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


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Submission + - Jobs to miss his first annual shareholders meeting (

Slatterz writes: Steve Jobs will not be attending Apple's annual shareholder's meeting later this month, the first time he has missed the event. Apple's annual meetings are traditionally one of the few times shareholders get to question senior executives about the company's performance. Top of the list for many this year will be how much board members knew about the poor state of Jobs' health. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reportedly Apple to find out if the company misled investors over the health issues facing its chief executive and Apple investors may want to find out more about the timeline to Jobs' decision to step back.

Submission + - Blu-ray set to hit 100 million mark (

Slatterz writes: According to research firm Futuresource consulting, sales of Blu-ray discs in the US, Europe and Japan will overtake the 100 million mark within the calendar year. Much of the surge in sales of Blu-ray is expected to take place in the US, where analysts predict that sales will jump from 24 million units to excess of 80 million. If fulfilled, the predictions would serve as welcome news to Sony and other Blu-ray backers. After beating out HD-DVD as the standard for high-definition video disc formatting, the Blu-ray camp has turned its attention to the larger market. The analyst firm predicts that 2009 will be another step towards a rise in Blu-ray sales that will see the format muscle standard DVD out of the market.
Linux Business

Submission + - 1 of 3 Dell Inspiron Mini netbooks sold with Linux (

christian.einfeldt writes: "According to an article in Laptop Magazine on-line, one-third of Dell Inspiron Mini 9s netbooks are sold with the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Dell senior product manager John New attributed the sales volume to the lower price point of the Ubuntu Linux machines. And the return rate of the Ubuntu Linux machines is approximately equal to that of comparable netbooks sold with Microsoft Windows XP. Dell spokesperson Jay Pinkert attriutes the low return rate to Dell's good communications with its customers, saying 'We have done a very good job explaining to folks what Linux is.'"
The Internet

Submission + - Best eternal web hosting for the elderly?

Stumped Samaritan writes: "An elderly friend of mine created a web page about her husband's life and career. She used free web hosting offered by her ISP. Her ISP discontinued the service, and thus the web page was lost (but data recovered thanks to the Internet Archive). I initially figured it would be easy to make a recommendation for appropriate hosting, but it turns out I'm stumped. I've looked at Weebly, SynthaSite, Webs, Google Sites, Google Knol and more, yet have found none of these to be a good match (mainly they are not simple enough). I have a hunch that many in the Slashdot community are routinely approached by relatives and friends who want to start a web page, and I hope you will share your experiences and advice with me. I believe the world wide web is in many ways an ideal medium for mankind to record and transmit our experience and knowledge to future generations, across geographical and cultural boundaries. History written by everyday people. Here's a list of features, ranging from important to optional: Longevity (not a fad, will remain part of the web indefinitely). Export (ability to backup your data to your own computer, and take your site elsewhere if needed). Easy to use (essentially a rich text editor, okay if more advanced editing such as layout and themes are available, but these should be optional). Free (so that if monthly payments cease to be paid, the site will live on). Your own domain (optional, for those who want to purchase a domain name, and okay to charge for this). Image upload (but a limit on number and size is perfectly fine)."

Submission + - CBS Launches Ad-Funded Classics Including TOS (

eldavojohn writes: On Friday, CBS launched a TV Classics section to their ad based online service. Which means that Trekkies can now watch all three seasons of Star Trek: The Original Series online at the expense of a few commercials. Alongside this CBS is offering all of MacGyver, Twin Peaks and even three seasons of the original Twilight Zone. A side note, they seem to work perfectly fine in Linux. Will other stations follow suit? Is ad funded television here to stay for episodes past & present?

Submission + - unFairPoint Email Meltdown. (

twitter writes: "Back in December, ISP Fairpoint promissed to block webmail except through their own portal as a way to deal with Verizon debt. As many predicted at the time, the transition is a mess.

Problems have hit thousands or even tens of thousands of FairPoint's 285,000 e-mail accounts in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. The issues began after midnight Friday....

Jon "maddog" Hall of Amherst, who is internationally known in the Linux and open-source software community [has been bounced off lists and the net itslef]. Hall had channeled a number of different e-mail accounts through Verizon, all of which were cut off... "This is embarrassing," Hall admitted Thursday. ... when FairPoint took over all of Verizon's systems it apparently stopped supporting some Linux systems. Hall had to go to the local library and access FairPoint's Web pages through a Windows-based system in order to make changes to his account, and even so he hit obstacles that puzzled him.

Normal customers face eight hour waits on the phone for help."


