mark castillo
Saturday, June 29
  Slashdot | To Digitize or Not Digitize the Family Photo Album?
animys asks: "In the last few years, we have begun to witness the inevitable shift from 35mm cameras to high resolution, cheap, consumer oriented digital cameras; with this, the move away from a tangible photo album has also ensued. This change has obviously left many families with huge amounts of developed pictures and albums. For reasons of preservation and usability, some families would like to convert their previously taken pictures to a digital medium - yet many have hundreds or even thousands of pictures. What type of tools can the DIY'er use to make this process easier? Beyond the obvious scanner and graphics package, is there any good quality software that can augment this arduous and possibly over-daunting task?" What about folks looking to do the opposite? Most people take decent care of their albums, and the pictures are always viewable regardless of the changes in technology. What options are there for those folks looking to make near-picture-quality hardcopies of their digital photos for inclusion in their albums?
  Slashdot | O'Reilly on the Open Source Industry
Idmat writes "Tim's latest opus, "The Strange Case of the Disappearing Open Source Vendors," starts with Sherlock Holmes ruminating on "the curious incident of the dog in the night-time" and winds up explaining why open source is good for businesses even if it isn't always good for software vendors."
Friday, June 28
  Photo of baby suicide bomber called 'a joke'
A photo of a Palestinian baby dressed as a suicide bomber that family members say was a joke has further escalated tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. The Israel Defense Forces released the photo Thursday, saying it was found during a search of a house of a Palestinian militant in Hebron. The photo, which was shown on Israeli television and published in several newspapers, depicts a Palestinian toddler dressed as a suicide bomber wearing what appears to be a belt laden with explosives.
  Slashdot | Atari's 30th Anniversary
Atarian writes "Atari was officially incorporated 30 years ago. While many thought Atari started the video game business, that was not correct, it was Magnavox and its Odyssey console designed by Ralph Baer that would be the first. Atari would be the company that would put videogames on the map right from the start back in 1972 with the release of PONG, its coin-op arcade machine first setup in Andy Capps Bar in California, the game was a smash hit and people begin lining up first thing in the morning at Andy Capps just to get inside and play games on this magic box with a TV inside. Atari would then release its VCS (Video Computer System aka The Atari 2600) and launch Atari from its meager $500 starter capital beginnings into a $2 billion dollars in sales monster in 1982. Atari would later fall to the wayside to be replaced by Nintendo, then Sega, and othes that followed. Atari is still around in a small way, and still keeping the name and spirit alive to this very day, 30 years later. 'Have you played Atari today?'"
  Xbox: Splinter Cell FAQ
From time to time, IGN Xbox gets in a game that is clearly gonna blow things up. A game guaranteed to be big. Our readers have a ton of questions about these games but until now had no one to answer them directly. Enter Xtra Time, our answer to your prayers. Whenever we have a hot game worthy of Xtra Time, we'll let you ask questions on the Insiders only, so if you wanna ask a question you gotta sign up for our awesome subscription service. Here's a transcript of our Xtra Time session with Ubi Soft's Splinter Cell, the tactical espionage game based in the Tom Clancy universe. Think of it as a Splinter Cell-centric FAQ. As you'll see some questions were asked more frequently than others, but the answers are all here.
Thursday, June 27
  Lawmakers blast Pledge ruling
"Political correctness run amok" is how one senator is describing a court's ruling that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional. A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is an unconstitutional "endorsement of religion" because of the addition of the phrase "under God" in 1954 by Congress.
  80s - 80s Cartoons, Toys, Fashion, and More
Welcome to Here you can reminisce about your childhood by remembering television shows, toys, fashion, video games and more. via little.yellow.different.
  square-shaped watermelons
Farmers decorate square-shaped watermelons with ribbons before shipping them to an agricultural cooperative in Zentsuji, western Japan, on Monday June 17, 2002. The watermelons, developed to save spapce in refrigerators, are priced at a whopping 10,000 yen (US$80) each. Some 450 to 500 watermelons will be sent to department stores and other places in Tokyo and Osaka - for display rather than eating.
  As rats drink at the Karni Mata Hindu temple
An child places his arms in a tray full of milk as rats drink at the Karni Mata Hindu temple in the town of Deshnoke in India's northwestern state of Rajasthan. Rats, hundreds and hundreds of them, are everywhere at the temple in the state and woe betide anyone who takes fright and steps on one.
  Slashdot | Web Publishers Sue Gator
shofmann writes "The Washington Post is reporting that a number of publishers, including the Washington Post, is suing Gator Corp. over their obnoxious spyware, saying that Gator is "a parasite that free rides on the hard work and investment" of other people's web sites. The lawsuit alleges that Gator's spyware contributes to trademark infringement, misappropriation of the news, and represents unfair competition." The publishers seem to be distressed about Gator replacing website ads with its own. Several people submitted this related article about blocking internet advertising - nothing really new here for geeks, but a good URL to send to your less technically-inclined friends
  Slashdot | Cyber-Attacks?
Galahad2 writes "The Washington Post has a lengthy article about the Bush administration's fears of an Al Qaeda cyber attack on the nation's infrastructure. Though we have all seen this sort of attack as a possiblity for a long time, I'm having a hard time believing that Al Qaeda is capable of anything along these lines." You're not the only one. The article does cite an example of the only known infrastructure attack, a case in Australia where a consultant used his inside knowledge of a local sewage treatment system to dump raw sewage, hoping for a contract to solve the problem he created.
  PlayStation 2: Hands-On with Defender
Staying true to its spaceship roots, Defender is primarily an action shooter. Tossing you into the cockpit of six different craft with 35 purchasable upgrades and special moves for each. Meaning that there will be plenty of intergalactic carnage to unleash on the unsuspecting forces of the outworlder menace. Laser guns, fireballs, homing missiles, and reflector shields are but a few of the long list of goodies eventually housed within your arsenal. What all of this makes for are some pretty spectacular battle scenes. Tanks, robots, mutated space monsters, and a sea of heavy fire literally covers the field and sky with a cornucopia of color and vibrancy. And though it may not match Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones by way of sheer scale, it's still pretty cool.
Wednesday, June 26
  Slashdot | WorldCom CFO Accused of $3.6 Billion Fraud
winter was among the first to point out that allegations of fraud have led to a massive stock drop at WorldCom. A flurry of stories have popped up on Yahoo!, none of them good news for WorldCom. CFO Scott Sullivan is accused of misstating the company's revenues, specifically its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (aka EBITDA), and the stock has slid more than 50% (as of this writing) in after-hours trading.
  Slashdot | Is Linux Dead?
TunkeyMicket writes "It appears MSNBC is reporting that Linux has failed as an operating system. By citing the large Linux hype as reason for Linux to be dominating the market, they draw the conclusion that the "open source" alternative has flopped as an operating system. They briefly mention the success of Linux in the server community, but really the article gives Linux as little credit as possible."
  Slashdot | OpenSSH Vulnerability Disclosed, Version 3.4 Released
Dan writes: "OpenSSH 3.4 has been released and will be shortly available on all mirrors. All versions of OpenSSH's sshd between 2.9.9 and 3.3 contain an input validation error that can result in an integer overflow and privilege escalation. OpenSSH 3.4 fixes this bug." And kylus writes: "The previously mentioned vulnerability in OpenSSH has been disclosed by ISS X-Force today on the BugTraq list. This is a potential remote root compromise, and while there is a workaround, it's advised that users upgrade to version 3.4 as soon as they can."
  How to Disappear
Your inbox is awash in spam, your boss is chuckling over your credit report, and you've got a sneaking suspicion that Uncle Sam counts how many Löwenbräu you chug. Yes, your privacy's shot to hell, and you're tempted to shrug and settle for an open source life. But privacy isn't like virginity, forever lost after the first trespass. With some work, "reprivatization" is possible. Use this three-tiered guide to pick a level of solitude. But be warned: Going all the way off the grid is more Ted Kaczynski than Howard Hughes.

Ditch the digits:Want to drop out?Start by rustling up a new Social Security number. The Social Security Administration doesn't accept paranoia as a criterion for granting a new card, but it recognizes cultural objections and religious pleas. One stratagem: Contend that your credit has been irrevocably damaged by a number-related snafu, or that you live in fear of a stalker who knows your digits. Once you switch your SSN, never use it. Instead, dole out 078-05-1120, an Eisenhower-era card that works 99 percent of the time.

