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Linux

Happy Birthday, Linus 376

Glyn Moody writes "Today is the birthday of Linus. Just under 19 years ago, on the first day the shops in Helsinki were open after the holidays, Linus rushed out and spent all his Christmas and birthday money on his first PC: a DX33 80386, with 4 Megs of RAM, no co-processor, and a 40 Megabyte hard disc. Today, the kernel he wrote on that system powers 90% of the fastest supercomputers, and is starting to find its way into more and more smartphones — not to mention everything in between. What would the world look like had he spent his money on something else?"
Security

Preventing My Hosting Provider From Rooting My Server? 539

hacker writes "I have a heavily-hit public server (web, mail, cvs/svn/git, dns, etc.) that runs a few dozen OSS project websites, as well as my own personal sites (gallery, blog, etc.). From time to time, the server has 'unexpected' outages, which I've determined to be the result of hardware, network and other issues on behalf of the provider. I run a lot of monitoring and logging on the server-side, so I see and graph every single bit and byte in and out of the server and applications, so I know it's not the OS itself. When I file 'WTF?'-style support tickets to the provider through their web-based ticketing system, I often get the response of: 'Please provide us with the root password to your server so we can analyze your logs for the cause of the outage.' Moments ago, there were three simultaneous outages while I was logged into the server working on some projects. Server-side, everything was fine. They asked me for the root password, which I flatly denied (as I always do), and then they rooted the server anyway, bringing it down and poking around through my logs. This is at least the third time they've done this without my approval or consent. Is it possible to create a minimal Linux boot that will allow me to reboot the server remotely, come back up with basic networking and ssh, and then from there, allow me to log in and mount the other application and data partitions under dm-crypt/loop-aes and friends?" Read on for a few more details of hacker's situation.
Media

3D Blu-ray Spec Finalized, PS3 Supported 157

Lucas123 writes "The Blu-ray Disc Association announced today that it has finalized the specification for Blu-ray 3-D discs. The market for 3-D, which includes 3-D enabled televisions, is expected to be $15.8 billion by 2015. Blu-ray 3-D will create a full 1080p resolution image for both eyes using MPEG4-MVC format. Even though two hi-def images are produced, the overhead is typically only 50% compared to equivalent 2D content. The spec also allows PS3 game consoles to play Blu-ray 3-D content. 'The specification also incorporates enhanced graphic features for 3D. These features provide a new experience for users, enabling navigation using 3D graphic menus and displaying 3D subtitles positioned in 3D video.'"

Comment Re:A good thing (Score 1) 419

I think this is not completely unrealistic. I do not block every ad, but I do it selectively for sites that irritate me. For instance, Facebook ads get blocked because I don't ever want to see those fucking teeth ads again. Also, I need to filter Facebook to block all of those surveys anyway. Slashdot apparently offers to remove ads for free if you post several good comments, but I have never taken them up on that and clicked the box because the ads here are not that irritating.

I don't think the advertisers will ever come to a consensus that blinking popup ads of dancing babies with awful teeth schilling for fraudulent mortgage companies that install malware are below a certain standard of taste and should not be used, but the sites I use most often already seem to have the self-respect not to run crap like that. Maybe if I spent more of my online time searching for free ringtones, things would be different for me.

Put another way, I am too lazy to block ads unless they piss me off. Maybe the folks at Google are expecting a lot of people to be like me.

Education

Each American Consumed 34 Gigabytes Per Day In '08 245

eldavojohn writes "Metrics can get really strange — especially on the scale of national consumption. Information consumption is one such area that has a lot of strange metrics to offer. A new report from the University of California, San Diego entitled 'How Much Information?' reveals that in 2008 your average American consumed 34 gigabytes per day. These values are entirely estimates of the flows of data delivered to consumers as bytes, words and hours of consumer information. From the executive summary: 'In 2008, Americans consumed information for about 1.3 trillion hours, an average of almost 12 hours per day. Consumption totaled 3.6 zettabytes and 10,845 trillion words, corresponding to 100,500 words and 34 gigabytes for an average person on an average day. A zettabyte is 10 to the 21st power bytes, a million million gigabytes. These estimates are from an analysis of more than 20 different sources of information, from very old (newspapers and books) to very new (portable computer games, satellite radio, and Internet video). Information at work is not included.' Has the flow and importance of information really become this prolific in our daily lives?"
Google

The Noisy and Prolonged Death of Journalism 388

The war of words between the old and the new media is heating up some more. Eric Schmidt has an op-ed in Rupert Murdoch's WSJ (ironic, that) explaining to newspapers how Google wants to, and is trying to, help them. Kara Swisher's BoomTown column translates and deconstructs Schmidt's argument, hilariously. A few days back, the Washington Post's Michael Gerson became the latest journo to bemoan the death of journalism at the hands of the Internet; and investigative blogger Radley Balko quickly called B.S. on Gerson's claim that (all?) bloggers simply steal from (all?) hard-working, honest, ethical print journalists.
Games

