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Slashdot.org

Submission + - What should I ask Slashdot?

TodMinuit writes: "Dearest Slashdot: Recently, I've wanted to ask Slashdot something. Unable to come up with a question myself, I thought who better to ask what I should ask Slashdot than Slashdot itself? Surely the very people answering the question are quite capable of coming up with one. So, Slashdot, what should I ask Slashdot?"
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Performs Illegal Operation, Shuts Down

mail.app writes: Microsoft Performs Illegal Operation, Shuts Down Microsoft Corp. issued a surprise press release this morning announcing that the company had "performed an illegal operation and would be shut down." Company executives refused to provide further information regarding the cause of the unexpected shutdown, only issuing a cryptic error number of $00038FF577 and advising all interested parties to "contact their system administrator."
Mozilla

Submission + - Firefox No Longer Alternative Enough

Kelson writes: "The Alternative Browser Alliance, which promotes the use of alternative browsers over Internet Explorer, has stopped promoting Firefox after nearly two years. According to the announcement, Firefox has sold out, gone mainstream, and "is no longer an alternative web browser."

Reportedly the site will throw its weight behind iCab, as it is guaranteed to remain alternative since it will never run on Windows Vista.""
The Internet

Submission + - Never Mention "hotmail" In Your CV

Pete writes: A guy, who works in the department of a Human Resources consultancy company, says they made a selection process in which, among other things, they asked for a person with ample experience in using the internet (navigation, searches, formats...). They received 50 candidacies, from which 30 came from Hotmail-directions, all of them erased as they entered. The reason: You can't pretend being an internet expert and use a Hotmail account at the same time.
Biotech

Submission + - Can genetic research be a home hobby?

tinkertim writes: "Greetings fellow Slashdotters, especially ones that know something about DNA.

Some friends of mine and I are very curious to get to know more about DNA and want to understand whats 'under our hood' a little more.

We're particularaly interested in some subtle differences between men and women. Some women see things in 4 shades of colors, while men see things in 3. It would be neat to know if two people 'see' the same object the same way, especially amongst friends (and spouses). To know this, we have to be able to look at eachother's DNA and be able to understand what its telling us.

My questions are broad, and I apologize. I hope the nature of these shows those 'in the know' just how very much 'in the dark' the rest of us are.

Labs that do DNA testing have very expensive stuff in them. Is there a less reilable but still informative procedure one can follow using less expensive equipment at home?

Can hobbyists form relationships with testing labs without licenses and other such prerequisites?

Most overall, is this something a reasonably smart person can dive into just for the sake of learning? Lasers at one time were pretty hands off .. but now people have them on keychains. How far into the hands of average people will DNA sequencing technology journey?

Finally, I realize the implications of what I'm asking. For agruments sake, I ask you to to separate the technology from its implications. That being said, please feel free to present any implications that you feel aren't obviated by the question itself.

The question refers only to someone examining their own genetic blueprint for the sake of knowing what it says.

Thanks to all in advance."
Patents

Submission + - Should a startup protect "IP"?

SonOfLilit writes: "I'm an 18 year old student thinking about forming a startup around software ideas.

Now, I'm online enough to know all the talk pro- and con- patents and especially those involving software.

I've also read claims that patents are important to software startups and claims that patents are insignificant to software startups and claims that although they are significant, anything that doesn't work without them isn't good enough.

My current view is that patents are essential in the current patent-based market, but my web conscience is bugging me.

What do you think, /.? Should a software startup apply for patents on it's ideas?

PS. I'm not referring to patents like 'triply linked list', more to patents like 'software application to increase your investment profits by saving the Africans from aids'."
User Journal

Journal Journal: I love Ubuntu Linux

I just tried upgrading to Ubuntu Linux 7.4 Fiesty Fawn beta 1 last night. I started the update-manager -c to chose to upgrade online. I had one little problem ....

Anne turned off the lightswitch where teh laptop was plugged in during the upgrade. :-( So my laptop is half 6.10 and half 7.4.

Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Mechanical Hit Counter

Pikoro writes: "Matt over at embeddedether.net has a curious and slightly over-engineered project up at his site.
He has created a Mechanical hit counter for his website.
From the page:


I've always subscribed to the Rube Goldberg School of Engineering Design, the philosophy of which is "simple, elegant solutions are for the unimaginative". These are words I can live by.
Overengineered designs are where Art and Science meet, eye each other up a bit, sink a few pints, and head off to Science's apartment to see his etchings. I tip my hat to Mr. Goldberg, using a machine that tips hats in 22 steps, starting with cracking an egg.
Here, then, is my humble contribution to the rich tradition of overengineering — the Mechanical Hit Counter.
"
Announcements

Submission + - The Air Car - Zero pollution and incredibly cheap

torok writes: According to this article on Gizmag, Tata, India's largest automotive manufacturer, has developed a car that runs on compressed air. It costs less than $3 USD to fill a tank on which it can run for 200 to 300km. The car will cost about USD $7,300 and has a top speed of 68mph. About once every 50,000 km you have to change the oil (1 litre of vegetable oil). Initial plans are to produce 3,000 cars per year. I think the world needs about 100x that.
Patents

Submission + - Linked List Patented in 2006

An anonymous reader writes: Congratulations are in order to Ming-Jen Wang of LSI Logic Corporation who, in patent #10260471 managed to invent the linked list. From the abstract, "A computerized list is provided with auxiliary pointers for traversing the list in different sequences. One or more auxiliary pointers enable a fast, sequential traversal of the list with a minimum of computational time. Such lists may be used in any application where lists may be reordered for various purposes." Good-bye doubly linked list. We should also give praise to the extensive patent review performed by Cochran Freund & Young LLP.
Math

Submission + - What do you use for quick simple calculations?

ValiantSoul writes: What do you use for quick simple calculations?
1) Standard OS Calculator / xcalc
2) Perl
3) Python
4) Ruby
5) dc/bc
6) Mathematica/Maple/Other large package
7) Pen/pencil and paper
8) CowboyNeal's fingers and toes
Debian

Submission + - The French Parliament switches to Ubuntu

atamyrat writes: "The French Parliament looks to be the next big Ubuntu switcher according to reports. Recently the Parliament produced an official government report that recommended the use of free software over proprietary software. The switch to free software is expected to provide a substantial savings to the tax-payers according to the government study.
Following this recommendation two companies, Linagora and Unilog, have been selected to provide the members of the Parliament as well as their assistants new computers containing free software. This will amount to 1,154 new computers running Ubuntu prior to the start of the next session which occurs in June 2007.
http://fridge.ubuntu.com/node/814
http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513-6138372.html"
Microsoft

Submission + - NZ objects to Microsoft Open XML standard

kumachan writes: According to a Standards New Zealand spokesperson, the objection is that "the ISO [The International Organisation for Standardisation] has already developed a standard for XML open format [that is, Open Document] and the committee does not believe that there is a need for another standard, and that Microsoft's [standard] is in conflict with the existing one." http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/82AF97DEB BAFD057CC2572990006C14C
Operating Systems

Submission + - ReactOS 0.3.1 Release

fireballrus writes: This is release 0.3.1 of ReactOS, an open source effort to develop a quality operating system that is compatible with applications and drivers written for the Microsoft Windows NT family of operating systems (NT4, 2000, XP, 2003).

Mainly, the work focused on rewriting certain parts of the ReactOS Core (kernel, HAL, bootloader, etc). Read through the changelog, and you will see the amount of changes in this release!

Please don't forget this is an alpha-stage operating system, which means it is not suitable to replace your main OS. Also, this release is aimed to be run mostly in virtualizers / emulators (like QEmu, VMWare, Parallels, etc): because of the big amount of changes, our development team was not able to test/fix all problems which arise when running ReactOS on real hardware.

Press-release: http://www.reactos.org/en/news_page_34.html

Changelog: http://www.reactos.org/wiki/index.php/ChangeLog-0. 3.1

Download packages are here: http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group _id=6553&package_id=6629&release_id=492696

ReactOS website: http://www.reactos.org/
The Media

Submission + - BBC lose all their original footage of 911

Kerago writes: "The head of news BBC World, Richard Porter, recently disclosed in the BBC World editors blog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2007/02/part _of_the_conspiracy.html, that the BBC has lost all of its original 911 footage. Mr Porters response to questions about how this could happen, who was responsible and when this would be reported to the public can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2007/03/part _of_the_conspiracy_2.html This has been kept extremely quiet in the UK media so far."

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