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Linux

New Linux Petabyte-Scale Distributed File System 132

An anonymous reader writes "A recent addition to Linux's impressive selection of file systems is Ceph, a distributed file system that incorporates replication and fault tolerance while maintaining POSIX compatibility. Explore the architecture of Ceph and learn how it provides fault tolerance and simplifies the management of massive amounts of data."
Medicine

PARC Builds iPod-Sized HIV Detector 93

MikeChino writes "Right now it's difficult, if not impossible, to quickly detect HIV in patients living in impoverished countries. That may all change soon, though — researchers at a California outfit called the Palo Alto Research Center have built an iPod-sized handheld device that can provide an immune check-up in under 10 minutes — all with a prick of the finger. With millions of people around the world without access to a full-size laboratory, PARC's device could revolutionize the detection and treatment of HIV."
Caldera

Novell Wins vs. SCO 380

Aim Here writes "According to Novell's website, and the Salt Lake Tribune, the jury in the SCO v. Novell trial has returned a verdict: Novell owns the Unix copyrights. This also means that SCO's case against IBM must surely collapse too, and likely the now bankrupt SCO group itself. It's taken 7 years, but the US court system has eventually done the right thing ..." No doubt this is the last we will ever hear of any of this.
Censorship

Chinese Root Server Shut Down After DNS Problem 91

itwbennett writes "After a networking error first reported on Wednesday last week caused computers in Chile and the US to come under the control of a system that censors the Internet in China, the 'root DNS server associated with the networking problems has been disconnected from the Internet,' writes Robert McMillan. The server's operator, Netnod, has 'withdrawn route announcements' made by the server, according to company CEO Kurt Lindqvist."
Programming

Simpler "Hello World" Demonstrated In C 582

An anonymous reader writes "Wondering where all that bloat comes from, causing even the classic 'Hello world' to weigh in at 11 KB? An MIT programmer decided to make a Linux C program so simple, she could explain every byte of the assembly. She found that gcc was including libc even when you don't ask for it. The blog shows how to compile a much simpler 'Hello world,' using no libraries at all. This takes me back to the days of programming bare-metal on DOS!"
Classic Games (Games)

M.U.L.E. Is Back 110

jmp_nyc writes "The developers at Turborilla have remade the 1983 classic game M.U.L.E. The game is free, and has slightly updated graphics, but more or less the same gameplay as the original version. As with the original game, up to four players can play against each other (or fewer than four with AI players taking the other spots). Unlike the original version, the four players can play against each other online. For those of you not familiar with M.U.L.E., it was one of the earliest economic simulation games, revolving around the colonization of the fictitious planet Irata (Atari spelled backwards). I have fond memories of spending what seemed like days at a time playing the game, as it's quite addictive, with the gameplay seeming simpler than it turns out to be. I'm sure I'm not the only Slashdotter who had a nasty M.U.L.E. addiction back in the day and would like a dose of nostalgia every now and then."
Businesses

Best Buy $39.95 "Optimization" At Best a Waste of Money 504

DCFC writes "The Consumerist deconstructs the appalling 'optimization service' that Best Buy has been pushing on consumers in recent weeks. The retailer charges 40 bucks to give you a slower PC, and make bizarre claims that it makes it go 200% faster. 'We ran the 3DMark 2003 graphics benchmark on each laptop, comparing optimized and non-optimized settings. For two of our samples, the Gateway and Toshiba, performance changes were negligible. On the Asus laptop, however, optimized tests actually scored about 32% worse than the non-optimized setup. We have been unable to isolate the source of this performance change. On none of the three tested laptops did the optimized settings give a performance boost in our test.'"
Debian

FreeNAS Switching From FreeBSD To Debian Linux 206

dnaumov writes "FreeNAS, a popular, free NAS solution, is moving away from using FreeBSD as its underlying core OS and switching to Debian Linux. Version 0.8 of FreeNAS as well as all further releases are going to be based on Linux, while the FreeBSD-based 0.7 branch of FreeNAS is going into maintenance-only mode, according to main developer Volker Theile. A discussion about the switch, including comments from the developers, can be found on the FreeNAS SourceForge discussion forum. Some users applaud the change, which promises improved hardware compatibility, while others voice concerns regarding the future of their existing setups and lack of ZFS support in Linux."
PlayStation (Games)

US Air Force Buying Another 2,200 PS3s 144

bleedingpegasus sends word that the US Air Force will be grabbing up 2,200 new PlayStation 3 consoles for research into supercomputing. They already have a cluster made from 336 of the old-style (non-Slim) consoles, which they've used for a variety of purposes, including "processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images (known as synthetic aperture radar image formation), high-def video processing, and 'neuromorphic computing.'" According to the Justification Review Document (DOC), "Once the hardware configuration is implemented, software code will be developed in-house for cluster implementation utilizing a Linux-based operating software."
The Courts

