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Mark Twain To Reveal All After 100 Year Wait
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '10 at 08:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's bruce-willis-is-dead deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "The Independent reports that one of Mark Twain's dying wishes is at last coming true: an extensive, outspoken and revelatory autobiography which he devoted the last decade of his life to writing is finally going to be published one hundred years after his death. Twain, the pen name of Samuel Clemens, left behind 5,000 unedited pages of memoirs when he died in 1910, together with handwritten notes saying that he did not want them to hit bookshops for at least a century but in November the University of California, Berkeley, where the manuscript is in a vault, will release the first volume of Mark Twain's three volume autobiography. Scholars are divided as to why Twain wanted his autobiography kept under wraps for so long with some believing it was because he wanted to talk freely about issues such as religion and politics. Michael Shelden, who this year published "Man in White," an account of Twain's final years, says that some of his privately held views could have hurt his public image. "He had doubts about God, and in the autobiography, he questions the imperial mission of the US in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines," says Shelden. "He's also critical of [Theodore] Roosevelt, and takes the view that patriotism was the last refuge of the scoundrel. Twain also disliked sending Christian missionaries to Africa. He said they had enough business to be getting on with at home: with lynching going on in the South, he thought they should try to convert the heathens down there." Interesting enough Twain had a cunning plan to beat the early 20th century copyright law with its short copyright terms. Twain planned to republish every one of his works the moment it went out of copyright with one-third more content, hoping that availability of such 'premium' version will make prints based on the out-of-copyright version less desirable on the market."

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Drupal 6 Attachment Views
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '10 at 07:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it deptartment:
Trevor James writes "Green's book is without a doubt the definitive practical guide to using the Views 2.x module in Drupal 6, and to create complex and dynamic page, block and attachment-based views for your Drupal site. One big plus to this book's structure is that Green uses a real "live" production Web site project as a guide (he states early on that he was working on the site build for the client while writing the book and that the client approved of using the site build as the book's main example) — all of the chapters and subsequent tutorials are focused on building a site for a company that specializes in hiring out contractors and subcontractors. It's nice to see real-world examples being used in a computer tutorial book especially one focused on Drupal and Drupal Views. The data Green is accessing is real data and this helps to engage the reader and show the multitude of real situations that a developer will get themselves involved with when developing Drupal Views." Read on for the rest of Trevor's review.

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Seagate Launches Hybrid SSD Hard Drive
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '10 at 06:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's sure-why-not deptartment:
MojoKid writes "Though there has been some noise in recent years about hybrid storage, it really hasn't made a significant impact on in the market. Seagate is taking another stab at the technology and they've just launched the Momentus XT 2.5-inch hard drive that mates 4GB of Flash storage with traditional spinning media in an attempt to bridge the gap between hard drives and SSDs. Seagate claims the Momentus XT can offer the same kind of enhanced user experience as an SSD, but with the capacity and cost of a traditional hard drive. That's a pretty tall order but the numbers look promising, at least compared to current traditional notebook hard drives."

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Lost Ends
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '10 at 05:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's talk-amongst-yourselves deptartment:
Unless you live in a hatch somewhere, you are probably aware that Lost has ended. If you want a simple, clear explanation of exactly how the series resolved, Lost Untangled will do nothing to clarify things for you. For everyone else, I provide this discussion thread for you to complain/revel in the most spoiler-laden manner you desire.

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High Altitude Balloon Tweets Earth
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '10 at 05:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's do-that-yourself deptartment:
celsomartinho writes "Spacebits is yet another low cost High Altitude Balloon (HAB) with a computer probe being launched to near space in the 30th of May, this time in Portugal, Europe. The twist with this project, besides the usual very cool electronics, cameras and sensors and other paraphernalia on-board, is the fact that the team provided the online community with a real time web dashboard so that everyone can follow the ~2 hour journey up to 100.000 feet and back to earth. Real time data includes measurements from all it's sensors, including temperature, pressure, humidity and air quality, altitude, acceleration and GPS coordinates and a live twitter feed. The team is also using a public GSM network to send SMSes lat/lon/alt coordinates to anyone willing to go on-launch-site and participate in the probe hunt." The balloon goes off memorial day weekend, so bookmark the page if you're on call.

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Revenge of the Cable Customer
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '10 at 04:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's spindling-jim-carey deptartment:
crimeandpunishment writes "After years of poor service and poor reception, years of hoping the cable guy shows up sometime within that four hour window, years of constant price increases ... it may be payback time for cable customers. Cable TV companies are trying to treat customers better. Considering the industry has long had some of the worst customer satsfaction ratings of any industry, it may take a while to overcome that reputation. But they'd better succeed. Cable customers are switching to satellite and phone companies in droves. According to industry research, cable companies lost five million video customers from 2006 to 2009."

