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


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Submission + - AT&T, Verizon Attempting to Get Government Approval to Cut Off Competitors. (

An anonymous reader writes: In Michigan, Senate Bill 636 will remove any remaining requirements of AT&T and Verizon to lease lines to other providers, effectively killing all competing phone and internet providers, including wireless providers, which rely on leasing any connectivity from AT&T or Verizon. Readers should not be fooled by the title of the bill into thinking it only applies to a hard-wired phone line coming into their home or office. What the consumer calls a landline differs greatly from what the law calls a landline.

Embedded Linux 1-Second Cold Boot To QT 141

An anonymous reader writes "The blog post shows an embedded device cold booting Linux to a QT application all in just one second. This post also includes a link which describes what modifications were made to achieve this."

Wine 1.2 Released 427

David Gerard writes "Stuck with that one Windows app you can't get rid of? Rejoice — Wine 1.2 is officially released! Apart from running pretty much any Windows application on Unix better than 1.0 (from 2008), major new features include 64-bit support, bi-directional text, and translation into thirty languages. And, of course, DirectX 9 is well-supported and DirectX 10 is getting better. Packages should hit the distros over the weekend, or you can get the source now."

Mac Hack Contest Redux 164

narramissic writes "Remember the controversial Mac hacking contest from last year's CanSecWest conference? No? Here's a refresher: Conference organizers challenged attendees to hack into a Macintosh laptop, with the successful hacker winning the computer and a cash prize. Winner Dino Dai Zovi found a QuickTime bug that allowed him to run unauthorized software on the Mac once the computer's browser was directed to a specially crafted Web page. Well, the contest is back again this year, but with a twist, says Dragos Ruiu, the principal organizer of CanSecWest: 'We're thinking of having a contest where we have Vista and OS X and Linux ... and see which one goes first.""

Robotic Telescope Installed on Antarctica Plateau 128

Reservoir Hill writes "Antarctica claims some of the best astronomical sky conditions in the world — devoid of clouds with steady air that makes for clear viewing. The very best conditions unfortunately lie deep in the interior on a high-altitude plateau called Dome A. With an elevation of up to 4,093m, it's known as the most unapproachable point in the earth's southernmost region. Now astronomers in a Chinese scientific expedition have set up an experimental observatory at Dome A after lugging their equipment across Antarctica with the help of Australia and the US. The observatory will hunt for alien planets, while also measuring the observing conditions at the site to see if it is worth trying to build bigger observatories there. The observatory is automated, pointing its telescopes on its own while astronomers monitor its progress from other locations around the world via satellite link. PLATO is powered by a gas generator, and has a 4000-litre tank of jet fuel to keep it running through the winter. The observatory will search for planets around other stars using an array of four 14.5-centimetre telescopes called the Chinese Small Telescope Array (CSTAR). Astronomers hope to return in 2009 with new instruments, including the Antarctica Schmidt Telescopes (AST-3), a trio of telescopes with 0.5-metre mirrors, which will be more sensitive to planets than CSTAR."

Submission + - Skulltrail And 3.4GHz Penryn Performance Preview (

MojoKid writes: "Intel let a few members of the press get some hands-on time with their new 45nm quad-core processor, code-named Penryn today at IDF. Dual quad-core 3.4GHz processors were configured in a Seabird chipset-based dual socket system based on the Intel's Skulltrail platform, for a total of eight cores. The benchmark numbers look pretty sharp as does the system, with a red-eyed skull on the front, just in time for Halloween we suppose."

Submission + - Real-time raytracing for PC games almost a reality (

Vigile writes: "Real-time raytracing has often been called the pinnacle for computer rendering for games but only recently has it been getting traction in the field. A German student, and now Intel employee, has been working on raytraced versions of the Quake 3 and Quake 4 game engines for years and is now using the power of Intel's development teams to push the technology further. With antialiasing implemented and anisotropic filtering close behind, they speculate that within two years the hardware will exist on the desktop to make "game quality" raytracing graphics a reality."

Submission + - The Myth of the Solar PC (

jammag writes: "Everybody wants to be green — especially the marketing departments of PC makers. This article casts a doubting eye on Lenovo's ThinkCentre PC. The box claims environmental, granola-crunching sainthood, but if you look closer it's pretty funny. To really get your juice from the sun, you'll need the optional $1,229 add-on. The article points out that Google's Sergey Brin has a solar-powered cell phone, but only because (being a billionaire) he can afford it. When the heck is a true solar-powered computing device going to be available to us un-moneyed masses?"

Submission + - The pocket-sized Vista PC (

unts writes: The UMPC is still struggling to find its feet, but companies are still pushing forwards with new designs and increased power. OQO has come forth with the e2 UMPC, which has a 1.6GHz CPU, 1GiB RAM and support for either regular or solid state hard drives. The e2 weighs 450g and will fit in your pocket. Of course, how comfortable it'll be is another matter. has footage of the e2 and has an article on the tiny PC.
Input Devices

Submission + - CatCam reveals kitty's secret adventures (

Matthew Skala writes: "J. Perthold attaches a ruggedized USB still camera with an enhanced battery and a microcontroller to click the shutter, to his cat, Mr. Lee — then sends Mr. Lee out into the neighbourhood. Intrigue: secret feline agents meet under cars. Romance: a visit to the lady cat next door. Action: motion-blurred high-speed shots as the camera bounces along inches from the ground. Also, it's a nice little hardware hack. Now to combine this with the Flo Control cat door..."

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 + - Eating Outdoors-In Space, That Is (

nlhouser writes: "From this experiment, another theory grew that the radiated fungi would grow where nothing else would as long as radiation was present, which also offered a source of food for astronauts living in space for lengthened periods of time. Also, new testing has begun for ranges of electromagnetic radiation on the fungi, from ultraviolet light to visible light. Edible fungi, such as mushrooms, are also being tested."

Submission + - Stackable ARM Linux Computers Allow Rapid Devel. (

Tarun Tuli writes: Virtual Cogs Embedded Systems Inc. have released their miniature stackable Linux single board computers based around the Freescale i.MX21 processor. This system allows users to custom tailor their design to particular peripherals they need quickly. By stacking multiple daughterboards together, a precise solution can be created. Currently, daughter boards available include a Camera COG (3MP colour CMOS camera), Multimedia COG (320x240 TFT Touchscreen LCD, Sound Card), Ethernet COG (10/100 Mbit networking) and Breakout COG (development tool with .1" IDC breakout of pass-thru bus, MiniSD card slot and RS-232). Many additional daughter boards are under development and to be released soon including a robot controller, power controller, GPS/Bluetooth/Wifi board and a plug-in FPGA solution. In addition, all these designs are "open" so that users can easily adopt and develop their own daughtercards using standard PCB manufacturers.

Submission + - China to enforce universal cell phone charger (

An anonymous reader writes: In order to reduce the number of cell phone chargers tossed out each year, China is planning to enforce a compulsory USB-based universal cell phone charger standard.
The Internet

Submission + - Dotster Hijacks Their Customers' Subdomains

mo writes: Recently, Dotster's DNS service has made a massive, potentially illegal change that has gone largely unnoticed. They now redirect DNS queries for any of their customer's unused subdomains to a spam page that serves up ads. For example, is a popular open source PBX project who gets it's DNS from Dotster, but redirects to Dotster's page of ads. This policy has been imposed on all of their customers without informing them. Any domain who has as their primary nameserver is being subjected to it.

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