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Earth

The Story of My As-Yet-Unverified Impact Crater 250

tetrahedrassface writes "When I was very young, my dad took me on a trip to his parents' farm. He wanted to show me 'The Crater.' We walked a long way through second generation hardwoods and finally stood on the rim of a hole that has no equal in this area. As I grew up, I became more interested in The Crater, and would always tell friends about it. It is roughly 1,200 feet across and 120 feet deep, and has a strange vibe about it. When you walk up to it, you feel like something really big happened here. Either the mother of all caves is down there, or a large object smashed into this place a long, long time ago. I bought aerial photos when I was twelve and later sent images from GIS to a geologist at a local university. He pretty much laughed me out of his office, saying that it was a sinkhole. He did wish me luck, however. It may be sinkhole. Who knows? Last week I borrowed a metal detector and went poking around, and have found the strangest shrapnel pieces I have ever seen. They are composed of a metal that reacts strongly to acids. The largest piece so far reacted with tap water and dish-washing detergent. My second trip today yielded lots of strange new pieces of metal, and hopefully, one day the truth will be known. Backyard science is so much fun. And who knows; if it is indeed a cave, maybe Cerberus resides there."
PC Games (Games)

'Weekly Episodes' Coming To Star Trek Online 62

As Star Trek Online ramps up for its Season 2 patch, the game's executive producer, Daniel Stahl, spoke in an interview about an interesting new feature: weekly episodes. Quoting: "The team has wanted to capture the spirit of the TV shows by having something new to look forward to each week. We all remember when the various series were in full swing and there was the anticipation of tuning in every week to see what happened next. It wasn't always a continuing story, but it was always Star Trek in some way or another, and over time you became familiar with the characters and plots that developed. We are curious to see if this can be replicated through the game. Every week we plan to have something new for players to do. Sometimes it could be getting an assignment to resolve a trade dispute between two races. Other weeks it could be making First Contact with a new alien race. Other weeks you might find yourself deep in trouble and have to find a solution to your predicament."

Comment Re:Perspective from a Juror on this Case (Score 1) 982

Thank you for your post, and thank you for your jury service.

Without access to all the evidence and testimony presented in court, I am still stuck with one question: Was justice served?

Based on your comments I concluded that Terry Childs did violate the law, and that in your opinion the whole situation was handled badly by all parties involved. Since law only exists within the context of human society, I find it dissatisfying that the human context was removed when you were instructed to apply only the law. By your own comments you were unhappy with the conduct of both parties in this trial, but what in your opinion would be a just outcome, in other words, how would justice be best served?

Ubuntu

Ubuntu Will Switch To Base-10 File Size Units In Future Release 984

CyberDragon777 writes "Ubuntu's future 10.10 operating system is going to make a small, but contentious change to how file sizes are represented. Like most other operating systems using binary prefixes, Ubuntu currently represents 1 kB (kilobyte) as 1024 bytes (base-2). But starting with 10.10, a switch to SI prefixes (base-10) will denote 1 kB as 1000 bytes, 1 MB as 1000 kB, 1 GB as 1000 MB, and so on."
Image

Food Activist's Life Becomes The Life of Brian 165

krou writes "After food activist and author Raj Patel appeared on The Colbert Report to promote his latest book, things seemed to be going well, until he began to get inundated with emails asking if he was 'the world teacher.' In events ripped straight from The Life of Brian, it would seem that Raj Patel's life story ticks all the boxes necessary to fulfill prophecies made by Benjamin Creme, founder of religious sect Share International. After the volume of emails and inquiries got worse, Patel eventually wrote a message on his website stating categorically that he was not the Messiah. Sure enough, 'his denial merely fanned the flames for some believers. In a twist ripped straight from the script of the comedy classic, they said that this disavowal, too, had been prophesied.'"
Image

Scientists Use Sex-Crazed Bugs As Pesticide 107

ByronScott writes "In today's 'gross news' category, some female insects just might be getting lucky. As an alternative to toxic pesticides, scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have created 'super-sexed' sterilized male leafhoppers to knock bug boots with females in the wild, resulting in decreased populations. Yes, that means that the female bugs will miss out on the joys of motherhood, but the idea that the insects will be having some fun instead of being gassed to death by poisons is pretty cool."

Comment Aarghhhh (Score 5, Insightful) 267

I for one am sick and tired of these types of attack. Whoever, in their right mind thought it was a good idea to expose SQL query inputs on the Web?

Ever heard of input sanity checking? It was very popular in the say, 60's, 70's and 80's. It means you reject fields you don't expect to be there, instead of arbitrarily passing them onto the backend database. These types of attacks illustrate what is wrong with web security: developer convenience trumps common sense everytime...

Next time we see Ballmer hopping along shouting developers, maybe could he please add the words 'SECURITY BY DESIGN', please, pretty please?

