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Submission + - I want my own enterprise dynamic DNS server!

Biff98 writes: We manage thousands of hostnames for field gear with DynDNS.org. It's always been our intention of configuring our own DDNS server and bring it in-house. Given the recent DynDNS outage due to a DDOS attack, resulting in the inability to resolve names for multiple days, there has been "encouragement" from management to move forward on bringing DDNS in-house. The problem is I can't find any easy-to-use, scalable software to accomplish this task! BIND doesn't scale well, and I don't consider MintDNS an option due to the required platform (Windows Server w/ AD & IIS). Has anyone out there solved this problem before?
The Internet

Submission + - Why are T1 lines still expensive?

badfrog writes: Over the last 10 years, DSL and cable modem has upped its speed (although in some instances only slightly) and dropped its price. However, the price of a T1 has stayed almost exactly the same. If you had asked me 10 years ago, I would have predicted any geek that wanted to would have fiber or their own T1 line to the house by now. What is with this sad state of affairs that a 'business class' 1.544Mbit connection is hundreds of dollars more than a 6Mbit cable connection? Is it a legitimate case that a high upload rate should increase cost so significantly?

Submission + - Copyright vs Exclusive License

cdanzig writes: "My company recently hired a development house to do some contract work for us. They did great work, but they are claiming that they now own the copyright on the code and are issuing us a permanent and exclusive license. My bosses are concerned that this will hamper our ability to make changes to the code or prevent us form being able to claim the software as a company asset. What is expected protocol between a client and a development house? What is the long-term difference between owning a copyright and owning an exclusive license? If we paid for the development of the code is it fair for us to demand ownership?


Submission + - Redundant Terminal Services Servers

thundergeek writes: The company I work for is purchasing thin clients, lots of them! I am responsible for the integration of these thin clients into a redundant failsafe server system consisting of two server 2k3 servers (not my choice) on an Active Directory domain. I want to know from the rest of you admin geeks how I should go about creating some sort of rsync between the two which mirrors, in real time, all the session data created by the clients. What needs to happen in the event of a server failure is a seamless transition to the back up server with minimal data loss and down time. Is there a software solution, or an easy robocopy hack?

Submission + - Is Anti-Virus software dead?

An anonymous reader writes: After stumbling over several unanimous recommendations against using viral scans for your email (which somewhat shattered my security world view), I started to notice a bigger and bigger movement which argues against the use of anti-virus software altogether, as it is ineffective against the main threats of malware, counter-productive (as it eats up system resources), and seems to be more of a "good-luck charm" than anything else.

I have to admit that, even though I deal with loads of suspicious software, I can't even remember when I got the last real virus warning.

So — is it time to dump your anti-virus software, go "commando", and free yourself from the shackles of these system drags?

Submission + - What's the best Speech Recognition today?

StonyCreekBare writes: A client wants to build a kiosk system intended to interact with the user entirely via speech. Speech Recognition is absolutely key to the success of the project, so an excellent speech recognition engine is absolutely key to success.

Key requirements are Speaker Independence, and a large vocabulary, with a great deal of flexibility for recognizing arbitrary speech. The system needs to interact with arbitrary speakers on a walk-up basis.

I have built a reasonable "Proof-of-concept" prototype using an L&H / Windows based system. I was quite pleased with the overall performance of the system, and believe an optimized system could do even better. My goal is not so much to improve the recognition performance (although there is room for improvement), as to improve the system reliability and to have more control at the system level.

There seems to be two candidates to supply the system. Microsoft and Nuance.

The Microsoft Speech SDK has the unfortunate circumstance of being innately wedded to Windows, and all the other viable systems (such as L&H, and Viavoice) seem to have been acquired by Nuance. Microsoft's system seems to require a lot of training to perform well, which is unacceptable. At least the L&H system is truly speaker independent. I would greatly prefer to use a Linux or BSD solution, if viable, so that requires a *nix compatible solution.

I have seen some other systems, mostly proprietary systems for telephony applications. e.g. Sprint, to name one. I hear about other systems such as Sphinx from Carnegie Mellon, and a system from Phillips, both of which I do not know much about and do not know anyone actually using.

What are Slashdot users experiences with the various systems available? Have I overlooked any good candidates? What is the "bleeding edge" in reliable speech recognition? Am I going to be forced to use Windows?

Operating Systems

Submission + - Is now the time for a Windows alternative?

