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Feed Dell offers XP again amidst Vista complaints (

Users ask to party like its 2001

Dell is to once again offer Windows XP on new systems, responding to online customer complaints. The decision reverses a Vista-only policy the PC seller has moved to since the release of Microsoft's latest OS. The move is a reaction to online complaints at Dell's recently-launched Ideastorm website.

The Internet

Submission + - Porn is now less popular on the Internet

Ant writes: "Digg shares a short story about how in America, the proportion of site visits that are pornographic is falling and people are flocking to sites categorized "net communities and chat" — chiefly social-networking sites such as MySpace, Bebo and Facebook. Traffic to such sites is poised to overtake traffic to sex sites in America any day now..."

Submission + - Book Review: Daemon, A Novel

ddonzal writes: "There's enough technology to satisfy the hacker community, plenty of toys for the electronics buff, and not too much of each for those merely interested in a fun read. Add in plenty of action, great characters, and eye-opening views into the seedy cyber-underworld, and Daemon should easily make your summer reading list. Get the whole scoop from the Editor-In-Chief of The Ethical Hacker Network, an online magazine for the security professional, as well as an exlusive look at the first four chapters of this creative work of cyber-fiction."

Feed RC Pirate ship with working cannon lets you rule the pool (

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets

Lifeguards beware: the stakes have been raised. This RC pirate ship would be way cooler if the cannon actually fired something, but those landlubbers in the shallow end don't know that you're unarmed. A switch on the waterproof transmitter triggers what is sure to be a terrifying light and sound display from speakers hidden in the 18-inch hull, and when you're done looting whatever booty you can find, the twin screws all but guarantee a swift retreat from that bruiser middle schooler trying to wreck your summer.

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


Submission + - Predictions of the Year 2000 from 1900 writer

zxking writes: I came across this interesting article while doing some history research.

"The Ladies Home Journal from December 1900 contained a fascinating article by John Elfreth Watkins, Jr. titled "What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years". Mr. Watkins wrote: "These prophecies will seem strange, almost impossible. Yet, they have come from the most learned and conservative minds in America. To the wisest and most careful men in our greatest institutions of science and learning I have gone, asking each in his turn to forecast for me what, in his opinion, will have been wrought in his own field of investigation before the dawn of 2001 — a century from now. These opinions I have carefully transcribed.""

Some of the predictions have proved true but not in the way described while others seem to still be dreams. What predictions would slashdotters make for Year 2100.

Submission + - CAD applications run more slowly on Vista

UnanimousCoward writes: "Last August, /. had a post saying OpenGL MAY run slower on Vista. Well, now that Vista is upon us, there are several articles confirming that CAD applications do indeed run more slowly on Vista. For example, Tom's Hardware lists the following benchmarks.

However, OpenGL might not be the only issue. In the following upFront.eZine article, one of the CAD vendors states:

It turns out that OpenGL is just one reason; another is that Vista's file system checking takes up resources. CAD software is dependent on the hard drive and makes many file accesses. Another reason is the 30-times-per-second that Vista checks all of the computer's hardware to ensure that its DRM [digital rights management] hasn't been compromised. As vendors delve into the new OS's messy innards, we'll learn more details. The troubles remind of the transition from DOS to Windows all over again.

Submission + - Negative coders killing progress

An anonymous reader writes: We have a problem with negative coders that are dragging the whole company down. I am sure that this is not a problem isolated just to us; so do any /.'ers have any useful advice to share with us on how to deal with these kinds of people/situations?

At our company we are attempting a rewrite a major part of our software, which is badly needed to bring us up to speed with current technology, failure to move in this direction within the next couple of years would ultimatley sink the company. A few employees have been assigned the task and have had a hard time getting the project done.

There are difficulties with the flow of information between the 3 coders, the project manager, a regional manager and the CEO. They constantly disagree between business requirements, functionality and deadlines. The coders are very negative and complain all the time, about everything. Management do not seem to help by having requirements that constantly change and a lack of critical decision making being made (according to the negative coders).

I do not know the source of the problems, but I do know that the overwhelming negative nature of the coders is running the project into the ground. One of the 3 developers and the original project manager have resigned because of the difficulty in dealing with the negative environment and the lack of progress. The current project manager is heading in the same general direction as his predecessor....becoming the scapegoat for the negative coders. The coders are far to valuable to get rid of, as they have far to much fundamental knowledge that the company cannot afford to loose.

I would be interested in hearing any advice that people have, and if anyone has similar experiences that they can share. Have you had a similar problem in the past? What did you do and what happened?

Submission + - PowerPoint for War Planning

Geodesy99 writes: "The U.S. Central Command's war plan for invading Iraq postulated in August 2002 that the U.S. would have only 5,000 troops left in Iraq as of December 2006, according to the Command's PowerPoint briefing slides, x.htm

Lt. Gen. McKiernan later told Washington Post reporter Thomas Ricks (Fiasco, p. 75):

"It's quite frustrating the way this works, but the way we do things nowadays is combatant commanders brief their products in PowerPoint up in Washington to OSD and Secretary of Defense... In lieu of an order, or a frag [fragmentary] order, or plan, you get a set of PowerPoint slides... [T]hat is frustrating, because nobody wants to plan against PowerPoint slides."

Retired Army Col. Andrew Bacevich told Ricks (Fiasco, pp. 75-76) that PowerPoint war planning was the ultimate insult:

"Here may be the clearest manifestation of OSD's [Office of Secretary of Defense] contempt for the accumulated wisdom of the military profession and of the assumption among forward thinkers that technology — above all information technology — has rendered obsolete the conventions traditionally governing the preparation and conduct of war. To imagine that PowerPoint slides can substitute for such means is really the height of recklessness.""

Camera Phones Read Hidden Messages in Print 126

pikine writes "As reported by BBC News, Fujitsu has developed a technology that encodes 12-bytes of information in a printed picture by skewing yellow hue, which is difficult to discern by human eye but fairly easy for camera phones to decode using software written in Java." The first target uses are promotional contests and competitions, not entirely unlike those game pieces that need to be viewed through a colored filter.

Submission + - Interstellar Ark

xantox writes: "There are three strategies to travel 10.5 light-years from Earth to Epsilon Eridani and bring humanity into a new stellar system : 1) Wait for future discovery of Star Trek physics and go there almost instantaneously, 2) Build a relativistic rocket powered by antimatter and go there in 22 years by accelerating constantly at 1g, provided that you master stellar amounts of energy (so, nothing realistic until now), but what about 3): go there by classical means, by building a gigantic Ark of several miles in radius, propulsed by nuclear fusion and featuring artificial gravity, oceans and cities, for a travel of seven centuries — where many generations of men and women would live ? This new speculation uses some actual physics and math to figure out how far are our fantasies of space travel from their actual implementation."
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - waterproof iPod mod is just the beginnning

Gilliam H. writes: "The waterproof iPod thing is already out there. The real scoop I think is that the guy who invented it. Professor Silverman, has a string of patents on things that are very nearly sci-fi. The swimman is what everyone is talking about all of the the sudden but that's like throwing a bullet as opposed to shooting it. Yes, I am too lazy to write the actual story but I thought I'd put out what I know and let other more caffeinated people do it. Gilliam-"

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