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Music

Submission + - Rock Band Footage (canada.com)

Corrado writes: "Just cruising around the web and I found some details and a video of the upcoming Rock Bank video game. Basically the video shows a team of 4 Harmonix engineers going through Welcome to the Jungle by GnR and it's awesome!"
Linux Business

Submission + - Xandros acquires Scalix (linuxmagazine.com.br)

phess writes: "After establishing a still secret contract with Asus for US$ 15 million (for 5 million Intel's Classmate PC licenses), Xandros acquired groupware solution maker Scalix for a value still unrevealed. More details should come throughout the day."
Communications

Submission + - Is the DUB phone the perfect cell phone?

An anonymous reader writes: Everyone turns into a critic when they are presented with a new product yet few are brave enough to suggest an alternative. But it looks like Andrew Lim, CNET.co.uk's mobile phone editor, has had enough of criticizing and has come up with what he thinks is the perfect cell phone. The DUB phone, which stands for design, usability and battery life, is the "fruit of years of observations". One of the more ingenious parts of the design is a dual battery system — one for MP3 player, one for phone.
Novell

Submission + - Novell says desktop Linux costs 10% of Vista

Robert writes: Novell Inc might have signed a patent and interoperability deal with Microsoft Corp but it is not about to give up competing with the software giant and last week released a study that suggests its Linux desktop product is better value than Windows Vista. The Waltham, Massachusetts-based company's competitive guide compares SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop with Windows Vista and claims that the Linux product provides 90% of Vista's functionality and 10% of the price.
Handhelds

Submission + - Would a cheap iPhone 'developer license' work?

JJC writes: "How about if Apple issued cheap 'developer licenses' for the iPhone that allowed you to develop and run unofficial software on your own device, but didn't give you the ability to distribute your software to regular iPhones that don't have the license. That way the tinkerers of the world could have all the geeky fun they wanted, without hurting Apple's and Cingular's business interests. The licenses would be cheap enough for "hobby programmers", but expensive enough that no-one would try and sell the software they'd developed, hoping that the users would buy a developer license in order to run it. I'm thinking $100 would be the sweet price-point, and I for one would be there in a flash."
Portables (Apple)

Submission + - 10 reasons why the iPhone might flop

zerg68 writes: The development of the iPhone took more than 2 years, and during all the time a legion of Apple fans dreamed about the mythic device that was suppose to redefine the rules of the mobile communications industry. January 9th and Apple finally unveils its long-waited mobile phone. The press and the stock markets acclaimed the announcement while consumers all over the world shuddered by the thought of possessing one. So far so good. But what if the iPhone turns out to be a flop? What if Apple's strategy reveals to be wrong and the iPhone sales do not live up to the expectations? The Innovation Zen site has an interesting list titled "10 reasons why the iPhone might flop". Do you think the arguments are valid?
Input Devices

Submission + - Gaming with iPhone

mankee writes: "Excogito has an interesting article where he discusses how the accelerometer functionality of Apple iPhone can be used for touch/button free scrolling of music files, panning of maps and even playing games."
Debian

Submission + - Debian replaced firefox with iceweasel

Shawn writes: Today, after I upgraded my debian 4.0(testing branch), I noticed that a package called iceweasel was installed, which reminded me the discussion here on the firefox and debian issue. Then I checked:
$ls -l /usr/bin/firefox
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 26 2007-01-18 21:33 /usr/bin/firefox -> ../lib/iceweasel/iceweasel

So it's done now. Last Dec or Nov debian replaced thunderbird with icedove and now it's firefox.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - one man's trash: how Mr McGrath made a tidy profit

An anonymous reader writes: Feature
One man's trash: How I made a tidy profit on unwanted VMEbus card cages
By Marty McGrath, McGrath Technical Services — EDN, 1/18/2007

I took a consulting job with a major semiconductor-equipment-manufacturing company. There, I built various test fixtures using surplus VMEbus-card cages that the company had in the warehouse. It was great to be able to get almost the same card cage that the company was shipping in the current product. One day, I found myself requesting another card cage for a new test fixture. The guy in the warehouse told me that I had better grab any other card cages now, because they were all going to be "in the dumpster" the following week. They needed the space in the warehouse. I protested; guys like me needed them for important company projects. I suggested that I would be interested in buying them; my real goal was to get someone to realize they were tossing out something useful. I was asked to bid on them. I didn't want them, so I put in a low bid of $100.

Two weeks later, I had forgotten about the VMEbus-card cages. Then I got the call. A voice droned, "You are the successful bidder on lot number 13285. You have 48 hours to get the nine pallets out of the warehouse." I felt panic, thinking, "My wife is going to kill me. Where am I going to put these things?" I had an addition to my house that was framed and roofed but unfinished inside. I thought that I could store them there for a short time to keep them out of the rain. If nothing else, I could burn the oak pallets to heat my house.

I made a deal with my wife that I would sell them all in six weeks or drive them to the dump. I created a flyer that described the item and showed the purchase cost of all of the components and included a photo. It came to $845 each, so I set the "sale price" at $250. I found a trade magazine that specialized in the VMEbus. I sent a letter to every company mentioned in the magazine. It worked. The orders started flowing in. In fact, the only resistance to purchase seemed to be, "Why are you selling them so cheap?" Instead of telling them that "my wife was going to kill me if I didn't get rid of them," I said something like "we are overstocked and eager to move them out at a low price."

Orders for one unit were followed by orders for multiple units. I was feeling much better about my "impulse buy." The kicker came when I got a frantic call from a purchasing agent from the same company from which I had originally obtained the nine pallets. One of the company's engineers had put in a request to purchase four units. This request represented sweet vindication for me; I sold him back those four units for 10 times what I had paid for all nine pallets!

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About two years later, I got another consulting assignment at the same company. The company set me up to do my rush project development in a storage room. One day, I asked a guy about some items that were stacked against a wall, how much they were worth, and why no one was using them. That was a lot of money sitting there! I suggested the company assign someone to go around and sell off these idle assets. The guy told me a story. He had heard of a consultant who had bought about 100 pallets of surplus VMEbus-card cages and sold them for about a million dollars. I felt my face grow warm as I realized that he was talking about me, but the numbers were greatly exaggerated. I did make approximately $20,000, but it sure did take some work, and there was the real risk that my wife would toss me out to sleep with the racks. I don't know if I had anything to do with it, but the company finally took my advice and created a department to dispose of surplus equipment in a more orderly fashion.

Marty McGrath is an electronics and software-design consultant at McGrath Technical Services (Sunnyvale, CA).
Communications

Submission + - How do you talk to your boss about emerging tech?

cbelle13013 writes: "I am the IT Manager for a law firm and I recently got into a heated discussion about the use of RSS feeds. We are about to put our new website up and he is adamant about taking down the RSS option. His stance was "If I've never heard of it, none of our clients have ever heard of it". My question is, how do you talk to your boss about technology that will potentially be useful to your organization, especially when they are authoritarian leaders?"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Identifying logos in imagery on the web

Jugalator writes: A group running a project called Logo.Hallucination are picking out images on the web for scanning with a neural network in order to identify well-known logo types. Although many Slashdot readers may already feel they know the answer in their hearts, how is the giant 600 BC sewage system Cloaca Maxima related to Microsoft Windows? Note that some posts are unsafe for work, and I'll never look the same at the Citroën logo.

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