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Submission + - Home Security 1

NeilTheStupidHead writes: As a geek about to buy my first home, security is a major concern. What have other /.ers done to improve their homes' security? Is it better/easier/more fun to have a system professionally installed or to build one yourself? Ideally, I'd like to have a camera or two set to detect motion and upload pictures to off-site storage in case of break-ins, simultaneously sending an email or photos to my mobile to alert me. Has anyone done something like this? How difficult was it and what kind of hardware did you use? Like most geeks, I've got a pile of slightly dated hardware that I would be happy to put to good use protecting my family and my home.

Comment Re:One Resource (Score 1) 451

The "slight bulges" (your #4) fails for a similar reason - ships have to climb UP a bulge, which takes energy, so either they're going from higher to lower when they start (so no need for wind or rowers) or they're going from lower to higher (so the return doesn't need wind or rowers), so it fails based on simple obsedrvation - you aren't going "downhill" in either direction.

Actually the ocean does 'bulge' in certain places. From what I recall from oceanography, differences in the height of the ocean (WRT some fixed, imaginary reference) were once among the plausible theories of what drove the ocean currents. Measurements indicated that the difference across the Atlantic ocean was only about three meters, which was proven to be insufficient over such a distance to drive the currents.

Comment Re:Expected (Score 3, Informative) 1654

At the tech school I recently graduated from, a course on writing reports had a graded "Microsoft Office requirements" component on every piece of written work, and required electronic submission so the instructor could verify that the desired formatting was being done properly instead of just being fudged.

I did every report and presentation in OpenOffice and saved MS Word and Power Point compatible versions of my files when it came time to submit my work. The instructors never knew the difference and I got the highest mark in the class.

Personally, I've been trying out various Linux distros for the past 10 years. I never really found any to be a suitable replacement for Windows on any of my computers until I got my hands on Hardy. My first Hardy install onto a Windows pre-loaded Dell laptop went as smoothly and as quickly as I've ever had an OS install (excepting maybe MSDOS but that hardly counts). The only hardware that didn't work immediately after the install was the wireless card, but ndiswrapper and Wifi-radar quickly solved that.

Comment The MS Office Habit (Score 3, Insightful) 367

I think that if anything will break users from their MS Office habits, the ribbon UI will. I found it very non-intuitive for a long time (10+ years) Office user. Frustrated with trying to get a hnadle on the UI, I finally switched over to OpenOffice and while it's *not quite* as feature rich as my old pre-ribbon MS Office, it's got a sufficiently similar UI that adapting took virtually no time at all.

Roland Piquepaille Dies 288

overheardinpdx writes "I'm sad to report that longtime HPC technology pundit Roland Piquepaille (rpiquepa) died this past Tuesday. Many of you may know of him through his blog, his submissions to Slashdot, and his many years of software visualization work at SGI and Cray Research. I worked with Roland 20 years ago at Cray, where we both wrote tech stories for the company newsletter. With his focus on how new technologies modify our way of life, Roland was really doing Slashdot-type reporting before there was a World Wide Web. Rest in peace, Roland. You will be missed." The notice of Roland's passing was posted on the Cray Research alumni group on Linked-In by Matthias Fouquet-Lapar. There will be a ceremony on Monday Jan. 12, at 10:30 am Paris time, at Père Lachaise.

Comment Re:Spam will be gone, but advertising is forever (Score 1) 284

e-mail would be unusable for people whose computers are part of botnets because everyone would block it as spam (which is not really an acceptable solution)

I respectfully disagree.

If users cannot learn to police and maintain their own computers, they should have their network resources restricted. When one of my flatmates botnetted his Windows PC, I got a message from our ISP stating that a computer on my network was a zombie and our service would be temporarily disconnected if the bot was not stopped from spewing trash. I filtered-out his MAC addy on the router until he was able to fix his machine (with my help). By forcing and helping users to learn more about their PCs, much of the current spam traffic could likely be reduced, since most of it comes from botnets.

I learned about computer security and maintenance the hard way, as I imagine many /.ers did and it has been a couple years at least, since a computer I owned or used succumbed to viruses, malware, trojans, etc.

Comment Re:SUVs (Score 2, Informative) 897

Further some of us simply can't fit into the common compact car, that is certainly poor engineering because I'm only a hair over 6' tall, but highlights that one size doesn't fit all.

There are many compacts that aren't built for tall people, but I'm 6'5" and comfortably drive a Chevy Aveo. There are affordable, fuel-effecient vehicles out there for uncommonly large people.


Scaling Facebook To 140 Million Users 178

1sockchuck writes "Facebook now has 140 million users, and in recent weeks has been adding 600,000 new users a day. To keep pace with that growth, the Facebook engineering team has been tweaking its use of memcached, and says it can now handle 200,000 UDP requests per second. Facebook has detailed its refinements to memcached, which it hopes will be included in the official memcached repository. For now, their changes have been released to github."

Birth of a New African Ocean 261

Khemisty writes "Formation of an ocean is a rare event, one no scientist has ever witnessed. Yet this geophysical nativity is unfolding today in one of the hottest and most inhospitable corners of the globe. Africa is splitting apart at the seams. From the southern tip of the Red Sea southward through Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique, the continent is coming unstitched along a zone called the East African Rift." This stretching of the earth's crust has been going on for 20 million years, and within another 10 million the Red Sea will have broken through to create a new sea.
Operating Systems

Netbook Return Rates Much Higher For Linux Than Windows 663

ivoras writes "An interview with MSI's director of US Sales, Andy Tung, contains this interesting snippet: "We have done a lot of studies on the return rates and haven't really talked about it much until now. Our internal research has shown that the return of netbooks is higher than regular notebooks, but the main cause of that is Linux. People would love to pay $299 or $399 but they don't know what they get until they open the box. They start playing around with Linux and start realizing that it's not what they are used to. They don't want to spend time to learn it so they bring it back to the store. The return rate is at least four times higher for Linux netbooks than Windows XP netbooks.'"

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