mark castillo
Friday, August 31
Social Security Paid $31M to Dead
Social Security paid $31 million through the end of last year to deceased beneficiaries who were listed as dead in the agency's own electronic files, auditors estimate. One woman who died in November 1993 was still receiving benefit checks in May 2000, and auditors said more than $100,000 in benefits had been paid after her death.
NASA uses OpenBSD; overcomes 802.11b security flaws
The network security group in the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division at Ames Research Center, in California's Silicon Valley uses OpenBSD and other open source software for its wireless firewall gateway implementation. They successfully installed a secure interoperable wireless network addressing the well-known problems of the 802.11b standard wireless systems.
Thursday, August 30
Expert: Aaliyah Plane Was Overloaded
Bahamian aviation officials released an estimate Thursday of the weight of the plane that crashed in clear skies last week, killing the singer Aaliyah and eight others, and an independent expert said the figures indicate it was overloaded. When it crashed shortly after takeoff on Saturday, the estimated weight of the plane, luggage and fuel was about 5,495 pounds.
Slashdot | LWCE Bits and Pieces
A number of people, Krismon included, have voiced some disappointment at the excitement of the show - not being there, I make no judgments. 8)
Plan an Alternate Commute Now in the Event of a BART Strike!
With a possible BART strike only days away, commuters are urged to explore their commute options now. Any changes in transit services by other transit operators will be posted on this page by Saturday, Sept. 1, 2001 and will be updated regularly. Also, information on park and ride lots and casual carpool sites will be provided.
Apply Within! Is Your Employment Application Legal?
Sony axes eVilla Web-surfing appliance
Sony executives blamed the demise on "stability and usability" problems with the $499 desktop Web-browsing appliance, but did not offer specifics. "The product did not meet our expectations," Sony spokesman John Dolak said. "It did not operate as planned."
Wednesday, August 29
Researchers plant "parasites" inside servers
Uncovering a relatively benign vulnerability in the Internet, researchers have tricked Web servers around the world into solving math problems without permission in a practice known as "parasitic computing." Unlike intruders who exploit flaws to gain direct access to machines, the University of Notre Dame computer scientists created a virtual computer by using the fundamental components of the Internet's infrastructure, according to a report in Nature, released Thursday. Each problem was broken down into smaller pieces that were evaluated by servers in North America, Europe and Asia. The results from each were used to reach a solution.
Emotional Intelligence
There was a time when if you were smart and worked hard, you could pretty much expect to get ahead. But in today's team-oriented companies, emotional intelligence--the ability to access, manage, and make use of your feelings--may be far more important to your ongoing success than intellectual knowledge, or even technical skill.
Programming a Way Out of Poverty
Most Mission High kids were not on the fast track to college, Alvarado said, and needed a realistic approach to entering the job market immediately following graduation. Thus the Multicultural Foundation for Technology and Science was born. Its purpose was to teach students from all backgrounds computer programming and multimedia skills in order to give them skills to earn a livable salary, offer a strong network to help place them in jobs, as well as adding a healthy dose of self-esteem.
Tuesday, August 28
Search start-ups seek Google's throne
Web darling Google has some fresh competition: a pair of start-ups aiming to improve on its immensely popular recipe for serving fast, relevant search results untainted by pay-for-placement listings. New Jersey-based Teoma went live with a test version, or beta, in June. Another newcomer, California-based Wisenut, launched this month. Both shamelessly imitate Google in several ways, such as sporting stripped-down Internet sites and touting proprietary technology for ranking the significance of billions of pages that make up the World Wide Web.
Monday, August 27
PeopleSoft tightens ship to weather storm
Though Conway is known primarily for putting PeopleSoft's financial house in order, he said it was his role as an internal F***** that really helped the company get where it is today. It was his way to curb attrition at a time when people across the tech sector were bailing for well-paying but less stable start-ups. Now it appears Conway's scare tactics and financial restructuring have paid off. His company is one of the few technology firms managing to stand up to the economic maelstrom. Shares have risen to a high of $53.87 this year and continue to trade above $35, while other companies struggle. The company impressed Wall Street in its most recent quarterly report, beating estimates and raising guidance while other tech companies buckle under profit warnings.
