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The Almighty Buck

Submission + - How ExxonMobil Funded Global Warming Skeptics

Erik Moeller writes: "According to a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, oil company ExxonMobil 'has funneled nearly $16 million between 1998 and 2005 to a network of 43 advocacy organizations that seek to confuse the public on global warming science.' The report compares the tactics employed by the oil giant to those used by the tobacco industry in previous decades, and identifies key individuals who have worked on both campaigns. Would a "global warming controversy" exist without the millions of dollars spent by fossil fuel companies to discredit scientific conclusions?"

Submission + - RPGNow and RPGShop credit card data hacked

HyperBear writes: "Earlier this evening a thread on indicated that the credit card database for the online game stores RPGNow and RPGShop had been hacked, and that credit card information was available in the clear via a Google search. This thread has since been removed, at the request of RPGNow. In its place is another thread indicating that RPGNow asked to have the original thread removed in an effort to "mitigate damage". There is as yet no word as to how the data was taken from their site, when the data was taken, or why the data was stored on their servers unencrypted. Steve at RPGNow said, 'We have purged all credit card data from RPGNow and RPGShop servers and will remove the option for customers to have that data stored until we resolve the matter.'"

Which Text-Based UI Do You Code With? 211

JHWH asks: "I've been asked to design and implement a management software system with text based user interface as the replacement of an older one running on AS/400. Despite my attempts towards a web UI, the customer is actually willing to have a text based UI. The main reasons are the need for a very low bandwidth and the ability to run on serial terminals. All this in the 21st century! Host systems will be Linux, the language will be C or C++. I already thought about the use of text based browsers like lynx or links. So now I have to wipe the dust away from my ncurses manual, or can Slashdot suggest something more effective?"

Submission + - Should I continue my education?

Jerim writes: I just finished my AS in Computer Science and am rolling it over into a BS in Computer Science. The problem is that I am 28 years old. I didn't really decide until I was 26 years old that I wanted to make IT my career. I have been moderately learning new technologies here and there over the years. However, at pretty much every level of the industry, I run into people who seem to know everything. Now, I like to think that they are just bluffing, or it is all in my head. No one can know everything. Lately, though, I have begun to think "What if they do?" What if that weird guy down the hall really does know everything there is to know about MySQL, PHP, Oracle, Java, and a dozen technologies I am only familiar with.

I feel that I can continue on in my studies and get a BS degree, but I am concerned that no matter how much I love the topic and no matter how hard I work at it, I will always be too far behind people to ever catch up. That I will have a BS degree and still be doing all the entry level stuff, with some "know it all" always looking over my shoulder to make sure I don't screw up. Is there any room in the industry for someone who doesn't know everything or has tons of experience, other than entry level positions? Since I won't get my BS degree until after my 31st birthday, is it worth it? Or is that just too late to be of any use in the industry?

Submission + - wunderground on this year's winter weather

kpw10 writes: The always interesting Jeff Masters from Wunderground posted a great summary on this year's rather peculiar winter weather. From the post, "The lack of snow across the entire Northern Hemisphere has been remarkable both in its areal coverage and depth, thanks to December temperatures 5-20 degrees F above normal. In the U.S., most of the eastern 2/3 of the country was snow free on Christmas. Granted, Colorado had a white Christmas and the mountains of Washington got slammed with snow this year, but places like northern Maine and Michigan's Upper Peninsula — which normally have over two feet of snow on the ground this time of year — were snow-free. Munising, Michigan had it's first brown Christmas since 1911, and Minneapolis, Minnesota — which normally receives over 18 inches of snow by this time of year — has had a paltry one inch of snow so far this winter." He goes on to report similar conditions for the rest of the northern hemisphere and discusses the implications of the recent/drastic changes in arctic ice coverage. For a counter-perspective Fox News provides us with an enlightened man-on-the-street explanation, "The Earth is recalibrating itself: Last year, we had a cold winter, and it's balancing itself out now".

Submission + - Open Source Asset Management?

pat_trick writes: "I work for a small company that has about 130 computers installed as internet kiosks in various locations. All of them run on Windows XP. We're looking for a good Asset Management (read: equipment & problem tracking) tool that is web-based and allows us to more easily manage our inventory. Many of the current commercial packages available offer more than we need, which is just an Asset Management tool. Open Source is where we'd like to go, hopefully something that runs on a LAMP setup. What are your experiences with open source software in this area? What would you recommend, Open Source or otherwise?"
United States

Submission + - New H-1B Fight Looms

jcatcw writes: Computerworld reports that, with Democrats now in charge, anti-offshoring legislation efforts could find new life, with H-1B visas likely to be the main focal point of debate. Last year the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reached the 65,000 cap on H1-B visas in less than two months after it began accepting applications. It's almost certain that Congress will see legislation this year that would raise the cap.

Submission + - Jet powered wings

An anonymous reader writes: "Thanks to high technology and nerve, Yves Rossy has come closer than anyone to realising the ancient dream of soaring free, flitting through the sky, guided only by the body. As well as a crash helmet he wears a small pair of wings and four tiny jet engines." Ref:,,13509-2523 783,00.html

Submission + - Great PowerPoint Presentations In Documentaries

Noob Teacher writes: I currently teach a computer concepts course in high school that mainly revolves around Microsoft's Office Suite. When it came time to teach PowerPoint I really wanted to stress to the students that a PowerPoint presentation should complement their speech and should not be the focus of the presentation. I don't think the students got my message, however, as many of them were still reading the PowerPoint slides directly, which is something I stressed they shouldn't do. Does anyone know of some movies (most likely documentaries) that contain excellent PowerPoint presentations I could show the class? I thought of Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth, but that may be a little too political for my conservative school district.

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