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


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Submission + - Chinese bombing range visible in Google Maps

kentrel writes: "Yesterday I found this slashdot comment which links to a google map photograph of a Chinese airbase deep in the middle of the Gobi Desert with a mock airbase built nearby, obviously used for practise bombing missions. I thought it was impressive so I posted the link to a flight sim forum and a poster noticed that the mock airbase was an exact replica of a Taiwanese airbase."

Submission + - Google honcho likens Sweden to dictatorship

paulraps writes: Google has ruled out further investment in Sweden if controversial data-monitoring legislation is passed by the country's parliament. The search company's privacy chief reckons Sweden, in keeping tabs on traffic entering and leaving the country, is in danger of following a trend set by China and Saudi Arabia. Arguing that the law would compromise Google users' integrity by allowing Swedish authorities access to data that may not even concern Swedish activity, the company has submitted an objection to the Swedish justice department. But Sweden says it is a defence against organised crime and terrorism.
Data Storage

Submission + - Does ZFS makes expensive NAS/SANs obsolete?

hoggoth writes: As a common everyman who needs big fast reliable storage without a big budget, I have been following a number of emerging technologies and I think they have finally become usable in combination. Specifically, it appears to me that I can put together the little brother of a $50,000 NAS/SAN solution for under $3,000. Here's how:

Get a CoolerMaster Stacker enclosure like this one (just the hardware not the software) that can hold up to 12 SATA drives. Install OpenSolaris and create ZFS pools with RAID-Z for redundancy. Export some pools with Samba for use as a NAS. Export some pools with iSCSI for use as a SAN. Run it over Gigabit Ethernet. Fast, secure, reliable, easy to administer, and cheap. Usable from Windows, Mac, and Linux. As a bonus ZFS let's me create daily or hourly snapshots at almost no cost in disk space or time.

Total cost: 1.4 Terabytes: $2,000. 7.7 Terabytes: $4,200 (Just the cost of the enclosure and the drives). That's an order of magnitude less expensive than other solutions.

Add redundant power supplies, NIC cards, SATA cards, etc as your needs require..

So storage experts, tell me why this is or isn't feasible!.

Submission + - Why wont MS listen to me when I report a bug?

bsossaman writes: I've been telling them about this for a while and it's still in Vista. Ever try to ping Sure, resolves fine. The problem comes in when you have embedded system programmers that like to pad with zeros and VP's that are unable to think clearly. Try pinging Hmm, didn't think that was the same as Try to start a ping at Hours of fun!

28 New Planets Found Outside Solar System 258

elkcsr writes "The San Jose Mercury news reports on the phenomenal discovery of 28 new extra-solar planets out there in our galaxy. All of them are outside of the band scientists consider necessary for supporting life as we know it, but the solar systems analyzed should still be quite familiar to those of us in this neck of the woods. System layouts feature small rocky planets towards the star and gas giants further out. The biggest difference seen is a preference for elliptical orbits, instead of generally circular orbit we enjoy. ' For example, the team also described new details about one specific exoplanet, discovered two years ago. This planet, which circles the star Gliese 436, is thought to be half rock, half water. Its rocky core is surrounded by an amount of water compressed into a solid form at high pressures and low temperatures. It makes a short, 2.6-day orbit around Gliese 436. Based on its radius and density, scientists calculate that it has the mass of 22 Earths, making it slightly larger than Neptune. "The profound conclusion is, here we've found yet another type of planet that is already represented in our solar system," Marcy said.'"

Submission + - More Allegations of Developer Misconduct in EVE

umilmi81 writes: The EVE Online player based alliance GoonSwarm has published an open letter, including screen shots, accusing CCP employees of joining a member corporation, giving himself director level permissions, and then leaving the corporation.

In-game petitions sent to CCP about the incident were subsequently deleted. A forum moderator acknowledged the accusations, and has directed the matter to internal affairs.

CCP created an internal affairs department after admitting developer misconduct on previous occasions.

Submission + - Slashdot's Firehose: Misplaced democracy?

