all up, I leave her for 20 minutes to have a play, certain that I will return to oohs and aahs of delight. Instead, on my return I am greeted by a concentrated frown on her face as she searches for a right-click button on the touchpad and tries to get a window to maximise to the entire screen. "It's not as intuitive as Vista, is it?", she quips...

So, SlashDot, does MacOS truly have a monopoly on intuitivism, or is it merely down to clever marketing and 25 years of conditioning?"
Software

Submission + - Registry for *nix?

hellsDisciple writes: "The registry is often touted as being the source of many of Windows' faults. But the horrid messy binary blob does unify configurations of many system services and paves the way for Group Policy and AD to control a lot of the machine's behaviour. With Samba's recent push to emulate AD fully for Windows and LDAP being suggested as the basis of a central management system, is it not time to get applications like Apache and Samba into shape for unified control? Should a standard config file syntax be agreed on and where should the data be stored? A push towards an "open registry" in *nix would make remote management really a snap."
Movies

Submission + - Revolution OS -the award winning documentary

An anonymous reader writes: This article calls Revolution OS the finest documentaries created which traces the path taken by GNU, Free Software, Open Source and Linux. The whole documentary all of 1 hour and 10 minutes long consists of bits and pieces of conversation with various leaders of the community which of course includes Linus Torvalds, Eric Raymond, Richard M Stallman, Bruce Perens and many others.

In the documentary, Linus Torvalds calls RMS the great philosopher of the movement and himself the engineer.

The documentary produced by J.T.S Moore also shows snippets of publicity the movement received in the main stream media such as in CNBC and The New York Times. Some prominent people from Slashdot also make their appearances in the documentary. The article goads you to watch and enjoy it and as a follow up buy the DVD to support the cause.
Announcements

Submission + - 'Kryptonite' Discovered in Serbian Mine

Rubinstien writes: A mineralogist at London's Natural History Museum was contracted to help identify an unknown mineral found in a Serbian mine. After its crystal structure was analyzed and identified, the researcher was shocked to find the material already referenced in literature. Says Dr. Chris Stanley, "Towards the end of my research I searched the web using the mineral's chemical formula — sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide — and was amazed to discover that same scientific name, written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luther from a museum in the film Superman Returns." "I'm afraid it's not green and it doesn't glow either — although it will react to ultraviolet light by fluorescing a pinkish-orange," he told BBC News. More details can be found in the BBC News article.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Things Computers Can Do in Movies

1. Word processors never display a cursor.
2. You never have to use the space-bar when typing long sentences.
3. Movie characters never make typing mistakes.
4. All monitors display inch-high letters.
5. High-tech computers, such as those used by NASA, the CIA or some such governmental institution, will have easy to understand graphical interfaces.
Security

Submission + - How a fleece jacket hacked airport security

rabblerouzer writes: "According to its own website the Transportation Security Administration "will continuously set the standard for excellence in transportation security through its people, processes, and technology." On my recent trip to Denver I was frankly alarmed at the number of vulnerabilities in airport security that I witnessed. And what happened because of a fleece jacket."
Privacy

Submission + - Forced RFID Implantation Illegal in North Dakota

JeremyDuffy writes: "From the "don't forget we're people, not products" department, North Dakota is the second state to ban forced RFID implantation. However, even if this is a step in the right direction, does it do enough? It doesn't ban voluntary implantation and last I checked a lot of things that aren't really "voluntary" are treated such under law. Here's a quote from the article of someone who agrees with me:

But Michael Shamos, a professor who specializes in security issues at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, believes the law is too vague to do much good. For instance, it only addresses situations where a chip is injected, even though RFID tags can also be swallowed. And it doesn't clearly define what a forced implant really is; someone could make chipping a requirement for a financial reward.

"Suppose I offer to pay you $10,000 if you have an RFID [chip] implanted?" he asked. "Is that 'requiring' if it's totally voluntary on your part?"
It's a poor example, but the right idea. Instead, what if you are offered a high paying job and move your family to a new state, get settled and begin the orientation process for your new job. You find out that they require RFID implants for "security" (which has been proven to weaken security" ). How much free will do you have in this instance? Can you really afford not to take the job now? You'd have to have an almost religious mentality to refuse it at this point.

