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Submission + - Britain's Apology to Alan Turing

ExE122 writes: "British PM Gordon Brown gives a posthumous apology to mathematician, chemist, logician, cryptanalyst and the father of computer science, Alan Turing. For slashdotters, Turing is probably best known for the Turing Machine, a device which has laid the groundwork for modern computer algorithms. To the rest of the world, he is commonly known as a World War II hero, deciphering several German crypts including that used by the Enigma machine. Though his contributions to science and the war efforts put him among the most influential men of the 20th century, Turing was criminally prosecuted in Britain in 1952 because of his lifestyle. Alan Turing was a homosexual, which at that time was a criminal illness and was punished by chemical castration. He committed suicide in 1954 at the age of 41. On Sept 10, 2009, Britain's Prime Minister gave a public apology for the "appalling" post-war treatment of Alan Turing, and acknowledged his contributions to the war effort."

Comment Re:The Myth of the Isolated Colenel Hacker (Score -1, Offtopic) 282

Linux just isn't ready for the desktop yet.

Translation: I haven't tried it.

the average computer user isn't going to spend months learning how to use a CLI and then hours compiling packages so that they can get a workable graphic interface to check their mail with

I've always thought Ubuntu has very extensive driver support, as do many other distros. Who needs the CLI when there are multiple desktop environments to choose from? How many does Windows have? Oh, right, one...

I'm not the only one who thinks they are user-friendly... Already many big-name vendor laptops are coming out with some form of Linux pre-loaded. Take a look at the HP laptops that are now being offered with Mobile Internet O/S... from the page: " Mobile Internet is a user-friendly, all-inclusive interface built on Linux."

especially not when they already have a Windows machine that does its job perfectly well

haha, good one!

and is backed by a major corporation as opposed to Linux which is only supported by a few unemployed nerds living in their mother's basement somewhere.

Red Hat is a major corporation. It's publicly traded on the NYSE (ticker: RHAT) and doing rather well. You should consider investing. You should also know that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a fully supported release which offers several high availability service contracts... which is why a lot of US Government systems are now running RHEL. Not to mention it's faster, less expensive, and more secure.

The last thing I want is a level 5 dwarf (haha) providing me my OS.

I don't blame you, I'd want at least a level 12 mage!

Comment you young whippersnappers... (Score 2, Insightful) 106

Perhaps the real problem is a lack of understanding. It seems that many lawmakers who try to deal with internet law have next to no technological knowledge about how the internet works, especially when it comes to e-commerce. (this looks like a good place for the obligatory 'tubes' link).

It seems like a lot of these laws are made with "good intentions" in that they are trying to prevent something they see as wrong: It sounds like the Maine law was trying to control the personal information dispersal of minors, and the law in New York was trying to keep it's residents from evading state taxes. They don't realize that the Maine law destroys a huge teenage market base in an already struggling economy, and that the New York law stifles e-commerce and causes a hastle for everyone outside of the state.

Unfortunately it looks like a lot of these laws are being proposed by individuals (I had originally written 'old farts' here but deleted it because it's unfair to old people... and to farts) have too narrow of a view to fully grasp the repercussions.

It's the same old complaint, I know (-1 Redundant) but I guess as long as there's slashdot, there will always be a place to bitch about it.

Comment Re:Cool (Score 3, Informative) 121

I didn't look at individual pricing, but the AMD Turion Neo X2 L625 is alread being offered in a laptop from HP - listed at a base of $569.99 but the processor is a $75 upgrade... or so you think, as soon as you select it you are told you need to upgrade the video card as well!

Either way, they wasted no time getting this on the market. The price seems competetive with the Intel Atom model.

I'm sure it's just a matter of time before Intel one-ups them though.

Comment Doomsday! (Score 1) 439

Dr Strangelove quotes on why I picked the doomsday device:

President Muffley: But this is absolute madness, Ambassador! Why should you *build* such a thing?
Ambassador de Sadesky: There were those of us who fought against it, but in the end we could not keep up with the expense involved in the arms race, the space race, and the peace race. At the same time our people grumbled for more nylons and washing machines. Our doomsday scheme cost us just a small fraction of what we had been spending on defense in a single year. The deciding factor was when we learned that your country was working along similar lines, and we were afraid of a doomsday gap.
President Muffley: This is preposterous! I've never approved of anything like that...
Ambassador de Sadesky: Our source was the New York Times.

