Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Software

BitTorrent For Enterprise File Distribution? 291

HotTuna writes "I'm responsible for a closed, private network of retail stores connected to our corporate office (and to each other) with IPsec over DSL, and no access to the public internet. We have about 4GB of disaster recovery files that need to be replicated at each site, and updated monthly. The challenge is that all the enterprise file replication tools out there seem to be client/server and not peer-to-peer. This crushes our bandwidth at the corporate office and leaves hundreds of 7Mb DSL connections (at the stores) virtually idle. I am dreaming of a tool which can 'seed' different parts of a file to different peers, and then have those peers exchange those parts, rapidly replicating the file across the entire network. Sounds like BitTorrent you say? Sure, except I would need to 'push' the files out, and not rely on users to click a torrent file at each site. I could imagine a homebrew tracker, with uTorrent and an RSS feed at each site, but that sounds a little too patchwork to fly by the CIO. What do you think? Is BitTorrent an appropriate protocol for file distribution in the business sector? If not, why not? If so, how would you implement it?"
Privacy

UK Cops Want "Breathalyzers" For PCs 545

An anonymous reader writes "One of the UK's top cyber cops, detective superintendent Charlie McMurdie, says the top brass want to develop the equivalent of a breathalyzer for computers, a simple tool that could be plugged into a machine during a raid and retrieve evidence of illegal activity. McMurdie said the device was needed because of a record number of PCs were being seized by police and because the majority of cops don't have the skills to forensically analyse a computer."
Linux

Slackware 12.2 Released 351

pilsner.urquell submitted a quote from the announcement saying "Well folks, it's that time to announce a new stable Slackware release again. So, without further ado, announcing Slackware version 12.2! Since we've moved to supporting the 2.6 kernel series exclusively (and fine-tuned the system to get the most out of it), we feel that Slackware 12.2 has many improvements over our last release (Slackware 12.1) and is a must-have upgrade for any Slackware user."
Government

Obama Launches Change.gov 1486

mallumax writes "Obama has launched Change.gov. According to the site 'Change.gov provides resources to better understand the transition process and the decisions being made as part of it. It also offers an opportunity to be heard about the challenges our country faces and your ideas for tackling them. The Obama Administration will reflect an essential lesson from the success of the Obama campaign: that people united around a common purpose can achieve great things.' The site is extensive and contains Obama's agenda for economy and education among many others. They first define the problem and then lay out the plan. Everything is in simple English without a trace of Washington-speak. The site also has details about the transition. According to many sources, Obama's transition efforts started months ago. The copyright for the content is held by 'Obama-Biden Transition Project, a 501c(4) organization'."
Sci-Fi

Michael Crichton Dead At 66 388

Many readers have submitted stories about the death of Michael Crichton. The 66-year-old author of Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain died unexpectedly Tuesday "after a courageous and private battle against cancer," a press release said. In addition to writing, he also directed such sci-fi classics as Westworld and Runaway. Crichton was married five times and had one child.
United States

Barack Obama Wins US Presidency 3709

Last night, around 11pm, all the major networks announced that Senator Barack Obama had won the election. Soon after, Senator McCain conceded. There were no crazy partisan court hearings, just a simple election. This is your chance to talk about it and what it means for the future of our nation.
Software

Do Software Versions Really Matter? 693

An anonymous reader writes "I work for a rather large software company and I am currently working on a completely new product. So new in fact, that the official name has not even been decided. I had assumed that the version number for this product would be 1.0 (at most). However recently I learned that the Product Managers want to release this NEW product with a version number somewhere between 5.0 and 8.0 because 'there is a stigma about buying 1.0 products. People assume it's no good.' This latest Dilbert-esque comedy routine nearly sent me over the edge. So to gauge my sanity against that of the upper Product Management, I ask the community: Do version numbers play a role in software decisions, or have product version numbers lost all credibility and meaning? Would the community feel comfortable buying version '6.3' software (and paying tens of thousands of dollars for it) knowing that it was the first release of the product?"
Politics

Internet Co-inventor Vint Cerf Endorses Obama 713

SEAActionFund writes "Vint Cerf, Google's Chief Internet Evangelist who also happens to be credited with co-founding the Internet, submitted a video to our AVoteforScience YouTube challenge. In it he discusses the importance of net neutrality and endorses Barack Obama specifically because he supports net neutrality (John McCain does not.) The AVoteForScience challenge calls upon scientists to upload videos to YouTube explaining who they are voting for and why. The first two videos were by Cerf and the 2008 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry Marty Chalfie. Any Slashdotters game for explaining who they are voting for and why?" Still waiting for one of the campaigns to ask for my endorsement, which is totally available to whichever campaign offers me the better cabinet seat.

