Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:I'm puzzled (Score 1) 384

Drivers who wait until they reach the road workers before trying to merge into the correct lane so they can pass everyone else who already queued up to go through the construction.

I agreed with you up to this point. Everyone queuing up in one lane before you reach the point of lane closure just means that you're slamming all of that traffic into half of the available space, and creating an even longer line and wait. I've been in too many jams where I wanted to get off at an exit two miles down the road, but there was construction five miles past that, and everyone was queuing up in a single lane (thanks to "helpful" truckers who sat in the free lane to prevent people from jumping ahead of everyone else).

Use ALL the available lanes, until you're forced not to. Seriously, it's better.

Comment Rating inflation (Score 4, Interesting) 246

I read the review before I really noticed the rating. How does this book earn an 8 for a rating? The reviewer states that Chapters 1 was unnecessary, and has some harsh things to say about several other areas:

Chapter 3 is about text navigation. Sadly, the book doesn't go into as much detail on movement commands as I would've liked.

I had high hopes for Chapter 6 and 7, which deal with Vim scripting, but I was largely disappointed.

If you're looking for any advancing information on writing your own functions in Vim script, you're mostly out of luck here.

Overall, stylistically the book is a bit dry and humorless

I do feel the book should've gone into more detail in many areas. At 244 pages, the book is short and gives a rather shallow view of many of Vim's features.

There's nothing in this book you won't find in Vim's built-in documentation

At best, it seems like this would earn a 5 rating.

Comment Policy-based routing (Score 1) 180

If you're trying to combine different types of access (leased-line, cable, DSL), I think you're out of luck with trying to aggregate everything into a single "super circuit". However, you can certainly utilize all of those individual circuits. Look up policy-based routing. Most every platform out there should support it through some method. Set it up so that email goes over the DSL, your database queries goes over the cable connection, and your VoIP goes over the leased-line. You'll probably need to tweak it a bit at first until you get a nice blend of traffic, and you'll want to make sure to set up some default routes to handle things if you have an outage on one of your circuits, but you'll see better performance on individual circuits and use all of them. If you've got the same type of access, but through different providers, you'll probably have to do the same. If you've got the same type of access through the same provider, then MLPPP or GRE should work.

Comment Re:Proud to be a Comcast customer? (Score 3, Informative) 281

Because there's no such thing as IPv4 multicast... Oh, wait. That's exactly what cable companies have already been doing with switched digital. Multicast isn't the main reason a cable company would go with IPv6. The biggest problem Comcast (and other cable companies) has is that your cable modem gets two, and sometimes three IP addresses, let alone all those set-top boxes doing that switched digital. One to manage it, one to give you your "public" IP, and perhaps a third for your phone. 24 bits ( only gives you 16 million addresses, and that's assuming you're utilizing them rather effectively. They're probably using the for their internal network, but even so, that only gets you an extra million addresses. Look at the number of customers Comcast has, and you begin to see the problem they have just with addressing all those cable modems and set-top boxes.

Don't expect to be getting your own IPv6 address any time soon. Most likely, they're going to roll it out for managing all those devices first, and you'll still be assigned an IPv4 address for your Internet connectivity.

Comment Re:Is it must me, or is that sum peanuts? (Score 1) 101

Do you really trust the routing registry? And I'm talking about more than just using an SSL cert to verify their information. How frequently do they update their entries? I saw a number of problems dealing with RADB when I worked at Sprint a few years back. Customers get assigned blocks that used to be assigned to other customers, and RADB didn't always reflect that change in usage in a timely manner.

That's where your money's going to go. Creating a secure registry, and the infrastructure to handle the amounts of changes that occur on a daily basis.

Comment Re:A little extreme there, don't you think? (Score 2, Insightful) 872

The Post Office is a good example for the Internet. Right around the holidays, everyone starts to send catalogs, Christmas cards, and other packages. Far more than the Post Office deals with on a normal basis. Which causes delays in delivery. They even warn people: send everything by such-and-such date or it won't arrive in time for Christmas.

That's pretty much the Internet. Everyone expects a certain amount of bandwidth to be used. Occasionally, someone will exceed that, but usually at the same time, someone else isn't using theirs, so it's okay. But with Torrent, it's basically everyone using their bandwidth all at the same time. It's always Christmas. Now, the Post Office could staff for that situation, but obviously, prices will have to go up to accommodate their extra load. Likewise, your ISP can provide all the bandwidth necessary to let everyone use their limit of bandwidth all the time, but they're going to have to raise the prices a lot in order to provide that.