Tuesday, June 25
  Structure of a Palm Application, Part 1
We start with a discussion of how an application is structured to run on the Palm OS. You will learn that a Palm application is an event-driven system and that its routines are structured to handle various types of events. We will describe an application's life cycle--its starting, running, and closing. To help solidify your understanding of these points, we provide a simple application, OReilly Starter, which is a prototypical Palm application. We walk you through its organization (for example, its source files, utility files, and so on) and then show you the source code in its routines. While the application doesn't do much, it contains all of the standard routines and has the correct structure for any Palm application. You can use it as the starting point for your own work. Typically, an application launches when a user opens it; you will learn how to handle this. We will also discuss other times the OS may access an application and what you need to do about it. These instances require you to structure your application so that it can provide information or launch as necessary. Lastly, there are some tricks you might want to add that allow shortcut access from within your application (for example, a hard button). Or, you might want to be a tyrant and take over the unit completely, denying access to other applications while your application is running.
  O'Reilly Network: I've Switched from Windows, Now What?
Apple laptops had been showing up at work since the first of the year--all of them self-purchased. In large part, the combination of Unix-based OS running on very appealing hardware seemed to be just the remedy for the Windows 98 blues. Even though I'd never spent that much time on a Macintosh before, I was soon unpacking my first computer from Apple--a svelte 12-inch iBook. But since I'm a full-time Web producer in a tough economy, I had to get up to speed ... and fast! Like that first middle-of-the-night excursion to the bathroom in a dark, unfamiliar house, there was some clumsiness in getting used to the new iBook/Mac OS X environment. In the spirit of "learn from my mistakes," here's the first in a series of articles that documents the things former Windows users need to know when making the switch to Mac OS X. I hope some of these tips will help you get up to speed too.
  Your 22-Month-Old's Development
Does your toddler insist on climbing into his own car seat or pull things out of your hand? He'll fight harder now than ever to explore the world on his own terms. Strong opinions and rigidity are hallmarks of toddlerhood. You can avoid a tug of war by respecting your toddler's preferences and giving in on the little things. Letting him choose which jelly to use on toast or which pajamas to wear to bed will give him the sense of control he craves. The secret is to give him only options that are okay for you. That doesn't mean you should become a pushover to prevent tantrums. It's important that you make it clear that some things -- like behaviors that affect safety -- are not up for negotiation.
  Slashdot | Comparison Of Google to Teoma
randomErr writes " was compared the good and the bad of both engine. They wrote the cool thing about Teoma is that its community-seeking behavior is both query-specific, and happens in real time. Whenever you type in a query, we're actually looking for the communities after you type the query. Teoma's approach differs from Google's, which uses a similar, but more static ranking system. It's also unlike the approach taken by Northern Light that classify web pages based on pre-defined categories."
  Slashdot | XBox UltimateTV for $500
Daetrin writes "Red Herring reports in this article that Microsoft is planing on combining the XBox with their UltimateTV Recorder with a projected final cost of about $500. The article also talks in some detail about the massive (though partially expected) losses that the XBox is costing Microsoft. There's also another article on Yahoo that sums up what Red Herring said."
  Do You Know Where His Keys Are?
Some people make lists of their books or CDs. Some people take pictures of their possessions for insurance purposes. Matthew McClintock, a 35-year-old webmaster from Chicago, makes lists and takes pictures to an obsessive degree. McClintock has created a website that attempts to document everything in his house, from the boxers in his dresser to the tools in the basement, and absolutely everything else in between. Since last October, McClintock has carefully gone around his three-story house photographing and documenting everything it contains, including cooking utensils, books, T-shirts, and pens in a desk drawer.
  Say Good-Bye to Plastic
It could be the biggest thing since sliced bread was wrapped in cellophane: biodegradable food packaging that's cheap enough to compete with conventional plastic. Once used, it can be thrown onto the compost heap or even eaten. This year, startup Plantic Technologies will roll out a cornstarch-based bioplastic that can be molded into everything from Twinkie wrappers to cracker trays. The technology, developed by the Australian government, could help usher in a 21st-century green revolution. Cornfields rather than oil fields could satisfy much of the enormous demand for plastic. A huge chunk of the 24 million tons of plastic that Americans toss each year would end up in backyard com-posters instead of landfills. And then there's the carnage that would be avoided if the plastic polluting the world's oceans dissolved rather than killing sea turtles, fur seals, and other wildlife.
Monday, June 24
  How Smart Is Kyocera This Time?
Kyocera's (KYO) new 7135 smartphone, however, emphasizes voice communications first, with the PDA functions an added bonus. "Despite the data capabilities of the device, voice remains the killer application," said Rick Goetter, senior product marketing manager for Kyocera. The 7135, which will hit the market by the end of this year, will sell for $500 to $600 depending on the subsidy that comes with the service plan.
  D & D Fantasy a Reality, Finally
The moment Bill Marcellino has been waiting years for finally came at 10:54 a.m. last Wednesday. Marcellino, a 35-year-old major in the Marine Corps reserves, has been leading adventurers through the fantasy role-playing world of Dungeons and Dragons since he was in the seventh grade at Milton Academy in Massachusetts. Like many D&D addicts, Marcellino has turned again and again to computer clones of the pen-and-paper game to try to get his fix. Fighting pixilated dragons was cool; but the preset adventures built into the programs have never been as imaginative as the ones dreamed up by "Dungeon Masters" like Marcellino for his geeky pals in Milton's empty classrooms. Marcellino hopes all of that has changed, since he received on Wednesday his copy of the long-delayed Neverwinter Nights, the first honest-to-God software adaptation of D&D. Neverwinter Nights continues a long tradition of online adventures, which began in 1979 when Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle released a Multi-User Dungeon (MUD) where one player would lead a group of explorers through a text-based adventure.
  Slashdot | eBay To Offer Health Insurance
Logic Bomb writes "EBay has announced it will be offering group health coverage for "full time eBay merchants". Anyone who grosses over $1000/month in sales -- at least a whopping 80,000 users in good standing -- will be eligible to buy into a typical "employee" health plan. This is a big first in the Internet world. Full details from the LA Times." And the LA Times, trying to cop a pose from the NY Times, reqs a login.
  Guide To Designing Low Power Handhelds
randomErr writes "iAppliance had a nifty article about designing handhelds. As the state-of-the-art in low-power CPUs races forward, the CPU becomes one of the most critical components in the design of a handheld. New CPUs such as Intel's XScale, Alchemy Semiconductor's Au1000, and Transmeta's Crusoe provide the ability to scale clock frequency and voltage dynamically. As power consumption varies linearly with clock speed and as the square of core voltage, you'll want to have hardware hooks to be able to adjust both clock speed and voltage as necessary, based on device performance."
Sunday, June 23
  Yahoo! Movies: Weekend Box Office Report
The superstar pairing of Cruise and Spielberg humbled at the North American box office by a cartoon starring a Hawaiian girl and an alien? In a declaration disputed by virtually everyone else in Hollywood, director Steven Spielberg's "Minority Report," a sci-fi thriller starring Tom Cruise, claimed a slim victory on Sunday over Walt Disney Co.'s animated "Lilo & Stitch." "Minority Report" grossed an estimated $36.9 million in its first three days beginning on Friday, according to its domestic distributor, Twentieth Century Fox, a unit of Fox Entertainment Group Inc. . The film cost $102 million to make. Disney said "Lilo & Stitch" made $35.8 million in its first three days, a figure that exceeded most studios' estimates for "Minority Report." Indeed, Disney claimed victory and expected final figures released on Monday would bear it out. Officials at the studio were less than impressed with Fox's claims.
  OpenSSH Gets Even More Suspicious
If you remotely administer any computers, or need to check your email over an untrusted network, odds are you're already familiar with the wonders of OpenSSH. Markus Friedl yesterday posted a release announcement for the newest version, OpenSSH 3.3. Privilege separation in OpenSSH is now enabled by default, another sign of the entire OpenBSD project's appropriate paranoia.
Friday, June 21
  Simple living yields simply millions in savings
Many people already lead simple-living lifestyles and don’t know it. And many of them are millionaires. Proof can be found in the best-selling book, “The Millionaire Next Door,” by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. You’d never guess that the subject of millionaires could have anything to do with simple living, but it does. This list represents simple living at its finest. Here’s why. Simple living is about living consciously and with a purpose. This means being in control of your money and your life. When you save your money rather than continue spending, you buy yourself control. Then you have a say in how you’d like to spend your time.
  MMS - Minority Media Services, Inc.
Minority Media Services, Inc. is the only full-service advertising and PR agency specializing on the Filipino-American consumer market. Our unique advantage is in our Filipino roots and mainstream expertise. Our in-depth understanding of the Filipino consumer and our active involvement with the Filipino-American community provide us with valuable insights and extraordinary access that give our clients a competitive edge. MMS was founded in 1991 but our principals have been on the marketing frontlines for decades, in America as well as in the Philippines and around Asia. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, we provide marketing services to clients across the U.S. and in the Philippines.
