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Comment LEARN WITH B.O.O.K. (Score 5, Funny) 600

          - R. J. Heathorn

          A new aid to rapid - almost magical - learning has made its appearance.
Indications are that if it catches on all the electronic gadgets will be
so much junk.
          The new device is known as Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge. The
makers generally call it by its initials, BOOK.
          Many advantages are claimed over the old-style learning and teaching
aids on which most people are brought up nowadays. It has no wires, no
electric circuit to break down, No connection is needed to an
electricity power point. It is made entirely without mechanical parts to
go wrong or need replacement.
          Anyone can use BOOK, even children, and it fits comfortably into the
hands. It can be conveniently used sitting in an armchair by the fire.
          How does this revolutionary, unbelievably easy invention work? Basically
BOOK consists only of a large number of paper sheets. These may run to
hundreds where BOOK covers a lengthy programme of information. Each
sheet bears a number in sequence so that the sheets cannot be used in
the wrong order.
          To make it even easier for the user to keep the sheets in the proper
order they are held firmly in place by a special locking device called a
          Each sheet of paper presents the user with an information sequence in
the form of symbols, which he absorbs optically for automatic
registration on the brain. When one sheet has been assimilated a flick
of the finger turns it over and further information is found on the
other side.
          By using both sides of each sheet in this way a great economy is
effected, thus reducing both the size and cost of BOOK. No buttons need
to be pressed to move from one sheet to another, to open or close BOOK,
or to start it working.
          BOOK may be taken up at any time and used by merely opening it.
Instantly it it ready for use. Nothing has to be connected or switched
on. The user may turn at will to any sheet, going backwards or forwards
as he pleases. A sheet is provided near the beginning as a location
finder for any required information sequence.
          A small accessory, available at trifling extra cost, is the BOOKmark.
This enables the user to pick up his programme where he left off on the
previous learning session. BOOKmark is versatile and may be used in any
          The initial cost varies with the size and subject matter. Already a vast
range of BOOKs is available, covering every conceivable subject and
adjusted to different levels of aptitude. One BOOK, small enough to be
held in the hands, may contain an entire learning schedule.
          Once purchased, BOOK requires no further upkeep cost; no batteries or
wires are needed, since the motive power, thanks to an ingenious device
patented by the makers, is supplied by the brain of the user.
          BOOKs may be stored on handy shelves and for ease of reference the
programme schedule is normally indicated on the back of the binding.
          Altogether the Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge seems to have great
advantages with no drawbacks. We predict a big future for it.

Feed Linux and Solaris face off (theregister.com)

Some reader experiences

Earlier this year, we asked our readers why people thinking of Linux aren't also thinking of OpenSolaris (or vice versa), now that both are pukka OSS operating systems.

Feed Samsung says 'yes' to dual HD DVD, Blu-ray player (theregister.com)

Didn't appear in 2005, 2006; will ship in 2007

Samsung's on again, off again plan to produce a player that can handle both next-gen optical disc formats - HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc - is going to happen after all. The Korean giant today said it will ship such a machine in the US in time for Christmas.

Feed EU Court Calls Employee Computer Monitoring A Human Rights Violation, In Some Ca (techdirt.com)

The European Court for Human Rights has ruled in favor of a woman who sued the British government after her boss in her public-sector job monitored her personal phone calls and internet use while she was at work. While the decision does set some precedent that monitoring employees' personal communications, even if done on work time over work equipment, contravenes the EU's human-rights laws, it also makes it clear that it's only in certain circumstances. Basically, to avoid legal problems, an employer has to have a policy covering acceptable use of its systems and equipment, and that policy has to say that employees' communications could be monitored if it wants to spy on employees' communications. While it seems a little strong to call this a human-rights violation, and it would seem wise to err on the side of caution and assume your employer can or will monitor what goes across their networks, the court's decision doesn't seem unreasonable. If employers want to waste their time trying to find all that lost productivity by spying on their employees, some disclosure would probably be appreciated. If only all potential human-rights violators would be so courteous.

