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Submission + - SPAM: Flickr/Facebook/Google changes prompt big backlash 1

destinyland writes: "How should web services respond when their users are revolting over unannounced changes to their web services? One analyst explains it this way. "There is backlash to change, simple as that." (Thursday's upgrade to Flickr's "Recent Activity" page has already prompted over 3,700 angry posts.) And his solution? Giving users a way to opt out. "You can dismiss it," Yahoo's Tapan Bhatt tells the New York Times, "which is stupid. Or you can try to understand what it is that users are telegraphing." One Facebook user has even launched a group just to protest forced web page designs, and angry activists have even tried swamping Google's headquarters with phone calls and emails to the developers and executives behind recent changes to the iGoogle homepages."
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The Internet

Submission + - SPAM: Accused of tolerating scammers, an ISP goes dark

alphadogg writes: The lifeline linking notorious service provider Intercage to the rest of the Internet has been severed. Intercage, which has also done business under the name Atrivo, was knocked offline late Saturday night when the last upstream provider connecting it to the Internet's backbone, Pacific Internet Exchange, terminated Intercage's service. Intercage president Emil Kacperski said Pacific did not tell him why his company had been knocked offline, but he believes it was in response to pressure from Spamhaus, a volunteer-run antispam group, which has been highly critical of Intercage's business practices.
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Submission + - Robert Heinlein's Fan Mail Solution

Hugh Pickens writes: "Kevin Kelly has an interesting post about a letter he found from Robert Heinlein from Kelly's days editing the Whole Earth Catalog with Heinlein's own nerdy solution to a problem common to famous authors: how to deal with fan mail. In the days before the internet, Heinlein's solution was to create a one page FAQ answer sheet — minus the questions. Then he, or rather his wife Ginny, checked off the appropriate answer and mailed it back. Some of the entries in Heinlein's answer sheet are quite illuminating and amusing. Our personal favorite: "You say that you have enjoyed my stories for years. Why did you wait until you disliked one story before writing to me?""

Comment why this is a good thing (Score 3, Insightful) 308

what the internet has done to intellectual property is pit the little guys against entrenched dying large corporate machines. usually all the little guy can do is run and hide. but when its corporate machine versus corporate machine cast in the role usually occupied by the little guy, this is good because google can throw clout into a fight where the little guy can only hope to be popped like a zit. so precedents can fly out of this that can protect the little guy


Submission + - Pirated XP superior to the real thing (

KrispyXP writes: "One of the annoyances with installing a fresh copy of Windows XP these days is that the driver set is six years out of date, and there's been a LOT of new hardware emerge since then. It's one thing to install the latest graphics driver, but it's another to have to set up everything from the chipset to the storage drivers. Now, a pirated distribution of XP has done what Microsoft hasn't: it has brought XP's driver base completely up-to-date, as well as cutting out all the crap Microsoft ships with XP that nobody wants."

Comment Re:speed (Score 3, Insightful) 267

Better slow downloads than meeting your new Swedish boyfriend in jail.

Even better, how about paying for your movies, games, and music? That way you can download them as fast as you like, and the government won't try to put you in jail even if they spy on you doing it!

I realise this is Slashdot, where "not getting busted for copyright infringement" is apparently categorised as a "right", so I'm probably about to be modded into oblivion -- but hey, that's life, isn't it?


Submission + - Roadrunner Zooms to No. 1: New Chip Wars? (

CWmike writes: "A supercomputer based on the Cell processor found in Sony's PlayStation 3 console has rocketed to No. 1 in the latest Top500 supercomputing ranking to become the most powerful computer in the world. The machine pulls together the power of 12,240 Cell chips and 6,562 dual-core AMD Opteron processors in IBM QS22 blade servers to deliver 1.026 petaflops of data crunching power, making it more than twice as fast as the top-ranked computer in the previous version of the ranking. Supercomputers are one of the first uses beyond the PlayStation 3 for the Cell chip, but others are envisaged. Toshiba has demonstrated a television with a Cell Broadband Engine for real-time upscaling of standard-definition TV to high definition, and for displaying multiple video streams simultaneously for quick navigation of many TV channels. Toshiba also plans to launch laptop PCs with a derivative of the Cell chip called the SpursEngine. Could this spark new chip wars?"

Comment Did any of this need to be confirmed? (Score 5, Insightful) 999

I mean, where are the true believers now? Does anyone seriously think that western governments have any kind of moral credibility?

