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Submission + - Microsoft pays searchers to use (

spotplace writes: Microsoft is being severely trounced by Google in the search market so it was expected that the Redmond company would do something exciting and innovative to pick up the interest of us, poor searchers, and put some heat over Google's dominance. But did Microsoft radically change their algorithm and quality of their search index? No. Microsoft lacks so much confident on the quality of their search engine, that they just started paying searchers to use
Social Networks

Submission + - Adult MySpace User Drives Teen To Suicide (

An anonymous reader writes: A young girl from Dardenne Prairie, Missouri, met who she thought was a sympathetic boy on MySpace. However, things turned ugly when her "boyfriend" suddenly turned on her, spreading nasty rumors and eventually telling her, "Everybody in O'Fallon knows how you are. You are a bad person and everybody hates you. Have a shitty rest of your life. The world would be a better place without you," and driving the girl to suicide. However, her parents were later shocked to discover that he boy had never existed — he was the online persona of a neighbor and family friend, who was using the fake MySpace profile to see what people were saying about her daughter. The daughter was a former friend of the suicide victim.

Submission + - Firefox Memory Hogging Is Due to Fragmentation (

A beautiful mind writes: It has been long claimed by users that Firefox leaks memory, and on the other hand the developers claimed the number of leaks are minimal. It turns out both groups were right. Stuart Parmenter, one of the authors of the RAMBack extension started investigating and found out that the issue is memory fragmentation. He discovered that while loading about:blank uses 12,589,696 bytes of memory in the test he performed (image), after exercising Firefox with different websites and then clearing the caches with the help of the RAMBack extension the picture is wholly different: "Our heap is now 29,999,872 bytes! 16,118,072 of that is used (up 4,634,208 bytes from before... which caches am I forgetting to clear?). The rest, a whopping 13,881,800 bytes, is in free blocks!"

Submission + - Google's $10 local search play

thefickler writes: The ever enterprising Google has come come up with a novel way of boosting the information it has about local businesses. As part of the Business Referral Representative program, Google is offering individuals up to $10 to visit local businesses and tell them about Google Maps and Google AdWords, collect information (such as hours of operation and types of payment accepted), and take digital photos of the business.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Man surgically alters thumbs to better use iPhone

taliesinangelus writes: This 'faux article' can be found here on the North Denver News site: The editor's note is very revealing: The CBN (Christian Broadcast Network) and certain blogs picked this up as a real news story and ran it along with commentary.

Submission + - Deceased Malayan hit with $218 trillion cell bill (

Suraci writes: Published Sunday 12th August 2007 03:56 GMT

What otherworldly ectoplasms lurk in the oblivion of such an unholy place as accounts receivable?

A Malaysian man who paid off a $23 wireless bill and disconnected his late father's cell phone back in January has been stiffed for subsequent charges on the closed account, MSNBC has reported. Telekom Malaysia sent Yahaya Wahab a bill for 806,400,000,000,000.01 ringgit, or about $218 trillion, for charges to the account, along with a demand from the company's debt collection agency that he settle the alleged debt within 10 days, or get a lawyer.

Bring it on, bean counters. Funereal topcoats, ghostly visages and all.

"If the company wants to seek legal action as mentioned in the letter, I'm ready to face it," Yahaya claimed. "In fact, I can't wait to face it."

No one apparently at Telekom Malaysia is quite sure whether the bill was a mistake, or, cryptically, if Yahaya's father's phone line was used illegally after his death. This correspondent not long ago got his sh*t pushed in by Verizon for $117 in roaming charges during a week-long conference in Montreal, but even at Verizon's ultimate 'screw you' rate of $4.99 per roaming minute, yours truly would have to clock 43.7 trillion pure, hardcore roaming minutes to ring up $218 trillion in charges, or roughly 727 billion Verizon-hours of internet surfing and chit-chat. The $218 trillion total is roughly 17 times the GDP of the United States.

Yahaya, from northern Kedah state, said he nearly fainted when he saw the new bill, and here at El Reg we're curious what supernatural force allowed the grim reapers inhabiting the nether regions of collections and legal to avoid a similar state of semi-conscious disbelief.

The recent discovery of previously unknown life forms in the hinterlands of deepest Africa lends hope that science may yet elucidate the inscrutable nature of the number-crunchers. Of course, Montreal is not exactly on the banks of the river Styx, but if a math-challenged gringo can extrapolate from that mobile billing clusterf*ck, the bean counters at Telekom Malaysia surely can do better.