Dr. Strangelove: The whole point of a doomsday machine is lost if you keep it a secret! Why didn't you tell the world, eh?
Ambassador de Sadesky: It was to be announced at the Party Congress on monday... as you know, the Premier loves surprises!

So why are so many /.ers voting for a villainess? Do they not realize that as the owner of a doomsday device, it would be fully within my capacity to demand first dibs on the batch of nubile women who will be set aside to repopulate the earth?

Privacy

Submission + - Verizon to Share Customer Information

ExE122 writes: New York Times and Washington Post have reported that Verizon plans to share it's customers' information with "affiliates, agents and parent companies" (The Washington Post article can be found here). From the NYT article, "Verizon plans to share what is known in the industry as consumer proprietary network information, or C.P.N.I, which includes how many calls a customer makes, the geographical destination of the calls and what services the customer has purchased". Customers were recently sent a letter explaining that they had 30 days to "opt out" of C.P.N.I. To opt out, customers can call 800-333-9956 and enter their telephone number when prompted.
Announcements

Submission + - Oracle offers to buy BEA Systems

ExE122 writes: Bloomberg reports the Oracle has put in a $6.7 billion bid for BEA Systems. The news has caused BEA's stocks jumped 33% before the market opened on friday. From the article "'We have made a serious proposal including a substantial premium for BEA,' Oracle President Charles Phillips said in a statement today. 'We look forward to completing a friendly transaction as soon as possible.'"
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Free Public Wi-Fi

ExE122 writes: A friend of mine works for a committe in Baltimore, MD which organizes corporations and civil leadership to make improvements throughout the region. One recent issue had to deal with Baltimore's recent addition of a free Wi-Fi network in Baltimore's inner harbor region. My friend has to put together a presentation outlining benefits, drawbacks, and risks of implementing free city-wide internet access. He asked for my opinion, but I admittedly have limited knowledge in all that's involved in wireless networks. Here's a quick rundown of what we came up with:

Benefits:
  • Crossing the "digital divide" (welcome to the 21st century)
  • Increasing business/local communication.
  • Once the technology is in place, it could be upgraded to include private secure networks for government protection services such as police, fire, and rescue.
Drawbacks:
  • Accountability for illegal activities (can't tell who the hell is sharing kiddie pr0n)
  • It's difficult to get the local ISPs to go along with the idea
Concerns:
  • Security
  • IPV6
  • Will it run Linux? (jk)
As far as getting the ISPs to go along with it, it has been suggested that the government may work with the local ISPs (the Big ones in Baltimore are Verizon and Comcast). The government could provide tax incentives and pay for equipment on government property (hotspots on lampposts, satelites on buildings, etc) that the ISPs could use and still maintain control over the Last Mile. In exchange, they would offer their service either for free, or at a significantly lower cost (I'd still pay $10/mo to have internet everywhere I go). I raised the concern that to make up for any additional loss in revenue may lead ISPs to do away net neutrality.

Security is also a big issue. The general public isn't aware of how network traffic can be monitored and knows very little about encryption. I would think the number of online identity theft cases in the area would sky-rocket.

I was wondering what insight the /. community could provide about these issues and if they see any more plusses/minuses/concerns that should be mentioned.
Privacy

Submission + - DHS Ends Data-Mining Program (google.com)

ExE122 writes: The Department of Homeland Security has "scrapped an ambitious anti-terrorism data-mining tool." The tool, called ADVISE, was being tested with live data rather than test data without having proper security in place. This program had already been under criticism by privacy advocates and members of Congress. However, according to the article, a DHS spokesman assures that the program will be restarted once the security and cost are re-evaluated.
Space

Submission + - Fat Planet Discovered

ExE122 writes: Scientists have discovered an unusually fat planet approximately eight times the size of Jupiter. The planet, HAT-P-2b, is the largest planet discovered to date. This new discovery contains "so much gravity a 150-pound person would weigh in at more than a ton".

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