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Submission + - Iraq is Now Invading the Peace Corps 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Peace Corps is one of the great legacies of the Kennedy administration, and many consider it the best program in our foreign affairs toolkit. Peace Corps volunteers represent our nation in remote corners of the world, helping people and giving them a positive sense of the innate good will of the American people. Matthew McCue is a young Peace Corps volunteer serving in the West Central African nation of Niger. Matt is also a veteran of the Iraq War. He served his time there, but he came to believe that war was not the answer and turned against it. He felt the need to do something positive with his life, and eventually, after he left the military, found his home in the Peace Corps. As we know too well, the all-volunteer U.S. military is terribly overstretched, they are practically snatching people off the streets to send them to Iraq, and now they want to pull Matt McCue from his service in the Peace Corps and force him to go back to Iraq. He's been called up for redeployment. Does it make any sense at all to remove a viable, successful volunteer from the Peace Corps and send him back into a war he and most of us disapprove of? Isn't national service in the Peace Corps every bit as valuable to our nation and the world as service in the military, maybe more so, maybe a LOT more so? Some of Matt McCue's friends have started a petition to President Bush, Secretary of Defense Gates and Sen. Domenici, from Matt's home state of New Mexico, asking that Matt be allowed to continue doing the good work he's engaged in. You can sign the petition here. You can also write to your own members of congress and tell them about this idiocy."

Submission + - IBM: It's our mainframe and we'll do what we want (

BDPrime writes: IBM is now apparently making it harder for mainframe resellers to resell the mainframe. This according to a quarterly earnings call from a mainframe reseller, QSGI, who said IBM's restrictions on a reseller's ability to upgrade and downgrade a machine for a user are diminishing the benefit of buying a refurbished mainframe. From a story in The Register:

IBM has a colossal claim to the mainframe marketplace, and can largely dole out its own terms to customers. When another business starts using IBM's own hardware to compete, IBM has a tendency to roll up its sleeves.

The Courts

Submission + - Free Software Found. reaches out to RIAA victims 2

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "In what has been termed the "the RIAA's worst nightmare", the Free Software Foundation has announced that it is coming to the aid of the victims of RIAA lawsuits, by establishing an Expert Witness Defense Fund to assist defendants in RIAA cases. The purpose of the fund is "to help provide computer expert witnesses to combat RIAA's ongoing lawsuits, and to defend against the RIAA's attempt to redefine copyright law." The funds will be used to pay fees and/or expenses of technical expert witnesses, forensic examiners, and other technical consultants assisting individuals named as defendants in non-commercial, peer-to-peer file sharing cases brought by the RIAA, EMI, SONY BMG, Vivendi Universal, and Warner Bros. Records, and their affiliated companies, such as Interscope, Arista, UMG, Fonovisa, Motown, Atlantic, Priority, and others."

Submission + - The fastest processor you can't run

auld_wyrm writes: "Intel is trying to push the news of AMD's Barcelona launch out of the headlines with the release of the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770, a 3.20 GHz CPU that runs on a 1600 MHz front-side bus. It is the fastest consumer level processor that has come out, but don't plan on running it anytime soon. It's ~$1200 price tag, and the lack of any motherboards that support a 1600MHz FSB will stop this unneeded answer to Barcelona from appearing in enthusiast's PCs for Christmas. Still, the benchmarks from this powerful CPU are something awesome to behold."
The Internet

Submission + - 100 gigabits per second over copper?

Roland Piquepaille writes: "According to Penn State engineers, transmission rates of 100 gigabits per second are possible today over copper. But only on distances of less than 100 meters. And only with high-end Category 7 copper cables. These Ethernet cables are made up of four pairs of twisted wires shielded to reduce crosstalk. The Penn State technology could provide an alternative to glass fiber optics cables in computer datacenters where distances between systems are not too big. In other words, it would be possible to interconnect servers inside a building at speeds similar to the ones provided by more expensive fiber optic cabling. Read more for additional comments."

Submission + - New white paper available on Enterprise Search (

Peter Gorman writes: "Coveo Solutions Inc. announced the availability of a new whitepaper by Susan Aldrich, principal analyst of Greenhill Analysis, entitled "The Right Path to Enterprise Search: Grass Roots vs. the Enterprise Infrastructure Play." This whitepaper outlines four steps businesses can take in deploying successful enterprise search without getting into a full-blown, costly and time-consuming enterprise infrastructure project. It also discusses the value offered to businesses that deploy enterprise search solutions on a departmental level versus across the company's entire infrastructure. Enterprise infrastructure projects typically involve extensive planning, big budgets, and deployments that often stretch from months to many years. This does not fit today's search scenario, where departments and business units are expecting immediate bottom-line value in high quality search. According to the white paper, companies looking to deploy enterprise search need to consider a grass roots approach. By doing so, they can achieve an enterprise search capability that is pragmatic and quickly deployed, enabling the coordination and collaboration their enterprises need. To download a free copy of this white paper, please see:"

Submission + - Technology Cold War (

tburton writes: "Google's almost simultaneous announcement of its open platforms in both the mobile and social network spaces was no coincidence. From 100 year old telephone companies to web start ups the message from Mountain View is very clear — be open or be prepared to be opened. If you like, it is the technology version of the Cold War — Google promoting open competition, the carriers protecting their controlled networks."

