Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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Submission + - WI Community Intimidates 10 Year Old Disabled Boy 1

Anonym1ty writes: MOUNT PLEASANT, WI — Samm "Samm the Ham" Markstrom is a 10 year old ham radio operator in Mount Pleasant, WI who has cerebral palsy. Ham radio has helped Samm deal with his disability. Now The Village of Mount Pleasant wants Samm to stop operating and take down his ham radio tower.

The village board has been provided with permit fees, schematics and photos of it's installation. The tower has been inspected by professional engineers and proven it is safe. Also submitted to the board were documents proving the tower is well within FCC regulations. Samm's neighbors signed documents that they are not receiving interference from the tower.

Feed Wired: Britain Opens Archives on UFO Sightings (

More than 1,000 reported sightings of unidentified flying objects, heretofore kept locked away in the National Archives, have been released. Of particular interest is a 1984 sighting, made simultaneously by several experienced (and sober) air traffic controllers.


Sony Offers Bloatware Removal Service — For a Fee [Updated] 231

linuxwrangler writes "First Sony packed its laptops with Microsoft Works, Microsoft Office trial version, Corel Paint Shop Pro trial version, WinDVD and more. Now it is offering to remove the bloatware. Of course marketing changed the name from 'removing the crap we stuck you with' to 'Fresh Start' software optimization. And they want you to pay $149.99 to clean up their mess — $49.99 for 'Fresh Start' on top of the required $100.00 Vista Business upgrade. You can get about $25.00 of that cost back if you select all available 'no-software' options which are only available after selecting the $149.99 'upgrade'. Wonder what they would charge to remove Windows completely." Update 11:57 GMT by SM: It seems that massive outrage at Sony's "Fresh Start" program has encouraged them to drop the fee for scrubbing your laptop of bloatware before shipping it your way.

What Happens To Bounced E-Mails 286

An anonymous reader writes "The Washington Post's Security Fix blog today features a funny but scary interview with a guy in Seattle who owns the domain name Apparently, everyone from major US banks to the Transportation Security Administration to contractors in Iraq use some variation on the address in the "From:" field of all e-mails sent out, with the result that bounced e-mails go to the owner of'With the exception of extreme cases like those mentioned above, Faliszek says he long ago stopped trying to alert companies about the e-mails he was receiving. It's just not worth it: Faliszek said he is constantly threatened with lawsuits from companies who for one reason or another have a difficult time grasping why he is in possession of their internal documents and e-mails.'"

Feed Science Daily: Transparent Adult Zebra Fish Will Make Human Biology Even Clearer (

Zebrafish are genetically similar to humans and good models for human diseases. Now, researchers have bred a zebrafish that is transparent throughout its life, allowing researchers to directly view its internal organs and observe disease processes like tumor growth or engraftment of bone-marrow transplants in a living organism.

Operating Systems

Submission + - need to build a home server, and tired of Windows

etiam.maior writes: "Here's the setup:

I've been a sysadmin in a mostly Windows world for 15 years. Done extensive work with all MS OSes, lots with the OLD days of Novell (3.x to 5.0a).

My home network has gotten smaller over the years...I'm down to about 4 machines now: my gaming rig, my wife's gaming rig/workstation, a random beige box for testing and various other explosively fun experiments, and a server.

My work has supplied me over the years with various 'server' OSes that I've run at home with varying degrees of satisfaction. This last build was Win2k3 that's been running for...close to three years I think.

Anyhow, I admin Windows servers in my sleep, and 2k/2k3 have been pretty good to me overall. However, I'm getting tired of the rebuild cycles and maintenance on the damn things, so I come to the Slashdot gurus to ask: What's me best alternative for ease-of-use?

I'm an old-school CLI guy, so *Nix doesn't really scare me much. And 'server' may even be a stretch...hell, I don't even run a proper domain at home any more really...I basically just want RAID support for file storage of various stuff, Ghost hosting, and occasional secure remote access from work/work on the road.

Ease of use and fire-and-forget-reliability are what I'm looking for. For the first time though, there's actually too MUCH data and too many choices to sort through to find a good answer..."

