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Comment Bandsaw (Score 1) 177

Just use a bandsaw to cut off the spine and feed it through a normal scanner with a sheet feeder. Duh. Faster, cheaper, and better results along the spine.

Oh, you wanted to keep the books INTACT?

Google

Google Envisions 10 Million Servers 169

miller60 writes "Google never says how many servers are running in its data centers. But a recent presentation by a Google engineer shows that the company is preparing to manage as many as 10 million servers in the future. At this month's ACM conference on large-scale computing, Google's Jeff Dean said he's working on a storage and computation system called Spanner, which will automatically allocate resources across data centers, and be designed for a scale of 1 million to 10 million machines. One goal: to dynamically shift workloads to capture cheaper bandwidth and power. Dean's presentation (PDF) is online."
Earth

Sky Watchers Want Recognized a Newly Described Type of Cloud 166

phantomfive writes "In Iowa and Scotland there are reports of a type of cloud not yet recognized by the World Meteorological Foundation. It seems the cloud does not match any of the clouds in the International Cloud Atlas, and thus there is a campaign underway to have it included. Some have said the clouds look like Armageddon has arrived."
Games

Is Valve's Steam Anti-Competitive? 286

Absolut187 writes "Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford says Steam's domination of digital distribution is 'dangerous,' and exploits small developers. 'Steam helps us as customers, but it's also a money grab, and Valve is exploiting a lot of people in a way that's not totally fair. ... Valve is taking a larger share than it should for the service it's providing. ... There's so much conflict of interest there that it's horrid.' Pitchford's comments came as part of an interview with Maximum PC, and he thinks Valve should spin off Steam to its own company. Is he right? Is there a better answer?" Update: 10/10 at 02:00 GMT by SS: Randy has clarified his remarks in a comment here at Slashdot. He makes it clear that he likes Steam a lot, and for several reasons, but thinks stronger competition would benefit the industry as a whole.
PC Games (Games)

GaiKai Beta To Start In Europe "Later This Month" 121

Alison Beasley sends word that GaiKai, the cloud gaming service being developed by games industry vet Dave Perry, is about to begin beta testing in Europe. (Sign-up page.) GaiKai is a competitor to OnLive, which started beta tests of its own recently. IGN got a chance to try out GaiKai for themselves, and they've posted a video showing how it performed. From Perry's announcement: "Our closed beta has two goals. #1 is to bring our servers to their knees so we can choose the final configuration before we start ordering large quantities of them. (We think we have it worked out, but you can be certain our staff will be swapping cards and testing different processors as each day goes by.) Goal #2 is to test older computers. We've had lots of emails from people describing their computers and 99% of them have ample performance. Remember you don't even need a 3D card to see a 3D game run on our service. I know this is strangely counter to what people expect, but we actually want to get plenty of basic office-grade XP machines testing so we can make sure we can reach the widest audience possible. ... After we choose the hardware configuration in Europe, our next phase will be our USA Nationwide Network Test, that will be using 8 Tier-1 Data Centers, getting hammered by Closed Beta testers. During that process, [we] will be identifying the other data centers we need to include to blanket the USA in a low latency array. Phase 2 of that is Europe, in exactly the same test."
Books

Sony Takes Aim At Amazon's Kindle 273

MojoKid writes "Sony recently announced two new eBook readers and has set its sights on tapping into Amazon's Kindle market share. The Sony Reader Pocket Edition and the Reader Touch Edition will come out at the end of the month and will reportedly cost less or the same as the older, more established Kindle. The Pocket Edition has a five-inch display, comes in several colors ('including navy blue, rose and silver') and fits, as one might expect, in a jacket pocket or a purse. It can store about 350 'standard eBooks' and can last about two weeks on a single charge, Sony claims. The Touch Edition is a bit larger, with a six-inch display that, as you'd expect, can be controlled via a touch interface."

RadioShack To Rebrand As "The Shack"? 629

Harry writes "Rumor has it that RadioShack is planning to re-brand itself as The Shack later this year, after eighty-eight years under the old name (most of them with a space in between 'Radio' and 'Shack'). I hope it's not true, because I don't think the move would do a thing to make the retailer a better, more successful business." Where will we go to buy soldering irons and those RCA to headphone jack adapters now?
Games

When Does Gore Get In the Way of Gameplay? 141

Wired is running a story inspired by the level of gore in the recent Wolverine game that wonders: how much is too much? It mentions a study we discussed in February which indicated that violence tended to interest gamers less than other characteristics. "... the longer you play a 'twitch' action game, the less you notice the cultural content — the gushing blood, the shrieks of agony. You're too busy focusing on the gameplay. I noticed this with Wolverine. For the first hour, I found the deranged bloodshed both shocking and exciting; it made me feel like I 'was' Logan, the grunting, killing-machine character from Marvel Comics' X-Men universe. But as I became more expert, the cultural shell of the game boiled away. In a sort of staring-into-the-cascading-numbers-of-the-Matrix way, I found myself looking past the visible aspects of the game and savoring the underlying, invisible mechanics of play. ... The game became pure physics and algorithms: Vectors, speed and collision detection. The gore had become mostly irrelevant."
United States

The End of Tax-Free Internet Shopping? 784

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo writes "If a little-known but influential alliance of state politicians, large retailers, and tax collectors have their way, the days of tax-free Internet shopping may be nearly over. A bill expected to be introduced in the US Congress as early as Monday would rewrite the ground rules for mail order and Internet sales by eliminating what its supporters view as a 'loophole' that, in many cases, allows Americans to shop over the Internet without paying sales taxes."
News

Obama Calls For Nuke-Free World 705

jamie points out news that President Obama has put out a call for a world free of nuclear weapons at a speech in Prague today. He acknowledged that it was a long-term goal, perhaps not something that can be accomplished in his lifetime, but promised to encourage the US Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban treaty. According to the BBC, he also stated his desire to "negotiate a new treaty to end the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons," and to hold a global summit within the next year to work out agreements for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. Obama said, "As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it." His speech came less than a day after North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket.
Privacy

Ontario Court Wrong About IP Addresses, Too 258

Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton comments on a breaking news story out of the Canadian courts: "An Ontario Superior Court Justice has ruled that Canadian police can obtain the identities of Internet users without a warrant, writing that there is 'no reasonable expectation of privacy' for a user's online identity, and drawing the analogy that 'One's name and address or the name and address of your spouse are not biographical information one expects would be kept private from the state.' But why in the world is it valid to compare an IP address with a street address in the phone book?" Read on for Bennett's analysis.
Mars

Methane On Mars May Indicate Living Planet 200

Riding with Robots writes "NASA is announcing today that the definitive detection of methane in the Martian atmosphere means the planet is still alive, at least geologically, and perhaps even biologically. 'Methane is quickly destroyed in the Martian atmosphere in a variety of ways, so our discovery of substantial plumes of methane in the northern hemisphere of Mars indicates some ongoing process is releasing the gas,' said one agency scientist. The gas was detected with observations made over over several Martian years with NASA telescopes at Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Both biological and geological processes could explain the methane."
Security

British MoD Stunned By Massive Data Loss 166

Master of Transhuman writes "Seems like nobody can keep their data under wraps these days. On the heels of the World Bank piece about massive penetrations of their servers, the British Ministry of Defense has lost a hard drive with the personal details of 100,000 serving personnel in the British armed forces, and perhaps another 600,000 applicants. This comes on the heels of the MoD losing 658 of its laptops over the past four years and 26 flash drives holding confidential information. Apparently the MoD outsources this stuff to EDS, which is under fire for not being able to confirm that the data was or was not encrypted."

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