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Businesses

Steve Jobs' Macworld Keynotes, 1998-2008 108

Ian Lamont writes "The Industry Standard has put together a collection of video highlights from Steve Jobs' Macworld keynotes since his return to Apple in the late 1990s. It's interesting to watch. Jobs was basically able to turn tech product demonstrations into convincing consumer spectacles that made even the simplest product feature — such as the handle on the clamshell iBook — seem innovative and utterly desirable. And while his appearance changed greatly over the years (compare his 1998 iMac demonstration with his "iPod Mini" keynote in 2004, when he was reportedly trying to treat cancer with a special diet), his enthusiasm never waned. Of course, he may make appearances at Apple's WWDC or other events, but a Macworld expo with Phil Schiller headlining just won't be the same."

Google's Mayer Says Personalization is Key To Future Search 93

rsmiller510 writes "In a wide-ranging interview with Tech Crunch's Michael Arrington on Wednesday at Le Web in Paris, Google's Marissa Mayer talked about all things Google, but what I found most interesting was when the conversation turned toward the future of search. Mayer said the key to the future of search lies in personalization. ... Mayer said in the future, Google (and presumably other search tools) will understand more about the user and be able to deliver more relevant information based on that knowledge. 'We think that when you look at the winning search engine in 2020 and what traits it's likely to have, we think the one thing that will be true is that it will understand more about you the user.'" Video of the interview with Mayer is available at Tech Crunch. The personalization of search content focuses mainly on SearchWiki, which we discussed when it went live last month. The Register has a more cynical take on the discussion, seizing on comments by Mayer which indicated Google employees may evaluate SearchWiki's user ratings and use them to make "obvious changes" to search results for everyone.
Programming

What Programming Language For Linux Development? 997

k33l0r writes "Recently I've been thinking about developing (or learning to develop) for Linux. I'm an IT university student but my degree program focuses almost exclusively on Microsoft tools (Visual Studio, C#, ASP.NET, etc.) which is why I would like to expand my repertoire on my own. Personally I'm quite comfortable in a Linux environment, but have never programmed for it. Over the years I've developed a healthy fear of everything Java and I'm not too sure of what I think of Python's use of indentation to delimit blocks. The question that remains is: what language and tools should I be using?"
Sci-Fi

Forry Ackerman Dead At 92 83

rrohbeck was one of several readers to note the passing of Forrest J. Ackerman at the age of 92. Ackerman, who coined the term sci-fi in 1954, has been called the 'world's biggest fan.' Over a long career he acted as literary agent for Isaac Asimov, A.E. van Vogt, Hugo Gernsback, and L. Ron Hubbard; he published Ray Bradbury's first short story in a fan magazine in 1938. Ackerman wrote over 2,000 articles and short stories, including, oddly enough, lesbian fiction in the 1940s. In recent years, mounting health bills forced him to sell his home, the 'Ackermansion,' and most of the 300,000 items of memorabilia it stored.
Image

Russian Town Puts Giant Smiley On Google Maps Screenshot-sm 280

Toramir writes "Citizens of the Russian town Chelyabinsk calculated when the satellite, QuickBird, which takes images for Google Earth and Google Maps, would cross above their city and used people to make a giant smiley face. A rock concert on the main square attracted many people and everyone got a yellow cape. It looks like someone at Google was quicker than usual to put up the new data. Maybe Google likes the idea of an entire town working hard to get its 15 minutes of fame. The article has a screenshot of Google Maps and images taken directly at the event."
Software

CodeWeavers Package Google Chrome For Linux and Mac 239

jfbilodeau writes "The fine folks at Codeweavers performed an 11 day experiment in getting Google Chrome working on Linux and Mac. Their efforts resulted in the Chromium proof of concept. 'Not only does this give Mac and Linux users a chance to see what all the hype is about, it also lets the world see just how far Wine has come and how powerful it truly can be. In just 11 days, we were able to bring a modern Windows application across to Mac and Linux.' Caveat: their implementation is free as in beer but not free as in speech."
Communications

