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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?
Google

Submission + - SPAM: A Gift From Google: Free Airport Wi-Fi

itwbennett writes: Google is giving you something to be thankful for as you travel over the river and through the woods this holiday season. The company announced today that it is offering free Wi-Fi at 47 airports across the U.S. between today and January 15. If you haven't booked your flights yet, you want to factor this into your plans. The 47 airports include Las Vegas, San Jose, Boston, Baltimore, Burbank, Houston, Indianapolis, Seattle, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, St. Louis and Charlotte.
Link to Original Source

Comment I think we're forgetting something here... (Score 1) 476

Goggle at first refused to reveal the blogger's identity. Only after a Court Judge ordered Google to comply and reveal the name did they do so. The simple fact is that if you say anything online, you should be willing to stand behind it regardless of being posted under your name or a pseudonym. If you're not willing to stand behind your statements, then you should keep your comments to yourself. Much like many parents have taught their kids, "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all."

The fact that the two females knew each other, and that one of them chose to use a public forum for her own petty crap goes to show the character of the person. I don't think it mattered who blew her cover, she'd still want to sue.

But I'd be willing to wager that the models slander case gets refiled if the blogger gets any money out of Google.

IMHO I think both females are looking for a quick buck.

-Goran

Comment Re:I don't WRITE code (Score 2, Interesting) 303

Are you kidding me?!!!

I LOVE PHP! Where else can you make up your own variable names and code using song lyrics?

"while ($i = kiss($sky))scuse($me);"

Perhaps the good folks at Slashdot might hold a contest for the most imaginative use of song lyrics in actual working code. Might be a fun little contest!

Comment Catch-22 (Score 2, Interesting) 513

While this is an old story it's also still a problem.
About 6 months ago I read a similar story about business's using the credit reports as a guide to see if a prospective employee would steal or not. The idea being that the better your scores the less likely you are to embezzle, or steal from your employer.
I didn't think about it at the time and forgot about it.
Then my neighbor was turned down for a job based on her credit.

She lost her job a while back (over a year ago), and instead of getting a new job right away, took the severance package and enjoyed some time off from working. By the time she was ready to work again, jobs in her field were hard to come by. After being off for so long and no longer having the severance package to help pay bills, she started falling behind with her bills. Her mortgage company, seeing all the Fed money, refused to refinance the home since she doesn't have a job and started the foreclosure process. She finally found a possible job, and was told that pending a "background check" the job was hers.

By getting this job everything would be golden for her. She could pay her bills and then refinance the house. The problem was that she didn't get the job. The reason was due to the foreclosure on her house. That showed up on her credit report. So here's the rub. Can't stop foreclosure without a job, can't get a job due to the foreclosure.

Granted, it's her own fault for not getting another job so soon after being unemployed, but I've seen dozens of folks do the same thing. You get a large payout and take a vacation.

I wonder how many other people are caught up in the same sort of issue?
You want to work, but can't due to the credit report, but if you had the job, you could resolve the bad credit report.

- Goran

Comment One of my first IT jobs... (Score 1) 392

Was at a place built with an "Open" concept.

The building was an old multi-floor warehouse. Over 30,000 square feet of space, and desks set up all by themselves.

No privacy at all, and you could hear EVERYTHING. Anyone on a phone, a conversation at someone's desk, it really sucked.

Then the owner got the idea to build partitions between some of the desks, by hanging 4x8 sheets of plywood on wire from the ceiling, and anchored to the floor, also by wire. It cut down on the echos and allowed for "some" privacy. But I noticed that the folks that complained about not having privacy, got 4x8 heavy-duty woven steel wire instead of the plywood. The wire had four inch holes between the strands of wire. Like chicken-wire on steroids. I'm glad I'm out of there!

The owner was a bitch, and loved to snoop on her employees.

-Goran

Comment What other old languages should be taught? (Score 1) 794

Let's get real. If you're going to make the case for every CS student to learn FORTRAN, then why not COBOL? Or why not PASCAL? Perhaps it should be broken out to it's own course structure, based on the field or major/minor of the student. That way you don't bore the crap out of someone that will never use it.

I still have the books and notes from the PASCAL I learned in High School, and the notes and printouts from the FORTRAN and COBOL courses. Never use them now, and never used them after I left College.

- Goran

Comment Re:My Worst.. (Score 1) 1127

Since the majority of the furniture was still in the hotel room, there is metal everywhere.
But since the hotel didn't have a metal detector, nor did the police provide one, I was left doing it manually. After all, it never occurred for me to ask for such a thing. I was 20 years old, and having grown up in a small town where things like this didn't happen, it was a lot to take in and deal with.

I was more surprised that they didn't do this themselves and that they let "civilians" handle possible evidence.

-Goran

Comment The sad thing is... (Score 1) 586

With the advent of the WYSIWYG, most any fartknocker suddenly started calling himself/herself a "web developer". For those of us, including myself, that actually know how to code from scratch, for years fought against being called a web developer because I didn't want to be lumped into that group. As the web changed and I started doing more database and online application work, I opted for the "web applications developer" moniker. I found that it gave a better explanation about what I did and kept me from being lumped into the group of folks that wouldn't know how to code "hello world" unless they used a WYSI.

As a freelance programmer I still find myself cleaning up the crap sites built by those assh*les.

Comment My Worst.. (Score 5, Interesting) 1127

Not a coding job, but by far one of the worst I ever had.
In the mid 1980's, I worked in Reno as a houseman for a large hotel casino. Being a houseman was bad enough. Having to move furniture, sort the dirty linen, cleaning up rooms that the maids called "too dirty" for them to clean. But on one day, I was looking for a way to make some brownie points with my boss, when he asked for a volunteer to clean a room. I made the mistake of raising my hand.

Before I was sent to clean the room, I learned that the guest had blown his brains out with a small caliber gun. I was to clean the room and place any "biologic matter" in a special haz-mat bag they gave me.

I then was briefed by the detective on the case that the bullet had not yet been found. Part of my cleaning job was to "feel" each piece of brain matter as I bagged it up for them to look for the bullet. It was about two hours later, when I had finished cleaning the room that I learned from my boss that they had found the bullet. He didn't want to come up and tell I didn't have to keep looking for it, because the idea of seeing the mess make him feel sick.

I was so pissed that I tossed the bag-o-bits on his desk and told him to call the cops to ask for a pick-up.

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