Submission + - Linux POS systems ( 2

ReallyEvilCanine writes: It's been five and seven years since the last articles about running a POS (point of sale a.k.a. cash register system) on Linux and the pickings still look slim. The alternatives are expensive, closed-source systems with proprietary hardware and high monthly licence fees with only enough journaling and data access to keep the tax collectors happy. I don't mind paying for development but the constant fees and the lack of access to my own data are unacceptable.

A serious and useful restaurant POS system must include touch screen support, no fewer than four levels of access (user, power user, manager, admin), user identification via card/key, trainee access (non-journaled), journaling, multiple pricing and tax structures, changes to items and prices on-the-fly, reports, data export for taxes and accounting, inventory control and ordering functionality. Is there anything available yet or even in the works?

Wireless Networking

Submission + - Broadband in the Jungle 4

Russianspi writes: This is one that I've been trying to figure out for a year or two, and my time is running out. I plan to move to a South American jungle next year. The trouble is, I want broadband. The nearest town (about 90 mi. away) has broadband (DSL) available, but that's a little far for WiFi. I'm willing to be creative, but I'm on a short budget. Latency is an issue, but I'll take what I can get. Ideas?
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - What's the best free software out there?

An anonymous reader writes: I'm a student with absolutely no money to my name but I do have an old laptop that my dad gave me. At the moment I really can't afford to buy any software, particularly Microsoft or Adobe's stuff. After reading an article on CNET that lists a whole bunch of free software alternatives including Open Office and GIMP, I think I've decided on which ones to download but before I do, does anyone have any other recommendations?

Submission + - Cell phone replacements

AurigaTarantino writes: My cell phone recently died and I'm having hell finding a replacement. I really want the same phone I had, but it's semi-out of date. It's a simple EDVO that'll run java and has a metal casing, the Samsung a900 (aka, MM900 or A900-M). I use proprietary java for work, so this is a must.

Sprint's only comparable phone was $249 AFTER contract extention rebate and the local electronic stores wont offer discounts even though my contract expires Dec 1st. With Ebay, the same phone is $87 plus shipping and you run the risk of a bad esn.

Are there any other places (Auction or straight out retail) to replace an older phone? There are tons of places who'll take old phones for charity, but I can't find any that sell them. Help!

Submission + - Best PDA for painless use with Linux?

mistakenanonymity writes: I am a lawyer (though I am not your lawyer) and am starting my own practice with rather limited capital. I have run various flavors of Ubuntu at home for a couple of years as my primary OS. I am currently running 7.10, Gutsy, 64 bit, as a dual-boot with Vista (only because that's what my laptop came with). I was running Thunderbird as my email client, but I need calendaring to manage my own practice. I have tried Sunbird and Lightning, but have not found them stable enough for my needs, so I switched to Evolution since it seems well-integrated and (I think) will sync better with a potential PDA. Which brings me to my question(s): What cheap PDA would work best to reliably sync with my Evolution calendar, address book, and email? I'm pretty sure something running a variety of the PalmOS along with gnome-pilot should work, but will it work well?

Submission + - Learning a foreign language with open source? 1

pdxdada writes: "I've been an English teacher for a number of years as well as a student of a number of languages. Over time I've acquired/created a lot of language learning materials I'd like to share. I'm planning to set up a not-for-profit website devoted to language acquisition featuring community created content/lessons and links to FOSS language learning software as well as (hopefully) a network of people willing to donate time for online lessons via voip or im. To start with I'd focus on English, German and Russian, but after that really it's whatever people want to add. Step one is of course finding out what's already out there, but perhaps my Google kung-fu isn't up to snuff as all I've been able to find are a few forums for language teachers and commercial websites. Does a website like this already exist? Does anyone have any ideas for how to start a project like this?"

Submission + - How do you handle abuse ?

Hafnia writes: I have an older machine running Debian to serve my Squeezebox and FTP. It's open to the internet for ssh and ftp. I don't really care or worry about it, but every once in a while i check the authlog and every time it's crowded with failed attempts to get in ! What do you do? Ignore it ? Report it ? Attack it ? And what should i do ? I'm fairly competent with computers , but not a pro sysadmin. Does it make sense at all to report it ?

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Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!