AT&T Slaps Family With a $19,370 Cell Phone Bill 725

theodp writes "Mama, don't let your babies send e-mail and photos from Vancouver. A Portland family racked up nearly $20,000 in charges on their AT&T bill after their son headed north to Vancouver and used a laptop with an AirCard twenty-one times to send photos and e-mails back home. The family said they wished they would have received some kind of warning before receiving their chock-full-of-international-fees 200-page bill in the mail for $19,370. Guess they didn't read the fine print in that 'Stay connected whether you are traveling across town, the US, or the world' AT&T AirCard pitch. Hey, at least it wasn't $85,000."
Robotics

Doctors To Control Robot Surgeon With Their Eyes 99

trogador writes "Researchers from Imperial College London are improving the Da Vinci surgical robot by installing an eye-tracker, which allows surgeons to control the robot's knife simply by looking at the patient's tissues on a screen. Tracking the eyes can generate a 3D map, which in turn can make moving organs — like a beating heart — appear to stand still for easier operation. Other features include 'see-through' tissues on the surgeon's screen (so tumors can be seen underneath tissues) and 'no-cut' zones, places where the robot won't allow the surgeon to cut by mistake. Says ICL Professor Guang Zhong Yang, 'We want to empower the robot and make it more autonomous.'"
Security

Boeing 787 May Be Vulnerable to Hacker Attack 332

palegray.net writes "An article posted yesterday on Wired.com notes that 'Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner passenger jet may have a serious security vulnerability in its onboard computer networks that could allow passengers to access the plane's control systems, according to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.' They're already working on solutions to the problem - including placing more physical separation between aircraft networks and implementing more robust software-based firewalls."
Media

Afterlife Will Be Costly For Digital Films 395

Andy Updegrove writes "For a few years now we've been reading about the urgency of adopting open document formats to preserve written records. Now, a 74-page report from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences warns that digital films are as vulnerable to loss as digitized documents, but vastly more expensive to preserve — as much as $208,569 per year. The reasons are the same for video as for documents: magnetic media degrade quickly, and formats continue to be created and abandoned. If this sounds familiar and worrisome, it should. We are rushing pell-mell into a future where we only focus on the exciting benefits of new technologies without considering the qualities of older technologies that are equally important — such as ease of preservation — that may be lost or fatally compromised when we migrate to a new whiz-bang technology." Here's a registration-free link for the NYTimes article cited in Andy's post.

C# Memory Leak Torpedoed Princeton's DARPA Chances 560

nil0lab writes "In a case of 20/20 hindsight, Princeton DARPA Grand Challenge team member Bryan Cattle reflects on how their code failed to forget obstacles it had passed. It was written in Microsoft's C#, which isn't supposed to let you have memory leaks. 'We kept noticing that the computer would begin to bog down after extended periods of driving. This problem was pernicious because it only showed up after 40 minutes to an hour of driving around and collecting obstacles. The computer performance would just gradually slow down until the car just simply stopped responding, usually with the gas pedal down, and would just drive off into the bush until we pulled the plug. We looked through the code on paper, literally line by line, and just couldn't for the life of us imagine what the problem was.'"
Software

OpenDocument Foundation Closes 177

Munchkinguy writes "First, they dropped support for their namesake OpenDocument Format and declared a switch to the W3C's 'Compound Document Format.' Then, W3C's Chris Lilley clarified that CDF 'was not created to be, and isn't suitable for use as, an office format.' Now, the Foundation has mysteriously closed up shop, leaving the following message: 'The OpenDocument Foundation, Inc. is closed. We sincerely wish our friends and associates in the OpenDocument Community all the best and much success going forward. Good-bye and good luck.'"
Upgrades

Leopard Upgraders Getting "Blue Screen of Death" 542

Z80xxc! writes "Some Mac users upgrading to Apple's new Leopard operating system are encountering long delays on reboot — an experience they liken to the Windows 'Blue Screen of Death.' While some of those upgrading were able to access their computer after waiting for as long as several hours, others were forced to do a complete reinstall. Some suspect that a framework called 'Application Enhancer' by Unsanity LLC may be causing the problem, but there has been no official word from Apple at this point."
Spam

The Russian Mafia Doesn't Like Spam Either 451

wattrlz writes "Apparently the current champion of v1*gr4 spamming solicited some of the wrong email boxes. Alexy Tolstokozhev was recently found murdered in his palatial spam-bought estate near Moscow. The implications of this hands on method of system administration are staggering." Update: 10/12 15:28 GMT by Z : Good story. Unfortunately, probably a fake.

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