  Suspect Escapes Jail, Is Eaten by Crocodile
A 28-year-old Panamanian accused of killing a judge was eaten by a crocodile as he swam across a river after escaping from prison, police said on Thursday. Oswaldo Martinez, accused of murdering judge Harmodio Mariscal on June 5 during a failed robbery in Panama City, was captured last week by police after fleeing to neighboring Costa Rica. After being held in custody in Costa Rica, Martinez broke out of jail at the weekend and was aiming to reenter Panama through the dense jungle that divides the two Central American countries. Martinez was eaten alive by the crocodile on Monday as he tried to swim across the River Terraba in southern Costa Rica, according to eyewitness reports confirmed by police on Thursday.
Thursday, June 20
  Teachers Wanna Hold a Handheld
Schools are inching closer to putting a computer in the hands of every student, and a number of educators believe that handheld computers are the best and quickest way to make it happen. "I think it's a matter of time before we're all using (handhelds)," said Sally Hennis, a teacher and technology coordinator from St. Louis, who was practicing her graffiti. "I think it's a matter of getting other teachers to buy into it. I just see a lot of benefits for the everyday kid." The excitement doesn't surprise Elliot Soloway, a professor at the University of Michigan who is developing applications for the Palm OS. "Last year, handhelds were emerging," he said. "This year, it's established." Hennis uses her handheld computer all the time.
Wednesday, June 19
  Schools' Tech Support: Students
Teachers attending the National Educational Computing Conference weren't surprised that, according to a study, students are used to provide technical support in more than half the school districts in the country. The National School Boards Foundation surveyed technology decision-makers for 811 public school districts, including 90 out of the top 100 largest districts, and found that students provide technical support in 54 percent of the districts. "I'm surprised it's not higher than that," said Martha Cochenour, a teacher in the Mountainburg School District in Arkansas. "The teachers are of the older generation and we're just learning, whereas the kids have grown up with technology. "A lot of times I do feel that the students know more than I do." Students troubleshoot hardware, software and infrastructure problems in 43 percent of districts. They set up wiring and equipment in 39 percent and perform technical maintenance in 36 percent of districts.
  Finding Your Inner Fast Eddy
The Stochasticks, as it's called, consists of a 5-by-10-inch laptop carried in a backpack, a half-centimeter-by-1-inch long "lipstick" camera and a headset. The laptop is programmed to work out the best shot available on the table. The angles and trajectory of the shot are then displayed on the player's headset and superimposed on the table.
  Slashdot | Properly Testing Your Code?
lowlytester asks: "I work for an organization that does testing at various stages from unit testing (not XP style) to various kinds of integration tests. With all this one would expect that defect in code would be close to zero. Yet the number of defects reported is so large that I wonder how much testing is too much? What is the best way to get the biggest bang for your testing buck?" Sometimes it's not the what, it's the how, and in situations like this, I wonder if the testing procedure itself may be part of the problem. When testing code, what procedures work best for you, and do you feel that excessive testing hurts the development process at all?
  Slashdot | Slackware 8.1 is Released
MrSnivvel writes: "Slackware 8.1 has been released. Highlights of this release include KDE 3.0.1, GNOME 1.4.1 (with new additions like Evolution), the long-awaited Mozilla 1.0 browser, support for many new filesystems like ext3, ReiserFS, JFS, and XFS, and support for several new SCSI and ATA RAID controllers. Remember to buy your copies at List of download mirrors here. Public releases of Mozilla AND Slackware in the same month, I'm so happy I've soiled myself."
  Slashdot | The Owner-Builder Book
Jeff Lewis writes: My first house was a simple tract home that did not even have phone lines in two of the three bedrooms. A few months after I moved into this first house, a friend of mine invited us over to the house they were building. For $20,000 more than I had paid to purchase this little 1,500 SF tract home, my friend had built a 4,400 SF custom home. And he had not done any of the work himself." If you're considering home ownership, and especially if you want to design in the things which ordinary houses don't take into account (here are two more related stories: one, two), this sounds like a useful resource.
  Slashdot | Inside the Cult of TiVo
StudMuffin writes: "A group of TiVo enthusiasts from over at the TiVo Community Forum recently got together. About 100 people showed up to roast weenies and swap TiVo hacks and screen names. This is just plain cool, if you ask me. TiVo rocks. Of interest, however, was the representation of the TiVo company and the fact that they didn't fight to stop hacking their product. Does this relationship between hi-tech companies and hackers act as a model of how this relationship can work? TiVo even seems tolerant of really hardcore hacks as discussed on /. in the past."
Tuesday, June 18
  EBay Brings 'Mom and Pop' to Town
Twelve eBay users from around the country have been invited to company headquarters to give the Internet auction site's executives pieces of their minds: Customer service is lousy. The search engine is weak. Pop-up ads are deplorable. The eBay manager writing down their gripes quickly fills a large sheet of paper, then two, then three, eventually taping so many onto a wall that new ones go on the door. Michael Benson, a baseball card collector from St. Louis, adds his complaint: "EBay is going with the big sellers over the little sellers." Murmurs of assent can be heard around the table. "You've got to get back to mom and pop sellers," nods Judy Tomlin of Mecosta, Mich. That complaint is not new, but it is becoming increasingly common among longtime eBay users. Many say eBay, committed to growth, is giving big companies an unfair advantage by prominently featuring their brand-name wares, creating tough competition for the millions of regular folks who made eBay huge.
  GnomeTomes - Quick . Easy . Fun . Useful . Portable eBooks for Everyone
Q: What are GnomeTomes? A: Eletronic documents. eBooks. Each one has at least FIFTY separate tips to make your life more complete. Quick to digest, easy to remember, fun to read, useful to have on hand, and very portable. No matter who you are or what you do, I'm sure we've got a GnomeTome for you. After you make a selection and complete the purchase, you will be directed to a secure download location. Each download should be ~500k in size. Instant gratification!
  Slashdot | AlphaSmart Shows Palm-Based Laptop
krswan writes: "AlphaSmart, which has built proprietary 'mini-laptops' for education in the past, has released a Palm Compatible device with a full keyboard, built in rechargeable batteries, 2 USB ports, and two Secure Digital and Multimedia Card compatible slots - all for $399. It is only about 2 lbs and the screen resolution is 560X160. As a teacher, I would love 30 or so for my classroom. More details at the Dana website." It's basically still more a glorified keyboard (like the older AlphaSmart products) than a laptop, but that's not a bad thing.
  Amazon halves free-shipping minimum - Tech News -
Amazon is upping the ante on its competitors by testing a lower minimum-order requirement for its free-shipping program. The online retailer announced its free-shipping program for orders of $99 or more in January; since then, several other e-tailers have followed suit. Under the new program, all orders of $49 or more will be shipped for free. Amazon will test the program for three to six months, then make a final decision on whether to continue it. Orders must be shipped to a single U.S. address, and certain items are excluded, such as toys, video games and accessories, baby products, and goods offered through its partnership with Target.
Monday, June 17
  Booklend: A Lending Library By Post
Welcome to Booklend, a lending library that sends books out by the mail. Booklend is a project created and run by Mark Anderson, using code and design by Steve Cook and Vera Tobin. Since beginning in March 2001, more than 100 books have been loaned to 30 U.S. states and 5 Canadian provinces. Booklend gladly accepts donations of books for addition to the lending library. Donations can be sent to: Booklend PO Box 766 Concord, MA 01742
  Slashdot | Slashdot Effect, Live and In Person
Thread writes "This group is getting together slashdot readers all over the world. Check out to meet up with Slashdot readers in your town." The site is pretty much brand new, and it's a fun idea. We thought this was kind of a cool idea and something a bunch of people have asked for in email and in past stories so we thought "let's see what happens."
  BE A PILOT Learn to Fly!
Congratulations from BE A PILOT! You've just taken the first step toward becoming a new pilot! Flying will open up new worlds and new possibilities. How about flying to the beach for the day? Or flying your friends to a near-by town for lunch? Or visiting family without spending hours or days in a car? You may even decide on a career as an airline or corporate pilot. You can do it! Take a moment to register and print your own certificate for a special $49 introductory flight.
  Software maker wooing Mac Office users - Tech News -
Software company ThinkFree on Monday announced a low-cost alternative to Microsoft's Office software for Mac OS X, offering a package of word processing, graphics and spreadsheet software for $50. With ThinkFree Office, the company is one of several aiming to grab a piece of the office software market, once a hotbed of competition but now dominated by Microsoft. Corel and IBM still sell versions of WordPerfect Office and Lotus SmartSuite, respectively, and Sun Microsystems recently began charging $76 for a new version of StarOffice. "They've reopened the discussion," James Sullivan, ThinkFree's executive vice president of worldwide sales, said about the recent resurgence of interest in the office software market.
