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Submission + - Modern Day Witch-Hunt in Connecticut

zhenya00 writes: USAToday is reporting on a story most of us are already familiar with; the case of Julie Amero, a 40 year old Norwich, Connecticut substitute teacher who has been convicted of four counts of risk of injury to a minor when the un-patched Windows 98 computer she had used to check her email began to display a flurry of pornographic pop-ups to the students in her classroom. She faces up to 40 years in prison when she is sentenced this Friday March 2.
From the article:

"Julie Amero was a victim of a school that couldn't be bothered to protect its computers, of a prosecutor without the technology background to understand what he was doing, a police "expert" who was not, and a jury misled by all of them. "Miscarriage of justice" doesn't begin to describe it."
Can this country really allow something like this to happen? Why isn't there general outrage on the front page of every newspaper? Why aren't those responsible being flooded with calls and emails from angry citizens?

Submission + - What is the best Media Center software out there?

brm1974 writes: "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_center

For the product by J. River.
A media center is a computer adapted for playing music, watching movies and pictures stored on a local harddrive or on a (in some cases wireless) network, watching DVD movies and often for watching and recording television broadcasts.

Have You guys tried any of those?
What do you think?

        * SageTV
        * Front Row (Apple)
        * GeeXboX (Linux)
        * GBPVR (Windows)
        * SesamTV (http://www.sesamtv.com)
        * MythTV (Linux)
        * Freevo (Linux)
        * Elisa (Linux) (http://www.fluendo.com/elisa/index.php)
        * My Media System (Linux)
        * MediaPortal
        * TVedia
        * Windows XP Media Center Edition
        * Xbox Media Center (not to be confused with Windows XP Media Center eXtender)
        * Domotix (http://www.mydomotix.com)
        * XLobby (windows) http://www.xlobby.com/"

Submission + - Reactionless Space Drive

Jeffrey Beer writes: "REACTIONLESS SPACE DRIVE by Jeffrey Beer The device described below, as invented by the author, is intended as a propulsion system for spacecraft. It is able to generate a forward motion without ejecting mass rearward. Name of device: Relativistic Variable Mass Synchrotron What it does: Asymmetrical Momentum Force Generator The "reactionless drive" consists of a circular particle accelerator, a synchrotron. The elecrons would travel around the synchrotron at a constant speed. But, on half of the circuit, the electrons would be made to vibrate in a direction perpendicular to the path being travelled (probably with electrostatic plates), moving as close to the walls as possible with each oscillation. So, there would be a vertical, up-down oscillating movement of the electrons during one-half of their journey around the track. If they were oscillated at near light-speed, their mass would increase over this portion of their journey around the track. Therefore, the momentum generated would be greater on that side of the track and the entire synchrotron would experience a net force in that direction. Of course, with the current technology available, the force would be very small, probably too small to be practical. But, it would still be interesting in that it would demonstrate that a reactionless drive is theoretically possible altogether. The Relativistic Variable Mass Synchrotron is able to generate a net force using the principles of Einstein's relativity theory. It is important to note that the speed of the electrons around the track is not changed. Only their vertical motion is changed over part of the track. This way, their variable mass can be used to generate a unidirectional force. An alternative method would be to have the electrons travel up and down a cylinder with negatively charged electrode plates at each end. After the electrons (or other charged particles) bounced off the bottom electrode, the group of electrons could be made to spin rapidly in a cyclonic fashion just above the inside wall of the cylinder, in a motion perpendicular (horizontal) to the direction of their journey up the cylinder. By being made to spin at near-light speed, their mass would increase. Then, as the electrons bounced off the negatively charged top electrode plate and were sent down the cylinder, the momentum of the impact would be transferred to the cylinder. During their downward journey, the rotating motion of the electrons would be slowed or stopped, thus reducing their mass. They would then be deflected off the bottom electrode, imparting less momentum to the cylinder than they did at the top. Then, after the deflection, the electrons would be accelerated again before bouncing off the top cylinder. Note that mass is not increased or decreased during the acceleration phase, but only during the time when the electrons are coasting. As a result, there would be a net upward force generated on the cylinder, prompting the cylinder to move upward, provided it is not restrained by a gravitational field or other impediment. The principle is the same as with the circular particle accelerator described above. These devices, if perfected, would function as a method of propelling spacecraft without ejecting mass. The End."
Book Reviews

