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The White House Listed On Real Estate Website 123

Forget visiting the White House, if you have $10 million you can own it. At least that is the price for the president's home on the real estate website Redfin. From the article: "Obviously this is an error. It looks like Redfin software pulled an example listing from the website Owners.com by mistake. That example listing was the White House. We have e-mailed Redfin for comment." I know it's historic but it still looks a bit on the high side according to the comparables in the area.

Submission + - Flying Borg Honeycomb (cnet.com)

smitty777 writes: The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology has created some simple flying robots that can dock with each other in mid-air. The plastic, single prop robots can fly into the air separately and join to create a multi-unit conglomeration. As interesting as this sounds, I've been scratching my head trying to figure out a good application for this technology. Perhaps they could take off as a unit and break apart later to perform tasks? Apparently, the grouped configuration is a bit more difficult to control than the individual units.
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Anti-Speed Camera Activist Buys Police Department's Web Domain 680

Brian McCrary just bought a website to complain about a $90 speeding ticket he received from the Bluff City PD — the Bluff City Police Department site. The department let its domain expire and McCrary was quick to pick it up. From the article: "Brian McCrary found the perfect venue to gripe about a $90 speeding ticket when he went to the Bluff City Police Department's website, saw that its domain name was about to expire, and bought it right out from under the city's nose. Now that McCrary is the proud owner of the site, bluffcitypd.com, the Gray, Tenn., computer network designer has been using it to post links about speed cameras — like the one on US Highway 11E that caught him — and how people don't like them."
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Life-size Eva Unit 01 Being Built In Japan 80

JoshuaInNippon writes "Japan has gone life-size anime model crazy. Last year there was the robotic 1:1 Gundam model that guarded Tokyo for a few months in the summer to mark the series' 30th anniversary, and then there was the giant Gigantor moment that opened in Kobe in the fall in honor of the city's rejuvenation from the devastating 1995 earthquake. Now, an amusement park near Mt. Fuji named Fuji-Q Highland is building an Eva Unit 01 from the popular Neon Genesis Evangelion series, or at least a bust of it, in conjunction with the series' recent movies. The bust will sit in a replica hanger, and reportedly stand around 9 meters tall. Visitors will have the chance, for a little extra money, to have their photo taken in the unit's cockpit, where the series' protagonist-of-sorts Shinji Ikari normally sits. The attraction is set to a cost of over US$1.6 million to build, and open on July 23 of this year. It will also undoubtedly be swamped by crazed fans looking the opportunity to bring their anime dreams to life."

Comment The problem as I see it... (Score 1) 804

Is that the girl who is getting punished is NOT the girl who brought the candy. The State policy says that they won't limit what parents send their own kids. But the kid that's being punished was given the candy by another student. In short, the kid that brought the candy should be the one getting punished for passing it out to other students. After all, her parents can make the call for giving their kid candy, but their kid shouldn't be passing it out to others. What's to then prevent a kid from slipping a candy to another kid with the intent of getting another kid in trouble? My two cents is that they busted the wrong kid.

-Goran
Education

3rd-Grader Busted For Jolly Rancher Possession 804

theodp writes "A third-grader in a small Texas school district received a week's detention for merely possessing a Jolly Rancher. Leighann Adair, 10, was eating lunch Monday when a teacher confiscated the candy. Her parents said she was in tears when she arrived home later that afternoon and handed them the detention notice. But school officials are defending the sentence, saying the school was abiding by a state guideline that banned 'minimal nutrition' foods. 'Whether or not I agree with the guidelines, we have to follow the rules,' said school superintendent Jack Ellis."

Comment It's had a good run (Score 1) 435

Roundup has been in use for as long as I can remember, 40+ years. It's great due to it's ability to kill a plant completely and then breakdown in the soil to inert ingredients. But I have to wonder if part of the problem with the weeds becoming resistant is due to the bacteria used to make the roundup ready crops. Seems that it's more possible for a bacteria to be passed from one plant to another, and since the first resistant strain was found in 2000, there has been ten years for the bacteria to spread to other weeds.

Perhaps it's time to not create crops that are safe to spray with herbicides and just find a better way to weed the farm by machine. Perhaps after harvest and just before planting a farmer could spray the fields with roundup and kill any weeds. Then after a couple of weeks, plant the seed and while waiting for the crops to grow, a new line of machine could be built that would make it possible to weed out any non-crop plants. In the long run it would be cheaper for the farmer since a machine would be cheaper to reuse than the high cost of roundup ready seeds, and the cost of spraying once the crop is growing.

It's a great product and I've used it myself for home use for over 35 years.

Just wish I could get my wife on board with its use. She feels I have a heavy hand with it.

-Goran

Comment Re:Draconian Measures (Score 1) 396

Too late.