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Facebook Bug Lets Hackers Delete Friends
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '10 at 02:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's friends-don't-let-friends deptartment:
swandives writes "There's lot of talk about Facebook and privacy at the moment, but a bug in Facebook's website lets hackers delete Facebook friends without permission. Steven Abbagnaro, a student from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York reported the flaw, writing proof-of-concept code that scrapes publicly available data from users' Facebook pages and deletes all of their friends, one by one. The victim first has to click on a malicious link while logged into Facebook. Abbagnaro's code exploits the same underlying flaw that was first reported by Alert Logic security analyst, M.J. Keith, who discovered a cross-site request forgery bug, where the website doesn't properly check code sent by users' browsers to ensure that they were authorized to make changes on the site."

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BYO Linux Router To Australia's Fibre Network
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '10 at 11:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's please-live-near-the-coast deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Run a Linux router to connect your ADSL service but worried about what will happen when the Australian Government rolls out fibre broadband to your house or business? Worry no more. It turns out that customers on Australia's new National Broadband Network will be able to run their own homebrew Linux router to connect to the network and route traffic any way they please."

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Military Appoints General To Direct Cyber Warfare
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '10 at 09:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's barry-corbin-not-available deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes news from The Guardian, excerpting: "The US military has appointed its first senior general to direct cyber warfare – despite fears that the move marks another stage in the militarisation of cyberspace. The newly promoted four-star general, Keith Alexander, takes charge of the Pentagon's ambitious and controversial new Cyber Command, designed to conduct virtual combat across the world's computer networks. He was appointed on Friday afternoon in a low-key ceremony at Fort Meade, in Maryland."

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Large Irish ISP To Enact "Three Strikes" Rule For Copyright Violation
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '10 at 06:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's very-very-naughty deptartment:
Squeeonline writes "One of the biggest broadband providers in Ireland will make the country the first in the world (according to broadsheet newspaper, the Irish Times) to introduce the 'three strikes' rule. 'EIRCOM WILL from today begin a process that will lead to cutting off the broadband service of customers found to be repeatedly sharing music online illegally. Ireland is the first country in the world where a system of graduated response is being put in place. Under the pilot scheme, Eircom customers who illegally share copyrighted music will get three warnings before having their broadband service cut off for a year.' ... The mechanism by which it operates was challenged in the courts by the Data Protection Commissioner. Apparently, IP addresses do not constitute 'personal information.' Personally, I use filesharing all the time, but I use it to download large open source Linux ISOs. How will Eircom legally differentiate between that content, and the content that some ragamuffin may be downloading illegally, without infringing privacy laws?"

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Fragmentation vs. Obsolescence In the Android Ecosphere
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '10 at 03:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's can't-do-what-you-can't-do deptartment:
whisper_jeff writes "Engadget has an interesting article up discussing whether or not Android is fragmenting. While the article discusses the concept that it may be more about handsets becoming obsolete at a dramatic pace rather than the OS fragmenting, it also begins by noting that there are currently five different versions of Android on the market, which implies there is a notable degree of fragmentation. Regardless of it being fragmentation or handsets becoming obsolete to new feature sets in a terribly short period of time, I believe this development cycle could turn casual consumers away and hurt Android's chances at long term mainstream success."

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Toyota Robot Violinist Wows At Shanghai Expo
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '10 at 02:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's is-it-using-the-suzuki-method? deptartment:
kkleiner writes "The Shanghai World Expo got a special treat this past week in the Japanese pavilion, when Toyota's famed violin-playing robot thrilled the crowd with a rendition of the Chinese folk song Mo Li Hua (jasmine flower). The bipedal artificial violinist hasn't been seen much since its debut back in 2007. Now we have footage of the Toyota bot playing Mo Li Hua in Shanghai as well as its original rendition of Pomp and Circumstance from 2007."

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Do Build Environments Give Companies an End Run Around the GPL?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '10 at 01:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's technical-compliance deptartment:
Malvineous writes "I have two devices, from two different companies (who shall remain nameless, but both are very large and well known), which run Linux-based firmware. The companies release all their source code to comply with the GPL, however neither of them include a build environment or firmware utilities with the code. This means that if you want to alter the free software on the device, you can't — there is no way to build a firmware image or install it on the devices in question, effectively rendering the source code useless. I have approached the companies directly and while one of them acknowledges that they are not fully GPL compliant, due to other license restrictions they cannot make their build environment public, and they do not have the resources to rewrite it. I have approached the FSF but their limited resources are tied up pursuing more blatant violations (where no code at all is being released.) Meanwhile I am stuck with two devices that only work with Internet Explorer, and although I have the skills to rewrite each web interface, I have no way of getting my code running on the devices themselves. Have these companies found a convenient way to use GPL code, whilst preventing their customers from doing the same?"

