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Old People Enjoy Reading Negative Stories About Young 122

A study by Dr. Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick and co-author Matthias Hastall suggests that your grandma's self-esteem gets a boost when she hears about the stupid things young people do. "Living in a youth centered culture, they may appreciate a boost in self-esteem. That's why they prefer the negative stories about younger people, who are seen as having a higher status in our society," said Dr. Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick. From the article: "All the adults in the study were shown what they were led to believe was a test version of a new online news magazine. They were also given a limited time to look over either a negative and positive version of 10 pre-selected articles. Each story was also paired with a photograph depicting someone of either the younger or the older age group. The researchers found that older people were more likely to choose to read negative articles about those younger than themselves. They also tended to show less interest in articles about older people, whether negative or positive."

Why Do Commercial Offerings Use Linux, But Not Support Linux Users? 414

Michele Alessandrini writes "Having bought several TomTom One navigation systems at work, I was browsing their web site to find information about maps. There are several pages of documentation about their devices. In one of them, they proudly inform you that their devices use Linux, as a warranty of power and stability. They even prominently display their GPL compatibility. But, when you come to the software (the one used to manage updates, set locations, etc), they only support Windows and Mac OS. Not that surprising, and not a real necessity. Just the same, they probably saved millions of dollars using a free kernel and didn't think to support Linux users. As Linux gains ground in commercial applications like this, how often are we going to see actual users of the OS left out in the cold? Why don't more Linux-using shops reach out to the Linux-using community?"

Microsoft 'Stealth Update' Proving Problematic 257

DaMan writes "According to the site WindowsSecrets, the stealth Update that Microsoft released back in August isn't quite as harmless as the company claims. The site's research has shown that when users try to do a repair to XP subsequent to the update, bad things happen. 'After using the repair option from an XP CD-ROM, Windows Update now downloads and installs the new 7.0.600.381 executable files. Some WU executables aren't registered with the operating system, preventing Windows Update from working as intended. This, in turn, prevents Microsoft's 80 latest patches from installing -- even if the patches successfully downloaded to the PC.' ZDNet's Hardware 2.0 has independently confirmed that this update adversely affects repaired XP installations: 'This issue highlights why it is vitally important that Microsoft doesn't release undocumented updates on the sly. Even the best tested update can have unpleasant side-effects, but if patches are documented properly and released in such a way that users (especially IT professionals) know they exist, it offers a necessary starting point for troubleshooting.'"

Submission + - Why Windows Will Never Disappear (

shubi writes: "A quick visit to his local library and the writer realized why Windows will never disappear. "Amidst the sea of Windows computers, I noticed that they also had a space that contained five or six of the G5 iMacs. They were setup with the same interface that the Windows machines were, so surely there would not be an empty space at the Mac section, right? Surprisingly enough, only one was being used by a young boy while the others were neglected."

Submission + - Why The GPL Will Lose In Court Every Time 1

talledega500 writes: An interesting comment on the potential first GPL case in terms of legal remedies available and also an analysis of the overstepping of software licenses in general due to the notion that people can fashion whatever license they want and yet somehow expect existing law to back them merely because there was a license. If you read this story, you must take out the trash, kick your dog and slap your wife. Or you are in violation of my General Public Nuisance License (GPNL). Dont make me take you to court!
Operating Systems

Submission + - Ubuntu Disappoints, Breaks Promises As It Grows (

An anonymous reader writes:'s Matt Hartley is disappointed in Ubuntu. Why? Because he thinks Ubuntu has broken promises of quality along the way after its rapid growth. He continues: "It's time to stop adding beta features and start looking at those which only partially work. Not for the sake of my hardware (my Linux PCs are extensive in number), but for those who are using different hardware combinations that are also sick of it. Consistent OS behavior, not cube spinning nonsense with half-done utility pipe-dreams, please.

Submission + - UK College to Crack Dark Matter with Dell Computer (

SEO Australia writes: "Janine Milne

University College London will use a Dell Legion supercomputer with the muscle of 2,700 desktops to push the possibilities of UK scientific research.

Researchers at the leading London university will use Legion to tackle complex analytical problems, including the most detailed ever simulations of cold dark matter, potentially changing our perception of galaxy formation and gravity. Another department will use supercomputing power to monitor blood flow through the brain of stroke victims to help decide their treatment.

Legion will use cluster technology to create a single machine with a formidable 42.9 TeraFlops per second (TF/s) peak performance, not far off the power of the new National Supercomputing service HECToR with a performance of 60TF/s.

Using industry standards-based technology, rather than high-priced, proprietary systems, researchers have access to previously unavailable levels of computing power, at a remarkably lower cost, said Dell chairman and CEO Michael Dell.

The core system will comprise a Dell high-performance computing cluster with 2,560 processor cores based on Intel dual-core technology, plus an SMP cluster of 96 processor cores and 192TB of storage.

Professor David Price, executive dean of mathematical and physical sciences and chair of the UCL research computing sub-committee, said that using computational power for research is central to the universitys future plans.

It is our goal to create a central HPC resource from which our 16,000 researchers across all disciplines at UCL can benefit, especially in the biomedical science area where we are seeing increasing uptake, he said.

The machine starts production in December, helped by funding from the Science Research Infrastructure Fund. Once complete, Legion will be a beast of 21 metric tonnes, built using 7km of cabling and guzzling 19,000 liters of air per second."


Submission + - Thinking about Rails? Think again (

wolfeon writes: "In 2005, Derek Sivers of CD Baby wanted to scrap his site and perform a rewrite in Rails. He hired Jeremy Kemper, also known as bitsweat on Freenode, to help on the project. Two years later, through blood and sweat, the project was then canceled because of limitations of Rails. Rails just wasn't meant to do everything since it is very much "canned" project. Mr. Sivers has written an entry in the O'Reilly blog: 7 reasons I switched back to PHP

This is a fine example of how going for new technology can mean disaster.Anybody who decides to perform a rewrite of any project should invest time to make sure the project will not be scraped... two years later."


Submission + - AMD Releases 900+ Pages Of GPU Specs (

An anonymous reader writes: Ending off the X Developer Summit this year, Matthew Tippett handed off ATI's GPU specifications to David Airlie on a CD (as reported by Daniel Stone). However, the specifications are also now available on the Internet! At is the location of the documentation where you can freely download the files. Right now there is the RV630 Register Reference Guide and M56 Register Reference Guide. The RV630 Reference Guide is 434 pages long while the M56 Guide is 460 pages. Expect more documentation (and 3D specifications) to arrive shortly. The new open-source R500/600 driver will be released early next week. More information to come soon. Tell us what you think. For more information, read our ATI/AMD's New Open-Source Strategy Explained article.
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Big ideas for the gaming industry

Chris Williams writes: "So you have a concept for a 'revolutionary' new game but you are one man with big ideas. How does said person with a big idea market it to a large gaming company? I've followed slashdot for quite some time now and by my reasoning the best start is to get advice from a community that follows such things. So, as a small-time guy with a big idea, what's the first step?"

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