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Submission + - Buy Your Own Quantum Computer (

VincenzoRomano writes: "A Canadian company in Burnaby, BC is now selling a quantum computer that you can buy, for a mere USD 10M, for your lab, or even your home if you have the resources and needs of Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark.
Ther manufacturer of the marvel, the "One", is D-Wave Systems and is not releasing a lot of information about the product.
Just that's built around a 128-qubit processor (and not the weird 129-qubit reported by Tom's hardware) called "Rainier".
The final selling price can be found in another article published by Engadget.
The computer itself is not a general purpose one. It can only solve optimization problems using Quantum Annealing approach.
So, as stated by TH,

No, it cannot play Crysis.

and I'd also add that you cannot use it to update your tweets as well."


Submission + - Linux Mint Debian 201012: available

VincenzoRomano writes: The latest Linux Mint Debian is available for download since a few days now for both 32 and 64 bit Intel-like architectures.
From the announcement feature list:

All Mint 10 features
64-bit support
Performance boost (using cgroup, the notorious “4 lines of code better than 200 in user-space)
Installer improvements (multiple HDDs, grub install on partitions, swap allocation, btrfs support)
Better fonts (Using Ubuntu’s libcairo, fontconfig and Ubuntu Font Family) and language support (ttf-wqy-microhei, ttf-sazanami-mincho, ttf-sazanami-gothic installed by default)
Better connectivity and hardware support (pppoe, pppoeconf, gnome-ppp, pppconfig, libgl1-mesa-dri, libgl1-mesa-glx, libgl1-mesa-dev, mesa-utils installed by default)
Better sound support (addressing conflicts between Pulse Audio and Flash)
Updated software and packages

Back to September 7th we saw the very first release, rather beta indeed, of this project, the first step to switch the distribution base from Ubuntu to Debian and to a rolling release policy.
Linux Mint is scoring place #2 at Distrowatch Popularity Ranking (well, kind of), just behind Ubuntu and before Fedora, OpenSUSE and Debian itself, .
Only time will tell whether this is a winning move or not for Linux Mint. But why not giving it a run?


Submission + - Unfinished vs new technology: 12 years later

VincenzoRomano writes: Back in September 1998 bug #915 got filed at the Netscape (good ol' days!) bug tracking system. Nothing special, "just" the wrong rendering of table column alignment. Something a lot of web developers has had to work around so far.
Interestingly, this bug affected and still affects almost all web browsers. All but Internet Explorer, though.
In August 2010, far from being fixed, the very same bug got marked as "INVALID" as "this feature is no longer present in HTML5, and has not been implemented in browsers other than IE". In other words "don't bother us as this is not even a bug any more: we are working on the next forthcoming standard, whenever will it come".
Or "none else but IE has it, so we don't mind, even if everyone else is just me"
A tsunami of angry comments flooded bug #915 entry until a couple of days later the bug got turned back to "NEW" (yes, 12 years new).
This seems to follow a trend in the technology development policies for a number of projects, not just open source software.
As soon as the development steering board decides something new (like HTML5 or the next Ubuntu release) requires the focus, suddenly unfinished or unfixed old stuff (HTML4 compliance or the current official) goes to the attic to be forgotten as outdated or uninteresting.
Apart of the humoristic implications for this very case, I'd like to ask slashdotters about their point of view and possible suggestions.

Submission + - The rising of video manuals. Evil or boon?

VincenzoRomano writes: I'm encountering a growing number of cases when you find some kind of (technical) documentation and manuals as online videos.
From listing the features of some new electronic equipment to procedures on how to root it (:-), from programming examples to troubleshooting guides to software.
I personally find this trend quite annoying when not actually evil.
First of all, the perusal of a video needs to follow a defined pace. The one chosen by the person who shot the video, which could not be your very own. Instead you can read text the way you want.
Second, you need to stick to the actual quality of images and speech/sound recorded. Which tends to be very poor as a number of them is shoot with a mobile phone. Text can be shown and printed to the quality you need.
Third, you cannot copy/past any piece of information (like command strings) shown there. You have to carefully read and type. With text this is trivial.
Fourth, you need to stay online with some equipment in order to peruse the document. I know there's a way to "fix" this issue, though, but with text is a trivial task again.
Fifth, If the audio is not in a language/lingo/accent you can understand well, then you are in troubles. With text you can always read more carefully or try some translation.
Sixth, shooting a video is considered somehow easier than writing a text. Which could not be really true if you want to decently document something like CLI or even GUI stuff.