Federal Judge Says Corps of Engineers Liable For Katrina Damage 486

Hugh Pickens writes "The Christian Science Monitor reports that a federal judge has ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers — and thus the US government — is liable for a big chunk of the damage caused when hurricane Katrina pushed ashore on August 29, 2005 by failing to stop the natural widening of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet canal (aka Mr. Go) causing it to eventually bump up against the shore of Lake Borgne, on the city's east side. 'It is the court's opinion that the negligence of the corps, in this instance by failing to maintain the MR-GO properly, was not policy, but insouciance, myopia, and shortsightedness,' wrote US District Court Judge Stanwood Duval. Judge Duval said he believed it was the failure to shore up the outlet that 'doomed the channel to grow to two to three times its design width' allowing waves on Lake Borgne to enter the Mr. Go and travel into the east side of the city, battering the levees to a degree to which they were not designed. 'One of the greatest catastrophes in the history of the US' was both predictable and preventable, testified veteran Louisiana geologist Sherwood Gagliano, a former Corps consultant."
Linux Business

Chinese Gov't Pushing Linux In Rural China With Subsidies 127

nerdyH writes "The Chinese government's 'Go Rural' program offers subsidies up to 13 percent for rural residents who purchase approved nettops or netbooks. The systems come with a version of Red Flag Linux built on the Moblin stack. Along with Internet access, the software is said to provide apps for crop and livestock management, farm production marketing, remote office access/automation, and even online tour and hotel booking systems. Of course, Windows dominates the China market, and if traditional patterns hold, about 30 percent of these subsidized systems could ultimately wind up re-installed with Windows."
Government

Nigerian "Scam Police" Shut Down 800 Web Sites 200

Sooner Boomer writes "Nigerian police, in what is named Operation 'Eagle Claw,' have shut down 800 scam web sites and arrested members of 18 syndicates behind the fraudulent scam sites. Reports on Breitbart.com and Pointblank give details on the busts. The investigation was done in cooperation with Microsoft to help develop smart technology software capable of detecting fraudulent emails. From Breitbart: 'When operating at full capacity, within the next six months, the scheme, dubbed "Eagle Claw," should be able to forewarn around a quarter of million potential victims.'"
Government

California Moving Forward With Big-Screen TV Power Restrictions 339

Hugh Pickens writes "The Los Angeles Times reports that California regulators are poised to pass the nation's first ban on energy-hungry big-screen televisions just as they did with refrigerators, air conditioners and dozens of other products since the 1970s. 'We would not propose TV efficiency standards if we thought there was any evidence in the record that they will hurt the economy,' said Commissioner Julia Levin, who has been in charge of the two-year rule-making procedure. 'This will actually save consumers money and help the California economy grow and create new clean, sustainable jobs.' California's estimated 35 million TVs and related electronic devices account for about 10% of all household electricity consumption, but manufacturers quickly are coming up with new technologies that are making even 50-inch-screen models much more economical to operate. Sets with screens of up to 58 inches would have until the start of 2011 to comply with a minimum efficiency standard, with more stringent rules being introduced two years later. If all TVs met state standards, California could avoid the $600-million cost of building a natural-gas-fired power plant, says Ken Rider, a commission staff engineer. Switching to more-efficient TVs could have an estimated net benefit to the state of $8.1 billion, the commission staff reported."
Power

Submission + - California to Ban Power-Guzzling Big-Screen TVs

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Los Angeles Times reports that California regulators are poised to pass the nation's first ban on energy-hungry big-screen televisions just as they did with refrigerators, air conditioners and dozens of other products since the 1970s. "We would not propose TV efficiency standards if we thought there was any evidence in the record that they will hurt the economy," said Commissioner Julia Levin, who has been in charge of the two-year rule-making procedure. "This will actually save consumers money and help the California economy grow and create new clean, sustainable jobs." California's estimated 35 million TVs and related electronic devices account for about 10% of all household electricity consumption but manufacturers quickly are coming up with new technologies that are making even 50-inch-screen models much more economical to operate. Sets with screens of up to 58 inches would have until the start of 2011 to comply with a minimum efficiency standard, with more stringent rules being introduced two years later. If all TVs met state standards California could avoid the $600-million cost of building a natural-gas-fired power plant says Ken Rider, a commission staff engineer. Switching to more-efficient TVs could have an estimated net benefit to the state of $8.1 billion, the commission staff reported."
Math

The Myth of the Mathematics Gender Gap 588

Coryoth writes "The widely held belief that there is disparity in the innate mathematical abilities of men and women has been steadily whittled down in recent years. The gender gap in basic mathematics skills closed some time ago, and recently the gap in high school mathematics has closed up as well, with as many girls as boys now taking high school calculus. Newsweek reports on a new study published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that begins to lay to rest the remaining argument that it is at the highest levels of mathematics that the innate differences show. Certainly men dominate current academia, with 70% of mathematics Ph.D.s going to men; however that figure is down from 95% in the 1950s. Indeed, while there remain gaps in achievement between the genders, the study shows that not only are these gaps closing, but the size of the gap varies over differing cultures and correlates with the general degree of gender inequality in the culture (as defined by World Economic Forum measures). In all, this amounts to strong evidence that the differences in outcomes in mathematics between the genders is driven by sociocultural factors rather than innate differences in ability."

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