SQL injection attacks are asinine because they are so prevalent, easy for the hackers AND easy to fix. We should name and shame every site, and every web-application stack that allows these attacks to take place.

nuf said.

Comment Re:Data center woes (Score 1) 211

Not to forget that the business unit manager sold non-existent capacity in an effort to lock-in his bonus...

Data-centers are businesses, even if they are wholy owned by the company. The business of a data-center is delivering reasonable service at minimum cost. When you think long and hard about it, you can only conclude that a data-center is in the commodity business. The past ten years have clearly shown what happens to commodity businesses... The main problem however is that data-center competition and customer demand lead to the same end-result: shitty service at an acceptable price. In the end, large data-center screw-ups are rare and most companies do try to make an educated guess on their risk.

For data-center management to be fun again, we need: better tools, less proliferation of half-baked OSes, standardization of management APIs etc... Is it likely to happen: no, because it is a commodity and not enough people care....

To make you feel better: when cars where new and exciting, most people knew how to change a flat, check the oil, fix a bulb and manually crank the car, becuase cars would break down. Nowadays the average person may know how to check the oil and change a flat, but only if their dashboard warns them.... The same is true for data-centers, technology is amazingly more robust and easier to manage, to the point that most users don't care or know any better....

Comment Re:Study what you enjoy (Score 4, Insightful) 466

I second that, study what you enjoy and see where your interest takes you. I struggled with statistics when I studied for my masters, but my current job is steep in statistics and I am much better at it. Funny how that goes.... It's a lot easier to learn a Math subject when there is a real need to understand it present, otherwise it can remain abstract and obtuse.

The other piece of advice: do your homework, everyday, and don't give up. Seriously, I was a B+ student until my math teacher started checking my homework - I told him that there were other students more deserving of his attention. Within a few weeks I was an A-student...

As for making a choice, I would do both, but take the easier one first.

Comment Re:Hard drives kept online (Score 4, Informative) 669

I recently built my own cheap backup server using OpenSolaris and ZFS. I used my old SATA drives (6x400GB), a $75 motherboard and AMD Athlon X2 combo, 4GB of DRAM ($69) and an old tower case. I did add two SATA 5-bay hot-swappable disk bays ($110 each) so that I can easily replace/upgrade my disks. Once a week I update data from my main server (also Solaris) to the backup server using ZFS incremental snapshots.

My PC's and Mac's all mount their user directory from my main server, and I rsync my laptop every day. The main server also serves as a SunRay server so I do most of my daily chores on a SunRay. I run Windows inside VirtualBox and I rarely ever turn on my windows PC anymore (the Windows instance in VBox also mounts from my main server). Inside my main server I have 2x 1TB drives, in a ZFS mirror setup, for the user directories and 2x400GB for the OS and scratch directories (all drives are SATA).

I'm very confident in this setup, also because I can yank out my drives in under 30 seconds in case of fire. The only thing I still have to do is put my backup server in a different room from the main server - that is a todo project for the near future.

Comment Re:Are you kidding me? (Score 1) 2

A RPG can inflict serious damage to the superstructure of modern warships - they simply where not designed for close-in tasks like stopping and searching pirate vessels. The risks of asymmetrical warfare are such that a $100 piece of pirate weaponry can inflict $1000s of damage. More robust warships (less electronic gadgetry, less things to damage) would shrug of the damage from these lighter weapon types without having to immediately resort to lethal force.

Unix

Submission + - IBM embraces - wtf - Sun's Solaris across x86 serv (theregister.com)

boner writes: Our friends at the Register report : IBM embraces — wtf — Sun's Solaris across x86 server line.

Apparently the collaboration goes beyond x86, quoting from the article: Zeitler sounded bullish about the prospects of running Solaris on the System Z mainframes, ... [Zeitler] noted that he "would like to see" some Solaris on System P work, which would have Solaris compete head-to-head with AIX.

Does this mean corporate interest might be shifting towards Solaris? Ashlee Vance only too kindly notes: Solaris x86 enjoys a relatively small but devoted developer community. The Linux crowd seems to have taken notice of this with zealots bashing Solaris x86 at every chance during recent open source trade shows. Such concern is understandable given that Solaris offers a number of high-end features not found with Linux.

So how do Slashdotters see the longterm prospects for Solaris?

Announcements

Submission + - ITIL v3 released (regdeveloper.co.uk)

boner writes: The Register (our trusted other source of news) has an article announcing the release of ITIL,v3. ITIL, or IT Infrastructure Library, represents an internationally-accepted good practice framework for managing IT operations. Somehow, ITIL seems to be much more accepted in Europe, with only lackluster mention and support in the USA.

How about the Slashdot readers? How many live and breathe ITIL in their daily lives and how are they geographically distributed? Is ITIL relevant to todays IT management and should we spend time on it?

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