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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What Stories Would You Like to See Investigated? 8

JoshJPhilipp writes: "I work as a journalist. Yes, at a newspaper. My theory is that investigative journalism and good feature stories are key points for newspapers to stay relevant these days, but unfortunately I think the art of journalism has fallen too much into well-written nonsense. I’m curious what types of stories you would like to see. Are there any issues you know of that should be investigated or that you’d like to see covered? And on that note, are there any topics you think aren’t getting enough coverage or that you would like to see journalists giving more weight to?"
Data Storage

Submission + - How do I De-Dup a system with 4.2 million files? 2

jamiedolan writes: I've managed to consolidate most of my old data from the last decade onto drives attached to my main Windows 7 PC. Lots of files of all types from digital photos & scans to HD video files (also web site backup's mixed in which are the cause of such a high number of files). In more recent times I've organized files in a reasonable folder system and have an active / automated backup system. The problem is that I know that I have many old files that have been duplicated multiple times across my drives (many from doing quick backups of important data to an external drive that later got consolidate onto a single larger drive), chewing up space. I tried running a free de-dup program, but it ran for a week straight and was still "processing" when I finally gave up on it. I have a fast system, i7 2.8Ghz with 16GB of ram, but currently have 4.9TB of data with a total of 4.2 million files. Manual sorting is out of the question due to the number of files and my old sloppy filing (folder) system. I do need to keep the data, nuking it is not a viable option. Thanks. Jamie Dolan

Submission + - Computer Simulated Knitting (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: Simulating cloth is big business — how else can CGI characters get to wear any clothes? Now, as well as simple fabrics, graphics designers can have knitwear on their virtual clothes racks.
Cem Yuksel of the University of Utah, Jonathan Kaldor of Facebook, and Steve Marschner and Doug James of Cornell have tackled the problem of rendering knitted material. Rather than trying to create a full 3D model of the knitted surface the approach is to use a model of a single stitch, render it and then use it to tile the surface. The 3D model has an extra stitch mesh added to it and a pattern of stitches is built up for each of the appropriate tiles to fill.The process of rendering the final knitted surface has to be done off-line and it is slow. This means that, at the moment at least, it can't be easily used for real-time games, but for CGI movies it is just another batch rendering process to add to the mix. paper.pdf


Submission + - Dan Rather uncovers flaws in touchscreen voting

goombah99 writes: Dan Rather Reports has posted a lengthy YouTube teaser of their upcoming touchscreen voting expose (to air tuesday at 8 or 11pm ET) This is sort of a "60-minutes" style investigation of touchscreen voting. It's apparently not a rehash either. Rather turns up some new evidence such as tracking down the dilapidated plant where the ES&S ivotronic touchscreens were assembled. There they were having a 30 to 40% rejection rate on the screen themselves. Apparently the issue here was a rush to market to meet the election schedule. They needed lots of machines, fast. So plant workers say the rejects got shipped too. The "rush to market" aspect demonstrates an often overlooked strength of the use of open source software with commodity hardware and a multiple vendor business model like open voting consortium. This should be much less subject to single source point failures and has a built-in adversarial oversight nature that might lend some quality control. I just hope their conclusion is not "we need perfect machines and perfectly trained operators" and instead is we need a different approach that is transparent, robust and self correcting in the face of errors.

Submission + - Development in Open Source

Liran Tal writes: "Development in Open Source

Open Source projects have gained in the past few years an entirely different reputation in the public eye, in a good sense.
Now-days we are seeing things happening in the Open Source arena, beautiful things, that most of us didn't expect to take
place so fast and so intense. Among these, are the huge amount of endorsement in terms of project sponsorship coming from
Fortune 500 companies as well as funds that keep pouring on either existing Open Source projects to support them or even
more intensively the acquisition of these projects that later become commercial companies with Free Software concept roots.

The adaptation and awareness of Open Source software by the general public keeps growing rapidly.
Government offices and major firms are taking active roles and exhibit participation in forums, mailing-lists, patches submission
and code contribution, not to mention the attendance of these firms in seminars, exhibitions and conferences all around the
world just to be kept in-the-loop and updated with all the new technologies that has surfaced out.
It is all happening for a reason — the benefit of the widely accepted development methodology of sharing knowledge through
collaboration is simply priceless, and it seems that everyone realize it sooner or later.

The effect of all the buzz around GNU/Linux and Open Source drives one of the most basic needs in each of us, as
a human-being. That is, to be a part of a whole. We long to be a part of a community, of a bigger good and as a consequence
we are witnessing more and more involvement in projects of all kinds of development, whether it's language translations,
code contributions and documentation writing. Each involvement, as small contribution as it may be is causing a butter-fly
effect that triggers others to contribute and participate in this beautiful, open world of technology and knowledge sharing.

X-WRT is such a project that is reflecting all of the above concepts that we discussed.
Some may be familiar with the OpenWRT project which aims to provide an alternative firmware to the one that is shipped
with (wifi) routers, like the popular Linksys WRT-54G model and others.
The X-WRT project was born in order to bring a more powerful and professional web interface to the OpenWRT firmware,
and indeed the project proved a great success. In short time, it received an enormous feedback from users who wanted
more features to be presented as well as users who wanted to get involved in the development of X-WRT.

X-WRT is taking all the goods of Open Source and Free Software concepts and put them to show.
The participation is widely welcome and all that is needed to join as a developer is a registered berlios account
and an email to the project admin (thepeople). Approximately 6 hours later you are given access to the svn
repository and you may start with active development on both branches of the project. There are no committees
to question your skills or examine your CV background. Everyone are treated equal and given equal voice to be heard.
I'm an active developer of X-WRT and I enjoy every bit of involvement. The team is sharpened-skilled, open minded
and most of all, good people.

