OffTheLip writes: A recent storm forced me into my attic for a repair but my path was blocked by many boxes filled with college textbooks, many over 25 years old. My wife and I are in professions where it seemed possible we would use the texts for research but they have remained boxed until the fateful storm. I'm sure many others are in a similar situation. With the advances in technology I see a perfect opportunity for colleges to provide required course material electronically via an e-reader such as the Kindle or the Sony offering. The authors could still claim a fee, although much less than the cost of a book, and the college could be a leader in green thinking. While this may not be practical for all materials there are plenty of use and toss coursework imposed on today's student. What do you say Slashdot readers?
OffTheLip writes: According to the article (http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D98AU3CG0&show_article=1), law enforcement agencies were struck by a "Mystery computer virus" Thursday. Systems belonging to the FBI and the U.S. Marshals were to shut down part as a precaution. An FBI spokesman claims no data was compromised by once again the question must be asked, why are these agencies connected to a public internet?
OffTheLip writes: As we head into the new year Lake Superior State University (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071231/ap_on_re_us/banned_words_list;_ylt=Ar9ZyVbXoaITQrY30nZuTfCs0NUE) has provided a list of banned words and phrases. Many are not likely to appear on Slashdot but the sentiment expressed is often a subject on Slashdot. Words like "bricked" are subverted and over used. What words would the tech community contribute to this list?
OffTheLip writes: Chinese meteorologists claim to be able to force rain (http://asia.news.yahoo.com/070425/ap/d8onm45g0.ht ml) to fall before the 2008 Olympics begin thus insuring clean, clear air for the games. After years of work on cloud seeding the meteorologists hope their efforts can improve the probability that rain will not fall during the events.
"Technicians with the Beijing Weather Modification Office said they fired seven rocket shells containing 163 cigarette-size sticks of silver iodide over the city's skies. They claimed it provoked a chemical reaction in clouds that forced four-tenths of an inch of rain."
Beijing's air pollution is among the worst in the world but can this be a good thing?
OffTheLip writes: AP Technology Writer Brian Bergstein discusses security advantages touted by Microsoft for their new Vista operating system . According to Symantec Corporation' Oliver Friedrichs, "Microsoft has made the core of the operating system more secure, but they've really solved, by and large, yesterday's problems". Many of the threats Vista addresses, such as worms, have already been handled within an fully patched version of Windows XP.
Will the next generation of internet centric security threats be immune to Vista protective measures?
OffTheLip writes: Several western European countries were in the dark after a power outage attributed to higher energy consumption due to cold weather. "We weren't very far from a European blackout," according to a senior executive with French power company RTE.
As winter approaches and power requirements continue to grow will the current infrastructure be able to support the demands? While this outage was brief and no injuries were reported how long can a modern society pin it's hopes on such a system? It could be argued the power system worked as expected, shutting off some customers to prevent a total blackout but offers little comfort to those without.
OffTheLip writes: The
US Department of Homeland Security
is funding research into teaching computers to distinguish opinions
from fact in written text.
http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Sept06/Cardie. homeland.ws.html Cornell University professor
Claire Cardie and associates from
other universities will use machine learning algorithms to scan text
examples containing fact and opinion with the goal to distinguish the
"Lots of work has been done on
extracting factual information — the who, what, where, when,"
explained Cardie. "We're interested in seeing how we would
extract information about opinions."
the obvious ramifications to
the veracity of Slashdot discussions is this a good thing for US