Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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Submission + - Google Loses Santa to Bing (

Sebolains writes: Unlike previous years, NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) has decided to use Bing maps to track Santa's journey as he goes around the world delivering presents. Starting Christmas eve, one will be able to go to the official NORAD Santa tracking site ( and use Bing maps to see where Santa is delivering presents at that time. In previous years, NORAD has always gone for Google maps to track Saint Nick. The reason for this switch were not disclosed, but since nearly 25 million people are expected to use this tool come this Christmas, this will definitely benefit Bing in the ongoing competition for online map applications.

Submission + - TSA Mistake: Airport Evacuated After Metal Detector Is Found Unplugged (

HSNnews writes: "The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is trying to improve its image, but it isn’t doing very well. On Saturday, John F. Kennedy International Airport was forced to evacuate because a TSA screener didn’t realize that his metal detector was unplugged.

Hundreds of travelers and staff had to leave the airport after screener Alija Abdul Majed failed to realize that his metal detector wasn’t even plugged in. He was operating the unplugged machine during a morning shift in Terminal 7. Abdul didn’t even notice that the detector’s signature alert lights weren’t flashing as travelers passed through the machines."


Submission + - Trolling Victim Wins Landmark Case Against Facebook (

An anonymous reader writes: Nicola Brookes won a case against Facebook, after being the victim of a harsh internet trolling fiasco. Brooks, 45, faced “vicious and depraved” abuse on Facebook, according to the Telegraph. Brookes posted a comment about a former X Factor contestant, Frankie Cocozza, which started the trolling.

Submission + - Google releases new hash functions (

cohensh writes: Google released two new non-cryptographic hash functions, CityHash64 and CityHash128, saying they are optimized for computers with "64-bit registers, instruction-level parallelism, and fast unaligned memory accesses." Additionally they say "the key advantage of our approach is that most steps contain at least two independent mathematical operations." Google claims speed increases of at least 30% going up to a factor of two.

Submission + - Sorting algorithms as dances (

mikejuk writes: You may well have seen many simulations of sorting algorithms that aim to show how the algorithm works. However I guarantee that you have never seen anything quite in the same league as the videos made by Sapientia University — they are simply crazy but in the nicest possible way. They folk dance their way though bubble sort, shell sort, insertion sort and selection sort. Very, very weird but you find you can't but help checking that they are doing it right! Now anyone want to try quicksort?!?

Submission + - Motorola withholding FroYo update from Israel (

An anonymous reader writes: At the very end of Q1 2011, which Motorola declared as the rollout timeframe for a FroYo update for Milestone (the European version of "Droid"), Motorola Europe declared that even though almost every part of the world got an update, Israel will not:

"We have an update, sorry for the delay in responding. In a small number of cases the decision is made to not provide software upgrades on certain devices. This can be a result of a number of factors, including resources available and operator requirements. We can confirm that the decision was made in Israel to not provide the FroYo upgrade for Milestone in this market. We don't have any more details to share at this stage but will, of course, pass on any questions. Thanks!"

(taken from their Facebook discussion board )

FroYo has been out for more than half a year, Gingerbread has also been around for quite a while, during which the Milestone has been sold with Android 2.1 (Eclair), while Motorola have stated numerous times that there will be an update (saying "they're working on it"). Now, they've officially declared that they won't be upgrading any Israeli devices, effectively ditching the entire community of adopters.

Submission + - Internet Cafe in Kyrgyzstan

JPribe writes: "So, the other day I got the following email from my brother, a peace corp volunteer:

"Hello Bro,
I have a question. Do you know a free program to monitor internet usage, time and megabyte preferred but megabyte at the least for multiple computers. I am starting an internet cafe and need to know what to charge people. I know you are the computer genius who can help me in any area or with any question. (I hope that butters you up). When are you leaving? I am getting ready to go in less than two months, May 11th is the date to leave. I cannot wait, I will miss it hear but I am also ready to go home. How is the family. It was great ot talk to **** and see ***. Thanks for your help"


Obviously he thinks my genius just runs over — when in reality I merely appear to be a genius because I read /. Don't tell him.

He has a basic residential wireless router and 5 desktops, running (no doubt pirated) copies of WinXP. I suggested he setup one of the desktops to act as the router and use the wireless router as just a switch. I drew a schematic for him and he will ensure it gets setup that way, but I'm not sure what the best monitoring solution would be. My initial thought was using a VM for DHCP and traffic monitoring on the one desktop but he has 5+ year old hardware. He thinks Linux is a prescription medication, so a windows based solution is the way to go.

Anyway — suggestions? What would you do?"

Submission + - Should Slashdot support IPv6? (

jiadran writes: The goal of this poll is to give Slashdot feedback about IPv6 demand for the site. Given that this is a very technical site, I would expect most readers to expect Slashdot to support IPv6 soon, but maybe I'm wrong?