PetManimal writes: "The Slashdot Firehose is a 'bad metaphor and a bad idea,' or so says Computerworld's Joyce Carpenter, who has been using the user-directed submission rating system since it was introduced a few months ago. She points to an increase in unworthy submissions — some of which seem to be part of 'viral marketing scams' — and says that they make Firehose unpleasant for everyone:

The increased number of unworthy submissions makes more unpleasant work for the editors as well as members of the community. A bigger hose with more crap in it just means that the editors have to read all that crap — and so do the voting members of the community. That's just more work for everyone.
She also questions whether Zonk and Co. are even using the recommendations that make it to the top of the Firehose ratings:

So far as I can tell, the editors still make the decisions. Good for them. I have no need for democracy in the selection of stories at a site that has done an excellent, if elitist, job of using editorial judgment. That's what makes it such a good site. Drain the hydrant and throw away with the hose.

Submission + - Build Linux lab equipment from a Sony PS3

An anonymous reader writes: The Cell Broadband Engine (Cell/B.E.) processor has attracted a lot of fashionable attention for applications involving game playing and network data processing. However, there are many other, arguably more entertaining uses for this technology. This article shows you how to take the Cell Broadband Engine (Cell/B.E.) processor from an off-the-shelf Sony PLAYSTATION 3 (PS3) and use it to construct a piece of Linux-based laboratory equipment to generate and analyze signals on your Cell/B.E.-based spectrum analyzer.

Submission + - Scientist: Feds are blocking hydrogen fuel

Lucas123 writes: "A Purdue University engineer and National Medal of Technology winner says the federal government is blocking development of a new method of creating hydrogen fuel as a clean energy alternative to gasoline. The professor is claiming the government won't fund the research of a process already proven to work. '"Egos" at the U.S. Department of Energy, a key funding source for energy research, "are holding up the revolution,"' Professor Jerry Woodall said. The method uses an aluminum alloy to extract hydrogen from water — a process that he thinks could replace gasoline as well as its pollutants and emissions tied to global warming. The hydrogen is generated on demand, so you only produce as much as you need when you need it.'"

Submission + - Battle Over RIAA Expert Reliability Continues

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The battle over the "reliability" of the RIAA's expert witness, Dr. Doug Jacobson of Iowa State, continues, with the RIAA defending its expert by arguing that "everyone in his field proceeds the same way he did", to which the defendant responded by reminding the judges of the witness's own testimony that his "method" was invented by himself a year and a half ago, and has never been shared with, much less accepted by, anyone else in the "scientific community".... a prerequisite for admissibility of expert testimony in federal court under the Daubert case."

FAA To Free Aircraft Hobbled By IP Laws 106

smellsofbikes writes "The FAA is attempting to develop a legal process that will allow them to release data about vintage aircraft designs that have obviously been abandoned. Existing laws restrict the FAA's ability to release this data because it is deemed to be intellectual property even though the owner of record has long since ceased to exist. This is fundamentally the same problem that copyright laws impose on people looking for out-of-print books. But in the case of vintage aircraft, the owners are legally required to maintain them to manufacturer specifications that the owners cannot legally obtain: an expensive and potentially lethal dilemma. If the FAA, notoriously hidebound and conservative, is willing to find a solution to this IP Catch-22, maybe the idea will catch on in other places."

Submission + - Asterisk 1.4 released

Asterisk Team writes: After over a year since the 1.2 release, the Asterisk Development Team is pleased to announce the first release
in the Asterisk 1.4 series, Asterisk 1.4.0!

Asterisk is one of the most popular and extensible telephone systems in the world, offering flexibility, functionality and features not available in advanced, high-end (high-cost) proprietary business systems. Asterisk is a complete IP PBX (private branch exchange) for businesses, and best of all, it is open source software meaning that it is absolutely free.

See the CHANGES file for a list of the new features and enhancements since 1.2.

As always, the source can be downloaded from

Submission + - DRM free file sharing with record label profits

Tim writes: "Napster and Yahoo Music face growing problems with DRM interoperability, iTunes sales are not growing as quickly, but emusic is expanding rapidly. There is a subscription file sharing model which could reduce costs for record labels whilst guaranteeing profit. This distribution model also takes into accout the privacy issues which arise from monitoring users and leaves room for new labels and artists representing themselves."

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