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Dead At 92, Business Computing Pioneer David Caminer 142

Brooklyn Bob points out this fascinating obituary of David Caminer, the first systems analyst. "The tea company he worked for developed their own hardware and software — in 1951! Quoting New Scientist: 'In today's terms it would be like hearing that Pizza Hut had developed a new generation of microprocessor, or McDonald's had invented the Internet.'"

Submission + - Are we getting carried away with CSS3? (

Dave Woods writes: "I've been trying to catch up a lot recently with the progress of CSS3 and how it can be used positively to improve code and simplify both the HTML and CSS. is a great resource for this kind of information and a lot of the content is useful, but the recent post on "Lists to get more decorative" which contains information on the new lists module got me thinking that some of the modules being talked about may not be all that useful and we might just be getting carried away with the buzz and excitement."

Submission + - Polar cap almost half gone in less than a decade (

SuurMyy writes: "Finnish newspaper "Helsingin Sanomat" reports that Danish scientists from their University of Technology have found out from satellite pictures that polar cap has diminished 40 to 45 % after years 1997-2000. If melting goes on at this rate, which is partly caused by sea currents, the polar ice will be gone in 15 — 20 years — very much in the life-time of most of the Slashdot readers.

I'm sure there will be other non-Finnish references shortly, but this was the only one that I was able to find at this very moment."


Submission + - Summertime Babies More Prone To Myopia

pygm writes: "A new groundbreaking theory has emerged, claiming that babies born during the summer months of June and July have a 24% greater chance of becoming severely shortsighted than those born between December and January. After more than 30 years of eye-research, Prof. Michael Belkin, a professor at Tel Aviv University, advices parents to make sure their infants wear sunglasses. The reason: early-life exposure to natural light. According to Belkin, the body has a mechanism that causes the eyeball to lengthen, causing shortsightedness, when exposed to prolonged illumination. Hence, the more light a newborn is exposed to after birth, the more the eyeball lengthens and the worse the myopia will be."
The Internet

Submission + - Public rallies behind free wireless broadband

thefickler writes: A proposal to deliver free wireless broadband to 95% of the US population is finding public support, even as it looks like it will be rejected by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). According to the company behind the proposal, M2Z Networks, more than 1000 people from 49 states have written to the FCC in an attempt to reverse a draft order by FCC Chairman Martin that is believed to deny the application.

Submission + - Rick Rubin discloses Sony rootkit called home

caffeinemessiah writes: Rick Rubin, the legendary music producer, recently signed on as co-head of Columbia Records, which is owned by Sony BMG. In a recent New York Times interview (on pg. 4 of the online version), he discloses (possibly accidentally):

It was the highest debut of Neil [Diamond]'s career, off to a great start. But Columbia — it was some kind of corporate thing — had put spyware on the CD. That kept people from copying it, but it also somehow recorded information about whoever bought the record...
Seems like the rootkit might have been a little more than your vanilla invade-your-rights-DRM scheme.

Submission + - August a Dead Season for Virus Epidemics (

BaCa writes: August once again turned out to be "dead season" for virus epidemics in 2007. Since August 2003, when the Lovesan worm caused the biggest epidemic in history, the final month of summer has typically been the quietest and most uneventful, as it is a period when both virus writers and antivirus professionals often go on holiday. Even the waves of mass-mailings sent out by the Warezov and Zhelatin worms were missing in action in August., the leader in July, disappeared suddenly from our virus radar screens.

Submission + - Want to be a computer scientist? Forget maths (

Coryoth writes: "A new book is trying to claim that computer science is better off without maths. The author claims that early computing pioneers such as Von Neumann and Alan Turing imposed their pure mathematics background on the field, and that this has hobbled computer science ever since. He rejects the idea of algorithms as a good way to think about software. Can you really do computer science well without mathematics? And would you want to?"
United States

Submission + - NYT Sunday Editorial Calls for Withdrawl from Iraq ( 1

mdsolar writes: "In it's main Sunday editorial called "The Road Home" The NYT has called for the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. Saying that the situation cannot be worse than it is now they argue that six months is needed to withdraw troops, perhaps through Turkey. They call for bases in Kuwait or Kurdish territory to continue to stage raids on terrorists who have gained a foothold in Iraq as a result of the war. They call on Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to host refugees with the US and EU to foot the bill but those Iraqis who have worked for us to be offered permanent resettlement in the US. They now call the war unnecessary and reiterate that it's management has been incompetent. They say that Bush is just trying to pass the disaster on to the next President and he must be prevented from doing this.

The (subscription) column by Frank Rich goes on at length calling Bush a coward.

With republican Senators defecting, can the Times have put it's finger in the wind or has it left the real stuff of its reputation bleaching behind it in the sun?"

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Boston Man Sues State Bar Over Gay Test Question (

caol.kailash writes:
A man who flunked Massachusetts' bar exam is claiming in federal court that he failed test because he refused to answer a question related to gay marriage.
The reason he didn't answer? It was "morally repugnant" to him to have a "contemporary issue" question, especially one regarding gay marriage, on the bar exam and he refused to answer. Isn't that a lawyer's job? To know all laws regardless of their "repugnance" or not?

The Internet

Submission + - Building a Linux P2P MMOG ( 1

prostoalex writes: "Researchers from Thailand and China are building a Linux-based peer-to-peer massively multiplayer online game and have published a paper on the problems they encountered: "Building real-time interactive P2P game playing applications in Linux posses many challenges and opens a wide area of research. There have been many implementations of remote interactive servers for game playing in some universities or companies providing collaborative access to the remote services. Most current systems that provide a collaborative remote game environment either use the (multi) Unicast technique or the Multicast technique to transmit data packets to the participants of the experiment group in the network. Both of these schemes have disadvantages and advantages. In this paper we implement architecture under Linux for real-time multiplayer game application based on XCAST especially for the cases where there exist numerous small collaborative groups. We had provided extension to the Linux kernel and XCAST and show that formation of numerous simultaneous groups, where each group would collaborate for a separate game, is possible. The system proposed is robust in consistently providing group formation and collaboration activities in real time, back-up route or priority queuing, and on time packet delivery with minimum delay in network in the presence of continuous node arrival and departure in the entire game playing procedure. We also show that for data packets of low size, the use of XCAST in the network layer decreases the stress at the sender in each group whereas due to the increased header size of the XCAST packets. Our implementation has shown significant improvements to meet the demands of some real-time game applications.""

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Just because he's dead is no reason to lay off work.