Lord of the Rings

Submission + - Jackon may be involved with Hobbit after all

Conspiracy_Of_Doves writes: Sci-Fi Wire is reporting that New Line co-chairman Robert Shaye is attempting to patch up his argument with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and wants Jackson to be "creatively involved in some way in The Hobbit."

Slashdot previously reported that Jackson would most likely not be directing the movie version of The Hobbit
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - World of Warcraft Hits 9 Million Users (

Wowzer writes: "Blizzard today announced that their MMORPG World of Warcraft is now played by more than 9 million gamers around the world. From the article: "That's half a million more than the number of monthly players WoW had back in March five months ago. — It's interesting to note that if the World of Warcraft were a nation, CIA's World Factbook says that out of 236 listed countries it would be the 90th most populated country on Earth above Haiti, but behind Sweden." Also revealed this week was that DC Comics are creating World of Warcraft Comic Books based on the MMORPG, with the first issue appearing on November 14th. The ongoing monthly series will be written by industry veteran Walter Simonson (Thor, Orion) and feature art by Ludo Lullabi and inker Sandra Hope."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - GOATSE Picture Shown In YouTube Debate

Penguinshit writes: "What makes the Internet so great, beyond showing a glimpse of a confusing world to millions of mouth-breathers? The answer, of course, is GOATSE (relax, this isn't THAT link...). One of those lame YouTube questions featured a split-second image of the horrible anus. As of this time, it is unclear as to how many Americans witnessed the outrage, but there are reports of as many as 200,000 phone calls made to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) reporting the obscenity. CNN has yet to make an official statement regarding the matter, but a top spokesman was reportedly overheard denouncing the incident as "despicable."

The story is being reported in several aggregators and blogs."

Submission + - Unremovable DRM Encoding: Be afraid - Very Afraid. ( 1

Alex Turner writes: "As I have come up with this idea, you can bet your bottom dollar that the music industry guys have to. Hey — if they have not — shame on them. The principle is based on the fact that humans are very good at telling the differences between the shape and tone of sound, but very bad at estimating time. However, computers are awe-inspiringly good at analysing time.

Encoding data into an audio stream in such a way that a human can not hear the encoded data, but a computer can detect, is simply a matter of messing with time. See here for the complete story"


Submission + - Linux Genuine Advantage

cwsulliv writes: Linux users: Are you continuing to maintain a Microsoft Windows dual-boot partition on your system because "... Windows has features not available under Linux"? Linux Genuine Advantage eliminates the final excuse for wasting this space on your hard drive.

Per the website:
  "According to an independent study conducted by some scientists, many users of Linux are running non-Genuine versions of their operating system. This puts them at the disadvantage of having their computers work normally, without periodically phoning home unannounced to see if it's OK for their computer to continue functioning. These users are also missing out on the Advantage of paying ongoing licensing fees to ensure their computer keeps operating properly.

To remedy this, we have created a new program available as a required free download: Linux Genuine Advantage!"
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Community-based porting of commercial games

joeljkp writes: "Here's an idea I thought I'd run by the Slashdot community. For a commercial Windows game to get ported to Linux, there are a few options. The game could be open-sourced, the owner could hire icculus, or a deal could be struck with LGP. All of these options have produced good results, but they each have their drawbacks. Open-sourcing unfortunately isn't very common, icculus requires payment, and LGP needs a fanbase big enough to make up its expenses. Also, these last two options put the burden on a closed team of (highly skilled) developers.

It struck me that a hybrid approach might be possible: a community-based project wherein anyone with the interest and the time could help out with the development, but in which the source of the game would be kept secret behind an NDA. All potential contributors would have free access to the code, but would be required to agree to the NDA before they would be let in. Such an approach would share some benefits with the open-source model (a wide development base, free porting on the part of the owner) and with the closed methods (protecting the intellectual property rights of the owner). A single such site could serve as a middleman between coders and publishers for multiple projects.

What do you think? Could such an idea work?"

Submission + - Google says Vista search changes not enough (

akkarin writes: Following Google's complaint to Microsoft regarding Vista's 'desktop search',
Google claims that Vista's search has not changed enough From the article:

... Google said yesterday that the remedies don't go far enough. Google chief legal officer David Drummond said in a statement, "We are pleased that as a result of Google's request that the consent decree be enforced, the Department of Justice and state attorneys general have required Microsoft to make changes to Vista." le-says-vista-search-changes-not-enough.html

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One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.