Sunday, August 26
Roll Your Own
Not Only Can You Do Your Own DSL, Here's How to Become a Broadband Tycoon at the Same Time. DSL is nothing but a pair of copper wires down which bits are pushed. DSL companies go to great lengths to explain how hard this is, but it really isn't. The trick is grabbing the signal off the phone line before it gets to the local phone switch where a band-pass filter limits the frequencies that pass through to 3300 Hz.
Blogdexter will help you jump to the page on blogdex that displays the web addresses of people who have linked to your url. Who's Linked to Me?
How to create a Linux-based network of computers for peanuts
You don't need to spend $1,000 per user to create a modern, friendly, fast & productive computer system. In this series, I'll show how little you need to spend to outfit your organization -- big or small -- with hardware some might consider worthless, while giving away nothing in utility, speed, reliability, ease of administration or use.
Hitachi reportedly to cut 20,000
Hitachi, Japan's biggest electronics manufacturer, was poised to cut 20,000 jobs and move ahead with full-scale restructuring of its semiconductor operations hit hard by this year's steep info-tech downturn, according to published reports.
Saturday, August 25
Singer Aaliyah Killed in Plane Crash
Thursday, August 23
Nintendo delays U.S. launch of GameCube
Nintendo has pushed back the U.S. arrival of its new GameCube video game console by nearly two weeks, with executives saying they intend to avoid the shortages and frustrated consumers that marked the debut of Sony's PlayStation 2 last fall.
Wednesday, August 22
Game industry shoots down brain claims
The video game industry has hit back at claims that computer games can damage children's brains and insists that the activity can be beneficial. The European Leisure Software Publishers Association said Wednesday that research carried out at Japan's Tohoku University was only of "very limited focus."
Tuesday, August 21
FBI arrests eight in scheme to steal McDonald's Monopoly game prizes
Federal authorities working with McDonald's broke up a criminal ring they say rigged the popular Monopoly and "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" games played by millions of the fast-food chain's customers over the past six years. The FBI alleged Tuesday that the ring fixed winners of $1 million and other big-money prizes who then shared the cash with members of the group. In all, the ring "won" more than $13 million in prizes.
Monday, August 20
Trevor Creed, DaimlerChrysler senior vice president of product design, highlights styling cues for the Chrysler Crossfire at the concept car's world debut during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Jan. 9, 2001. DaimlerChrysler AG announced Sunday, Aug. 19, 2001, that it will build a production version of the car just seven months after the coupe was unveiled. The company hasn't revealed pricing or a date the car will go on sale.
Penguin Enrolls in U.S. Schools
Linux advocates are pushing open source as a way to get more computer literacy into cash-strapped schools. In addition to saving dollars by not paying for Windows licenses, Linux runs on older desktops.
Sunday, August 19
Computer games stunt teen brains
Computer games are creating a dumbed-down generation of children far more disposed to violence than their parents, according to a controversial new study. The tendency to lose control is not due to children absorbing the aggression involved in the computer game itself, as previous researchers have suggested, but rather to the damage done by stunting the developing mind.
Thursday, August 16
Palm looks to Be for OS boost
Analyst William Crawford, who covers Palm for U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, praised the acquisition of Be as a way to improve the Palm OS. "Where they have to go, Be already is," Crawford said. He added that it is never easy to integrate operating systems but that using some of Be's technology, especially in the area of multimedia, could help. Palm is looking to play catch-up with Microsoft in the area of multimedia. Unlike the Microsoft's Pocket PC OS, the Palm OS does not natively support playing MP3 files.
Oscar-nominated thesp Edward Norton has signed on to star as an FBI agent in the upcoming Silence of the Lambs prequel, Red Dragon, Variety reports. Anthony Hopkins is in final talks to reprise his role as the cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter. Meanwhile, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Emily Watson is a signature away from joining the cast as well.
