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Submission + - Slashdot Is Hiring Software Developers (

blair1q writes: LinkedIn has a job listing from Slashdot. The position is "Principal Software Engineer", which is a level of experience and expectation above Software Engineer and Senior Software Engineer, but below the fusty Senior Principal Software Engineer and the mawkish Master Engineer. Bring your shiniest Perl skills to the interview. My favorite quote: "Slashdot is written in Perl and developed using the Agile methodology." I'll wait for you to wipe beverage off your monitor/keyboard/shirt. Yes, I too was surprised to find out that not only is /. "developed," but that this development is adding features on a rapid cyclic basis. Or maybe not, since one of the tenets of Agile development is that any feature not demonstrable at the end of the timebox gets cut from deployment for that cycle. Must be a lot of that selection getting checked off.

Submission + - Full-Tilt Poker Is A Real Ponzi Scheme (

blair1q writes: Popular (and heavily advertised) poker website Full-Tilt Poker was sued today by the US Government, following an investigation that revealed it to be a massive Ponzi Scheme. The principals in the company set up a complicated system to direct funds from subscribers' poker accounts into their own bank accounts. This was in contravention of their own claim that users' money was untouched. Players' accounts amounted to $390 million, but the company only has $60 million in the bank, having over time distributed $440 million to its own directors and executives.

Submission + - Flowing-Slurry Battery Doubles Capacity (

blair1q writes: MIT is announcing development of batteries based on flow of charged fluids along a membrane. The fluid is a dark, viscous substance dubbed "Cambridge Crude." The pumping, storage, and discharge mechanisms are smaller than the non-electrolyte components in a regular battery, giving the total system twice the capacity for the same gross volume (no info on mass). The developers envision rapid charges by replacing batteries or exchanging spent fluids for fresh, fully-charged fluids. They also claim that it would be cheaper than current designs for large-scale installations.

Submission + - White House Explains Transport-Energy Future (

blair1q writes: Today on the White House Blog the President (ok, his staff) released an infographic showing various facts about transportation energy, and how current gas prices need not be so worrisome. Highlights include rapidly increasing domestic production and rapidly decreasing prices for electric-car batteries, requesting congress to shift tax breaks from oil producers to wind/solar/geothermal energy producers, and increasing domestic oil production (yes, there's a paradox there).

Submission + - Nimby, Schmimby: Solar Panels Increase Home Value (

blair1q writes: Venture Beat reports that a study by Berkeley National Labs has found that homes sold in California earned a premium for solar panels. The benefit ranged from $3900 to $6400 per KW of capacity. An earlier study found that proximity to solar or wind power may also raise home values. These results contradict the arguments based on degrading home values used by putative NIMBY (Not In My Back-Yard) opponents to installing or living near such energy-generating equipment.

Submission + - Google Loses Bedrock Suit, All Linux May Infringe (

blair1q writes: cnet reports that Google has lost the lawsuit brought by Bedrock, is infringing on Patent 5,893,120 "Methods and apparatus for information storage and retrieval using a hashing technique with external chaining and on-the-fly removal of expired data," and has exposed the Linux kernel, in which the infringing code reportedly appears, to liability for patent-license fees. RedHat also participated in the suit, arguing that the patent was invalid, but the court decided otherwise.

Submission + - Firefox 5 In Aurora Channel (

blair1q writes: has added a new intermediate development state, Aurora, to its Firefox development chain. Coming between Nightly-Build and Beta, it adds a fourth sense to the meaning of "the current version of Firefox" (the Release version fills out the trope). And now they have populated the Aurora channel with what will eventually become Firefox 5. The intent is to reduce Release-version cycle times by allowing more live testing of new features before the integrated code gets into a Beta version. The inaugural Aurora drop includes "performance, security and stability improvements." Firefox 5 is scheduled to enter Beta on May 17, and Release on June 21. Downloads of all of the active channels are available from the Firefox channels webpage.

