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


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The Courts

Submission + - No Right to Privacy When Your Computer Is Repaired ( 3

Billosaur writes: "ZDNet's Police Blotter bring us the interesting story of a Pennsylvania man who brought his computer into Circuit City to have a DVD burner installed on his computer and wound up being arrested for having child pornography on his hard drive. Circuit City employees discovered the child pornography while perusing Kenneth Sodomsky's hard drive for files to test the burner, then proceeded to call the police, who arrested Sodomsky and confiscated the computer. Sodomsky's lawyer argued in court that the Circuit City techs had no right to go rifling through the hard drive, and the trial court agreed, but prosecutors appealed and the appeals court overturned the lower court's decision, based on the fact that Sodomsky had consented to the installation of the DVD drive and the techs "weren't randomly perusing the drive for contraband, but instead were testing its functioning in a 'commercially accepted manner.'""

A New Theory of Everything? 511

goatherder writes "The Telegraph is running a story about a new Unified Theory of Physics. Garrett Lisi has presented a paper called "An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything" which unifies the Standard Model with gravity — without using string theory. The trick was to use E8 geometry which you may remember from an earlier Slashdot article. Lisi's theory predicts 20 new particles which he hopes might turn up in the Large Hadron Collider."

Submission + - Near Earth "Asteroid" Turns Out to be Spac 1

iamlucky13 writes: Last week, the IAU's Minor Planet Center asked professional astronomers around the world to help track a previously unknown asteroid, labeled 2007 VN84, that will pass the earth at the alarmingly close distance of 5600 km on November 13. However, Denis Denisenko of the Moscow Space Research Institute then noticed something peculiar: the object's trajectory exactly matched that of the European Space Agency's Rosetta probe, which will perform a gravitational slingshot around the earth on that date on its way to study and land on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The MPC's editorial notice on the error also comments critically on the current means available to identifying distant spacecraft such as Rosetta.

Submission + - Cognos Buys More Pipe for IBM (

eweekhickins writes: "Now that IBM owns Cognos (or will after their deal closes) IBM owns the data pipeline that runs from the database (DB2) through the transformation phase (Ascential) to the reporting (Cognos). But the one remaining question is, will IBM completely deviate from its avowed strategy of not being in the 'apps game?' After all, it will now be competing head to head with Oracle, SAP and Microsoft on BPS [Business Performance Solutions]. Is an acquisition of Lawson or Infor next to get in the ERP game? Or to play off its latest Information On Demand strategy?"

Submission + - Madeline L'Engle Dead at 88 (

TDDeYoung writes: "According to Madeline L'Engle has died at the age of 88. She died of natural causes on Thursday, at a nursing home in Litchfield, CT. This according to her publicist. I remember reading the Wrinkle in Time series as a child, as a young adult, and now again as a "grown-up" (HA!). What a sad day. For those of you who haven't read her books, do so, they're worth it."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Linux-based SLUG spawns highly hackable NAS

An anonymous reader writes: Cisco's consumer products division LinkSys has started shipping a successor to the Linux-based NSLU2 (aka "SLUG") consumer NAS server, up there with the WRT54G as one of the most-hacked devices of all time. The new $130 LinkSys NAS200 looks to be even more hacker friendly, being based on a 486 processor — if 44 Bogomips and 8MB of Flash give hackers enough elbow room. Efforts are already underway at the Slug linux project.
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Slackware 12 Released (

An anonymous reader writes: Well folks, it's that time to announce a new stable Slackware release
again. So, without further ado, announcing Slackware version 12.0!
Since we've moved to supporting the 2.6 kernel series exclusively (and
fine-tuned the system to get the most out of it), we feel that Slackware
12.0 has many improvements over our last release (Slackware 11.0) and is a
must-have upgrade for any Slackware user.

This first Slackware edition of the year combines Slackware's legendary
simplicity (and close tracking of original sources), stability, and
security with some of the latest advances in Linux technology. Expect no
less than the best Slackware yet.

Among the many program updates and distribution enhancements, you'll find
two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.4.1,
a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and easy to use desktop
environment, and KDE 3.5.7, the latest version of the award-winning K
Desktop Environment. We have added to Slackware support for HAL (the
Hardware Abstraction Layer) which allows the system administrator to add
users to the cdrom and plugdev groups. Then they will be able to use items
such as USB flash sticks, USB cameras that appear like USB storage,
portable hard drives, CD and DVD media, MP3 players, and more, all without
requiring sudo, the mount or umount command. Just plug and play.
Properly set up, Slackware's desktop should be suitable for any level of
Linux experience.

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