An anonymous reader writes: The current software industry environment raises questions about the possibility of an alternative commercial desktop operating system for PCs. Consumers seem to finally understand that they are responsible for market diversity, and that relying on government intervention will not improve the situation. As evidence of this, consider the increasing adoption of standards based applications such as Firefox and OpenOffice. Furthermore, frustration with draconian licensing models and protection environments has facilitated the emergence of DRM-free media. Thanks to the attention given to web applications, the availability of small legacy utilities is not perceived to be the issue it once was. Windows Vista is exuberantly priced, relying on an extortionary tiered licensing model that reeks of intentional crippling. Macs are actually gaining market share. Is hell freezing over? Could a low priced, snappy, easy to use, commercially backed desktop operating system a la BEOS actually succeed? I have the faint impression, that were BEOS released now rather than 6 years prior, it would be commercially viable. Any thoughts? (As a side note, we should celebrate Microsoft's efforts for preventing users from pirating Windows. If they are successful, the argument to force bundling on new PCs is questionable.)

Learning More About Linux? 184

teh moges asks: "From an administrator point of view, I know a lot about Microsoft Windows: where files are stored, where settings are, which registry keys to edit, how to change drivers, and so on. I made the initial switch to Linux a year ago. I now feel capable enough with using Linux, from an end user's point of view, so that when things go wrong, I can fix them. I now want to become even more familiar with Linux. Are there any great resources, such as websites, wikis or books for someone that wants to find out exactly how Linux works and how to fix and modify it?"

Submission + - Apache Virtual Host Configuration Management Tools

gcmartin writes: "Just curious what tools are out there both Open Source and commericial that folks are using to configure and manage Apache virtual hosts, ideally having a templating system for generating Apache configuration files."

Submission + - What is your experience with offshore outsourcing?

walterbyrd writes: "Overall, does the "Dehli discount" really cut costs all that deeply? Or, by the time you write, and re-write, the specs, etc. do you end up spending more? Will the present obstiticles to offshoring be overcome, and thereby totally decimate technology jobs in the USA? Or, will rising costs associated with offshoring cause the practise to level out? What technical specializations do you consider especially vulnerable, or invulnerable, to offshore outsourcing?"
Data Storage

Submission + - Can CDs Be Recycled?

An anonymous reader writes: I was recently doing a closet-cleaning and came across literally hundreds of old software CDs that are no longer usable — both manufactured CDs and CD-Rs. Note that by "not usable", I mean that many of them simply couldn't be read anymore, possibly due to the fact that they'd been stored rather ineptly (no, I wasn't responsible for how they were stored). My question is: Is it possible to reclaim CDs for raw materials? It seems wrong to just throw them out, but are there other things that can be done with them that will allow their raw materials to be reused in some way?

Submission + - Screen Capture from Composite Video?

OSH writes: "I work in a security facility where a lot of video is watched. We have multiple color/black & white printers that can print directly from a video feed. However we have not been able to find a simple solution to making digital snap shots. Any ideas out there that would be easy enough for people unskilled in tech? We are running Windows 2000 Pro on the available pc we are going to use."

Submission + - What tech tricks do you have in your home theater?

Teh MegaHurtz writes: I am in my early 20's and about to move into my first house. Being the geek that I am, I am planning on making my TV area/home theater into the centerpiece of the house. I currently own a large LCD HDTV which is going to serve as the display. Television is going to be supplied by a high definition satellite receiver. Movies will be played via the Playstation 3. The only other trick that I have planned would be to connect my computer to the TV via the second video DVI port on my video card. Beyond that, I am seeking new ideas to implement into my personal version of the ultimate home entertainment center. So for the rest of you geeks out there, what tricks do you have up your sleeve?

Submission + - Is desktop antivirus dead?

coondoggie writes: "Some industry analysts are proclaiming the traditional antivirus method for detecting and eradicating viruses, trojans, spyware and other baneful code by matching it against a signature to be "dead." They say signature-based checking can't keep up with the flood of virus variants manufactured by a criminal underworld that is beating the antivirus vendors at their own game. And they are arguing it's time for companies to adopt newer approaches, such as whitelisting or behavior-blocking, to protect desktops and servers. "It's the beginning of the end for antivirus," says Robin Bloor, partner at consulting firm Hurwitz & Associates, in Boston. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2007/040507-deskt op-antivirus-dead.html"

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