Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft

Submission + - In India, MS losing out on xbox 360 profits

romit_icarus writes: "In India, the duty for imported xbox 360s is set at a high 54%. So what did the Indians do? They waited until a supply route of hacked xbox 360s was set up from China. The result: xbox360s at real prices and pirated game DVDs for little over USD 3!

Read the story here: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Xbox_360_sales _on_the_rise/articleshow/1697086.cms"
Security

Submission + - Meeting the Swedish bank hacker

Hades1010 writes: "For the price of 3,000 dollars, our reporter was offered his personal bank Trojan. In an interview with Computer Sweden, the hacker behind the recent Internet frauds against Sweden's Nordea bank claims responsibility for more intrusions. "99 percent of all bank intrusions are kept secret," he insists. http://computersweden.idg.se/2.139/1.93344"
Google

Submission + - Dotcoms snap up best real estate on Google Maps

An anonymous reader writes: Google organized a flyover of Sydney, Australia last Friday for Australia Day. The images taken on the day will be posted to Google Maps in a few weeks. A number of dotcoms spent hours making huge signs that would be visible from the air. It will be interesting to see whether Google will repeat the event in other cities. If they do, get prepared early. What sign would you make?
Software

Submission + - Open Source marketing model

Tim Ward writes: "Twice in the last few weeks I've come across open source projects where the software download is, as expected, free of charge, but no documentation is available. In both cases these appears to mean "no documentation has ever been written, but you can hire us to give you technical support".

In other words, as the companies can't make money charging for the software, they make money instead charging for support. Which sounds fair enough but ... these are "pre-sales enquiries" we're talking about where I'm trying to learn enough about the product to evaluate whether it has some chance of doing the job I need done or not.

Nobody in the commerial world charges you for pre-sales support at this level! — sure, if you want the vendor to scope out and design a system for you you pay for that, but that's not what I'm talking about — you don't pay for information at the level of basic product brochures and specifications!!

No problem, you might say, just download the software and try it out. Er, yes, and that costs how much, exactly, at my charge-out rate, reverse engineering some undocumented downloaded software to try to work out whether or not it will do what my client needs done? I don't think so.

I'm afraid that I'm much more likely to say to my client: "There's this commercial product, which in my professional judgement will do the job, and it will cost you $x, or there's this open source product, but I'm afraid that I haven't a clue whether it will do the job, and it will cost money to find out, and there isn't any documentation so any time we have a basic simple question about the product it will cost more money. Which would you like me to buy for you?"

You can guess the answer. "I'll have something that works that costs $x, please, not something that may or may not work and isn't documented and I don't have a clue how much it will cost me".

So my Ask Slashdot question is:

How come these open source vendors have managed to come up with such a broken business model? Aren't they even trying to compete?"
Wii

Submission + - Wiinja - Wii modchip

Andreas writes: "The first modchip for Wii making it possible to play backups have surfaced. The chip, like so many other, requires some soldering, but with only five wires it has to be considered a pretty simple solution. Tools for opening Nintendo's console can be bought on eBay for practically nothing. While games appeared already a month ago on peer-to-peer networks, they have not been playable until now. There is a catch with the chip though, the games has to be of the same region as the console, which shouldn't be a problem though if you really are playing backups. Videos (here and here) seem to confirm the authenticity of the chip."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - How to close opened CD-R drive?

em8chel writes: "I wanted to install Debian on my father's PC the other day. After putting the install disc on the tray I nudged it with my finger to send it automatically gliding back into its bay. My brother saw what I did and immediately protested against my atrocity: I should always use the eject button to close a CD-ROM drive; pushing the tray is bad for the spring mechanism and would permanently damange the drive one day. That makes a lot of sense, but when I went through the Plextor user's manual by chance later, it says, to close the drive, "gently press against the front of the disc tray until it closes".
Is my brother right or is he out of his mind? This is probably something nobody really pays much attention to. Still I'd be interested to hear what you guys have to say."
Businesses

An Essay On Subscription Television 306

dpu writes "Who would pay $1.99 to download a television episode that only costs about $0.0014 to see on cable? This is a short essay on the current and past state of subscription television, and a hope for the future. It skips a lot of points that the thinkers among us might care about, but it does the math and drives a nail into Big Content's pinky toe."
Announcements

Journal Journal: Philly to ban Trans-Fats 4

Is Philly the Next New York?
Posted on January 26, 2007, 6:51pm | Katherine Mangu-Ward

Looks like Philly is getting that nanny itch again. How about more cowbell instead of more regulation?