One of my former employers does this. They also run EVERY phone call past a human. The operator then reports to the owner on the length and subject of your in-coming and out-going calls. In short, if it isn't work related you had better get ready to clean out your desk.

I got a 90-day probation warning due to my wife calling and asking me "to call home when I left work" because she wanted me to stop at the store. Total time spent on the call, less than one minute. Had I gotten another warning in that 90-day period, I would have been fired.

The same applied to internet and email traffic. Problem was, I was in the IT department and had to justify anything I did. Even in client emails, if the client said "Have a great weekend" in an email on Friday, I had to explain why a client was telling me to have a good weekend. The owner figured you might have something going with her clients on the side and that would then be grounds for dismissal.

Glad that company is now virtually dead. Down from the over 100 employees to just 12.

-Goran

Comment Re:finger (Score 1) 470

Actually he's probably the ass hat that ruined it for the rest of us.
All that constant fingering without so much as a "how-do-you-do" pissed off the girl so much that we're all fighting an uphill battle to get women to like us. Bastard... I'm betting he's also the guy that ruined the "surprise in the popcorn box" stunt while watching a movie with your lady friend.

Comment This surprises you? (Score 1) 660

Please. I use to work for a mid-sized company that dealt with Fortune 500 companies. Companies that required us to use specific programs for FTP and accessing their systems. Despite several warnings, several long talks, we still had one account manager in our company that refused to follow the guidelines set out by our clients and used IE for all of his FTP traffic. We were dealing with companies paying us millions and we couldn't get one jackass to follow the rules. Even under the pressure of the IT department and the possible loss of a client couldn't get him to change his ways. Rather then fire the idiot, they moved him to a different client. Just goes to show that even when you beat someone over the head with rules, guidelines, and facts, they're still going to do what they want to do.

- Goran

Comment In my case, I'd love to not allow AOL users... (Score 1) 1049

I work with a merchandising company that hires people all over the U.S. to go into department stores and stock shelves for specific manufacturers. Once the employee finishes restocking a site, they log into an online system to file an online report. Of the over 400 people employed by my client, the people we routinely have problems with are the AOL users. Either due to stupidity of the employee, or because the AOL browser keeps changing and filters or blocks them from some aspect of the report. Not to mention the problems sending email messages to AOL users, I'd love to force these folks to get a real ISP.

On top of it all, trying to work with the tech support team at AOL makes it even worse.
How the hell do you provide support to a system, if your stock answer is "I'm not sure how this works." Either the email systems at AOL don't generate error messages or their staff is clueless, but trying to find out why a text only email was "blocked due to content" seems to confound them.

I for one would like to see AOL die once and for all.

-Goran
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The Perfect Way To Slice a Pizza 282

iamapizza writes "New Scientist reports on the quest of two math boffins for the perfect way to slice a pizza. It's an interesting and in-depth article; 'The problem that bothered them was this. Suppose the harried waiter cuts the pizza off-center, but with all the edge-to-edge cuts crossing at a single point, and with the same angle between adjacent cuts. The off-center cuts mean the slices will not all be the same size, so if two people take turns to take neighboring slices, will they get equal shares by the time they have gone right round the pizza — and if not, who will get more?' This is useful, of course, if you're familiar with the concept of 'sharing' a pizza."

Submission + - Epic Fail?

sirgoran writes: About a month ago the company I work for had a hard disk fail. It was sent to a Disaster Recovery company to try to get back whatever they could from the failed hardware. Total cost to our company was $5,000 for the service. Well yesterday we got the results back from the Recovery Company. One small problem, the data they sent, wasn't ours. So far we have not gotten our data and have not yet heard if our data left their offices and was sent to someone else.

I wanted to ask the slashdot crowd what they think our next step should be, and has anything like this ever happened to someone else and how did they handle it.
Security

Submission + - What's the best tool for remembering passwords? 15

StonyCreekBare writes: Lately I've been re-thinking my personal security practices. Somehow having my Firefox "fill in" passwords automatically for me when I go to my bank's site seems sub-optimal should my laptop be stolen. Keeping passwords for all the varied sites on the computer in a plain-text file seems unwise as well. Keeping them in my brain is a prescription for disaster, as my brain is increasingly leaky. A paper notepad likewise has it's disadvantages.

I have looked at a number of password managers, password "vaults" and so on. The number of tools out there is a bit overwhelming. Magic Password Generator add-in for Firefox seems competent but is tied to Firefox, and I have other places and applications I want passwords. Plus I might be accessing my sites from other computers which do not have it installed.

The ideal tool in my mind should be something that is independent of any application, browser or computer, something that is easily carried, but which if lost poses no risk of compromise.

What does the Slashdot crowd like in Password tools?

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