Over 160 Tutorial Videos Created For Unreal Dev Kit 48

As a follow-up to Epic Games' release of a free version of the Unreal Engine last month, the company has now posted over 160 video tutorials which demonstrate the various uses of the Unreal Development Kit. Roughly 20 hours of footage were created by technical education company 3D Buzz, with topics ranging from user interface to game physics to cinematics.
Google

Google May Limit Free News Access 236

You know how, if you want to read a paywalled newspaper article, you can just paste its title into Google News and get a free pass? Those days may be coming to an end. Reader Captian Spazzz writes: "It looks like Google may be bowing to pressure from folks like News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch. What I don't understand is what prevents the websites themselves from enforcing some limit. Why make Google do it?" (Danny Sullivan explains how they could do that.) "Newspaper publishers will now be able to set a limit on the number of free news articles people can read through Google, the company has announced. The concession follows claims from some media companies that the search engine is profiting from online news pages. Publishers will join a First Click Free programme that will prevent web surfers from having unrestricted access. Users who click on more than five articles in a day may be routed to payment or registration pages."
The Internet

Verizon Changes FiOS AUP, -1, Offtopic 560

RasputinAXP writes "Verizon has changed their FiOS AUP effective yesterday, and added an interesting new clause to their specific examples that we're all familiar with: 'it is a violation of the Agreement and this AUP to ... post off-topic information on message boards, chat rooms or social networking sites.' At this point, every FiOS-based Slashdot user is breaking the new AUP."
Biotech

Scientists Create Artificial Meat 820

Hugh Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that scientists have created the first artificial meat by extracting cells from the muscle of a live pig and putting them in a broth of other animal products where the cells then multiplied to create muscle tissue. Described as soggy pork, researchers believe that it can be turned into something like steak if they can find a way to 'exercise' the muscle and while no one has yet tasted the artificial meat, researchers believe the breakthrough could lead to sausages and other processed products being made from laboratory meat in as little as five years' time. '"What we have at the moment is rather like wasted muscle tissue. We need to find ways of improving it by training it and stretching it, but we will get there," says Mark Post, professor of physiology at Eindhoven University. "You could take the meat from one animal and create the volume of meat previously provided by a million animals." Animal rights group Peta has welcomed the laboratory-grown meat, announcing that "as far as we're concerned, if meat is no longer a piece of a dead animal there's no ethical objection while the Vegetarian Society remained skeptical. "The big question is how could you guarantee you were eating artificial flesh rather than flesh from an animal that had been slaughtered. It would be very difficult to label and identify in a way that people would trust.""
Software

Genetic Algorithm Helps Identify Criminals 84

Ponca City, We love you writes to tell us that a new software approach to police sketch artists is finding surprising success in a trial run of 15 police departments in the UK and a few other sites. The software borrows principles from evolution with an interactive genetic algorithm that progressively changes as witnesses try to remember specific details. Current field trials are reporting an increase in successful identification by as much as double conventional methods. A short video with a few working shots of the new "EFIT-V" system is also available on YouTube. "[Researcher Christopher Solomon]'s software generates its own faces that progressively evolve to match the witness' memories. The witness starts with a general description such as 'I remember a young white male with dark hair.' Nine different computer-generated faces that roughly fit the description are generated, and the witness identifies the best and worst matches. The software uses the best fit as a template to automatically generate nine new faces with slightly tweaked features, based on what it learned from the rejected faces. 'Over a number of generations, the computer can learn what face you're looking for,' says Solomon. The mathematics underlying the software is borrowed from Solomon's experience using optics to image turbulence in the atmosphere in the 1990s."
PlayStation (Games)

US Air Force Buying Another 2,200 PS3s 144

bleedingpegasus sends word that the US Air Force will be grabbing up 2,200 new PlayStation 3 consoles for research into supercomputing. They already have a cluster made from 336 of the old-style (non-Slim) consoles, which they've used for a variety of purposes, including "processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images (known as synthetic aperture radar image formation), high-def video processing, and 'neuromorphic computing.'" According to the Justification Review Document (DOC), "Once the hardware configuration is implemented, software code will be developed in-house for cluster implementation utilizing a Linux-based operating software."
Communications

New York State Testing Emergency Alerts Over Gaming Networks 212

An anonymous reader writes "Gamers are used to confronting invading terrorists, nuclear attacks, and natural calamities—in virtual form. But those living in New York State could soon receive warnings about real emergencies through their favorite video console. State authorities are testing a plan that would see the Emergency Management Office issue alerts over online gaming networks in addition to regular channels."
Graphics

GIMP Dropped From Ubuntu 10.04 900

kai_hiwatari writes "It looks like the Ubuntu developers consider GIMP to be too powerful for a normal desktop user. They are removing it from the upcoming Ubuntu 10.04. Among the reasons cited are that the UI is too complex, it takes up room on the disc, and 'desktop users just want to edit photos and they can do that in F-Spot.''"
Image

Drupal 6 Social Networking Screenshot-sm 122

dag writes "Drupal 6 Social Networking is an interesting book about how to build social networks and why Drupal is a good choice as a platform for building communities. Even if you don't have any Drupal experience yet, this book explains what is needed when you start from scratch and looks at the different facets of a social network." Keep reading for the rest of Dag's review.

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