Didn't we get transfats from a host of nanny nonsense about 20 years ago or so?

Businesses

Submission + - Starting a career in science at 38?

A Science Nostalgic writes: I'm 38, have a succesful career as a software developer but feel the all-too-similar enterprise apps are boring my brains out and I'm intensely missing the world of science (which I didn't pursue in favor of programming when I got my engineering degree). Now I'm contemplating looking for a job in research, but fear the age and the lack of "exercise" with math and physics would pose an understandable handicap. If I study math seriously I can realistically shed the "rust" in a year, maybe two, but I still fear I'll be considered too old for research. I graduated abroad so I don't have any old contacts at the local universities (there are a few in my city). I checked their job boards, they have no positions just in s/w development which I could use as an entry point. Do the Slashdot readers have any experience with such a career change? Is it feasible at all to get into science once you approach 40? I feel my brain is still alive and kicking and years of debugging have taught me a few things about investigating causes and correlations — useful skills in research.
United States

Submission + - What Color is Your Steak?

MediaCow.tv writes: "Author Jim Hightower just released a humorous piece: What Color Is Your Steak? about the FDA's approval of carbon monoxide gassing of meat to make it more red (a practice outlawed in the EU). According to FDA filings, U.S. retailers failed to capture at least one billion dollars of revenue annually from fresh beef sales, due to product discoloration."
Television

Submission + - Internet to revolutionize TV in 5 years: Gates

adamlazz writes: "With an explosion of online video content on sites like YouTube and Google Video, Bill Gates believes that the Internet will revoloutionize the television within the next 5 years. "I'm stunned how people aren't seeing that with TV, in five years from now, people will laugh at what we've had," Gates told business leaders and politicians at the World Economic Forum.
From the article:

The rise of high-speed Internet and the popularity of video sites like Google Inc.'s YouTube has already led to a worldwide decline in the number hours spent by young people in front of a TV set. In the years ahead, more and more viewers will hanker after the flexibility offered by online video and abandon conventional broadcast television, with its fixed program slots and advertisements that interrupt shows, Gates said.
"
Networking

Submission + - The bare facts about naked telecommuting

Anonymous Coward writes: "We've all heard the jokes about what our colleagues who work from home are wearing — or not. For Tom Mulhall, though, telecommuting naked is no joke. Rather, it's good business. The owner of The Terra Cotta Inn clothing-optional resort and spa in Palm Springs, Calif., says 80% of his guests bring laptops and work nude poolside. He also talks about where guests stash their BlackBerries and offers advice to those looking to give naked telecommuting a whirl. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2007/012607-bare- facts.html"
Businesses

Submission + - Will America Run on Caffeinated Doughnuts?

theodp writes: "Just like Martin Luther King, molecular biologist Robert Bohannon had a dream. And thanks to his hard work, geeks and cops alike will soon be able to partake in doughnuts laced with caffeine. The challenge was overcoming the bitter taste of coffee beans ground up in the donuts. But Bohannon persevered, and has managed to infuse the Buzz Donut with a Red Bull-caliber dose of caffeine without sacrificing taste (or fats and sugars!)."
Mozilla

Submission + - Debugging CSS, AJAX and DOM with Firebug

prostoalex writes: "Joe Hewitt of Parakey in the latest Dr. Dobb's Journal provides a detailed overview of Firebug extension for Firefox: "Firebug breaks the page down into a set of tabs that depict its most important aspects — HTML, CSS, JavaScript, the DOM, network activity, and a console for errors and log messages. No tab is an island; Firebug lets you browse code just as you browse the Web by presenting objects as hyperlinks that can take you from one view to another.""

Slashdot Top Deals

"All the people are so happy now, their heads are caving in. I'm glad they are a snowman with protective rubber skin" -- They Might Be Giants

Working...