Wednesday, August 15
Memory Loss Begins at 20
Research tracing the gradual decline of memory says that the process begins at the ripe age of 20 and as brain cells slip away, gone forever, the chemicals that help the brain work efficiently are also not being produced in the same quantities as when you were a fast-thinking teen. In studies of more than 350 men and women between the ages of 20 and 90, psychologist Denise Park found that normal memory loss in adults in their 20s and 30s affects their everyday lives in minor ways, such as forgetting a commonly used phone number or a person's name.
Tuesday, August 14
Matrix Reloaded Delayed To 2003
Silver assured that the extra time added to the production schedules is simply meant to benefit the quality of both films. "It's just it's an enormous project," Silver said. "It's a staggering project. There's so much dealing with it, it's unbelievable, and they just need time to finish both movies, because we're shooting them as one big movie. It's not back to back. It's one movie, so they'll finish shooting it, and then they'll take the time to finish the movies."
Microsoft denies Xbox glitch
The software maker was reacting to a report from investment banking firm Thomas Weisel Partners, which stated that several sources across the Xbox manufacturing supply chain had confirmed the flaw. The glitch could delay manufacturing by a few weeks but not the Nov. 8 launch of the Xbox, analysts Eric Ross and David Readerman wrote in the report Tuesday morning. It's Official: Dreamcast Price Drop Starts Next Week
On Sunday, August 12, 2001, Sega of America will reduce the manufacturer's suggested retail price of the Sega Dreamcast video game console to $79.95, down from $99.95. The change will be effective Sunday, August 12, 2001 at retail stores nationwide. The price reduction is a milestone in Sega’s announced strategy to transition from hardware manufacturer to leading platform-agnostic third party publisher.
Monday, August 13
LOST is a global adventure filled with unexpected twists and turns. Six complete strangers are taken to a private plane and flown for several hours to an undisclosed location somewhere on Planet Earth. Upon arriving at their destination, the six are paired off into three teams of two contestants each. One producer/director/cameraperson, also unapprised of the location, will accompany each team to document their journey - but will only intervene in the event of an emergency.
Office-Worker Linux: It's Here and It Works
A few weeks ago, featured a great why-should-this-be-amazing story about Linux being used as the day-to-day desktop operating system for city employees in Largo, Florida. Roblimo got a chance to see the system in action to find out how ordinary office workers are proving that the old "Linux is tough to use" shibboleth is nothing but FUD, and how a medium-sized city is saving buckets of money by minimizing the tax dollars spent on licenses and hardware. Oh, and they've also pre-empted the kind of costs (in hassle and money) that can face any organization that Microsoft suspects may have some licenses out of order. This is the kind of thing every elected official should have politely waved in his or her face by concerned taxpayers. The Largo system uses KDE on Red Hat, but since both KDE and Gnome are paying much attention to user interface, similar systems could easily be running on various combinations of hardware / distribution / desktop system.
Thousands of runners sprint along William Street after the start of the annual City to Surf fun run in Sydney, August 12, 2001. Organisers say a record entry of over 50,000 runners took part in the 14 kilometre (around 9 miles) run from the city to the golden sands of Bondi Beach.
Sunday, August 12
One bike. One Googler. One really long ride.
Inspired by the recently completed Tour de France, Chad (one of our software engineers) is bicycling across the country in hopes of, well, getting from California to Florida. Chad has a family event in Florida later in August, and he thought it would be novel to arrive by bike from California. We’ve posted this page so all those with an interest in things Google-ish can follow his progress and offer their support. Chad's epic journey began in Sunnyvale, California on July 21 and will end in Satellite Beach, Florida approximately three weeks later. The red line on the map shows Chad's route; the blue star indicates where Chad is today.
Thursday, August 9
Ben Affleck beer ad yanked
Radio ads that have Ben Affleck touting Samuel Adams beer have been pulled from rotation by the company, The Associated Press reports
Wednesday, August 8
Webvan watches $3 million roll in at auction
Souvenir seekers purchased 50,000 plastic delivery bins, Webvan shirts, computers, office cubicles, kitchen production equipment and a 1999 Volkswagen Beetle, painted as a promotion, which sold for $15,500. Two delivery trucks sold for $35,000 each, although last week GE Capital removed the bulk of the company's 200-truck Atlanta fleet from the auction. The priciest item was an electric generator used at the company's Lawrenceville plant. It sold for $60,000.