Submission + - Sound financial reasons not to use Windows (

Tina Gasperson writes: "Every techie knows at least a dozen reasons to use something other than Windows, but high level decision makers like CIOs are often at a loss, especially when "that's what we've always used" and "you can't get fired for buying Microsoft" are phrases floating through their brains. lays out seven sound reasons to go with something else next time the upgrade police visit."

Submission + - Cooling Your House With Solar Heat

An anonymous reader writes: The German Fraunhofer research institute has created the spin-off company SorTech, which plans to produce air conditioning systems that are run by solar heat. This mind-boggling feat is achieved by a thermo-chemical process called sorption. The technology could help to satisfy the increasing energy consumption used for air conditioning. It seems to be a perfect application for using solar energy: Good efficiency is possible by avoiding a conversion from heat into electricity and back to cooling energy. It also does not need a long term energy storage system, because the energy needed for cooling spikes exactly at the time, when most solar energy is available.

Submission + - "Brain Pacemaker" wakes man from vegetativ (

Kram_Gunderson writes: Reuters is reporting that medical researchers have awakened a man from a six-year near-vegetative state using a pacemaker-like device tied to electrodes implanted in the man's brain. The man, who was robbed, beaten, and left for dead in 1999, can now chew his own food, speak with a limited vocabulary, and play cards with his family. The treatment was begun in 2005, and gives hope for recovery to patients in minimally-conscious states.

Submission + - MS Works Adware (

ericrost writes: "Microsoft Corp. said on Wednesday it will offer a free, advertising-supported version of its basic productivity software, Microsoft Works, as part of a test program with computers manufacturers." N0121019020070802

Well, we all knew it was coming. How do we feel about our Free applications competing with adware?


Submission + - 5 New File-Exchange Services Reviewed (

mikemuch writes: "Huge email attachments should become a thing of the past if these new online file sharing services take hold. A couple, FileCrunch and YouSendit resemble nothing more than online storage with a sharing component. Microsoft's early beta Windows Live Folders is entering the fray, offering a shared folder metaphor, while Tubes is a file-syncing service from mobile platform developer Adesso Systems that keeps files synchronized on the individual sharers' machines. Pando leverages the BitTorrent protocol, but making it private so you can share media with a chosen network of friends and colleagues rather than the whole world. The services all have free levels for file sizes ranging from 50MB to 1GB."

Submission + - Eminem Sues Apple for iTunes Sales (

puk writes: MacWorld UK is reporting that Eminem's publisher is suing Apple, alleging that his label, Universal, did not have the right to authorize online sales of digital versions of Eminem's music. Therefore, they argue, Apple is violating Eminem's copyright by selling his songs through the iTunes Music Store.

Of course, if this turns out to be the case, Universal may also be on the hook for the damages, if indirectly. Looks like another case of trying to figure out whether old contracts authorize new activities...


Submission + - Forget your PIN? Use your face (

coondoggie writes: "Face recognition as a unique biometric is growing slowly in certain corporate and consumer applications, but researchers at the University of Houston (UH) are trying to make the technology far more ubiquitous and secure: they want it to replace the dozens of personal identification numbers (PIN), passwords and credit card numbers everyone uses every day. University researchers developed the URxD face recognition software that uses a three-dimensional snapshot of a person's face to create a unique biometric identifier. The UH designed and built a prototype field-deployable 3D face recognition system that consists of a 3dMDTM optical scanner using a 1-pod configuration, which is connected to a PC. A webcam captures a continuous video stream which is used to detect whether a person is facing the 3D camera. When the subject is facing the camera and remains relatively still for more than two seconds, the system triggers the optical scanner and the 3D data of the individual's face are captured. The system can either enroll the subject into the database, or perform a scenario-specific task. In an identification scenario, the system will display the closest 5 datasets to the operator. In a verification scenario, the system will determine whether the subject is who they claim to be, based on a preset distance threshold, UH says."

Slashdot Top Deals

Help stamp out Mickey-Mouse computer interfaces -- Menus are for Restaurants!