Judge Rules That I Own Slashdot 386

Bennett Haselton wrote in with this weeks amusing and shocking story of high finance, judicial discretion, and oh so much more... he writes "People still ask me if I make enough money suing spammers in Small Claims court to make it worthwhile. I say: What about the entertainment value? Recently I received an e-mail with the subject line: 'Reminder: Link exchange with your site' Finally, I thought, someone else who agrees that I'm carrying the site's entire success on my shoulders. I even hurried off to check the registration of the domain to see if they had made the transfer official in honor of my contributions, but apparently the domain is still being squatted by some outfit calling itself "SourceForge"." I'm shocked that a legitimate businessman would make such an error. Read on to see what Bennett does about it.

Submission + - Version Control for Scientific Writing?

hweimer writes: "After having written a few papers with several co-authors each I have learned to enjoy the benefits of a version control system. Personally, I prefer Subversion for the job, however there are still annoyances like merging various BibTeX files with incompatible index styles. What are your solutions for making life easier? Do you use any custom code like hook scripts in Subversion?"

Submission + - Decoding the Brain's Network of Neurons

Reservoir Hill writes: "New technologies that allow scientists to trace the fine wiring of the brain more accurately could soon generate a complete wiring diagram — including every tiny fiber and miniscule connection — of a piece of brain. "The brain is essentially a computer that wires itself up during development and can rewire itself," says Sebastian Seung, a computational neuroscientist at MIT. "If we have a wiring diagram of the brain, we might be able to understand how it works." With an estimated 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses in the human brain, creating an all-encompassing map of even a small chunk is a daunting task. Winfried Denk, a neuroscientist at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany, has developed a new technique to make more fine-scaled wiring maps using electron microscopy. Starting with a small block of brain tissue, the researchers bounce electrons off the top of the block to generate a cross-sectional picture of the nerve fibers in that slice. They then take a very thin — 30-nanometer — slice off the top of the block and repeat the process going through slice by slice to trace the path of each nerve fiber. "Repeat this [process] thousands of times, and you can make your way through maybe the whole fly brain," says Denk. To speed the process, the researchers train an artificial neural network to emulate the human tracing process. To date, they've been able to speed the process about one hundred- to one thousand-fold."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - "Recycled" Computers Actually Shipped Over

Bilby Baggins writes: Rather then actually recycling or reusing old computers and hardware collected at neighborhood recycling drives, it seems that many corporations are simply shipping them overseas. There, workers with little or no safety gear are extracting the valuable materials within, exposing themselves and the environment to dangerous toxic chemicals.

From the article:
"The gear most likely to be shipped abroad is collected at free recycling drives, often held each April around Earth Day, recycling industry officials say. The sponsors — chiefly companies, schools, cities and counties — often hire the cheapest firms and do not ask enough questions about what becomes of the discarded equipment, the officials say. Many so-called recyclers simply sell the working units and components, then give or sell the remaining scrap to export brokers."

I and many of my fellow IT workers in schools and businesses across the country depend on recycling companies as a legal way to dispose of heavy old CRT monitors and broken and useless hardware- but do we really know where the equipment we 'recycle' is going? How can we be sure that these items are taken care of in a responsible way?

Hackers Use Banner Ads on Major Sites to Hijack Your PC 268

The worst-case scenario used to be that online ads are pesky, memory-draining distractions. But a new batch of banner ads is much more sinister: They hijack personal computers and bully users until they agree to buy antivirus software. And the ads do their dirty work even if you don't click on them.The malware-spiked ads have been spotted on various legitimate websites, ranging from the British magazine The Economist to baseball's to the news portal. Hackers are using deceptive practices and tricky Flash programming to get their ads onto legitimate sites by way of DoubleClick's DART program. Web publishers use the DoubleClick-hosted platform to manage advertising inventory." CT: Link updated to original source instead of plagerizer.

Submission + - Sony Cuts PS3 Dev. Kit prices

Fozzyuw writes: The BBC has an article up talking about Sony's latest efforts to fight the uphill battle of turning around the PS3's popularity. Their latest effort involves cutting the cost of development kits in half. From the article...

Sony says that the price cut is part of its efforts to cooperate with software developers in the hope that they will design more games for the PS3.

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In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.