To summarize, projects of Open Source nature will continue to revolutionize the technology industry and take us
further into new grounds of socialism with recognition that knowledge sharing produces good things. If most of
these projects will take the form of X-WRT's great qualities then the future looks like a good place to be a

Liran Tal,
active developer of X-WRT."

Submission + - Meeting with a Digital Rights Management proponent

JoeLinux writes: "I just had what I thought was going to be a boring meeting with a friend of the family.

It turns out this person is a Senior VP in charge of Rights and Title Administration for Sony Pictures. (Translation: She is in charge of preventing piracy).

Over the course of a half hour, we had a conversation discussing the best way to combat online piracy. This person has obviously been seeing things from the point of view of the movie industry. (I.E. the movie industry exists on a 4-5% profit margin, Canada is to blame for most of the movie piracy, etc.)

They were surprised to learn about some of the indiscriminate lawyering practices of the RI- and MP-AA., but then quickly rallied with, "Well, if the ISPs have the logs, doesn't that prove they were downloading?" They also had no clue as to what DRM is, or its implications (I.E. they are not very geek-oriented).

While I could have argued with them for a good long time, the particulars of the evening did not allow for me to hash it out.

What I am asking for is a concise, non-trollish, "Joe Six-Pack-friendly" explanation of DRM, piracy, with plenty of numbers to back up the claims (No brown numbers please). This is our chance to educate someone in the upper ranks of Sony Pictures with our concerns regarding DRM, why we think its a bad idea, and, most importantly, propose an alternate solution.

Any geek references will have to be explained thoroughly. We are talking to someone of a more upper-management point of view. However, knowing their personally, this person does listen.

Once again, this is for someone who is willing to hear us out. Please do not troll, grief, etc."

Submission + - Paul Murphy: "Intel Macs Are Killing the Plane

Leeenux writes: According to LinuxInsider's Paul Murphy, Apple's migration from PowerPC to Intel processors resulted in a massive spike in power consumption that has hurt economic diversity of the US and devastated the environment. Even worse, he suggests, it involves scandal on the part of Apple board member Al Gore. RDM disagrees: Paul Murphy's 'Intel Macs Are Killing the Planet' Myth.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Are .tmp files necessary or just bad programming?

planckscale writes: After spending another hour deleting .tmp files from a bloated XP machine I started to wonder, is the .tmp file necessary when coding an application on the MS platform? Why do so many apps produce .tmp files and is it just because of bad coding or does the use of them dramatically speed up an app? Don't coders use dev/null to reduce them in linux? I can understand the use of them in case an app crashes for recovery purposes, but why don't more apps have the capacity to delete their own .tmp files once they are done with them? Is it too much to ask to at least have the option when closing an app to delete your temp files?

Submission + - The Pirate Bay Gets Hacked

An anonymous reader writes: A group of hackers has stolen a list of all 1.6 million usernames and passwords for registered users of file-sharing site The Pirate Bay. Computer Sweden reports that the sensitive information was accessed by a group calling itself Angry Young Hackers (Arga Unga Hackare — AUH). Source: http://www.thelocal.se/7280/20070511/

Why Doesn't Microsoft Have A Cult Religion? 535

rs232 writes "'Apple has one. So does the Java community, Oracle, IBM, and Google. Lord knows anyone who uses Linux or free and open source software is dedicated to spreading the gospel of St. Linus Torvalds and St. Richard Stallman. But does anyone really worship the Gods of Redmond?' While many Microsoft employees are pumped to work there, article author Michael Singer explores why even enthusiastic Microsoft-watchers acknowledge that customers and product developers are unenthusiastic about the software giant. He theorizes that it comes down to passion: Microsoft lost that a long time ago, he says, and so passionate people gravitate to other projects and products."
Linux Business

Submission + - recommend Linux and get fired ..

rs232 writes: "The Bexley school district announced May 8 that it acted on the recommendations of a recently released technology audit and fired 11-year district Network Manager Curtis Mason'

Linux was my idea, Mason said."

Feed 'Evil Twin' WiFi Scare Stories Make A Comeback (techdirt.com)

A few years ago, when stories hyping up the security risks of WiFi were commonplace, articles about "evil twin" access points were a favorite. "Evil twins" were access points given SSIDs that made them appear legitimate, only they were controlled by a malicious actor rather than a real hotspot provider. The FUD was then that these malicious actors could steal anything that went across the access point -- even though most sensitive information is transmitted with encryption, a point the articles never bothered to mention. It looks like the evil twin -- or at least hype about it -- is making a comeback, as the head of a trade group of IT security professionals says such attacks are on the rise. He says it's due to the growth in the use of WiFi, but doesn't offer up any real evidence that the attacks are a problem, just saying that they present a risk for people's passwords that are sent as clear text, skipping over the fact that any service provider worth their salt doesn't send passwords in the clear if they're protecting any sort of sensitive information. Instead of harping on about a largely mythical "problem" with WiFi, wouldn't this guy's energy be better spent drawing service providers' attention to the need to encrypt passwords, thereby cutting out the supposed problem?

Seven Reasons Microsoft Loves Open Source 154

tlockney writes "Next week at Microsoft's MIX, whurley will be leading a discussion on 'Open Source, the Web, Interoperability, and Microsoft'. To kick off a bit of pre-session discussion and enlist the help of others in putting Microsoft on the spot, whurley, king of all things open source at BMC has written an article entitled 'Seven Reasons Microsoft Loves Open Source'."

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