Possible options:
- During World IPv6 Day only
- During World IPv6 Day, then decide based on the outcome
- Yes, permanent dual-stack (like
- Just offer an IPv6 subdomain (e.g.,
- Just offer IPv6 to registered DNS servers (like Google:
- Not yet, it's too early
- No, IPv4 is good enough and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
- Depends, does CowboyNeal support IPv6?


Submission + - Apple may remove the home button on the next iPad (

An anonymous reader writes: Steve Jobs is notoriously frugal when it comes to buttons so the latest rumor emanating out of Cupertino might not come as a huge surprise. Apple is reportedly planning to do away with the home button on the next-gen iPad and iPhone and replace its functionality with multitouch gestures. And as luck would have it, the newly seeded iOS 4.3 includes support for new multitouch gestures, one of which is the ability to use a four or five finger pinch to go back to the homescreen
The Internet

Submission + - 6 Awesome Homeless People Saved By The Internet (

An anonymous reader writes: This list is up your audience's alley, so I thought I'd pass it along. With Ted Williams's story (the homeless man with the golden voice, saved by the internet) blowing up online, in the traditional media and everywhere in the world, we figured it was time to tell the stories of 5 other homeless people who've found success, be it financial or personal, through the wonderful use of this series of tubes we call "The Internet."
The Internet

Submission + - Bufferbloat: the submarine that's sinking the 'Net (

gottabeme writes: Jim Getty, one of the original X Window System developers and editor of the HTTP/1.1 spec, has posted a series of articles on his blog detailing his research on the relatively unknown problem of bufferbloat. Bufferbloat is affecting the entire Internet, slowly worsening as RAM prices drop and buffers enlarge, and is causing latency and jitter to spike, especially for home broadband users. Unchecked, this problem may continue to deteriorate the usability of interactive applications like VOIP and gaming, and being so widespread, will take years of engineering and education efforts to resolve. Being like "frogs in heating water," few people are even aware of the problem. Can bufferbloat be fixed before the Internet and 3G networks become nearly unusable for interactive apps?

Submission + - Introducing Visual C# 2010

lSzoke writes: On page 3 the target audience of this book is described by the author as: “This book was written for programmers who have no experience with C# and/or little to no experience with object oriented programming”. If this was truly the targeted group, then Mr. Freeman missed the mark. The title of Introducing Visual C# 2010 should have been Visual C#: A refresher + .NET 4.0 Features. The author’s knowledge of the subject matter is very deep and his love of the C# language shines through in most chapters. As a reference material or a refresher of the nuances and intricacies of the C# language this book is excellent. For a programmer, who is new to the object oriented model of .NET and C# the book is poorly organized. Chapter 3 lightly skims over the .Net Framework. Chapter 4: “C# Fundamentals and Keyword Reference” is a mix of weak introduction material and a listing of keywords where some of the keywords are given a cursory explanation but the most annoying is the constant reference to future chapters where more detailed discussion can be found (I thought that is what the Table of Contents is for). One will also discover that upon reviewing those “future” chapters, the depth of discussion is shallow and it is irritating when the author references back to chapter 4 as the source of the original introduction of the particular keyword or concept in question. Chapter 5 provides the definition for Numeric and Boolean Types and it is strange that the discussion of the String and Character types are not encountered until Chapter 16. The material in-between is a fairly comprehensive tutorial on the most important components of C# but beginner C# programmers will often scratch their heads trying to understand the new concepts with not very clear and simple examples. Their confusion will be compounded upon reaching Chapter 17, Attributes. The .NET platform provides automatic memory management, known as Garbage Collection. The author makes it clear that in most cases one need not be concerned about how this component works but then proceeds to explain how the Destructor works without giving a clear explanation of when to use it. The beginner C# programmer will be left wondering when told that “Some objects need to perform actions before they can be safely destroyed; the most common examples are where connections to databases and other servers need to be explicitly closed. The actions you take will depend on your object, but whatever you need to do can be included in a destructor”. After reading the above statement, the beginner reader will be left wondering what he has just read. The chapters covering the various aspects of Linq are by far the best and Mr. Freeman is second to none when it comes to this subject. As a refresher for one who had already some exposure to Linq, these chapters are excellent but for a beginner C# programmer they will provide additional frustration. In summary, if you are a beginner C# programmer with little or no understanding of the object oriented model then this book is not for you. Mr. Freeman attempted to put down in this book, his wealth of knowledge of the C# language along with the .NET platform but he did not present it for a beginner. I suggest you buy one of the simpler introductory books and then come back to this one and I am sure you will agree with me then that this book is an excellent refresher and reference source. I give it 5 stars as a reference source but only 2 as a beginners’ aid.

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