Dekortage writes: "Macintouch has posted a fairly positive review of the $199 EFI-X USB Boot Module, a motherboard add-on which adds a full EFI boot environment to compatible PC systems. Among other things, this means that you can install Mac OS X 10.5 from an Apple installer disk without any "Hackintosh" software mods. Macintouch's review also explores the legal issues surrounding this (including a lengthy discussion of EULAs and thePystarcase), and concludes that EFI-X is not at risk because it is an "implementation of the public specification for the Extensible Firmware Interface... completely independent of Apple, Inc." EFI-X also supports Windows Vista x64, Linux, OpenSolaris, and HP-UX."
Dekortage writes: "During the holiday season, many people are vying for our money — especially nonprofit organizations. What charities do you support? Are they tech-related ones, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation or your favorite open source projects? Are they medical relief organizations, such as the Red Cross/Red Crescent or Doctors Without Borders? Or perhaps something more niche, like EngenderHealth or the Smile Train? Do you prefer to give money, time, goods, or some combination? Whatever it is, let's hear what Slashdotters are doing to contribute to the world."
Dekortage writes: "Although claiming to be miles away at the time, Jason Jones and his brother were nonetheless arrested for murder earlier this year. Now, thanks to travel data linked to Jason's subway pass, the brothers have been released on bond. Notably, Jason had initially offered his MetroCard to police as a way to check his alibi, but they did not; it did not happen until much later, when his lawyers got the records (PDF) from the transit authority. The judge has now expressed doubt in the accuracy of the lead witness, quoting Heraclitus: "The river now flowing by is not the same river that passed by yesterday." Sometimes all this 'big brother' stuff can actually help you out."
Dekortage writes: "If the U.S. presidential candidates were smartphones, Obama would be an iPhone and McCain would be a Blackberry. At least, that's the finding of a branding analysis that asked respondents to think of the candidates in terms of popular brands. Obama apparently also relates to James Bond, Google, Target and Sam Adams, while his Republican opponent relates to Jack Bauer, AOL, Wal-Mart and Budweiser. And they are both related to Starbucks. One thing that wasn't asked: if the candidates were Linux distros, which ones would they be?"
Dekortage writes: "Typically, a big election involves each side spreading mis-truths and lies about the other side. This year has been no different. FactCheck.org has done a great job listing The Whoppers of 2008 — and its sequel — to highlight some of the more egregious examples of dishonesty slung by the two biggest U.S. presidential campaigns. If you're still undecided, this may be your last day for objective research before voting tomorrow. What other sites do you refer to for "objective" coverage?"
Dekortage writes: This coming Saturday is the deadline to join Scarlett Johansson, Bono, Desmond Tutu, Elle McPherson, Will.I.Am, and many others in the In My Name campaign. Your goal is to tell world leaders what you think they should do to end global poverty and support the eight Millennium Development Goals; you could be included in a final video shown before the U.N. Not familiar with the MDGs? Check out the campaign's informational videos on the topic, as described by major international nonprofits such as CARE and EngenderHealth.
Dekortage writes: "According to the latest ComScore rankings, YouTube's search traffic for August surpassed Yahoo's. The latter dropped roughly 5% in traffic from July. Among other things, this means that Google now owns both of the top two search engines. AdAge further speculates on Google's experimental "promoted videos" cost-per-click advertising on YouTube, suggesting the obvious: more money."
Dekortage writes: Seven years ago, the United Nations adopted eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for combating poverty, hunger, illiteracy, and more, all by 2015. Today, YouTube and Will.I.Am are teaming up to launch the "In My Name" campaign, asking everyone to submit videos with MDG-related requests of their governments. Even if you are not going to post a video, it is still worth your time to check out the eight MDG introductory videos by major international nonprofits such as CARE, EngenderHealth, March of Dimes, Save the Children, and others, as a quick primer on some of the world's most dire problems.
Dekortage writes: "Upon hearing that the Chinese government would allow limited protests in three parks, a pair of Chinese women applied for the permits to protest — four times. Each time they were denied, as were all 77 protest applications. On the fourth visit, the two elderly women were informed that they would have to serve a year of jail time for 'disturbing the public order'. An International Olympic Committee spokesperson noted the obvious: 'what had been announced publicly [by the Chinese government] doesn't appear in reality to be happening.'"
Dekortage writes: "In their efforts to attract students and push for ubiquitous computing, some colleges are handing out a free iPhone or iPod Touch to incoming students. For example, Abilene Christian University in Texas chose iPhones after surveying students and finding that they did not like hauling around laptops, but that most always carried a cellular phone. The University of Maryland is also experimenting with iPhones for students; one vice-president was unsure if it would benefit education, but said 'We're trying to get answers from students.' Not everyone is convinced: a Cornell law professor has banned the use of laptops and other electronic devices in his classes."
Dekortage writes: "The FBI is set to gain additional powers of investigation under new, yet-to-be-released Justice Department plans. The new attorney general guidelines 'would allow the F.B.I. to open an investigation of an American, conduct surveillance, pry into private records and take other investigative steps... based in part on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or on protected First Amendment activities.' Several senators have formally complained that citizens could be investigated 'without any basis for suspicion,' which the Justice Department denies. An ACLU lawyer says the plan further opens the door to the use of profile data-mining in the so-called fight against terrorism."
Dekortage writes: "As previously discussed on Slashdot, current and former Apple executives have been under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission over stock option backdating. One of the execs, Apple's former top lawyer Nancy Heinen, has settled with the SEC for $2.2 million. As a result of the backdating, SEC said Apple underreported its expenses by nearly $40 million, but Heinen settled without confirming or denying the charges."
Dekortage writes: "Although women's issues are rarely discussed on Slashdot, it appears that woman-oriented blogs and sites are growing faster than any other segment except political sites — 35% in the last year alone. Though men are heavy users of the Web, they rarely visit explicitly gender-oriented sites the way women do. Advertisers are taking note, serving up more ads on women's sites than for sites aimed at teens, children, or families. Sometimes the sites get very personal, but that is part of the appeal. As one marketer notes, "Women are more than half the population and they do most of the shopping." Is a woman-oriented Slashdot on the horizon?"
Dekortage writes: "On the heels of learning that some of the televised fireworks were CGI creations, it turns out that the Chinese anthem sung at the Olympics was also faked. 9-year-old Lin Miaoke performed Hymn to the Motherland on stage, but the voice we all heard was actually that of 7-year-old Yang Peiyi, whom the Communist Party's Politburo deemed a better singer, though not as cute. The music designer for the ceremonies said, "The audience will understand that it's in the national interest." Meanwhile, there has been outrage by bloggers and others about this in China, followed by a government-imposed media blackout on the topic."
Dekortage writes: "If you watch the Olympics gymnastics this year, you may be confused by the new scoring system which will let athletes score 14, 17, or even higher. The new rules are "heavy on math" and employ two panels of judges: one for technical difficulty, which adds points up from a score of zero; the other for execution and technique, which starts at 10.0 and subtracts for errors. The two numbers are then combined for the final score. As one judge put it, "The system rewards difficulty. But the mistakes are also more costly." The new rules were adopted after South Korea protested a scoring at the 2004 Olympics."