Blizzcon Begins, Diablo 3 Wizard Class Unveiled 142

Blizzcon is officially underway today, starting with a presentation showcasing the Worldwide Invitational tournament held earlier this year. A company spokesman went on to talk about the tournaments being held for World of Warcraft 3v3 Arena, Warcraft 3, and Starcraft 2, followed by word that Starcraft 2 was not yet ready for beta, but that Blizzcon attendees would be included in the first round of testers when the beta program starts. The big news of the presentation, though, was the unveiling of the Wizard class — the third such class to be announced, along with the previously mentioned Barbarian and Witch Doctor. Read on for some more details.
Education

Genetic Glitch May Prevent Kids From Learning From Their Mistakes 500

jamie pointed out an interesting piece being featured in Newsweek that claims a "genetic glitch" may prevent some kids from learning from their mistakes to the same degree as others. "If there is one thing experts on child development agree on, it is that kids learn best when they are allowed to make mistakes and feel the consequences. So Mom and Dad hold back as their toddler tries again and again to cram a round peg into a square hole. [...] But not, it seems, all kids. In about 30 percent, the coils of their DNA carry a glitch, one that leaves their brains with few dopamine receptors, molecules that act as docking ports for one of the neurochemicals that carry our thoughts and emotions. A paucity of dopamine receptors is linked to an inability to avoid self-destructive behavior such as illicit drug use. But the effects spill beyond such extremes. Children with the genetic variant are unable to learn from mistakes. No matter how many tests they blow by partying the night before, the lesson just doesn't sink in."
Space

Virgin Galactic Shows the Finished WhiteKnight Two 212

Klaus Schmidt writes "Virgin Galactic today unveiled their WhiteKnight Two mothership, called 'EVE.' It is designed to carry the smaller SpaceShip Two into space. The rollout represents another major milestone in Virgin Galactic's quest to launch the world's first private, environmentally benign, space access system for people, payload and science. Christened 'EVE' in honor of Richard Branson's mother — Sir Richard performed the official naming ceremony — WK2 is both visually remarkable and represents ground-breaking aerospace technology. It is the world's largest all carbon composite aircraft and many of its component parts have been built using composite materials for the very first time. At 140 ft, the wing span is the longest single carbon composite aviation component ever manufactured."
Programming

Learn a Foreign Language As an Engineer? 1021

Ben B writes "I'm working on an undergraduate degree in computer engineering in the US, and I'm a native English-speaking citizen. In fact, English is the only language that I know. Maybe it's not the same at other schools, but for the engineering program at mine, a foreign language is not required. If my plans are to one day be involved in research, is it worth my time to learn a foreign language? If so, which one?" Learning something new is almost never a waste of time, but how much energy have others found worthwhile to expend with all of the programming/math/tech type courses to be had at a large university?
Software

Boy Scouts Ask Open Source Community For Help 973

Lucas123 writes "The Boy Scouts of America are looking to the open-source community for help in building software to use for fundraisers, special events, and other functions, for their more than 121,000 local scout troops. Some open source advocates, who are former Boy Scouts, support the idea, despite a few reservations. According to the article, there are no plans for a scout merit badge in open source — but there has been a merit badge in computers since 1967, 'and it is possible that if the program is successful, it could eventually be used by IT-savvy scouts themselves.'"
Windows

Linux Has Better Windows Compatibility Than Vista 347

Several readers have written to tell us about one users rant in which he tells the story of being so frustrated with gaming on Windows Vista that he tried comparing gaming on Vista to that on Linux using Wine, with surprising results. "This post is clearly a bit biased. What shocked me though was how easy it was to find games that didn't run under Vista but did in Linux by using Wine or DOSBox. I'm not a huge gamer, so I don't have a huge collection of games to try out, but even still with just a few hours of frustrating work, I have been able to show that not only is Linux a reasonable alternative to Vista for gaming (XP is still king though), but also that Linux handles application failures more gracefully than Vista. Every game but Blackthorne crashed my Vista box, this didn't happen a single time under Linux."

Slashdot Top Deals

As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there is always a future in Computer Maintenance. -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"

Working...