Rails Cookbook 59

honestpuck writes "When reading the foreword of Rails Cookbook I felt a strong kinship with Zed Shaw, I too have fond memories of the first edition of Perl Cookbook and the way I relied on it once I'd taken the training wheels off. Since that one I have relied on several of the O'Reilly Cookbook series. It is only when I discard the early tutorial and dive in the deep end with a "cookbook" on my desk that I really start to learn proficiency." Read the rest of honestpuck's review.

Submission + - TMobile bans OperaMini and GoogleMaps on cells

cshamis writes: "TMobile has recently changed their policies which now make it impossible for customers WITH appropriate data plans AND Java-Micro-App-capable phones from running third-party network applications. You can, of course, still use the incredibly clunky and crippled built-in WAP browsers, but GoogleMaps and OperaMini are left high and dry. Would anyone care to speculate if this move is likely to RETAIN or REPEL customers when the iPhone and Cingular's accompanying liberal network policies come out this summer? http://www.gearlog.com/2007/01/tmobile_disses_oper a_says_get.php"

Submission + - IE 7 now an Optional Update?

DikSeaCup writes: "I've been noticing over the past week or so that the previously (unless I was hallucinating) "Critical Update" of "Internet Explorer 7" on the Microsoft Update site was no longer listed as a "Critical Update", and is now listed under the "Optional Software" category. Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed this? I haven't seen any relevant news items about it — have I suddenly been transported to Japan without realizing it?"

Where Are All of the HDTV Tuners? 208

An anonymous reader asks: "Today I read about rabbit ears making a comeback with OTA HTDV. I want to purchase a standalone ATSC HDTV tuner to go with my projector, but I am having a very hard time finding one. The big-box stores seem to only stock one or two models and are frequently sold out. Searching online yields similar results. It would seem that there would be ever increasing demand for these tuners given that many HDTVs were sold without internal tuners in years past, and these tuners will be necessary for all old NTSC TVs after the February, 2009 shutdown of analog broadcasts. Where should I look to buy one of these devices? Of the currently available models, which are the best? Will the standalone HDTV tuner become a ubiquitous item as the 2009 deadline approaches?"

Is Switching Jobs Too Often a Bad Thing? 208

Career Hot Potato asks: "I've been out of school for little more than a year and I have only good things to say about the job market. So far, there doesn't seem to be any lack of demand for a good .NET developer. I've got to admit, though, I feel a little disloyal at this point. Several great job offers have come my way and I've taken them. My resume is starting to make me look a bit restless and it worries me. Until now I've just chalked it up to 'I'm just settling in,' but now another opportunity has been dropped into my lap. Would I be digging my own grave by taking this job? It'd be my fourth job in 16 months but each offered a promotion and a 30% to 40% raise. I know better than to put a price on job satisfaction but I'm pretty certain I'd be happy there. Is being branded as a 'hot potato' enough to keep you from switching? What's your price on this stigma?"

Submission + - Living room HDTV for PC Gaming?

Goosey writes: "With the major purchases of a new HDTV, HTPC, and gaming PC setup in the near future the thought occurred that I could combine my needs (and save some money) by putting high end hardware in the HTPC and using the it with the HDTV for gaming. Big screen gaming sounds like a dream come true, but having never done any PC gaming outside of a computer desk some concerns do pop up. What little information I could find has been pretty lacking, so I ask: do any slashdotters have experience with PC gaming in the living room? Is it a viable option using a large HDTV with 1080p native resolution or does the large view distance make the experience unbearable? Is text unreadable without inducing eye strain? Are there any mouse/keyboard solutions suitable for use on the couch?"

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