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Comment Re:servers (Score 1) 121

Low-power chips are great for low-load servers.

Yup. I've had my home server/access-point/router/stereo/whatever running on a K6-2 for years, now. The only time I notice it's slow is when aptitude takes its time reading or updating its database. Even an Atom would be a massive speed upgrade, but I just don't need it.


Do Nice Engineers Finish Last In Tough Times? 613

jammag writes "As the wave of pink slips is starting to resemble Robespierre and his guillotine, the maneuvering among tech professionals to hang on to their job is getting ugly. IT Management describes the inter-office competition between the manager of a server farm and the supervisor of networks and security. One was nice, giving his team members credit, taking responsibility when something went wrong. The other was a backstabber who spent plenty of time sucking up to the management. As the inevitable cuts came, who do you think hung on to their job?"

Switching To Solar Power — Six Months Later 591

ThinSkin writes "Slashdot readers may remember an article regarding ExtremeTech's Loyd Case's experiences with solar power for the home after one month of usage. During that time six months ago, it sure seemed like a great deal, but the tables have turned significantly once winter approached. While it's no surprise solar power generation is expected to dwindle during the winter, Loyd compares solar power data of the last six months to determine if solar power is still worth the time and money."

Comment Re:Exploitation (Score 1) 383


Most students are not. Most of these inventions were produced by graduate students performing research. Most graduate students doing research in areas that have commercially valuable applications are paid to do that research.

So almost all of these patents and royalties are coming from the work of graduate students who were supported by research grants - employees of the university, essentially.

I'm a graduate student in computer science. I'm paid to do research. Honestly, I'm not even sure whether I am allowed to use the code I've written here after I graduate. But I can release it with an open license (at least open for research use) before I leave to get around that, I think. It's a fairly murky area, and I get the feeling most grad students don't understand the full implications. Most times, no one really cares. However, it is very clear that if there is money involved, the university gets a cut.


Zapping Contrails With Microwave Emitters 125

An anonymous reader writes "Dissipation of contrails with a powerful microwave beam aligned behind aircraft engines is being touted as a possible solution to help address air transport's effects on the climate. 'The remote heating of condensation nuclei could be achieved by applying electromagnetic radiation, such as microwaves,' says Cranfield University's Frank Noppel. 'Depending on assumptions made, calculation shows that the power required for such a device could be as little as 0.1% of the engine power.'"

Comment Re:Is anybody seriously surprised? (Score 1) 793

Anybody? I'd think that the personal data of just about any news figure is combed over. This is certainly unfortunate but hardly surprising.

Here's the problem. The personal data of news figure should not be combed over by anyone. Please don't just throw up your hands and say "this is certainly unfortunate."

Do you know anyone who works in a government job with access to any sort of records? How about anyone in IT with access to the company's databases for HR, payroll, etc.? These people are just like the rest of us, with the same curiosity and the same failings. They're just as tempted to know interesting little details about other people as anyone else, but they have the power to see those details easily. Many will not be able to avoid the temptation. Most of those people are harmless. Some aren't. Think about how someone who doesn't like you could use personal details of your life against you. There are a *lot* of ways.

We do not live in the world of 1984, nor do we live in a police state with institutionalized, encouraged spying on one's neighbors. But privacy values are malleable, and they can and do shift over time. Your statement and others like it make me feel that we are shifting towards a culture with no expectations of privacy -- towards 1984. Please do what you can to prevent that; at the least, please consider your own views, how they apply to the rest of us, and how they affect the general culture of privacy we have now.

It's a tired analogy, but again, why do people send mail in sealed envelopes as opposed to on postcards or other readable-by-anyone methods? Even if they are doing nothing wrong? The knowledge can provide some power over us, and so there are things they simply don't want other people to know. And we respect that. We should respect that.


Firefox 3 In Alpha 366

illeism writes to note that, a mere six weeks after the launch of Firefox 2, Firefox 3 is now available in alpha. CNet reports that it is currently recommended only for software developers and testers. The big change is the upgraded Gecko rendering engine (the UI is unchanged from version 2). From the CNet article: "Firefox 3 will include some significant changes. It uses version 1.9 of the Gecko rendering engine — which itself hasn't been released yet but which includes the Cairo graphics layer. Gecko 1.9 has been in development since before the release of Firefox 2, and it provides vector-based rendering on all platforms. As the Gecko 1.9 road map explains, Cairo will 'bring modern, hardware-accelerated 2D-graphics capabilities to the whole of the Web without requiring proprietary plug-ins or rendering obsolete the broad and rich set of Web-authoring techniques developed over the past decade.'"

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