Submission + - Surgical Waldo Folds, Flies Tiny Paper Airplane (

blair1q writes: Story with video. The plane doesn't fly so much as fall with style, but it's the size of an American penny, and it was folded with a surgical waldo (unfortunately called a robot by everyone involved). The intent is to invoke a little amazement and maybe to show that the system isn't much different from a surgeon working with ordinary surgical tools.

Submission + - KGB Wants Control of Email and VOIP (

blair1q writes: The FSB (really just a rebadged KGB) is worried about the abilities that internet communications services such as Hotmail, Gmail, and Skype give to people they consider black-hats. In particular, they don't like the fact that these services allow encryption. (Does Gmail have native encryption?) They say they aren't going to seize or block them, yet, but are just 'studying' the situation, with an eye possibly to implementing controls like those in China. Their increased interest in the tools may be related to a DDoS attack on Russian President Dmitri Medvedev's own LiveJournal account, which he termed 'revolting and illegal'.

Submission + - Customer Harasser Arrested (

blair1q writes: The online retailer who specialized in mistreating his customers to generate volumes of bad reviews of his site to inflate Google PageRank results, which last week caused Google to revise the way it ranks pages (previous slashdot story: Google Algorithm Discriminates Against Bad Reviews) was arrested by federal agents on Monday, according to the NY Times. Victims had tried in vain to get police to act against him, but the Times' profile of his business method and its effects, published November 26th, has apparently caused law enforcement agencies, including the feds, unnamed "local authorities," and the NY state attorney general's office, to enter into "a competition to punish him."

Submission + - Chinese Hackers Steal South Korean Secrets (

blair1q writes: Newsfactor reports an instance of Chinese hackers using email-attachment exploits to filch secret documents from South Korean government computers. The sender information in the emails was spoofed to make the emails appear to be from a South Korean presidential official and a South Korean diplomat. The breach was revealed by the hackers to a South Korean lawmaker. The Newsfactor story seems to be a summary of a report from another news source, which it did not identify.

Submission + - ISPs Oversubscribe Bandwidth, Blame Users (

blair1q writes: Belgian ISP Telenet recently offered a rare picture of the individual subscribers on its network who download the most data. The company offers several tiers of service, with bandwidth caps up to 100 Mbps, and monthly consumption caps on the lower tiers. But if an upper tier is deemed to be hogging the network, the ISP will throttle their multi-megabit service down to 512 Kbps. Which forces the question: If it's possible for someone to use up all the bandwidth and interfere with other users' service, why did you organize it that way, Telenet? Why not sign up only the number of subscribers you can support even if one or more are running their pipes at full rate? Or is it that you oversubscribe your bandwidth to make more money, and then blame the users for using the service they bought from you? And why punish them for the rest of the month, instead of apportioning bandwidth while multiple high-volume users are online? Is it their fault for paying you to get the bandwidth they need, or yours for charging them for bandwidth they will never get?

Submission + - Spanair Crash may have been due to malware ( 1

blair1q writes: (in Spanish) is reporting that the central computer on Spanair flight JK 5022 may have been infected with a Virus. The Register (in English) calls it a "Trojan-ridden warning system". The malware may have blocked alerts that would have told the crew that their flaps and slats were not deployed on takeoff. The crew had aborted a takeoff already, and there were reports of problems with the plane the day before. The plane's mechanic and the airport's maintenance chief are facing possible manslaughter charges over the accident.
Data Storage

Submission + - Toshiba claims to quintuple density of HDD (

blair1q writes: Today, at The Magnetic Recording Conference at UCSD, Toshiba is revealing bit-patterned media for hard drives that they claim raises the maximum bit density from 541 Gb/in^2 to 2.5 Tb/in^2. The technology reduces the number of magnetic grains needed to store a bit by prealigning the grains into stripes when manufacturing the platter, rather than leaving them in a random organization.

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