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


Forgot your password?

Advent Calendar For Geeks 65

bLanark writes "Well, as children and adults all over the world begin their day with chocolate, with the traditional Advent calendar, I'd like to remind you that there's an alternative for geeks. The Perl Advent calendar will give you a new Perl tip every day right up to Christmas."

Comment Re:wtf (Score 1) 142

I guess the Patent Office still doesn't know about Google. Lots of prior art, existing products, and I've made a couple of tiny shelves above my own outlets as far back as ten years ago.

Comment Hmm... (Score 2, Insightful) 387

So the only review (so far) is from someone who didn't particularly like the movie to begin with, and they didn't like the new release very much either- because 9 minutes didn't add enough to overcome their previous feelings...

One thing that does amaze me about this movie is the fact there there doesn't seem to be any real middle-ground. People either love it to the point of excess (which I'll admit- I do), or they hate it and call it self-indulgent garbage that ripped-off other movies.

At least it wasn't yet-another re-make of a '70s or '80s TV show or movie, or the 6th sequel to a series that should have died after the 2nd.

I really can't blame Cameron or the studio for wanting to re-release it, and I appreciate the fact that they added content that many super-fans wanted to see. They got screwed over by some awful 3D releases that took over the screens from them this last Spring. A lot of people also regretted not seeing it in theaters, in 3D, after they saw it for the first time on Blu-Ray or DVD. Now they have a chance, although for a slightly different version. Beats the hell out of crappy 3D fish movies shot with '60s 3D movie values...

Comment Things the Catholic Church fears the most... (Score 4, Interesting) 840

I'm sure it's already been said by others, but there are approx. 600 comments already. I just have to note that the Internet provides a means for people to educate themselves and openly communicate with others. Education and communication are two things an organization like the Catholic Church fears the most. They came into their power through fear and ignorance. They can't tell people what is right and wrong when those people have the means to make their own decisions.

I have to wonder: How many pedophile priests have been outed thanks to the Internet? How many people have left the Church because they have discovered other spiritual paths (including the many other paths of Christianity) thanks to the Internet. The bottom line is the Pope is scared. His Church may have to start selling some of their gold and property in order to survive this century.

This may hurt my Slashdot karma, but my real Karma is more important. :)

Comment Idiot Software Vendors (Score 1) 479

One really big reason is there are some business software companies out there that wrote specialized applications using M$ tools that ONLY WORK in IE6. We have a huge problem with a CRM system at my company, and the vendor is very-very slow to change it. We've managed to get it to work in "Compatibility Mode" with some tweaking in IE8, but I can see why some larger companies don't want to invest the time and money in it right now. It really is ridiculous- IE6 is a pox on the Internet and NEEDS to die.

Microsoft Facing Class-Action Suit Over Xbox Live Points 107

An anonymous reader tips news that a lawyer in Pennsylvania has filed a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft, alleging that the company's handling of Xbox Live transactions is, in some cases, fraudulent. "Samuel Lassoff, of Horsham, PA, said an invoice he received earlier this month from Microsoft included charges for purchases he couldn't complete due to a balky download system — and he claimed it wasn't an accident. Microsoft 'engaged in a scheme to unjustly enrich itself through their fraudulent handling' of his account, Lassoff charged in papers filed earlier this week in US District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania. ... 'Microsoft breached that contract by collecting revenues for digital goods and services which were not provided,' Lassoff said in his lawsuit."

Comment Skype and/or ooVoo (Score 1) 170

My company uses both, depending on our needs. Skype seems to have a lot less system overhead and is multi-platform, but it's really only good for 1-to-1. You can get rid fo the ads in ooVoo by buying a Business account. You just need as many "seats" as you plan to have simultaneous conferences. I believe you also need a Business plan to enable desktop sharing, which may be important. A down-side is if you enable desktop sharing- you lose the video feed from that desktop. It also only supports 6-way conferences, although that's four more (video) than Skype.

