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Comment My Personal "Forgotten" Favorites (Score 1) 1244

The Overman Culture, by Edmund Cooper
The House in November, by Keith Laumer
Re-birth (AKA The Chrysalids), by John Wyndham
Hawksbill Station, by Robert Silverberg
Children of the Star trilogy, by Sylvia Engdahl
The Changeling, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

These are all wonderful books, though I seldom see them mentioned anymore.

Comment Re:Oh God... (Score 2) 162

You don't know any of them? Literally? You've honestly never heard of Connie Willis,Ted Chiang, Steven Moffat, or Lev Grossman?

Willis has won eleven Hugos, and seven Hugos. Approximately half of Chiang's total output has won either a Hugo or a Nebula.

Please, do yourself a favor and acquaint yourself with Willis and Chiang, at least. Moffat is responsible for some of the best Dr Who episodes of recent years, and, arguably, of all time. Grossman writes Potterish novels for adults, and I don't mean that in a deprecating way.

Comment Re:That last step's a doozy.... (Score 1) 601

McCain was born in Panama, not even the Panama Canal Zone, and he showed his COLB when asked to resolve his citizenship issues, which is exactly what Obama has shown.

Obama's Kenyan grandmother did NOT say that he was born in Kenya. Listen to the entire tape. It is available on YouYube. The Kenyan government has NOT said that Obama was born in Kenya.

All of the rest of your claims are also false, which is easily discoverable with a little research. "Research" does not mean browsing a few wingnut webpages.

United States

Submission + - Debugging the US Constitution

P. Orin Zack writes: "Say you're fond of a massively multi-player real-world role-playing game that has run off the rails, and you want to fix it. What do you do? The ground rules of this game are public, and include a method of changing them. The activities within this game are governed not only by these ground rules, but also by in-game laws that are created by the players themselves. Time is limited, because the universe looks like it will soon crash and burn, and you cannot reboot the system.

I'm speaking of the real-life game that runs in an operating system called the US Constitution. The ground rules define a set of checks and balances, for example, but the programmers overlooked some issues, such as a check and balance pair that would enable the Governors of the several states to overrule perverse laws passed by Congress or defeat implementation by the Executive.

So my question for the community is this: if you could revise the rules in the Constitution to fix the problems which threaten to crash the system, what changes would you make?"
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - WoW Gold paid for real sex

Shohat writes: "A woman posted an ad on Craigslist, offering a certain something for some quick cash in her game of choice, WoW.The offer was very specific, and And she got what she wanted — enough money an epic flying mount - Screenshots of the postings prior to removal .
First of all, is this prostitution? Sure seems like it, although MMO money isn't entirely established as legally worth real money yet, even if people buy and sell it all the time on multiple online and offline markets."

Submission + - World's first Quantum Computer to be demoed

Leemeng writes: "EE Times reports that D-Wave will demonstrate the world's first commercial quantum computer on Tuesday (Feb 13) at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. If it works, that means it can solve some of the most difficult problems, called NP-complete problems, thousands of times faster than current supercomputers. Initially, D-Wave (Vancouver, B.C.) will lease time on its quantum computer, which will be accessed over a secure Internet connection. Eventually, the company plans to sell quantum computer systems.

Being able to quickly solve NP-complete problems has enormous consequences. A fairly well-known NP-complete problem is the travelling salesman problem, which has real-world implications for logistics. NP-complete problems are present in such diverse fields as medicine, biology, computing, mathematics, and finance. Of immediate concern is quantum computers' potential for cryptanalysis (codebreaking). Specifically, a quantum computer could factor very large numbers in a fraction of the time needed by current computers. That BTW, is just what you need for cracking the RSA cipher and other widely-used ciphers that depend on one-way mathematical functions. Perhaps this will light a fire under quantum cryptography efforts."
The Internet

Submission + - Wrong Phone Number = No DNS = No Income

FishinDave writes: The customer service staff at domain registrar seems a bit standoffish, to put it charitably. They didn't email pioneering Web publisher Randy "This Is True" Cassingham to warn him that someone had changed the phone number on several of his income-producing Web sites' registry records to "0000000000".

They just shut off DNS to those sites and others registered to Cassingham, and even to a site that listed him only at the technical contact. They didn't bother to email any concerned parties about that, either.

It took several hair-tearing hours for Cassingham to figure out why no one could reach his sites and all his email addresses were down — why his livelihood had suddenly vanished, in other words. After he learned that Enom had cut him off, it took nearly 24 hours more to get his DNS restored.

Enom never responded to Cassingham's desperate communications with a single word of acknowledgement, explanation, apology, or advice.

The phone number was changed by Cassingham himself as he updated obsolete registry information. Like most sane people, he was loathe to put his office phone number in the registry for every con artist and crank to harvest, so he entered a placeholder number until he could get a voicemail flak-catcher. All of his DNS records contain a valid email address that auto-responds to incoming messages with Cassingham's full contact info, including a valid voice phone number.

OK, so Cassingham made a hasty mistake by not waiting until he had a valid voicemail number. More likely, his real mistake was using such an obviously bogus placeholder as "0000000000". Whois records are rife with plausible-looking contact info that doesn't work. Indeed, Cassingham's income would not have been interrupted and his heart slammed into fibrillation had he simply left in place the contact info that was obsolete since he moved in 2003.

But Enom made a bigger mistake by biting the hand that feeds it, without so much as a warning snarl.

Any domain registrar can do likewise to anyone at any time. I wonder how many have.

How do Slashdot readers manage their DNS records for privacy and security? If you manage a registry, what do you do when you discover possibly bogus contact info? What would you do if your registrar pulled a stunt like Enom's?

Jonathan Lethem On Plagiarism 186

tmalone writes "This month's Harper's Magazine includes an excellent essay by the novelist Jonathan Lethem titled 'The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism,' in which he discusses the public commons of ideas and the absurdity of restricting other peoples' right of second use. 'Artists and their surrogates who fall into the trap of seeking recompense for every possible second use end up attacking their own best audience members for the crime of exalting and enshrining their work.' Taking issue with the idea that any work is 'untainted' by others' ideas, he declares, 'Any text is woven entirely with citations, references, echoes, cultural languages, which cut across it through and through in a vast stereophony.' Later on he argues that 'Contemporary copyright, trademark, and patent law is presently corrupted. The case for perpetual copyright is a denial of the essential gift-aspect of the creative act.' Lethem finishes up with simple request: 'Don't pirate my editions; do plunder my visions.' The best part of the essay is at the end when he provides a key to all of the sources he stole his ideas from."

Obama Announces for President, Boosts Broadband 846

Arlen writes "As many as 17,000 people (according to police estimates) watched Senator Barack Obama officially announce his candidacy for President in Springfield, Illinois today. He mentioned several things that will interest readers of Slashdot. The Senator said he wanted to free America from 'the tyranny of oil' and went on to promote alternative energy sources such as ethanol — a popular stance in the Midwest where he announced, because of all the corn farmers. He also talked about using science and technology to help those with chronic diseases, which is likely to have been an allusion to his staunch support for stem cell research. Perhaps most of interest to readers here is the following statement halfway through Obama's speech: 'Let's invest in scientific research, and let's lay down broadband lines through the heart of inner cities and rural towns all across America. We can do that.' Like nearly everything in his speech, this was met with robust applause from the crowd. You can watch a video of the entire speech at Obama's website."

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