Submission + - Why Web Apps Can Never Replace Desktop Apps

tooger writes: "Matt Hartley from MadPenguin.org writes why web apps can never replace desktop applications for a variety of reasons. These reasons include from privacy to reliability. He writes, "With services like GMail that are too anxious to give us free access to e-mail storage, the offering for file storage is still fairly laughable. And that's not even considering the sheer bandwidth that is needed to make huge file transfers. Then there is the matter of privacy. Some of you may point out that the data stored on your hard drive is not of any real consequence, but I would disagree. It is more than probable that a skilled, disgruntled employee of the company you trust with your data could run away with key data you entrust to sell off your personal information."
Operating Systems

CentOS 5 Released 163

jonesy16 writes "Only a few weeks behind the release of Red Hat Enterprise 5, CentOS announced today the immediate release of version 5 of the free derivative of RHEL 5. Torrents are available for both i386 and x86_64. New features include compiz and AIGLX support as well as better virtualization and thin-client support. Package updates include Apache-2.2, kernel-2.6.18, Gnome-2.16, and KDE-3.5."

Submission + - CentOS 5 released

Markske writes: The CentOS team is pleased to announce the availability of CentOS 5.0. Major changes in CentOS 5 compared to CentOS 4 include: These updated software versions: Apache-2.2, php-5.1.6, kernel-2.6.18, Gnome-2.16, KDE-3.5, OpenOffice.org-2.0, Evolution-2.8, Firefox-1.5, Thunderbird-1.5, MySQL-5.0, PostgreSQL-8.1. Better desktop support with compiz and AIGLX. http://www.centos.org/

Submission + - Vista destroys image data of RAW files

Anonymous Reader writes: Canon has advised that the original image data of RAW images (such as title, subject, rating, tags, comments) shot with an EOS-1D or EOS-1Ds cameras may be lost when images are rotated or edited using Windows Explorer or Windows Gallery on Vista. The support notice can be found here
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Stallman to step down as Emacs maintainer

davids-world.com writes: "Richard Stallman is planning to step down as head maintainer of the GNU Emacs project. In an e-mail to fellow Emacs developers, he today asked for candidates to succeed him. RMS wrote the first extensible Emacs text editor in 1975 at MIT's AI Lab. Seen by many as the founder and chief advocate of the free software movement, Stallman has also been actively involved in Emacs' development. GNU Emacs 22, due soon, will be the first major release of the editor since 2001."

Submission + - Will Blogging Get Me Fired?

petercasier writes: "Will blogging get me fired? A blogger muses on the sudden recent success of one of his pieces. What are the norms of self discipline and self censorship (in a way) to be used when writing about controversial issues? And what are the commonalities between a young attractive US flight attendant and the highest ranking UN official in Sudan? Well, they both got fired about their blog. Kind of."

Submission + - The Cancerous Role Viruses May Play

eldavojohn writes: "New Scientist is running a brief article on viruses playing a role in causing cancer. From the article, "During tumour development, the chromosomes of affected cells often become wildly rearranged, but no one knew why. Duelli and Lazebnik suspected that cell fusion — when two or more cells unite by merging membranes — might be to blame. Several common viruses can initiate this process.""

Submission + - Security risk of OSS software

An anonymous reader writes: WordPress announced that someone cracked their server and inserted malicious code in their product. This, in itself, has nothing to do specifically with Open Source Software — the same problem could have arisen with proprietary software that is made available on an imperfectly-secured web site. OSS may be more susceptible to this kind of problem, however, because the software is often distributed through a wide variety of mirrors, and because their servers are by nature more open to access to the general public. How many OSS distributions supply an MD5 hash, and how many users check their download against it? Does anyone besides me prefer to download directly from the originating organization, instead of from a server at some university that might be hacked?

Submission + - Computer Scientists Tackle Pioneer Anomaly

eldavojohn writes: "Computer scientists are analyzing the data of the well known Pioneer Anomaly. For those of you not familiar with it, both Pioneer 10 & 11 suffered severe deviations from their expected course at they travelled out into our outer solar system. From the article, "The source of the deceleration has long been suspected to be heat escaping from the small nuclear generators onboard, known as RTGs (Radioisotope Thermal Generators). Previous analyses that claimed to rule out this effect have been contested. To supply a definitive answer, an international team of scientists are re-analysing the tracking data and the telemetry data." The current assumption is that the direction of the decelleration is towards the Earth which would almost certainly indicate the anomaly was caused by faulty technology or an artefact of receiving the data at the ground stations. "If, however, the direction is towards the Sun, new gravitational physics may be needed to explain the effect.""

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