Anything beyond that and you would probably need to go with a Webcasting or Webinar service. They can be really expensive (like $1k+/month/doman with usage limits). I haven't found a good FOSS solution. Red 5 looked promising, but the development seems to have stalled. The only real in-house solutions for larger scale Webcasting or conferencing seem to be from Adobe and Cisco, which means they are prohibitively expensive. I think I read somewhere that Polycom has a solution too, but I haven't checked into it.

Comment Oh Canada... (Score 1) 643

There have been many times in the past 10 years that I wished I lived in Canada.

In the last couple of weeks:

(Almost) No carry-on luggage on Canadian flights.

Now this.

Canada is no longer at or near the top of my "Countries I sometimes wish I lived in." list.

I agree with several others. The airlines can't have "zones" to accommodate every passenger. If they did- they probably would have established a "no screaming kids" zone. I'm sorry the individual involved, and many others, have such bad allergies- but forcing airlines and other passengers to make unreasonable accommodations for them isn't acceptable. Of course, an easier solution would be to do what most US airlines to and stop passing out peanuts to passengers to begin with.

Comment What's in a name... (Score 1) 506

Let's be serious- Google could have called this the Fuzz-Crap 4000 and would still make just as much money off of it. The word "nexus" itself is descriptive of the device itself (look it up), so it is very conceivable that the word could have been used without any intent for it to be a homage to Dick's works. Whether intentional or unintentional- if it is seen as a homage to Dick's works- it would have generated more interest in them and would make the estate more money anyway. All calling the lawyers is going to do is bring about backlash, and that will primarily target the estate, not Google.

Comment Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (Score 3, Insightful) 506

This is really stupid. If anything, it might renew interest in a relatively obscure (for younger people) book. Now, it will just result in backlash as people will refuse to buy anything from Dick now. The estate has no real legal ground to stand on, and has now shot itself in the foot. Bravo!

Comment Hmm... (Score 3, Interesting) 839

I wonder if there is some other design factor that is causing this problem, beyond just the LED lights not putting out as much heat as incandescent ones. I live in Colorado and most of the traffic lights here (Denver area) now use LEDs. I don't believe I have ever encountered one that was clogged with snow or ice. Not to say it doesn't happen, but I wonder if the traffic lights here are simply designed differently (better covers/shielding, spacing, ?).

It seems like a simple solution would be a small heater incorporated into the LED lamp assembly that only turns on below a certain temperature. Better yet- perhaps a sensor could be used to detect if the lamp was covered, perhaps by reflectivity. This would probably still use a lot less electricity over the course of a year.

Comment On call at small company. (Score 1) 735

My company is strictly 8-5 M-F, but of course we have to keep email, Web, and database servers online 24/7. My staff and I are "on call" all the time, with a "phone tree" sort of system for people to reach us if there is an "emergency", usually something like a power failure or "I can't get my email!". We are all salaried, so there is no OT. Any time spent on actual calls is rounded up to the next hour (I actually take into account the circumstances and will round it up even more for my staff) and is paid back as comp-time. The advantage of a "phone tree" is nobody has to work vacation or family time around an "on call" schedule, and nobody has to be tied to a cell phone or pager for any length of time. We just make sure that at least one person in our department is always available. It isn't a perfect system, but it works for us.

Comment I agree... (Score 1) 512

No trademark or copyright, and by all accounts- "Go!" is a dead project. "Go" makes sense because of the goal of developing a fast-compiling language, and it can also be seen as the first two letters of "Google" which makes some sense from a marketing standpoint. It say- Go for it Google!

Comment Re:paper in your wallet (Score 1) 1007

I think some of you are forgetting the pwgen is going to dump a new set of passwords every time, and very few people who found something like this in a stolen/found billfold are going to know what to do with it. This is actually a really great idea.

I mean if you need better security than this- you need to look at some high-end biometrics.

I know awhile back there was a study that showed something like 90% of users store their passwords in plain-text on a sticky-note either on their monitor or under their keyboard. Anything to prevent that is good. I don't really trust the various "password vault" programs any more than I would trust storing them in an Excel spreadsheet though. At least this method is relatively easy- even for a not-so-smart user (unless, of course, they choose to use a highlighter to mark their password).

Slashdot Top Deals

Do you suffer painful illumination? -- Isaac Newton, "Optics"