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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 7 declined, 1 accepted (8 total, 12.50% accepted)

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Open Source

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How to get old commercial software to be open-sourced?

Optic7 writes: Many gamers have probably dreamed about the idea of an old favorite game or other no longer supported or developed commercial software being converted to an open-source license so that it could be updated to add new features, support new hardware, other operating systems, etc. However, this type of change of license seems exceedingly rare, unless the copyright holder itself decides on its own that it would be beneficial. The only examples I could think of or was able to find in a brief internet search were Blender (3D animation software that had its source code bought from creditors after a crowd-funding campaign) and Warzone 2100 (Game that had its source code released after a successful petition). With those two examples of different strategies in mind, have any of you ever participated in any efforts of this kind, and what did you learn from it that may be useful to someone else attempting the same thing? Even if you have not participated, do you have any suggestions or ideas that may be useful to such an effort?
The Internet

Submission + - Verizon and Cable Cos Enter Deal That May Freeze C (

Optic7 writes: A series of three articles at GigaOm describes an ominous telecommunications business deal that is taking place which will likely have a large impact on the future of competition in both the wireless and broadband markets in the United States:

"Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks are selling off the spectrum remnants of their stillborn wireless venture, SpectrumCo, to Verizon Wireless for $3.6 billion. The deal would allow Verizon to double-up on its LTE network — in some regions triple up — creating huge overhead for future mobile broadband growth."

For a variety of reasons the government will be less likely to attempt to block this deal, in contrast with how they have handled AT&T's $39 Billion bid to buy T-Mobile, even though the deal, which includes secret agreements among the companies involved, shows signs that it will virtually eliminate any new or real competition for internet access in the US:

"This is the crystalline moment when the division of the marketplace becomes completely clear, even to people who haven't been paying attention. VZ and ATT get wireless; cable gets wires; consumers are stuck. Wireless, like wired high-speed access already wholly dominated by the cable companies, is a natural monopoly service at this point, with incredibly high barriers to entry — so high that even current players, like T-Mo, are having trouble making it. Clearwire [WiMax] has nowhere to go at this point. So we have the worst of all worlds: no competition, and no regulatory oversight."

Submission + - Gel Found to Reduce AIDS Risk in Women (

Optic7 writes: A medical trial in South Africa has found that a gel containing an antiretroviral drug has significantly reduced the risk of women contracting HIV up to 54% compared to placebo depending on how closely the women followed the protocol. The best article about it that I have found so far has been at the Washington Post:

"The material came packed in syringe-like applicators. A woman was instructed to inject the gel into her vagina no more than 12 hours before intercourse and again within 12 hours afterward (but with no more than two applications in a 24-hour period). Each woman got a monthly AIDS test, and the researchers collected used and unused applicators to verify the women's reports of whether they were using them.

At the end of 2 1/2 years, there were 98 infections in the 889 women. The HIV incidence, measured as the number of new infections for every 100 "women years" in the study, was 5.6 in the volunteers using the tenofovir gel and 9.1 in those with the placebo gel.

That amounted to a prevention effectiveness of 39 percent. Among women who said they used the gel for at least 80 percent of episodes of intercourse, the effectiveness was 54 percent."


Submission + - Major Voter Protection Effort Launched For 2008 (

Optic7 writes: With early voting,registration and absentee deadlines looming, Election Protection launched its 2008 general election efforts today. The nation's largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, representing more than 100 organizations and the full spectrum of American citizens, will undertake the most comprehensive effort ever undertaken to empower voters to make sure their vote counts this November 4.

They will be needing volunteers, so here's a chance for all Slashdotters to participate and help us all have a smoother election this time around. If you would like to know more about the organization, the New York Times recently wrote about them (linked through Google in order to avoid the New York Times login).

Linux Business

Submission + - Transitioning From Windows Admin To Linux Admin?

Optic7 writes: I've been a Windows IT guy for many years, doing my fair bit of systems and network admin, deskside support, etc. I find myself increasingly tired and bored with with the Windows IT world so have been looking for a change. I looked at Cisco and even got my CCNA but find the pure networking stuff kind of dull as well. I've had a long-time interest in Unix and Linux, but never did much about it other than play with it occasionally and install a few different distros, and nothing much beyond that. Now I'm seriously thinking about jumping into Linux admin work with both feet and seeing what happens.

My question is what do you think is the best way to make such a transition? I'm currently studying for the LPI certification, and also plan on doing LFS based on recommendations I've read from fellow Slashdotters. But would anyone hire me as even a junior Linux admin without having any real-world business experience with it? What are some things that would increase my chances of that happening? Is there anything else, any other avenues that I'm not thinking of?

How the heck do you get started in a Linux admin career?
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Gnucash 2.2.0 released, now stable for windows (

Optic7 writes: I just happened to visit Gnucash's site to download it and noticed that they have just released the new stable version, 2.2.0, today. This also marks the first stable Gnucash release for Windows. It seems that the Windows port is also the main feature of this new release. If you are not familiar with Gnucash, it is an open source alternative to Quicken and Microsoft Money. Visit their website to read more, or head straight for the downloads.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Researchers Find Bias in Nutrition Studies

Optic7 writes: NPR reports that a new study by Harvard and the Center for Science in the Public Interest found that nutrition studies funded by food companies are almost eight times more likely to reach a conclusion beneficial to the food companies than similar, independently funded studies. New Scientist has also done a story on this, if you prefer to read instead of listen to the NPR story.
Classic Games (Games)

Submission + - Sierra Releasing Adventure Games Compilations

Optic7 writes: Given the interest garnered here by stories about classic adventure games, Slashdot readers are sure to be interested to hear that 1up is reporting that Sierra is about to release compilations of all of their famous and classic adventure games series either this Friday or Monday. The series compilations to be released include: King's Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry.

I hope they don't forget to do this for Quest for Glory as well.

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