Submission + - Blind Users access Second Life with Zork interface

angrymilkman writes: Recently a number of interesting applications and tools have appeared that all focus on allowing visually impaired users to access the popular virtual world of Second Life. The University of Sienna developed a "virtual cane" allowing visually impaired users to get haptic feedback while exploring Second Life. The University of Nevada, implemented the interaction mechanism of the Zork text adventure game on top of Second Life in an application called TextSL which allows its users to explore Second Life using a screen reader and a command based mechanism. The guidedog project by the Virtual Ability Group offers a guide dog object -within Second Life- that provides a number of commands using synthetic speech that allow the user to navigate their avatar. Exploring how virtual worlds can be made accessible to visually impaired is an important problem as is evidenced by IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center which recently developed a Virtual Worlds User Interface for the Blind which is a sophisticated interface that allows visually impaired to access Second Life from within a browser.

Submission + - Milky Way faster and heavier than thought (

An anonymous reader writes: The Milky Way is spinning much faster and has 50 per cent more mass than previously believed, increasing the chance of a collision with another galaxy, say astronomers.

Submission + - Tooth Regeneration Coming Soon

Ponca City, We love you writes: "For thousands of years, losing teeth has been a routine part of human aging but the Washington Post reports that researchers are close to growing important parts of teeth from stem cells including creating a living root from scratch, perhaps within one year. "How to make a root is real important," says Pamela Robey, chief of the Craniofacial and Skeletal Diseases Branch at the NIH. "Dentists say, 'Give me a root and I can put a crown on it.' " Dentists will treat periodontal disease in a few years with regeneration by using stem cells to create hard and soft tissue and take a tooth about to fall out and reconnect it firmly and although nobody is predicting when growing teeth in adults, on demand, to replace missing ones will be possible, five to ten years is a common guess. Baby and wisdom teeth are sources of stem cells that could be "banked" for future health needs says Robey. "When you think about it, the teeth children put under their pillows may end up being worth much more than the tooth fairy's going rate. Plus, if you still have your wisdom teeth, it's nice to know you're walking around with your own source of stem cells.""
Data Storage

Submission + - VHS finally dies a death, no really 1

thefickler writes: The last major supplier of VHS videotapes, is ditching the format in favor of DVD, effectively killing the format for good. This uncharitable commentator has this to say:"Will VHS be missed? Not ... with videos being brittle, clunky, and rather user-unfriendly. But they ushered in a new era that was important to get to where we are today. And for that reason, the death of VHS is rather sad. Almost as sad as the people still using it."

Submission + - Released: report into Australian ISP filtering (

sam_v1.35b writes: "In a follow-up to a previous story about plans by the Australian government to block BitTorrent traffic the Australian government has released a report from the previous government (that was kicked out a year ago) that outlines the feasibility of ISP level content filtering. The key recommendations make for interesting reading — they essentially support everything people on Slashdot have been saying. The Minister's response: "The Government is aware of technical concerns raised in the report, and that is why we are conducting a pilot to put these claims to the test,". I guess some people just need to drive that car into a wall before they believe the people telling them it's a bad idea."

Submission + - How do you monitor documents 1

JumpDrive writes: I have been presented with a problem recently, which I know others have probably faced. During the last month one of our customers accused us of providing another customer with their specification. So the question arose how do we or can we trace documents and find if they are being opened or used somewhere where they weren't intended. We don't want to be restrictive because at time we have people all over the place, but if one of our documents were opened in a foreign country, that would arouse suspicions. Most of our documents are made with MS office suite, and I have been thinking of working on a macro to ping a server, but that would require the user to enable the macro's and it would also require the insertion into about 1000 documents. But it's been difficult for me to find a solution that doesn't prevent someone in Omaha from opening a document for legitimate use and is not a solution that can easily be disabled or hacked around.

Submission + - The Yahoo! Query Language Platform (

Mike Rohde writes: "This article was written by a Yahoo! Architect: Yahoo! has released a base platform that opens up Yahoo! user data via web standard APIs and also provides a framework for how developers, publishers, and advertisers can build applications on and off Yahoo!."

Submission + - EDN editor : Current status of Broadcast Flag

lcsjk writes: "An EDN magazine editorial flags the current state of the Broadcast Flag. Apparently the Broadcast Flag that will prohibit recording of digital media for home use is going to be around for some time. The Betamax decision allowed home recording, but the DMCA reversed much of that. With analog broadcasting going away soon and digital media becoming the norm, we may find that we are severely limited in having versatile equipment that will allow recording and future viewing (and re-viewing) of TV broadcasts and cable broadcasts of various digital content. The article is available at this link:"

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