We wag our fingers at China for their actions in Tibet, but by any measure what they have done there is far more humane than what we have done in Iraq. We lecture Russia about corruption and they simply retort with examples of western corruption.

Who actually believes that our governments have any reason to exist anymore beyond their existence itself?

Comment Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (Score 5, Interesting) 214

Wall Street has always been home to some of Sun's and IBM's largest corporate accounts. I don't doubt Linux and/or BSD can do the job that Solaris can in some cases (with caveats), but it will take years for that to happen. A "Linux stronghold" is misleading at best, TFA doesn't even support the claim.

And Linux will never replace mainframes. Nothing will.

At the risk of being modded troll, OO Calc will probably never replace Excel - other than Suns and big iron, corporate america runs on Microsoft Excel (not necessarily a good thing, but still).

OTOH, I know companies that are still running their websites and outward-facing interface systems on hardware and software that could be easily replaced by off-the shelf open source stuff, which will probably save them a lot of money.


Submission + - Microsoft denies call-in 'save XP' petition (

CWmike writes: "Gregg Keizer digs deeper on a report that said Microsoft was logging calls from customers who requested that the company extend the retail availability of Windows XP to find that some users claimed that they couldn't get through to the support lines. Microsoft denies that it organized any kind of call-in petition and pleaded with users not to dial its technical support numbers to ask for an XP extension. "As a courtesy to customers in need of technical assistance, we ask callers not to call Microsoft Customer Support Services to request an extension for Windows XP," a company representative said. Microsoft declined to comment on whether its support lines had experienced a call-volume spike starting last Friday, when the Neowin notice first appeared."

Comment Re:what's the big deal (Score 5, Informative) 106

The reason Eve can't just generate a new pad is because there are two methods of generating a photon and two methods of measuring a photon. Each method of generating a photon has a matched way of measuring it. If you use the matched measurement method you correctly get the bit Alice sent. If you use the incorrect method you get a random 0 or 1 no matter what bit Alice sent. Eve (and Bob too) has no way of telling which method Alice used. In quantum key distribution, after sending the photons, Alice would contact Bob over a different channel. They would tell which method they used, and if they used matching methods keep that bit. If they used different methods they would throw out the bit. If Eve regenerated the bits, she could not have used the same methods as Alice since she doesnt know which methods were used. So Alice and Bob's keys won't match up which will result in any information passed between them to be undecodable and they will know someone eavesdropped.

Quantum Key Distribution is, in its most naive form, still vulnerable to man in the middle attacks. It makes it a little more difficult because you must be able to intercept information on two different channels (the quantum channel and the classical electronic channel), but it is still doable. (There are, however, cryptographic methods of detecting man in the middle attacks, but thats a subject for another time).

Comment Re:Big Brother(s) (Score 5, Insightful) 111

Hiring folks who used to work at IBM or Google is not the same thing as "large companies control[ling] how Twitter works." Some day, you'll have a job and you'll understand that. [Sorry to be an asshole about this, but your comment just shouts "teenage kid who's never had a serious job."] People with experience with large-scale applications may already know solutions to some of the problems Twitter is seeing. Those solutions aren't always in the text books; and if they were trivial and obvious, then such applications would be much more common.

Comment Fortunately, we use blackberries! (Score 4, Informative) 174

And if you have a blackberry enterprise server, you can:

- force your users to have a password
- force the device to lock after a specified period of inactivity
- force the user to enter the password every x minutes regardless of activity
- prevent users from having a trivial password
- give users a duress password
- set the blackberries to store everything in encrypted from
- if a blackberry is lost, you can remotely lock the blackberry
- if a blackberry is lost, you can remotely wipe it

Blackberries are the best mobile platform, period.

Comment There are many kinds of bananas (Score 5, Interesting) 519

more genetic variation means more resistance to the weakness of monoculture

I live in Brazil where there are many types of bananas available. Any supermarket has at least three different types. Just off my head, I can name at least six types of Brazilian bananas: Ouro ("gold"), Prata ("silver"), d'Agua ("water"), Maçã ("apple"), Nanica ("dwarf"), da Terra ("earth").

Comment There's one problem (Score 5, Informative) 519

Unfortunately none of those dozens of varieties have the attributes that make the Cavendish banana by far the most successful and important fruit crop in the world:

1. Long shelf life
2. Very uniform and predictable ripening times

That is why you can get bananas cheaply, even though they might be grown thousands of miles from where they are eventually sold.

Most, if not all the other varieties are only viable crops when they are sold very close to where they were grown.

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