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The Military

United States Begins Flying Stealth Bombers Over South Korea 567

skade88 writes "The New York Times is reporting that the United States has started flying B-2 stealth bomber runs over South Korea as a show of force to North Korea. The bombers flew 6,500 miles to bomb a South Korean island with mock explosives. Earlier this month the U.S. Military ran mock B-52 bombing runs over the same South Korean island. The U.S. military says it shows that it can execute precision bombing runs at will with little notice needed. The U.S. also reaffirmed their commitment to protecting its allies in the region. The North Koreans have been making threats to turn South Korea into a sea of fire. North Korea has also made threats claiming they will nuke the United States' mainland."
Mars

4-Billion-Pixel Panorama View From Curiosity Rover 101

SternisheFan points out that there is a great new panorama made from shots from the Curiosity Rover. "Sweep your gaze around Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring, with this 4-billion-pixel panorama stitched together from 295 images. ...The entire image stretches 90,000 by 45,000 pixels and uses pictures taken by the rover's two MastCams. The best way to enjoy it is to go into fullscreen mode and slowly soak up the scenery — from the distant high edges of the crater to the enormous and looming Mount Sharp, the rover's eventual destination."
Graphics

Submission + - Fastest Graphics Ever, Asus ARES Rips Benchmarks (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "Over-the-top, killer graphics cards are always fun to play with, though they may not be all that practical. With a pair of ATI Radeon HD 5870 GPUs on a single PCB and 4GB of GDDR5 graphics memory on board, the recently released Asus ARES is one such card that can currently claim the title of being the fastest single gaming graphics card on the planet. This dual GPU infused beast rips through benchmarks besting even the likes of a Radeon HD 5970 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480, and you can even run a pair of them in CrossFire mode, if you're hell-bent on the fastest frame rates money can buy currently."
Australia

Submission + - Australian grey pages (reversephones.com.au)

An anonymous reader writes: As we all know, a few months ago the Australian high court ruled (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/02/14/0857256/Australian-Judge-Rules-Facts-Cannot-Be-Copyrighted) that copyright did not subsist in the Yellow or White Pages. An Australian grey pages (reverse telephone directory) site has just come online which may be taking advantage of this ruling. There is another similar site (http://www.mirusonline.com.au) which charges for access, but Reverse Phones is free to use.
Idle

Submission + - Berkeley Library RFP asks for Nuclear Free vendor (berkeley.ca.us)

beefsprocket writes: RFID tags are not new to libraries. Neither is 3M as one of the larger providers of the Checkpoint circulation and self-checkout system. What is new is a library discarding their current working system used for over 500,000 items because the vendor refuses to submit a required Nuclear Free Disclosure Form. The specific form is required for anyone wishing to do business with the City of Berkeley per the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act of 1986. This reverses a 2008 exemption that the Library applied for to be able to work with 3M. From the RFP which is available here (pdf only):

"The Berkeley Public Library is seeking a vendor to provide services, software and hardware related to the provision of a self-check technology system, staff assisted circulation functions (check-in and check-out), materials security and automated materials handling system to be implemented at all five locations.

Vendors are invited to submit a proposal for one or more of these services, software and equipment or a complete system that will replace the current Checkpoint/3M library system.

In 2008, 3M Library Systems became the exclusive reseller and maintenance provider for the CheckPoint — Intelligent Library System. Because 3M will not submit the required City of Berkeley — Nuclear Free Disclosure Form, the Library must seek an alternate vendor who is compliant with all City of Berkeley contract requirements. The Library has received a 2-year waiver from the City of Berkeley to continue working with 3M while seeking an alternative. In 2009, the Library began exploring options for continuing to maintain the existing system with a different vendor, but has not found this to be a viable option."

Submission + - Is Slashcode Dead ?

bibekpaudel writes: I don't know how this post would be taken by Slashdot editors, but I feel this is a very timely question. A lot of developments have happened on the web ever since slashdot started a revolution of sorts in user-generated content. There was no web 2.0 or social media when slashdot was born. I consider slashdot a kind of a important innovation on the world wide web. Even after all these years, slashdot remains popular. Just have a look at the number of comments and their quality. There are many users reading it, posting on it, and moderating the comments so that it continues to be a very valuable resource to all the rest of us. It has been able to adapt with the changing times, as you can see with the ajax-ified interface, firehose and so on. Above all, slashdot is based on a free/open source code base of slashcode.

What are the options for someone who wishes to start a discussion forum and a broad news site like slashdot? I assume there are alternatives, like mambo, geeklog, phpnuke, reddit and a lot of CMS'es like Drupal and Plone. With different web application frameworks becoming popular, I am sure there would be comments to this post suggesting a "write-from-the-scratch" option. There are clones for Digg and so on.

