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The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Paid to do nothing?

djupedal writes: Are you paid to do nothing? Were you hired to do nothing?

Are you paid, yet you don't do any work? This is for anyone, except of course those collecting job benefits. I'm talking about those that come into work and hang out and do nothing whatsoever productive, but still receive regular performance reviews, generic corporate emails and a routine weekly/monthly salary. Maybe you don't even have to show up at the office.

I have a friend who is going on six months since he was asked to do any type of work, yet his (not meager) salary keeps being automatically deposited and the only time anyone from the office checks on him is to make sure he is still alive. How long has it been since you had an assignment or participated in an active project, etc.? What do you do with your time? How long do you think this type of ghost position can continue? Is this a dream job or an ethical burden?
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Kurt Vonnegut is dead, at least he's in heaven now

An anonymous reader writes: From CNN.com: "Kurt Vonnegut, the satirical novelist who captured the absurdity of war and questioned the advances of science in darkly humorous works such as "Slaughterhouse-Five" and "Cat's Cradle," died Wednesday. He was 84. The author of at least 19 novels, many of them best-sellers, as well as dozens of short stories, essays and plays, Vonnegut relished the role of a social critic." We may be able to get an interview with the help of Dr. Jack...
Portables

Submission + - Palm to replace Garnet with Linux later this year

pete314 writes: "Palm has quietly been developing its own Linux based mobile operating systems and is planning to release the software later this year. Replacing the current "Garnet" Palm OS 5 software on the Treo, Linux will allow for simultaneous voice and data traffic, increase application switching speeds and offer better support for online applications."
Toys

Submission + - James Bond Submarines for Sale

syguy writes: "Uboatworx is selling personal submarines that are straight out of a James Bond movie. Starting at $82,000 for a 1 person vessel (about the same price as a Porsche 911) and requiring a 4 day training course, their C-Quester submarines open up an underwater playground. Well, at least the first 164ft (50m) of it, at 3-4mph and for as long as the electrical power lasts, which is about 2.5 hours."
Patents

Submission + - Orphan 70-Year-Old Plane Data = 'Trade Secrets'?

Anonymous Flyboy Coward writes: The Experimental Aircraft Association is taking on the Federal Aviation Administration, which has denied a FOIA request for access to construction data to the owner of 70+ year old antique Fairchild F45 aircraft. The FAA sided with a company that was formed in 1990 (and which didn't even know the airplane type existed until the FAA's inquiry) that claims it "owns" the design and manufacturing data to the aircraft, calling the data a "trade secret". The company failed to register with the FAA (as required by law) yet the FAA is standing by it's assertion that they "own" this data, which was turned over to the public domain in the 1950s. Many vintage aircraft owners face a Catch-22 situation: they are required by law to perform maintenance to the manufacturer's specs, but much of this data is unavailable because the FAA refuses to release it without the data's owner's permission... even if there is no such owner. The decision in this case will likely have wide-ranging implications on FOIA requests, as well as affect whether historical antique aircraft will remain flyable or lost forever to a pointless bureaucratic death. The full story is available here.
Portables

Submission + - Asus EcoBook -- Bamboo laptop

An anonymous reader writes: CNET.co.uk has a photo story of a bamboo laptop created by Asus. The Asus Ecobook looks a lot like a MacBook Pro, but is made of real bamboo. The wood above each of its ports is engraved, the keys on the keyboard are designed to mimic the look of bamboo joints, and best of all it's biodegradeable.
Quickies

Submission + - Man dies trying to use laptop while driving

Scoopy writes: "The Sacramento Bee reports that a 28-year-old Chico, CA man was killed Monday after he lost control of his car while working on his laptop computer while driving, according to the California Highway Patrol.

"We have reason to believe he was operating his laptop because it was still on and plugged into the cigarette lighter," said CHP Cmdr. Scott Silsbee."
Democrats

Submission + - Gore's Home Energy Use Increases Since "Truth&

MightyYar writes: Apparently Al Gore's home energy use has actually increased since he made "An Inconvenient Truth", according to The Tennessee Center for Policy Research. While this organization is certainly not apolitical and I am a bit skeptical about their claims, if true this would give Gore critics further ammunition — he would indeed appear to be an elitist hypocrite, willing to preach to us about how to live without following his own advice. For us geeks, the Drudge Report gives us the numbers.
Security

Submission + - Where to report attempted break-ins?

tomscott writes: I run Linux and have opened port 22 on my cable modem so that I can SSH into my system from work. Being able to SSH into my system also gives me the oppurtunity to monitor my system and I noticed while running top that there were a lot of SSH connections begining and ending quickly. So I took a look at my /var/log/messages file and saw: Feb 26 02:33:05 tsc64 sshd[8115]: Did not receive identification string from 65.107.44.150 Feb 26 02:34:19 tsc64 sshd[8119]: Failed password for root from 65.107.44.150 port 4407 ssh2 Feb 26 02:34:20 tsc64 sshd[8121]: Invalid user admin from 65.107.44.150 Feb 26 02:34:20 tsc64 sshd[8121]: Failed password for invalid user admin from 65.107.44.150 port 44127 ssh2 ... Feb 26 07:04:06 tsc64 sshd[11384]: Invalid user test from 219.239.98.111 Feb 26 07:04:06 tsc64 sshd[11384]: Failed password for invalid user test from 219.239.98.111 port 59963 ssh2 So I am seeing two unauthorized systems try to gain access to mine via SSH. As far as I have seen in the logs no one has actually gained access to my system which is good. I would like to know if there is an organization or group or even if I should contact the police to report such things?
Portables

Submission + - The decline and fall of the Palm empire

PetManimal writes: "According to Computerworld, Palm is doomed to decline and failure, thanks to a series of bad business decisions including Palm's acquisition by U.S. Robotics back in 1995 and the musical chairs with PalmSource/PalmOne earlier in this decade. There's also been a lack of innovation — Palm's own corporate timeline has tons of references to innovation and development milestones from 1995 to 2000, but since then it's been mostly boring corporate marketing speak about partnerships, new markets, and product releases. Now the Treo has tons of new competitors, and when the iPhone comes out, it will be game over for Palm, says the Computerworld article: '... Last month, [the] iPhone changed everything. Jobs' Macworld keynote was like a nuclear bomb in the world of smart-phone enthusiasts. The "key influencers" who gave Treos visibility and cachet a year ago — Hollywood types, gadget freaks and absolutely everyone who's anyone in Silicon Valley — have stopped talking about Treos and are simply waiting for the iPhone to come out, at which time they will unceremoniously dump their Treos and embrace the new innovation leader. Meanwhile, it looks like Palm isn't even trying to innovate. [Palm CEO Ed] Colligan said in an interview recently that the company is focused on ease of use, rather than design, and that the company doesn't want to "follow design fads." In other words, Palm is not only failing to set trends, it's not even following them anymore.'"
Announcements

Submission + - Stable Open Source NTFS After 12 Years of Work

irgu writes: "Open source NTFS development started in 1995 by Martin von Loewis under Linux, which was taken over by Anton Altaparmakov in 2000. Two years ago Apple hired Altaparmakov to work on Mac OS X and made a deal with the team to relicense the code and return the new one, soonest in the spring of 2008. But the team also continued the work and Szabolcs Szakacsits announced the read/write NTFS-3G driver for beta testing last year. Only half year passed and NTFS-3G reached the stable status and has been already ported to FreeBSD, Mac OS X, BeOS, Haiku, 64-bit and big-endian architectures, and new CPU's!"

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