  India Tech's Plea: Come Back
Indian software companies have a simple message for all the Americans and Brits who listened when their governments urged that they flee the country: "Come back, there is no war." Reacting to mounting tension between India and Pakistan, the American Embassy and the British High Commission in New Delhi recently told their nationals in India they should leave the country. Many heeded the advice, especially after both India and Pakistan began discussing the possibility of using nuclear weapons. But through it all, Indians in the middle of watching the World Cup wondered what the fuss was all about. The Ministry for External Affairs of India staged a protest with the American and British missions for tarnishing the country's reputation. But the damage was already done: Americans and Brits flocked home in droves. Now the Indian software industry is launching a public relations campaign to convince foreigners that all this war talk is overblown. And, in what can be described as a scenario of the most optimistic order, software companies are advising clients not to worry -- because even if a nuclear bomb hits their town, their software projects are being backed up and will be kept safe in other countries.
  IM'ers Get a Secure Chat Room
It's probably a good guess that a lot of what's said on instant messaging software is pretty trivial, neither vital to national security nor tightly held business secrets -- mostly office gossip, diet tips, celebrity news, and emotion-addled sweet nothings whispered to your sweetie. But IM is "maturing," according to Chris Matteo, the president of IMpasse Systems, and many people are now using commercial IM software to do serious business. This trend worries some companies, as nothing said over IM is very private. Not only do instant messages travel freely over the Internet, like e-mail, but they're also explicitly routed through the servers of the company that provides the service -- and who knows what can happen there? This situation prompted Matteo to create an application that encrypts conversations between chatters, making the chat unintelligible to those who might be listening in. The software, called IMPasse, sits on a machine alongside AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger -- the three biggest chatting apps. With IMPasse, any conversation or portion of a conversation can be quickly scrambled. Both parties to a chat need the software; IMPasse charges $20 for two licenses.
  Slashdot | Gentoo Linux 1.2
MrOutlander writes "Gentoo Linux releases version 1.2 of their cutting edge distribution with many updates including KDE 3.0.1 (20020604) and GNOME 2 (beta, 20020607) support. I love emerge :)"
  Slashdot | AllTheWeb Claims Bigger Index Than Google
An anonymous readers writes: "Hoping to attract more mass appeal for an online search engine with a cult following, Norwegian search engine AlltheWeb on Monday declared that it indexes more Internet information than longtime pacesetter Google. has the story." Of course, pages indexed is not the only measure of a search engine and probably isn't even the most important.
  Slashdot | Monopolists Dropped Off At The County Line
An anonymous reader submits: "In this discussion thread members of PLUG (Phoenix Linux Users Group) may have come up with a way to pressure governmental agencies to switch to software other than that from Microsoft. County purchasing policies in Maricopa County, AZ prohibit purchasing from companies or persons convicted under state or federal antitrust statutes. At least one other county, Coconino, that I have checked so far has similar requirements. I think that it's time to make the government follow their own rules and stop spending any more money with criminals."
  Wal-Mart trims prices of Linux-based PCs - Tech News -
Wal-Mart is rolling back prices on Linux PCs. The price-conscious retailer is offering, via its Web site, a wider selection of new desktop PCs from Microtel Computer Systems, both with and without the Linux-based LindowsOS. The new PCs start at $299 and include a preinstalled copy of LindowsOS, a version of the open-source operating system that sports a graphical user interface and the ability to run Windows applications, according to its manufacturer.
Sunday, June 16
  Online Games: The Future Is When?
Online games, the latest craze for the rapidly expanding video-game industry, still face a series of growing pains. Despite a growing base of players, a host of questions have given companies pause when it comes to online games, ranging from bandwidth issues to the high cost of developing games to determining how much gamers are willing to pay.
  Slashdot | FreeBSD 4.6
An Anonymous Coward writes "FreeBSD 4.6 is out! The announcement is out, and so are the release notes. Have fun, and thanks to the FreeBSD team!" The announcement has all the mirror information, etc.
  Forest Employee Started Fires
A U.S. Forest Service employee set the fire that scorched more than 100,000 acres in Colorado and forced thousands to evacuate by burning a letter from her estranged husband in the Pike National Forest, authorities said Sunday. Forestry technician Terry Barton, 38, admitted starting the fire while patrolling the forest to enforce a fire ban, said assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Leone.
Saturday, June 15
  Slashdot | Nintendo Ressurecting Classic NES Games to the GBA
The Pi-Guy writes "It seems contradictory to Big N's massive anti-emulation stance to introduce the GBA as an emulator itself! An official N press release states that there will be "full classic NES games for download to the GBA"." Probably not so much Duck Hunt, but it sure would be sweet to get SMB3 on my GBA. Then I could go blind!
Friday, June 14
  | Metroid Fusion - Games - Nintendo |
The original Metroid development team is bringing Samus Aran to Game Boy Advance in the most intense action game yet for the portable console. Revealed for the first time at the 2002 E3Expo in Los Angeles, Metroid Fusion is a side-scrolling action masterpiece with incredibly detailed graphics and great gameplay. For a full gallery of Metroid Fusion screen shots and video footage, check out the detailed coverage on Samus suits up for action this November.
  Game Boy: Punch King
Punch King is a very, very simplistic arcade boxing title with very little to do. It tries to offer both the familiar pattern-recognition design of Punch Out while giving players more freedom to wallop the opponent at any given time. In the game, the player (green hair, transparent and obvious nod to Nintendo's series) must work his way up the fight ladder of 12 different fighters, each with their own special attack along with the normal flurry of punches. It's a three round bout to get the other guy to kiss the canvas...if you get knocked out three times, or if you can't knock him out by the end of the third round, the bout is over and you'll need to spend a credit to continue (you only get three). Players must watch their fatigue meter when they fight, since every punch will wear down your character until you'll have to take a break. But by filling up the K.O. meter with a string of successful punches, you won't have to worry about the fatigue meter at all...and it's all about swinging your fists until the opponent can stand no longer.
  Ask Jeeves adopts minimalist motif - Tech News -
Web search company Ask Jeeves this week launched a redesign of its flagship site intended to clarify its international brand amid increasing competition. The redesigned Jeeves site is modeled on the U.K. Ask Jeeves site, which Jeeves acquired two years ago. The most prominent change in the redesigned flagship site is the addition of three tabs that searchers can click through for results in the categories "Web results," "shopping results" and "news results." Taking a page from the design bibles of its slender and minimalist competitors such as Google and Yahoo, the search site named for the portly English butler has slimmed down with the aim of letting visitors click through results pages more quickly.
  Slashdot | Walmart Ships PCs with Lindows OS
Tonetheman writes "Walmart is now shipping low cost PC's with Lindows pre-installed. And yes I know there was a review earlier on Slashdot about installing Linux on one of these bad boys. This is different and much more exciting. To think of the legions of rednecks who could now possibly be running Lindows instead of Windows..." There's a Newsforge story too. Hopefully Lindows makes a good impression.
  Record Biz Has Burning Question
The record industry continues its claims that the sky is falling due to piracy. But the very CD-burning technologies that make piracy easier these days make people who buy music want to buy more. By Brad King.
Thursday, June 13
  Found: Solar System Like Our Own
There's another solar system like ours, and it's very close by. Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley and the Carnegie Institution announced Thursday that they've found the first planetary system that closely resembles our own. The system centers around the sun-like star 55 Cancri, which lies in the Cancer constellation, only 41 light years away. Just around the corner, in astronomical terms. "It's not quite a sibling to our solar system," said the Carnegie Institution's Paul Butler, one of the primary researchers. But 55 Cancri is like "a first cousin." Since 1995, scientists have discovered about 80 planets outside of our solar system. But none of these "extrasolar" planets really looked like any of the ones in our backyard; they orbited too close to their stars, mostly making elongated, uneven rotations.
  Behind Linux's Struggle in Gov't
It's free, it's becoming more secure, and it's even the dirty little secret among some computer geeks who work in the U.S. government. Then why isn't Linux more prevalent? One word: Microsoft. Another: Oracle. By Declan McCullagh and Robert Zarate.
  Using Apache As A Proxy Server
Apache isn't just the planet's most popular Web server - it's also one heck of a proxy server. This article explores the process of installing and configuring Apache to act as a proxy server for your network, demonstrating how it can be used to cache frequently-accessed Web sites, log Internet access and block offensive domains, in addition to serving up Web content. Talk about getting two servers for the price of one!
