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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 3 declined, 2 accepted (5 total, 40.00% accepted)

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Submission + - NASA Names Treadmill After Colbert

spiffyman writes: NASA announced that it won't be naming a room on the ISS after Stephen Colbert, after all. This comes after Colbert mounted a write-in campaign easily beating NASA's suggested names, Serenity, Legacy, Earthrise and Venture. "Instead, Node 3 will henceforth be called Tranquility, the eighth most popular response submitted by respondents in the poll." Final totals aren't readily available, but "Serenity" of the vote.

Submission + - FCC to End Exclusive Cable for Apartments

spiffyman writes: "The New York Times is reporting (registration may be required) that on Wednesday the FCC will end exclusive contracts to provide cable service to apartment buildings. The article quotes Kevin J. Martin, the Commission's Chairman, as saying that cable prices have risen "about 93 percent in the last 10 years" and that the FCC hopes to see more competition out of this move. While more has yet to be done, this is a step in the right direction. In my apartment, for example, I have (dead) outlets for one cable company but am forced to go with the higher-priced firm. Moves like this will help those who live in areas where competition — even minimal competition — exists. The article also discusses the impact this may have on low- to middle-income families, which disproportionately live in apartment complexes."
United States

Submission + - GAO Report Says FCC Favors Lobbyists (

spiffyman writes: Wired news is running an AP story about the Government Accountability Office's latest report, which is a survey of recent FCC actions. According to the story, the GAO found that FCC staff regularly inform lobbyists of key events — such as upcoming votes — before the general public is informed. This apparently gives lobbyists "a window of opportunity for lobbyists who 'time their lobbying efforts to maximize their impact.'" Naturally, the FCC's director of media relations, David Fiske, insists that his agency "actively reaches out and works with consumer and public interest groups, not only industry." With important decisions always on the horizon, what effect does this have on the public's ability to weigh in with the agency?

Submission + - iPhone Hacked by Security Firm (

spiffyman writes: The New York Times is reporting that the iPhone has been hacked. From TFA:

The researchers, working for Independent Security Evaluators, ... said that they could take control of iPhones through a WiFi connection or by tricking users into going to a Web site that contains malicious code. The hack, the first reported, allowed them to tap the wealth of personal information the phones contain.
I.S.E. will display the hack at the Black Hat conference, but unlike other researchers, they have submitted a report and a patch to Apple. Also, the article contains an apparent acknowledgment of the report by Apple.


Submission + - Ideal Linux System for Newbies?

spiffyman writes: "In the next year, I'll begin advanced work in mathematics. I'm already doing it with logic. I'll also be upgrading my desktop box. In light of the advantages of Linux and FOSS in the sciences/mathematics, I want to convert from a Windows system to a dual-boot one. Primary tasks aside from math/logic activities will include learning intermediate programming, web maintenance, some computational linguistics (in Python), and LOTS of LaTeX work for my publishing activities. What do Slashdot readers recommend in terms of hardware, OS, software, and perhaps reading for a quasi-power Windows user to convert to an all-Linux system? Assume no previous experience with Linux. Cost is an issue but not a deal-breaker."

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