Another example, perhaps not so drastic. Companies push and push and finally get most everyone to use RFID implants as identification and method of payment. Because you're smart enough to know what a bad thing this is, you refuse, but find yourself inconvenienced everywhere. You can only shop at certain stores that still have non-RFID checkout. You pay an extra "cash handling" fee for not using the new methods. You have to drive 20 miles away to the only gas station around that's equiped to take non-RFID transactions.

Is it still a choice?

Note that both Spychips.com and Privacy.org are carrying this story and that Spychips lists Ohio, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Florida as more states with anti-implantation bills in the works. The first state to pass such a bill was Wisconsin (note the same flaw as the ND bill).

Before someone leaves a comment saying "well, you complain, but don't offer solutions!", here's the wording I would add to each of these bills:

"Futher, any company who offers RFID based services must also accept non-implanted RFID for those same services (ie, a RFID enabled card or token). Any company who offers incentive plans or otherwise implements hurdles, difficulties, or hardships for customers who chose not to use implanted RFID will be in violation of this law and subject to fines, per day per offense.

Any company who provides chip implantation services must make their customers aware of this law and have them sign a disclaimer before implantation. Should such a company be found to have misrepresented the law, minimized the law, or made it appear as if implantation were artificially superior in order to influence the customer to proceed with the implantation, that company shall be liable for the full cost of removing the chips at their expense and may additionally be fined or decertified."

There. That's a good start.

(Originally posted at http://www.jeremyduffy.com/forced-rfid-implantatio n-illegal-in-north-dakota/)"
Music

Submission + - Vinyl sales up 10%

orgelspieler writes: "NPR's Morning Edition ran a story this morning about how USB turntables are giving vinyl records a new lease on life. According to the summary, "audiophiles are drawn to records because there aren't any anti-piracy restrictions." The story goes on to talk about USB turntables being used to transfer older music collections into the digital era, leading to an increase in used vinyl sales. Most interestingly, sales of new vinyl albums are up about 10%. While the volume is still low (about 1 million units), it seems to punch a hole in the recording industry's theory that digitization leads to reduced sales due to piracy."
The Courts

Submission + - Literary agent sues Wikimedia Foundation & SFW

julesh writes: "Literary agent Barbara Bauer, listed as one of the 20 worst literary agents by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and well known for making legal threats has initiated a law suit against a long list of individuals who have reported on her inclusion in the list, including the SFWA, the Wikimedia Foundation, and a number of prominent publishing industry personalities who maintain web sites that discussed her actions. One defendant is named only as "Miss Snark, Literary Agent", a well-known psuedonym of an anonymous blogger. See her Wikipedia article for more details. This action prompted the deletion and then restoration of her Wikipedia article, which is now being considered for deletion again. This raises the question: can you effectively silence criticism of you via litigation, even when the criticism is based on widely published (and almost-certainly true) information?"
Supercomputing

Submission + - Raytheon builds polymorphic computer

An anonymous reader writes: Raytheon have built a CPU for the DoD that can change architectures depending on what it's being used for. FTFA:

Dubbed MONARCH (Morphable Networked Micro-Architecture) and developed to address the large data volume of sensor systems as well as their signal and data processing throughput requirements, it is the most adaptable processor ever built for the Department of Defense, reducing the number of processor types required. It performs as a single system on a chip, resulting in a significant reduction of the number of processors required for computing systems, and it performs in an array of chips for teraflop throughput.
Insert Beowolf Cluster joke here.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Balancing One-Wheeled Scooter

Keyboard Hacking Guy writes: "Via HackaDay: Want to make a cheap Segway yourself? Here is a selfmade one-wheeled balancing scooter / skateboard. Using it is very similar to a snowboard to ride, requiring no user input other than the movement of your body mass. Leaning forwards and backwards controls the velocity and moving your weight from heal to toe controls the turn radius. It's easy and very intuitive to ride. See video on YouTube."

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