  Slashdot | Is it Wrong to Accept an Employment Counter-Offer?
An Anonymous Coward asks: "I was happily working away at a low-paying but otherwise good job I'd had for several months, after taking a huge pay cut when the dot.bomb bubble burst. Then a recruiter contacted me with a very nice potential position - I interviewed and received an offer with a 50% increase in pay, everything else nearly the same. When I received the offer and decided I was interested, I broke the news to my current employer - to my surprise they extended a counter-offer with a matching salary, thereby eliminating my only reason for considering the other job. However, I talked to some friends and checked the web for ideas and realized that there are a *lot* of ppl out there who believe you should never accept a counter-offer. They make some good points, and there are a lot of those pages - but on the web popularity breeds increased popularity, in a self-feeding cycle, so I'm wondering if the numbers are skewed unrealistically. Is it really that rare to do well by accepting a counter-offer? Do Slashdot readers have experience with counter-offers from present employers, positive or negative?"
Wednesday, June 12
whatever you can come up with, the essence of BROWN-OUT.COM: captures/examines this new, evolving breed/culture of filipinos in the usa in the raw, uninhibited freeform .. certainly with flips assimilating by multiple generations [flip growth in america slowly passing its puberty] , capturing and reflecting the evolution of the flip mentality/character/social prescence/(talent/adjustment/assimilation/beliefs/etc) is not only a noble and useful sounding cause, but a urgent necessity. though lofty the ambition, BROWN-OUT.COM places the highest emphasis on honest, personal, raw, unabashed individual experience/perspective. no one is here with the burden of 'representing' the 'whole' properly.' so dig in forewarned; anything and everything goes, no holds barred.
  Xbox hackers release media player - Tech News -
The first homemade software to take advantage of new hacker add-ons for the Xbox has started to dribble onto the Internet, including a media player that purportedly runs DivX video files. Programmers posting on the XboxHacker Web site said they have completed an initial version of "Xbox Media Player." The software allows modified Xbox consoles to play videos in the VCD format, commonly used for bootleg movie discs, and versions 3.x and 4.x of DivX, a controversial compression format used to swap videos over the Internet. Future versions of the application will include support for MP3 and Windows Media Audio files, according to the developers.
Tuesday, June 11
  Slashdot | Lawrence Livermore Lab On The Chopping Block?
guttentag writes "According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Bush's Homeland Security plan calls for transferring $1.2 billion of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's $1.5 billion budget to a new Department of Homeland Security under Tom Ridge. However, the plan transfers only 4 percent of the lab's employees. Ridge's explanation of the numbers: "I cannot give you the kind of explanation you need to deal with that imbalance." LLNL funded and houses the ASCI White supercomputer, among other cool projects." While Livermore has an impressive research record, we would miss most the laser lab from Tron.
  How Bad Can a 'Dirty Bomb' Be?
Science and military experts disagreed on Monday on the impact of a radiological weapon, like the kind accused al-Qaida operative Abdullah al Mujahir was allegedly plotting to explode. Some see only a "minuscule" rise in cancer rates, while others predict that huge sections of New York or Washington would become uninhabitable if such a bomb were ever to go off. All the experts stress that a "dirty bomb" is not the same as a nuclear weapon, which generates intense heat and radiation from splitting atoms, according to a statement from Rob Fanney and Jim Tinsley of defense watchdog Jane's Information Group. A dirty bomb packs radioactive material inside or around conventional explosives, which are then detonated to spread the radioactive material. The radiation wouldn't immediately kill, Naval War College professor William Martel said. "But it'd create huge amounts of terror, havoc, and panic."
  Have Geocache, Will Travel
"N 40° 47.920 W 073° 57.384" marks the spot. Actually, those coordinates mark just one of the thousands of special spots in a high-tech worldwide scavenger hunt known as geocaching. The rules of the game are simple: Someone creates and hides a cache -- usually a weatherproof container holding a stash of inexpensive goodies -- and then posts coded clues and the cache's latitude and longitude coordinates on one of the many websites devoted to the sport. Anyone can then attempt to find the cache. "It's a game where you are the search engine," explained Jeremy Irish, who maintains a popular geocaching website.
  Geocaching - The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site
Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for gps users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to take advantage of the wonderful features and capability of a gps unit. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is if they get something they should try to leave something for the cache.
  Super-Secure Linux, Inch by Inch
Developers have turned Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux), a prototype created in part by the National Security Agency, into a module that operates almost seamlessly on the Linux operating system. "Even though SELinux wasn't intended as a complete secure system, we knew that as released it could make a substantial impact to the security of systems that incorporated it," says Grant Wagner, technical director for NSA's Secure Systems Research Office. It might seem a little unusual for the NSA to be working hand-in-hand with free-software aficionados. After all, this is the agency depicted as a clutch of inveterate snoops in the movie Enemy of the State, not to mention a top contender for the highest number of "Big Brother" awards. But to the NSA, there's no disconnect. In addition to codebreaking, the NSA is responsible for keeping the U.S. government's secrets secure -- in other words, codemaking.
Monday, June 10
  Yahoo cleans up home page with beta - Tech News -
Yahoo confirmed Monday that it is working to redesign its home page, simplifying the layout and giving more exposure to advertisers. As previously reported, the Web portal, which has maintained the basic framework of its home page since 1995, will introduce the new site by the beginning of July. Yahoo on Monday launched a preview version of the site; the company expects this version to undergo few changes before the final redesign goes live. In addition to the home page, Yahoo plans to revise the look of its Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Shopping services. The new version of its popular e-mail service will integrate functions such as its address book, calendar and notepad into its altered interface. The new Yahoo Mail will also include new navigation tools, such as drop-down menus in DHTML (dynamic HTML) and different category tabs, and will sport a new color scheme that people can change. DHTML combines style sheets, scripts and formatting commands to make Web pages more interactive.
  Browsing Around for New Targets
Jeffrey Zeldman and the Web Standards Project are back with a wake-up call for Web developers everywhere: The problem today isn't Microsoft or Netscape –- it's you. Now, Zeldman says the time has come to address the other, possibly tougher roadblock to universal Web accessibility: those who build sites, not browsers. "Though today's browsers support standards, tens of thousands of professional designers and developers continue to use outdated methods" for architecting and building online content, says the mission statement on a new version of the WaSP site to be launched Tuesday. The result, according to WaSP's statement, is a locked-out audience: "Highly paid professionals continue to churn out invalid, inaccessible sites" unreadable by surfers using off-brand browsers, wireless Web devices or special-access technology for surfers with disabilities.
  Apple's "Real People" ad seeks PC crowd - Tech News -
In its largest marketing effort since the "Think Different" campaign, Apple Computer is planning a series of TV and print ads featuring people who tell why they switched from a PC to a Mac. The "Real People" ads will start appearing this week. The TV versions are directed by documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, director of "The Thin Blue Line." In an interview, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the overall campaign are intended to show consumers they won't get stranded on a technology island if they switch to Apple.
  Coming to grips with handheld costs - Tech News -
Handhelds and PDAs cost much less than PCs and can simplify day-to-day business tasks, but that doesn't mean the tiny machines are cheap to own, according to a new study. Devices such as a Palm, Pocket PC or Handspring Treo sell anywhere from $99 to $499, but they cost companies as much as $3,000 per user to operate each year, researcher Gartner said in the study, released Monday. Add a wireless connection with monthly service fees, and the yearly cost rises to nearly $4,400.
  GBA PSOne LCD Project
In April of 2002, I had an idea to improve the screen size as well as brightness of Nintendo's Game Boy Advance portable entertainment console, since the console is almost unplayable in indoor lighting conditions.
  Slashdot | PalmOS 5 Turns Gold
Stalke writes: "On sunday, PalmSource (the spinoff from Palm responsible for the development of the PalmOS) announced that PalmOS 5 has gone gold. This latest version of the operating system includes support for ARM processors, Bluetooth and 802.11b, high-res displays (320x320; although Sony already uses even high res displays in its NR70) and more. Products with PalmOS 5 should start shipping in just over a months' time!"
  Slashdot | Game Boy Advance RGB LCD Project
JohnHegarty writes: "Ever wanted a large backlit screen for the GBA, or even watching it on a 28" TV? Here is a project to use a GBA on a PlayStation screen." Another example of the lengths people will go to to mock the term "pocket sized."
  EarthLink's up with PeoplePC - Tech News -
Internet service provider EarthLink said Monday that it will acquire PeoplePC in a deal valued at about $10 million. Under the terms of the deal, EarthLink will offer $.0171 per outstanding PeoplePC share. The value of the deal could be raised to $14.3 million, or $.0245 a share, under certain conditions. EarthLink will also take on $35 million in deferred service liabilities to PeoplePC subscribers. San Francisco-based PeoplePC, which sells low-cost computers with bundled Internet access, went public in August 2000, raising $85 million with shares priced at $10 a share, but investors were skeptical about the company's prospects almost from the start.