New virus travels in PDF files
Acrobat lets people embed different file types within a PDF, including everything from the VBScript programs--used in the LoveLetter virus--to an actual executable program, Gullotto said. Peachy is named after a small game in a PDF file that involves finding peaches, Gullotto said. According to a person called Zulu, who said he wrote Peachy, showing the solution to the game runs a VBScript file. The virus then spreads to others using e-mail addresses collected from Microsoft Outlook, Gullotto said. Using PDF bypasses the filters in newer versions of Outlook that ordinarily screen out VBScript files.
Monday, August 6
The Spread of the Code-Red Worm
Multitasking Harmful To Productivity
According to a CNN article, a person who is multitasking several things takes a hit on his productivity. Oddly enough, it reads almost exactly like a description of the problem with multitasking on computers; context switches cost, especially if you have to swap a lot of crap out in order to fit the new process into memory. So basically, an employee who can stay focussed on one thing for long periods of time is going to have higher productivity than one who has to handle constant interrupts.
Sunday, August 5
Advance Wars screenshots and video
Don't be deceived by the cute graphics and easy-to-learn controls - Advance Wars is a deep and complex game that has created a big stir in Japan, where they take their strategy games very seriously. A Strategy Room Mode walks novices though the basics of Advance Wars. Even after you've waged multiple wars in the story-driven Campaign Mode, the extremely shrewd AI will continually surprise you. The graphics, though simple, are cleverly designed to concisely convey lots of complex information. All in all, Advance Wars indicates that hand-held strategy is growing up fast on the Game Boy Advance.
Metroid Prime Screenshots and video
Last seen racing from the exploding planet Zebes after defeating the Mother Brain, Samus Aran is back in action in this first-person adventure as visually stunning as any sci-fi movie. Being Samus, she's of course armed to the max with high-tech weaponry.
Saturday, August 4
Mantle, Mays and AOL Discs
Some people collect stamps, while others fill their homes with Beanie Babies or Pez dispensers. Well, now there's a new gang in town -- people who collect America Online's shiny CDs.
Thursday, August 2
Alexa Certified Site Stats
Chrono Cross Review
The story begins with the hero, Serge, who is thrust into a parallel world where he died under mysterious circumstances over a decade ago. He teams up with a rowdy adventurer, Kid, and sets out in search of the mysterious Frozen Flame, an artifact that lets the holder reshape time and space on a whim. The enigmatic Lynx, a regal man-cat who hunts the Frozen Flame for his own purposes, opposes them. In his quest to return home, Serge will accrue both allies and foes, and he'll find himself thrust into an adventure that reveals his heritage, purpose, and ultimate destiny. Only by crossing between the two dimensions can Serge find the answers to his questions.
Dragon Warrior 7 Preview
The game follows Aluse, the son of a fisherman, his best friend Kiefer, a young prince, and Maribel, Aluse's friend from his town of Fishbel. The three live on Estard Island, a peaceful land that floats in an immense sea-- and the only world they know. Over the course of exploring forbidden ruins, the trio will come to discover that the world they live in had been very different from what they know it to be. Throw in time travel, plot twists, exploration, and puzzles, and you have the ingredients for the kind of meaty adventure you'd expect from a Dragon Warrior game.
IHT: Laid-Off Workers Are Striking Back
Juval Aviv, a private investigator in New York, had lunch in April with a man he suspected of sabotaging one of his client's computer systems, causing up to $20 million in damage and indefinitely delaying a long-planned public stock offering. Mr. Aviv, whose client was a New Jersey chemical company, told the man, the company's former manager of information-management systems, that all the evidence pointed to him and that he would help him make things right. After a few hours and many cups of coffee, the 56-year-old former employee, whose name Mr. Aviv would not disclose to protect the identity of the company, confessed his guilt.
The Pulse - I spy a Michael Jordan comeback
In the games I watched in mid-June, Jordan was clearly the best player on the floor. Who played? A mix of NBA guys, former NBA guys, and college guys who want to be in the NBA.
A Ukrainian paratrooper eats a live frog as he demonstrates his survival skills under extreme conditions at a training range in Gorenychi village
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