So my question to slashdotters: is my opinion shared among the majority of you or simply I'm getting too old to keep up with new technologies?
Or, in a different form, should we fight this trend or should we all embrace it?

Submission + - No End of the World (TM) by law?

VincenzoRomano writes: There's an article on PhysicsWorld.COM (registration required), which I would define somewhere in between weird and interesting.
It's about a lawyer wondering whether judges should order a full stop to the LHC in the fear of an "end of the world" event.
It's an old story the one about the supposed ability of the LHC to trigger a real armageddon thanks to the creation of stable micro black holes, strangelets and other exotic particle physics stuff.
From the article:

Eric E Johnson, a lawyer at the University of North Dakota in the US, believes that such jurisdictional problems should not prevent justice from being done. Johnson has published a 90-page paper in the Tennessee Law Review arguing that the courts must use their power to halt hypothetically cataclysmic experiments such as the LHC if they are called upon to do so, and he puts forward the criteria by which the courts could pass meaningful judgements in such cases.

The point to that clever lawyer is that if you gather enough clues and proofs, you can ask a court to rule against the use of fossil fuel for engines and radioactive matter for power reactors!
What'd be your opinion?

The "End of the World" is a trade mark by Zarquon

Submission + - Thousands of compromised websites found by chance

VincenzoRomano writes: While doing an overhaul to a website of a customer of mine I've found a strange piece of HTML code in its homepage. Something containing code like this:

<a href="crk/index.php">crack,keygen</a>

So I have entered a part of this string into Google just to find that there are 15k+ webpages containing the same code.
By clicking on any result link I've found rogue websites providing cracks, key generators and other funny stuff that would make happy (and actually does) a lot of people.
It seems to me that the code has been inoculated in those web sites with that fancy transitional home page that after a few seconds changes to the real home page.
The website I was checking is not listed as it prevents Google from crawling into it, so I presume the problem can be larger than seen on Google.
I'm posting this on Slashdot as I presume that a lot of people with the same job as mine is reading these webpages quite often and my proposition is to rise this warning to as many security advisors as possible.

Submission + - Control Your Apps Without Your Finger

VincenzoRomano writes: There's a nice article about a new approach to human interaction to your mobile phone (and maybe your other computers),
Basically you won't need to swipe your fingers over smallish touch screens.
You'll move your arms, hands and fingers (or whatever else applies) in the air or will shake the handset.
The phone camera(s), the G-sensor, the compass and so on will be used by a software to understand the gestures and to translate them into control commands.
This breakthrough comes from a company called GestureTek, a non-startup company in this field.
The idea seems to be brilliant, but a number of issues are just behind the corner, like privacy and politeness in crowded places.

Submission + - Can email carbon footprint be cut?

VincenzoRomano writes: Everyone is concerned with the carbon footprint, being that a buzz word or a real issue.
I am thinking mainly about the SPAM and the craze with graphics email signatures and "email disclaimers".
Despite a very popular belief, the Internet has a relevant carbon footprint, From the infrastructure deployment to the ongoing use.
A number of articles are available (on the Internet, thus rising the CO2 emissions) on the topic. But ...
Is there anyone taking into account the carbon footprint of a SPAM-free Internet?
SPAM is accounted for about 85% (yes, eighty-five!) of all the email traffic worldwide!
And what about those fancy colorful (and useless) signature? Those people never read the netiquette (page 5).
Despite the disclaimer phenomenon is decreasing (as far as my experience), it is still relevant in my mailbox with funny and clearly inapplicable pseudo-legal statements.
Would the would (and the Internet) be better with such a carbon cut?

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