Sunday, June 9
  Slashdot | Distributed Chess Computing Project
jcarley writes "Just found an interesting project that is looking to capitalise on the power of unused computing cycles to develop a strong chess playing computer. Given the power in single and dual CPU chess programmes these days, if they can find a good way to efficiently parallel the anaysis this could be interesting. "
  Slashdot | Ideal PDA Feature Wishlist?
RichiP asks: "My memory is so poor I forget friends' birthdays and appointments I made a day ago. I sometimes have an idea I want to jot down but that I end up forgetting when I finally come upon pen & paper. To help myself, I was thinking of purchasing one of those integrated PDA and cellphone devices (first the Handspring Treo then another by Samsung), but I've always felt that these devices were still far from ideal. I was wondering if the Slashdot community would share their wishlist of features for what they believe would be the ideal Personal Digital Assistant. Features for input, processing and output are all welcome. Perhaps the device I want may be years from becoming commercial. Given the right ideas from input from others, I might be able to come up with my own device or start an open project geared towards it." Even if you do feel that PDAs have a limited lifespan, if you had a chance to add a feature to a PDA (especially if you felt it would increase the lifespan of the PDA), what would it be?
  Lewis KO's Tyson
Lewis bloodied both of Tyson's eyes and his nose before knocking him out two minutes and 25 seconds into the eighth round with a punishing overhand right to the jaw. "I wanted to complete my legacy as the best fighter on the planet," said Lewis. "I showed boxing who is the best in the world. I can adapt to any style. No one gets away from my jab." Lewis's performance before 15,327 at The Pyramid Saturday night was stunningly complete. The heavyweight champion's stinging jab kept Tyson off-balance and searching -- unsuccessfully -- for ways to turn the fight into a toe-to-toe brawl.
  Yahoo to give home page a makeover - Tech News -
Yahoo is planning to launch a newly redesigned home page that features a cleaner layout and a better showcase for advertisers, according to sources familiar with the changes. The online portal, which has maintained the basic framework of its home page since 1995, will introduce the new site about mid-June, according to one source. Yahoo is hosting a user survey to gauge how Web surfers view the site's performance and usability. The redesign is being fueled partly by advertisers, which are increasingly demanding more real estate on highly visible spots such as Yahoo's home page. Advertisers are irked that they can only buy minimal exposure on the main page of a site that draws a massive audience. The site sells a banner that is half the standard size of comparable ads on the Web. It also sells a square ad, or what it calls a "mantle" ad, in the center of its page for video or rich-media ads.
  Amazon unwraps timed discounts - Tech News - is going the route of QVC or the Home Shopping Network. The leading e-tailer has introduced a new feature called "Gold Box," which offers customers discounts once a day on a select group of products. As with the limited-time discounted offers on the cable shopping networks, after clicking on the Gold Box's treasure chest icon, Amazon customers have just one hour to decide if they want to buy one of five deeply discounted items. If they pass up the offer, their Gold Box won't be replenished with new items until 24 hours later. Amazon has been testing the feature on and off since May with customers who have bought at least one item through the Web store, company spokeswoman Patty Smith said. The company is offering products in its non-media departments only, meaning that customers will not see any offers for best-selling books or the latest DVDs, she said.
  SBC fixes glitch blocking DSL - Tech News -
SBC Communications said Friday it has fixed a "glitch" that's been disrupting high-speed Internet customers across half of California since Thursday. SBC was having problems with a server that helps provide DSL (digital subscriber line) service in an area running from California's Central Valley to the Oregon border, a company representative said. The company said it did not know the cause of the glitch. The server authenticates customers before allowing them onto SBC's DSL network. The glitch caused an "intermittent outage," barring people from logging on, the representative said.
  Slashdot | Open Source Limitations?
aargh writes "This ZDNet article by John Carroll makes the claim that open source is flawed because there isn't a way for programmers to earn money by developing open source software. It annoyed me so much that I wrote this response to it on the O'Reilly Network."
Friday, June 7
  Slashdot | Game Developers Cracking Down on Cheating
Hector73 writes "ZDNet has an article discussing a growing concern for the makers of on-line video games. Cheaters and trolls are making it harder for casual users and newbies to get hooked on the on-line versions of games. Considering that on-line gaming may become the major revenue source for game makers over the few years, maybe they will actually do something about it."
  Slashdot | MTV Movie Awards Webpage Pull a Lone Gunman
abouttime writes "What happens when your webmasters and the show scheduling people don't communicate? This page on the mtv site is where the winners of the awards are known before the show even airs tonight... Way to go MTV....." I wonder if it will be pulled by the time the story goes up....oh and in case you can't figure it out, spoiler alert...
Thursday, June 6
  AppForge MobileVB Hello World Tutorial: Installing MobileVB
This step-by-step tutorial will guide you through installing AppForge, writing your first "Hello World" application, and installing your application on your handheld.
  Security through obsolescence
Here's an interesting way to secure an Internet-connected computer against intruders: Make sure the operating system and software it runs are so old that current hacking tools won't work on it. This was suggested by Brian Aker, one of the programmers who works on, NewsForge, Slashdot, and other OSDN sites; he runs several servers of his own that host a number of small non-profit sites in the Seattle area. "I have one box still running a version of Solaris that's so old none of the script kiddies can figure it out," Brian says. "They tend to focus on the latest and greatest, and don't have the slightest idea how to handle my old Sun box." Brian points out that some of the most secure Department of Defense Web sites -- ones that don't make headlines by getting cracked all the time -- run old versions of Mac OS and the venerable WebSTAR server suite. "[Mac is] a great operating system for that application," he says. "No scripting or remote capability at all, so there's no way for them to get in."
  Slashdot | Security Through Obsolescence
dlur writes "This article and this article (both variations of the same article written by roblimo) delve past security through obscurity, into using old, out of date software to secure a site. Maybe it's not always in your best interest to snag the latest kernel? Perhaps think twice before jumping at the chance to buy MS's latest OS."
  Davezilla | Your ass is mine for two minutes
Being Jakob Nielsen
  EGM's Top 100 Games of All Time
It's controversial. It's conversational. Agree to disagree with EGM's Top 100 Games of All Time list now! 1. Super Metroid (Super NES) 2. Tetris (various) ...
  The Top 10 Xbox Games of 2002
You've got an Xbox but you don't know what to do now that Halo's a little bit - how shall we put it - old? Well check out our feature and take a peek at ten of the games that have us excited to be Xbox owners. 10. Hunter: The Reckoning
  How MS Will Make Cheaper Xbox Units
Curious how MS will be able to cut the Xbox price point without losing giant piles of money on every unit produced? Taiwanese tech news site DigiTimes sheds light on how Microsoft will be able to lower the price of its console. According to their report, MS may soon renegotiate its DVD-drive supply contracts with Thompson, Philips and Samsung in order to force the component prices down as much as 30%. The prices for other parts, such as the power supply and cable connectors, may also be pushed down. These lower-priced components will be a part of what DigiTimes calls "second-generation" Xbox units, presumably a slightly reconfigured, cheaper model that will begin shipping in September. We'll have full news on the Xbox price drop one week from today, when MS holds its pre-E3 press conference.
Wednesday, June 5
  Xbox: Hot Box: June Edition
Admittedly, it's a little hard to focus on some of the most recent games now that E3 is over. While no one can call into question the goodness of Morrowind or the irreverent fun of Outlaw Golf, our thoughts are now more firmly focused on the latter half of the year, when most of those beautiful games from E3 will hit the store shelves. That's not to say the summer is lacking in good titles. There are some solid hits waiting to be bought. Here are the games scheduled to ship in June: 6/4 Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind 6/11 Test Drive 6/11 Outlaw Golf 6/24 Gravity Games Bike: Street. Vert. Dirt. 6/25 Mike Tyson's Heavyweight Boxing 6/25 RedCard Soccer 20-03 6/25 Splashdown
  Xbox: Wanted: IGN Xbox Intern
Yes, being an intern kinda sucks, but the job does come with a few perks. There's plenty of free shwag (games, shirts, underoos, posters, temporary tattoos) to be had as well as fun parties filled with free booze and people you don't know. You have to get your foot in the door somewhere, so it might as well be in a laid-back environment like IGN. Several of IGN's greatest have managed to break into the industry and now work for video game companies. You could be next. If you can get past the smell, it's not a bad place to be. Some interns have even gone on to gainful employment, like the fabulous Hilary Goldstein, the stupendous Mr. Daniel Adams, and the verbose Ivan Sulic.
