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


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Submission + - Why do businesses use any un-synced desktop comput (

g8orade writes: "I was reading an article at that asks why is ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software so hard.

A business's entire computing eco-system is its ERP system, though most companies haven't even taken the first step of having centralized data-mine-able email, and certainly haven't made universal use of a ticket system instead of email a priority. (Request Tracker / RT, Jira, etc etc.)
There really don't seem to be hybrid local desktop / server desktop sync solutions that help you work locally when you need to but that then auto sync everything when you're connected to a central database.

So, I have to ask the readers, why does any company, not private citizens, any COMPANY allow any computing to occur resulting in files that aren't later stored and queryable centrally, which is what ERP is ultimately for, namely to produce auditable historical records. (Auditable means any kind of audit--Internal Audit for quality and cost, Tax Audit, SOX Audit, pick any regulatory reason for an audit).
Is it simply because companies don't think about computing that way? Or has desktop computing clouded the benefits of networked computing until relatively recently?
What companies do you know who best treat their IT in its entirety as their "ERP"?"


Submission + - Nano safety worries scientists more than public (

Nanotech Coward writes: "The unknown human health and environmental impacts of nanotechnology are a bigger worry for scientists than for the public, according to a new report published today (Nov. 25) in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The new report was based on a national telephone survey of American households and a sampling of 363 leading U.S. nanotechnology scientists and engineers. It reveals that those with the most insight into a technology with enormous potential — and that is already emerging in hundreds of products — are unsure what health and environmental problems might be posed by the technology."

Submission + - Panasonic Toughbook CF-30 - not your average noteb (

sahernasir writes: "This notebook has been specially designed to endure rugged work conditions, having an extremely strong casing shell and high level of shock prevention for the Hard Disk. Keeping in mind external usage it also features a touchscreen display which can be read even under direct sunlight.

Basic Specs include Intel Core Duo 1.6 GHz, 80 GB Hard Drive, 512 Ram and Windows XP Operating System.

The downside of this machine is it being slightly overweight and high"


Submission + - Looters List by Nation / Business?

g8orade writes: I just read this story about a new type of solar panel's arrival in the near future. When a posting points to an accelerated disruption in a fundamental industry, it would be interesting to know the relation to and potential interference from taxing agencies or other entrenched interest (in addition to the direct competition).
  • OLPC vs. Wintel / Apple, seems mostly the direct competition, hardware and OS
  • Electric car vs. gas car, (gas tax pays for roads, run by the state)
  • Tax Reform, harder to manipulate the tax code, provide favors to any group
What are the best news sources (world wide, nation state by nation state) to understand whom one is likely to encounter when a given industry will be disrupted, because they are funded by the sale of the disrupted product? (In the case of the solar panels, Oil, Coal, Natural Gas, and what is funded currently by taxing them? Who besides them directly has power based on them that would decline?).

Submission + - Good code documentation generation software

An anonymous reader writes: Natural Docs looks like a nice generator for code documentation. It's multi-language, with a more natural commenting style than Javadoc. It seems to be in fairly steady development, and has a slick homepage.

A quick browse of Wikepedia reveals a zillion documentation generators. This isn't really a surprise — once again the OSS ecosystem thoroughly fills a technological niche! Robodoc and Doxygen are other leading players. Wikipedia is (rightly) very neutral in its comparison. I'd be interested to learn if there is a reason to prefer one more than the others (say, from the point of view of wanting to support a new language).
The Internet

Submission + - Indian firm touts 'alternative internet'

Stony Stevenson writes: An Indian technology firm has unveiled details of what it claims is a virus and spam-free "internet alternative". NetAlter Software said that it has patented a "true P2P" system that offers a domain-less alternative to the web and the internet. The company said that the NetAlter system will "offer a secure, trusted, spam-free and virus-free software and network for end users and businesses".

The system will also provide a collaborative platform for developers and service providers to share code or content and do business in the network.
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Wireless tickles computer buyers' fancies

Stony Stevenson writes: A survey of over 9,000 computer users in 18 countries by Ipsos MORI has found that wireless connectivity is the most important buying consideration for today's buyers, beating enhanced processing power, portable connectivity and even the internet.

"There is only so much more power people need from their processors. The priorities are now about working smarter, not faster," said Marcus Harvey, director of the consumer printer division at Lexmark, which sponsored the research.

Submission + - Chinese military hacks Pentagon (

teh_commodore writes: FinancialTimes online tells us of a security breach of the Pentagon at the hands of the Chinese PLA in June. Officials are calling this "the most successful cyber attack on the US defence department."

"The PLA has demonstrated the ability to conduct attacks that disable our system...and the ability in a conflict situation to re-enter and disrupt on a very large scale," said a former official, who said the PLA had penetratedthenetworksof US defence companies and think-tanks. Hackers from numerous locations in China spent several months probing the Pentagon system before overcoming its defences, according to people familiar with the matter.


Submission + - Sony in new root kit investigation (

szlwzl writes: Looks like sony's rootkit is still causing problems, some of their fingerprint scanning usb drives are installing the same rootkit as featured on their cds last year.

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