Slashback brings you another flurry of updates (below) on the recently reported Mozilla security leak, the Greek gaming ban (you'll never guess), the mega-hour TiVO mod mentioned earlier today, the long-term healthiness of the Atkins Diet, and more. Read on for the details.
Go ahead and get this one out of the way. Seth Scali writes: "The decision last week that ruled the Greek ban on video games as unconstitutional has been overturned, and a new trial has been ordered. Story from TheRegister is here. Don't take your GBA on that trip to Athens just yet ..."
It takes a strong man. Reader edrock200 submitted the story about a TiVO mod which could expand system capacity to more than 1000 hours of recording. The story as shown says that 9thTee is the card's developer; edrock200 corrects this "'The QuadCard, like the AirNet and TurboNet adapters also sold through 9thTee, were developed by a TiVo user named Nick Kelsey (known as 'jafa' on the TiVo Community Forum.) 9thTee is the distributor - though I don't want to take anything away from them, they have been remarkably supportive of the TiVo community and they deserve kudos for taking the financial risks of selling these add-ons.'
'It is truly amazing what Nick has been able to do with his electronics expertise.'"
Thanks for the clarification!
The Lizard sleeps with one eye open. An anonymous reader writes "MozillaZine have updated their article on the recently reported minor security bug in Mozilla [Note Slashdot posting]with the news that a fix has been completed. The bug allowed the webmaster of a site to find out where a user went after their site. The fix means that there are again no known security bugs in Mozilla. Presumably, updates to Mozilla-based browsers (Netscape, Galeon, Chimera etc.) will follow."
What about the all-shrimp-and-chili-paste diet? Schlemphfer writes "A few months back, Slashdot featured a NY Times story that talked about the Atkins diet in glowing terms. This week, the Times has published a Jane Brody article raising serious questions about whether Atkins-style diets are dangerous and unsustainable. Brody is one of the most prominent and respected nutrition journalists, so it's worthwhile to read her take on the matter. Brody's article, which cites some important new research, may be an eye-opening read for Slashdot readers who took the plunge with Atkins back in July." (The NYT requires free registration.)
Suddenly everyone is in deadly earnest. Ian Cumming was one of several people to write with evidence of smileys predating the smileys unearthed by Mike Jones of Microsoft Research. He forwarded an informative message from Brian Dear of Birdrock Ventures, which reads in part:
"On the PLATO system, emoticons were much richer -- made using multiple characters displayed on top of each other. It was possible to type, say, a single character, then press SHIFT-space (which moved the cursor exactly one space backwards), then type another character. The second would display on top of the first. You could keep doing this for multiple characters and create many different faces, beer glasses, martini glasses, all kinds of things. And people peppered their emails and notesfile (PLATO's newsgroups) postings with them all the time."
And what is the PLATO system? The short version is this: PLATO was (is) an education-centered computer system developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Luckily for you, Dear is writing a book about PLATO. His site is fascinating, and the book promises to be as well. Here is a page showing the richness of PLATO emoticons.
Reader Grant Barrett also writes: "The earliest (not first: you can never precisely say which was first) recorded smiley in print discovered so far was found by etymologist and word researcher Barry Popik who posted this message to the email list of the American Dialect Society. He discusses the yellow smiley face which everyone knows, but this particular smiley is the familiar punctuation-based emoticon. (On a side note, he has uncovered some evidence that Harvey Ball *did not* invent the familiar yellow-faced smiley.)"
That reference puts the typographic smiley all the way back to 1953, and as Barrett mentions, was in print rather than online. He also points out that "ESR's Jargon File cites a 'rival claim by Kevin McKenzie, who seems to have proposed the smiley on the MsgGroup mailing list, April 12 1979.'"
But there's only one groove per side ... To all those who thought that the optical-scanning method for playing vinyl was an elaborate joke, note that you can download the creator's code if you'd like. This is not the easy way to do things, but is one way.