  An introduction to Projections: A Futurist at the Movies.
This is a site about the future in movies. This includes: 1. explicit depictions of the future 2. depictions of significant events that have yet to occur. It is not film criticism. Movies include the future for myriad reasons, and approach it from many angles. They are all treated equally here, as if they were making predictions. Many are attempting no such thing.
  Slashdot | Crack a Password, Save Norwegian History
Christian writes "With the death of the only person who knew the password to an archive held at a museum in Norway, suddenly the data became inaccessible. The result? A nationwide radio appeal asking for "hackers" to volunteer to help solve the problem! The Norway Post has the story." I wonder if they looked under his keyboard yet..
  Slashdot | Einstein's Theory To Go Beta Testing
pinqkandi writes: "This article over at CNN looks into the relativity of Einstein's theory of relativity (pun intended) as equipment becomes more and more precise. Soon atomic clocks will be placed in the International Space Station to analyze the accuracy of Einstein's theories. One of the lead researchers says that if Einstein's theory is not right, it will only need minor adjustments to account for changes in space-time, due to its deadly accurate precision."
  Fuel Cell Car Coasts Across U.S.
Call it the little fuel cell engine that could. DaimlerChrysler's Necar 5 completed the first transcontinental journey of a fuel cell powered vehicle on Tuesday. Even its owners weren't sure the feat was possible, considering the technology's nascent state of development. Although renewable-energy backers hailed the accomplishment, most agree that it's too early to tell when or if hydrogen will replace petroleum as the predominant source of transportation energy. The Necar 5 sedan left San Francisco on May 20 for a 3,262-mile trip that provided the first durability test for a fuel cell vehicle. The trip featured diverse weather conditions that included rain, snow, sleet, as well as 95-degree heat. DaimlerChrysler said the most rigorous test it had performed previously was a 600-mile ride in California.
  Did MS Pay for Open-Source Scare?
Authors of a new report on the perils of open source software are being very closed-mouth about their funding sources. "Opening the Open Source Debate," a white paper slated to be released Friday by the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, indicates that open-source software is inherently less secure than proprietary software. The report warns governments against relying on open-source software for national security. Open-source advocates wondered if the white paper is actually a veiled Microsoft response to recent reports of rising government and military interest in open-source systems. A Microsoft spokesman confirmed that Microsoft provides funding to the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution.
  Slashdot | Games in High School?
Joe Griego of Bishop Union High School, CA asks: "I'm the Director of I.T. for a small school district, and we've implemented a 'Game Night' for our kids. We open the lab once or twice a month, and let the kids sign up for the lab computers (we have 34 of them), and play LAN games until the wee hours. It's a lot of fun for the kids, and I enjoy seeing them use the computers for recreation, as opposed to purely academic purposes. However, my question would be - do other high schools even do this?" Judging by the post-Columbine reactions from the government, parent's groups, school systems, and the media, if a school is doing this, it's probably on the QT. Personally, I think this is a great idea, it keeps kids off of the streets and their parents know where they are. What do you think?
  Evolving viruses threat to many platforms - Tech News -
A new virus called Simile.D may not be much of a threat to computer systems, but some of its technical tricks could lead to a rethinking of the principles underlying antivirus software. The program has code that not only works hard to hide the virus' presence, it also randomizes the program's size so as to make it harder to identify. On top of that, the fourth and latest variant of the bug--which emerged this week--can spread to both Windows and Linux computers. "This is really pushing the boundaries on how to create cross-platform viruses," said Vincent Weafer, senior director of security response for antivirus-software maker Symantec. The virus is hard-coded proof that a small segment of rogue programmers can create complex code that is still difficult for antivirus software to detect. If more viruses like Simile.D appear, it could leave antivirus companies with a tough trade-off.
Tuesday, June 4 - U.S. had agents inside al-Qaeda
U.S. intelligence overheard al-Qaeda operatives discussing a major pending terrorist attack in the weeks prior to Sept. 11 and had agents inside the terror group, but the intercepts and field reports didn't specify where or when a strike might occur, according to U.S. officials. The disclosures add to a growing body of evidence to be examined in congressional hearings that open today into how the CIA, FBI and other agencies failed to seize on intelligence pointing to the deadliest terror attack in U.S. history. via metafilter.
  Can Segway's scooter speed snail mail? - Tech News -
Seeking to discover whether big-city streets or bumpy country roads can keep mail carriers from their appointed rounds, the U.S. Postal Service said on Tuesday that it is set to expand testing of the much-anticipated Segway Human Transporter scooter into six cities. Postmaster General John Potter said the post office has bought 40 of the innovative Segway devices to begin a second phase of testing in Norman, Okla., and five new locations including Memphis, Tenn., the Bronx in New York City, San Francisco, Chandler, Ariz., and a sixth, yet-to-be-determined location. The Segway is undergoing extensive preliminary testing by postal workers, police in cities such as Atlanta, and among warehouse workers at companies such as to ensure the safety of the vehicles, which are promoted by Segway as an alternative to other forms of personal transportation.
  PlayStation: Top 25 Games of All Time: Complete List
In putting together our list of the PlayStation's best, we took many different things into consideration. We measured factors such as how the game ranked against others in its genre. We looked at the game's overall depth and replay value, while also taking into account its innovation and the impact that it made at the time of its release. And we also measured the overall timelessness of the title (i.e. - would we still play the game today?). In some cases, the timelessness of one game gave it an edge over the innovation of another, while in others the impact that a particular game made gave it an edge over the stronger points that another game had over it. And after taking everything into account, including our own personal likes and dislikes, we've come up with what we believe are the Top 25 Games of All Time on PlayStation.
  Rancho Santa Fe is richest community
The schools are outstanding, there's almost no crime and the sun shines 320 days a year. Only residents can join the community's world-class golf club. But only the rich need apply. Rancho Santa Fe, a town of 5,000 people 30 miles north of San Diego, is the nation's wealthiest community, according to Census figures released Tuesday. "It's a wonderful place," said Annie Perez, who owns Bolero Mexican cafe in the tiny downtown area and lives nearby. "This is the best life." The per capita income of more than $113,000 puts Rancho Santa Fe ahead of Atherton and Woodside, both near San Francisco, Palm Beach, Fla., and Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Census figures show. Indian River Shores, Fla., ranked No. 1 in the last Census in 1990, fell to seventh place in the latest survey.
  Slashdot | Unofficial GBA SDK Available for Free
BlackGriffen writes "Anyone who is interested in making their own Gameboy Advance ROMs can go get an unofficial GBA SDK . With this and a flash ROM kit from someplace like, we could see a flourishing indie game making community. Available for Linux and Mac OS X only (for now, it's open source)."
Monday, June 3
  EPA: Old Computers No Longer Junk
Obsolete computers, televisions, VCRs and cell phones are flooding landfills and incinerators, causing hazardous substances such as lead and mercury to seep into the environment. Now, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to change its universal waste rule to encourage re-use and recycling, rather than dumping, of electronic equipment. But the EPA's plan doesn't go far enough, critics say. Electronic junk "recycled" in the United States is likely to be shipped to China, India or Pakistan, where it ends up in waterways or burned in rice fields, instead of being re-used as high-tech materials on store shelves. "We think it's a good first step to addressing the e-waste problem," said Michael Bender, executive director of the Mercury Policy Project. "But it doesn't address the large percentage of computers that are dumped on developing countries outside the United States, nor does it address the need for recycling standards to avoid scam recycling."
  CensusScope: Your Portal to Census 2000 Data
CensusScope is an easy-to-use tool for investigating U.S. demographic trends, brought to you by the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN) at the University of Michigan. With eye-catching graphics and exportable trend data, CensusScope is designed for generalists and specialists.
  Google's Search for Winner Ends
A 27-year-old New York computer scientist was named the winner of Google's first programming contest on Thursday for creating a location-based search tool that could allow Google users to restrict their search results to specific geographic regions. Daniel Egnor won $10,000 in cash and a trip to Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California, where he'll have the chance to run his code on some of Google's systems. According to the contest's rules, Google can now use his code in its own systems, but company representative said they had no plans to implement the tool in the publicly available search engine. If added to Google, Egnor's code would allow a searcher to ask for pages that match a keyword and are based in a particular location. The usual million-plus results that come up for the ever-popular search of "Britney Spears," for example, could be shortened to just a few hundred thousand if all one really needed were Britney pages based in Bangladesh.