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BP Prepares Complex 'Top Kill' Bid To Plug Well
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '10 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's switch-to-healthier-olive-oil deptartment:
shmG excerpts from the International Business Times: "Government and BP officials are hopeful after extensive preparations, but are not guaranteeing that a complex attempt early this week to cap an uncontrolled underwater oil spill from a well in the Gulf of Mexico will be successful. The so-called 'top kill' procedure that oil major BP is tentatively scheduled to attempt on Tuesday involves plugging up the well by pumping thick "drilling mud" and cement into it. While it had been attempted on above ground wells, it has never been tried at the depths involved with this spill, nearly 5,000 feet below the surface."

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Copernicus Reburied As Hero
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '10 at 11:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's late-to-the-party deptartment:
CasualFriday writes "Mikolaj Kopernik, AKA Nicolaus Copernicus, the 16th-century astronomer whose findings were condemned by the Roman Catholic Church as heretical, was reburied by Polish priests as a hero on Saturday, nearly 500 years after he was laid to rest in an unmarked grave. On Saturday, his remains were blessed with holy water by some of Poland's highest-ranking clerics before an honor guard ceremoniously carried his coffin through the imposing red brick cathedral and lowered it back into the same spot where part of his skull and other bones were found in 2005."

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HP Confirms Slate To Run WebOS
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '10 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's avoiding-cognitive-dissonance deptartment:
Kilrah_il writes "After buying Palm a few weeks ago, many rumors emerged regarding HP's plans to further expand the scope of devices running WebOS. Now it appears that at least one of the rumors is true: The Slate will be running WebOS. 'Today an HP exec has confirmed that the company is developing a WebOS tablet which should be available by October.'"

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Scientific R&D At Home?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '10 at 09:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's check-with-costner deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "I'm currently on the cusp of getting myself a new hobby and making some investments. There are a few areas that interest me greatly, from playing with EEG/ECG and trying to put together a DIY sleep lab, to astronomy, etc. I'm somewhat hesitant to get into these fields because (despite the potentially short-lived enjoyment factor) I'm not convinced they are areas that would lend themselves to making new discoveries in the home and with home equipment, which is what I'd really like to do. I've also read quite a number of articles on 'bio hacking,' and the subject seems interesting, but it also seems futile without an expensive lab (not to mention years of experience). What R&D hobbies do Slashdotters have that provide them with opportunities to make interesting discoveries and potentially chart new territory in the home? Do such hobbies exist?"

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First Pandora Console Reaches Customer
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '10 at 08:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's insert-pandora's-unboxing-pun-here deptartment:
neogramps writes "It's been a long time coming, but the first Pandora consoles are finally rolling off of the production line. (Well, this one actually walked out the door to a customer who lived near the 'factory'). Initial estimates had put production and development at taking two months, but Murphy had other ideas. Banking issues, design problems, problems communicating with the Chinese moulding company, escalating assembly costs and even a volcano all managed to get in the way, but the small and dedicated team soldiered on, and just over a year and a half later, the wait is coming to an end for the four thousand pre-orderers."

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IBM's Patent-PendingTraffic Lights Stop Car Engines
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '10 at 07:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's even-red-lights-are-going-green deptartment:
theodp writes "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't let your engine idle. The USPTO has just published IBM's patent application for a 'System and Method for Controlling Vehicle Engine Running State at Busy Intersections for Increased Fuel Consumption Efficiency.' Here's how Big Blue explains the invention: 'The present disclosure is directed to a method for managing engines in response to a traffic signal. The method may comprise establishing communications with participating vehicles; responding to a stop status indicated by the traffic signal, further comprising: receiving a position data from each participating vehicles; determining a queue of participating vehicles stopped at the traffic signal; determining a remaining duration of the stop status; sending a stop-engine notification to the list of participating vehicles stopped at the traffic signal when the remaining duration is greater than a threshold of time; responding to a proceed status indicated by the traffic signal, further comprising: sending a start-engine notification to a first vehicle in the queue; calculating an optimal time for an engine of a second vehicle in the queue to start; and sending the start-engine notification to the second vehicle at the optimal time.' IBM notes that 'traffic signals may include, but not limited to, traffic lights at intersections, railway crossing signals, or other devices for indicating correct moments to stop and to proceed.'"

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Novell Reportedly Taking Bids From Up To 20 Companies
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '10 at 06:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's showcase-showdown deptartment:
Degrees writes "Although Novell rejected the bid from Elliott Associates earlier this year, reports now indicate Novell has decided to embrace the inevitable. According to the Wall Street Journal (sub. required): 'As many as 20 companies have expressed interest in Novell, according to people familiar with the matter. Most, if not all, of the companies expected to lodge serious bids are private equity firms. ... Novell has four separate businesses, each of which could be attractive to a rival technology company. However, it's unlikely that a tech company would bid for all of Novell, these people said. Private equity firms, however, could break up Novell and either sell off the pieces or run them as standalone businesses.' Are there any companies that don't have an enterprise grade Linux distribution, and ought to? Ditto workstation management, directory services, legacy email, and virtualization suite?"

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