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


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Submission + - President Bush Gives Himself Dictatorial Powers

Number_1_Bigg$ writes: In a May 9 National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, President Bush declared that in time of "Catastrophic Emergency", he can take control of the entire government and any business necessary to preserve "Enduring Constitutional Government". Analysis can be found on a few blogs, including right wing analysis.

Submission + - U.S. slams Thailand for "pirating" AIDS dr

nbauman writes: The U.S. government placed Thailand on a list of copyright violators, because Thailand exercised its legal right under the World Trade Organization rules to license generic versions of AIDS drugs. Merck offered to sell efavirenz for $237 per patient per year, but Indian generic manufacturers do it for $165. Then Thailand licensed generic versions of another AIDS drug, lopinavir/ritonavir, which Abbott had offered to sell for $1,000 per patient per year. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative placed Thailand on the Priority Watch List, which could lead to trade sanctions, and is usually used for software, trademark and other pirates. /2007/05/02/thailand_stands_by_drug_patent_decisio n/ ex.cfm?DR_ID=44603 "It's surprising that the reactions have been so harsh to a move that's perfectly legal," said Jon Ungphakorn, a former Thai senator. 5826/816 [subscription, bummer] Thailand's GDP per capita is $9,100.

Submission + - The Palm OS ends with a whimper

PetManimal writes: "Computerworld has reviewed the Palm Treo 755p, the last Palm device with the Palm OS, and concludes that the OS is going out with a whimper, rather than a bang. The article says there are some useful improvements (better integration with Exchange and IM, limited speech recognition, etc.) but 'nothing that will make you sit back and say "wow."' Palm already has at least one device with Windows Mobile (the 700w) and soon will make a big push to Linux devices, maybe by the end of the year. But the Palm OS, which was top dog for a while back in the 1990s, and is still used by many people who own Palm Pilots or Treos, is going to quickly fade, it seems"

Submission + - Researchers Study O'Reilly's Propaganda Tactics

Beetle B. writes: Bill O'Reilly may proclaim at the beginning of his program that viewers are entering the "No Spin Zone," but a new study by Indiana University media researchers found that the Fox News personality consistently paints certain people and groups as villains and others as victims to present the world, as he sees it, through political rhetoric...The same techniques were used during the late 1930s to study another prominent voice in a war-era, Father Charles Coughlin. His sermons evolved into a darker message of anti-Semitism and fascism, and he became a defender of Hitler and Mussolini. In this study, O'Reilly is a heavier and less-nuanced user of the propaganda devices than Coughlin.
Sun Microsystems

Submission + - ZFS will offer a new level of Data Protection

widhalmt writes: "According to a blog posting by Richard Elling, a further release of Suns ZFS Filesystem will introduce a technique called "ditto blocks" which will allow to automatically copy data within one storage device or meta device.

As you can set this per filesystem one can create one large metadevice out of e.g. many Raid devices and create "low security" filesystems without ditto blocks and and "high security" filesystems with instant copies spread over the different raid arrays. Even if one whole Raid Array fails, the filesystem with ditto blocks enabled will still work as normal.

This adds further levels of data protection to really important data as well as more granularity to chose how "secure" your data should be.

Some Maths about what combination of raidlevels and copy levels is best suited for your needs can be found within the posting linked above."

Submission + - Finally, procfs for Mac OS X

An anonymous reader writes: Have a burning desire to browse processes as files on your Mac like you can on most UNIX type systems? Amit Singh over at the Mac OS X Internals site has released an open source procfs filesystem for OS X. The implementation uses Google's MacFUSE which brought all the goodness of user filesystems to Mac earlier this year. In addition to things like Mach task and thread info, virtual memory, ports etc... The procfs also shows motionsensor and lightsensor data so you can simply cat these files to get sensor readings. Just like on Linux. There's also code to show TPM chip info. Cool! PS: didn't know kernel is pid 0 :)

Submission + - What Sci-fi technology do you want in real life?

Kuvter writes: "Game Faqs has a poll today about what Final Fantasy mainstay we'd want in real life. I thought /. could have a poll similar, but what Sci-Fi technology would we want to see in real life. Potential options:
Tricorder — Star Trek
A-wing — Star Wars
Tube Transport System — Futurama
Hover cars — Fifth Element
Computer interface — Minority Report
Cowboy Neal Robot - /. exclusive

Feel free to add your own. I wouldn't want this limited to just the couple off the top of my head. You know people will complain for lack of options anyways."

Submission + - VMWare Rolls Out Vista Virtualization

MsManhattan writes: VMWare Inc. today is slated to introduce a new version of its workstation virtualization software that supports Windows Vista. The upgrade, VMWare Workstation 6, enables users to run Vista as a host or a guest operating system. Additionally, it allows users to store a virtual machine setup on a portable device — like as a USB drive — and transfer the set-up to another computer. Virtualization, an old concept that has gained new momentum, can help organizations optimize their infrastructures but it can also create expensive management headaches. IT organizations should resist vendors trying to sell them on third-party management of their virtualized data centers, notes Thomas Bittman, a Gartner analyst. "There are still [problems] with virtualization in support and software licensing and not everything can be virtualized," he says. On a positive note, "This will clear-up over the next two to four years," Bittman adds. Gartner predicts that three millions virtual machines will be in use by 2009, up from today's 500,000.

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