  Wireless Web activates in small towns - Tech News -
Wireless Web service providers have begun bringing broadband Internet access to rural areas and small markets largely overlooked by larger Web providers. The latest example was on Monday in Missoula, Mont., a town of 50,000, where two local Internet providers began offering service from a wireless Internet network capable of speeds 30 times that of a dial-up modem. Similar kinds of wireless networks will become available in Maui, Hawaii, and areas of Vancouver, British Columbia, in the next few weeks. Wireless service provider Walker Wireless has launched a similar network in New Zealand and just got a $20 million cash infusion and a partnership with Vodafone, the largest cell phone provider in the world. Wireless is one proposed answer to the problem of bringing Internet access to rugged areas where it costs too much to lay in fiber-optic cable or other traditional forms of Internet access. Wireless is a less expensive alternative, but it has been slow to take hold because of such technological hurdles as signal strength and has also faced concerns over the reliability of the service.
  Linux contract treads on Microsoft turf - Tech News -
The German government has signed a deal with IBM and Linux company SuSE that makes it easier for government offices to use the open-source operating system, a move that addresses concerns about relying too heavily on Microsoft products. The government isn't mandating the use of Linux, but the deal makes it possible for hundreds of federal, regional and local governments to purchase IBM computers running SuSE's version of Linux at a discount price, said German foreign ministry spokesman Dirk Inger. The purchasing framework covers both desktop computers, where Microsoft has its stronghold, and more powerful networked server systems where Linux is a stronger competitor. The deal provides an open-source counterweight to an earlier discount arrangement with Microsoft.
  MIT student hacks into Xbox - Tech News -
A graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology claims he has found a way to circumvent the security system for Microsoft's Xbox video game console, opening the way for hackers to use it to run competing software. The MIT computer expert, who posted his report on his university Web site over the weekend, also questioned the security behind Microsoft's soon-to-launch online service, Xbox Live, saying hackers could exploit a flaw in the system to identify individual players from their game machines. Andrew Huang, who recently completed a Ph.D. thesis on supercomputer architecture, wrote a memo May 26 describing his efforts to build hardware that would read the Xbox's internal security system. A link to the 15-page report was posted this weekend at technology news and discussion Web site Computer enthusiasts have been excited about the possibility of using the $199 Xbox, which is technologically similar to a PC, as a stand-alone computer running operating systems like Linux.
  Tiny Tickets Riders>> East Bay Community Foundation
BART tickets with tiny bits of value on them that you find in your wallet, pockets and drawers have just become far more valuable to the Bay Area's community organizations. As part of the Tiny Tickets Program, BART ticket holders may donate these tickets to their favorite charitable and nonprofit organizations. Connecting local resources and community needs is what the Tiny Tickets Program is all about.
  Broadband users cut into cable - Tech News -
When Noah A., an AT&T Broadband customer, dropped his subscription to DirecTV several months back, he joined a small but growing group of cable TV pirates who use their high-speed Internet connection to pilfer video signals. Drawing on old-school methods to splice cable TV lines for unauthorized use, hackers say they can buy a splitter at the local electronics store and easily run an additional line from the cable modem line for the computer into the television. Without a set-top box, the result is free, basic, analog cable; with an illegal converter or set-top, hackers say they have access to premium channels such as HBO and Showtime. "I only get (basic) cable. I don't subscribe; it just comes to my house along with the cable modem signal," said Noah, who wished to keep his last name anonymous. He saves roughly $40 a month on cable but spends about $42 a month on Internet access.
  Microsoft polishes Office for Apple - Tech News -
Microsoft plans to release on Monday the first significant update to the Mac OS X version of Office and will also introduce a version of its instant messaging program designed for the latest Mac operating system. As previously reported, Service Release 1 for Office v. X is a free download that offers more than 1,000 tweaks, bug fixes and performance enhancements. Among the more noticeable changes are improvements to the way text appears on the screen and tweaks that let Office communicate with the server version of Apple Computer's FileMaker database software. The software giant is also releasing MSN Messenger 3.0, the first version of Microsoft's instant messaging program to fully take advantage of OS X. In addition to being adjusted for OS X, the new Messenger adds the ability to transfer files.
  Slashdot | Sun Discovers Dumb Terminals
Yahoo has a story about how Sun is practicing a sort of floating workforce - many employees have no permanent desks, they just come in and log on to a dumb terminal, err, thin client. Besides being a sneaky way to encourage employees to arrive ever earlier at work, it probably is cheaper to run the business off a few large Sun servers - at least for Sun.
  Slashdot | Opera 6.03 - The Wild Child of Browsers?
IEEE1394 writes: "Ever wondered what other Internet browsers are available outside of Internet Explorer? Opera 6.03 from Opera Software boasts itself on being 'the fastest browser on earth.' Does it really live up to its claim of being unique and being fast? Is it the wild child of the browser family and can it ever surpass Internet Explorer as the browser of choice? Let's find out." Funny, IE isn't my browser of choice ...
  Slashdot | Napster files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Joey Patterson writes "CNN Money reports that Napster has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy." Thank god the industry shut them down... now that piracy has been stopped they can all sleep much better.
Sunday, June 2
  Yahoo! News - Spielberg: College Grad!
Turns out the most successful filmmaker of the 20th century wasn't too unlike the 500 fellow grads with whom he picked up diplomas Friday at California State University, Long Beach. Except that this guy was, um, Steven Spielberg. The storied three-time Oscar-winner--and recipient of five honorary doctorates, not to mention a freakin' honorary knighthood--completed his long-delayed mission of earning a college degree by walking across the stage and being conferred with his bachelor of arts degree (in film, natch) in ceremonies for Cal State Long Beach's College of Arts division. According to wire reports, Spielberg was treated--and acted--like any other middle-aged mega-mogul turned newly minted college grad. He posed for pictures, donned a cap and gown (rentals, no less), and inspired the school band to play the theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark. In a statement, the guy who can make just about any movie he wants to make--including the Tom Cruise-toplined Minority Report, opening June 21--said he wanted to complete his bachelor-degree requirements "as a 'thank you' to my parents...and as a personal note for my own family--and young people everywhere--about the importance of achieving their college education goals."
  Hasim Rahman Photo
Heavyweight fighter Hasim Rahman sports a severe hematoma on his forehead during the eighth round of his heavyweight fight against Evander Holyfield in Atlantic City, New Jersey, June 1, 2002. The 39-year old Holyfield was awarded a split technical decision in the eighth round.
  Net telephony poised to take off? - Tech News -
Internet phone technology that dumps copper wires, circuit switches and phone jacks for all-digital systems has finally come of age, according to analysts. With more companies adopting these "voice-over-IP" (VoIP) systems and concerns about sound quality fading away, the technology is ready for mass adoption, according to several recent reports from equity research firm Merrill Lynch and technology consulting firm Aberdeen Group. At the same time, business customers such as Lehman Brothers are praising the digital phone technology, and IP phone makers like Cisco Systems are reporting booming sales. "Though converged networks have been promised by technology providers for years, Aberdeen research indicates that 2001 was a watershed period for VoIP," said Dana Tardelli, a senior analyst at Aberdeen. The firm in a May 24 report said the market has "reached critical mass," and myths about poor quality are on the verge of being dispelled.
  Handheld Game Museum
Back in the stone age of video games, before super-powered Xbox and PlayStation 2 "consoles" ruled the gaming world, handheld games offered diversion to gamers with hyperactive thumbs. Collected here with pictures and descriptions, these now-primitive relics are sure to bring back memories of a time when manipulating a small red dot constituted a game of football, baseball, or basketball. However, this outstanding collection isn't limited to the sporting world. Check out oddly fascinating dinosaurs such as Hungry Monster, Turtles, or BurgerTime. Batteries are not included, but we're sure you'll enjoy this journey back in video-game time.
This site allows you to log your activity. It then provides you with cool charts and graphs that show you things about your activity that you may now have known. You can share this with friends online, or keep it to yourself. It's a new way to build a website that's based on a combination of free flowing prose and quantified data that creates a beautiful view of your life.
  Slashdot | Palm m100s - A Pattern of Defects?
An Anonymous Coward writes about his experience with a brand-new Palm: "Having a few years experience watching co-workers scratching out Grafitti on their little palm-sized toys and being reminded of appointments by musical ring-tones, I decided to take the plunge. More of a dip into a wading pool, as I chose the Palm m105. It was inexpensive enough ($149), and the 8 MB of memory seemed a more prudent choice over the tiny 1 MB in the $99 m100. My experiences quickly turned from elation to dread, however." This is the story of a piece of hardware's inexplicable degradation within 14 days. I thought we were making hardware better than this, but over the past few years, this is becoming more the rule than the exception. Is hardware issue limited to Palm, a case of bad manufacturing of a specific product, or a sign of things to come?
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