A look at the website of slashcode shows that it hasn't been updated for long. The mailing lists are pretty silent, and updates to slashcode are rare, if ever. The last updates were made months or years ago, in some cases. There are no clear install instructions (most of them say that this guide is outdated). There is no clear direction about which is the latest and stable version available and what are the latest development updates. There used to be a Debian package for slash, which has long been discontinued. Slash doesn't work with Apache 2 and the manual suggests installation from source for all the components. Now, if you're a masochist with not much else to do, that would be fairly ok, but given that most applications these days have clear install instructions, packages, scripts or at least an active IRC channel or mailing list, I don't see any reason why slashcode can't have something like that. Besides, most people wouldn't want slashcode just to run it on their test machines, they want it to run on a live production server.

I have been thinking of a website (for non-tech purposes) that would involve a lot of user participation and content-submission. Slashcode was on the top of my choices. I had tried installing it more than a year ago, but with a couple of hours of hair-pulling, I gave up. I was left with a lot of unnecessary installations of which I had lost track of, and I never wanted to try it again.

So, does it mean that slashcode is no more relevant and usable? Do its developers want to abandon it? As noone has shown interest to start a fork or continue development, I assume there is no interest or the level of effort required is higher than many volunteers would want to devote. Keeping with the spirit of free-softwares, what will happen to slashdot once the current group of people stop working (or lost interest) ? The web would continue to evolve, and slashdot would have too make adjustments, would it be sustainable? As a fellow slashdotter wrote some time ago, is slashcode dead [0]? If there is considerable interest in continuing the project, I'd love to know from other users and it sufficient documentation and help from existing maintainers is available, I'd be happy to join too.

If slashcode is dead and not recommended for use, could you please suggest me some good alternatives? The main features would be user generated content (and its management), user interaction (through user;'s profiles, journals, firehose etc) and active content-moderation (ajax-based).

Any pointers for help would be appreciated too.

[0] http://slashdot.org/journal/231231/Slashcode-is-dead-long-live-Slashcode

Submission + - Finally, Twitter comes to Commodore's VIC-20 (technologizer.com)

harrymcc writes: The Personal Computer Museum of Brantford, Ontario plans to make a tiny bit of history this Saturday by tweeting from a 1980s Commodore VIC-20 home computer with 5KB of RAM and a cassette drive. It'll use TweetVER, a new platform for accessing Twitter from vintage computers. It may be a stunt, but with its 140-character limit and lack of graphics, Twitter is one of the very few current Web services that's plausible on a thirty-year-old computer at all.
Microsoft

Submission + - Bill Gates responds to the iPad. (bnet.com)

nicknamenotavailable writes: Brent Schlender had a chance to talk to Bill Gates about the iPad.

"You know, I'm a big believer in touch and digital reading, but I still think that some mixture of voice, the pen and a real keyboard — in other words a netbook — will be the mainstream on that," he said. "So, it's not like I sit there and feel the same way I did with iPhone where I say, `Oh my God, Microsoft didn't aim high enough.' It's a nice reader, but there's nothing on the iPad I look at and say, `Oh, I wish Microsoft had done it.'"

Microsoft

Submission + - What products keep Microsoft awash with cash (gizmodo.com.au)

N3tRunner writes: Microsoft's more exciting products like the Xbox and Zune barely break even, and all of their online products taken as a whole are a constant drain on their finances. Office and Windows still combine to provide a majority of their profits, despite the fact that they aren't nearly as exciting to the general public. It's hard to say that Microsoft doesn't have a strong hand in the entertainment business with the Xbox and some of its other items, but it doesn't actually end up being a big moneymaker for them.
Security

Submission + - Adobe Flash patch out of band - Patch Thursday? (sophos.com)

xsee writes: Adobe has released yet another patch for Flash player, approximately 4 weeks ahead of the original schedule they had promised. With only one "Adobe patch Tuesday" having been on the correct date since the announcement, whats the point?

Submission + - Japanese invent printer that uses plastic paper (goodgearguide.com.au)

jimboh2k writes: The Sanwa Newtec 'PrePeat' (a play on the word 'repeat') RP-3100 prints on sheets of A4 plasticated paper that can allegedly be re-used up to 1,000 times. The printer uses heat transfer technology rather than ink, and so has no consumables.
Education

Submission + - Dealing with gifted kids: a geek's tale (itwire.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Many talented software developers find that their attributes have been passed on to the next generation. How do they react when they find out that their children are unusually gifted? Andrew McMillan, a senior Debian developer, tells the tale of how he and his wife have dealt with their older son after discovering that he was unusually gifted.

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